Sunday, July 21, 2013

Coriander and sumac roast chicken


This is an interesting take for when you get bored of just regular roasted chicken. It was a really nice dish; it tasted good with the fancy chickpea and raisin rice pilaf, but that certainly wasn’t necessary to enjoy the chicken. This recipe comes from my beloved Sunset magazine, from a feature they did on Mediterranean cooking.

  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • chicken, about 4-5 pounds, cleaned and trimmed of fat
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 400. Combine coriander, cumin, pepper, salt in a small bowl. Rub the chicken with 1.5 tbsp of oil and then rub spice mixture all over the chicken, inside and out. Put the lemon inside the bird. Roast, breast side up, for 45 minutes. Then begin basting every 15 minutes until the chicken is done, about 30 more minutes, depending on the size of the bird.

To make the full meal with the fancy rice, click the link above for the additional steps.

Honey and cardamom chicken with olives and chickpeas

I bought a tagine last year and this is the best recipe I’ve made with it. No need to be fancy; the tagine is from World Market and this recipe is the one that came with it (in a “So you’ve decided to buy a tagine!” sort of way). You could easily make this recipe in any covered oven-proof casserole dish. It’s a lot of steps, but really delicious for a weekend dinner.

  • chicken thighs
  • 1.5 Tbsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes or cayenne
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Place chicken in shallow dish and season with some salt and pepper. Mix the other ingredients listed above in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, coating well. Let marinate a few hours, if possible (at least 1 hour).

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • red onion, sliced
  • chicken stock (amount varies, see below)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Fry the chicken until browned all over, but not cooked fully. Transfer to the tagine. Pour in any leftover marinade. Scatter the onion slices, chickpeas, and olives around the chicken. (You can layer some beneath the chicken too if you want everything to be really mixed.)

Pour in the chicken stock. If you’re using a tagine or dish that is glazed on the inside (mine is) use only about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the stock. If the tagine is not glazed, you will need more liquid — about 1.5 or 2 cups. The dish will absorb some of the liquid in a way that the glazed dishes will not.

Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa. Delicious!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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.

  • 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
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides and mostly cooked through (about 8 minutes). It can still be a little pink in the center but should be almost finished. Set chicken aside on a plate.
Add remaining olive oil to pan. Add shallots and garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar, olives, capers, and the chicken to the pan. Cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for about 6-8 minutes. The chicken should be done through and the peppers should be sort of soft. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Voila!
Thursday, June 14, 2012

"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)
Preheat the oven to 400. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and shock the spinach (i.e. cook for 30 seconds and then drain and rinse with very cold water). Dry well and chop. (You can skip this step and just toss the fresh spinach into the dish, but it will sort of turn brown when you cook it. Doing this extra step keeps the spinach looking nice and bright green throughout the cooking. I think it also helps the flavor, but not enough to really notice. If you’re in a hurry, go ahead and skip.)
Put the oil and flour in a large skillet or pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir while it cooks for about 5 minutes, until it all looks darker but not scorched. Stir in your spice mixture, and then whisk in the yogurt. Raise the heat and cook just until everything is heated through. Fold in the spinach and pour everything into a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it’s a little crusty on top and bubbly. Top with your croutons and enjoy!
Monday, June 11, 2012

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!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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.