Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eat Local Challenge, Week 2

Ok, so here is where we are at so far: Lunch during the work week is still a struggle. When you only have two eateries nearby your office, one that serves up reliably good sandwiches and chicken teriyaki, and the other who's cleaning regimen is rather suspect, you are not left with many choices. Subway? No thanks.

This week did afford us a beautiful day to visit the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market, where we gathered some great local produce like organic fingerling potatoes and some late season Early Girl tomatoes courtesy of Dirty Girl Farms. We even found some amazing white cheddar cheese from the people at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Lunch on those off days is pretty simple: A good baguette from Acme Bread, those incomparable Early Girls, and maybe some buffalo mozzarella Cowgirl Creamery.

The search for local food gets a little harder when you step into your grocery store. We managed pretty well on our last visit to Andronico's in the Sunset, walking out with Strauss Family Creamery non-fat milk, chicken breasts from Petaluma Poultry, and California-grown green beans. With a few other ingredients purchased at the Rainbow Coop earlier in the week, we fixed up a Tiny Kitchen favorite that has yet to make it onto this blog, until now. (I can't give away all of my secrets, at least not all at once, right?)

Rosemary-Garlic Chicken with Sauteed Almond & Garlic Green Beans

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 head of garlic
1 Lb. organic green beans, washed with stems removed
2 handfuls of sliced almonds
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pinch of dried Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, crush two garlic cloves using a garlic press. Mix 2 Tbs. of olive oil and chopped rosemary with the garlic. Add chicken breasts, pushing them around the bowl until they are covered with the olive oil mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

After the chicken has marinated, heat a skillet on medium-high heat and pre-heat the oven to 375 deg. Add the chicken to the skillet to sear. After a couple of minutes, flip the chicken breasts to sear the other side. Pour in the wine to loosen up the yummy bits stuck to the pan. Once the breasts are browned on both sides, remove from heat and move to a oven-safe dish lined with foil. If there are still bits of rosemary-garlicky goodness stuck to the pan, add a little more wine to loosen them, allowing time for the alcohol to burn off. Pour remaining juices over chicken, cover with foil, and put in the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, peel about 6 - 8 cloves of garlic. Using a vegetable peeler, cut thin slices of garlic so they resemble the almond slices. When the chicken is about 5 minutes from being done, heat about 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a wide skillet, and add red pepper flakes. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced almonds and sliced garlic. Stirring constantly with kitchen tongs, cook almonds and garlic until they start to brown.

Add the green beans. Stir the beans into the almonds and garlic so they are coated with oil and are sizzling. The almonds and garlic should still be browning, but not burning. After about 2 - 3 minutes of stirring steadily, remove from heat. The beans should be cooked, bright green, and not burnt at all.

Empty the skillet onto a plate covered with a paper towel to help soak up left over oil. Serve up the beans making sure to get plenty of the sauteed almonds and garlic into the mix.

These green beans have been one of our favorites for a while now, and the chicken was nice addition to an already great dish. Even better, it is a quick and easy dish for those of you out there without a lot of time left in your day for cooking.



sj said...

Yum! That chicken is making my mouth water! Want! :)