Friday, August 12, 2011

Grilled Tenderloin Steak, Zucchini, and Green Beans with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

The steak and the zucchini are pretty self-explanatory...grill as you like. But, I'm pretty proud of my green beans tonight.

First, I steamed them in a shallow saute pan, covered, for about 3-4 minutes. Then, I drained off most of the water, added some olive oil and allowed the bean to cook until the remainder water had cooked off. Then, I added finely chopped tropea onions (shallots would work) and garlic, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Next, I added fresh corn kernels and cooked until the beans were just tender. I added a touch of water and a splash of sherry vinegar, then swirled in about a tablespoon of butter. Finally, I tossed in my cherry tomato halves, chopped flat leaf parsley and chopped chives. Adjusted the seasoning, and done.

Poulet Basquaise

This comes from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. I made this almost exactly as the recipe says, and it was dee-lish. Thank you, Mr. Kitchen Confidential. Sorry, no photo available.

poulet basquaise

1 whole chicken, about 4 lb, cut into 8 pieces (I purchased my bird from Whole Foods, who butchered it up for me, and gave me the remainder body pieces. Convenient, and free. Next time, though, I would just cut it up myself, as I like to take the breasts completely off the bone, and they kept them attached. I ended up having to do some cutting at home, too. No big deal. I used all the scraps, minus the liver, for making stock.)
salt and black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper or piment d'esplete (I used smoked paprika, cuz, well, that's what I have, and what the heck is piment d'esplete, anyway?)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 red bell peppers cut into fine julienne
2 green bell peppers cut into fine julienne (there were no green bells at the store, and the yellow and orange were expensive, so I omitted this ingredient)
1 onion thinly sliced
16 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water + 1/2 cube chicken bouillon or 1/2 cup light chicken stock or broth (like I said, I used the scraps to make a stock, so I used that. Anthony says, "this is one dish that can handle a bouillon cube.)
3 sprigs of flat parsely finely chopped (oh, oops! I didn't see this ingredient until just now)

Equipment - large pot with cover, tongs, plate, wooden spoon, serving platter
Serves 4

Season the chicken all over with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Heat the large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the butter. When the butter has foamed and subsided, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown on that side only. Remove the chicken with the tongs and set aside on the plate. Add the peppers and the onion to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. cook for about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the wine, scraping, scraping - as always - to get the good stuff up. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, then add water and bouillon (or the chicken stock). Return the chicken to the pot, making sure to add all the juices that's accumulated on the plate while it rested. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 25 minutes, then remove the chicken to the serving platter.

Crank up the heat to high and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately, with rice pilaf.

**So, I've already mentioned a few things I did differently in the ingredients, but there's more. Since chicken breasts, though bigger than the other pieces of meat, cook up a little faster and have a tendency to get dry, I add all the chicken into the pot around the same time I added the wine. The legs and thighs can handle the extra cooking and not become dry. The last thing I did before lowering the heat and covering the pot was add the chicken breasts, setting them on top of the other pieces of meat. In hindsight, I'm not sure it was necessary to do that, but nonetheless, the breasts came out perfectly.

We ate our dish with whole wheat penne pasta, and didn't miss any of the green stuff.