Tag Archives: sunday dinner

Cooking The Perfect Coq Au Vin

Standard
Cooking The Perfect Coq Au Vin

We should all cook to suit our individual tastes, but there are certain dishes where the cook simply needs to stay true to the dish; its reputation, its history and, for lack of a better word, its soul. If there’s one meal that falls into this category, it’s coq au vin. The chicken, the garlic, and the bottle of wine all need to be prepared in a certain way, even if it is just a chicken stew with a fancy name! Here are some pointers on how to prepare the perfect coq au vin:

The Chicken: The older the chicken, the richer the sauce will turn out. Talk to your butcher ahead of time to ensure that you get the perfect bird for the job. Tell them that you want a chicken that will be good for some long, slow cooking, and they may be able to order an extra-mature bird for you. The best places to look for these are generally farmer’s markets, traditional butchers, and online stores. You should always go free-range, as well. With regular access to fresh air, free-range birds develop stronger, thicker bones than any chickens kept indoors, and will therefore make for a better sauce.

The Wine: Many people think that the wine used in coq au vin is a negligible detail. Don’t believe them! Using a good quality wine in your cooking can make all of the difference to the taste, so go for a full-flavored, fruity wine rather than anything thin and lackluster. You don’t need to really push the boat out, even though some chefs will insist that you can only use a wine from Burgundy in this particular dish. If you can’t make heads or tails of wine in general, then do your homework before you run to the liquor store and buy a bottle! Here’s how you can open wine without a corkscrew in case you’ve forgotten this crucial detail! Yikes!

au2

YUM!

The Aromatics: The aromatics that go into your coq au vin are another very important detail that will hold a considerable sway over the overall taste. A lot of recipes that you’ll come across online will only call for onions and carrots, but we recommend adding celeriac and celery for their potent, earthy notes. Large French onions are an essential foundation for the actual stew. You can add little, tight-skinned onions near the end, but this ups the risk of you putting in too much or too little. A few bay leaves and some fresh thyme are the only herbs you’ll really need, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

The Bacon: Your coq au vin simply wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have some strips of thick, juicy bacon to complement the chicken. The thin, common rashers you use in a fry-up will be way too thin. If you don’t manage to burn them when you’re preparing your stew, the meat will disintegrate in too much heat. Ideally, you should source a tough, solid lump that you can easily cut up into thicker strips. Most brands of pancetta will do nicely.

Bon appetit!

Featured Image By: Wikimedia

Advertisements

Mexican Sunday Dinner

Standard
Mexican Sunday Dinner

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. So during the week at my household, we eat easy to prepare dinners – pasta, pizza, stir fry, and the likes. But over the weekends, my mom and I go hard when it comes to cooking an evening feast – soups, homemade pizzas, pasta salads, bread, frittatas, and oh so much more. This Sunday, I prepared a meal that I was particularly proud of that I just had to share on here. Seriously, it was that delicious.

My family loves Mexican food and as a primarily vegetarian household, it is always something that all of us can eat and enjoy. And enjoy, we did. For Sunday dinner I prepared homemade guacamole paired with vegetarian black bean enchiladas compliments of the fantastic website Cookie + Kate. Kate’s website specializes in vegetarian cuisine while her pup, Cookie, cheers from the sidelines. My mom actually found that website and was instantly drawn in by the delicious recipes but most importantly, that it was in some ways dog related (lol). Anyways, here’s the finished product:

dinnerdinner1

For the enchiladas, I followed the recipe pretty closely because I had never made it before but I did change a few things up to accommodate my cooking style:

  • I added a healthy amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper to the dish.
  • I added cilantro into the mixture as opposed to just using it to garnish.
  • I lessened the amount of broccoli in the recipe as a family preference.
  • I squirted fresh lime juice into the mixture and topped the finished product with it.
  • I used store bought enchilada sauce instead of making it myself because ain’t nobody got time for that.

* If you’re not hip to vegetarian eating, then I would recommend sauteing stripes of chicken, steak, or shrimp (or all three!) in a mixture of olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder (you could also go crazy and add in some lime juice and a tablespoon or two of enchilada sauce). Then, you could add it into the enchiladas or just eat it on the side.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much my dish looked like the pictures that Kate posted on her website but most importantly, my entire family loved it. For an additional topping, I free-styled some guacamole and here’s what I used in my makeshift recipe:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • About 3 tbsp of super finely chopped red onion
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Cilantro!!
  • A couple shakes of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Morton Kosher salt
  • 3-4 tbsp of small tomato chunks that I wish I added but forgot to get from the grocery store!

I really really love guac and I thought that the above concoction turned out amazing. It was bold and flavorful and although it turned out chunkier than what I normally like, I think that it just added to the deliciousness considering you could eat it by the forkful – which we did!

My mom described my Mexican Sunday Dinner as “going out to eat in our own house” which I thought was super precious and we will definitely be making the above recipes again! What is your favorite meal for Sunday dinner? What kinds of food do you love to cook? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Frittata Favorite

Standard
Frittata Favorite

Hey everyone and happy Hump Day! Every Sunday I love making dinner for my family and I hate to brag but it turned out pretty darn good this past weekend! I made frittata with rosemary garlic home fries. I followed a tried and true recipe for the frittata but I freestyled the potatoes with lots of butter, herbs, fresh garlic, onions, and romano cheese and it turned out SO yummy. I posted a status on Facebook about my dinner and some of my friends expressed interest in getting their hands on the recipe for the frittata, so I thought I would post it for the world today! This recipe is from the Broccoli Forest cookbook and it’s excellent if you can find a copy of your own:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs olive oil (you might need additional oil or butter when sauteing the veggies)
  • 1 tbs melted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I usually use 6 cloves in mine)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, basil, oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme, rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small bunch or spinach, swiss chard, or kale chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 5 large eggs, well beaten
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the onion and garlic with salt and herbs in combined olive oil and butter for 5-8 minutes
  2. Add remaining vegetables and cook over medium high heat until the vegetables are tender for 8-10 minutes
  3. Turn the heat way up and pour in the beaten eggs. Cook on the stove-top for several minutes, lifting the edges, and letting the uncooked egg flow underneath the cooked egg (as you would for an omelet). Turn the heat back to medium as you do this.
  4. As soon as the egg appears set, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and then top it off with the parmesan. Place it in the oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes (until it’s firm and the cheese is melted and slightly brown).

This recipe is one of my family’s favorites and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! One again, it’s from the Broccoli Forest cookbook and it really is great, especially if there’s any vegetarians in your family. What is your favorite thing to cook for dinner? Do you have a primarily vegetarian cookbook that you would recommend? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures of the frittata – it was completely devoured before I got around to snapping some pics!