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

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Seven vegetable couscous

Well, my version of the traditional Moroccan dish anyway. Tasty and makes a lot of food.

Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tea spoon couscous spices, ground
1 table spoon butter
6 cups water
2 medium onions, quartered
2 small eggplant, sliced in coins
5 carrots, cut in chunks
3 turnip, cut in chunks
3 zucchini, cut in eights
4 medium tomatoes, cut in sixths
1/2 cauliflower, in florets
1/2 lb mergez
1/2 tea spoon ras el hanout
2 cups chickpeas (optional)
ingredients

***

1. Grind the spices.
spices

2. In a large pot, combine the chopped onion, the chicken thighs and the spices.
chicken

3. Add the butter and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and poach for 30 minutes.
water

4. Add the quartered onions, carrots and turnips. Simmer for 20 minutes.
veggies1

5. Add the sliced eggplant. Simmer for 5 minutes or so.
veggies2

6. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes. At this point you can add the chickpeas, if using.
veggies3

7. You want the vegetables cooked but not mushy (except the eggplant, which will likely fall apart).
veggiescooked

8. Pan grill the mergez.
mergez

9. Serve over couscous, draining extra liquid.
serve

Lamb stock

A basic stock recipe that is very versatile. The same general recipe will work great with turkey or chicken carcasses as well.

Ingredients :
2 lbs of lamb bones (here : shoulder)
16 cups of water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 onion
2-3 sticks of celery
2 carrots
peppercorns (about half a tea spoon)
salt to taste
* any other vegetables you have that are starting to die in your fridge can be used here. I had some left over parsnips that made it in.
*any herbs you want to use. I had some parsley and watercress. They tend to make the stock cloudy but I don’t care.
ingredients

***

1. You’ll want to roast the bones if they didn’t cook along with their meat already. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
bones

2. Roast them for 30 minutes or so.
cooked-bones

3. Put at the bottom of a large stock pot. Cover with the water and add the vinegar. Let stand (no heat) for about 30 minutes.
vinegar

4. Add the vegetables and peppercorns. Cut the vegetables coarsely, you’ll be discarding them at the end anyways.
stuff

5. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) and allow to cook for several hours. Add the herbs once the bone joints start falling apart exposing the marrow. (about 5-6 hours).
herbs

6. Allow the herbs to seep in for 20-30 minutes. Then strain everything, add salt, if you want to. Allow to cool fully. The fat will rise to the top and can be discarded. The stock will set into a gelatinous mass and can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days or frozen.
stock

Potage Crécy avec croutons à la croque-monsieur

That is, carrot soup with ham and cheese croutons.
Simple French food but good for the soul. The perfect thing to answer the recent weather.

Ingredients
2 table spoon butter (plus some for the croutons but that is optional)
2 small onions
1/4 cup basmati rice
4 cups carrots (two generous handful)
2 boxes chicken stock
1/2 tea spoon thyme
1 french baguette
Ham (about 10-12 slices)
Emmental cheese (to taste)
Salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot.
Only insisting on this because this is one of the few recipes where I wouldn’t swap it for olive oil. Really go for butter.
butter

2. Roughly chop the onions and toss them into the butter. Allow to sweat over medium-low heat for a few minutes. You want to avoid coloring them.
sweat-onions

3. In that time, clean (peel if your carrots require it) the carrots and slice into rounds about 1/2″ thick.
carrots1

4. Rinse the basmati rice until the water runs clear. Add to the pot with the onions and stir to coat.
rice

5. Add the carrots to the pot and stir to combine.
carrots2

6. Add the chicken stock (about 1 1/2 box). Save the remaining 1/2 box chicken stock for later.
Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes.
broth

7. When it’s about done, slice the bread.
Line your baguette slices on a cookie sheet line with aluminum (or parchment paper)

Mine was a day old and a bit dried so I brushed it with melted butter, but that is optional.
slice1

8. Add ham (1/2 slice per crouton) on each piece of bread.
slice2

9.Grate the emmental and add on top of the ham.
slice3

10. The soup should be ready by now, so take it off the heat. The rice should be falling apart and the carrots very soft.
Put the croutons in the oven on broil while you blend down the soup.
soup

11. By the time the soup is blended the cheese should be melted and just, just, starting to get some color. Take the croutons out of the oven.
slices4

12. Adjust seasoning on the soup. If it’s too thick add more chicken stock.
You can add cream, sour cream or crème fraîche at this point if you want, but I usually don’t bother.

Serve warm with the hot melty cheese croque-monsieur.
The soup should be filling but light and bright and the cheese and ham savory and satisfying.
serve

Sausage and lentil stew

Warm, filling and re-heats well. Great for the cooling days of fall.

Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 toulouse style sausages
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, minced
1-2 garlic clove, minced
pinch of ground cumin
1/2 cup duPuy Lentils
2-3 large tomatoes, in large dice (about 4 cups)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 handful green or yellow beans
almond slivers
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Cut the sausages into segments about 1 inch each. I leave the casing on because I don’t mind it. If it bothers you, you can remove it first.
cut-sausage

2. In a large soup pot warm the oil. Add the sausages and cook for a few minutes until colored but not cooked all the way through. Remove from the pot.
color-sausage

3. Turn down the heat to a medium-low. Add the onions and carrots and sweat for 5 minutes.
onions

4. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
garlic

5. Rinse the lentils and pick through to remove rocks and debris. Add to the pot. Stir well to coat in the oils.
lentils

6. Add the tomatoes and broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.
tomatoes

7. Towards the end of the simmering time prep the beans… I used green, yellow and purple because I had them. You can use just one color, doesn’t matter.
Cut them in chunks 1-2 inches long.
beans

8. Return the sausage to the pot and add the beans. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning.
add-beans

9. Serve with a bit of slivered almonds on top.
plate

Green lentils & Kale

A cheap and easy dish, thrown together with what was lying around in the pantry. And the kale I keep getting from my CSA and needed to use up.

Ingredients :
1 cup green DuPuy lentils
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large diced tomatoes can
2 cups chicken broth
1 bundle of kale
1/2 tea spoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tea spoon thyme
1/4 team spoon rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Warm some olive oil in a large soup pot and sweat the onion for a new minutes.
onions

2. Add the carrots and sweat until they start to soften.
carrots

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme. Take a moment to appreciate how the purple carrot has stained everything else.
spices

4. Add the lentils and stir to coat.
lentils

5. Add the tomatoes.
tomatoes

6. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are ready (30-40 minutes).
broth

7. Strip the kale leaves from the stems and tear into bite size.
shred

8. Shove the entire pile of it into the soup pot.
stuff

9. Within a few minutes it will wilt down into near nothingness. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning.
wilt

10. Serve warm.
bowl

Légumes au Gratin

A nice side dish that goes with pretty much anything. And any vegetable is good, so use what you have on hand.

Ingredients
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
3-4 carrots
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tea spoon dry mustard
nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne : to taste
a few handful of grated cheese
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Cut the vegetables into bite size and steam until mostly done.
steam

2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Add the flour and cook until lightly colored.
flour

4. Slowly add the milk, stirring at the same time to avoid lumps. Season with the dry mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
milk

5. Transfer the steamed vegetables to a small casserole dish.
transfert

6. Pour the bechamel over the vegetables. Add the cheese on top.
sauce

7. Bake for a few minutes, until the vegetables are done. Turn the oven on broil to make the cheese golden. Serve warm.
done