Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: The Project

The Project: Tuscan chicken, grilled beneath a brick

Tuscan Each Friday we post a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen's archives that's perfect for weekend cooking. This week, it's Tuscan grilled chicken, cooked beneath a foil-wrapped paver (you can buy down at a well-stocked hardware store) until the meat is moist and the skin is oh-so-crispy.

The recipe, from Times Food section editor Russ Parsons, first ran in 2008 as part of a special grilling section headlined, "Simplicity's the secret for perfect grilling." The dish only takes about 20 minutes of cooking time, but it does involve additional marinating time, and time to heat up the charcoal, as well as some technique: You'll need to remove the chicken's backbone, so it will lie flat "like a book" on the grill.

If you try it, let us know what you think. Better yet, send us a photo at food@latimes.com. And if you have any special recipe requests for future weekend cooking projects, let us know that too.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Tuscan chicken cooked on the grill under a brick results in crisp skin and juicy meat. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

The Project: Berry Pavlova with vanilla whipped cream and pistachios

Pistachios
Each Friday we post a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen that's perfect for weekend cooking, when you have a little more time on your hands.

In a nod to our holiday weekend, we've made it a berry patriotic pavlova with vanilla whipped cream and pistachios.

Please let us know if you try it -- better yet, send us a picture of the finished dish at food@latimes.com.

Happy Fourth of July!

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo credit: Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times

The Project: Frozen peach souffle with raspberry sauce

Souffle Each week we post a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen's archives that's perfect for weekend cooking, when you have a little more time on your hands.

This week, it's an elegant frozen peach souffle with raspberry sauce.

Now, if you hear the word "souffle" and think "no way," fear not.

This souffle is frozen, so you don't have to worry about that whole "My-souffle-fell-when-I-took-it-out-of-the-oven" thing. This California Cook column by Times Food Editor Russ Parsons will tell you everything you need to know about making a frozen souffle that's "sheer as chiffon and drop-dead elegant." And this photo gallery will walk you through prepping your souffle dish, step by step.

We particularly like this recipe because it would be great for a dinner with company -- everything is made ahead of time, and then the souffle freezes overnight.

Seriously, you are going to love it. Try it, and let us know how it turns out.

-- Rene Lynch
twitter / renelynch 

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

The Project: Rosemary-crusted porterhouse steaks with red wine sauce

Porterhouse Each Friday, we select a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen's archives that's perfect for weekend cooking -- when you have a little more time.

This weekend, it's all about dear old dad. So we chose a menu that would be welcome at the dinner table this Father's Day: Rosemary-crusted porterhouse steaks with red wine sauce. You need to season the steaks and let them come to room temperature before cooking, and the sauce takes about 30 minutes to pull together, so plan accordingly. For sides, you could go with roasted red potatoes or grilled summer vegetables with brown-butter vinaigrette, which also take about 30 minutes.

We'll leave it up to you to decide whether this ultra-rich meal should be topped off with something light for dessert, such as fruit, or a creamy, dreamy cheesecake.

Happy Father's Day!

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

RELATED:

Oh Daddy! 10 Father's Day recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Breakfast duty? It's all in a day's work for this dad

Photo: Tim Turner Weber / Sunset Books

  

The Project: Homemade strawberry preserves

Jam Each week, we handpick a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen that's perfect for weekend cooking. This week, we picked this recipe for homemade strawberry preserves -- consider it an opportunity to hang onto the last of spring's perfect fruit before summer takes over.

This recipe is time consuming -- the preserves have to stand for eight hours -- but the recipe itself takes only about 30 minutes.

If you try it, let me know what you think. Better yet -- send me a picture of your finished dish to  rene.lynch@latimes.com. And if you have any dishes -- or favorite L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipes -- that you'd like to see featured in future Projects, let me know and we'll dig through the archives for them.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch 

Photo: Los Angeles Times

The Project: Nancy Silverton's favorite burgers

Burger

Each Friday we post a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen archives that would be perfect for weekend cooking. This week, we've chosen Nancy Silverton's favorite burgers, which start with a freshly ground prime chuck-prime sirloin combo.

On the face of it, though, burgers don't seem all that time-consuming. So how did they make this week's Project pick?

'Cause if you do it right -- if you do it Nancy's way -- you'll spend a bit more time putting together the ultimate burger bar for your friends. This recipe offers just a few suggestions for ways to personalize your buns -- crisp slices of applewood smoked bacon and pepperoncinis, to name just a few. But we're confident you'll find a few more toppings of your own.

Happy Memorial Day, and welcome to the unofficial start of summer.

-- Rene Lynch
twitter.com/renelynch

Photo: Nancy Silverton's favorite burgers. Credit: Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times


The Project: A last fling with spring

Poussin Technically, summer doesn't begin until June 21. But the unofficial start of summer is Memorial Day. From here on through September, it's going to be all about chilling and grilling.

So this week's Project -- a recipe we hand pick from the L.A. Times archives that's perfect for weekend cooking -- bids an early farewell to spring. And we're trying something a little different this week. Instead of just a single dish, like we've done in the past, we're offering up a full menu. That's because the main entree, roast poussin with spring garlic-herb stuffing takes only about an hour to make, and most of that is oven-cooking time. Which should leave plenty of time to make two side dishes that also highlight fresh, seasonal produce: Baby artichoke and pea shoot salad with favas and pecorino Romano and chive-glazed baby carrots.

If you try it, let me know what you think. Better yet -- send me a picture of your finished dish at rene.lynch@latimes.com. And if you have any dishes -- or favorite L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipes -- that you'd like to see featured in future Projects, let me know and we'll dig through the archives for it.

And enjoy. Summer is just around the corner ...

--Rene Lynch
twitter.com/renelynch

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

The Project: Mixed berry crostata

Crostata Each Friday we select a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen archives that takes a little more time to make -- which means its perfect for weekend cooking.

This week, it's a mixed berry crostata.

The dessert takes about an hour to make, plus chilling and cooling time. You could also make the dough ahead of time, and refrigerate for a day or so until you're ready to roll it out and fill it with seasonal berries.

If you try it, please let us know what you think -- and, even better, send us a picture of your finished dish to food@latimes.com so we can use it here on the Daily Dish.

Click here to take a look at past recipes we've selected for The Project, and please let us know in the comments section below if you have any suggestions for future dishes. We'll do our best to search the archives and find a recipe for it.

-- Rene Lynch
twitter.com/renelynch

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

The Project: Chef Thomas Keller's Roquefort and leek quiche

Cool
Each Friday, we handpick a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen that's perfect for relaxed weekend cooking.

This week, it's Chef Thomas Keller's Roquefort and leek quiche. This is probably the most labor-intensive project we have done so far. The homemade crust takes about an hour to make, and then must be chilled for over an hour before it's filled and baked. And the quiche itself should chill for one day before serving.

Which means you'd better get started if you want to serve this on Mother's Day.

Now, do you need any further convincing that this quiche is worth it? Read what Times Food Editor Russ Parsons has to say about it. And then flip through this photo gallery. That should do it.

If you try it, please let me know what you think. And if you have any recipe suggestions for the Project, let me know and we'll search the test kitchen archives.

Check back here for each weekly installment, and click here to see past Projects that we've put to work.

-- Rene Lynch (Follow me on Twitter @renelynch)

Photo: After baking, chill the quiche for at least a day, then scrape away the excess crust from the top edge before removing the quiche from the pan. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
 
 
 

The Project: Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions

Halibutth Each Friday, we handpick a recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen that's perfect for weekend cooking -- when you've got a little more time on your hands.

This week, it's pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions. The dish takes about two hours to prepare. But most of that involves simmering the grits stove top, until tender, in garlic-infused cream.  

If you try it, please let me know what you think. And if you have any recipe suggestions for the Project, let me know and we'll search the test kitchen archives.

And check back here for each weekly installment. 

-- Rene Lynch (Follow me on Twitter @renelynch)

Photo: Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.