There’s an expression: If you want something done, give it to a busy person.
As an expert on the receiving end of this equation, I have determined it to be a corollary to Newton’s Third Law of Physics (for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction) as well as a lesson in sausage making (you can put only so much in before it squeezes out the other end).
This is also why I have not blogged a whole lot in the last few months... I have, however, been cooking up a storm (including 6 weeks at Farm + Wilderness Camp in VT) and am looking forward to sharing some delicious recipes (stuffed cabbage, granola, grilled shrimp and pasta, Izzakate’s tofu) as well as some stories and insights.
So let’s get started, shall we? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m into food. I love cooking it, shopping for it, talking about it, writing about it, serving it, and of course, eating it. And I get really jazzed about other people who share this passion.
Back in February, the NY Times food section had a feature story about the foodie scene in Brooklyn… hipsters at the epicenter of the growing movement toward artisan foods, locally sourced ingredients and the beauty that comes from making something yourself… or getting it from someone you know.
Marlowe and Sons is one of those places. I had dinner there this Spring and it was absolutely divine. The Brick Chicken was arguably one of the simplest yet yummiest restaurant dishes I have had. I decided to make it last night and I had just the gal for the job (John Fiorella graced my freezer with 10 fresh birds early this summer… see this post for more info and a recipe for roast chicken).
Brick Chicken is a whole, partially deboned bird that is pressed into a hot skillet and weighted down. At Marlowe and Sons they use a 35 lb piece of scrap metal salvaged from the Brooklyn Navy Yard… lacking anything comparable, I filled a pot with water and put it in another pot inside of another pan (see photo). This cumbersome but wicked-cool technique cooked the whole chicken in about 20 minutes. Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside.
Last night I served the chicken over sautéed kale with a side of quinoa spiked with cherry tomatoes and herbs from my garden. As the quinoa soaked up the chicken’s pan juices it became even more delectable.
Quinoa is a great source of magnesium and manganese as well as vitamins B2 and E. It also happens to be a really good source of vegetarian protein. It is both wheat and gluten-free and is considered to be the least allergenic of all the grains.
Quinoa is simple and quick to make.
First give it a good rinse in a fine mesh strainer. Then, you’ll want a 2:1 ratio of liquid (water or a combination of water and stock) to quinoa. Combine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. It takes 15-20 minutes cook 1 cup of quinoa. You’ll know it’s finished when the grains are translucent and tender. Add more liquid if the pan gets dry before it is fully cooked.
I like to dry toast the quinoa in a skillet before cooking to give it a slightly nutty flavor.
You can serve quinoa plain with a little butter and salt or style it up with steamed veggies, herbs, dried fruit or nuts. It makes a nice summer salad and travels well. It’s good hot or at room temperature. I love it for breakfast with toasted walnuts, blueberries and a little maple syrup.
Here’s what I did to flavor last night’s dish:
2 cloves of garlic minced
A handful of cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 cup of fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme), chopped
Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together in a serving bowl and let the flavors meld while the quinoa is cooking. When the quinoa is ready, fluff it with a fork and mix into the herb/tomato mixture.
And then get busy sitting down to a delicious, nutritious and wholly satisfying meal!