To prepare the chicken, cut each breast lengthwise into ½-inch strips, then cut the strips crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Using both chopped basil (mixed with the cooked chicken) and whole basil leaves (stirred in at the end) provided the full herbal flavor and fragrance we were looking for. Serve with steamed white or brown jasmine rice.
Whole cumin, coriander and mustard seeds add distinct flavor and textural contrast to this dish. At Vij's Restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, it is served with basmati rice and topped with a fried egg. We liked ours with cumin-seasoned jeera rice, lime-pickled cucumbers and yogurt.
From Annabel Langbein’s “The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures”
This “really useful” savory apricot glaze gives ham, chicken and spare ribs a wonderful golden gloss in the oven, and will certainly be on my Christmas ham. It also makes a terrific dip for fresh vegetables, or spring rolls or pot stickers, and would make a great hostess gift packaged in a pretty jar.
Balancing the flavor in this Southern favorite (no, it’s not from France) was all about using the right coconut.
Why This Recipe Works : This custard pie combines a rich, dense filling with softened shreds of coconut. For a proper custard consistency without eggy flavor, we use two whole eggs and an extra yolk; since it’s the sulfur-rich egg whites that contribute the eggy flavor and we omit that. This is like a Coconut Macroon in Pie Form, not to sweet or overly rich.
This simple dessert is less cake than sautéed apples set in a thick, buttery custard encased in a golden crust. We liked using two varieties of apples here, one tart and one sweet—the variation in the apples’ sweetness gave the cake a full, complex flavor. The cake is delicious served unadorned, but it’s equally wonderful accompanied with crème fraîche' or ice cream.
Don't settle for dry turkey this Christmas or Thanksgiving! Brining the bird before cooking it will ensure tender, succulent roast turkey every time. If you have a particularly large turkey you may need to double the brine recipe. For more turkey tips see Annabel's blog or Website.
Black pepper emboldens a fresh, fruity dessert: SUMMER PLUMS—macerated in an aromatic wine syrup—shine in this simple dessert. Use a dry wine you would drink; the flavor is prominent and the alcohol is not completely cooked off. While we loved a rosé, sauvignon blanc worked equally well. The plums in syrup will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, but bring them to room temperature before serving. The streusel will hold for up to three days in an airtight container. If you can't find plums, 1½ pounds of sweet red cherries, pitted and halved, are a good substitute.
Pork butt, which is cut from the shoulder, is a fatty cut. Trimming as much fat as possible from the meat—not just from the surface but also from between the muscles—helps prevent a greasy stew. After trimming, you should have 4 to 4½ pounds of pork. If the stew nonetheless ends up with fat on the surface, simply use a wide, shallow spoon to skim it off. This adovado is rich and robust; it pairs perfectly with Spanish rice, stewed pinto beans and/or warmed flour tortillas.
Rich, bittersweet Vietnamese coffee is perfect for drizzling over chocolate cake. This ultra-moist cake gets richness from pairing warm, subtly sweet Chinese five-spice with cocoa powder. For an accompaniment, we took inspiration from Vietnamese coffee and created a rich, sticky sauce with sweetened condensed milk and instant espresso powder. The final flourish is a mascarpone-enriched whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.
If you’ve ever made jelly, jam, or marmalade, then you’re familiar with pectin, the gelling agent usually responsible for those jiggly preserves. While there’s no shortage of commercially developed pectin on the market, it actually occurs naturally in the cell walls of plants, binding cells together to help the organism grow. For hundreds of years, it has been an integral ingredient in pâte de fruit, the brightly hued chewy treat that French confiseurs display so proudly, like a sparkly bauble in a jewelry store window. Good restaurants often send diners away with a few pâte de fruit as a parting gift, a classy tradition that could easily be adopted at private dinner parties. These candies also make great favors for weddings, showers, and other such celebratory occasions.