Final dish final



Dishes crop

A friend of mine recently moved to D.C., which is a great, great loss to New York City if you know his cooking and his previous large, open kitchen.  But what seemed very sad to us all at the time, is actually turning out to be quite fun.  New York is hard to stay away from  for too long, so he comes back often and still throws his famous dinner parties, only now in different people’s homes.  It’s becoming a roving dinner party of sorts.  You see a lot of the same faces, but in different spaces and it’s adding an incredible liveliness to the dinners, which were already the best in the city if you ask me.  Being in the kitchen with him and helping to prep  and cook is hilarious, because he invariably starts cleaning out and reorganizing the owner’s kitchen discarding anything he deems unnecessary.  So far, no one has complained.  He’s like a much kinder Gordon Ramsey bringing your kitchen and crew up to snuff in an overnight remodel.

Kai Chopping2


March Blur

Time:  9pm

Location: West Village, New York

Host(s):  A.M.

Occasion: A.M. lent out her gorgeous home so our friend could cook there

Featured Dish: Mussel, Chicken & Zucchini Stew

Mussel and Zucchini crop

I love this dish.  At first I wasn’t sure about the combination of chicken and mussels, but then my friend who created it, compared it to a paella.  I have to admit, it’s a delicious pairing.  We were cooking a number of dishes for dinner this night and needed to move fast, so for the chicken we used a store bought roast chicken and just pulled it apart, it worked wonderfully and saved some time.  This stew is excellent served over couscous or rice.

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 lbs mussels in the shell, scrubbed and rinsed
¼ cup white wine
2 zucchini chopped into discs an then into half moons
1 whole cooked chicken, the meat pulled from the bones into chunks (discard the skin or use for another purpose)
1½ quarts vegetable or chicken stock
salt & pepper
couscous or rice to serve

Place the mussels in a large pot, with wine and a ¼ cup of water, cover and steam until the shells open.  Discard any unopen shells.  When cool enough to pick up, pull the mussels from their shells and set aside, discard the shells.  Pour the broth from the mussels through a sieve lined with a paper towel to catch any bits of grit.  Set aside the broth.

In a large pot, sauté onion in olive oil until soft, add zucchini and cook until the zucchini begin to soften.  Add mussel broth and vegetable broth, as well as the mussels and the chicken.  If you have made fresh broth feel free to add some of the cooked carrots or onion from the broth to the pot , add salt and pepper and let it all simmer for a few minutes. Turn off  heat and let the flavors meld for a few minutes more before serving over couscous or rice.