Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicken veggie tagine (non traditional) with couscous.

Chicken veggie tagine (non traditional) with couscous.  

I left most numbers out because I really change it around often and go by what I 
 have at the time

for the tagine:

  • 1-2 onions, halved and sliced3-5 garlic cloves or to taste, peeled and minced
  • 1/2-1 hot pepper of your choice, deseeded if you want less heat, minced finely
  •  carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch wide sticks 
  •  potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  •  1-2 preserved lemons (can be found in middle east stores in jars), rinsed, halved, de-seeded, and thinly sliced.  You could substitute fresh lemon juice (and maybe a bit of the pulp) in a pinch, but it will not taste the same
  •  pitted green or red olives.  I've even used those cheap stuffed olives in a pinch
  •  handfull of cilantro leaves, chopped
  •  chicken, skinless.  what sections you use is up to you, I prefer boneless breasts  and/or thighs. You can also leave out the meat if you want a vegetarian version
  •  Other seasonal veggies if you prefer-- in this case I used 1 bell pepper cut into strips, a zucchini from the garden, quartered lengthwise and cut into thick slices, and some overripe garden tomatoes 
  •  pinch of crushed saffron threads soaked in a few oz of hot water
  •  chicken or vegetable broth (water is ok)
  •  olive oil
  •  salt and pepper
  •  1 tsp ground ginger (or use fresh ginger if you prefer)
  •  1 tsp ground coriander
  •  1/2 - 1 tsp ground cumin
  •  1 tsp of paprika
  •  large, deep frying pan with a lid or a dutch oven-sized covered pot


 1. sautee onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  add peppers and 
 garlic and chicken and brown.  season with salt and pepper and add all the spices 
 but the saffron, stirring to distribute evenly.

 2.  Add the rest of the vegetables, olives,  and preserved lemon, and stir.  pour in the saffron water and throw the chopped cilantro on the top.  If you're using a pan, it should be pretty full right now. Add enough broth to almost reach the top of the food mixture-- the point is to stew it, not really boil it to death, so it'll probably be 1/5 cups or so depending on how large of a dish you're making. Cover dish and simmer over medium-low to medium-high heat for 45 minutes or so, checking to make sure all the liquid hasn't boiled away.  You want it to be saucy, but not soupy.  Add more broth if you need to.  test veggies and chicken if you're unsure, but by then it really should be well cooked.  serve by itself, or with a crusty french bread torn up to use as cutlery, or over couscous

 Basic Couscous-

You could use a box mix if you want and just follow their instructions.  If you can find small instant couscous in bulk at your grocery story or at the local mid eastern store, use that! (not the big Israeli couscous which look like huge tapioca balls)

I usually use a ratio of 1.5 amount of broth to 1 amount of dry couscous.  It might vary for others, though

I usually do this- 

 Saute 1/2 minced onion in olive oil until translucent or golden.  Then add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add broth and some salt and occasionally other seasonings and herbs (i've even used vegeta before) and bring it to a boil.  remove from heat.  if your pan is large, you can stir the couscous into the hot broth, cover it with its lid, and let it sit for five minutes.  Alternatively, you can pour the hot broth into a pyrex bowl with lid and stir in the couscous and 
 cover that.  You'll literally be able to watch the couscous absorb the liquid.  After five minutes or so, fluff the couscous with a fork and serve!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

(working recipe) Garlicy green bean and mushroom salad

I had this when I was in Las Vegas and I couldn't stop eating it. So, I'm trying to replicate it to some extent. This recipe will probably be edited in the future as I keep tweaking it.
Fresh green beans (I used a "bag" of thin trimmed green beans, which might be about 3 cups or so. I'd love to have found some "haricots verts" super small ones, but it was a no go this time)
small carton of small button mushrooms
1/2 to 1 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
4 large cloves garlic, pressed
olive oil
few pinches of salt
onion powder and garlic powder (optional)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of broth of your choice (I recommend vegetable or chicken)
Saute garlic and mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add green beans and sautee a few more. Add broth and spices and and cover well.
Let veggies steam until the green beans are cooked but not "soft." You want them to be more al dente than mushy.
Remove from heat and drain extra liquid. Cool in fridge until cold (or use ice cubes and then strain out the water). Add bell pepper slivers and mix well. adjust spices and add a tiny bit more olive oil if you wish. Serve

thoughts- I might add some dijon mustard next time. not sure yet

Friday, July 1, 2011

Radish and Onion marinade

  • bunch of fresh radishes, ends cut off and sliced as thiny as possible
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • the juice of two good lemons (alternative is to use 3-4 limes)
  • salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chili pepper powder of your choice
Rub onions with a bit of salt to wilt them. combine ingredients together and put in the fridge to marinate a few hours.

simple red cabbage slaw

1/2 large red cabbage head, outer two layers of leaves removed and bottom stem sliced off

1/2 large red onion

1/2 cup red wine vinegar (seriously dont use regular vinegar. If you absolutely have to, you can use apple cider vinegar, but it won't be the same)

few tbs of olive oil

salt or salt substitute mixed with salt if you're lo sodium like me

garlic powder

onion powder

fresh ground pepper

Shred the cabbage head as finely as possible or mince it. Don't buy pre shred cabbage in a bag, they have little "calluses" where they've been cut and it just isn't right!

mince the red onion and mix together in a large bowl with the shredded cabbage. sprinkle salt or substitute over it all and rub into the veggies. Let rest for five minutes.

add rest of spices and toss, then add olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss. taste and adjust seasonings as you prefer.

Optional- I didn't do this, but it occurs to me that a peeled and grated carrot would be good in there, too.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ash-e Reshteh

Ash-e Reshteh

2 tbsp olive oil
3 large onions, pelled and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup dried red kidney beans, washed and soaked in
cold water 2 hours and drained
1/4 cup dried navy beans
1/4 cup dried chickpeas
10-12 cups water
1 cup lentils (I assume brown)
4 cups homemade beef bone broth
1/2 pound persian noodles (reshteh) or linguine noodles,
broken in half
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup coarsley chopped fresh chives or scallions
1 cup chopped fresh dill
2 cups coarsley chopped fresh parsley
6 pounds (10 cups) fresh spinach, washed and chopped,
OR 3 pounds frozen spinach, chopped
1 fresh beet, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup liquid whey (kashk-- I have a recipe if u want),
or sour cream, or 1/4 cup wine vinegar

Qeymeh (optional-- I have a recipe)

Garnish (nana dagh)
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp dried mint flakes, crushed

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot, and saute the onions and garlic
over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add kidney
beans, navy beans, and chickpeas; saute for a few minutes.
Pour in 10 cups of water and bring to the boil, skim the froth as
it forms, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes over
medium heat.

2. Add lentils and beef bone broth. Cook 55 minutes longer.

3. Add noodles and flour and cook about 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally (Leila's note--one way I add flour to soup without
making lumps is to combine it with some oil and make a ball--
it dissolves in the heat)

4. Add chopped chives or scallions, dill, parsley, spinach, and
the beet. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes
or until beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add
more water if the ash is too thick.

5. Stir in the whey (or sour cream or vinegar), saving a dollop
for the garnish, and mix well with a wooden spoon.

6. Prepare the Qeymeh without the potatoes (I will post recipe)

7. To prepare the garnish (nana dagh), brown the onion and
garlic in oil in a non stick frying pan. Remove from heat; add
the turmeric and the crushed mint flakes and mix well.

8. Pour the soup into a tureen. Garnish with mint mixture
and the dollop of whey.

Ash e Saak

Ash e Saak
Irani Spinach Soup

2 onions, peeled and sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
6-8 cups water
4 cups spinach, washed and chopped, or 2 cups frozen spinach, chopped
1 onion, peeled and grated
1 pound ground meat or chicken
2 tbsp dried mint
1/2 cup rice flour diluted in one cup water
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup lime juice

1. Brown sliced onions and garlic in 3 tbsp oil in a large pot. Add
1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp turmeric.
2. Add water and spinach and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Combine the grated onion and ground meat in a bowl. Season
with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 2 tbsp dried
mint. (I'd probably add more salt and pepper) Mix and shape mixture
into chestnut sized meatballs. Add the meatballs to the pot and
simmer 20 minutes.
4. Gradually add diluted rice flour, stirring constantly for several minutes.
5. Gradually add eggs, stirring constantly for several minutes.
6. Add lime juice and adjust seasonings. Pour hot soup into a
tureen and serve with hot bread.