Thursday, December 13, 2007


So I was reading this WSJ article about the fifth taste "Umami" Its described as savory, so now we have sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory, which makes much more sense to me. Anyway, I had to put these recipes on here, cause they sound SO good. I'm going to try the olive roasted chicken as soon as I can, cause I love chicken and olives anyway. Maybe for a game night?

Gary Danko's Tomato Soup

Roasting tomatoes increases their umami taste. In this recipe from Gary Danko, chef at San Francisco's Restaurant Gary Danko, the addition of tomato paste, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce (based partially on umami-rich anchovies), soy sauce and grated Parmesan pumps up the rich, savory taste. When using canned tomatoes, Mr. Danko prefers to use whole tomatoes in purée, imported from Italy. However, canned whole tomatoes in juice will work as well.

[Tomato soup photo]

Yield: Serves 6 (about 8 cups)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes total

2 pounds plum Roma tomatoes or 3 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
6 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
3 small yellow onions (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery or ½ fennel bulb (about 4 ounces), cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2-3 cups chicken broth, vegetable stock or water
4-6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

[john and dottie]
Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher suggest wine pairings for this meal.
With the tomato soup, Chef Danko suggests dry rosé Champagne and we're so pleased to hear someone recommending bubbly with meals. Too often, people think of sparkling wine simply as a celebratory beverage to drink on its own, but bubblies are often great with food. Chef Danko particularly likes Dom Ruinart rosé Champagne (about $68). We'd also suggest rosé Champagne from Louis Roederer, Moët & Chandon, Camille Savès, Gosset, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot and Henriot. Those will all cost around $40 to $70. Fortunately, the world is awash in good rosé sparklers at thriftier prices. Cristalino, which is a Cava from Spain, makes a delightful rosé sparkler for around $8 and, in Alsace, Lucien Albrecht makes a rosé bubbly for about $19 that's the best non-Champagne pink sparkler we've had in some time. You can contact us at
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

If using fresh tomatoes, wash, dry and core them. If using canned tomatoes, drain tomatoes, reserving the purée or juice. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise.

Divide tomatoes between 2 shallow baking pans, arranging them cut-side down in a single layer without crowding. Sprinkle the garlic, onions, salt and thyme over the tomatoes and drizzle with oil.

Roast until tomatoes are slightly browned and tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Put the celery or fennel, tomato paste, ketchup, Worcestershire, Tabasco and soy sauce in a blender. Add some of the roasted tomato mixture and stock and blend until smooth. Strain through a medium strainer into a pot, pressing the solids with the bottom of a ladle or a rubber spatula to remove the seeds and small skin particles. Working in small batches, continue to purée and strain the remaining tomato mixture, the reserved purée or juices from the can and the remaining stock into the pot, using 2 cups of liquid total.

Bring soup to a slow simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to combine, about 10 minutes. Thin with additional stock if necessary. Correct salt as needed.

Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of basil, mint and cheese.

Jody Adams's Balsamic-Marinated Chicken Stuffed With Green Olives (a.k.a. Roxanne's Roast Chicken)

Chef Jody Adams has served a duck dish using the same marinade and technique at Rialto in Boston for about 20 years, she says. Five years ago, while attending a culinary lecture about umami, she realized why this dish is a customer favorite: The soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olives and poultry are all rich in umami compounds. A long marinade and slow roasting magnifies those flavors.

[roast chicken]

Yield: Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus the time to bring chicken to room temp.)
Cooking time: about 1 ½ hours (mostly inactive aside from turning the chicken)
Resting time: 10 minutes

½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
½ small white onion, chopped into ¼ inch dice
1 (4-pound) roasting chicken
12 large pitted Sicilian green olives

Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, mustard seeds, rosemary, pepper and onion together in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, and set aside.

Remove the package from the cavity of the chicken; reserve for another use or discard it. Taking care to work directly over a sink, and not spray chicken juices around the kitchen, rinse the chicken inside and out and then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Roll the chicken all around in the marinade, making sure plenty of marinade flows inside the cavity. Cover and marinate 8 hours to overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, put the chicken into a large resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over the chicken and into the cavity, seal, and refrigerate.

Prior to cooking, bring the chicken to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any that clings to the chicken to remain. Save the marinade in the bowl. Put the olives in the cavity of the chicken. Set the chicken, breast side down, on a non-stick rack, or a rack sprayed with cooking oil, in a roasting pan. Add ½ inch water to the roasting pan to prevent the juices from burning. Roast for 50 minutes. Flip the bird, taking care not to lose the olives; pour the reserved marinade over the bird; tuck the wingtips underneath and continue roasting for 40 minutes or until the chicken is done. If the skin begins to get too brown, tent the breast with a piece of foil and continue roasting until the bird is done. The chicken is done when the leg bones have a little play in the socket when you try to wiggle them. A thermometer inserted into the thicket part of the thigh should read 170 degrees.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or serving platter and let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.

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