CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

I adapted this super recipe from the New York Times; if you like the combination of chicken, caramelized shallots, mustard and tomatoes, this is for you! This serves about 4-5 and makes great leftovers the next day.

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INGREDIENTS

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 whole medium shallots, peeled
1 large onion, quartered
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 sprigs tarragon

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chicken thighs in water, and pat them very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with flour, salt and pepper. I used a sieve to do this or you could dredge them in the flour

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook the chicken, in batches if necessary, until well browned and crisp on all sides. Set aside.

Add the whole shallots and onions to the pot and sauté them in the oil and chicken fat until they begin to soften and caramelize, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stir with a large spoon, then add the mustard and tarragon, then the chicken thighs. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. While chicken is cooking put sliced tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes are nice and juicy and getting caramelized. You can skip this step and just add them to the pot before serving but I love the added flavor of the roasted tomatoes.

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Creamy Artichoke Soup

Creamy Artichoke Soup

This taste-of-spring soup is made creamy with silken tofu instead of  heavy cream—I adapted this from a cooking light recipe. It was a bit bland so I added some lemon balsamic vinegar since I did not have any lemon juice on hand. I also want to try this with greek yogurt replacing the tofu.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. silken tofu, drained
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon Juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and artichokes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until artichokes are very tender, about 5 minutes.

Place artichoke mixture, tofu, and peas in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Return mixture to saucepan; stir in milk lemon and salt, and pepper. Heat over medium until warmed through.

Jelly Doughnut Cake

Jelly Doughnut Cake

I found this recipe in a magazine “Bake from Scratch’ and adapted it slightly – it was perfect to serve to a friend for tea. I got out the china cups and the teapot. It is just wonderful.
The recipe calls for piping the batter around the edges but spooning carefully works well, too. I have also skipped step 4 and served right out of the pan. I like it better without the sugar on top as it is a little too sweet for me but my guests liked the topping. I have posted pictures with and without. This really does taste like one of those jelly filled doughnuts.

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Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup blueberry, raspberry or triple berry jam

Topping:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour, and line pan with parchment paper.
  2. For cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spoon remaining batter into a large piping bag. Pipe a ring of batter around the inside edge of the pan. Spoon jam into center of the ring. Pipe remaining batter on top of jam, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour, covering with foil during last 30 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  4. For topping: In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Run an offset spatula around edge of pan to loosen cake before turning out. Turn cake back over (so dome is on top). Brush top and sides of cake with melted butter. Sprinkle top with sugar mixture, and press into sides of cake.
Vegetarian Tacos

Vegetarian Tacos

My husband and I are not vegetarian but we do experiment with lots of vegetarian recipes. I have found a new (to me) meatless product made by Quorn. We have tried several of their products and love all of them. Some are Vegan, Gluten free, soy free all vegetarian and made with mushrooms. The packaging can be recycled. I made this dish with the “Chic n Tenders”. We loved them. This is not really a recipe as it is more of a suggestion for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is healthy. You can use just about any fillings with this product.

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Ingredients

1 bag Chick’ n Tenders
1 red pepper,  seeded and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
shredded cheese (I only had sliced and it also worked great)
sliced avocado
warmed corn or flour tortillas

Directions

Heat the oil and add the onions and saute when golden brown. Add red pepper and cook until soft. Add Chic’ n Tenders and stir fry until heated through. Add spices. Serve with toppings and warmed tortillas.

Cauliflower Korma with Toasted Almonds & Blackened Raisins 


Cauliflower Korma with Toasted Almonds & Blackened Raisins 


This was adapted from a recipe by Meera Sodha, author of Fresh India. This serves 4-6 but the recipe can be easily halved for 2 people. I made a few adjustments – I am adding this to my regular rotation of meals I love!

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Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

This is “Faux” Pho – a faster, easier weeknight version that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen! Perfect for cold and rainy nights. This turns out different every time I make it, depending on the ingredients.

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Ingredients

8 oz rice noodles
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger root minced
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 onion, sliced thin
8 cups seafood stock or chicken broth
2 strips lemon peel (use carrot peeler)
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups bok choy stem thinly sliced & leaves roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp raw

It is not traditional but a can of light coconut milk tastes really good in this!

Optional Garnishes
thinly sliced onion, slices jalapeno, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, Thai basil

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, warm sesame oil over medium heat for 30-60 seconds until it starts to shimmer. Add ginger and chili garlic paste then stir for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent
  4. Stir in broth, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, hoisin, cinnamon and spices. Bring mixture to a boil then add shrimp and bok choy.
  5. Continue to simmer until shrimp turns bright pink and bok choy wilts – about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper/soy if necessary.
  6. Add noodles (and coconut milk if using) to soup and serve immediately.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes.
Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This is not just a chocolate cake, it is a CHOCOLATE cake. Deeply, densely and INTENSELY chocolate. I was in a hurry to make this for a party so the photos are not great but I had to share. From Bon Apetit 2006. This is gluten free.  

 

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Cake
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
18 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs

 

Ganache
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (optional)

Additions
2 tablespoons Chambord Liquor (optional)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

PREPARATION

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 2 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter or liquor if you desire. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges.