Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

I had a couple of whole chickens in the freezer that I wanted to cook now that fall is here and I need the space in the freezer for bags of foods from my summer crops.

This recipe follows in my goal to make tasty dishes even when “there’s nothing to eat in this house” so I opened the pantry and gathered leftover produce and made a roasted chicken with tons of Thai/Indian flavors that was a huge hit at my home.

I know roast chicken and white rice isn’t the easiest to photograph BUT, this was definitely a tasty dish that took about 20 minutes to prepare (plus roasting time).

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound whole chicken, washed under cool water and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (use curry powder if you don’t have)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 13-ounce can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or 14.5-ounce can)
  • Slurry – 1 Tbsp. cornstarch whisked with ¼ cup water
  • Squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, lemongrass, ginger, thyme and olive oil to create a paste.
  4. Rub half the garlic mixture on the chicken, reserving the other half. You can use the chicken right away or store it for a day, wrapped in the fridge.
  5. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, allow the vegetable oil to warm for a minute. Add the chicken, breast-side down and brown for about 5 minutes then turn and brown the other side of the chicken for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven to a platter.
  7. To the hot Dutch oven, add the second half of the garlic mixture, the paprika, the garam masala and the cayenne pepper and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the diced onion to the spices and cook until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Add the coconut milk and the broth to the onion mixture and stir.
  10. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until very tender, basting the chicken with the broth periodically.
  11. Remove the chicken from the pot to a serving dish and place the Dutch oven on the stove over high heat. When the broth is simmering, add the corn starch slurry and whisk for 2 minutes until the sauce has thicken.
  12. Carve the chicken and serve with Easy Basmati Rice and the sauce. I love adding a squeeze of lime juice to this dish, but it’s optional.

Serves 6.

 

Inspired by this recipe.

Easy Sesame Zucchini – Not Really a Recipe

Easy Sesame Zucchini – Not Really a Recipe

This is the fourth post in my new series called “Not Really a Recipe”. These will be non-recipe posts that just give ideas on how to fix meals that are tasty and require very little work.

I make zucchini as a side dish all the time. I like how fast zucchini cooks and that it has good texture when the outer skin isn’t removed.

One of my favorite way to make a fast side dish to pair with my lunches is a quick sauté of diced zucchini. This helps me get my extra serving of vegetables in and it’d darn tasty.

Simple dice a zucchini, sauté it in a teaspoon of vegetable oil either in a screaming hot wok, a frying pan or a cast iron pan with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper for about 3 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan to avoid burning. Once cook, add a teaspoon of sesame oil and a half teaspoon of black sesame seeds and toss to coat. I sometimes also make this on the grill using a grill pan!

As the title of this post says, this isn’t really a recipe, it’s just a tasty way to change up the way you cook this inexpensive and tasty veggie.

Cheers,

Veronique     

Blue Apron – My Experience

Blue Apron – My Experience

Delivery Box

Delivery Box

A couple weeks ago, I was offered a trial shipment of Blue Apron food through my blogging efforts. As an avid cook, I wasn’t sold on the idea of receiving “pre-packaged” food in the mail, but after reviewing the online program offered by Blue Apron, I decided to give it a go.

Delivery Ingredients

Delivery Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Apron endeavors to make cooking fun and easy by providing clients all the ingredients they need to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions. The name Blue Apron comes from the apron originally worn by apprentice chefs in France – a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking.

Detailed Recipe

Detailed Recipe

The fresh, seasonal ingredients are sourced from artisanal purveyors with emphasis on sustainable practices. Clients receive carefully-packaged ingredients (many not found in standard supermarkets) in a refrigerated box for ensured freshness. Clients choose their delivery days and can skip weeks where food delivery isn’t needed. Meals are based upon dietary preferences.

What I find super is that even novice (or pre-novice) cooks can achieve complete meals with little efforts. The week’s step-by-step recipes come with the food delivery and can also be accessed online. The original recipes help cooks create complete meals with 500-700 calories per serving that typically take less than 30 minutes to prepare. The pre-portioned ingredients help save time for clients and also help reduce waste.

Pan Fried Orange Shrimp

Pan Fried Orange Shrimp

Prices for the service start at $9.99 per person per meal which might appear steep at first glance but isn’t once the first tasty meal is on the table. The first dish I prepared using my Blue Apron delivery was the  

To get started with the program, please click here. It’s a great way to learn how to cook healthy meals for the family without the worry of recipe testing.

Cheers,

Veronique

Ingredient Spotlight – King Trumpet Mushrooms

Ingredient Spotlight – King Trumpet Mushrooms

King MushroomsAs I detailed in a recent post, I had the pleasure of visiting Mitsuwa Marketplace with Danny, of Eat with Dan, where I did some food shopping. One of the things I purchased was King Trumpet Mushrooms, a favorite of mine.

King Trumpet Mushrooms, also known as Pleurotus Eryngii, have thick, meaty pearl white stems and small sand-colored caps. Although these mushrooms are widely available at most Asian markets, they are indigenous of the Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

In their raw state, King Trumpet Mushrooms have little to no aroma or flavor. Once cooked, they develop a woodsy, earthy flavor and a meaty texture.

King Mushroom SaladThese mushrooms have a long shelf life if they’re not washed until just ready to use and if stored in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator.

My favorite way to eat these handsome mushrooms is to slice them long ways, drizzle them with a little soy/sesame seed oil/vegetable oil concoction then grill them as one would grill meat. On this occasion, I served them on a salad, but they can be prepared and presented in so many ways including in soups, stir-fries and tempura.

Have you had these beauties and if so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

Mitsuwa Marketplace

Mitsuwa Marketplace

Japanese Rice with Roe

Japanese Rice with Roe

Yesterday, I had a day off and as we’d promised each other for weeks now, fellow meat-product aficionado and New Jersey food photographer/blogger Danny of Eat with Dan and I went to lunch at one of his favorites, Mitsuwa Marketplace.

Situated on the west side of the Hudson River in Edgewater, New Jersey, Mitsuwa Marketplace is a shopping center straight out of Tokyo.

Mitsuwa Marketplace encompasses a vast selection of Japanese groceries, an extensive wine, beer and sake department and a delicious variety of Japanese foods at cafeteria-style Restaurant Row.

Ramen with Pork Belly

Ramen with Pork Belly

Danny and I first walked around the produce and meat/fish departments to my amazement. After we passed the 20-foot long grocery cooler with sashimi-grade fish and seafood, I remember telling Danny “This is Disney for foodies”. What an incredible array of top-quality grocery items.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream

After our tour, Danny introduced me to his favorite food counters where we got lunch. We opted for the popular Santoka for a bowl of ramen noodles with sides of rice topped with salmon roe and a soy hard-boiled egg. The ramen bowl featured pork belly and hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. The ramen noodles were cooked perfectly, just a bit chewy, and the pork-laced broth was out-of-this-world. The side of rice looked innocent enough, but as I got a chopstickful, I realized how delicious the rice was and what a pleasant brininess the roe offered the slightly sticky rice. Stuff foodie dreams are made of.

Japanes Bakery

Japanese Bakery

The noodles inspired me and I went back to the grocery store to buy all I’d need to fix ramen and udon at home. I even bought the biggest king trumpet mushrooms I’d ever seen.

Take Home Groceries

Take Home Groceries

We ended our adventure with a Japanese pastry and a cup of black sesame ice cream, one of the best ice creams I’ve had.

I’m forever grateful to Danny for introducing me to Mitsuwa Marketplace and for sharing a special foodie journey.

595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ 07020

TEL: (201) 941-9113

Open 7 days/week

Grocery Store: 9:30AM – 9:00PM

Restaurants: 11:00AM – 8:00PM

Easy Basmati Rice

Easy Basmati Rice

Basmati RiceMy dad, Jean-Guy, makes the best Basmati rice, period. It’s light, fluffy and delicious served with just about anything. He’s passed the recipe to my brother-in-law, Etienne, who’s been kind enough to share it with me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the rice under running cool water for 1 minute.
  2. Add the water, butter and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add the rice to the water and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the bay leaf, cover the pan, turn the heat to low and cook without removing the lid for 35 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat then fluff with a fork gently.

Makes 6 servings.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Noodles and Peanut Sauce

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Noodles and Peanut Sauce

It’s summer and a time when I try to use the kitchen oven as little as possible and the grill as much as possible.  It’s also a time when I enjoy lighter fare that can be whipped up in a flash.  These lettuce wraps are easy to prepare and lets the whole gang participate in the final dish – fun!  Don’t forego fixing this dish because you don’t have time to grill the Asian Whole Grilled Chicken, simply pick up a grilled chicken at the supermarket.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine a cup of peanut sauce, the sesame oil and the Sriracha.
  3. Boil the noodles according to package directions, drain and add to the peanut sauce in the bowl.  Toss the noodles well with the peanut sauce to fully coat.
  4. Add the onion and mushroom mixture to the noodles and toss to combine.  Serve at room temperature.  If the noodles cool down too much before serving, simply heat them up for 20 seconds in the microwave.
  5. Give each person 2-3 lettuce leaves to use as wraps to contain the noodles and chicken.  Extra peanut sauce can be used as additional dressing in the wraps.

Serves 4 people.

Notes:  You can find fresh Chinese noodles in the bagged salads section of your supermarket or at Asian markets.

 

Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve developed a real affinity for peanut sauce over the last ten years and could pour it over almost anything.  This peanut sauce recipe makes a ton – three cups – and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.  It’s great over chicken, shrimp, and pork or used as salad dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 14 ½-ounce can chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cool then refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. If the sauce becomes too thick after cooling, simply thin it with a tablespoon of water or chicken broth.

Makes 3 cups.

Notes:  Do not use freshly ground peanut butter.

 

National Chocolate Mousse Day – Celebrate with Tofu

National Chocolate Mousse Day – Celebrate with Tofu

National Chocolate Mousse Day is today and thought I’d share a delicious, yet healthy, way to celebrate.  While traditional mousse and pudding recipes often require large amounts of whipping cream and butter (delicious in many instances), using tofu provides a healthier alternative that’s still decadent in flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package 14 oz. House Foods Soft Tofu
  • ¾ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup of milk (can substitute coconut milk)
  • ½ Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom (optional)

Directions:

  1. Open the tofu package and strain water.  Remove the tofu from package and pulse in blender until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. With the stove on low, melt the chocolate chips and milk in a pot, stirring until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the tofu to the chocolate mixture and stir until completely incorporated.  Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom, if using.
  4. Quickly remove from heat and spoon in 4-6 individual cups.  Cool completely then refrigerate until it becomes thick like a mousse, about 2 hours.

Serves 4-6.

Notes:  Add your own personal twist to this recipe by considering some of the suggestions below:

  • Top the pudding with toasted slivered almonds or other nutscoconut shavings, or cocoa powder
  • Replace the 1 tsp. ground cardamom with ½ tsp. chili powder for a spicy Mexican Chocolate Mousse
  • Add a little agave nectar for an even sweeter pudding

 

Garlic Growing – What You Need to Know

Garlic Growing – What You Need to Know

Dad's Asian Tempest Garlic

Every time I visit my dad in Quebec, he boasts about the garlic he grows.  It’s something he’s proud of and the last time I was there, he gave me a whole bag to bring back.  The variety he uses is the Asian Tempest – powerful with a long shelf life once harvested.  I’ve been researching garlic growing and it’s beyond easy.

Some tips and facts of growing garlic:

  • Garlic is grown from the single cloves.  Each clove produces one plant with a garlic bulb.
  • When planting garlic, pick a sunny spot where the soil isn’t too damp.
  • In regions with cold winters, plant garlic in the fall for harvest the following summer.  For warm regions, store garlic in a cool place for about 3 weeks before planting to trigger proper sprouting.
  • The closer apart garlic is planted, the smaller the bulbs will be at harvest.
  • It’s time to harvest when the plant’s leaves begin to turn brown.
  • Garlic can be planted with other flowers and vegetables.
  • Garlic must be dried properly or it will rot.  After harvest, bulbs should be hung up in a cool, dry place for 1-2 weeks.

Happy growing!

Veronique