Monday, October 20, 2014

700. Iraqi Chicken Fesenjun


One of the greatest misconceptions in food culture is that the inclusion of fruit in savory dishes is Persian. In fact, ancient recipes literally engraved in stone from Sammara, Iraq is all the proof needed that it is Iraqi. However, it is a natural misconception, seeing how Iraq and Iran are geographical neighbors one cannot but expect cultures to merge somewhat. Fesenjun ( الفسنجون) is the name for a meat (usually duck, but can also be any poultry, meat, or even fish) simmered in a pomegranate and walnut concoction that is so good, despite not being too pretty, I would not be surprised to see poems written in its honor.
Adapted from Tess Mallos Complete Middle Eastern and Tummylicious Treats.


Ingredients:

1.5 kg whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 pieces cinnamon bark
1 Tbsp lemon juice


Method:

Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Sear the chicken on all side in the hot ghee in a pot until golden.
Remove chicken and set aside.
In the same pot, saute the chopped onion until transparent.
Add the walnut, water, pomegranate molasses, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
Return the chicken to the pot, spoon sauce over the chicken, cover the pot, and simmer on low heat for about 90 minutes.
Taste for seasoning, adjusting accordingly (if too sweet add a bit of lemon juice).
To serve, put chicken pieces over a bed of rice, spoon over the sauce, and garnish with fresh pomegranate and walnut pieces.

 
صحة و عافية

Sunday, October 19, 2014

699. Cheesy Baked Risotto


Sometimes, all one craves is a single, steaming, cheesy bowl of rice. Risotto, to be specific.
However, the idea of standing for at least half an hour straight over the stove top might just be enough to put one off from making this comfort food.
In comes baking the risotto! Stir the flavors in a pot, pout over the broth and bake until absorbed.
I have used this method previously in the baked mushroom risotto to great success.
You could use most melty cheese or cheese combinations. I went for mature cheddar, parmesan, and a touch of mozarella. Gruyere and emmental would also work magnificently, and if you're a cheese enthusiast, why not take the leap and go for camembert or blue cheese?


Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup (50g) butter
1 cup short grain rice
3 cups stock
1/2 tsp salt
ground fresh pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups cheddar, grated
1/2 cup mozarella, grated
1/3 cup cream


Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Saute the garlic in the melted butter until softened but not yet colored.
Add the rice, saute, then add one cup of the stock, the salt, and the pepper.
Stir until the stock has been absorbed.
Transfer the rice to an oven-safe dish, and flatten the surface.
Pour the remaining two cups of stock over the rice, and seal tightly with foil.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, uncover, and stir in the cheese mixture and cream.
Seal and bake again for 5 to 10 minutes.
To serve, you can sprinkle with some dried thyme and more parmesan.


 صحة و عافية

Saturday, October 18, 2014

698. Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff


Beef stroganoff is a comforting Autumnal dish which originated from Russia, but has been taking over the world for several decades now, thereby changing and evolving as it goes.
Many recipes serve beef stroganoff with a pasta or egg noodle of sorts. Some, with rice.
I like mine with salty, crispy french fries; almost poutine-style.
The meat really needs to be melt-in-your-mouth; which is why a slow cooker is so ideal for this.


Ingredients:

900g beef stew meat
350g white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 Tbsp flour
1 bay leaf
120g cream cheese, at room temperature
250g strained yogurt or sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Method:

Place beef, mushrooms, and garlic in crock pot.
In a medium bowl, mix together beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and flour. Whisk mixture until flour is dissolved.
Pour into crock pot, add bay leaf, and stir all ingredients until coated.
Place lid on crock pot and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low (or 4 to 5 hours on high).
About 20 minutes before serving time, add cream cheese to crock pot and replace lid.
After 10 minutes, stir warmed/softened cream cheese into sauce, pushing with the back of a spoon to break it up and incorporate it into sauce.
Stir the lebna or sour cream into sauce and fresh parsley at this point as well.
Replace lid and cook on low for a few more minutes until heated through.
Remove bay leaf from stroganoff, taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.
Serve over hot pasta or rice or french fries and garnish with additional minced parsley, if desired.


 صحة و عافية

Thursday, October 16, 2014

697. Chia-Coconut Pudding


This is an amazing and wholesome superfood dessert, with no animal product, no added sugar or sweeteners, and no "fillers" such as flour and the like.
The actual dessert is actually only two ingredient: chia seeds and coconut milk.
From there, you can add whatever you want. Once I cooked some plums and mashed them into a sauce, and that alone was the topping, and another time I added some banana slices as I had it for breakfast and it felt like the right thing to do. Either way, do not skip the fresh mint leaves as it gives the most amazing finishing touch. (PS. check out my skinny chocolate-chia pudding.)


Ingredients:

1x400ml can coconut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
4 plums
fresh mint leaves


Method:

In a glass container, stir the coconut milk and the chia. Cover, refrigerate overnight.
Slice the plums into wedges, put in a saucepan with 1/3 cup water and simmer for 10-12 minutes until easily mashed with a wooden spoon against the side of the pan.
Discard the skins if you like by straining. Refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight.
To serve, spoon some chia pudding in the serving glass, top with some plum sauce and a sprig of mint.
Serve chilled.


 صحة و عافية

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

696. Stewed Greek Lemon Chicken


Lemon is great in just about everything, from drinks, to cakes, and definitely to chicken.
Greek roast chicken is hearty and delicious as it is, but you wouldn't expect the Greeks to resign to one type of lemon chicken now would you?
This lemon chicken is indeed stewed in a pot, but that's not what makes it so special.
Towards the end of cooking, an egg is stirred delicately into the broth, significantly thickening it to a satin-quality velvety sauce. The thing is, once stirred in, the dish must be immediately served as re-heating might curdle the eggs.
Recipe from a Betty Bossi book this is now out of print.


Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, fine chop
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp flour 
1 cup chopped parsley
2 lemons, juice
3 cups chicken stock
1 egg
1/2 lemon, juice, extra



Method:

Sear the chicken in the hot olive oil until golden on all sides; remove and set aside.
In the same pot, saute the onion, garlic, and flour in the chicken renderings until slightly softened.
Add half a cup of the parsley, lemon juice, and chicken broth.
Return the chicken pieces, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover the pot, and let simmer for 1 hour.
Taste at this stage or seasoning, and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix the remaining half cup parsley, the egg, half a lemon juice, and a tablespoon of water.
Off heat, stir the egg mixture into the hot chicken sauce until visibly thickened.
Serve immediately with some rice.


صحة و عافية

Sunday, October 12, 2014

695. Roast Tomato Soup


Tomato soup has so many variations, and while my previous one was made with canned tomatoes, this one uses roasted fresh tomatoes.
Vine tomatoes are ideal for this recipe, however you can use just the regular type.
Note that there is no coloring added here, so the redder your tomatoes, the redder the soup will be.
I served this soup with some grilled cheese sandwiches.


Ingredients:

12 medium tomatoes (the redder the tomatoes, the redder the soup)
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup basil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili flakes
olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock


Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
Place your tomatoes into a baking tray with garlic cloves, a good drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.
Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.
When your tomatoes are roasted (the skins should have popped open and peeled up at the edges) take them out and leave them on the side to cool down.
Once they're cold enough to handle, peel off the skins.
Put the peeled tomatoes into a blender with the hot stock, paprika, chill flakes and the fresh basil.
Blend until smooth.
Reheat before serving.


 صحة و عافية