Last week at Cost Plus World Market as I was lusting over another piece of equipment…

 

I’ve been wanting to buy a Tangine for ages, it’s used for a lot of Moroccan dishes. Read more here.
I’ve hemmed and hawed numerous times but never could get myself to commit.

Happened again last week at my other favorite kitchen/gadget/ all the things store Cost Plus World Market.
I petted the tangine on display, had a moment of doubt and then did not buy the pot.
However on the side it had a tag with a recipe for Honey and Cardamon Chicken with olives and Chickpeas.
So I took a picture, petted the pot once more and went on the hunt for ingredients.

lambtagine (not *the* pot but pretty!)

For 4 people, or leftovers for 2, you need:

8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cumin seed
Seeds from 8 Cardamon pods
2 tablespoons Honey
1.5  inch chunk of ginger,grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
pinch dried chili flakes (optional)
6 tablespoons olive oil.
1 large red onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
14.5 ounce can chickpeas
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (How to peel a tomato)
Handful green olives, without pimentos
a few fresh coriander leaves, chopped.

Place the 8 chicken thighs in to a shallow dish.
Toast 1 tablespoon cumin seeds in a small pan over a gentle heat until they begin to pop. Transfer them to a pestle and mortar and add the seeds from 8 cardamom pods and grind them to a coarse powder.

My note: if you do not have cumin seeds don’t worry. Using plain cumin will work. Just add a tablespoon of ground cumin to the dish. However!  
 it’s worth the purchase
Cumin seeds and Cardamom pods will keep for two years in an airtight container away from sunlight.
If you do not own a mortar and pestle ( I do!!) you can put the seeds in a ziplock bag and with a rolling pin or heavy pan 
pulverize them by hitting the bag. 

Put both spices  in a small bowl.
Stir in 2 tablespoons honey,ginger, garlic cloves, finely chopped chilli (or chilli flakes) and 4 tablespoons Olive Oil. Mix thoroughly.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and pour over the marinade.
Mix by hands to make sure the marinade is covering all of the chicken.
Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan,and gently fry the chicken until the chicken is golden brown all over. Transfer the browned chicken to the tagine and pour over any remaining marinade

My note:If you do not have a tangine, like me, this can be cooked in a Dutch oven or a good covered glass dish.

Scatter over 1 large red onion, add the chicken stock. Drain the chick peas, and add to the tangine (or other vessel)
Add the tomatoes and green olives.
Put the lid on the tagine and cook in the oven 375 for one hour.

Stir in a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander and serve immediately with cous cous or plain boiled rice.

I didn’t add the chickpeas because it’s not something we care for.
I also flaked and had no fresh koriander bought.

The critics (my Men and a friend with a new family) loved it and it’s deemed a repeat recipe.

I forgot a picture, but trust me it was good!

 

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Slight chance of rain!

3 meat Chili!

2 small cans of beans of your choice (I used red kidney beans) or 1 big can
6 slices bacon
3 sausages, I use mild Italian kind
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 28 ounces total
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs paprika (I used the smoked kind)
1 small can of tomato paste
Optional: 1 small can of spicy Mexican tomato sauce, I used El Pato

I use a Dutch oven.

Brown bacon and set aside
Brown sausage and beef in the bacon grease, drain and set aside
Add tomatoes and let simmer, add tomato paste and let the sauce come to a boil.
Add beef/sausage and bacon
Add half of the seasonings to the mixture, add the beans
Let simmer for around 20 minutes and taste! before adding more spices.
Finish off uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.

I found Chiplote powder and it gave it a really nice kick without making it too spicy.

Pumpkins and Squash, oh my!

We joined a Community Sustained Agriculture Farm (CSA) delivery service last year.
Most of the time I remember to go on to their website the weekend before the delivery date but this Sunday I completely flaked and forgot to change my order.
So then you get what is seasonal, a total surprise most of the time.
In my box this week were 2 pumpkins, a squash the size of a small dog, a jumbo leek, celery, kiwi’s and 7 pears.

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Clearly this called for a big knife. The pumpkins were  the size of a soccer ball!

I love to make soup, so I decided to use the squash and pumpkins.
I tweaked a recipe my daughter sent me.

I’ll write out the recipe for less, this yielded enough soup for 2 big containers, 3 small and a square large container.

 

Curried Pumpkin Squash soup.

1 medium size pumpkin
1 squash
Medium onion
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Olive oil, for frying onion and drizzling over pumpkin/squash
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mild or medium spicy curry powder
1 teaspoon Tumeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs Heavy cream
1 tbs butter (optional)

 

Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
Preheat oven to 350f
Cut pumpkin in wedges, discard the seeds
Slice squash in half and then cut that half in another half
Place all on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper  on
Bake on 350 until you can pierce veggies with a fork, turning them over halfway (it took me 50 minutes)

In a pan sauté the onions until caramelized, reduce heat and add wine and sage.
Lets simmer until almost reduced, add Tumeric.

Let the veggies cool off and then peel with a paring knife.
If you have a stick blender:
Add scooped veggies to the pan with the onions and add about 2 cups of broth.
Blend until smooth,adding more broth if needed.
If you do not have a stick blender use a regular blender and slowly add broth until your soup has the consistency of a slightly thick smooth liquid.
Taste and add heavy cream,curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the butter and garnish with a little splash of heavy cream.

Enjoy!

Aye Spicy!

Last week my friend Kev. posted a picture of Jalapeno Poppers he brought to a party and I was slightly jealous. I wanted some and he wasn’t sharing any.
Time to make my own then.

The recipe is decidedly simple as all out but it packs a nice punch of flavor.
Added bonus, I ended up with 8 medium poppers at a grand total of 240 calories.
Excellent little snack if you keep to eating only 2 or 3.

poppers

You will need for 2 servings:

4 jalapenos
4 tbs of cream cheese ( I used Boursin)
1 package of Prosciutto or 8 slices of thin bacon (ask the butcher to slice for you)

Cut jalapenos in half, scoop out seeds.
Fill evenly with cream cheese
Wrap with bacon and put on a cookie sheet.

WASH YOUR HANDS REAL WELL!(trust me)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and allow poppers to cook a little for 10 minutes.
Set broiler on low and place poppers on the middle rack.
Broil for about 10 minutes making sure bacon doesn’t burn.
For an additional 3-5 minutes broil on high.
Let cool a little and enjoy!

You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients.
I think you’ll want to because mine were gone as soon as TallOne found out I made them.

Chicken Alfredo

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out.
I work a long day on Monday and always fix something easy for the boys.
TallOne wanted pasta with Alfredo Sauce.
I was SURE we had canned sauce in the pantry only to find out when I got home we had none.
With no back-up plan for dinner that night I needed to figure out how to make Alfredo from scratch.
Turns out it’s pretty easy and very very good!
Most of the staples are in my fridge so after a little research I whipped up dinner pretty fast.
Theirs was served over spinach noodles, I had mine with arugula.

Easy Alfredo
2 chicken breast, cut in strips and pan sauteed seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
(keep warm while you make the sauce)

Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through.
Stir in parsley and add to chicken.

It’s been awhile…

Yes I dropped off the blog after Thanksgiving.

I have been very busy with planning our trip to the Netherlands, I’ve been trying to get a grasp on what I want my next 6 months to look like and I’ve been “care giver” of a kind to a friend who was dealt a nasty hand this month.

The whole allergy thing hasn’t been settled, turns out you need to be free of whatever tried to kill you for a month.
That month ends today,testing is at 13:30 (1:30 for the Americans)
I’m still rooting for peanuts but have decided if it is shrimp/shell fish I will go through the weekly torture allergy shots, because I live in sushi/crab land!

I promise to get back here and blog, at least every other day.
Until then, search the 2+ years of foods that are on the blog.
Make something and comment!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m cooking up a feast, Turkey, cranberries, stuffing and “peertjes” pears in red wine sauce.

Repost from last year my recipe for “peertjes”

Ask any Dutch person about “peertjes” and they might very well drool.

Growing up this was the one dish my mom could cook to perfection, maybe because she was the queen of all things simmered/cooked forever.

I’ve always made it for Christmas, and for the last 21 years for Thanksgiving as well, because it is a bit of a fancy side dish. One that doesn’t really fit well with an every day meal for us.

 

Peertjes or Pears in Red Wine sauce.
(this will serve up to 6 people)

6, hard Anjou pears
Bottle of cheap red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Peel pears and cut in 4 parts
Bring pears, wine and all other ingredients to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until pears are soft.

You can bind the wine sauce with a little bit of corn starch if you want to eat it warm.
I always let the pears cool off and we eat it cold.

 If you do bind it with corn starch, take a little bit of the sauce and stir a table spoon of corn starch until smooth.

Transfer to pan with pears and gently mix corn starch mixture in with pears/wine sauce.

 

Enjoy!

The blog will be back on Monday!

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Swedish Chef Sunday, spice it up!

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

Enjoy!

Countdown to Halloween

Every year a friend of mine throws the Halloween party of all parties.
She has published two books on anything Halloween decor and it’s amazing how much she does for just one night.
She makes all her own decor for the party, comes up with scary foods and drinks.

You can find her on Facebook.www.facebook.com/EerieElegance
There is a lot to see on her website too.

We love her parties, and tonight is the night.

Britta has a contest for creepy food and I’m bringing some special deviled eggs.

Introducing Ogre eyes.

I think they’d be a hit at any party, but mostly so at a kid party!

Ogre Eyes
(I made 24)

12 hard boiled eggs
3 tbs mayonaise
1 tbs plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic
green food coloring
12 pimento olives

Cut eggs in half lengthwise and take yellow out and put in a separate bowl
Combine eggs yolk, mayo, yogurt, salt,pepper and garlic until you get a smooth mixture.
Add food coloring 4-5 drops at a time stirring in between until you get the color green you like.
I used “Neon” food coloring and got a pleasing lime green.
Cut olives in half on the wide side.
Fill egg white halves with egg mixture
Place an olive piece in the yolk part, pressing lightly to slightly immerse the olive

I used a few dashes of hot sauce to stimulate blood shot eyes for the picture. It’s my intention to offer it on the side.

Enjoy!

A very careful transport by the way, these guys are slippery.

One way to make the house smell really nice…Roast Chicken

TallOne (the boy formerly known as BubbleWrapBoy) and I were running some errands.
I love roasted chicken but never attempted to do so at home, for convenience I buy the pre-cooked ones.
The grocery store we were at the chicken looked a bit old and lately I’ve been wondering what they add to the meat.
So I went ahead and bought a whole fryer.
We went back and forth a little about what flavor TallOne wanted and we settled on Rosemary and Garlic.
With roasted chicken it’s all about aromatics getting into the meat and making it tasty (onions, garlic and herbs) and olive oil.

Here is what I came up with.

1 chicken (4-5 pounds)
2 sprigs of rosemary or 2 tsp dried
2 tsp onion powder ( I used shallot salt I bought at Penzee’s spices)
3-4 cloves Garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 small yellow onion or 1/2 a big one cut in rings
1 cup olive oil

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
sprinkle salt,pepper and onion powder inside chicken.
add a little olive oil and stuff the bird with 1 sprig rosemary and the onions
season the outside of the bird with the herbs and garlic, I rub the rosemary into the skin.
Place chicken in a shallow baking pan and pour remaining olive oil over the chicken making sure to coat it as much as possible.
Place dish in a pre-heated oven (350 f) and cook for 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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