I am a bit behind on meals this week. After a crazy-busy, wonderful, refreshing, much-needed weekend with my best bud who was visiting from Montreal, I am now scrambling to get ready for a trip to Ottawa tomorrow where I will be visiting the French embassy with L’Oréal. Eee!! I’m so excited!
Anyway, for now here are only Monday’s and Tuesday’s meals, and hopefully I can pick up where I left off when I return from Ottawa on Wednesday (with stories about the embassy, of course!)
Update: I’m back! The trip to Ottawa was fantastic! What a fun evening — I got to meet & talk to such interesting and inspiring women in science, and even got to meet the French Ambassador.
He approached me personally (!) to ask questions about personal experiences he has had with Alzheimer’s disease. I felt so important! It was a really fun and special night. I’m so glad I went. 🙂
– White fish with lemony golden potatoes
I found this side dish recipe in the newest issue of Food & Drink. It’s fast, easy and sounds delicious! The lemony tang is very robust, so serve this with a simple white fish fillet of your choice, natural with salt & pepper, pan-fried or oven roasted.
- 8 small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Mix all ingredients in an oven-safe dish. Bake for 50 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through cook time.
- Serve with simple white fish.
A straightforward recipe from Blue Kitchen.
- 1 cup pitted prunes, about 20
- 2/3 cup apple juice, divided
- 4 each, chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin-on, bone-in
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsps olive oil, plus more if needed
- 2 cups sliced onions, about 2 medium
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tbsps chopped fresh sage, divided
- 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- In a small sauce pan, combine prunes with half of the apple juice. Bring to a boil and cook until almost all the juice is absorbed. Cover and set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to hold chicken in a single layer. Let the pan get good and hot, then brown chicken on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Do this in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding chicken. It will brown better this way. When you’re braising it later, crowding isn’t an issue. Transfer browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Spoon off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions until they’re translucent and beginning to soften, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes. If pan seems dry, drizzle in a little more oil. Create a hole in the center and add garlic and half the sage. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Pour in the rest of the apple juice and cook until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits in the pan.
- Add the prunes with any liquid, the broth and the bay leaf. Nestle chicken pieces in among the prunes and onions. Sprinkle remaining sage over the pan, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil. Stir vinegar into cooking liquid and reduce until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf, taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Serve chicken with rice, if desired, spooning the prunes, onions and sauce over both.
I found this recipe flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, Poulet. I haven’t tried this particular recipe yet, but I found a review on Seriouseats.com that called it “one of the best grilled chicken recipes we’ve come across in a while“. I’m all for giving it a try!
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
- 20 peppercorns
- 1 large bunch cilantro with stems, chopped
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsps raw sugar
- One 3- to 4-pound chicken
- Combine the garlic, peppercorns, cilantro, fish sauce, and sugar together in a mortar. Using a pestle, pound into a paste. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and peppercorns with the side of knife, chop the coriander and garlic as finely as you can, and stir well in a bowl. You won’t have a paste, but it’ll be just fine.)
- Place the chicken on a baking sheet/tray or in a roasting pan and slash across the breast, thighs, and legs. Rub the spice paste all over the chicken and into the cuts you’ve made. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour and for to 2 hours, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. (If refrigerating, return the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off before you cook it.)
- Preheat the BBQ grill to medium. Use well-cured grate and scrub it clean with a wire brush. Butterfly the chicken. Put the chicken skin-side down on the grate, laying it flat. Let cook for 5 minutes or so before you move it. After that, flip the chicken every 5 minutes or so to keep it from sticking and to keep from burning the skin. Because you have a whole butterflied chicken, most of the time on the grill will be spent skin-side down. Cook the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes. A few black spots in this case are in the spirit of the meal.
- Transfer the cooked chicken from the grill to a cutting board. Using a cleaver (or your biggest, sharpest knife) chop the whole chicken into a dozen pieces or so — right through the bones! Serve the chopped chicken on a platter with jasmine rice.
This will be my use-only-the-ingredients-I-already-have recipe for the week. I had so. many. carrots leftover from past veggie baskets that I didn’t know what to do with, but when I saw the yams in my basket this week, I immediately thought of cumin and was inspired. I worked from the basics of this recipe, and modified it slightly.
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsps ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
- 4 cups peeled, diced carrots
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in coriander, cumin and chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add sweet potato and carrot. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add stock. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Blend soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve hot with crusty bread.
I never really know what to do with chard. I find it too tough to eat raw, and too soggy sautéed. But I know it’s good for me, and it came in my basket this week, so I went hunting for something to do with it. I came across this 5-star-rated simple chard pasta dish by Ricardo that can be served as a side with salmon – hurrah!
- 1 cup orzo
- 10 swiss chard leaves
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cut the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely chop the stems and set aside. Coarsely chop the leaves and set aside separately.
- In the same saucepan over medium heat, soften the chard stems in the oil, about 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and garlic. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and reduce by half. Add the orzo and cook until the broth is absorbed.
- Adjust the seasoning. Serve with simple poached salmon.