Chicken cacciatore

IMG_2684Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 thin cut chicken breasts, organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced root to tip
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
140 g (5 oz) white cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
80 mL (1/3 cup) white or red wine
800 g (28 ounce) can of plum tomatoes in their juice
1 teaspoon dry thyme
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped

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Rinse the chicken, let dry. Season each side with salt. Add some oil to the pan (big enough to fit everything), brown both sides of the chicken. Set aside. Make sure there’s enough oil/fat in the pan, then add the onions, saute until fragrant. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the rest of the sliced vegetables. Cook until they’re all a little bit softened, then deglaze with the dry white wine. Cook until half the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and all seasonings. Taste the sauce and season accordingly. Add the chicken on top, turn down the heat to low and cook 20-40 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through, and serve with  rice.

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Amber was feeling like chicken cacciatore, so voila. Rike from Hamburg helped me prep and cook! Food for three plus leftovers for one. Cacciatore (“hunter”) suggests a working man’s meal, better with country bread or pasta, in my opinion. Next time I might try the recipe with bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Also our “dry white wine” was some questionable cognac-looking Georgian wine, as in the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Don’t try their wine. Someone brought it to the apartment for a house party, probably. Friends.

~Jessica

Shakshuka

aka Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة‎‎) Adapted from smitten kitchen and Simply Recipes

olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, ground cumin, paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, cored and thinly sliced
3 Anaheim chiles or jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
4-6 eggs
3/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought (optional)
Handful of fresh basil leaves / parsley, for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
warmed pitas / bread, to serve

Heat oil in saucepan/pot over medium. Add onions, then garlic, and cook until golden and fragrant. Add the chilies. Add the spices. Crush and add the tomatoes with their liquid. Add half a cup of water. Add the zucchini / squash. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Crack eggs evenly across the sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon hot sauce over the eggs to poach them. Garnish with pesto (to replace zhoug) if using. Serve with feta cheese and bread of choice.

~Jessica

P.S. Amber was craving African food, after her most excellent trip earlier this year. Voila!

Risotto ai funghi

Adapted from Memorie di Angelina

250 g Arborio, Vialone Nano or Carnaroli risotto rice
25 g salted butter
1 small (150 g) white onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 litre of vegetable/chicken stock
200 g of porcini mushrooms, fresh or about 50 g dried
a small bunch of flat-leaved parsley (I had dry thyme)
1 cupful of white, dry wine
100g freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Soak dried mushroom in hot water for 20 minutes or, if fresh, chop up. Heat half the butter and olive oil in the saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Heat the stock in a separate pot. Now toast the rice in the pan for a couple of minutes, stirring until coated in the oil. Add the wine and stir to evaporate. Now begin ladling the stock into the rice one ladle at a time. Continue stirring the rice and adding stock each time the liquid begins to dry up. Add the mushrooms. If you run out of stock, and need to cook the rice more, substitute the broth with hot water to avoid over-saltiness. When the rice grains are still al dente, add the rest of the butter, the parsley, and  freshly grated cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

~Jessica

White bean soup with kale and rosemary

Adapted from Ina Garten and Damn Delicious, although inspired by smitten kitchen

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, diced
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch of fresh rosemary (I only had dried)
chicken stock
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
2 bay leaves
2 cups kale (I only had baby spinach)
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Saute the onions in olive oil on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the beans, rosemary, stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove herbs and stir in greens (e.g. spinach) and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, topped with fresh basil. Serve with toasted bread, drizzled with good olive oil and rubbed with cut garlic.

~Jessica

P.S. A similar attempt by myself. I also threw in some diced carrot and celery to use them up.

Gambas al ajillo

Adapted from No Recipes and Serious Eats

125 mL olive oil
10 cloves garlic, 1/2 minced and 1/2 smashed
2 dried cascabel chiles (or 1 medium dried guajillo chile), seeds removed and crushed into flakes
450 g shrimp
1 lemon, juiced or 60-89 ml brandy / cognac / dry sherry
salt and pepper, parsley, sweet paprika, red pepper flakes

No Picture — I forgot the parsley and they were eaten too fast (slightly overcooked because they were a little tough)!

Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and shrimp to marinate. Saute smashed garlic and chiles/pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant, about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Fry shrimp until cooked, about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Sprinkle on lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot.

~Jessica

Bulgur salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers and cumin

Adapted from smitten kitchen, adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

500 g fine-grain bulgur
700 mL boiling water
3 splashes of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt
60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (400 g)
170 g drained jarred roasted red peppers, diced (I made mine)
170 g quartered cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 medium head Bibb lettuce (I had iceberg)
4 pita breads, warmed and cut into wedges

IMAG5540.jpgAdd boiling water to bulgur. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. Mix lemon juice, honey, cumin, cayenne, salt, and olive oil together. Toss chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley with the bulgur to this dressing. Plate this on lettuce leaves inside the pita bread.

~Jessica

Falafel with pita chips and yogurt

Arabic: فلافل Adapted from smitten kitchen

170 g falafel mixture (from the box)
olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
ground cumin
ground coriander
paprika
cayenne
Few gratings fresh lemon zest
coarse sea salt (depending on broth)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (for cooked chickpeas)
A few grinds of black pepper

Serve with:
Fresh pitas
Big handful of parsley (or a mix of parsley, cilantro and mint would be good too)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Tomato-cucumber “relish” salad
Tahini and plain yogurt
Additional paprika for sprinkling

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To make a tomato-cucumber “relish” salad: Chop some tomatoes and a smaller cucumber into very small pieces. Finely chop 1/4 of a small red onion. Mix vegetables and onion in a bowl and dress to taste with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To make lemon-tahini yogurt: Whisk 6 spoonfuls of well-stirred tahini in the bottom of a bowl. Whisk in the juice of a whole lemon, 1 minced garlic clove and 4 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup plain yogurt, about 1/4 at a time, until smooth. Season with salt.

~Jessica