"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Sunday, February 28, 2010

White Bean and Chicken Chili - from Melissa

I have not been very good about cooking new recipes and updating the blog amidst our move this month! But luckily, I've had several friends send some great recipes for me to post. I'm finally trying some new things this week - so I'll let you know how they go! But please keep sending recipes!!

This is a recipe that my wonderful sister-in-law, Melissa, sent me last week. It looks so good!! It seems like it will be a perfect comfort food during all of this cold weather we're having and is a great alternative to a more traditional beef chili.

White Bean and Chicken Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Curried Beef Short Ribs - from Sally

My friend, Sally, sent me this recipe today. I am sure it is wonderful! For those of you who don't know Sally, she is an amazing cook! She learned growing up from her mom. And now - she's a food writer!! I always love cooking or going out to eat with Sally because she has such great tips and ideas! If you would like to visit her blog, this is the link: http://cometothetable-sally.blogspot.com/. I can't wait to try this recipe!

Curried Beef Short Ribs
Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1/4 cup light coconut
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 cups hot cooked basmati rice

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in an electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs.

2. Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add coconut milk mixture to cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.

3. Remove ribs from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, rind, and juice. Shred rib meat with 2 forks; discard bones. Serve sauce over ribs and rice.

Sally says... "I doubled the sauce to have extra cause it was so good. I poured the extra all over the rice. But it was so good and so easy. And it sits in the crock pot all day. I made bok choy with it and served it in bowls."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Greek Chicken with Angel Hair - from Katie

Since tomorrow is Mardi Gras, I had planned on posting the king cake recipe that I made last year. But, we're in the process of moving so it's hard to get to my cookbooks right now! Luckily, my friend Katie sent me a new recipe last week. This is her Greek Chicken with Angel Hair - thanks Katie!

Greek Chicken with Angel Hair
1 pound uncooked angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved (seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 cups chopped red onion
1 shallot clove, minced
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
¾ cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes on each side. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes) to pan; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pasta.

*Katie says that this recipe takes about 30 minutes to cook and makes about 8 servings. She also suggests making it with whole wheat pasta for a different flavor.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cake

I wanted to post this recipe this week because it is perfect for a Valentine's Day dessert! I made it for Kent one year when we were in college (see picture). My friend, Jennifer, got this recipe from her mom. It is super easy to make and is so rich and chocolatey! I added strawberries and raspberries for a little color - but there are a lot of options!

Chocolate Chip Cake
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 package of chocolate chips
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of oil
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of vanilla
4 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Pour half of the batter in a greased bundt pan. Then pour in about half of the chocolate chips. Pour in the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. When the cake finishes baking, allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn it out on a serving plate. Using the remaining chocolate chips, melt some in the microwave to drizzle over the top and save some to sprinkle over the top. Garnish with fruit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wine Wednesday - Chateau de Gaudou

It's been a few weeks since my last Wine Wednesday post! But, I've been meaning to share this wine for a while. Last summer Kent and I went to Charleston for our first anniversary. Our favorite restaurant there was La Fourchette, a small French restaurant (http://lafourchettecharleston.com/). We highly recommend it to everyone!!! With dinner we ordered a Chateau de Gaudou wine, their Malbec/Merlot/Tannat 2005. It was so wonderful! This vineyard is in southwestern France. This is the area of France where the Malbec grape originated before it was transported to Argentina about 150 years ago. Argentina is probably more famous now for its Malbec than France.

This particular wine may be difficult to find in the US. The sources I have seen says that it can be found at anywhere from $10-35 depending on the vintage year. The best way to buy it would probably be to order it on-line. I found this article written about the vineyard just three weeks ago if you are interested in learning more - http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/chateau-de-gaudou-brings-new-wines-us-z193. Or visit the vineyard's website - http://www.chateaudegaudou.com/. The vineyard has been owned and operated by the Durou family for over 200 years. Most of the reviews I read said that this wine is smooth with many fruity flavors. It is best served with heavy meat dishes or cheese. Many say that adding the Merlot helps to "round out the tannins" found in the Malbec so that it become softer. Also, it is suggested that this wine rests for several years because of the strong tannins, which are characteristic of this and other Cahors wines. Cahors wines are those grown in this specific region of southwest France that are made of the combination of malbec, merlot, and tannat grapes. Let me know if you are able to find this wine - it is a wonderful buy!
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