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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Chickpea and sweet potato curry

An easy, tasty and lazy weeknight meal. Warm and spicy and filling.

Ingredients
2 small onions (or 1 larger one), diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
an inch (or so) of ginger, grated
1 table spoon curry mix of your choice, ground
1 can chickpeas
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced tomatoes
basmati rice, to serve
1 table spoon peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan warm the oil. Add the diced onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent.
onions

2. Add the garlic, the ginger, and the curry spices. Cook the aromatics with the onions until fragrant.
aromates

3. Rinse the chickpeas and add to the pot. Peel the sweet potato and cut roughly into cubes. Add it to the pot as well.
veggies1

4. Add the coconut milk and the water.
Mix well and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potato cubes are tender.
liquids

5. Stir in the frozen peas.
peas

6. And the tomatoes.
Once the peas and tomatoes are heated through the curry is ready.
tomatoes

7. Serve with the basmati rice.
serve

Lazy Jambalaya

Wholly inaccurate, but easy enough on a weekday. A satisfying one-pot meal with plenty of leftovers for lunches. Leftover portions freeze rather well, so that is always a bonus.

Ingredients :
3 Italian sausage (spicy)
1 onion, chopped
3 celery branches, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 table spoon cajun spices
1 table spoon paprika
1 lb shrimp
olive oil
ingredients

1. In a large enamel faitout or dutch oven, warm about a table spoon of the oil. Remove the casing from the sausages and add to the pot.
sausage1

2. Break apart into clumps as it cooks.
sausage2

3. Once the meat is almost fully cooked, add the onion, bell pepper and celery.
veggies

4. Stir in and cook for a  minute or two then add the frozen peas.
peas

5. Give the peas a mine to start thawing then add the tomatoes and garlic.
tomatoes

6. Add the rice. Stir it in, to coat the rice.
rice

7. Add the chicken broth, paprika and cajun spices.
stock

8. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes (to get the rice started)
cook1

9. Add the shrimps, still frozen, in a single layer on top.
shrimp

10.  Cover and return to heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimps are nicely pink.
shrimp2

11. Allow to stand for a few minutes (the liquid will be absorbed). Portion out and enjoy!
serve

Arroz con Pollo

Well, not a traditional version., but close enough. A nice warm and filling casserole of spicy chicken and savory rice. Reheats beautifully for lunches and has enough depth of flavor that you don’t get bored eating it after a few days.

Ingredients:
1 table spoon apple cider vinegar
2 tea spoon red pepper flakes
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon pepper
6 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on if you want)
1 onion
2 bell peppers
4 cups chicken stock (1 liter)
generous pinch of saffron threads
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 dried yunnan pepper
1/2 tea spoon cumin
2 bay leaves
2 cups rice
ingredients

***

1. Combine the apple cider vinegar, pepper flakes, minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
marinade

2. Put the chicken in a large ziploc bag.
chicken1

3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage to coat the meat. Put in the fridge for 1 hour minimum, up to overnight.
chicken2

4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, chop the onion and bell peppers.
veggies

5. Pour the chicken stock in a large pot and bring to just under a boil.
broth

6. Warm the oil in a large enamel cast iron pot (Dutch oven or French faitout). Retrieve the marinated chicken and add to pot in a single layer over medium to medium-high heat. Allow to cook for a few minutes, just to get some color.
Don’t breathe in the fumes… vinegar and red pepper flames are hard on sinuses.
meat1

7. Flip and color the other side then set aside.
meat2

8. Your broth should be warm by now. Add the saffron, then turn the heat to low and allow to steep.
broth2

9. Drain excess fat from the pot (especially if you cooked your chicken with the skin on).
Add the vegetables to the pot. use the moisture from the onions to scrape up any tasty stuck bits. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until softened and the onions start turning translucent.
veggies2

10. Add the tomatoes.
tomato

11. Once the tomatoes are bubbling, add the ground cumin.
cumin

12. Add the rice.
rice

13. Stir the rice until it has absorbed the pan juices, about 3-5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot.
rice2

14. Add the saffron broth, bay leaves and crumble in the yunnan pepper.
liquid

15. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a low simmer and cover.
liquid2

16. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Then turn the heat off and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
cooked

17. Portion out and enjoy!
portion

Dirty rice Pilaf

Recipe over by the great blog CultureEatz. Go have a look! Only pictures here.

Yellow Split Pea Dhal

I had lots of yellow split pea left from making the pea soup. And I’ve been craving stewed or simmered recipes to warm me up.

Also, this is a good pantry diving kind of dish when winter makes you pay with icing rain and snow.

Ingredients:
250g yellow split pea
4 cups water
2 slices of ginger
1 stick cinnamon
3/4 tea spoon turmeric
1 1/2 dried yunan pepper
1 table spoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 inch ginger grated
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 tea spoon coriander
1 tea spoon cumin seed
3/4 tea spoon garam masala
salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
ingredients

***

1. In a large pot, combine the water, slices of ginger, cinnamon and turmeric.
water1

2. Bring to a boil to dissolve the turmeric.
Just be careful not to splash any on you from this point on, turmeric stains everything a bright yellow.
water2

3. Rinse the split peas and pick through them to make sure to remove any rocks or debris. Add to the pot. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
peas1

4. Meanwhile, grind together the coriander and garam masala using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
grind

5. In a second, smaller, pot, warm the oil.
oil

6. Throw in the cumin and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds, until very fragrant.
cumin

7. Throw in the onions. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until translucent.
onions

8. Add the grated ginger and the garlic.
onions2

9. Stir in the tomatoes.
tomatoes

10. And the spices from step 4. Crumble in the remaining 1/2 dried pepper.
Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes on low heat (or until your peas are done).
spices

11. The peas should have absorbed most if not all of the water (add water if they are still hard) and should be soft and barely starting to fall apart.
Fish out the cinnamon, ginger and dried chili.
peas2

12. Combine the spiced tomatoes to the split peas. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.
combine

13. Serve with rice as a main (or with roti, or with naan). Can also be served as a side dish.
serve

Whole yellow pea soup

A variant on pea soup made with whole peas as well as split peas and more vegetables. It keeps more texture from the whole peas and the diced vegetables while the split peas fall apart and give body to the soup.

The soup bone can be from a ham, if so try to keep some flesh on it. I got mine from my butcher (I had no intention of making a ham) so it’s very bare.

This is a slight modification of the recipe found here.

Ingredients:
1 soup bone
4 liters water (16 cups)
600g whole dried yellow peas
300g split dried yellow peas
2 onions
2 carrots
3 celery branches
2 parsnips
1 leek
1 small turnip (or 4 baby turnip)
1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
1 table spoon summer savory leaves
6 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoon salted herbs
black pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. Put the whole peas in a large bowl that can be sealed.
dry

2. Fill with water and put in the fridge overnight to soak.
dry+water

3. In a large stock pot, combine the water and the soup bone.
bone

4. Bring to a boil. Skim the foamy scum that may form on the surface.
skim

5. Take the soaked peas out of the fridge.soaked

6. Drain and rinse them well.
strain

7. Add to the stock pot.
peas

8. Add the split peas (they don’t need to soak). Simmer for 2 hours, stirring once in a while.
peas2

9. Meanwhile, dice the vegetables.
veggies

10. At the two hour mark the whole peas should be very soft and the split peas should be falling apart. You’ll want to be stirring this a bit more frequently at this point so that the broken down peas don’t form a crust at the bottom of the pot (they can scorch). Skim any film like scum from the top of the liquid.
skim2

11. Add the vegetables.
add-veggies

12. Add the nutmeg, salted herbs, summer savory leaves and bay leaves.
add-herbs

13. Stir in the chopped parsley and add black pepper to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently and skimming the film like scum for the top of the pot. Add boiling water if it gets too thick.
parsley

14. Serve warm.
serve