Things are getting complicated, aren’t they? Yet here we are, at the seventh course in a full ten course feast, assuming you served before dinner drinks as a gathering point and appetizers once seated. For those of you serving an eight-course feast, we are now at the fifth course of the evening (the 2nd Entrée offering – the smaller portion of the Entrées offered). With a six-course supper, simply view this as further considerations for the Main Entrée .
Are you confused? Let’s take a moment to review. Both a ten and eight course menu contain two separate Main Entrée courses. In a ten-course production, there is a Fish Course, followed by two “Main” Entrées. An eight course extravaganza would forego the Fish Course, although Fish may be served as one of two “Main” Entrées. And finally, a six course supper would forego the Fish Course, offering instead a single “Main” Course Entrée; consisting of a fish; meat, foul or vegetable “main” dish.
Are you still confused? Wait – there’s more!. This course could be foul or vegetable or both combined. Just as the foul or vegetable can be served alone, as a stand-alone offering. In other words, this course may consist of a single offering or a combination.
This brings us to the Foul or Vegetable decision. Mix and match from the foul or vegetables, choosing one from each category or pick a single dish. Any of the vegetable recipes that follow may be utilized either as a side to be served with any of main Entrées or as a main Entrée alone; as the “featured” serving of vegetables. I humbly offer for your consideration the following recipes.
Fowl or Poultry Selection
Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Parsley
Classic Coq Au Vin
1 chicken, about 3 pounds, cut into serving pieces
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped canned tomatoes and their juice
16 oil-cured black olives
Rub the chicken pieces all over with the pepper, half of the thyme, and half of the rosemary.
In a Dutch oven large enough to eventually hold all the chicken pieces, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When it is nearly smoking, add the chicken pieces a few at a time. Reduce the heat to medium, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned.
Turn the pieces over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes to brown the other side. Remove to a bowl when done and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and their juices, scrapping up any bits clinging to the pot. Return the chicken and any collected juices to the pot, spooning the sauce over the chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced with a knife, 75 to 90 minutes.
Remove the cover, increase the heat to medium, add the olives, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or as needed to reduce and thicken the sauce. Stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary and serve hot.
Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Parsley
2 Tablespoons Flour
4 Large Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinned
5 Cloves Garlic
1/3 Cup Flat-Leaf (Italian) Parsley
1 Tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
2 Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
3/4 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Riesling, Chenin Blanc or other fruity white wine
Chop parsley and set aside.
Remove the zest from the lemon, then slice lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Add additional juice to measure 1/2 cup.
Finely chop 3 garlic cloves. Set aside.
Press 2 remaining garlic cloves into a small bowl. Stir in chopped parsley and lemon zest, set aside.
Spread the flour on a plate, season with salt and pepper, then lightly coat both sides of each chicken breast with the flour, shaking off the excess.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and cook until lightly browned, turning once, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer breasts to a platter, and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the finely chopped garlic to the pan and saute over high heat until softened, about 20 seconds. Add the stock, lemon juice and white wine to the pant, deglaze to remove any browned bits from the pan bottom. Bring to a boil.
Return chicken to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook until chicken is opaque throughout and the juices run clear, about 25-30 minutes, depending upon thickness of chicken breast. Turn breast mid-way to allow flavors to soak in. Remove chicken with tongs to serving platter and keep warm in the oven.
Raise heat to high and boil the pan sauce until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour pan juices over chicken and sprinkle the parsley-garlic mixture evenly over the top.
Classic Coq Au Vin
1 Large Chicken (about 3-3 ½ lbs), cut into quarters
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
5 Slices of Bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
10-12 Pearl Onions, Trimmed
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons brandy
3-4 Springs Fresh Thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
10-12 small mushrooms, cleaned
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cups Hearty Red Wine such as Burgundy
3-4 Bay Leaves
½ Tablespoon Tomato Paste
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Blanch Pearl onions in boiling water 1 minute, drain and let onions cool enough to handle. Peel outer skin from onions and set aside.
In a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add olive oil.
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Cook chicken pieces skin side down to start until well browned on all sides; about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken to plate.
Add bacon and cook until golden but not yet crisp.
Reduce heat to medium, add onions, carrots, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat until onions and carrots are lightly browned and bacon begins to crisp.
Deglaze the bottom of pan with brandy, stirring all ingredients well to lift browned bits off bottom of pot.
Add chicken stock and tomato paste and simmer 5-6 minutes.
Return chicken to pot, add red wine, Thyme and bay leaves; cover and place in oven.
Cook 1 ½ hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Vegetables as a Side or Entrée
Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini
Roasted Lemon-Pepper Rustic Vegetables
Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini
Ingredients for The Pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
Whisk stir the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form.
Pat the lumps into a ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.
Ingredients for The Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher or sea salt
3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn, cut from the cob (about 1 cup)
1 small zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 bundle scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Make filling: Get down the saute pan with the lid. If you don’t have one, any large lid will do. Add olive oil, tomatoes, salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes to your sauté pan. Roll the tomatoes around from time to time so that they’ll cook evenly. In a few minutes, you’ll hear some putts and pops as the tomatoes burst a little. When most have, turn heat down to medium and add zucchini chunks. Saute for two minutes, until they soften. Add corn and scallions, just stirring them in, then turn off heat. Adjust seasonings if needed. Cool to at least lukewarm before assembling the galette.
Ingredients for the Egg Yolk Glaze
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 teaspoon water
Beat yolk with water, set aside until ready to use.
Assemble galette: Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round and it really doesn’t need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet by rolling up the dough around a rolling-pin. Sprinkle tomato-zucchini-corn mixture with half of parmesan and spoon the mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. If any liquid has puddle in plate, try to leave it there as you spoon. Sprinkle with almost all of remaining parmesan, leaving a pinch or two behind for the crust. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle glaze with last pinches of parmesan.
Bake the galette for 30 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Roasted Lemon-Pepper Farm Vegetables
6-8 cups of assorted fresh veggies (squash, zucchini, okra, onions, peppers, carrots, anything large and colorful)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Wash, clean and slice vegetables as desired.
Spray vegetables generously with olive oil. Season with lemon pepper and salt.
Spread seasoned vegetables out on roasting pan and place in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until some golden brown caramelization begins to form on the edges of the vegetables.
Remove from oven. While still piping hot, give a quick spray of olive oil for a nice shine.
Arrange on a large platter and serve warm or at room temperature.
Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini
6 medium-sized zucchini
salt and pepper
6 onion, chopped
12 tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of grated garlic
1 Cup of chopped parsley
3 Cups cheese (any variety that melts well – try goat cheese!)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the zucchini lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the centers, leaving about half an inch of flesh attached to the skin. Set flesh aside. Sprinkle zucchini “shells” with salt and pepper.
Chop zucchini flesh and toss with the chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the mixed vegetables into the hollowed out centers of the zucchini halves. Drizzle with olive oil, about a teaspoon per half.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange on a large serving platter. Serve warm.