Chicken cauliflower curry

Alas, this dish has no cute story to go with it.  Just a fantastic flavor profile, and lots of textures.  It’ll make your home smell wonderful and you’ll be wanting to sample straight from the pan all the while it cooks.  And that’s not a bad idea either.  This way you can track the progress of the flavor meld of the ingredients.  It’s great to witness that happening.

I call for the chicken to be added back in nearer to the end of the cooking time because if it sits in the pan throughout then it will get tough and chewy.  That would be a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good chicken breast 😉

Ingredients:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

5 small red potatoes, cubed, with the skins on

½ head of cauliflower, trimmed into bite-sized pieces

3-4 Tbsp hot curry paste

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup water

1 cup cooked lentils

Directions:

  • Sauté the chicken breast, then remove it from the pan and set aside
  • Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the potatoes and cauliflower and sauté for another 5 minutes
  • Stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute
  • Add tomatoes and water and simmer for half an hour
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add that and the cooked lentils to the mixture and let simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Serve in large bowls.  Naan makes a great accompaniment

J

Cauliflower with peas and potatoes (Gobhi Aaloo Mutter Ki Subzi)

One night I was trying out a vegetarian main dish and wasn’t quite sure how it would come out so I needed a stand-by, hearty side dish to fall back on in the event that it was a failure.  Turns out the vegetarian loaf which included such ingredients as red onion, spinach, red bell pepper, boxed falafel mix, and goat cheese wasn’t all that bad.  But this side was excellent.  It’s got some heat to it, with the fresh ginger and chili, but you could certainly scale back on those a bit.  It’s got lots of textures, sizes and shapes.  I think that mushrooms would be a nice addition to this as well.

falafel loaf with cauliflower, potatoes & peas

Ingredients:

1 head of fresh cauliflower florets

2 large or 3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tbsps olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 large onion, chopped fine

2 tsps minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

2 tsps coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder

2 large tomatoes, chopped finely

1 green chili, chopped

1 cup petite frozen peas

Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Put potatoes & cauliflower florets in a steamer and par-cook for about 10 minutes

steamed cauliflower & potatoes

  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute
  • Add the onion and fry until soft, stirring often
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute
  • Add all of the spices and cook for 1 minute

onion, ginger & garlic coated in spices

  • Next add the chopped tomatoes and green chili, stirring well, and cook until tomatoes start to get soft (about 2-3 minutes)

fresh tomato & green chili

  • Now add the cauliflower florets, potatoes and peas. Stir well. Add salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat

the completed dish

J

Recipe adapted from a post on About.com

Chickpea Stew

Although this dish is a stew, it’s not so terribly heavy that it wouldn’t be fine to eat all spring long.  On any cool night, or rainy day.  For lunch or for dinner.  With rotisserie chicken on the side or as a vegetarian dish.  This recipe uses so many different spices  and is so fragrant that I got comments every time I heated it up at work.  What a well-rounded flavor profile!  It’s sweet and spicy, and smooth all at the same time.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Flatbread (I like whole wheat pita with this)

gathering of the ingredients

Directions:

  • Stir together paprika, salt, allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cayenne, and ginger in a small bowl and set the mixture aside

spice mixture

  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chopped ginger and cook until very soft and golden brown
  • Stir in spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until spices are toasted and fragrant
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes more
  • Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes and carrots are just tender, about 30 minutes

simmering stew

  • Uncover pot and simmer until stew is thickened and potatoes and carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes more
  • Dish up the stew and serve with flatbread on the side

yum!

J

Adapted from a recipe posted on Whole Foods Market page

Slow simmer beef stew

Who ever said that beef stew needs to be made the same way every time?  I’m a big fan of finding a recipe that I love and adding to it, changing it up a little, playing with it- if you will.  So when it came time to throw some beef, potatoes and carrots into the crock pot yesterday I also decided to add: onion, garlic, green beans, peas, sweet potato, rutabaga, and butternut squash.  What a tasty and well-rounded stew that was!  A wee bit of tomato paste and some dried herbs and it was complete.  Of course, I had also run into Bakery Normand in Northampton to grab a peasant loaf of whole wheat bread to go with.  Damned if that wasn’t the best thing to scoop up gravy with.

J