Classics, Comfort food, Poultry

Celebrating 1000 followers!!

A while ago this blog hit a milestone of 1000 followers ! Never in my wildest dreams did I see that happening, so thank you to all those have been a part of this flavor quest ! As a celebration, the initial plan was to go out for a nice dinner and update you all about the adventure. But instead I decided to challenge the boy and asked him to make me dinner instead ! The only rule was that he could not prepare something that we have made before ! So he decided to make a wonderful lemon rosemary roast chicken with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Here are some pictures from the cooking event ,

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Comfort food, Soups, Stew

Winter Minestrone

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 can of peas and carrots

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2-3 Tbsp thyme, rosemary and sage

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice

4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of Swiss chard.

 

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, peas, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Meanwhile, in an oven preheated to 375F, roast 1 acorn squash

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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, the bay leaf, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and Swiss chard and roasted, cubed squash. Continue to cook till the chard wilts and soup comes to desired consistency.

Serve hot with crusty, buttery bread !

 

Classics, Comfort food, Fish & Seafood, Meat, Poultry, Soups, Stew

Gumbo

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
8oz of frozen mixed peppers                                                                                                             2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
16 oz bag of frozen, sliced okra.
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (cooked)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine

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allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over rice.

 

Classics, Comfort food, French, Meat, Stew

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

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This past weekend I wanted to inaugurate my new caste iron dutch oven and my very own copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”  I followed the recipe exactly so here is the link to it.  By far the best beef stew I have ever had or made !  Enjoy !

http://knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/cooking/BoeufBourguignon.pdf

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Towel dry the cubes of beef, otherwise they will never brown.

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sauté the vegetables.

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Add the wine and bay leaf and let is cook away in the oven !

Breakfast, Brunch, Classics, Comfort food

Pumpkin Muffins

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A fall classic and a must make for these crisp mornings !
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Craisins)
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.

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Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.(I made some plain ones too)

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

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Comfort food, Poultry, Stew

Hunter’s Chicken

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A rustic stew that will warm up any fall evening. Dried shitaki mushrooms re-hydrated in the stew adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Serve with crusty bread or cheesy polenta and you have a simple, speedy dinner ready !

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (use more if serving more people)

1 large onion, chopped into medium sized pieces

5 Campari tomatoes quartered

2 tsp of minced garlic

Dried shitaki muchrooms (add as much as you like, I added to small packets I got from trader joes)

1.5 cups of chicken stock

a splash of red wine (you define the splash !)

1/2 tbsp of dried thyme and rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of olive oil

Method:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, and sauté with 1/2 tbsp of oil till browned.  Set aside.

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Add remaining oil to the pot and sauté garlic, onions and tomatoes till soft.

Add the dried herbs, mushrooms, wine and chicken.

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Cover with stock, and simmer for 30 mins, till chicken is cooked through.  Add more stock if needed and season with salt and pepper.

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Serve hot !

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Comfort food, Stew

Curried Lentil Stew with Chard and Garbanzo Beans

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This stew is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!!!! I read the ingredient list and and it sounded  yummy but I had no idea how wonderful the flavor would be.  The original recipe does not include the fennel, sun-dried tomtoes or the veggies.  It just had the beans and the swiss chard.  I had the leftover vegetables, threw them and it was the most hearty vegetarian stew I have ever  made.  PLEASE TRY IT THIS FALL !!!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch or 2 small      bunches Swiss chard, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 12      cups)
  • 1 chopped zucchini or summer      squash
  • 1 bulb of fennel sliced
  • 1 pound red lentils (about 2      1/4 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans      (chickpeas), drained

Preparation:

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and fennel, sauté until golden, about 13 minutes. Mix in curry and cayenne.

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Add vegetables and sun dried tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes till the vegetables are soft.

Add broth and chard. Increase heat; bring to boil. Add lentils and garbanzos; reduce heat to medium.

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Cover; simmer until lentils are tender, stirring twice, about 10 minutes.

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Comfort food, Fish & Seafood, Indian

Spicy Turmeric broiled Tilapia

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My super speedy take on a classic Bengali comfort dish.  Its exam time and I need food that reminds me home and my mom’s cooking.  Here it goes, pay close attention because it is so easy you might just miss it !!!!

Pat dry 1lb of fresh tilapia. Season the fish with salt.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp of cayenne pepper, 1tbsp of lime juice and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil.

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Pour the marinade over the fish and let it sit for 10 mins–while you preheat the broiler to 450F

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Sprinkle black cumin seeds and paprika over each fillet and broil till cooked through-about 10mins.

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Enjoy with some warm basmati rice !

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Classics, Comfort food

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges (root end eft intact)
  • 1/2 pound small red potatoes, halved if over 21/2      inches long
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 beef brisket (about 3 pounds)
  • McCormick’s Pickling spice–about 4tbsp.
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage or 3/4 head common green cabbage, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • For serving: whole grain mustard

Procedure:

1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place celery, carrots, onion, potatoes and thyme. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice; add enough water to cover meat (4 to 6 cups).

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2. Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 41/4 hours (or 81/2 hours on low).

3. Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, about 45 minutes (or 11/2 hours on low). Thinly slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve whole grain mustard as an optional condiment.

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Classics, Comfort food, Indian, Poultry

Murgh Saagwalla ( Spinach and Chicken Curry)

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This is the meal I want on my death bed.  Palak or Saag in Hindi means Spinach and there is a place back home that makes the best Palak Panner (Indian cheese).  This is a traditional North Indian dish and every family has there own variation—like any traditional dish.  My mother has her own take on it (maybe I will try it soon) but this is a recipe from Madhur Jaffery.  It tastes really good—it is a little involved, but is vary flavorful and please don’t be afraid, you can completely control the spice level according to your families’ taste.  So here we go !

Ingredients:

1lb of chicken cut into pieces

2 chopped tomatoes

16 oz of drained, chopped, frozen spinach

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To Fry:

1 medium onion sliced

To Blend:

2 chopped onions

2” piece of ginger

4 garlic cloves

Seasoning the oil:

2-3 Tbsp of vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

Other Spices:

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

6 tbsp of plain yogurt

Salt to season.

Method:

Heat a 1tbsp of oil in a pot and fry sliced onions till golden and set aside.

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In the meantime blend onions, ginger and garlic.

In the same pot where you fried the onion, add the remaining oil and the whole cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Add the blended onion mixture and sauté till the raw smell in gone and the paste turns pale brown.

Add cumin, coriander and cayenne and sauté till golden brown.

Next add the yogurt, 1 Tbsp at a time and slowly stir the mixture till all the yogurt is added the sauce come together .

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Next add the tomatoes, spinach, chicken.

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Season with salt and cover with water and allow to simmer on medium heat for 30 mins till the water evaporates and the sauce thickens.

Serve piping hot with flatbread or basmati rice !