Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Food and Wine's Chicken Scarpariello

Hard to believe it but I'm on the road again. In fact, I'm on my way to New Orleans. I'll be back next week and in the meantime, I've made a little something to tide you over.

Earlier this year, Food & Wine magazine began arriving in our mailbox each month. Curious too, since neither the husband nor I had signed up for a subscription. I suspect it may have something to do with our Carnegie Hall series, but in any case, I've certainly been happy about it.

We've both enjoyed paging through the magazine each month, but never quite got around to cooking from it ... until last Sunday, that is. The October 2010 issue is jam-packed with recipes too tantalizing to be ignored. We set our sights on the Chicken Scarpariello, page 120, and a finer choice I cannot imagine.

Redolent with the aroma of sauteed garlic and fresh rosemary, this dish really ups the anti on the traditional with the addition of some piquant Peppadew peppers. (For those unfamiliar, Peppadew are sweet, spicy, pickled peppers that typically hail from South Africa ... although mine hailed from Zabar's.) And, of course, you can never go wrong with that lemony tang that makes a good Scarpariello so inviting. In fact, I added even more fresh lemon juice to the sauce, because I'm such a fan.

For the most part, I followed the recipe - opting for some bone-in, skinless chicken thighs rather than the boneless, and adding a couple of skinless boneless breasts for myself as well. (Not a fan of the thighs ... neither the chicken's, nor my own.) I used whole wheat pastry flour, rather than all-purpose flour to coat the chicken, and I used perhaps 1 or 2 teaspoons of butter to mount the sauce, rather than the 2 tablespoons called for in the recipe. The results? Magnificent!

This was the most succulent, tender, and flavorful chicken dish I've made in a long, long while. Its going right into the rotation, Chez Diva, and I'm looking forward to making it again. You can find the recipe here ... print it out, then run, don't walk, to your stove and make it. Its just that good.

And don't say I never gave you anything.

Bon appetite!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vote Early and Often!

The voting for Project Food Blog has officially opened and I am asking for your vote.

While tooting my own horn and begging for votes is not something that would normally appeal to me, I humbly request that you take just a few minutes to cast a vote for my entry.

We food bloggers are a dime a dozen, you can't throw a matzoh ball without hitting one of us. We're everywhere - and I am but one small voice in a sea of thousands - maybe hundreds of thousands. And we all deserve to win.

The funny thing is, I've always considered myself more of an entertainer than a food blogger. Sure, I write about food and cooking, but my strong suspicion is that most of you reading me are here for a laugh, a chuckle, that slightly irreverent comment that makes you smile. Certainly, some of you are here for the cocktails, and perhaps a few of you are here for the recipes. I hope so. But more than that, I hope I brighten your day and make you laugh.

If I have, if I do, please consider throwing a vote my way. The prize is a stunning $10,000! And, as nice as that hefty check would be, I'm not really in it for the dough. I'd simply like to feel that what I do here is of value - and, who are we kidding, I'd also like to reach a wider audience. You can help make that happen!

Rules for voting are as follows:

You must be a member of Foodbuzz in order to vote. If you're not already a member, click here to register. Its free, its simple, and there are no strings attached.

If you are already a member, please click here to vote for my entry. You will be taken to another screen and just above my masthead you'll see a box entitled "Vote for this Entry" - simply click and vote.

Each Foodbuzz member is allowed 400 votes, though you can only vote once per blog. (So you can't really vote early and often. Boo!)

While you're at it, please take a moment to vote for some of my Foodbuzz pals as well:

Mo Diva of Food Snob

Christo of Chez What?

Steph of Steph Chows

If I've left anybody out, or you would like to be added to this list - please shout it out in the comments and I'll be happy to add you to the list. So many people have entered that I'm having a hard time keeping up and I don't want to leave anyone out!

Thanks, and good luck to all!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #1: Ready, Set, Blog! ... Diva Style

If you've been out and about on the web these past few weeks, you may have noticed a significant number of posts with this very same title. Indeed, Foodbuzz is hosting a contest to find The Next Food Blog Star. Its called Project Food Blog and, like everyone else and their brother, I've entered it.

For the first challenge, I'm supposed to tell the world what defines me as a food blogger and why I should be the next food blog star. Certainly, I could have gone the expected route and written an expressive essay extolling my virtues both in the kitchen and behind the keyboard ... but that's not really my style. Instead I've taken the challenge to wax poetic literally. Very literally.

I've written you a poem, Diva-style. Its my belief that the judges should get to know both the content and the writer behind the contestant - and in my case they'll need to work at it a bit. The hot links tell the story of who I am, both as a person and a blogger. To read me is to know me - the rest is just icing on the cake.

Diva the Food Blogger: Big Ass, Even Bigger Personality

I've made you laugh,
I've made you cry;
I've confessed to killing my pot pie

I can make you drool
or make you think,
I can mix you up one bad ass drink

I'm creative and fun
I bake like a pro but I'm not imperious

In short and in summary,
to put it point-blank,
I'll be needing your votes to climb in the rank

I've got what it takes to advance quite far,
I believe I can be The Next Food Blog Star!

In the days and weeks to come, I'll be asking for you to vote for me. Details are yet to emerge but with nearly 2,000 entries, I'm going to need all the help I can get! (And, if need be, I'll ply you with appetizers and drinks.)

Good luck to all and enjoy the weekend. Cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm back!

A rare view of the Diva ... bundled up against the cold.

Sailing towards Sawyer Glacier, Tuesday 8/31

Back from Alaska, that is, and we had a wonderful time! We actually got in around midnight on Saturday, but we are both out of whack and way off schedule from the time changes. Basically, I'm living on Alaska time ... but doing so in New York. Ack.

I don't expect to return to regularly scheduled blogging until next week, but thought I'd share a few quick pics from the trip with you. The highlights, if you will.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Tuesday 8/31

Mendenhall Glacier

We sailed Alaska's Inside Passage on the Norwegian Star. We left Seattle on Saturday, August 28th, and stopped in: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Prince Rupert, B.C. The ship also toured Sawyer Glacier, which was a highlight for me. Seeing Alaska, and its glaciers in particular, has been a major to-do item on my bucket list ... and I loved every minute of it!

View of the bridge as we depart sunny Seattle, 8/28

Skagway signpost, Wednesday 9/1

Floatplane and cruise ships in busy Juneau Harbor

This last pic really sums up the Alaskan cruise experience - a magnificent confluence of the sublime and the ridiculous ... the majesty of nature juxtaposed against the absurdly decorated cruise ships. I miss it already.

I'll be sharing more photos in the days and weeks to come. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I've got enough material for hundreds of Wordless Wednesdays to come. You've been warned.