Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chicken Tagine with Almonds and Raisens

I got this recipe from a friend and it came out so good! Moroccan inspired, it is sweet and savory. All of the warm spices make this a very comforting kind of dish and it makes the house smell great while cooking.

It seemed like something I'd plunk down $15 for at a restaurant, yet it was incredibly easy. I have the original recipe and then have my adaptations or omissions in green.

1 3lb. chicken cut up (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, sliced (I diced it)
2 carrots, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch saffron (I omitted this)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water or chicken stock
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup raisens or other dried fruit

1. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Put chicken in a large heavy pan. Season with salt and pepper, and add onion, carrots and garlic.

2. Sprinkle on the saffron, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Pour in the water or broth, cover and cook on medium for 30 minutes. Because I was using boneless chicken, I cooked for 20 minutes.

3. Add the almonds and raisens. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes (again, I did it for 20) or until the chicken is tender. Serve with couscous or pita.

Although the dish had flavor, the chicken wasn't quite as flavorful as you would expect with all of those spices. I wonder what would make it so? A different cut of chicken? Marinating the chicken beforehand? Making a spice rub? If anyone tries this, please let me know. Also, for some reason by the time we ate, the almonds, raisens and carrots were a bit cold. Not sure why this happened b/c it was on the stove for almost an hour. Despite this, I would still recommend it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lentil Soup

This very snowy weekend seemed like the perfect time for a batch of lentil soup. I had made lentil soup in my slow cooker once and it had absolutely no taste. So this time I tried a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis (from the Food Network. Very smily Italian lady who almost always uses marscapone cheese, or prosciutto).

This turned out very very good. It was enough for two for dinner and lots of leftovers.
It was easy and filling.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
  • 11 cups low-salt chicken broth (this was about 5 cans)
  • 4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs (I used dried and it was fine)
  • 2/3 cup dried elbow pasta
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Christmas Cookies!

Here's this year's crop of Christmas cookies! Ridiculous, as usual. Thanks to everyone who came, it was a lot of fun! Especially since Maura the cookie master was late and the rest of us had to figure out how to make the cookies by ourselves. Not that we had any problems.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sake Glazed Salmon

So I can't believe I haven't posted this yet. This is my signature dish!

I made this tonight and I am always so amazed at how much I like it. I can't even remember where I found the recipe now.

1 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 TBS fresh grated ginger
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
1 TBS dark brown sugar
Salmon (I prefer fillets. I usually buy 2/3 of a lb. for two people).

1. Prepare the marinade by mixing the sake, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 of the marinade to brush onto the fish later, if you desire.

2. Rinse the salmon under cold water and place in a glass pan or a freezer bag. Pour marinade over it. Let marinate for 1-3 hours in the fridge, spooning the liquid over any exposed parts once or twice.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. Take the fish out of the fridge and discard the marinade. Cook the fish for 15-20 minute or until the flesh of the fish is flaky. Spoon reserved marinade over fish if you desire.

I served this with couscous and sugar snap peas!

Lamb Stew

My aunt in New Hampshire raises sheep. And eats them. My mom bought a bunch of her lamb meat and left some with us over Thanksgiving. One of the cuts was lamb stew so we figured okay, we should probably make lamb stew. I found this recipe from Emeril which called for a pressure cooker, which I don't have. After some research, I discovered the point of a pressure cooker is to cook things faster but it's not really any different. So instead I used my slow cooker to cook the stew for 4 hours. It came out so good! I'm not normally a soup fan, but I think I do like stew! LZ is so crazy about it he's making it again tomorrow. So, I actually forgot to take a picture when we made it. But then I had it again for lunch today and realized I should take a picture then. I even decided to show you how pathetic I am that I eat lunch at my desk. :-( But, I bet I'm not the only one. So that's the lamb stew story!