Thursday, September 29, 2011 Lucy Update

My close friend has been taking care of Lucy the Dog for the last month and trying to find a good home for her. Check it out and forward to the masses! Lucy Update: As you may know, I've been a foster parent to Lucy for over a month now. Lets see, what is the latest news on Lucy... SHE HAS HER OW...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken with a Mustard Sauce

Last night, while me and my good friend Daryck were discussing plans and choreography for a new dance production, the conversation (as it usually does with me) turned to the topic of food and what was for dinner. I was getting hungry and he had just informed me that his groceries had just been delivered. He had some chicken breast he wanted to cook and Daryck felt like having tarragon and a mustard sauce with the chicken. He asked me what we should serve with the chicken as a side. Lucky for him, the farmers market at the park just across from my block had some nice parsnips and beautiful little French green beans.

This was my first time to see his kitchen and cook in it. I found it rather exciting. But I’m strange like that. Lol. Here’s what we came up with.

Tarragon Roasted Chicken
Dijon and Caper Berry Sauce, Parsnip, Haricot Vert


4 Chicken Brest

2 Cloves of garlic
6 Sprigs of Tarragon

4 Tbls of butter
Olive Oil

Mustard Sauce-

1 Medium Shallot, Miniced
2 Cloves Garlic, Pasted

½ Cup Champagne (or Cava, o
r any white wine)
2 Cups Chicken Stock

2 or 3 Tbls Dijon Mustard

4 Caper Berries Chopped

2 Tbls chopped Tarragon

1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbls Butter

Parsnip Purée-

3 Cups Parsnips, Cubes
3 Tbls Butter

Salt & Pepper

First, place the parsnips in a pot of salted boiling water. Preheat oven to 450F. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast. In a very hot oven-safe pan on

medium-high heat, put in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, introduce the chicken into the pan. Crush the garlic and add it to the chicken. Get a good sear on the chicken, about 2.5 Minutes, and flip. Add the rest of the butter and baste the chicken as it melts. Place the Sprigs of tarragon in the pan on top and underneath the chicken and continue to baste for 1 minute.

Check your parsnips for doneness. When they are tender and soft, take them out of the water and let them drain for 30 seconds. Put into a processor or blender, purée. Add butter and blend. Season. Put in a bowl and set aside in a warm place.

Back to the chicken, baste and transfer to hot oven covered with some foil.

Sauce time! In a saucepan on high heat, sweat the shallots and the garlic in some olive oil just until translucent and not browned. About 1 minute or so. Add the champagne. Bring to a boil and reduce to about a third. Add half the chicken stock, bring back to a boil and reduce to about a third again. Add the rest of the chicken stock, bring back to the boil again and reduce to about a half. Add cream, mustard, and caper berries. Cook for 2-3 more minutes continually mixing.

Back to the chicken! Check for doneness. Take out of the oven, baste and let rest under the foil.

Back to the sauce! Take off heat, add the butter and whisk until the butter is completely melted and combined into the sauce. Put aside in a warm place.

Almost there!!

In a pan on high heat, introduce to hot almost smoking olive oil, the green beans crushed garlic, and a nob of butter. Sauté beans for about a minute. Add some lemon zest, and toss in a squirt of lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest. Done.

Time to Plate!!!

Put a dollop of the purée off center at the 2 o’clock position. Grab some of the beans and place uniformly next to the purée. Cut the chicken in nice thick slices and fan onto the plate. Sauce over the chicken. Caper berries and tarragon in the center to garnish. Fin. Enjoy!!

Monday, September 5, 2011


For last nights dinner, I wanted to do a fried chicken. Seeing that I had some leftover white miso from cooking some SHRIMP the other day, I decided to use it to marinade some chicken legs and thighs. I had some peas in the freezer and I just so happened to have a jar of palm hearts in my fridge.

White Miso Fried Chicken


2 lb chicken legs and thighs
1 head of garlic, minced
cup white miso
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut vinegar

Turn the finely minced garlic into a paste and combine with the vinegar, pepper, and miso in a bowl. Mix well. De-bone thighs. French the chicken legs (see this post to see a video of what I mean by "French" the legs) and add the chicken pieces to the marinade and place in the fridge. Marinade for at least an hour. I let marinade for 24 hours!

In a heavy pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Remove chicken pieces from marinade, remove excess marinade, and dredge in some seasoned flour. Shake excess flour off and place in hot oil and fry. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove from hot oil and strain on a cooling rack over some paper towels.
Green Pea Purée

2 Cups Sweet Green Peas

2 tbls Butter


Blanch fresh green peas in boiling water. Run the peas through a processer and purée then pass the purée through a tamis. Melt butter and add to purée. And salt to taste. Set aside.

Roasted Palm Heart

2 cups Fresh Palm Hearts

4 tbls unsalted butter

Salt & Pepper

Cube palm hearts. Pat dry and remove as much moisture as you can.

Melt butter over medium-high heat and cook to a nutty brown being very careful not to burn the butter. Season palm hearts with salt and pepper. Introduce the palm hearts into the brown butter and sauté for about a minute. Constantly baste palm hearts. Remove from pan and strain on some paper towels.


To plate, I placed a couple spoonfuls of the purée in the center of the plate. Stack a few pieces of the palm hearts onto the purée then gently place the chicken on top. In the picture below, I placed a few garlic chips I had fried up earlier. Simply slice a garlic clove into paper thin petals and fry in oil.


Miso Fried Chicken

Pan Roasted Palm Heart and Green Pea Purée

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

After a week long business trip in the Vegas, I was treated to a weekend Hurricane in New York. As the storm slowly crept up the coast, I found myself sitting on a couch watching TV when my friend's fabulous roommate burst into the apartment proclaiming he had to make a Banana Cream Pie!

Better yet, he needed it in under an hour for a birthday present. We immediately got to work.

This is that story:

Chapter 1 - Sugar Cone Crust

Since time was of the essence, and a cookie crust was requested, we had to make do with what we had, and we had no cookies. So instead we used 12 sugar cones normally utilized or ice creams, sorbets, gelati and the like.

12 Sugar Cones
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla


1. Pulverize the sugar cones to a fine crumb. Mix cone crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
2. Blind bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes. Cool.

Chapter 2 - B-A-N-A-N-A-S!


3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk

3 egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 bananas, sliced


1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, and salt. Add milk while stirring gently. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.

2. Gradually introduce the hot milk concoction to the egg yolks making sure to stir. Return to burner and add the flour. Cook for 3 to 5 more
minutes until the mixture thickens; stir! stir! stir!

Remove the custard from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. Puree 2 bananas and add to custard. Cool completely.

3. Slice the rest of the bananas and cover the bottom of the cooled, baked, sugar cone crust with half the sliced bananas. Top with banana custard mixture. Layer the rest of the sliced bananas onto the custard.

4. Make some whipped Cream and top the pie accordingly.

5. Chill