Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fact: farsighted people like wine in their food

Tonight I whipped up some Corn-Cheese Casserole*. It was mediocre [be sure to omit the chopped onion and shake in extra pepper] and I am pretty sure I know why. It is damn near the only recipe in my newly acquired [thanks, Jackie] copy of The New York Times Large Type Cook Book (c)'68 that does not list wine, white and dry [unlike the cook], red, port or otherwise, as a main ingredient.

[Is this granny blind to the fact that there's booze in the barbecued halibut steaks? Nah.]

Throughout the book I spied [and it was easy to do, in 32 point times font - maybe, just maybe, vino cures what ails your retina] nearly 3 dozen recipes that are booze-infused.

And my cellar was dry. Talk about being caught off guard. Ugh.

So, while Tom is on a beer and wine run, I suggest you pull the cork out of your favorite bottle and follow this recipe from the Times. Don't worry, the only glasses you'll need are the stems off the shelf.

Chicken in Cream with Tarragon
[I almost, almost, put this in the largest type imaginable for the blog - but I'll spare your peepers]
1 chicken (3 pounds) cut into serving pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon warm apple-jack or cognac

[1] Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

[2] Heat 2 tablespoons butter and brown chicken on all sides. Sprinkle with tarragon. Cover and cook about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with shallots and wine. Cover again and simmer 10 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked [or you've polished off a glass yourself - it's just sitting there, you know].

[3] Remove chicken to a warm dish and keep warm. Add the heavy cream to the skillet gradually, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a simmering point.

[4] Blend remaining butter and flour with the fingers and add to the sauce, stirring with the whisk. Add just enough of butter-flour mixture to give desired consistency.

[5] Add chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir applejack (or cognac) into sauce. When applejack is added, the dish may be flamed if desired [and if you've polished off the bottle of wine, you may be lit].

*I'm betting you can read the corn casserole recipe straight off the picture - if you squint. Just know that it calls for 3 cups of corn - and you can sub frozen for fresh off the cob. Hell, it's January and our options aren't as husky as they are in the summer.


  1. Now why do you have to make ugly comments about my Aunt (pronounced ain't) Trini? Why, I can still hear the that old familiar thudding vibration of the single-wide's floor (She was frugal, too!) as she brought a Milmac platter heaped with what she called "Tipsy Fish." I guess that title wasn't classy enough for The New York Times!

  2. Apple Jack? Are we still in the 30s? "Yes bartender, I said Apple make quick work of it!!"

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