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Kane’s Cuisine: potato salad doesn’t have to be boring

LA Blade staff writer Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly Sunday column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based political reporter snarks his way through another delicious weekly recipe while dishing tea on other subjects…

WASHINGTON – Is anyone ever that jazzed about potato salad? Always the side dish but never the bride, it’s somehow simultaneously the most omnipresent but least memorable food brought to a barbecue or potluck situation. Friends, I’m here to tell you there’s a better way. 

To make my point, I should have done just the potato salad and not distracted you with the fried chicken pictured therewith. If you would like to make the fried chicken, I used the same recipe from my August 14 column

What makes this potato salad so special? Everything. It’s so much more than mayonnaise and boiled spuds. It’s got tangy citrus, salty umami-rich anchovies, fresh dill. Your German immigrant ancestors could never. Sorry. 

Oh, another thing: For those of us who are not infants and still have use of our teeth, I do not understand the appeal of any food that doesn’t have some texture. Another issue I have with other potato salads but not this one, which has a delightful crunch.

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Bring this to a potluck and it will be gone faster than the Queen’s spirit traveled to Trisha Paytas’s baby. I need to get off Twitter because it’s rotting my brain. Also, when looking up the spelling of Paytas’s name, I discovered she named the baby Malibu Barbie. Don’t really have further comment on that matter but I thought you should know, too. 

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  1. Boil two pounds baby potatoes in three quarts of water with one cup of salt cup (yes, you read that right) until they can be easily pierced with a fork, or about eight to ten minutes. Strain out and discard the water 
  2. Smash and peel a few garlic cloves, adding a pinch of salt as you mash them into a paste. Chop a few anchovy filets and mash them into a paste, too. Combine your pastes and mash them together until their color and texture is uniform
  3. Add paste to a large bowl with a third cup mayonnaise, a tablespoon Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon black pepper, whisking to combine. Continue whisking as you slowly add two tablespoons olive oil and the juice from one lemon. Season with salt
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, smash them lightly into a cutting board with your palm so they split open but aren’t totally mashed (does that make sense?) Add them to the dressing mixture, tossing evenly to coat
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Add six to eight thinly sliced radishes, a few scallions, or chives, radish and sunflower microgreens, and an ungodly amount of fresh dill. Some of the ingredients in this step are optional. The dill is not. Season again with salt and black pepper

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Pork chops with feta, snap peas, & mint

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – It’s mid-April here in Washington, which might as well mean we’re in the dog days of summer. Highs are in the upper 70s, I’ve had nary an opportunity to don a light jacket, and I am already in search of a new summer sandal. Spring has sprung, my friends. 

My friends at Canales Quality Meats were as happy to see me as I was to see them on Friday, as I had made far fewer trips to Eastern Market during the preceding three months. (It’s been cold. I’ve been ordering a lot of Uber Eats.) 

Anyway, I picked up a few beautiful center-cut bone-in pork chops, with the perfect recipe in mind to ring in the summer. And I also took home a full pound of guanciale because one should never pass up such an opportunity. 

This treatment by Melissa Clark is a one-pan wonder. The dish has no business being so delicious with so few ingredients and such minimal effort required to prepare it. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Recipe is lightly adapted from Clark’s One-Pan Pork Chops With Feta, Snap Peas and Mint, via New York Times Cooking. 

  1. Season 2 bone-in pork chops with salt and pepper. Bring the meat to room temperature if it’s been refrigerated and pat it dry with paper towels 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Sear pork chops on both sides, for about 4 minutes per side. You’re cooking until the internal temperature on a meat thermometer reaches 145° F (my preference, medium-rare) to 160° F (medium). If it’s not done by the time you have a good sear on both sides, cover and reduce heat to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a plate when they’re finished cooking
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and, once melted, 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season with more salt. Stir to combine
  4. Return pork chops to the pan, making room to ensure they’re in direct contact with the pan, and then crumble ½ cup feta cheese over top. Cover and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 3 minutes 

Sprinkle ½ cup chopped fresh mint over top along with more scallions and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve

Photo by Dan Balinovic

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Kane’s Cuisine: Melissa Clark’s potato salad & chicken thighs

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – There’s a story behind today’s column, and it is seriously serendipitous. Fortuitous AF. Lucky as a ladybug. It begins with the mint plants that sprung up overnight in my garden, which has been neglected for so long that it’s difficult to imagine anything ever did or would grow there. 

So, obviously, I wanted to make a mint-forward dish tonight. I turned to my favorite resource, the New York Times Cooking app, and decided to make this recipe for lemon potato salad with mint because (1) it has a five-star rating, and, more importantly, (2) it comes courtesy of one Melissa Clark. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Every single recipe of hers that I have made has been top-notch. I highly recommend her book, “Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France.” (She has published more than three dozen cookbooks and I’m sure all of them are just as fabulous, but sadly my bookshelf is only so capacious.)

Anyway, my husband, as I may have mentioned in the past, fervently believes that a meal without meat is like sex without an orgasm. So, I grabbed some boneless skinless chicken thighs from my freezer and continued browsing NYT Cooking in search of something to do with them…

…and discovered this garlicky chicken with lemon-anchovy sauce by (guess who?) Melissa Clark! A perfect pairing. Both dishes are deeply savory but brightened up thanks to lemon and fresh herbs. Plus, I happened to have an abundance of lemons. Thanks, Costco. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

I hope that story didn’t put you to sleep. One minute you’re young and fun, but then sometime in your 30s instead of shot-gunning Four Lokos and dancing at the club you’re getting excited about buying a new medicine cabinet. I don’t know what to say. Life comes at you fast. 

Recipes were slightly adapted below: 

  1. Boil two pounds unpeeled waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Golds) in a pot of generously salted water for, depending on their size, 15-25 minutes. Drain and cut the potatoes into 1.5-inch pieces
  2. Whisk together the juice of one lemon, ½ cup good extra-virgin olive oil, 1.5 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon Turkish pepper (or ground cayenne)
  3. Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with your dressing. When potatoes have cooled to room temperature, toss them again with ½ cup thinly sliced scallions and ¼ cup mint leaves (torn if they’re really large)
  4. Serve at room temperature 
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Season 4-6 chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Mince 1 garlic clove and set aside
  2. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil on medium/medium-high. Add 5 smashed garlic cloves, 5 anchovy fillets, 2 tablespoons of capers, patted dry, and a large pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic browns and the anchovies dissolve, about 3-5 minutes
  3. Add chicken thighs and cook until well browned, about 5-7 minutes. Flip them and transfer skillet to the oven to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through
  4. Transfer chicken to a plate and put your skillet back on the heat. Add your minced garlic and the juice of half a lemon, cooking until fragrant – about 30 seconds – while scraping the fond from the bottom of the skillet. Return chicken to the pan and cook for another 15-30 seconds
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Transfer everything to a serving platter. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.

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Kane’s Cuisine: Steak salad, two ways

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – I have already played “16 Carriages” about two dozen times. Are y’all listening to Cowboy Carter? What an album! Beyoncé really said, “I ain’t playin’ wit you, Jolene!” 

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Anyway, today’s column is a love letter to cold steak – which I was craving, thanks to Carla Lalli Music’s recipe in “That Sounds So Good” and accompanying YouTube video, in which the meat is sliced thin against the grain and served on a bed of arugula with shaved parm and a homemade Caesar-ish dressing. 

My husband, however, prefers romaine lettuce and blue cheese dressing, so I figured why not make everyone happy and do the dish both ways? 

It can be tricky to re-heat steak without cooking the center beyond a desirable point of doneness, so this is really a perfect way to eat leftovers if you made (or ordered) too much! Just remember to add salt if you’re using steak that’s been sitting in the fridge because the cold dulls flavor. (In my opinion, however, the texture is better.

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Season 2 boneless New York strip or Ribeye steaks generously with salt and pepper. Allow to rest for about an hour at room temperature
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high for about five minutes. Add a tablespoon of neutral oil and wait until it begins to smoke. Add the steaks and cook for about 2 minutes, and then turn and repeat on each side – being sure to render the fat cap – until the internal temperature is about 112° to 115° F. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and allow to rest/cool
Caesar-ish dressingBlue cheese dressing
With a mortar and pestle, grind three anchovy fillets together with salt and pepper until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 garlic clove, grated, the zest of ½ a lemon and juice of the entire lemon, and ½ cup of mayonnaise. Stir to combine and add more salt if neededIn a large bowl, combine ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ¼ cup minced parsley, ¼ cup sour cream, ½ tablespoon lemon juice, ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar, and ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese. Stir and add more salt if needed
  1. Slice steak thinly against the grain. Use a vegetable peeler to shave some Parmesan cheese curls. 
Photo by Dan Balinovic

Serve steak and Parmesan over a bed of arugula, chopped romainelettuce, or other greens along with whichever dressing you made. Season steak with flaky sea salt.

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Kane’s Cuisine: 갈비탕 Korean beef short rib soup (Galbitang)

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – I apologize for not publishing a column last week. It was my birthday. Truthfully, I was planning on making something, but I had too much celebration while at brunch. Peter Chang’s Chinese restaurant south of Dupont Circle, Chang Chang, is delightful

So, I am back on my game this week with a delicious Korean dish, galbitang (갈비탕). 

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Soak 2.5-3.5 pounds bone-in beef short rib in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Fill a large pot with about 8 cups water. Bring to a boil and drop in the ribs, cooking for about 3 minutes
  3. Drain the ribs again. Wash the meat under cold running water and clean the pot
  4. Return the ribs to your pot. Add 13-14 cups of water, along with 1 pound Korean radish, one onion, quartered, the white and light green parts of 2-4 scallions, 8-12 cloves whole garlic, and a 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into three equally sized pieces. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of fish sauce
  5. Bring to a boil and leave at a boil for 30 minutes over high heat, uncovered
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Remove radish and set aside. Discard the other vegetables. Add 2 cups water and continue to boil, covered, for about an hour. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Serve with rice and/or rice noodles. Garnish with scallion and/or fresh herbs.

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Kane’s Cuisine: Shortcut chicken and dumpling soup

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Alexa Weibel’s quick chicken and dumplings, via New York Times Cooking, is such a good recipe that it will have me walking back proclamations I’ve made in previous columns. For example, when I insisted on using freshly cooked chicken for my chicken pot pie. Or when I’ve poo-pooed the use of shortcuts in cooking elsewhere.  

I thought about doing an Oscars-themed dish this week, but honestly here in Washington we’re experiencing gale-force winds and it’s freezing. The night, in other words, called for chicken and dumplings. 

Store-bought gnocchi and rotisserie chicken seriously cuts down on the cooking time. But homemade chicken stock and fresh herbs are doing the heavy lifting, here. 

You might even say this dish is perfect for a mom who works two jobs. Who loves her kids and never stops: 

Even Republicans Panned Sen. Katie Britt's Kitchen-Table SOTU Response

In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter on medium heat. Add 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces, 1 medium-large leek (or two if they’re on the smaller side), white and light green portions, thinly sliced, 2 medium celery stalks, sliced into ½ inch pieces, 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes
  2. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes
  3. Gradually add 5 cups homemade chicken stock (yes, you can use store-bought. I guess.) and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring to a boil over high heat 
  4. Stir in a 16-ounce package of fresh store-bought gnocchi. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups picked store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded

Garnish with fresh dill and serve

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Kane’s Cuisine: Molly Baz’s citrus-braised beef

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipe

WASHINGTON – Last week, you may recall we made pork shoulder, slow-cooked on the stovetop with orange zest and warm spices, for carnitas tacos. Today, we are making beef chuck roast, braised in the oven for more than three hours with an orange-lime-cilantro-garlic salsa, for…well, we have some options! 

You can nestle the meat into warmed corn tortillas with queso fresco and raw onions. You can serve it over rice, polenta, or potatoes – don’t forget to add your favorite garnishes and accoutrements. You could even spoon some alongside (or overtop) fried eggs, beans, and tostadas for an otherworldly plate of huevos rancheros. 

The recipe comes courtesy of Molly Baz. I am a huge fan of hers, and you can sign up for her Club for just $5/month for amazing dishes like this one. 

  1. Salt 3.5 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3-inch cubes
  2. Cut 4 strips of zest from an orange and set aside
  3. In a blender or food processor, add ¾ up white distilled vinegar, 10 cloves garlic, ½ bunch cilantro, 1 packed tablespoon fresh oregano, the juice and pulp of 3 oranges and 2 limes, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3 jalapenos, cut in half and into 1-inch pieces. Blend until “a green, speckly puree forms” 
  4. Preheat oven to 325° F. Peel and thinly slice 2 onions. Reserve a big handful for garnish later on and use the rest to scatter along the bottom of a large Dutch oven
  5. Place the beef atop the onions. Scatter orange zest around them. Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil overtop. Pour in the braising liquid along with 1¼ cup water
  6. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven for 3.5 hours, basting “with some of its juices once every hour and returning the lid, until the beef is fork tender and shreddable.” 
  7. Remove from oven and increase heat to 425°. “Remove the lid and scoot any onions off the surface of the beef to expose the flesh. Use a spoon to kind of prop the beef so it’s sticking out of the liquid by a bit.” Cook until the meat is caramelized and liquid has reduced, about 15 minutes 
  8. Shred and serve…however you like!
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Kane’s Cuisine: Tacos de carnitas with charred corn-scallion salad

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – We’re having company tonight. So, unfortunately, I did not have time to write an introduction for this week’s column. Or maybe y’all are relieved to see the recipes without having to scroll past paragraphs of text with lengthy anecdotes and digressions galore. If this is you, please don’t tell me – I am laboring under the impression (delusion?) that these columns are considered an entertaining read. 

The taco recipe comes courtesy of Tara Duggan & Kim Severson via New York Times Cooking, with minor adjustments. The corn salad is Alison Roman’s, with minor changes in the methods for charring as explained below. You should make both dishes. Even when I skimp on the introductions to these columns, as I have this time, I am always giving you 100% effort in the kitchen. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Tacos: 

  1. Cut 3 pounds pork shoulder into one to two-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large pot
  2. Add enough water – or, as I did, a mixture of water and chicken stock – until the meat is covered by two inches. Add seven strips orange zest, five cloves minced garlic, one large onion, diced, 1.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes, one cinnamon stick, two bay leaves, 1.5 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, one teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 90 minutes. Skim and discard scum from the surface. Add more salt if needed and continue simmering for 30 minutes and then allow the meat to fry a bit
  4. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Spoon carnitas onto corn tortillas 

Garnish with cilantro, raw diced onion, and queso fresco.

Corn salad:

  1. Shuck 6 ears of corn. Coat them with olive oil and season with salt before cooking them on a grill – or, as I did, with a blowtorch – until at least half the kernels are blackened
  2. Grill or use a blowtorch to char a bunch of scallions
  3. Roughly chop the scallions. Once corn is cool enough to handle, strip the kernels off the cob. There are many ways to do this, but in my opinion the easiest method is with a large, sharp chef’s knife and a large cutting board, using a bench scraper to collect the kernels and transfer them to a large mixing bowl, along with the scallions
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons olive oil and mix well. Add one cup chopped cilantro, six coarsely chopped pepperoncini peppers, ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, and ½ cup chopped corn nuts or sunflower seeds

Top with queso fresco 

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Kane’s Cuisine: Thai-inspired pork meatball soup

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – By and large, while I am prone to periods of hyper-fixation when it comes to cooking and baking (Mexican oregano and deep frying are two recent obsessions) I do not believe in “secret ingredients” or taking shortcuts in the kitchen. Exceptions, however, apply. 

Chief among them might be fish sauce. In fact, I searched for “fish sauce” on the Los Angeles Blade and found many of my food columns, including a range of soups (a puréed and curried butternut squash, brothy pho, Korean Tteokguk); beef-based stews (chili, Vietnamese bò kho); Asian-American classics (cashew chicken, ramen); Italian pastas (rigatoni pomodoro, lasagna, amatriciana); and even a celery salad. 

You could make most of these dishes without fish sauce, though I warn they would not be as tasty. In this Thai-inspired pork meatball soup, however, consider the ingredient mandatory

Pick up a bottle of my preferred brand, Red Boat, which is made in Vietnam and contains just two ingredients, black anchovies and sea salt. You can find it in most grocery stores and on Amazon. 

Today’s dish is inspired by a chicken meatball soup by Ali Slagle that was recently featured in New York Times cooking and was itself inspired by tom kha gai. A fabulous Thai soup generally consisting of chicken and mushrooms that are cooked in a broth made of chicken stock and coconut milk, tom kha gai is flavored with galangal root, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, Thai chilis, palm sugar, fresh lime juice, cilantro, and, of course, fish sauce. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Galangal is difficult to find, even in Asian grocery stores. When I get my hands on all the ingredients, though, I will be making tom kha gai for a future column. 

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, grate a 4” piece of peeled ginger root, 6 cloves garlic, and 1 jalapeno. Add one whole bunch cilantro, leaves and stems, torn or toughly chopped. Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon MSG (optional), and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend on high for a couple minutes and transfer to a large bowl
  2. Add 2 pounds ground pork (or a mixture of ground pork and ground beef). Use your hands to combine but do not overmix. Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to make 2” meatballs 
  3. Set broiler to high. When oven is preheated, transfer meatballs to a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook until well browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside
  4. In a cast iron pan or Dutch oven, add 2 cups homemade chicken broth and 14 ounces coconut milk, along with ½ teaspoon granulated white sugar and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and continue simmering for another 3-5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 3-5 ounces baby spinach and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, and thinly sliced jalapeno. Serve with jasmine rice

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Kane’s Cuisine: Buttermilk biscuits with cherry preserves

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Good evening, friends. I could have shared recipes for gametime snacks and hors d’oeuvres but instead I am continuing my yearly tradition of ignoring the Super Bowl. 

Somebody call me if Taylor Swift gives a subliminal message endorsing President Biden, whatever that might look like, when the cameras are trained on her. 

Instead of the football, I will be watching Martha Cooks – Martha Stewart’s four-season series that I recently just discovered is steaming on Freevee. A few highlights from the episodes I have seen so far: 

Eleven Madison Park owner Daniel Humm tried mansplaining morel mushrooms to Martha. Daniel, darling, she has been growing them on her property in Bedford for years. I knew this before she even said so. 

When visiting a fish purveyor in New York City for an episode about bagels and bagel toppings, Martha took my breath away by starting a sentence with: “When I was at my lawyer’s son’s bris…” as though it were the most normal thing in the world. 

And during an episode in Season 1, longtime Stewart aide Sarah Carey made a cataclysmic mistake by bringing Martha a lemon that was far too large for the lemon juicer and instead required the more capacious orange juicer. Dee-saster. 

If this doesn’t sound more enthralling than the Super Bowl…well, I don’t know what to tell you. 

What I love most about Martha is her expertise. Her adroitness. Her perfectionism. She is always in search of a better way to juice a lemon or peel garlic cloves or truss a chicken or decorate a cake. 

I find these qualities admirable. Especially these days. 

We are in the golden age of what I recently heard someone call bowl-eries. Restaurants are serving poke bowls. Harissa avocado bowls with chicken. Any combination of grains, veggies, and a protein. And then when it comes to trends in home cooking, we are in the golden age of crock pot meals and Instant Pot dishes and one-pot this and five-ingredient low-carb that. 

No, thanks. Instead, I am going to attempt Martha’s orange almond cake with Italian buttercream. It looks really difficult to pull off but also delicious. 

Anyway, to make a long story long, she is my inspiration behind this week’s dish: Perfect buttermilk biscuits with cherry preserves. Biscuit recipe courtesy of Melissa Clark/New York Times Cooking. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Heat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 230 grams all-purpose flour, 50 grams cake flour, 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar, and 1.25 teaspoon salt
  3. With a pastry cutter or fork, cut in 8 tablespoons chilled and cubed unsalted butter. Make a well in the center and pour in 1 cup chilled buttermilk. Stir together until dough begins to form, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 or 3 times and pat into a three-fourths inch thick round
  4. Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut the biscuits. Cut straight down without twisting the cutter. Dust the cutter with flour in between each biscuit to prevent sticking. Pat together scraps and cut into rounds. Transfer biscuits to baking sheet
  5. Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter and brush overtop the biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes 

Serve with cherry preserves: Pit and roughly chop 1 pound cherries. Cook in a nonstick skillet with ½ cup water, 6 tablespoons granulated white sugar, and the juice and zest of half a lemon for 20 minutes or so until thickened to your liking.

Photo by Dan Balinovic

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Kane’s Cuisine: Chicken pot pie

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Chicken pot pie was one of the first dishes I attempted to make as an adult. Memorably, I used Paula Deen’s recipe. This was before we knew about her casual use of the n-word. It contained approximately a quart of heavy cream and four sticks of butter. 

All these years later, when I show my friends photos of the food I am now making, they remind me of the time I made and served them what became known, in our group, as the “colon blow” chicken pot pie. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but for like three weeks none of us were doing butt stuff because our butts were otherwise occupied.

Now that I’ve made everyone hungry, let’s talk about this week’s dish: A deeply savory version of the old classic, full of fresh herbs and topped with puff pastry. Rather than using precooked chicken (picked from a rotisserie, for instance), we are using raw bone-in, skin-on thighs. Why? 

Because the fat renders into the skillet, making for a very chicken-y roux. And the dark meat is almost impossible to overcook. (No shade, but you’re not after the dry, tough cubes of chicken breast that you will find in a Marie Callender’s microwavable frozen pot pie.)

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F
  2. Season 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  3. Heat a 12” cast iron or oven safe, high sided skillet on medium. Add butter and chicken fat (if you have it) and cook the thighs skin side down until well browned, about 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Transfer to the oven for 10 more minutes, remove and set aside
  4. Add more butter or oil if needed and cook 2 cups chopped shallot and 6 cloves minced garlic for about 3 minutes. Add 5 stalks celery, chopped on a bias and halved lengthwise if they’re large. Season with salt, pepper, and MSG (if you have it) and cook for another 8-ish minutes
  5. Add ½ cup dry white wine and cook for a minute. Add ¼ cup flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Slowly add 3 cups homemade chicken stock, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat. Add heavy cream (as much or as little as you like) and stir to incorporate
  6. Remove bones and cartilage from the chicken thighs and shred the meat and skin with your hands. Add them to the skillet along with ½ cup finely chopped parsley and ¼ cup chives. Add ½ cup each of frozen peas and carrots
  7. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper if needed

Roll out puff pastry and place it atop your skillet. Brush with an egg wash and cook for 30-40 minutes

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