Chicken, Black-Eyed Peas, and Mustard Greens Stew

Chicken stewA chicken stew is a comforting dish that spans the seasons, but we’ve added black-eyed peas and mustard greens and turned our stew into a powerhouse of nutrients. Black-eyed peas are in the bean family so they possess all the health benefits associated with pulses; and crispy, peppery mustard greens are one of the most nutritious vegetables around, right up there with broccoli, kale, and cabbage. But it’s not just the health benefits that have made this stew a Pollan favorite, we love its heartiness and delicious depth of flavor.

black eyed peasCover the dried black-eyed peas with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 5.11.21 PMSauté the miripoix until lightly browned. The mustard greens get added last.

Chicken, Black-Eyed Peas, and Mustard Greens Stew
4 to 6 servings

For the Black-Eyed Peas
1 cup dried organic black-eyed peas

For the Poached Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 carrots, quartered
2 celery stalks, quartered
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
Black peppercorns
Kosher salt

For the Stew
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 bay leaves
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
3 cups black-eyed peas
2 cups shredded chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups tightly packed mustard greens, torn into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the Black Eyed Peas
Rinse the peas carefully, place them in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak for 8 hours or overnight; drain, rinse, and set aside. (One cup dried black-eyed peas yields 3 cups of soaked.)

For the Poached Chicken
Arrange the chicken in a skillet large enough to hold the breasts in a single layer. Cover them with 1 inch of water, add garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink. Pour off and strain the poaching liquid through a sieve, transfer the chicken to a heatproof bowl, cover with the strained liquid, and set aside. When cool, use two forks to shred the chicken into small strips.

For the Stew
In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the olive oil and when shimmering, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the carrots, celery, and bay leaves, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and the water, add the smoked paprika, chipotle chile pepper, thyme, and black- eyed peas, and mix well. Lower the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and simmer for an additional 20 minutes; adding more water if needed. Stir in the mustard greens, and lemon juice, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, ladle the stew into individual bowls, and serve hot.

Stew crop

 

Spiced Sweet Potato Crisps

Sweet potato crisp1Sliced very thinly and with just the addition of your favorite spice, these sweet potato crisps become a delicious, nutritious stand-in for high calorie potato chips. Serve them with soups and sandwiches, or just as a healthy snack.

 

whole and sliced sweet potatoSlice the sweet potato as thinly and uniformly as you can.

sweet potato with spiceSeason with the spice or spices of your choice.

Spiced Sweet Potato Crisps
1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)
Organic olive oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon seasoning of choice (paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)
Sea salt

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F.

Lightly spray two rimmed baking sheets with oil. Arrange the rounds in a single layer on the baking sheets (taking care not to crowd or overlap.) Spray the tops with a fine mist of oil and lightly sprinkle your spice of choice on each (do not salt yet as this releases moisture.)

Place one of the baking sheets on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the rounds, sprinkle additional spice to taste on top, and rotate the pan in the oven. Bake until the rounds are lightly browned around the edges, and tender in the middle, an additional 7 to 10 minutes. Watch them closely in the last 5 minutes as they go from golden to burnt quickly. Remove any rounds from the baking sheet that have browned and place on a cooling rack to continue crisping. Return the rest to the oven to continue baking. Once the first batch is done season with salt to taste.

Repeat with the second baking sheet and serve.

Sweet potato crisps close up

 

Crispy Kale, Potato, and Mushroom Hash with Fried Eggs

Kale potato hash plated

Sometimes the perfect comfort food is a meal of potato hash and eggs. In this recipe we elevate the dish many notches by adding roasted garlic, onions, kale, and mushrooms. The result—a healthy, light, and delicious hash that is comfort food at it’s best.

Hash mise enThese vegetables go great with eggs.

Hash ingrdients on baking sheetThey are roasted on rimmed baking sheets.

Egg sieveIt’s optional, but the sieve removes the excess watery part of the white.

fried eggsThe last step is frying up the eggs.

Crispy Kale, Potato, and Mushroom Hash with Fried Eggs
4 servings

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced in half moons
8 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 to 4 sprigs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups packed kale, completely dry, stemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or substitute extra virgin olive oil)
4 to 8 large organic eggs
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the potatoes in a medium size pot and add enough water to cover. Add the vinegar (this helps the potato pieces keep their shape.) Set over high heat, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, partially covered, until just fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Add the chopped thyme, parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss to coat completely.

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Roast undisturbed until the bottoms of the vegetables are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip and roast on the other side, 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place the kale in a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using your fingers massage the oil well into all the leaves (do not add salt at this stage*.)

*Salting before roasting will bring out the moisture  leading to less crispy kale.

Place the kale in a single layer on the other baking sheet. Roast until browned and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter (use 2 if making 8 eggs) in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat (you can substitute olive oil.) One at a time, crack each egg into a sieve or fine mesh strainer to remove the excess watery part of the egg white. (You can skip this stage if desired.) Gently pour the egg into the skillet and repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook until the whites set and the yoke is at your desired runniness, 4 to 5 minutes.

Spoon a generous serving of the potato and mushroom hash onto individual serving plates, top with 1/4 of the roast kale, and finish with 1 or 2 fried eggs. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes as desired, and serve.

Kale potato close up

 

Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

Better first plated split pea soupPulses are getting a lot of hype lately and for good reason. They are rich in nutrients and fiber, a terrific source of protein, and they are available all year long. Our split pea soup is made with zucchini and rutabaga- a root vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. The combination adds an unexpected sweet and savory flavor to this hearty soup. We top each bowl with garlicky, crispy croutons giving each bite a delectable crunch. This soup is a meal in itself.

IMG_2669Rutabaga
The rutabaga adds a unique flavor to this soup.

croutons for soupWe make the croutons while the soup simmers.

Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

6 servings

For the Soup:
1 ½ cups green split peas, soaked in water overnight or for several hours. Drained, rinsed in cold water and drained again
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup peeled and diced rutabaga, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ½ cups diced zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Croutons:
½ baguette cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the rutabaga and stir for 2 minutes more. Add the zucchini and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, add the turmeric and mix well.

Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 55 minutes or until the split peas are tender. Add 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

For the Croutons
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the bread, oil, and garlic and mix together (hands work best for this) until the bread is coated. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and toasted, about 18 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, top each with a handful of croutons, and serve.

3rd plated split pea soup

Perfect Kale Chips

kalechips2 copy

Only three ingredients and so delicious. We were weary of burnt or wilted kale, so we worked on this recipe to perfect our crisp, addictive, and healthy chips. The three keys to success––make sure your kale is completely dry, spread it in a single layer on the baking sheet, and do not salt until after they are done cooking. Delicious as a snack or hors d’oeuvres, these kale chips are also wonderful in lieu of croutons in soups and salads.

kale washedIt’s very important to dry the kale completely.

kale on sheetMassage the oil into the kale before placing it on the baking sheet.

Perfect Kale Chips

4 cups packed curly kale, stemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the kale (completely dry) in a large mixing bowl and the olive oil. Using your fingers massage the oil well into all the leaves. (Do not add salt before you cook. *)

Place the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Season with salt to taste and serve.

*Salting before roasting will bring out the moisture in the kale leading to less crispy chips.

kalechip close up copy

Skillet Chicken with Kale, Chickpeas, Shallots, and Tomatoes

Skillet chicken main

The photo in the New York Times was so tempting that we immediately knew we had to try this dish. But there was a problem––the recipe was bare-bones: Brown 8 chicken thighs, 3 cups shallots, add wine, tarragon, and Dijon. A short search revealed the recipe was Rishia Zimmern’s, the wife of chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern, and that it owed a debt to an earlier recipe of Martha Stewart. Cooks often make changes and additions to recipes they like, and we had some changes of our own. One-pot dishes are a Pollan favorite, so by adding two cups of kale and a can of organic chickpeas we transformed this dish into a complete skillet meal. It’s now one of our all time favorite chicken recipes–the mix of kale, chickpeas, shallots, wine, mustard, and tomatoes makes for a fabulous combination.

chicken mise en placeMise en place–the vegetables ready for the skillet.

chick cookingWe cook the chicken thighs until they’re browned and crisp.

shallotsNext, we soften and caramelize the shallots.

Skillet Chicken with Kale, Chickpeas, Shallots, and Tomatoes
4 servings

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 large shallots, peeled and halved
5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 cup white wine
1 cup organic low–sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups tightly packed chiffonade kale, stems removed
One 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

In a small bowl add the flour, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and lightly sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoned flour.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when shimmering add half of the chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, without turning, until the skin is browned and crisp. Using tongs, flip the chicken and cook for 4 additional minutes on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter and repeat with the 4 remaining thighs. Remove those to the platter once browned.

Add the shallots to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until soft and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes, add the garlic and cook until softened. Pour in the wine, deglaze the pan, add the chicken broth, the mustard, kale, chickpeas, tarragon, chicken, and any accumulated juices. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is tender. Remove the cover, add the butter and the tomatoes to the skillet, and allow the sauce to thicken, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken and the vegetables to a platter, spoon on the sauce, and serve.

Skillet chicken crop

 

 

White Winter Salad

 

Winter salad2Cauliflower is having it’s moment right now, but we were introduced to shaved cauliflower salads a couple of years ago by Serge Madikians of Serevan (our favorite Dutchess County restaurant), and we immediately fell in love. This salad is fresh and light, a wondrous blend of anise flavored fennel, crunchy Asian pear, and nutty-fruity Parmesan cheese. Just forget the rule that deep-colored vegetables are the healthiest–cauliflower rivals kale in health benefits.

Winter white Mise en placeMise en place. The dressing is so simple and so tasty.

White winter processWe slice the vegetables very thinly.

White Winter Salad

4 servings
1/3 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons white balsamic or Champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons walnut oil (or grapeseed oil)
Kosher Salt
White pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
4 cups shaved cauliflower (very thinly sliced with a mandoline or a knife)
1/2 cup shaved fennel (very thinly sliced with a mandoline or a knife)
1/2 Asian pear, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Place the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until they just begin to brown, shaking the pan and stirring so they do not burn, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. Chop roughly and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, or a jar with a tight lid, combine the vinegar, mustard, oil, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Whisk or shake vigorously until emulsified.

In a salad bowl, combine the cauliflower and fennel. Add some of the dressing and toss gently. Add the toasted almonds, Asian pear, Parmesan cheese, and more dressing to taste, and toss once more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Winter salad2 copy

Mesclun Greens with Persimmons, Pistachios, and Manchego Cheese

Second plated persimmons saladIMG_2406

We love adding fruit to our greens and we’re thrilled that it’s Persimmon season once again. Referred to as “the fruit of the gods,” persimmons are deliciously sweet with a delicate, honey-like flavor.

Historically, persimmons were not a fruit our family was familiar with. It was that exotic one that would turn up in a fruit basket and we weren’t exactly sure how to eat it—how do you know when it is ripe, do you eat it whole, does it need to be peeled? After some experimentation we determined the Fuyo persimmons (as opposed to the Hachiya) would work best in a salad. Paired with the toasted pistachios, and the rich and slightly salty Manchego cheese, the combination of these flavors together are scrumptious.

PersimmonsWe discovered persimmons are ripe when they are a rich orange color and still firm. We peel and slice them into thin wedges.

Pistachios and manchego cheese persimmons saladThe combination of the toasted pistachio nuts, Manchego cheese, and persimmons is delicious.

Mesclun Greens with Persimmons, Pistachios, and Manchego Cheese
4 servings

3 tablespoons shelled pistachio nuts
Sea salt
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons very finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces mesclun greens
1/2 cup shaved Manchego cheese
2 firm but ripe Fuyo persimmons, peeled, halved, and sliced into thin wedges

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Spread the pistachio nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In a small bowl add 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt, the vinegar, and shallots and mix well.

Add the mustard, olive oil, and black pepper to taste. Whisk until emulsified.

Place the mesclun greens in a large salad bowl. Add half of the persimmon slices. Pour half of the dressing over the greens and persimmons and toss. Add more dressing to taste and toss again.

Place the dressed greens on individual salad plates. Arrange the remaining persimmon slices on each salad, sprinkle with pistachio nuts, top with the Manchego cheese, and serve.

Persimmons saladIMG_2397

 

 

 

 

Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta

Cover Photo 2 plated shitake bruscettaIMG_2648

Whether hors d’oeuvre, appetizer, or first course—bruschette are one of the easiest starters to prepare for entertaining. Toast baguette slices, rub with oil and garlic, top with sautéed vegetables and/or a spread and you are ready! For these bruschette, we made a simple and delicious white bean spread and topped each one with a rich and flavorful spoonful of sautéed shitake mushrooms, seasoned with parsley and thyme. Biting into these crunchy toasts, with their creamy bean spread and meaty mushrooms, make these starters a savory treat.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.42.50 AMScreen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.43.03 AMThe white bean spread is so easy to make and it is loaded with antioxidants.

Suateed shitakes in panIMG_2641We thinly slice the mushrooms and season them with fresh parsley and thyme.

Mushroom and White Bean Bruschetta
8 to 10 servings

For the toasts:
1 baguette sliced into 3/4 inch slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, halved

For the beans:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the mushrooms:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 ounces shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Lightly brush both sides of the bread with the oil and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and rub one side of each toast with the garlic halves and set aside.

For the beans:
In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn. Add the drained beans and raise the heat to medium. Cook the beans for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Mash with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and mix well. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the mushrooms:
In a large nonstick pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned.
Add the parsley, thyme, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper and mix well.

Generously spread each toast with the bean mixture. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the cooked mushrooms. Arrange the bruschette on a platter and serve.

Final Photo Mushroom and Bean Bruschetta

Fusilli with Capers, Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Kale

Kale pastaFor any of us, a green combined with pasta is one of our favorite go-to easy dinner recipes. There is nothing like a bite of garlicky, slightly spicy, and earthy sautéed greens, combined with the comfort of al dente pasta, to make the whole family happy. Inspired by recipes that looked delicious, but included anchovies as an ingredient, we wanted to create a dish that our vegetarians (and vegans) would love. The answer—we make a quasi-caponata out of capers, garlic, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, which gives this dish that umami flavor that the anchovies would have imparted. And the result––out of this world!

Mise en place Kale pastaMise en place––such a simple dish.

Kale pasta caponataBrown the garlic and capers before adding the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

kale pasta ingred w:kaleStir in the kale and cook just until it wilts.

kale pasta in panAdd the cooked pasta right to the skillet.

Fusilli with Capers, Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Kale
4 to 6 servings

Kosher salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons capers, drained
4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1 pound fusilli pasta (or similar pasta, such as rotini or gemelli)
Freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Mix the sundried tomatoes with the olives, and using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the mix into a rough paste. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high-heat and when shimmering add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and the capers. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomato and olive paste to the skillet, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until it wilts, 2 to 3 minutes, and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and drain the pasta in a colander.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring, until the pasta is coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if desired). Serve hot.

kale pasta closeup