Posts from June 2013

Curried Chicken Salad with Golden Raisins, Lime and Honey from 'The Perfectly Roasted Chicken'

After serving us a whole book on salads, Mindy Fox turns her attention to what's in a bird with The Perfectly Roasted Chicken (Kyle Books, June 2013, paperback edition).

She's not breaking the salad spell completely as salads (with chicken) have their place in the book.


Raisins, lime, and honey create a sweet-tangy chutney flavor that plays nicely with the curry in this Indian-inspired salad. Whether under a tree in the park or around the table in cooler months, I love to serve this dish picnic-style, with good crackers and little gourmet bites from a cheese shop or olive bar. It’s also tasty stuffed into a whole-wheat pita, or rolled up in crisp lettuce leaves.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon curry powder

11/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups small shreds roast chicken*

41/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

31/2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons mild floral honey,

like orange blossom

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon golden raisins

1 box good-quality crackers

Gourmet bites (see Box) 

*From 1 (31/2- to 4-pound) bird 

Curried Chicken

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the curry, salt, and cumin; stir to combine and cook 1 minute more. Add the chicken and stir to combine.

Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for a few minutes, then add the mayonnaise, yogurt, lime juice, and honey; stir to thoroughly combine.

Stir in the raisins. Serve with the crackers and gourmet bites.

A simple hunt for gourmet bites 

Good cheese shops and supermarket olive bars are filled with treasures (sold by the pound or jarred) that can be quickly partnered with a simple chicken salad to create an impressive picnic spread. Look for crackers studded with dried olives or flavorful seeds, like fennel or caraway; stuffed grape leaves; roasted red peppers or sweet-hot peppadews; your favorite olives; and a mix of sweet or spicy pickled okra, green beans, carrots, and beets, and a few cornichons, or kosher dills.

(* Recipe from 'The Perfectly Roasted Chicken' by Mindy Fox, published by Kyle Books, June 2013- photography by Ellen Silverman)

KFQ, Kentucky Fried Quail, Southern Food with Whiff of Asia from 'Smoke and Pickles'

Brooklyn raised chef Edward Lee took a trip to Louisville in 2001 for Kentucky Derby, discovered a local restaurant called 610 Magnolia and made it his new the story goes...

Whether you like horse racing, Brooklyn, or not you will find plenty to cook in Edward Lee's cookbook Smoke and Pickles, Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen (Artisan Books, Spring 2013).

I had a hard time deciding which 3 recipes I was going to share.

Let's start with KFQ.

Kentucky Fried Quail

The technique of double-cooking poultry gives it that extra crispiness. Just as in the Adobo Fried Chicken and Waffles (page 82), here you poach the bird first before frying it. This allows some of the fat to render out, and it also shrinks the skin. Then your frying time will be less, so the meat won’t be overcooked. It’s a nifty trick—try it. Quail is often treated as a luxury item, adorably trussed and served on pretty porcelain plates. I love taking quail out of that context and serving it on newspaper with a dipping sauce and a mound of seasoned salt, letting people eat with their hands.

The Fragrant Salt used here is popular in Chinese cuisine; it can be used to flavor anything from scallops to popcorn. The quail is extra tasty paired with Pickled Garlic in Molasses Soy Sauce (page 181).

Feeds 4 as an appetizer

¼ cup sea salt
4 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon five-spice powder

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime

4 semi-boneless quail (see note)
2 to 3 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

87_Kentucky Fried Quail

1. To make the fragrant salt: Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or a blender and grind until fine. Transfer to a small bowl.

2. To make the dipping sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside at room temperature.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a wide pot and add 1 tablespoon of the fragrant salt. Add the quail to the water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and pat thoroughly dry; transfer to a plate.

4. In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil (enough to barely cover the quail) to 390°F over medium-high heat. Cook the quail one at a time, and keep a lid handy; if the oil splatters too much, simply cover the pot with the lid. Add 1 quail to the pot and fry for 1 minute, then flip the bird and fry for another 30 seconds. It should crisp up very fast and turn a dark, shiny amber. Drain on paper towels, pat dry with more paper towels, and immediately sprinkle some of the fragrant salt over the quail. Repeat this process with the rest of the quail.

5. Serve the quail with the dipping sauce and the remaining fragrant salt on the side.

NOTE: Semi-boneless quail have been partially boned, leaving the wing and leg bones intact. If you are using wild-caught quail, simply remove the back bones and leave the breast meat on the breastbone.

( Excerpted from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Grant Cornett.)

Palazzi, Castles and Villas of Sardinia on our Travel Map thanks to Dimore Sarde

Thanks to Dimore Sarde it becomes a breeze to put Palazzi, Castles and Villas on island of Sardinia on our travel map. 


I doubt anyone will have the time to follow all 8 itineraries you can choose from (see map above).

Thanks to island tourism office Sardegna Turismo, i discovered that Mistral wind is present and that Mining Villages are now historical spots.

Save time to sip Cannonau, the most prominent local red wine. 

Humid and Sticky Day Drink Recipe, Mango Lassi Kefir Smoothie from 'True Brews'

Aspiring home brewers could do worse than grab a copy of 'True Brews' How to craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir and Kombucha at Home (Ten Speed Press, Spring 2013) by Emma Christensen.

First pick from 'True Brews' will soothe our bodies on humid and sticky days.

Mango Lassi Kefir Smoothie

Serves 1

The hotter and more sticky-humid the day, the more desirable a mango lassi becomes. I’m pretty sure they’re genetically engineered that way. Not only does it hit the spot for something both sweet and a little sour, it also serves as a meal on those days when heat chases away your appetite.

1 cup milk kefir (page 53)
1 very ripe mango, peeled and coarsely chopped, or 1 cup frozen mango
1 tablespoon honey

Mango Lassi Kefir Smoothie

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

( Reprinted with permission from True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda Kefir & Kombucha at Home by Emma Christensen, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Paige Green © 2013)