Saturday, March 28, 2020

Roasted Potatoes with Anchovies and Tuna

For someone accustomed to daily trips to the grocery store, it's been a weird experience to have been completely housebound for 15 days. Fortunately, given my love of all things associated with the kitchen, I have a very robust pantry.  I buy a lot of things online that are not readily available at my usual grocery stores and stockpile them. One thing I always buy by the case from Amazon is Cento tuna. It is the best canned tuna I have ever tasted.

The downside of not going to the store everyday is that you have to make dinner with what you have on hand. Fortunately, I stumbled on this Melissa Clark recipe in The New York Times that appeared to have been written with my pantry in mind. It's not something I would ever have thought of...mixing roasted potatoes with canned tuna, anchovies, capers and onion. But oh my gosh, what a compelling union of flavors!

1-1/2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes 
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1, 2-ounce tin anchovies, chopped (about 12 anchovies)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1, 5-ounce can tuna (Cento recommended!)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. In a medium pot, cover potatoes with at least 1 inch of cold water and add a generous amount of salt. Bring to a simmer, then cook until potatoes are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. You want to overcook them a little, so the insides stay creamy when they’re roasted later.
  2. Drain the potatoes, and let them cool until you can handle them.
  3. Heat oven to 425º. Use your hands to smash the potatoes to about 3/4-inch thick and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil and a little salt. (The more generous you are with the oil, the crispier the potatoes will get.) Arrange potatoes in a single layer.
  4. Roast until dark golden and crisp, 40 to 50 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
  5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Stir in anchovies and capers and continue to cook until butter is brown and nutty. Stir in garlic and remove pan from heat.
  6. Pour brown butter all over the potatoes. Add tuna to the pan and toss well. Season with more salt, if needed, and add pepper and lemon juice to taste. Scatter herbs and onions over the top and serve.

Wine pairing: Petite Sirah

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

This is my very favorite corned beef recipe. While it calls for a 10-hour cook, it will only take up 6 minutes of your time. The first 5 minutes of the time commitment requires you to simply dump all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away. The last 1 minute is reserved for simply slicing and serving the corned beef. I guarantee you it will be the best St. Patrick's Day corned beef dinner you have ever tasted.

1 corned beef brisket, 3-4 pounds
2 medium onions, cut into quarters (no peeling required)
5 ribs celery, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon prepared stone ground mustard 
2 cups chicken stock
12-ounces of beer (lager or pilsner)


  1. Place onions and celery on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add stock, beer and mustard.
  2. Set brisket on top of onions and celery, fat-side up. Sprinkle meat with seasoning packet (which comes packed in your brisket). Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.
  3. Remove brisket. Slice and serve.

Pairing; It's an Irish holiday, so there must be alcohol involved.
For a traditional take on the meal, you'll want a big glass of 
Guinness Extra Stout served at 42.8º F. If you prefer wine,
corned beef and Pinot Noir are a great match.

A genuine leprechaun and his Irish Wolfhound.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Air-Fryer Chicken Parmesan

I've had a lot of different kitchen appliances in my 67 trips around the sun. But I have to admit that I am absolutely smitten with my air fryer. Best homemade French Fries ever! And thanks to the popularity of air fryers, new recipes are popping up every day. Today I'm featuring a new recipe from America's Test Kitchen and it is a keeper!

3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2, 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (whole milk)
1/4 cup marinara sauce, warmed
2 tablespoons fresh basil
Spaghetti, prepared al dente


  1. Combine Panko and Parmesan in a shallow dish, mixing well.
  2.  Whisk egg, flour, garlic powder, oregano, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in second shallow dish.
  3. Pound chicken to uniform thickness as needed. Pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then coat with panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
  4. Lightly spray base of air-fryer basket with vegetable oil spray. Arrange breasts in prepared basket, spaced evenly apart, alternating ends. Place basket in air fryer and set temperature to 400 degrees. Cook until chicken is crisp and registers 160 degrees, 12 to 16 minutes, flipping and rotating breasts halfway through cooking.
  5. Sprinkle chicken with mozzarella. Return basket to air fryer and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Place chicken breasts on individual serving plates on top of spaghetti and warmed marinara, then top with basil leaves. Serve. 

Wine pairing: Chianti Classico

Grogs and Goldie, 1956