Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Cooked in the Manner of Rabbit

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKichen blogs
This dish is my version of something cooked a little bit differently because the main star of the dish is quite hard to find. Rabbit is considered a pet and is not really considered as a source of meat in my country. Thus, the best way to substitute this important ingredient is to use chicken. Turkey thighs might actually be a better substitute but they are also quite rare to find here in my local grocery store as well so chicken it is. 

The recipe is from Sophia Loren's cookbook and is a dish I've always wanted to try but never dared to. However, I'm running out of ideas on what dish to make so I figured now is a good a time as any to finally try it. A few changes included the omission of marinating the chicken pieces in vinegar. This is usually done to neutralize the gaminess of the rabbit meat but with chicken, there is no need to worry about this issue. I also used brandy instead of white wine to braise the chicken and it works quite well.

Chicken Cooked in the Manner of Rabbit

2 lbs chicken thighs, skin on
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup olive oil
4 oz bacon
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery branch, diced
1/2 tsp rosemary, dried
1/4 tsp thyme, dried
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup black olives
flour for dredging

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and tap off
    excess. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan. Fry the chicken pieces until
    browned on both sides. Set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Add the onions, celery
    and carrots and cook until softened. Add the herbs and cook for another

4. Add the brandy and bring to a boil. Return the chicken pieces and add the
    wine vinegar and once boiling, decrease the heat to low. Cover and
    simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked. If it gets too dry, add small
    amounts of water.

5. Season with salt and pepper and check for flavor. Adjust accordingly. Add
    the olives and cook for another 5 minutes. Check for flavor one last time
    and serve warm.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
What do you do with leftover cabbage? Aside from coleslaw, I was wondering if there are other recipes that makes use of cabbage that did not involve stuffing it with meat or using it as a vegetable component of a meat dish. My first thought was a cabbage burger but I've never heard of one so I looked for a recipe of a burger patty or a burger fritter anyways and lo and behold, there it was: Cabbage Rolls. The recipe from Louanne's Kitchen blog called for a large cabbage so I had to buy more to ensure I had the right amount of cabbage for the recipe. The rolls are held together by an egg and bread crumbs and it definitely needs an overnight chilling to help keep it together in one piece prior to frying.

Cabbage Rolls - Adapted*

1 lb cabbage, shredded finely
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large egg
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1-2 tsp salt
4 cups chicken broth

For frying:
1 large egg + 2 tbsp water, beaten
1 /2 cup flour
1/2-1 cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil and thyme
2-1/2 tsp coarse salt
vegetable oil for frying

1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the shredded cabbage and 
    cook until softened. Allow to cool and drain. 

2.  Combine the rest of the ingredients with the cooled cabbage and mix well.
     Allow to meld in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.

3. When ready to fry, roll the cabbage mix into 1/4 cup-sized balls. Season 
    the flour and the breadcrumbs with a pinch of the herbs and 1/2 tsp of 
    salt. Set them aside in two separate platters. Beat the egg with 2 
    tablespoons of water in a shallow dish. 

4. Take one cabbage mix ball and roll in the seasoned flour. Dip in the egg 
    mixture and roll again in the breadcrumb mixture. Flatten the patty 
    before frying in the oil at medium heat. 

5. Do the same for the rest of the cabbage mix and fry until golden brown 
    on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with a side of tartar 

*Louanne's Kitchen blogs: Fried Cabbage Patties.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Seared Marinated Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I needed a chicken dish for a dinner I was cooking for my friends and I had very little time. Knowing from experience that my best bet would be one of Lidia's recipes, I found a recipe which I think will be great for a dinner for 12. I already cooked most of her dishes in her website so I needed to try something new. I was also cooking at my friend's house where there was no functional oven so I had to settle for a skillet-cooked dish.

Mushrooms were in season so I was glad that they were selling fresh shiitake mushrooms although I think they were oyster mushrooms and not the shitake ones. Either way, I got almost a kilogram of fresh mushrooms so I used most of them for this dish. I also used a handful of dried shitake to up the flavor of the dish without having to add white wine. My friends are not wine drinkers. 

Seared Marinated Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms - Adapted*

3 lbs chicken breasts, skinned
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper
fresh parsley, chopped 

Shitake Sauce:
1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms
200 g dried Shiitake mushrooms 
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup brandy
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup capers

1. Marinate the chicken in the olive oil, crushed garlic, Herbes de Provence, 
    and season with a tablespoon of coarse salt and a few dashes of pepper. 
    Seal and store in the fridge for two hours. 

2. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms in the hot water. Let it soak until the 
    mushrooms has softened. Remove the stems and set aside the 
    reconstituted liquid.  

3. In a large skillet, heat the 4 tablespoon of olive oil and sear the chicken 
    in batches until browned on all sides. Set aside. 

4. In the same pan, add the minced garlic and saute until softened. Add the
    brandy and the softened mushrooms and bring to a boil.

5. Add the broth and reconstituted liquid and once boiling, return the chicken 
    pieces and braise until cooked through. Check for flavor. 

6. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and 
    arrange in a serving platter.

7. To the sauce, add the butter and mix. Add the fresh mushrooms and 
    capers and cook until the mushrooms are softened. 

8. Spoon the sauce and mushrooms over the chicken pieces and garnish 
    with the chopped parsley. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.

*Lidia's Italy: Seared Marinated Chicken Breasts with Shiitake Mushrooms.

Italian Meatballs in Savory Tomato Sauce

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I made this dish over the weekend when I cooked dinner for me and my Dad. He eats mostly fish everyday so every time I come home, I will cook something for him that is meat-based while I cook something that is fish-based for me. I try to eat less meat when I'm not at home but sometimes, a meat dish is what is readily available so I just try to eat less of it. Since I barely have any time to cook an elaborate dish, I go for the simple ones and this is what I came up with. 

The recipe is based on one of my trusted cookbooks but I tweaked it a bit to suit my tastes and what was available in my fridge. There was no need to really go all out since my Dad prefers to eat very simple dishes. This is actually both a blessing and a curse for me. I could try and fix a very complex dish and he might find it a bit too unusual for his tastes. If I go the simple route, he might really enjoy it but I end up making dishes that hardly need a recipe and are not worth posting on the blog. This dish is I think a compromise and is both simple and yet, complex enough it warrants a recipe. Here then is a meatball dish that can be eaten as is with a baguette or over a cup of hot steamed rice. You take your pick. 

Italian Meatballs in Savory Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 lb ground pork
1 onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 tbsp olive oil
2 small carrots, diced
1 cup broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 30 oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup frozen peas

1. To make the meatballs, combine the ground pork, diced onions, Herbs de 
    Provence, eggs and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and 
    combine until just mixed. Form into one-inch balls and set aside. 

2. Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Fry the meatballs 
    in batches until just browned. Set aside. 

3. In the same pan, add the garlic and saute until softened. Add the diced 
    tomatoes  and the broth. Bring to a boil and add the oregano. Lower the 
    heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 

4. Add the meatballs, tomato paste and the diced carrots and simmer for 
    another 15 minutes. If too thick, thin out with water.

5. Check for flavor and adjust accordingly. Add the peas and cook until 
    bright green. 

6. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blog
Okay, I know there is hardly any need for a recipe for this classic side dish but I think this slaw is quite good. The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart and I have to say, aside from her wedding cake recipe, I hardly use her recipes because she is quite annoying to watch. I tried but I find her very condescending so I usually pass on her recipes. However, this recipe is quite simple and truth be told, looked like a slaw I would love to munch on. I've tried some fairly complicated recipes and ended up with tons of coleslaw that I never wanted to eat again. This however, was really good especially after the flavors melded upon sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours. With a bit of a tweak since I wanted a smaller amount of coleslaw, I cut the amount in half and adjusted the spices according to my taste. 


1 lb cabbage
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp lemon or calamondin juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 large carrot, grated coarsely
1 onion, grated coarsely

1. Core and shred the cabbage. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the onions and 
    carrots and mix well. 

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with about a teaspoon of salt. 
    Cover and let sit in the fridge for two hours. 

3. Stir and check for flavor. Adjust with salt if needed.

Pork Moroccan Kebabs

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I already featured this dish using beef and featured as Kebab Koutbane. I essentially used the same recipe with a few changes in terms of spices. There wasn't anything wrong with the original recipe really. I just could not find the same spices here in the city where I live. I had my co-workers buy some of the spices but they ended up buying the wrong kind. I did not have the heart to tell them otherwise. 

Coriander is a pain to find here locally. Cilantro which is the plant from coriander tastes differently as a seed. The seed is a cross between a thyme and lemon so I ended up using dried thyme to at least give a hint of the missing coriander taste. I was also unsure if the marinate will translate well to pork which has a more bland flavor when not seasoned well so I upped it just a bit to make sure that the kebab will cook with the right amount of flavor. 

Pork Moroccan Kebabs

4 lbs pork meat, 1-inch dice
2 large onions, shredded
4 garlic cloves, grated
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp coarse salt
grape tomatoes

1. Marinate the pork in the oil, onions, garlic and spices. Leave it to marinate
    at room temperature for 3 hours. 

2. Skewer the seasoned pork in bamboo sticks and top with a tomato. Slather
    the leftover marinade over the kebabs before cooking on a charcoal spit. 

3. Cook until the meat is browned on all sides and serve immediately. 

Potato Salad with an Asian Flair

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
We are celebrating the birthday of our secretary this week and we decided to throw her a barbecue of sorts. For some reason, the parties in the office have developed a certain theme and this one is no exception. The choice for this party was American so I was actually in my element. I do know what it is that makes my American friends eat up a storm. Sadly, it is the exotic ones that seem to tickle their tastebuds. In the end, I had to settle for something that is both American with a bit of an Asian flavor to it.

I was tasked to prepare the actual barbecue which is kind of ironic or maybe unfortunate since I am having gout issues again. Argh! Anyway, I was thinking of something very American to go with it so I thought, aside from apple pie, the one thing that was never absent from any good barbecue is potato salad. Not having access to my cookbooks, I thought of the basic ingredients that I might need and pickles and carrots came to mind. When it came time to actually put it all together, it turned out that pickles and diced carrots are not really common ingredients. Well, I decided they were staying anyways for the added crunch. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchens blog
My inspiration for the recipe is from Ina Garten. A few changes I made was to make sour cream from heavy cream and souring it with Calamondin juice. Lemon juice can also be used but I wanted a more local flavor to the dish. Stone ground mustard will be wonderful but I have no access to a gourmet shop so a regular Dijon mustard will have to do. In the end, I used powdered mustard instead. I bought regular potatoes but chose the smaller ones to avoid having to peel them. In any case, I have decided to keep the skin on for my potato salad for a more rustic flair. In the end, not bad for a potato salad made in the small kitchenette inside our office.

Potato Salad with an Asian Flair

2 1/2 lb small potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon or calamondin juice
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 cup pickles, diced
salt and pepper
1 tsp dill seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 tsp mustard powder

1. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water. Bring to a boil over 
    medium high heat and cook until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool. 

2. In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and calamondin juice and 
    stir. Allow to thicken. 

3. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice into eighths and 
    transfer them to a large bowl. 

4. Add the carrots, red onions, pickles, mayonnaise and thickened cream. 
    Add the mustard powder and dill seeds and mix well. Season with salt and 
    pepper and check for flavor. 

5. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Stir one last time before serving. 

Pasta Oglionesca

Copyright LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This term might drive Italians crazy and might even come after me with pitchforks but the inspiration for this dish is a pasta dish that I shared with my friends over dinner during reunion night.We ordered a pasta dish named Aglio-Olio described as an olive oil and garlic pasta. It had a hint of heat which I assumed came from the red pepper flakes or as Lidia B would call it, peperoncino. I just thought it would make a wonderful Sunday dish so I gave it a try. I did make an adjustment by adding fresh tomatoes ala a puttanesca dish which funnily enough was my initial  choice had it not been for my friend suggesting the Aglio-Olio pasta instead. 

I made a small batch good enough for two or if you are really hungry, for one. All I had were some leftover shell pasta and a handful of red pepper flakes along with some really good olive oil. I had no cheese on hand but as it was, it was quite tasty. I finished the dish with dried basil leaves which gave the dish a wonderful aroma. It came out a bit spicy but it was not the first spicy dish I made so I quite enjoyed it. 

Pasta Oglionesca

1/4 lb shell pasta
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of dried basil leaves

1. Cook the pasta as per packet instruction. When the pasta is almost al 
    dente, heat half of the olive oil in a large pan and saute the garlic over 
    medium low heat until golden brown. 

2. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for another minute. Spoon the cooked
    pasta into the pan and mix well. Season with salt and check for flavor.

3. Turn off the heat and add the diced tomatoes. Mix well and sprinkle with 
    the dried basil leaves. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and serve.