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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Tasty Tuesday Recipe Exhange Day again!

Another chance to dig through those recipe files and share another sure fire winner for your holiday eating pleasure!!!!

Here we are at December 11.   Are you as panicked as I am right about now?  The weeks are flying by and I'm nowhere near ready for all the hoopla that's about to happen.   But, like every other year, when the time comes I will be ready.    
Having just come off a major party weekend,  food should be the last thing on my mind.  But, I just can't stop thinking about all of the fabulous food displays at my friend's party this past weekend. It was pure artwork.  Unfortunately, I could not get close enough to the tables to take pictures....they were three deep with guests at all times!   She has a catering business and believe shows when she entertains.  Because she is a very busy caterer, she does not have the chance to entertain very often.  As a matter of fact, she hosts her holiday party only once every 5 years....which means the last time I was there, I was quite a bit larger.   And, I remember it well since it is a party you just can't forget!  Everything is pure perfection and a complete treat for the senses.  I came to the conclusion that I tend to eat less when the food is so artfully presented.  Or, perhaps I couldn't get close enough to the food tables to eat all that much.  Whatever the reason, I was thankful that I didn't leave the party kicking myself for overeating and possibly dealing with band issues.   But, what I did eat was truly amazing.  Two items were so outstanding that I am going to share both of them with you today......Creamy Leek Soup and Chicken With Figs.   AMAZING! 
Both of these recipes are from Epicurious....a website she said is her "bible" and one that I use quite a bit.  However, I have to be honest....I never saw these recipes.  And....if I did, I doubt I would have made them.  But, now that I've tasted them......I realize that I should definitely be more adventuresome and try recipes that at first don't seem like something I would typically cook.    
So....on with the recipes!  I'm gonna shake things up a little today and share 2 recipes with you that I have NEVER cooked in my own kitchen or served at my own home.  However, they have been taste tested by many party goers and by yours truly.....we all agree they are stunners!   Trust me, I will definitely be making both of them this holiday season.   
The Creamy Leek Soup was served in a very large and exquisitely beautiful tureen---that's what first got my attention.   I am so happy that I was so smitten with the tureen that I just had to taste what was inside.  It was an amazing soup--velvety and rich.   
Creamy Leek Soup friend tells me it's best to make this soup about 2 days before you serve it since it gets better with time!  
  • 8 medium leeks (3 pound), trimmed, leaving white and pale green parts only, and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 small boiling potato (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth (24 fluid ounces)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
Wash sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and drain well in a colander.
Cook leeks, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in 4 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then add to onion mixture along with wine, stock, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in parsley and simmer soup, uncovered, 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and keep soup at a bare simmer.
Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups simmering stock (from soup), whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer, whisking.
Blend soup in 4 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), about 1 minute per batch, transferring to a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Reheat if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it almost forms soft peaks. Serve soup topped with cream.

As soon as I tasted the beautiful Chicken With Figs dish, I knew it was going to make it to my Tasty Tuesday recipe was just so good that I had to share it!!!     It's sophisticated enough to be considered an elegant entree but according to my friend--it's so easy to make that she blushes every time she gives out the recipe. She told me that it's one of her most popular and most requested dishes and that is considered her signature dish by default! 

Chicken With Figs
Another recipe that requires that you do the work the day before.....which, according to my friend is a caterers dream recipe!  
2 chickens (2 and a half to 3 pounds each), cut into 8 pieces each
6 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup best-quality olive oil
4 teaspoons green peppercorns (packed in water), drained
1 cup imported black olives
1 and a half cups dried apricots
1 cup dried small figs or large fig pieces
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Madeira
1 cup large pecan pieces
Grated zest of 2 lemons

1.One day before serving, combine the chicken, garlic, thyme, cumin, ginger, salt, vinegar, oil, peppercorns, olives, apricots, and figs in a large bowl. Marinate covered in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan. Spoon the marinade mixture evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle with the sugar and pour the Madeira between the pieces.
Cover the pan with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a sharp skewer, 40 to 50 minutes.
Using a fork and slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, olives, and dried fruit to a large serving platter. Drizzle with a few large spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle with the pecans. Sprinkle the lemon zest over all. Put the remaining pan juices in a gravy boat along side of the dish. 
(6 portions)

Start cooking!!!! 

1 comment:

Jody V said...

Here is a super duper easy dip recipe.

Frank's Redhot Buffalo Dip Mix

Servings: 4 cups dip
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 20


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained


HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.

MIX in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.

BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.