lemon chicken with capers served over a {delicious} pea puree with oven roasted potatoes

when i saw the freshly shelled peas at the store this morning all i could think of was: pea puree! i first came across the concept of a pea puree watching an episode of “Top Chef” a few years ago when a contestant prepared some that mysteriously disappeared prior to being served (anyone remember that episode)? even though they never found the puree (!!) or shared the recipe-i remember making a mental note to make some one day.  it’s taken me this long (like two to three years) to finally make a first attempt! having tasted the (if i say so myself) d-e-l-i-ciousssss and oddly reminiscent of green eggs & ham puree tonight, i’m pretty sure it won’t be long before we have it on the menu again. the chicken is a lighter and easier take on a chicken piccata (leave out the capers if you prefer to make the flavors more rounded and create a possibly more harmonious marriage with the puree). the potatoes are a popular, easy, and reliable staple at our dinner table-once you have them you will always go back for more. the whole meal took all of thirty minutes to make-don’t ask me about the state of the kitchen afterwards-not exactly a pretty sight-might i suggest you take your time, and keep your kitchen happy:-) Continue reading
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how to whip up a simply green {curry} sauce that saves the day {or meal}

how to make an easy green curry sauce

it’s so hard to believe the holidays are over, and as much as i enjoy the {oh so wonderful} break from routine, it often takes quite a toll on our diets and waistlines (but oh how good it was while it lasted). it took me a few reluctant days in the new year (happyhappy new year!) to realize (or accept) it was time to make changes to the way were eating. time to get back to eating more real, unprocessed, lighter, let’s just call it “g r e e n” foods. yes, that meant back to green smoothies, other smoothies, kale in (almost) everything, lettuce wraps, quinoaquinoaquinoa, salads, salads, and more salads, hello, arugula! hard boiled eggs, and endless amounts of tuna salad! but a family has to eat a nice warm meal once in a while (especially the ones who behaved over the holidays). that’s why this light and green (seriously delicious) curry sauce/paste came about to accompany the simple chicken tenders and vegetables planned for dinner. some of us enjoyed the resulting warm, satisfying, comfort-giving curry with a side of jasmine rice while others (me) had a few spoonfuls of fluffy steamed quinoa instead (not bad at all after a day of just greens). this versatile sauce can be used with any meat, fish, or vegetables to create a “curry” that will always satisfy beyond imagination. add a few kefir lime leaves to the pot while simmering to take it to another level. the smell that surrounds you while it cooks? as delicious as every bite. noosh-e-jan!

{easy, light, delicious green curry sauce for about 4-6 servings}:

blend together until smooth:

easy green curry recipe

  • 1 large bunch (1-1.5 cups) organic cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or other hot pepper of choice (use according to taste for spiciness)
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • a chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (about 2-3 tbs)
  • 3-4
    cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 3-4 stalks of lemongrass (remove the outer rough parts)
  • 1/2-1 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tsp raw honey or brown cane sugar
  • 2-3 tbs fish sauce or soy sauce (or a pinch of sea salt)

sauté the meat/vegetables of choice on high for about 7-10 minutes in 1 tbs virgin unfiltered coconut oil, then add the green sauce and 5-8 kefir lime leaves. bring to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. for best results sauté (fry) the sauce separately in 1-2 tsp coconut oil for about 5 minutes on high heat while stirring before adding to meats/vegetables. sprinkle with fresh cilantro prior to serving with jasmine rice or steamed quinoa.

easy green chicken curry

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seriously good roasted chicken stuffed with curried basmati rice

cooking minette's stuffed roasted chickeni imagine if you’re anything like me (and not a vegetarian), your mouth will be watering just by looking at the image of this incredibly delicious whole roasted chicken stuffed with curried basmati rice. let me assure you the actual dish is by far more delicious than this picture can even convey. it is as comforting a meal as it looks-the chicken meat moist and tender, the soft rice full of flavor, just spicy enough, with an occasional bite of delicious crunchiness  (my favorite part). the best thing is that this roasted chicken is so much easier to prepare than it looks. not only that, you can easily play with and adjust the ingredients to please your palate and change it up once in a while-because you know once you make this you will do it again and again. the original idea for the dish came from a delicious version my mother in law makes containing lots of raisins-which if you like a sweet and savory dish is a great option. not being a big fan of raisins, i use mushrooms and peas (or other cubed vegetables such as bell peppers and zucchini) instead. it’s most important to choose a good roaster (preferably organic) chicken, and to roast it for a good long time. let’s get going, shall we? it’s that busy(er) time of year!

ingredients for whole roasted chicken stuffed with curried rice:

cooking minette's curried rice stuffing

  • 1 whole roaster organic chicken, cleaned, washed, and patted dry
  • 2 lemons
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup) or vegetable oil of choice
  • (at least) 2-3 tbs good quality curry powder (adjust amount to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup cubed mushrooms (in this case crimini)-( you can also substitute with 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup currants)
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed in a bowl until the water runs clear
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1-1.5 cups good home made chicken broth (or water)

cooking minette's whole roasted chicken

method:

  1. sprinkle the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper, then mix about 1 tsp of curry powder with 1 tbs of oil and 1-2 tbs of lemon juice and rub evenly all over the chicken.
  2. heat about 2-3 tbs oil in a heavy pot or deep skillet, then add shallots, onions, and mushrooms and fry for about 5-7 minutes on high while stirring. add sea salt & cracked pepper, curry powder, cumin, and turmeric, fry for another minute or two. add rice and about 1 cup (or slightly more) of water (or chicken broth). allow the mixture to come to a boil  stirring once or twice carefully, then reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. the rice will not be cooked but will have softened, add peas and combine well. taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. place chicken in baking dish, slice up a lemon with the skin on and place a few slices under and around the chicken. stuff the chicken with the rice mixture with any remaining mixture around it in the pan. drizzle 1/4 cup broth (or water) evenly over the rice, then cover the rice area only lightly with foil. roast in a 375 degree oven for at least 75 minutes and up to 90 minutes. remove the foil about 20-30 minutes or so prior  to removing from the oven in order to get the rice crispy on the top.

 

Image 27

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a simple chicken curry with potatoes and peas

20 minute dinners

chicken curry is one of those go-to meals i {go to} when i’ve run out of ideas for quick and easy meals involving chicken. i have no fixed recipe and make no exact measurements, so it all depends on what’s available, my mood, and how much time i’m willing to spend on preparing the meal. after taking inventory of possible ingredients, i make a quick “paste” in the blender before simmering the (sauteed) chicken and vegetables in it for about 30-45 minutes. sometimes the resulting curry comes out so spicy it is almost difficult to eat (not really), but often times it is surprisingly well balanced and delicious despite the rather casual process involved in making it happen. more often than not we are perfectly satisfied and happyhappy after polishing off the steaming bowl of curry topped with loads of chopped cilantro and a side of fluffy basmati rice (or steamed quinoa if i’m being good). i’m pretty sure if (when) you make this curry and taste the results you’ll be {going to it} as often as i do.

quick & easy curry ingredients for 4-6:

 

anti-inflammatory curry

  • 6-8 organic chicken tenders (or about six-eight pieces of chicken)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup (more or less) frozen peas (or fresh)
  • 3-4 small young potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbs virgin unrefined coconut oil
  • 3-4 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • fresh ginger, a good nice chunk (about 1 tbs)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbs good quality curry powder
  • 1 cup (or slightly more) coconut milk
  • 4-6 lime leaves
  • 1-2 tsp raw sugar
  • a small bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)

anti-inflammatory curry

1. make your paste: add to the blender the softer parts of the lemon grass (peel, trim, cut in smaller pieces), ginger, shallot, garlic, powders (cinnamon, curry, turmeric, cumin), sugar, jalapeño pepper (adjust amount to taste for spiciness), sea salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, and 1/2 of the coconut milk. blend until you have a smooth paste.

2. in a dutch oven or skillet sautee chicken and onions in 1 tbs coconut oil. remove from pot, then heat the remaining coconut oil and add the paste to the hot oil. allow the sauce  to cook and start to thicken slightly (bubbles a bit) while stirring. add the chicken and onions back to the pot with the heated paste, along with the potatoes, lime leaves, and about 1-2 cups water. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked. make sure to adjust water if necessary.

3. about 15-20 minutes before serving add remaining coconut milk and peas, stir carefully. serve with fresh chopped cilantro on top (or drizzled with this green sauce) and steamed rice on the side. s-p-i-c-y, right?

cooking minette's curry

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