Sunday, October 12, 2008

Best Food Quote of the Year

"The very length and complexity of the modern food chain breeds a culture of ignorance and indifference among eaters." *

*Michael Pollan, author of "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto"

Pollan recently wrote an informative--- and thought-provoking---- article in the NY Times on food and its relation to fossil fuels, politics, the economy, climate change, solar energy, agriculture, food cost, malnutrition, population, sustainability, and government regulation.

In light of the upcoming election and energy that envelops it, his analogy of the next President we elect to the next Chef we vote into the White House is brilliant. Read it. It's online at:

Yet, and more familiar to me, is a recent conversation I had with my Mom about my interest in hunting (and the hunter consuming all of the huntee). I wonder if I would have been more successful in changing her negative opinion of hunting by instead having said, "to support hunting is a sustainable way to eat meat." That is, eating meat "grown without any fossil fuels whatsoever." Doubtful, but it's still an argument I'd like to revisit come Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Shrooms, Sauce, and Bird

Pan-seared Chicken with Lobster Mushrooms and Rosemary Butter Sauce
with Secret Stash Soy salt

The Players:

- 2 ea 6 oz skinless chicken breasts
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 stem chive
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 pound lobster mushrooms
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 2 oz olive oil

Searing The Bird:

1. First, start cooking the rice. Place 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker with 4 cups of water, and let her rip.

2. In a hot saute pan, add the olive oil. Once it starts to smoke and sizzle, take the pan off of the heat and add the chicken breast. Place the pan back over the heat and sear the chicken breast till it is golden brown. Flip the bird, searing the other side for less than a minute, and then take it out of the pan.

3. Place the seared breasts on a non-stick baking sheet pan with a slice of butter (1/2 tsp) on top of each breast. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until done. Pull the chicken out and put it on reserve to the side for now.

The Shrooms and Sauce:

1. In a medium sauce pan, add 1 Tbl of butter and set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the shallot and garlic clove that you have minced up. Cook the shallot and garlic for 3 minutes.

2. Then slice up your lobster shrooms and add them to the pot. I usually slice them bout 1/4 " thick. Cook the shrooms for 5 minutes and deglaze with half of your chicken stock. After you have added the stock, allow it to reduce down till there is about 1/4 cup of liquid left in the pot. Then add a tsp of butter and stir until incorporated and season with pepper. Set aside.

3. For the sauce, place the remaining stock into another smaller sauce pan, and add all of the rosemary leaves of the sprig. Bring to a simmer and reduce till almost dry. Then add the rest of the remaining butter in, a slice at a time, while constantly stirring on low heat. After all of the butter is incorporated, season conservatively with pepper. Set aside.

4. By this time, the rice should be done. Scoop a cup onto a plate and then spoon some of the lobster mushrooms on top of the rice. Slice the chicken breasts, placing 4 seared pieces on top of the mushrooms and rice. Spoon some of the sauce on top.

5. Garnish this dish with Secret Stash Soy salt.