Chicken with pepper relish
This super delicious and easy recipe came from the Sunset Magazine wine club (they recommend pairing with Pinot Noir if you’re in to that sort of thing). The dish comes out looking very nice, so it could be a good meal for a crowd. And honestly, the hardest thing about this is making sure you have all the ingredients on hand. What follows is pretty much Sunset’s exact recipe — it was so yummy I didn’t feel the need to alter it much.
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1.5 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped Spanish-style green olives (I bought store-brand “sliced olives with pimientos” and they worked fine)
- 1 Tbsp drained capers
“Saag Paneer” with tofu croutons
This dish is saag paneer-ish, but can’t really be called saag paneer. First, I made it with tofu instead of cheese, and even then, I fried the tofu into little croutons rather than letting it be all silky within the dish. I’m not a fan of silky tofu, and I am a fan of fried. Next, I baked the dish, and I’m pretty sure the traditional way to make it is to stew it in a saucepan or skillet. Anyways, it’s good, and not too difficult. The original recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I made this a while ago, so I’m not positive what spice mixture I put together, but really any store-bought curry powder will taste delicious.
- A bunch of tofu croutons, made to your liking. I like to use extra firm tofu and fry cubes in vegetable oil until crispy. Keep these ready and mix them in with the finished product.
- 1 pound of spinach (or more)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour (preferable wheat or chick pea if you’ve got it)
- 2 tablespoons curry powder or garam masala (use what you like)
- 2 cups plain yogurt (MB says to use whole milk, but I’m pretty sure I used fat free and it worked just fine)
Strawberry rhubarb crisp!
I haven’t been posting here lately, but that does not mean I haven’t been cooking! I have made this crisp recipe twice now once with strawberry rhubarb filling and once apple rhubarb filling. Both delicious, and the possibilities for this recipe are seriously endless. It comes to you from the wonderful Moosewood Cookbook, but really, you can find a crisp recipe just about anywhere. This one is quick and easy.
Preheat the oven to 375. Clean and slice 2 pounds of rhubarb and about 3 or 4 cups of strawberries (when using apples, I used about 4 small apples). Add them to your baking dish and mix with about 1/4 cup white sugar. Let them sit in the dish while you prepare the topping.
In a medium bowl, mix 1 and 1/4 cups rolled oats, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and allspice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 stick of melted butter (you can easily replace this with Earth Balance and the whole thing is vegan).
A nice variation is to add some grated fresh ginger to the strawberry mixture. Or you could add some ground ginger in with the other spices in the topping.
Mix the topping well, making sure all the butter isn’t clumped up in a corner somewhere. Spread on top of the fruit mixture and pop in the oven for about 40 minutes. Enjoy!
Baked figs stuffed with walnuts!
This is a very nice and easy way to create a sort of fancy looking fig dessert. The recipe makes a lot of walnut paste too, so you can use it for other purposes. I made some muffins and mixed the paste in, and it was also delightful. This recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes in the World cookbook. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter: 1 chilled, 1 softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 fresh figs
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- plain yogurt or sour cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the nuts in a small food processor and process to a powder. Add the chilled butter and process to a paste, then blend in the cinnamon. (Note: so good! Feel free to eat straight from the bowl.) Slit open each piece of fruit and stuff with a bit of the walnut mixture and press to reseal.
Grease the bottom of a baking dish with the rest of the butter, arrange the fruit without crowding. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the lemon juice in to the sugar-water-syrup mixture and drizzle over the fruit. Serve with yogurt or sour cream if you’ve got it.
This is a most excellent recipe, especially if you have a ton of tomatoes sitting around. It’s really easy to make, and ends up looking sort of fancy. The recipe comes to us from Marky Mark Bittman (naturally). Variation possibilities abound with this recipe; the original makes a plain topping, I added some scallions which was nice. Adding cheese or herbs to the topping would be awesome, or adding some sauteed onions or other veggies into the tomatoes could also be delightful. Anyways, it makes a nice snack, side dish, or even breakfast.
- 2-3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 or 2 scallions, diced
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup any kind of milk plus 1 tbsp vinegar)
If using regular milk, add the vinegar to the milk to allow it to sour.
Grease a pie plate or square pan with some butter or oil. Preheat the oven to 375. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and mix with the cornstarch and salt and pepper to taste. Combine and set aside.
Mix flour, cornmeal, scallions, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, mix the butter into the rest of the ingredients until sort of pea-sized clumps form (it will start to look like bread crumbs). Add the egg into the buttermilk and beat slightly with a fork. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Toss the tomato mixture again and spread into the baking dish. Spoon the batter on top of the tomatoes and smooth it out a bit. Leave a couple gaps in the topping so the steam can escape. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the topping is done. Enjoy!
Chili does not photograph well, but it sure is delicious. This recipe, involving smoked paprika, bacon, and fire-roasted tomatoes, does not disappoint. If you want the smoky flavor, do not substitute regular paprika. The smoked paprika is really something special. Serve with cornbread, rice, or whatever you like to have with your chili. The original recipe comes from Sunset Magazine. They recommend using ground beef, but I’ve made this twice now with Gimme Lean fake meat and it tastes great. Use whatever meat or meat substitute you have available.
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 pounds meat of choice
- 1 tbsp plus 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 cup beer (IPA, pale ale, or something light)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
In a large stockpot, cook bacon over med-high heat, stirring until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, lower heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to become clear, about 5-7 minutes. Uncover pan, add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Increase heat back to med-high and add meat. Note: if you are using Gimme Lean, I recommend breaking it up before you add it to the pan. This stuff is sticky, so it saves a lot of time and frustration to cut it into smaller pieces and then add to the pan. If using ground meat, just add it in and break it up. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Stir in spices and salt and cook for about a minute. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer about 30-40 minutes. Note: this dish gets quite thick, so I usually add another 1/2 cup of beer to thin things out a little. Add beans and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Season to taste and enjoy!