Panzanella Salad

I failed rather badly at making bread. So I had a surplus of croutons. And while I could possibly quite happily live off bread pudding, conscience dictates that I have at least one vegetable in my kitchen. At some point. Enter panzanella salad.

Ingredients
Bread
3 heirloom tomatoes
2 bell peppers
a handful of kalamata olives
1/2 of a red onion
6 slices of bacon
2 tea spoon of dijon mustard
2 1/2 table spoon balsamic vinegar
4 table spoon olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Cut the bread into cubes. Aim for about 4 cups by volume.
cubes

2. Spread on a baking tray and toast at 350F until well dry and starting to get toasted. Allow to cool.
toast

3. Slice the tomatoes into wedges, removing the hard stem. Put into a colander over a bowl with a pinch of salt. Allow the juices to drain for 15 minutes.
drain

4. While the tomatoes drain, cut the bell peppers into bite sizes, finely chop the olives and slice the red onion very thinly. Combine in a large bowl.
veggies

5. Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside to cool.
bacon

6. Transfert the tomatoes to the salad bowl.
tomatoes

7. Add the mustard, vinegar, and oil to the collected tomato juice. Grind plenty of black pepper into the bowl.
dressing1

8. Whisk to combine.
dressing2

9. Add the bread cubes to the salad bowl.
bread

10. Pour the dressing over the bowl and toss to combine.
pour

11. Chop the bacon and stir it in.
bacon2

12. Divide into plates and serve.
serve

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

 

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

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

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

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