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4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 onion, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz white wine (I used Pinot Grigio, from a box. Don’t judge)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 15-oz cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

1. In a large pot, over medium heat, saute the bacon lardons until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
2. Combine flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken thighs in the flour mixture.
3. Working in batches, add chicken thighs to bacon fat and cook 2-3 minutes each side. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
4. Add onion and garlic to the remaining bacon fat and saute until soft and translucent, about 6-7 minutes.
5. Pour in white wine and reduce by 2/3.
6. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves.
7. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer and stir in the reserved bacon lardons.
8. Nestle the chicken thighs into the pot and cook for 45 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.
9. Serve alone or over brown rice.

Notes: flour became very very dark (just shy of burnt, really, but thankfully the end result did not taste carcinogenic!), next time omit the flour step and simply season the chicken and sear on both sides. Flour is nice for thickening, but I think, given the length of cooking time, the stew will still thicken nicely. Also, no flour will make this dish gluten-free.

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2 10-oz packages extra-firm tofu
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 assorted bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 10-oz mushrooms (I used cremini, but any will do)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2/3 cup white wine
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cut each block of tofu into 7 slices. Arrange on a sheet pan and place another sheet pan on top of it. Weigh the top down and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain and pat tofu dry.
3. Cook tofu in broiler for 5 minutes per side, or until dried out and golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and Italian seasoning and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.
5. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce by 3/4.
6. Add the tomatoes and reduce liquid by half. Then lower heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
7. Arrange half of the tofu in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with half the sauce mixture. Layer the rest of the tofu on top, and finish with the rest of the sauce.
8. Bake for 30 minutes.

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It’s the kind of dessert that you want to feed to someone, or have someone feed you. Sabayon is an egg-yolk base that serves as the foundation for emulsified sauces, such as hollandaise or bearnaise. When the yolks are whipped with a sweet element and alcohol, you get something that looks like this:

Place a stainless steel bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. In the bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of white wine, or any alcohol you have on hand. Once the eggs double in volume and become thick and frothy, you’re done. Yup, that’s it. If you end up with scrambled eggs, well, you’ve screwed it up.

If you’re watching your figure, sabayon is a relatively safe dessert choice when compared to, let’s say, ice cream or whipped cream. And let’s face it–no one wants to take off their pants after gorging on a bowl of either.

I recently made this for my mom, so it was a tame night; we spooned the sabayon over berries and ate it in pajama pants, not underwear. Next time, I’ll make it a romantic occasion–underwear and all. Maybe even candles. Maybe that’s pushing it.