The Food Maven Diary
Rozanne's Low-Carb Recipes
This week's guest to the Food Maven's kitchen (that would be me) was my friend Rozanne Gold. While I am still working out this cooking-with-someone-while-I-am-on-the-air-answering-questions type program (every Tuesday on WWRL, 1600 AM, at 11 a.m., rebroadcast at 11 p.m., brought to you by Invite Health), I have been asking only my friends. Last week was Carole Berman, the Wine Chick, whose sophisticated tuna melt is already here in the diary, and next week Italian cooking expert Michelle Scicolone. I am certain to venture into the realm of colleagues and chefs, not only my nearest and dearest, in due time.
Meanwhile, Rozanne's food always amazes me. With just three ingredients, and often simple techniques, she produces truly scrumptious dishes. These are from her latest book, Low-Carb 1-2-3, which is not only low-carb, but low calorie, too. I keep telling her that if she cooked for me every day, I would be the happiest dieter in the world. I truly loved the chicken and pork dishes, but the zucchini soup is particularly amazing. I just had it well chilled and it was every bit as rich and creamy as yesterday, when Rozanne prepared it. With only 70 calories a bowlful, it is sure to become my new diet-day favorite. (Oy, I could use more than one diet day in a row.)
Jade Zucchine Soup with Crab
Serve this hot or cold. The soup's stunning jade color comes from the pureed green zucchini skins. It is practically fat-free, yet it tastes remarkably rich. The better the crab, the better the soup, so avoid water frozen crabmeat and spring for fresh lump crab bought at a good fish market.
1½ pounds zucchini
1 bunch fresh dill
½ pound jumbo lump crabmeat
Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them into ½-inch pieces. Transfer the zucchini to a medium-large saucepan with a cover. Finely chop the dill to yield ¼ cup, reserving some dill sprigs for garnish. Add the dill to the saucepan with the zucchini.
Pick over the crab, making sure to remove any pieces of shell or cartilage. Place half the crab and accumulated juices from the crab in the saucepan. Cover with 1 ½ cups water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the zucchini is soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the contents for the saucepan to a blender and process until very smooth. (This will take several minutes, and the soup will thicken to a foamy texture.) Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer the soup back to the saucepan.
Heat gently until hot, then ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with small mounds of the remaining crab. Garnish with sprigs of the remaining dill.
Miso Chicken with Fresh Ginger
This simple chicken dish is amazing because miso, fermented soybean paste, is a great carrier of flavors. Miso can be found in the refrigerated section in health food stores and Asian markets. You can make this dish with fresh ginger or prepare it with garlic cloves pushed through a press. I really can't decide which I like better-so sometimes I make a platter of each for parties. In that case, do chicken breasts with ginger and thighs with garlic. If using garlic, push 4 large cloves through a garlic press and add to the miso-water mixture.
1/3 cup white (shiro) miso
1 6-inch piece fresh ginger
4 large chicken breast halves on the bone (about 10 ounces each)
The day before you plan to serve, in a large bowl, combine the miso and 1/3 cup cold water and whisk until thoroughly combined, smooth and thick.
Using a small sharp knife, peel the ginger. Grate the ginger on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the grated ginger in a paper towel and squeeze the ginger juice, about 2 tablespoons, through the paper towel into the bowl with the miso. Stir to incorporate.
Cut the chicken breast in half across the width of each breast. Add the chicken to the miso-ginger mixture and turn the pieces to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt. For a more gingery flavor you can finely chop the remaining ginger pulp, add it to the chicken and mix again. Cover and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the bowl, making sure some marinade remains on the chicken, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. Bake for 10 minutes then put under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is firm to the touch. (Be careful not to overcook.) Remove the skin, if desired, and serve immediately.
Garlic Miso Pork Chops
I've become addicted to using white miso, also known as shiro miso to flavor all kings of protein. It makes a great marinade for pork chops, imparting an indefinable taste and very moist texture. For the brave of palette, you can chop an extra clove of garlic and sprinkle it on the pork chops before serving. You can find shiro miso in Asian food markets, health food stores, and many super markets.
¼ cup white miso
3 medium cloves garlic
4 center-cut thick pork chops (8 ounces each)
Up to 1 day before you plan to serve, in a small bowl, mix together the miso and 1 tablespoon of water. Press the garlic though a garlic press, add it to the miso, and mix well. Thickly spread the miso mixture on all sides of the pork. Put the pork in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the pork in 1 layer and cover with foil. Marinate, refrigerated, for 8 to 12 hours, turning several times.
When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the broiler.
Remove the pork from the baking dish and evenly re-spread the miso marinade over the chops. Place the pork on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly dust the pork with freshly ground black pepper. Place the pork under the broiler 4 to 5 inches from the heat and broil for 5 minutes. Turn the pork over and broil 5 minutes longer. Remove the pork from the oven and serve immediately.