Saturday, December 25, 2010

Spaghetti with Garlic Oil and Chili

(Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino)
This dish was inspired by one of my favorites from Luigi's Restaurant in Slippery Rock, PA. If a dish has garlic, I am intrigued. Heck - you can never have too much of the stuff. Take that as a warning all vampires and people with sensitive noses, I am chowing down the stinky cloves with joy!

Spaghetti with Garlic Oil and Chili
1/3 cup Canola/Extra Virgin Olive Oil mix
3 cloves Garlic sliced
5 cloves Garlic minced
2 dried Chile de Arbol peppers chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

Over medium low heat saute sliced garlic and chile in oil, adding minced garlic and salt at the end. Be sure not to over cook the garlic, it should just be starting to get a nice warm gold color. Remove from heat. Toss hot cooked pasta into the garlic oil. Garnish with Parmesan. I find that the whole wheat pasta seems to absorb the flavor better than regular pasta. It doesn't get as slippery either, and it is especially good left over and reheated. Either way, it is a tasty treat!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino on Foodista

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage

In the 1890s, large groups of Eastern European immigrants came to the Pittsburgh area to work in the city's mills. The cool thing about Pittsburgh is that each ethnic group kept it's history and traditions alive. It's something that makes me very proud to say I am from the 'Burgh! These little stuffed cabbages are made in more of a Slovak style, but many groups can claim them as their own. From Turkey's Sarma to Golubtsy in Russia, every country in between has a version of their own. We call 'em "Pigs in a Blanket." It's great food for a cold day.

Stuffed Cabbage
1 large head of cabbage
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 16-ounce can sauerkraut
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain brown rice
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg or egg substitute
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or Agave Nectar)
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon salt (divided)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove core from cabbage and set into a large pot of boiling water. Gradually as the leaves become soft, remove from head of cabbage and put on a towel line baking sheet to cool. Continue to remove leaves making sure to not overcook until all of the large leaves are soft. The inner leaves can be set aside to use in other dishes.

Sauce: In a saucepan, saute garlic in oil until barely golden. Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, two cloves of the minced garlic, vinegar, sugar and one half teaspoon of salt and slowly simmer while the rest of the dish is prepared.

Filling: In a large bowl, combine remaining salt, ground meat, rice, remaining garlic, parsley, onion, egg and pepper and mix well. Set aside. You can switch out the pork for a full pound of beef, or even use lamb if you wish.

Assembly: Drain and squeeze sauerkraut and line the bottom of a large baking dish (16x10), spooning a couple of ladles of the simmering sauce and mixing it into the kraut. Smooth to make a nice bed for the cabbage rolls. When leaves are cool, trim the large back spine of the leaf so that it is the same thickness as the rest of the leaf. Place about 1/4 cup of filling into the leaf and roll, placing the rolled cabbages over the top of the sauerkraut/sauce mixture. Pour over remaining sauce and cover dish with aluminum foil. Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Hungarian Cabbage Rolls on Foodista

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Balls

We all have our guilty food pleasures. One of mine is the local Chinese buffet. While there are larger and more spectacular buffets in the area, En Lai in Slippery Rock has a small variety of my favorites. It's a far cry from real Chinese food - sort of an American sweetened version of Chinese food. But give me a plate and I pile on Walnut Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken and General Tso's Chicken and love it. And then there are the yummy Chicken Balls. At first I didn't know what they were - alien round fried balls. Hoping I would not encounter seafood, I took a bite and found a seasoned chicken meatball with a crispy crust. This is my interpretation.

Chicken Balls
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 carrot, shredded
3 green onions, sliced thinly
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut chicken into chunks and combine with egg whites, ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch and sesame oil in a food processor. Process until chicken is a thick puree. Add carrot and onion and pulse a couple of times. Remove mixture into a bowl. Heat canola oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer or deep heavy pot. Drop spoonfuls of chicken mix into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain on paper and serve hot with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

Fried Garlic Chicken Balls on Foodista

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Like all home cooks, I fall into certain cooking patterns. Throughout the week I stick to the easy stuff - a good bison burger or something I can cook fast and serve with pasta or rice. There are also the "make your own" nights, a chance for everyone to eat the leftovers of their choice or something they want from the convenience food section of my pantry. Weekends are for experimenting on new dishes, and full meals at the table - steak or rotisserie chicken. This dish is a yummy weeknight quickie, and is also perfect for tailgating or picnics. And it is Steeler football season!!!

When I first tried this my tongue had one of those celestial choir moments. What is it with garlic and herbs and me? Holy heck it's good! I gobbled my sandwich, mopping the sauce with my bread and craved seconds. I called Mira to see what she thought, and before I got a clear answer she was holding her plate out asking for more. It looks like this one is a keeper. I think I could fit this on my rotating schedule - maybe for Thursdays.

2 pounds of chicken cubed into 2 inch squares
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine seasonings, oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a plastic bag and add chicken. Marinate for at least 24 hours. When ready to cook, arrange cubes of meat on soaked bamboo skewers and grill until golden brown, but don't overcook as the marinade has already cooked the meat partially. I doubled the marinade and set half aside as a condiment or baste for the meat. Serve on Italian bread alone or with shredded lettuce, onions and tomatoes and a drizzle of sauce.You can also use the meat to top a salad.

Spiedies are native to New York state and were originally made with lamb. You can use veal, beef or pork too.

Spiedie Sauce on Foodista

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I have been searching for healthy and filling meals to pack in my little red lunch bag for work. Picking a recipe for lunch is an art in itself. Too heavy and I will be staring off into space instead of keeping production and using that brain. Too light and I will be furtively searching through my drawers for something chocolaty to tame the munchies. This tasty salad seemed to be the perfect choice.

1 cup water
1/2 cup whole grain bulgur
zest and juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 7-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Boil water and pour over bulgur and let sit until water is absorbed and bulgur is cooled. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic and seasonings mix. Pour over cool bulgur and add vegetables and toss. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a nice whole wheat pita.

Tabbouleh on Foodista

Sunday, November 14, 2010

City Chicken

This Pittsburgh favorite is a meal-time-machine back into the 1930s. Imagine yourself feasting with the family at the table set with Fiesta - kind of like Ralphie in A Christmas Story. On the place is budget-friendly home cooked food like mashed potatoes, canned peas and chicken with gravy. Wait, chicken is too expensive. Make that city chicken, chunks of pork or veal arranged on a stick to resemble that expensive chicken leg.

It's hard to believe that at one time, chicken was more costly than veal or pork and was saved for that special Sunday night dinner. City chicken is best known in the big cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the Depression. You can still find packages of pork and veal with sticks sold as "city chicken" at the butcher shop. It is delicious, and even tastes a bit like chicken. But then, that's what everyone says about all unusual food, right?

City Chicken
2 pounds veal or pork (or both) cut into two inch chunks
3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cups canola oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)

Beat eggs and milk and place in a small tray or bowl. Combine flour, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika and set aside in another small tray or bowl. Place four or five chunks of pork or veal, or alternating chunks of both on a stick. Dip stick into egg mixture, then roll in breadcrumbs until well coated. When all sticks are coated with breadcrumbs,  place on a dish and cover with foil and set in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the breading to set. Preheat oven to 350F. Add canola oil to a hot skillet and brown the sticks on all sides. When brown, place sticks on a 9x12 baking dish. Pour chicken broth over top and cook in oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender. When done, remove sticks to a dish and cover with foil. Take pan dripping and pour into a sauce pan and heat to boiling. Add arrowroot mixed with a bit of water and thicken into a gravy. Serve sticks with gravy.

City Chicken Recipe - Chicken Recipes on Foodista

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

Meatless Monday is a worldwide initiative to help people improve their health my cutting out meat for one day a week. As someone who has been hard at work overhauling her diet into something less refined and lower in saturated fat, the idea was something I was very interested in. The only problem - I adore meat and usually find anything other than a double cheese pizza or gooey grilled cheese as being meatless purgatory.

The rumors are true - I was the kid with the poodle who secretly ate all my vegetables. Beans had to be pulverized into creamy hummus before I would even look at them. And forget green beans - they squeaked when I chewed them. Yick! So how to do this? How to eat vegetarian and not feel punished? That my friends is the big question. If you are going to work hard and give up the unhealthy food, you need to be sure that each meal is spectacular and doesn't taste like a compromise. Into the kitchen I went, stocked with beans and veggies. With spoon in hand and full of trepidation, I took a bite. What's this? It tastes...delicious! Can you believe it??? I actually had seconds. Yes, Karen, the hater of the vegetable world has eaten beans and enjoyed them. Maybe you will too.

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup
5 cups kale, washed, ribs removed
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, sliced into thin disks
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetarian broth (or three 14.5 cans of Swanson's Vegetarian Vegetable)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Bunch kale and shred into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Saute onions, carrots and celery until softened and onions are barely translucent. Add garlic and saute for 5-10 seconds until fragrant. Be sure not to overcook the garlic. Add broth, kale, beans and seasonings and cook on low for about 30 minutes. Serve with crusty whole grain bread.

White Bean and Kale Soup on Foodista

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Carne Adovada

Something strange is happening to my taste buds. There was a time when they were compliant inhabitants on my tongue. But I think they were plotting a revolution and decided to take over. Maybe they are noticing my new eating habits and have decided that the lack of sugar and refined carbohydrates should be replaced by heat. Lots of heat. They are also controlling my mind. I found myself purchasing a large bag of dried chiles from The Spice House mindlessly obeying the prodding of my tastebuds. Must buy chiles! Must buy chiles! Time to cook something spicy from south of the border.

Carne Adovada
2-3 pounds pork shoulder trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch cubes
16 dried Anaheim or Ancho chiles
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 medium onion, cut in quarters
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread chiles on a large baking sheet and toast gently in the oven for about 5-6 minutes until fragrant. Once they are cooled, remove stems and seeds and crush into a blender. Add broth, onion, garlic and seasonings into blender and puree into a red paste. Place pork cubes in a dutch oven or slow cooker and pour chili paste over and combine. Cook slowly in the oven at 325°F for at least three to four hours, or in slow cooker set on high for 4-6 hours (or set on low for 8 hours). The longer the pork slowly braises, the more tender it becomes. When done (when you can't stand waiting any longer), skim off all fat from the surface, stir and serve pork on whole grain tortillas with brown rice, chopped onions and shredded cabbage.

Carne Adovada: Braised Pork in Red Chili Sauce | Choosy Beggars on Foodista

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beef Barley Stew

I always feel like I am taking a step back into the past when I cook beef stew. Stews cooked on the hearth while family members were busily doing their work. They fed a whole family and felt warm inside. And they are pretty humble - both in cost and looks. It's like walking back a couple of centuries.  The warm hearty stew is very adaptable. You can use hulless barley or pearl barley, bison or beef, and change the veggies all about to something you like or whatever you have on hand. And cooking for an extended period of time is delicious.

Beef Barley Stew
2 lbs cubed beef or bison
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup hulless barley
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sweet pakrika
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine beef, vegetables, bay leaves, stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a covered heavy pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and allow to cook on low heat for three hours or in a Crock Pot for about 8 hours. Prior to serving, bring to a boil and mix cornstarch with about two tablespoons of water and pour into stew to thicken. Add mustard and paprika and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a nice chunk of crusty bread.

Hulless barley will be chewier than pearl barley, and will require at least two hours to fully cook. Don't worry, the stew doesn't mind!

Barley Information on Foodista

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pork and/or Chicken Adobo

I first tried chicken adobo at Jordan's Restaurant in Grove City. I am still amazed that they are open and located in my town - a very very small town that historically only has two ethnic choices - Italian and Chinese. More specifically, pizza and the ubiquitous pseudo-Chinese buffet. Jordan's serves a small Filipino menu along with pizza and subs to please the uninitiated.  The heck with pizza, give me the adobo!!!! I love it so much I had to create my own version. Be warned - the vinegar flavor in this dish is a delicious kick in the pants!

Pork and Chicken Adobo
2 lbs meat cubes (Pork or chicken, or a combination of both)
1 cup Coconut vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 cup Soy sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 whole garlic bulb, divided and minced
4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine meat, vinegar, soy sauce, half of the garlic, bay leaves and black pepper in a container and marinate overnight. Pour meat and marinade and one cup of water into a large pot and simmer until meat is cooked through. Remove meat but keep liquid simmering. In a separate skillet saute onion until golden. Add the remaining minced garlic and saute until fragrant and pour into simmering marinade. Adding extra oil if needed, brown cooked meat and return to pot. Combine cornstarch with a few tablespoons of cold water and pour into pot thicken. Simmer for about a half hour until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve over rice and steamed green beans.

Philippine Pork Adobo on Foodista

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Swiss Steak

My mom had a nice little collection of favorite recipes that she would cook. Unfortunately, most of them were found in cookbooks and never written down on cards or saved. She would only refer back to the cookbook that the recipe was in. Now that she is gone, it has been difficult to find the favorites I grew up with. Swiss steak is one of those recipes. I have no idea where she got her recipe, and it is not written down. So this leaves me to try to find a way of making it myself. Maybe one day I will replicate what she made - tender steaks with a tomato gravy. But until then, this recipe is easy and delicious. Maybe someday I will perfect the gravy!

Swiss Steak
1 1/2 pounds beef cubed steak
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
canola oil

Dredge steaks in flour and brown on both sides in a skillet with about two tablespoons of canola oil. Set steaks aside. Saute onions, celery and carrot until softened, and when done, add garlic. Combine vegetables with can of tomatoes and paprika, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and allow to cook for a few minutes. Toss everything into a crock pot and cook 8 hours until steaks are fork tender. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes. You can also make this on the stove top in a dutch oven instead of a slow cooker. Just add about a cup of water or broth and simmer everything low and slow for about two hours.

Garden Swiss Steak on Foodista

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Salsa Verde

The last of the fresh vegetables are coming in from friends and family who have gardens. It won't be long before the vegetable stand down the road shuts down until next year. My thanks to everyone who shared their green thumb with me - Steve and Audrey for the cucumbers, tomatoes and chili peppers, Burt for the tomatillos. Actually I had never eaten a tomatillo before. But last weekend I received a whole bag, so I decided to improvise a nice salsa verde.

Salsa Verde
2 pounds fresh tomatillos
4 jalapeño peppers
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Remove stems from peppers, slice and remove pith and seeds. (This will make the salsa mild. If you want extra heat, leave the pepper intact) Slice the pepper and put in a food processor. Set aside. Remove outer papery skin from tomatillos and rinse well under lots of warm water to remove the sticky film. Put into a sauce pan and fill with water to two inches above the vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer tomatillos for about five minutes. When they are done, remove from the water and put them into the food processor with the lime juice, cumin, salt and sugar. Pulse until the salsa is thick and lumpy. (You can also use a hand blender in a mixing bowl, pureeing to a thick consistency.) Add onions, cilantro and pepper and chill. Serve with chips or over grilled meats.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde on Foodista

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bison Pot Roast with Dill Sauce

I have been working a lot of overtime lately, and having a nice warm fork tender pot roast waiting for me when I get home is enough to soothe the stress away. My trusty Crock Pot is always bubbling away with something yummy in it. And this time of year, when the weather gets chilly, pot roast is what I crave.

I always used a beef chuck roast in my Crock Pot. But lately, I have been using Bison. It tastes just like beef - seriously! This is not the "tastes just like chicken" line. And it is leaner and better for you. Bison has 67% less fat than beef, and 46% fewer calories. Bison can be healthier than chicken. But it is a bit expensive and sometimes hard to find. So if you want to use beef, go right ahead - it all works the same.

 Bison Pot Roast with Dill Sauce
1 1/2 lb chuck roast (bison or beef)
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup low sodium beef stock
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 cup low fat or fat free sour cream
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
fresh ground black pepper

In a hot skillet with oil, sear roast on both sides until brown and place in slow cooker. In same skillet, saute onion until caramelized and put on top of roast. Combine broth, vinegar and dill weed and pour over roast. Season with fresh ground black pepper and cook on low for 9-10 hours. When ready to serve, remove roast and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm (be careful - the roast is very very tender). Turn slow cooker up to high and allow broth to bubble. Mix flour with about 1/2 cup of water and pour into bubbling broth to thicken. When thick, stir in sour cream. Serve beef with pasta and a drizzle of sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of additional dill weed if desired.

If you are using a beef chuck roast, you will see a lot more liquid and fat in the pot after cooking. You may want to skim off the fat, and remove some of the broth (keep about two cups or so) before making the sauce. My roast was cooked in a 3.5 quart cooker. If yours is a larger slow cooker increase the amounts on all of the ingredients.

Pot Roast on Foodista

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chana Dal

I was the kid that hated all vegetables. In fact I had a long list of foods that were unsuitable for consumption - liver, fish and at a secure position at number three - beans. And then one day as an adult I tried hummus. Suddenly a light was shed on the humble legume. While I am still a bit skittish about beans in general and have a bit of hesitation when confronted with them (I blame this on residual conditioning from childhood) I do find myself wanting to try new ways of eating them. Some little beanies are kind of yummy, and downright good for you.
Chana Dal
1 cup dry chana dal
3 cups water
l large onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Pick through the dal to make sure nothing but beans remains. Combine dal and water in a small crockpot (I used my 2.5 quart) and cook on low for about eight or nine hours. If you don't use a crockpot, you could simmer the dal in the water until tender. In a skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until caramelized. Add to the dal with the tomato paste, cilantro and garam masala and cook for a few minutes. Puree the mixture to your desired consistency and serve with bread as a spread or dip, or add a bit more water and tomato paste for a soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chana Dal on Foodista

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce

(Yoğurtlu Kıymalı Makarna)
My taste buds' trip to Turkey is long overdue. They have had their bags packed and have been patiently waiting for me to get cooking what is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. It's also one of the largest, full of history and influencing all of the countries around it. So off I went to imagine myself at the Bosphorus, wandering the streets of Istanbul and smelling the fragrance of the spice market. I got lost for a while, and it made me really really hungry, so I cooked up this beautiful pasta dish. It may be simple food - but there is nothing like it around here. Very yummy!

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce
8 ounces extra lean ground beef (97/3), or bison
1 medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup all natural fat free yogurt
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Hungarian paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

cooked pasta

For the meat sauce:
Saute chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden and translucent. Add two of the cloves of minced garlic and lean ground beef and saute until meat is cooked through. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, and 1/8 teaspoons of sweet paprika and cinnamon. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

For the yogurt sauce:
Mince two of the garlic cloves and combine with one pinch of kosher salt and mash into a paste. Add to yogurt and set aside and allow to come to room temperature. I used organic fat free plain yogurt, but you could use regular yogurt too.

For the oil drizzle:
Combine 1 tablespoon canola oil with additional 1/8 teaspoon of both cayenne pepper and sweet paprika. Heat in microwave safe container for 30 seconds until warm. Set aside. Butter is most commonly used for this and you could use it instead of canola oil.

Makes two servings:
Serve 3/4 to 1 cup cooked pasta (I used whole wheat fusili) with 1/2 of the meat sauce and a dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with a few drops of the oil. Garnish with fresh cucumber slices.

Turkish Cookery on Foodista

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Madras

I have been looking at this recipe of my Grandmother's for a while. Let's face it, I love a good curry. And while I realize that most of the dishes I serve are probably more influenced by the British and are not always authentic Indian, they are delicious. This recipe called for fresh green apples. I saw some brilliant Granny Smith apples in the market today, and I knew that the time had come to give Grandma's Chicken Madras a try.

Chicken Madras
1 lb skinless boneless white meat chicken, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium green apples, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Saute chicken chunks in oil until just cooked through and remove from skillet. Saute onions and apples, sprinkle with curry powder and flour. Stir and cook for two minutes and then add broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Add more broth as needed if curry becomes too dry. Serve over steamed rice.

Grandma Harvey's original recipe calls for a 3 lb boiler/fryer cut up and seasoned with salt and pepper and browned in 1/4 cup of butter instead of canola oil. For my somewhat healthier version above I also used low-sodium fat free chicken broth, stone-ground whole wheat flour and brown rice. The curry powder I used was Sun Madras Curry powder which already contains salt. I found that it was salty enough to properly season everything and just needed a few grinds of black pepper.

Madras Curry on Foodista

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas

My house is full of snackers. Somebody is always running in and out of the kitchen with some form of snack item. Yet, aside from my homemade salsa and an accompanying bag of tortilla chips - there are no typical junkfood snacks in the house. We have apples and cheese, lot of nuts and old fashioned non-microwave popcorn galore as well as the most sought-after snack in the kitchen - the fresh raspberry. Apparently somebody bought me some raspberries the other day. I never saw any of them. So this little crunchy bean is our newest snack item. It's spicy and hot and is crunchy like a nut, yet packed with nutrition. And it's easy and cheap to make.

Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas
2 14.5-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drain and rinse chickpeas well. Allow most of the moisture to dry off (I twirled them in my salad spinner) and put into a large bowl. Add oil and seasonings and toss in the bowl until all chickpeas are well coated. Spread chickpeas on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake in the oven for approximately 45-50 minutes. Shake sheet pan around about every 15-20 minutes while cooking to allow the peas to brown evenly. Allow to cool thoroughly and enjoy!

Chickpeas on Foodista