Chicken skewers with a yogurt marinade

The yogurt makes for extra tender chicken. The garlic scapes are less pungent than the garlic bulb and make for a more subtle taste.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast
4 garlic scapes (or more, to taste)
2 green onions
2 table spoon lemon juice
1/2 tea spoon salt
thyme, rosemary and black pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. In a small food processor, combine the yogurt, garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt, herbs and black pepper.
marinade

2. Process until no large chunk remains.
blend

3. Cut the chicken into large cubes and coat with the marinade. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
chicken

4. Assemble skewers with vegetables of your choice (I used onions and Bumblebee tomatoes)
skewers

5. Grill. The marinade will stick a bit to the grill as it caramelizes. Serve immediately.
grill

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French onion soup with beer

I had a bag full of onion and nothing to do this afternoon. I’ve also been having a craving for a good french onion soup. It was a perfect situation. Except for the cheese. I only had pre-grated Italian mix cheese. It worked but, really, you want emmental or gruyère for this.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lb onions (about 7)
4 table spoon butter
1 table spoon white balsamic vinegar
3 french shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 bottle of dark beer
1 liter of beef broth
1/2 tea spoon dried thyme
1-2 bay leaf
baguette, cut into croutons
cheese, to taste
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Peel and half all your onions.
onion1

2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Thinly slice the onions and throw into the pot. Stir to coat with the butter and add a generous pinch of salt.
onion2

3. Cook on medium low-heat for as long as they need to start getting some golden color. If it starts looking dry, add a bit of water and scrape the sugars from the bottom of the pot to recoat the onions.
onion3

4. When they are near the color your want (this was after a bit more than 1 hour) add the white balsamic vinegar.
onion4

5. Keep an eye on them, the extra sugar will finish caramelizing the onions very fast.
onion5

6. Add the diced shallots and the minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.
aromates

7. Pour in the beer and make sure to scrape up all the sugary fond at the bottom of the pot.
beer

8. Add the beef broth. Simmer for 25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
broth

9. When the soup is nearly ready slice the bread into croutons.
bread1

10. Put in the oven under the broiler to toast.
bread22

11. Ladle the soup into heat resistant bowl. Add toasted croutons and cover with cheese, to taste.
cheese1

12. Put in oven under broiler until cheese is melted and started to turn golden. Serve immediately.
cheese2

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

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

White beans and sausage

Almost a mock cassoulet, simpler, cheaper and with less meats involved. But warm and plentiful and filling.

Ingredients
3 spicy Italian sausages
1-2 table spoon olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 table spoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 table spoon tomato paste
2 cans of white kidney beans
1/4 cup breadcrumbs.
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
black pepper.
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
In a large cast iron pot sear the sausages until colored on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside.
sausage

2. Add the olive oil and onions. Sweat until translucent.
onions

3. Add the garlic and thyme, sweat until fragrant.
herbs

4. Deglaze with the chicken stock.
stock

5. Add the tomato paste and mix well to incorporate.
tomato

6. Add the beans, with the liquid. Season with black pepper. Bring to a simmer.
beans

7. In a separate bowl mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
topping

8. Once the liquid is simmering and has started to thicken a bit, return the sausages to the pot. Cut the sausages into segments at this point.
add-sausages2

9. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.
add-topping2

10. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the topping has turned golden.
baked2

11. Serve warm.
serve2

Roast Chicken Dinner

Makes for a nice moist chicken. Next time I make this I will be tossing the vegetables in a bit of olive oil to improve the results, so the instructions below will reflect that.

Ingredients
1 whole chicken
1 lemon
Sage
Rosemary
Thyme
salt and pepper
3-4 small onions
6-8 potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
* olive oil.
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
Take the chicken out of the fridge and pat it dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides then let the salt sinkin in for at least 30 minutes,
season

2. During that time, roughly slice the onions and quarter the garlic cloves.
onions

3. Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges. Add to the onions and garlic.
* At this point toss the whole lot with a bit of olive oil.
potaotes

4. Wash your aromatics. There’s no set quantites for the herbs, but be careful, the rosemary can be overpowering. If your chicken is large, slice all around the lemon to let the juices weep out. If the bird is smaller, cut the lemon into quarter. Stuff the herbs and lemon into the chicken’s cavity.
aromates

5. Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. nestle the vegetables around it. Add about 1 spring’s worth of rosemary leaves, a few springs of thyme and a few leaves of sage roughly chopped.
intopa

6. Put in the oven for 1h15 minutes.
roasted

7. Remove the chicken and cover with foil to let it rest. Put the vegetables in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
rest

8. Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted onions and potatoes.
carve

Red Wine beets

I like pickled beets. I like them on their own. With pâté chinois. With sweet potatoes and goat cheese. But the ones available in store tend to be heavy on the vinegar. These are just perfect. And so easy to make! 1 pound of beet gives roughly 1 pint, so scale accordingly.

Ingredients
3 lb of beets
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
Olive oil
black peppercorns
Thyme
Rosemary
salt and pepper

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Brush and peel the beets. Put on a baking tray line with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roll the beets around a bit to coat them well.
beets

2. Cover with foil.
beets2

3. Roast for 1h or until tender. Remove foil and allow to cool until they can be handled.
beets3

4. Combine the red wine vinegar, water, honey, brown sugar and red wine in a pot. Bring to a boil. Sterilize 3 jars. Add a few springs of thyme, 1 of rosemary and 1/2 teapoon of black peppercorns to each jar.
beetsjars

5. Slice the beets and stuff into the jars. Ladle the hot brine over the beets. Leave 1/4″ of headspace. Wipe the rims, add the covers and process for 10 minutes.
beets4

6. Allow to cool fully and check the seal of the jars.
beets-done