Duck Skewers

The duck meat turned out incredibly tender. The spices may overwhelm the taste of the meat, so adjust accordingly. The same marinade would probably work great with beef.

Ingredients :
2 duck breast
2 table spoon Sri Lanka style curry
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
2 tea spoon lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tea spoon salt
ingredients

***

1. Put the spices in a mortar and coarsely grind.
spices

2. Put the ground spices in a food processor along with the shallots, garlic, salt, and coconut milk.
blender

3. Pulse until mostly smooth.
blend

4. Cut the duck into cubes. I left the skin on thinking I might be able to crisp it up, but that didn’t work. Just remove it altogether.
cubes

5. Pour the marinade over the meat and stir to coat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, up to overnight.
marinade

6. Thread onto skewers.
skewers

7. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Sear the skewers in a pan to color all sides.
pan

8. Then transfer to an ovenproof dish and finish in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
cooked

9. Serve with peanut sauce.
serve

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Shawarma style chicken wraps

There are a lot of “do ahead” steps, but they don’t all need to be done at the same time.

Notes for next time :

  • Cook the chicken on a grill to let the fat drip away
  • Roast the garlic for the yogurt sauce.

Ingredients :
8 chicken thighs
Pita bread

For the marinade
3 table soup olive oil
1 tea spoon cumin
1 tea spoon paprika
1 tea spoon turmeric
1 tea spoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
Zest and juice of a lemon
Zest and juice of an orange
Black pepper, to taste

For the garnish
1 red onion
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 table spoon olive oil
1 tomato, diced
Bread and butter pickles
Iceberg lettuce
ingredients

***

1. Combine the yogurt, garlic and olive oil for the garnish, Set aside and allow to mellow overnight.
garlic-sauce

2. Thinly slice the onion, cover with cold water. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
onions

3. Combine the marinade’s spices and grind them to a rough powder.
spices

4. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients.
marinade1

5. And stir to dissolve the spices.
marinade2

6. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken. Cut each thigh in half. Put in the marinade and stir to coat. Cover and marinade overnight.
chicken

7. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cook the chicken on both sides to get some color.
color

8. Finish in the oven until cooked through.
cooked

9. Open the pita bread. Slather with some yogurt sauce. Add the chicken, tomato, lettuce, onions, and pickles to taste. Roll and enjoy.
assemble

 

Fudgy Brownie

The type of brownies you dream about. The ones you hope show up at the potluck because you want to stuff all of them in your face. Also the ones you have to plan to have a sharing option because you will eat the entire pan by yourself otherwise.

The recipe also works gloriously well in a gluten-free option, just swap the flour one for one with your gluten-free all purpose mic (no adding xantham or guar gum). The first time I tasted those they were done with quinoa flour and I am immensely sad that quinoa flour went up in price. It added a little something that I miss.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks)
1 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
2 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
5 eggs
2 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup good dark chocolate
ingredients

***

1. Line a 9×13 baking mold with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam (or grease with butter) and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
pan

2. In a medium to large pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat off. Add the cocoa.
cocoa

4. Whisk until smooth.
cocoa2

5. Add the sugar and the salt.
sugar

6. Whisk together. It will turn into a gritty mess. Don’t panic. If it’s still hot, set aside. You need it warm, not hot,
sugar2

7. Add two eggs and whisk them in.
eggs

8. It should smooth out as soon as the eggs get incorporated. Add the remaining 3 eggs and whisk well.
eggs2

9. Add the vanilla extract. The batter should be smooth and shiny by now.
vanilla

10. Sprinkle the flour on top.
flour

11. Switch to a spatula and fold the flour in until just incorporated.
folded

12. Add the dark chocolate and mix until distributed.
chocolate

13. Transfer to the prepared foil lined pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
pour

14. Remove from the oven and let cool fully in the pan, on a cooling rack. This will take a minimum of 3 hours.
cool

15. Once cooled, turn over on a cutting board, using the foil sling to help things along.
turn

16. Cut into small squares.
cut

17. Serve room temperature. Can keep 3 days or so in a sealed container. If you have sufficient will power.
brownies

Crabapple jelly

There are a few crabapple trees that grow behind my parent’s house. Harvesting the fruits for this recipe barely made a dent in the small red crabapples hanging in the branches. They make for a nice sweet and sour jelly, that goes great with cheese.

Ingredients :
7 lbs crabapples
7 cups water
7 table spoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
6 cups sugar (approx, see notes below.
ingredients

***

1. Working in batches, rinse the fruits. Discard any peduncles, leaves, dirt or other particulates. Look over the fruits and discard any bruised or overripe ones.
rinse

2. Quarter the crabapples, seeds and skins on, and throw into a large pot. Check the flesh as you cut them and discard any that have insect damage.
quarter

3. Repeat until all the fruits are in the pot. Add the water, the vanilla, and the lemon juice.
combine

4. Simmer without boiling for 30-40 minutes, until all the crabapples are falling appart.
stewed

5. Line a sieve with several layers of cheese cloth. Put it over a large bowl. cheese-cloth

6. Laddle the warm apples into the sieve and allow the juice to drain, without pressing the fruits. Add more fruit as the juice drains down.
drain1

7. Leave to drain for 2 hours. You should have a mostly dry mass. Discard this mass, keeping the juice.
drain2

8. Measure out how much juice your crabapples yielded (mine gave me 7 cups total).
juice

9. In the original, clean, pot, affix a candy thermometer.
temp

10. Pour the juice into the pot.
juice2

11. Add the sugar. Count 3/4 cup of sugar per cup of juice (so for my 7 cups, I used 5 1/4 cup)
sugar

12. Stir to dissolve.
dissolve

13. Bring to a boil quickly, stirring until the liquid reaches 219F. Skim as you go, it will form a very pink foamy scum as it cooks. Pour into prepared half pints jars. It will be very hot and liquid at this point.
pour

14. Process for 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully. The jelly will set as it cools.
set

Chocolate Chips Pancakes

The thick and fluffy kind. Good warm, good cold as left overs. Filling and not too sweet.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour
2 table spoon sugar
1 table spoon baking powder
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
semi-sweet chocolate chips, to taste
butter, for the pan
ingredients

***

1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk well (baking powder taste horrible and you don’t want a bite of it).
dry

2. Combine the milk, egg, and vanilla. Whisk with a fork to break the egg.
wet

3. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined, but still lumpy.
mix

4. Melt butter in a large pan on medium-low heat. Scoop out 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.
scoop

5. Add the chocolate chips.
chocolate

6. Once the edges look solid (2 minutes or so) flip and cook the other side. Set aside and repeat until you run out of batter.
cook

7. Serve and enjoy! (maple Syrup is optional)
serve

Chicken Chow Mein

A simple, quick, filling recipe. There are enough textures to keep things interesting, the ingredients are simple enough to make a cheap week-night option and the left overs (all the left overs. So many left overs) reheat beautifully.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup + 1 table spoon Chinese stir fry sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small cabbage
1 bag of chow mein noodles
1 cup carrots, shredded or julienned
1 bunch of green onions
Couple of handful of bean sprouts
Peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. Cut the chicken into cubes. Pour 1 table spoon of sauce over the chicken. Stir to coat and set aside to marinade.
chicken

2. Rinse the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Cut in half and remove the core. Cut each half in half, and then slice thinly.
cabbage

3. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes.
noodle

4. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
noodles2

5. In a large skillet or wok, warm some of the peanut oil. Add the minced garlic until just fragrant.
garlic

6. Add the marinated chicken and allow to color (1-2 minutes)
chicken2

7. Add the white part of the green onions and the cabbage.
cabbage2

8. Once the cabbage has started to wilt, add the carrots.
carrots

*. Optional step: acknowledge that your cabbage is never going to wilt enough and transfer everything to the pot used to boil the noodles

9. Add the noodles.
noodles3

10. Add the 1/4 cup of stir-fry sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Stir to coat.
sauce

11. Add the green parts of the green onions and the bean sprouts.
sprouts

12. Stir well to combine, allow 1-2 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
combine

13. Serve warm.
serve

Chai Masala Macarons

Because I had a day off and wanted a project. Chai Masala Macarons, with garam masala spices in the cookies and salted caramel as the filling. You get a punch of black pepper to offset the sweetness and the other spices round it up.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
85g butter, in small cubes
1/2 tea spoon fleur de sel
140g egg whites
90g sugar, two times
160g almond powder
160g icing sugar
gel food coloring
ingredients

***

1. In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the sugar and water. Try to avoid the sugar getting on the sides.
sugar1

2. Turn the heat on medium and let the sugar bubble away. Gently swirl the pan if needed, but leave it mostly alone. It will bubble up and thicken.
sugar2

3. Then it will go from light yellow to amber to copper. The second it reaches copper, remove from the heat.
sugar3

4. Drop in the butter and whisk it in. The sugar will foam and bubble up. Add the cream and whisk it in. Stir in the fleur de sel. Transfer to a heat proof vessel and set aside to cool.
caramel

5. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
prep

6. For the spices, you want to grind them finely.
spices1

7. But remove the cardamom pods.
spices2

8. In a food processor, combine the almond powder, icing sugar, and spices.
dry1

9. Pulse until blended. Set aside.
dry2

10. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites.
egg1

11. On low speed, beat until foamy. Add the first 90g of sugar. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes.
egg2

12. When it gets shiny and more opaque, add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed again and beat for an other minute or two.
egg3

13. Add the food coloring of your choice (I used yellow).
egg4

14. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
egg5

15. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl.
combine1

16. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
combine2

17. Keep folding, from the outside in and going underneath the mixture until it becomes more supple, and ribbons slowly, slowly meld back into the mass.
combine3

18. Transfer to a piping bag. If you have someone to help you have them hold the bag. if not, a mason jar will do.
piping

19. Pipe cookies of about equal sizes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bang tray on the counter top a few times to let air bubbles out. Set aside so the outer shell dries (about 15-30 minutes)
bang

20. Heat the oven to 290F. Bake the shells 15 minutes.
cookies1

21. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Then smear one cookie with caramel and sandwich with another. Transfer, uncovered, to the fridge for 24h. Cookies will keep, covered, for about a week.
assemble