Tag Archive | "“The Mediterranean Slow Cooker”"

Ask a Foodie: Can I Use a Bouillon Cube Instead of Court-Bouillon?

Q: Can I use a bouillon cube in a recipe that calls for something called court-bouillon?

— A.B.

Bouillon cubes

Bouillon cubes

A: Court-bouillon is “a flavorful, aromatic liquid used for poaching fish and shellfish,” according to “The simplest court bouillon consists of nothing but salted water, and some traditional recipes call for a mixture of half salted water, half milk.”

Does that sound like a bouillon cube? Yes and no.

A bouillon cube, of course, is salty. If you read the ingredients, salt is generally the most common ingredient in the cubes. But there’s also a lot of bold flavor to most, which means they could swamp the flavors of your seafood.

Sure, you could water down that cube, but what are you left with? Not much.

So, do yourself and your family a favor and make your own court-bouillon. Most recipes are simple in the extreme, such as the following for Poached Salmon in Court-Bouillon, which comes from “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22) by Michele Scicolone. That’s right, it cooks itself in your crock pot.

“Poached salmon steaks have many uses,” Scicolone writes. “Serve them plain with some of the cooking broth, or chill them for seafood salad. My favorite way to serve this salmon, either hot or chilled, is with tzatziki, citronette (recipe follows) or pesto.”

Poached Salmon in Court-Bouillon

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
6 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 large fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups water
6 salmon steaks, at least 1-inch thick
Freshly ground pepper

mediterranean slow cookerIn a large slow cooker, combine the onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, a pinch of salt, the vinegar and the water. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

Sprinkle the salmon steaks with salt and pepper to taste and place then in the cooker.

Spoon some of the liquid over the top. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, or until done to taste. (To test for doneness, make a small cut in the thickest part. The fish should appear slightly translucent.)

Remove the salmon steaks with a slotted spatula. Serve them hot or slightly chilled.

Makes 6 servings.

From “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” by Michele Scicolone

Herb and Tomato Citronette

Citronette is the French word for a dressing or sauce made with lemon,” Scicolone writes in “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker.” “This version has chopped parsley and tomato, too. You can also use it to dress salad or steamed vegetables.”

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped (about 1/2 cup)

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, shallot, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for up to 30 minutes. Just before serving, whisk again and add the chopped tomato. Correct the seasonings and serve.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

From “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” by Michele Scicolone

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Spicy Chicken with Green Olives Adds a Moroccan Flavor to Your Slow Cooker

Spicy Chicken with Green Olives

Spicy Chicken with Green Olives

Chicken and olives are a great combination, as cultures around the world have known for centuries. In the Caribbean, yellow rice is added to mix. In Sicily, tomatoes are a part of the scheme.

For this Moroccan-inspired recipe, from Michele Scicolone’s recent cookbook, “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22), the addition of ginger, cinnamon and a touch of turmeric make all the difference in the world. As the author says, “A combination of several spices and herbs gives this savory Moroccan-style chicken great flavor. Stir in the olives near the end of the cooking time so that they don’t get too soft. Couscous or rice is the perfect accompaniment.”

My slow cooker works quickly. The meat was so well done in four hours that it fell off the bone and shredded. So, you may want to use chicken parts with bones that are easily removed once cooked. Also, I ran out of time near the end, so I used rinsed olive salad instead of green olives. It worked just fine.

Spicy Chicken with Green Olives

4 pounds bone-in chicken breasts, legs and thighs (legs and thighs skilled, if you like)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup small pitted green olives, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint

Spray the insert of a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

mediterranean slow cookerSprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place the pieces in the slow cooker.

In a medium skillet, heat the over over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, paprikae, cinnamon, turmeric and broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes more. Pour the mixture over the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the chicken is very tender and coming away from the bone.

Rinse the olives and drain well. Add the olives to the cooker and cook for 30 minutes more. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and olives to a serving platter. Cover and keep warm.

Pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced. Taste for seasonings.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with herbs and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” by Michele Scicolone

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