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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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

Tomato tart

It is unseasonably warm this past week-end, so fall food seems out of place. And yet it’s harvest season. So have a compromise : tomato tart. Light and refreshing even when eaten warm.

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup cold water
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 teaspoon herbes de provences
1/2 teaspoon vegetable spices (your choice)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper.
olive oil

ingredients

***

1. Cut the butter into small chunks and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
butter

2. In a food processor, combine the flour and paprika. Pulse to mix.
pulse1

3. Add the frozen butter. You want to work fairly quickly for this part and keep the dough/butter as cold as possible.
pulse2

4. Pulse a few times, just until the flours and butter reach a mealy texture. it’s fine if small pea sized chunks of butter remain.
pulse3

5. Add the water in 2 steps, pulsing a few times with each addition. You don’t want to overwork it. As soon as it keeps it’s shape when pinched, you are done. It will look kind of pebbly.
pulse4

6. Transfer to a large ziploc bag, pressing down until it forms a ball. Put in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
ball

7. Once the dough has chilled, turn the oven on to 425F.
Roll out the dough to between 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick.
roll

8. Transfer to a tart dish. Press down at the bottom and in the ceases, make sure it’s well distributed. Any cracks or missing part can be fixed at this point.
roll2

9. Roll over the edge of the dish to trim away the excess dough.
trim

10. Using a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the dough.
Cut a bit of parchment paper larger then the dish. Put it on the dough and fill with pie weights (or dried beans you don’t intend on cooking).
weights

11. Blind bake with the weights for 10 minutes. Then -carefully- remove the parchment paper and the weights.
blind1

12. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden all over. It will shrink a bit. If you want to minimize that allow more time with the weights.
blind2

13. Allow the crust to cool fully. Turn the oven down to 350F
Once cooled slice the first two tomatoes and layers on the crust.
filling1

14. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the onion (so 1/4 red onion) thinly sliced. Slice the two remaining tomatoes and layer on top.
filling2

15. Add the remaining red onion, herbes the provence, spices and sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the whole thing.
*Optional : you can also add a thin stream of good olive oil over everything at this point.
filling3

16. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
baked

17. Remove from the tart dish, slice and enjoy!
serve

Diced Tomatoes

Delicious building blocks for a ton of recipes. You want to use “plum” type tomatoes, firmer. I used San Marzano tomatoes but any plum type would work.

The rule with this is to remember the 1 1/4 lb roughly per pint. And the citric acid. Tomatoes are just shy of being acidic enough on their own, the citric acid make them safe to can using only a waterbath.

Yield : 18 pints.

Ingredients:
25 lbs of tomatoes
4.5 teaspoon citric acid

Hardware:
Kitchen scale and a kettle.
set-up

***

1. Fill a sink with warm soapy water. Wash your jars, checking for chips along the rim. Rinse well to remove the soap. Allow to drip.
jars1

2. Weight out 9 lbs of tomatoes (seen in the set-up pic).
Then weight out a smaller batch of 2lbs or so in a heat resistant bowl. Bring a kettle to a boil and pour the boiling water over the (cleaned) tomatoes. Allow to sit in the water until the skins split. I need to score mine since a few had thicker skins.
Drain the hot water, rinse in cold tap water.
peel

3. Fill the kettle back and start it again.
Working quickly slip the tomatoes out of their skins. Quarter them (if they are on the bigger side, cut the quarters in two length wise) and throw into a pot. You want to bring them to a boil as quickly as possible. As you cut more tomatoes push them into the simmering liquid, don’t let them stay on top.
dice1

4. Repeat until you have only one batch left. Scald you jars (you want them boiling for a good 5 minutes). Depending on the tomatoes one 9 lbs batch will yield between 6 and 7 pints. So I always prep 7. Drop in the rings and lids about 2 minutes before taking the jars out.
jars2

5. Peel the last tomatoes, dice and push into the simmering mass. Allow to cook for a further 2 minutes while you finish preparing the jars.
dice2

6. Drain the scalded jars and fish out the rings and lids.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid per jar.
jars3

7. Fill, leaving a good 1/2″ head space.
fill

8. Wipe the rims, put on the covers, making sure the rings are only finger tight.
Return to the water bath and process for 35 minutes.
process

9. Repeat until you run out of tomatoes.
loot

10. Allow to cool fully.
close-up