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Fluffy Rice Pilaf

When you cook a rice pilaf you should always get started by cooking onion in a small sauce pan. Onion is a must. To the onion you could add garlic, shallots and fennel.This will make the difference between steamed rice and pilaf. As I mentioned, add two tbsp of olive oil or unsalted butter to a sauce pan. Add the onion and  cook until translucent.

Now it is time for the spices. You can go for either coriander and cumin or cinnamon and all spices. I went a bit different this time and I added one teaspoon tandoori seasoning which includes: cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, cardamon, turmeric  and black pepper.I read that you should keep it simple and don’t use to many spices at once but I just like the seasoning I am using as it nicely balances out all the flavors.

Once the onion and the spices are cooked ( about 30 seconds ) it’s time for the rice. Add  one cup of long grain white rice. Cook until rice is well covered in spices and the mixture is translucent.

I added know about 6 white mushrooms and half of red pepper and stirred to mix all the flavors together.

Another  important adding is the cooking liquid. Water should be replaced by broth. You can add either chicken broth, veggie broth or seafood broth. Also a bit of white wine one will be welcomed here 😉 Add about one cup of chicken broth and a splash of wine and bring to a broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. 

Before serving you can add 2 – 3 tbsp of herbs: cilantro, parsley or mint depending of preferences. Next step? You enjoy it 😉

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Uncategorized

Chicken thighs with herbs on a potato bed

I am sure you all have days like that when you feel like 24 hours are just not enough. When that happens I don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen and yet I would like to cook healthy and tasty meals for my ‘peeps’ 😉

In my opinion the fastest way to cook is to season veggies and meat and bake them in the oven. Why ? Because while the food is cooking by itself, I have time to complete other tasks:  to write on my blog , to play with my cats, to knit or just to watch a favorite TV series.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large casserole chicken thighs ( 8 to 10 pieces )
  • 8-10 yellow potatoes
  • 10 baby tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ( you can substitute for garlic cloves, I just wanted to save time )
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • salt and black pepper

Directions:

Place the thighs in a large bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, tandoori powder, oregano, salt and black pepper. Using your hands mix all together. Refrigerate for at least half an hour or at least until you get the veggies, in this case potatoes and tomatoes, ready.

Peal the potatoes, wash them and cut them in chunky pieces. Wash the tomatoes. Add  them to the meat mixture. Mix together. Now you can either put all the ingredients in a backing tray or just make a bed of potatoes and place the meat on top and the tomatoes in between. I like the tomatoes on top better so they won’t be to mushy.

Bake for about 40 – 60 minutes depending on the oven.

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Vegetarian

Garlic Pureed Spinach with Oven Spicy French fries

As a child I was a very picky eater. My mother always had a hard time make me eat. Don’t get me wrong, she was a great cook and growing up I was able to appreciate it. As a child I was very stubborn when it was about food, and I  had just a few dishes I would eat. Curiously spinach pureed was one of them.  Back home we would call it ” Spinach pureed with garlic and milk ( or sour cream ) “. My mother would serve it with  fried eggs and a quick potato pan buns. To be honest I think I loved the buns more and I think she knew that because  she would refuse to make them without the spinach pureed. LOL

Ingredients for 3-4 servings

  • 2 fresh spinach bunches or  2 bags ( 350 g each )  of fresh spinach. Frozen spinach works as well but I think it would never have the same flavor as the fresh one.
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream ( 5% )
  • half of cup of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bag of spicy French fries ( oven roasted )

Directions

Bring a large pot with water to a boil and when is bubbling add the spinach. Do not cook more than five minutes. We don’t want to miss all the vitamins. Strain the spinach and let it in the strainer to lose all the liquid. You can press it from time to time with a spoon.

After the liquid is drained minced the spinach very well on a cutting board. Place the minced spinach back in the strainer to lose the liquid if there is some left.

Preheat the oven as per potato package instruction and bake them for about 15 minuteas or as indicated on the bag.

In a deep skillet add the olive oil and the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the flour and stir. Add the yogurt and the milk and cook to a low heat until it looks like a smooth sauce. Add more yogurt or milk if needed. It should have the consistency of a sour cream. When the sauce is ready add the minced spinach and cook for about 1 minute stirring continuously.

Serve it with spicy French fries. All I could say is that I was asked for more 😉

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Bon  Appetite ! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian

Artichoke tomatoes pasta

I was talking with Zohreh, one of my co-workers today about quick and easy meals … and today  because I worked until 5.00 pm and had to do some shopping ( for Christmas presents 🙂 ) it was one of that days when I had to improvise and  fix a meal in 30 minutes until someone very hungry will come home 🙂 …

This is one of the easygoing and quick recipe I can imagine and can be done in so many versions : with mushrooms ( canned or pickled ) or with green stuffed olives or capers …

It took me even 30 minutes to have it done and it was so delicious !!!  🙂

Ingredients

  • 300 gr bad of whole wheat penne rigate
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 can ( 820 gr ) crushed tomatoes
  • 3- 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 120 gr artichoke hearts ( marinated)
  • 2 tbsp mild salsa
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Meanwhile you are cooking the pasta according with the package you can have the sauce done. Follow the next pictures for more details :

Bon Appetite !!!

PS

He loved the meal … 🙂

Vegetarian

Spinach puree with hard boiled eggs …

Spinach puree – one of my mother’s favorites dish. Still I was not able to make it like she used to do it. Hers was the best but I do not give up easily and I think this is very close with hers.

What I still want to learn is how to make her small potatoes breads … but as I said I never give up so I still see there’s a hope that one day I will make them … 🙂

Ingredients for the spinach ( 3 servings )

2 bags – 350 g- of fresh spinach

4 garlic cloves minced

3-4 tablespoons of sour cream ( 5% )

150-200 ml warm water or milk

hard boiled eggs

salt

whole wheat fresh European bread ( optional )

Wash the spinach in running water for more minutes. Place a pot with water to boil. Add some salt. When the water is boiling add the spinach. Simmer it for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the boiled spinach and let it cool. Meanwhile prepare the garlic sauce. Heat 3 tbsp of canola oil ( or any vegetable oil you like ) and add the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 cup of warm water and stir well with a whisk. Add more water if it thickens too much until you have the consistency of a cream or very smooth puree. Now you can add the sour cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Set the garlic sauce aside and start prepare the spinach which should be cooled a bit.

Divide the spinach in two parts and place it on a wooden cutting board and mince it well . Add the spinach to the garlic sauce and bring it back on the stove to a low heat and cook it for about 2-3 minutes. Can be served with hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, sausages or whatever you think it works …

Bon Appetite !