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