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

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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

Hoisin pork & eggplant stir-fry

This was an exercise in pantry diving more than anything, but it turned out quite tasty.

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin
1 eggplant, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup snow peas
1 table spoon soy sauce
1 table spoon sugar
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 table sauce rice vinegar
2 table spoon Sambal oelek
3 tea spoon cornstarch
peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. In a bowl, combine the hoisin, rice vinegar, sambal oelek and 1 tea spoon of the cornstarch. Stor together and set aside.
sauce

2. Thinly slice the pork. Combine the remaining cornstarch, the soy sauce and the sugar. Marinade the pork in this mixture for 30 minutes (See here).

Sear the pork until colored, set aside.
pork

3. Throw the onions in the pan and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.
onions

4. Add the eggplants and cook until they start to soften.
eggplant

5. Add the snow peas.
snap-peas

6. Add the hoisin sauce mix.
add-sauce

7. Return the pork to the pan. Stir to combine.
combine

8. Simmer until the eggplants are done.
simmer

9. Serve over rice.
plate

Sausage and Spinach Risotto

Ok, so I totally took this recipe from my friend’s husband (the same who does the amazing drinks). Easy recipe, easy to scale if you’re having people over. Satisfying and filling. And for those who know me, it has *gasps* mushrooms! And I eat it willingly, it’s that good.

Ingredients
14g dried mushroom
6-8 cups water
2 table spoon butter
1 onion
2 italian sausage
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1 block frozen spinach
Parmesan, to taste
ingredients

***

1. Pour the water in a pot and add the dried mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
mushrooms1

2. After 10-15 minutes the mushrooms will have reconstituted and you’ll have flavorful stock to use. Keep it warm but not boiling.
mushrooms2

3. In a different, larger pot, melt the butter. Dice the onions and stir into the butter. Cook for a few minutes until translucent.
onions

4. Remove the casing from the sage and add to the pot. Break any lumps as it cooks.
sausage1

5. When the sausage is cooked, add the rice. Stir well to coat. If you have white wine (or vermouth) add about 1/2 cup here and stir until fully absorbed.
rice1

6. Start ladling in the stock, I add it a bit at the time, stirring a lot until absorbed, to coax the starch out of the rice.
rice2

7. When the rice is just shy of done add the spinach. Fish the mushrooms out of any remaining stock and add to the pot as well.
spinach

8. Grate in cheese (to taste). I don’t use all that much.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
cheese

9. Rest for a minute or so then serve.
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

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

Rice Pudding with Keffir lime leaves

It’s been a while since I did Rice Pudding. This one came out very creamy but not too heavy. Warm and perfect for this “winter is settling in” foggy day.

Ingredients
2 cups coconut milk (1 can)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup arborio rice
4 keffir lime leaves
4 green cardamon pods
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
ingredients

***

1. In a small-medium sauce pot, combine the coconut milk, whole milk and rice.
milks

2. Add the keffir lime leaves. Gently crush the cardamon to open the pods and add to the pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape out the seeds, add the seeds and the husk to the pot.
Turn the heat on to medium-low and cook until the rice is tender but still a bit chewy. Stir frequently and keep an eye on it (milk tends to boils over)

aromates

3. Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the sugar. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Fish out the leaves, cardamon pods and vanilla bean.
cooked

4. Serve warm or cold, as you prefer.
serve