Posts Tagged ‘honey’

Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios

February 4, 2011

I first discovered tagines last year when I was on the search for rich, winter comfort food. I found a lamb tagine that warmed your whole body, and paired perfectly with a glass of full-bodied red wine. I knew Moroccans were on to something…

A tagine is a spicy, rich stew from northern Africa. The name tagine is also given to the vessel it is cooked in – a shallow, round pot with a unique conical lid designed to lock in moisture and flavors, cooking the food gently in a small amount of liquid. My first few tangines I used my go to – my dutch oven. But as my love for the rich dish grew, I realized I needed to do it right. So, I bought a tagine at Sur la Table. And, of course, I couldn’t buy the tagine without a Tagine cookbook as well.

Although the tagine is big, bulky, and really doesn’t have a convenient storage location, it is well worth the purchase. The meat, when cooked in this vessel, is so tender and moist – despite being on a stove for so long (a testament to the cone-shaped lid). This particular tagine was my first in the authentic cookware and has a wonderful sweetness from the dates.

So, if you have a few hours to cook on a Sunday night (keep in mind about 2 hours is completely inactive cooking time), I would give this tagine a try. Cook it in any pot you use for long cooking, but if you get hooked on tagines like me, it is well worth the investment of an actual tagine. Plus, it is just plain cool to look at!

Thanks to Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan for this fantastic recipe!

LAMB TAGINE WITH DATES ALMONDS AND PISTACHIOS
Serves 4

2-3 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil plus a pat of butter)
2 onions, finely chopped (I just used one)
1-2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/4 lb lean lamb, from the shoulder, neck or leg, cut into bite-size pieces
8 oz moist, ready to eat, pitted dates
1 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pat of butter
2-3 tablespoons blanched almonds
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
a small bunch of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Stir in the onions and saute until golden brown. Stir in the tumeric, ginger and cinnamon. Toss in the meat, making sure it is coated in the spice mixture. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for roughly 1.5 hours.

Add the dates and stir in the honey. Cover with the lid again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.

Heat the olive oil with the butter in a small pan. Stir in the almonds and pistachios and cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Scatter the nuts over the lamb and dates and sprinkle with the flatleaf parsley. Service with buttery couscous.

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Smoke-Roasted Chicken Thighs With Paprika and Creme Fraiche Stuffed Tomatoes

October 4, 2010

As Ohio seems to have gotten a severe fast-forward into fall, I am resigned to the fact that grilling out is going to be few and far between. Although, my parents grill in the dead of winter in Michigan (and shovel a path to their grill!), so I am not saying it cannot be done. But, I will admit our grill gets used a bit less frequently, especially when I would rather cacoon inside and smell up the house with spices and tantalizing goodness.

But, a few more grilling recipes will be showing up as stragglers – ones I really wanted to try this year and just couldn’t bear waiting until next spring. Needless to say, they would become hidden in my folder of “must tries” and then get shoved aside for the new recipes that Bon Appetit or La Cucina Italiana says I must make in spring 2011.

So, this New York Times recipes is one of the last ones standing. My husband requested it when he read it a few Sundays ago, and I make a point to always whip up his requests…

It seems so simple – just smoked paprika, honey, lemon juice, garlic and butter – smothered on some chicken thighs and nestled on a sizzling grill. But, the taste explodes with a sweetness of the honey (and nice caramelizing), the smokiness of the paprika and the punch of the garlic. And, the butter just melts it all together…

The stuffed tomatoes were a far cry from what the original recipe said. I couldn’t find robiola in my local store (although I have run past 2 recipes since then requiring it, so I will need to find a supplier quick!), so I substituted creme fraiche. I am sure another cheese would be better – something less the texture of creme fraiche and more the texture of, well, robiola. But, it turned out really nice and refreshing, and cut the smokiness of the chicken perfectly.

So, don’t give up on your grill quite yet -there is no snow to shovel, just leaves to sweep out of the way. Seems a small price to pay for a fantastic dinner!

SMOKE-ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH PAPRIKA
Serves 4
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons softened butter
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3½ pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish.

Build a fire in a grill with a cover, leaving about ⅓ of the grill free of coals. If using a gas grill, make sure one side of the grill is unheated, and either swap out the paprika above for the smoked version known as pimenton de la vera or wrap two small mounds of moistened wood chips in heavy aluminum foil and pierce the tops of the packets with the tines of a fork.

In a bowl, combine the paprikas, honey, lemon juice, garlic and butter and stir to make a paste. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then coat thoroughly by hand with the spice paste.

Place chicken on cooler side of grill and cover. If using wood chips, place the foil packets, pierced side up, on the hotter side of the grill and cover. Roast chicken for 15 minutes, turn, cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until cooked through.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, with lemon wedges, sprinkled with mint leaves.

ROBIOLA-STUFFED TOMATOES (or CREME FRAICHE-STUFFED TOMATOES)
Serves 4

4 large ripe tomatoes
3½ ounces robiola cheese, rind removed, diced (or creme fraiche or other soft cheese)
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or use insides of ripe tomatoes, above
½ teaspoon mild paprika
4 chives, finely diced
2 tablespoons vodka (yes, vodka)

Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh. Sprinkle the shells with kosher salt and turn them upside down on paper towels to drain for 30 minutes.

Place the robiola, gorgonzola and butter in a bowl, season sparingly with salt and aggressively with pepper, and beat until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Fill the tomatoes with the mixture. Place on serving dish until ready to serve. Serves 4. Adapted from “Recipes From an Italian Summer,” by the editors of Phaidon Press.

Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers

July 17, 2010

When I spent $20 on beef tenderloin meat that would not be rubbed and roasted, but chopped and grilled on a skewer – I did have the same reaction as my butcher. “Don’t you want a cheaper meet for a kabob?” Well, I was curious if it made a difference and, well, the recipe called for it so I wanted to do as told. Yes, it makes a difference.

The marinade also gives it an amazing flavor and color. The soy and paprika give the meat a “wow” color and the honey gives it a glistening glaze. The mustard isn’t overpowering, which surprised me, but gives it a great tang.

These need to marinate for at least 4 hours so I would do this one on a Saturday or Sunday night. I made this with some couscous and it was amazing. This was also the first time I made skewers with my new metal skewers. I highly recommend them. Gone are the days of soaking wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using and still having them burn at bit on the grill. With the metal ones, just make sure to put some oil on them before threading the meat so it doesn’t stick.

Thanks to Bobby Flay for this one!

Bon appetit!

GARLIC-MUSTARD GRILLED BEEF SKEWERS
Serves 6

Garlic-mustard glaze
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grilled beef skewers
2 pounds beef tenderloin
Twelve 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers

For garlic-mustard glaze:
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl,cover,and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before using.

For grilled beef skewers:
Heat your grill to high.

Cut the tenderloin lengthwise in half, then cut the halves lengthwise in half again. Slice crosswise to make 24 equal pieces. Skewer 2 pieces of beef onto each skewer, keeping them together at one end of the skewer. (This will make the grilled skewer easier to hold and eat.) Place the skewers in a baking dish or on a baking sheet, pour half of the glaze over the meat, and turn to coat.

Grill the meat, turning once and brushing with the remaining glaze, for 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown, slightly charred, and cooked to medium-rare. Transfer the skewers to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the skewers on a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

Marinated Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato

June 24, 2010

My husband isn’t too big on chicken thighs – every once in a while he is in the mood, but always feels like they are a bit greasy (which is, of course why I love them!). But, I had never tried grilling them, and wondered if the outcome would be different than an oven or a pan.

The skin gets crispier on the grill (with less grease, since it drips into the grill) and the meat is incredibly moist. My husband loved them.

So while chicken thighs cooked in the house will remain limited, I will certainly be learning more chicken thigh recipes on the grill.

This recipe is from Cooking Light and is considered an “Australian Beach Recipe.” The five-spice (a Chinese spice) gives its unique flavor and the mirin and ginger continue to emphasize the Asian flavors. However, the chicken itself has a unique flavor, unlike most Asian chicken I have made. Don’t miss out on the side dish either – it goes perfectly with the chicken. It is the perfect summer meal.

MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SWEET POTATO
6 Servings

3 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
12 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
3 small sweet potatoes (about 7 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 medium yellow onion, vertically sliced
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and chicken; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each potato piece in half crosswise. Add potato wedges to a large pot of boiling water; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain. Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Arrange on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; keep warm. (Discard skin before serving.) Arrange potato on grill rack; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add yellow onion; stir-fry 1 minute. Add bell peppers; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and vinegar; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve bell pepper mixture with chicken and potatoes. Top with green onions.

Heavenly Hots

February 14, 2010

Hi, this is Sarah’s husband, Rob, guest blogging today. It’s Valentines Day, and I have been wanting to make this pancake recipe from the NY Times Sunday Magazine for a few weeks. They are called “heavenly hots” and are smaller, lighter and tastier than the gut bombs that pancakes tend to be. They come from the Bridge Creek restaurant in Berkeley, California. Some tips, again courtesy the NY Times magazine: Don’t cook them all the way through… be careful while flipping, and you need to let the dough sit and chill overnight, so if you want ’em Sunday, start Saturday.
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tblspoons cake flour (I used regular all-purpose flour.)
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Crisco for greasing the griddle.

1) Whisk together everything except the vegetable shortening in a large bowl or blender. Chill the batter overnight. Will keep for a week.

2) The next day, heat up the skillet or griddle over med heat, lightly coat with shortening. Drop small spoonfuls (3/4-1 tablespoon) on the griddle, you want a cake less than 3 inches in diameter – think silver dollar sized cakes). When a few bubbles form, flip em, but good luck.. might take a few practice runs. Don’t overdo them, you want the interior creamy. Serve with butter, syrup or honey. Original article is here.

Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Parsley Mint Sauce

June 14, 2009

IMG_0305When I first starting grilling, I always thought meat had to marinade overnight. Steaks, chicken, pork loin should all be coming out of a large zip lock bag glistening with something zesty or sweet.

But, the reality is, when I saw Bobby Flay put a spice rub on a piece of meat, I realized I was missing out on a completely different aspect of grilling. And when I tried it, I knew that I had found a new way prepare food.

This recipe could easily be made without the sauce, if it isn’t your style, but I find it is a great complement to the Spanish flavors of the chicken. I personally use a little less garlic than Bobby (this recipe below reflects my omission). Also, if you do not grill the serranos, you might want to add one to start and see how much heat it gives your sauce. Always easier to add more than to subtract!

If you are looking for a unique way to use up that chicken in your refrigerator, this one is a keeper. I like to serve it with cous cous, but it could go with any side you like. Thanks to Bobby Flay and his grilling expertise for this one!

SPANISH SPICE RUBBED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH PARSLEY MINT SAUCEIMG_0301
4 Servings

Spice-Rubbed Chicken:
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 boneless chicken breasts
olive oil

Parsley Mint Sauce:
1 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 serrano chilis, grilled peeled, chopped (or raw)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
water
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your grill to high. Whisk together the paprika, cumin, mustard, fennel, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Brush the chicken with a few teaspoons of oil on both sides. Rub the breasts on the skin side with some of the rub and place on the grill, rub side down. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and immediately drizzle with parsley-mint sauce (or serve sauce on the side). Let rest 5 minutes.

To make sauce, place the mint, parsley, garlic and serranos in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the honey and mustard and process until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and whisk in a few tablespoons of cold water to thin the sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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