Saturday, May 23, 2009

Menu 2: Great Summer Dinner

I made this as a lunch menu in April 2006 for a reunion of my Theta sisters from the University of Michigan. We gathered in Sonoma, California at a lovely retreat center and went on a wine tour, pictured here, one afternoon. It was great.


Barbeque Pulled Chicken

The black beans pictured on this plate aren't included in this menu. Perhaps later.

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce or home-made if you have it
1 7-ounce can chopped green chiles, including the juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon regular or smoky sweet paprika
Note: El Rey de Vera Pimenton de la Vera (Spanish Smoked Paprika) It comes in Sweet, Bittersweet, and Hot. I use Sweet in this recipe. Fancy supermarkets often have it. I get mine at The Spanish Table in Berkeley.
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
Note: Chipotle ground chile is in my supermarket in the Mexican section, usually in a clear cellophane bag.
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, extra fat removed
Note: Scissors work great to cut off the extra fat.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion, and garlic; stir to combine.
2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, 2-3 hours depending on the size of your slow cooker. A smaller pot will take more time. You can also use a large sauté pan on the top of the stove or on low heat in the oven. Start checking thighs after two hours.
3. Transfer the chicken thighs to a bowl, and let cool until you can pull the meat apart with your fingers or a fork.
4. Pour the liquid into a sauté pan and boil it down until it is thick. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well, and check for salt. Reheat if necessary, and serve on toasted buns. I usually serve open-faced with the toasted bun forming a platform for the chicken.
5. You can make it the day before and reheat to serve.

8 servings
Adapted from February/March issue of Eating Well magazine

Erasto’s Coleslaw

½ cup sour cream, crème fraiche or thick yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
2½ tablespoons Dijon mustard (I like the whole seed kind)
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons dried currants
½ head green cabbage, shredded or chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly shredded or grated
1 apple, chopped, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, vinegar, and currants in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Add the cabbage, carrot, and apple, if you wish, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4-6 servings
Adapted from Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

Silky Sautéed Red Peppers

3 red bell peppers
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Wash the peppers, halve them lengthwise, and remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Cut each pepper half in half, cross-wise. Cut into ½-inch lengthwise strips.
2. Place in a very large skillet and toss with the 1/3 cup vinegar and salt. Cover and cook over low heat until soft and tender, about 25 minutes. Toss occasionally, adjusting the heat so the peppers cook slowly. The liquid will have nearly evaporated by the end of the cooking. Watch that the peppers don’t scorch.
3. When done, transfer them to a platter. Return the skillet to the heat, and deglaze with the final 2 tablespoons of vinegar, scraping up any of the flavorful bits that may have remained in the pan. Add the oil, and heat until just warmed through.
4. Pour the liquid over the peppers, toss, and taste for seasoning. Serve right away or cool for at least 30 minutes before serving at room temperature.

4-6 servings as a side dish
Adapted from Patricia Wells’ Trattoria

1 comment:

Carolyn D. said...

I remember well that delicious lunch with good friends. I will definitley try the pulled chicken and cole slaw. Great picture too!