Cashew Chicken Curry

Do you ever plod along, looking for new recipes and then re-making those over and over so much that you forget about those old and faithful recipes sitting lost and frayed in your old recipe binder?  No?  Well I do, and this is one of those.

I have been so into making all kinds of strong curry dishes and Indian foods lately, so was pleasantly surprised when I recently stumbled upon this oldie but goody recipe.  To be truthful, it doesn’t have much of a curry flavor at all; I find the cashew flavor more pre-dominant, but I suppose you could change that with more curry.  I kind of like it the way it is.

Cashews aren’t something we have lying around, they are much too costly here.  And frankly, if they were lying around my house, I would eat them all.  I wish my grocery stores had an aisle that was called “Lesley, don’t go down here, your pants already don’t fit”.  In that aisle would be such food items as any cheese known to man, most red wines on the planet, and for sure, the cashew.

Oh boy, I’m getting distracted.  Back to the recipe.

You can use any chicken that you like.   For this recipe I usually buy chicken thighs.   I don’t buy thighs too often, but when I do find ones that are just the right size, I snap them up.  Too big and they seem to take forever to cook.  Too small and it seems like no meat to eat and a waste of time.  Or, if you want to go crazy, use shrimp instead of the chicken.  I’ve tried it and it’s great also.

I have even taken this sauce and smeared it on breaded chicken which has been added to a sandwich.  Don’t judge me.  It’s gooooood.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 TAB ginger root, chopped
  • 1 TAB curry paste
  • 1 TAB brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 TAB vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, blend 3/4 cup cashews until finely chopped.  Add yogurt, 1/4 cup cilantro, ginger root, curry paste, brown sugar, and salt and pepper and process until smooth.

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add thighs and brown on each side, at least 5 minutes per side. Pour sauce over chicken and add chicken broth.  Combine well and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  (If you find the broth is cooking off, add more broth as you like or even water).  Let sit covered for ten more minutes to rest.  Garnish with more cashews and cilantro and serve alone or over rice.

chicken wings

Red Rub Chicken Wings

The first few years we lived in Mexico, we began to notice that at social gatherings with the group of friends we had met, we would often see the same things on the table: guacamole, tacos, chicken wings.  It also seemed that everybody had the same recipe for chicken wings, and I thought maybe said group of friends all shared this sauce recipe and I was the only one who was left out.   I eventually learned that the grocery stores here sold them with this marinade on it.  Trouble was, I wasn’t a big fan of the marinade.  I thought, no biggie, I’ll just go and make my own sauce/rub/marinade.

I couldn’t find chicken wings that weren’t marinated.  FOR YEARS.  Finally, when what I am sure was the one millionth time I asked for ‘alitas natural’, one of the deli guys said ‘Si’ and I almost passed out.  But wait, it’ll probably cost an arm and a leg.  Anything new that’s catered to foreigners usually costs more than what the locals regularly purchase.  Wrong.  They were cheeeeeeap.  I think I bought 100 that day I was so excited and was afraid it was a mistake so bought as many as the store would allow me.

Chicken wings are readily available ‘natural’ now, although they only provide so many in a day.  That means if you’re going in on a big American football day, forget it, all the foreigners have snapped them all up.  They fact that they are so cheap and everybody loves them, make them a popular item to bring to any event.

A friend of ours from Canada who used to live here directed us to this red rub a few years ago.  We really liked it and make it all the time.  This recipe makes A LOT of rub, and so that’s why the amount of chicken wings is also high.  I have used all of this rub for the 8 lbs of wings, but my husband prefers a little less rub so maybe don’t coat them down the first time, it may be too much spice for you.

We made our own BBQ to go with this, there is a link to it below.  It’s one of Bobby Flay’s and you don’t mess with anything BBQ that Bobby Flay doesn.  Of course, you can just buy your favorite brand from the store, which saves a lot of time and frankly, it’s what we usually do.

Enjoy your game day or pub night or just week-night dinner!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup paprika, smoked or regular
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 TAB dark chili powder
  • 1 TAB garlic powder
  • 1 TAB onion powder
  • 1 1/2 TAB black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 lbs chicken wings

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all spices together in a bowl and whisk.  Season wings with rub.  Lay foil on a sheet pan and lightly oil it.  Place wings on pan, do not crowd.  You will need two pans for this amount of wings.  Place in oven and cook approximately 35 minutes.  Warm sauce (use store bought or this Carolina Style BBQ sauce) on stove.  Toss wings with sauce if desired and serve immediately.  Or, toss wings, return to oven for 5 minutes under the broiler and remove.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Food Republic

 

 

Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish is a lot like Butter Chicken, but with a little less effort and ingredients.  I love spending time in the kitchen cooking and creating, but I also love whipping up a meal in under an hour that has the family begging for more.

Because some of the official ingredients for authentic Butter Chicken were originally hard to find here in Mexico, Tikka Masala is something I’ve been making for awhile now.  I don’t know about you, but it’s happened more than once that I get scared simply when I hear or read the name of something I’ve never heard of, especially if the dish in question originates from a land far-far-away. That’s what Tikka Masala did to me, even more than Butter Chicken.  I just instantly thought “I’ll never be able to find the ingredients for that”.

Well I was wrong.  The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices, and the sauce is  simply a cream and tomato sauce with spices that you probably already have in the pantry.  The best part?  You can marinate the chicken in the morning or even the night before and toss it all together in under a half hour for dinner the next day.  Chicken is a meat that takes a long time to take on flavor, so the longer it marinates, the better.  This dish is also better the next day, as those flavors have just sat around in the fridge together, getting to know each other and becoming friendly.

If you want to spice this up, use more cayenne.  My husband and daughter like it a little spicier, but the spices as presented are just perfect for my son and I.

Take your family away to a far away land, right at your dinner table, in under an hour.  And let me know how you liked it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup plan, sugar free yogurt
  • 1 TAB lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

MASALA:

  • 2 TAB butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste, cilantro to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

For the marinade, combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Whisk well.  Add chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.

For the Masala, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for one minute until flavors release.  Add spices, tomato sauce, and whipping cream.  Simmer on low until sauce thickens about 20 minutes.

As the Masala is simmering, heat a large skillet with a bit of cooking oil.  Cook reserved chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes a batch.  Add chicken to sauce and toss well.  Garnish with cilantro.

No Fail Pie Crust

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been cooking, baking, creating, and serving food for as long as I can remember.  I love it.  Food is a universal language.  No matter where you go, it is one of the things that binds us all together.  Like many of you, I have ‘foodie friends’, ‘music friends’, and definitely maybe even ‘wine friends’.

One of my ‘foodie friends’ came up to me a few months ago with her big brown eyes and a serious request.  Her and her husband were looking to change employment, and, because they both worked at hotels, that meant they couldn’t eat their main meal of the day for free anymore.  Nor would they have the same income to eat out whenever they pleased.  She looked at me and asked if there was any way I could help her learn to up her cooking skills so her and her husband could enjoy good food at home and save some money at the same time.  Along with that, I would like to thank one of the local bottled spaghetti sauce companies for bringing her to me with this request (which shall remain nameless) as she said “my sweet husband made me pasta with (nameless) sauce and I said honey, I love you, but I can’t eat this”.

I just couldn’t say no.  I’m always up for people trying to up their cooking game and sending me pictures of their food with the little hearts-in-the-eyes emoticon.

So I said sure and we set to a loose schedule that worked for both of us.  We started off with chicken schnitzel, the classic Balsamic Penne Pasta, Tikka Masala, to name a few.  She was not as incompetent as she had led me to believe, and so before you know it, when I asked what she wanted to try next, she said Chicken Pot Pie.

I was impressed.  I warned her, pastry is a whole beast on it’s own.  “I’m ready”, she replied. I admired her guts.

Her and her husband arrived a little earlier that day.  First we made the filling and let it cool.  Then we did the pastry.  I had been frightened of pastry for YEARS so wasn’t sure how this was going to go.  But she is a very diligent student and did better than just fine.  I made the first one and she did the second and let me tell you, you couldn’t tell the difference.  Dang, the girl has natural talent.

We pieced our pies together and enjoyed wine while they baked in the oven.  Then I actually made everyone wait while they rested a bit.  They were a bit gooey inside but man, the seasoning was perfect and that crust!  Better than any crust I’ve used before.  The six of us inhaled almost two entire pies that night.  It was comfort food at it’s best.

IMG_4450

IMG_4452

 

I had to make them again and share the recipe with you.  If I can say anything, use a LOT of seasoning.  I don’t mean salt, I mean sage and thyme.  The second time I made it the seasoning wasn’t as strong and I preferred the first attempt.  You can taste test the mixture before you throw it into the pie crust and adjust it as necessary.  Season season season!

And avoid all people with big brown eyes. Don’t do what I did, I married one.

INGREDIENTS:

FILLING:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half if too thick
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

 

DIRECTIONS:

Make pastry as indicated.

FILLING:

Season chicken breasts.  In a medium saucepan, fry in a little oil until cooked through, a few minutes per side (or roast in an oven for 30 minutes).  Let cool and then dice or shred chicken.

In sauce-pan, melt butter and add vegetables.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and stir for another minute.  Add flour and stir about 2 minutes until flour is dissolved.  Add chicken broth and stir until thick.  If mixture has too much liquid, add more flour in. Add whipping cream and chicken.  Check seasoning and let cool.

Remove pastry from refrigerator and divide in half.  Roll out on well floured surface and turn into a pie pan.  Spoon filling into crust.  Roll out second dough and lay on top.  If you have too much excess dough, cut around the edges.  Bring the two crusts together and pinch together.  Alternatively, if you have small baking vessels, do not put a crust on the bottom, just spoon in filling and top with

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven.  Cook for about 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Cool ten minutes before serving.

Makes one pie or four small pies.

 

Bang Bang Chicken

When we had our little cafe here, a friend of ours asked if we could do something special for her. You see, she was a little older and single and really didn’t like cooking for one.  Would I be able to provide her with 7 meals a week, pre-packaged into individually sized potions, and delivered every Sunday?

I had never done anything like this before, but I was willing to try anything to make money at the time.  So in addition to the food I made for the cafe every day, I also scheduled a week’s worth of food for her.  She had lived in different Asian countries for over 20 years, so she mostly asked for rice and chicken dishes, any which was I could come up with.

At first I thought that this was going to be really hard.  After all, at that time, with everything that was going on, I barely wanted to make food for my own family.  But, in reality, this request was totally helping us eat real meals during such a crazy time.  Why? Because I didn’t just make a serving for her, I usually doubled my normal recipes and set aside her portion and froze.  That means, on those crazy nights when I will still cooking until midnight, my children and husband could check what was in the freezer and warm it up in under a few minutes.  Voila.  A homemade meal cooked by mommy and wifie …. just not today.

There are many theories out there as to why this is named the way it is. The most popular one is that they had to bang the chicken on the counter to flatten it. I’d rather like to think it’s because of the zest in the sauce.  Whatever reason, I’m glad it’s around. You can eat it any way you choose: over rice, in a tortilla, or just straight out of the bowl.

Make sure you make extra sauce for dipping, it’s goooooood.

INGREDIENTS:

SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red hot sauce
  • 1 TAB Sriracha
  • 2 TAB honey
  • salt and pepper

CHICKEN:

  • 8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TAB garlic powder
  • 1 TAB paprika
  • 1 TAB sriracha
  • 2-3 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

DIRECTIONS:

For the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.  Add hot sauce, egg, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Add chicken to bowl and toss well to make sure each piece is coated in batter.

Pour about a cup of panko into a shallow bowl.  Add cooking oil to coat the bottom of your skilled and heat over medium-high. Coat each piece of chicken in the panko and add more breadcrumbs as necessary. Cook chicken for about 3 minutes a site or until cooked through and crispy.  Drain on paper towels.  Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

Adapted from:  Jo Cooks

 

Butter Chicken

Why oh why is this dish so good? The cream? The spices? I don’t know.  All I know is I love it so.  Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala, yes please again and again.

A few years back I heard a few of my friends having ‘Butter Chicken cook-offs”, so I knew I could get all the ingredients I needed here, but I never partook.  I was missing out.

Some of these ingredients are harder to find here on the Riviera Maya, but were brought up by my friend from Belize.  You sure do appreciate things and take care of them when you can’t just run out and buy more.  My tandoori masala and fenugreek leaves are triple ziplocked so that the Yucatan humidity won’t destroy them.

Who knew that marinating chicken in yogurt and spices could be so good?  You need to serve this over some basmati or jasmine rice, to help soak up all that saucy goodness. Or, some naan bread wouldn’t hurt either.

 

INGREDIENTS:

CHICKEN MARINADE:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 TAB tandoori masala
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 TAB cooking oil

BUTTER CHICKEN SAUCE

  • 2 TAB ghee (or 1 TAB butter and 1 TAB oil)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 TAB coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and yogurt.  Whisk until smooth.  Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours covered in the refrigerator.

Heat the ghee in a large skillet.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes.  Add mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  (Keep that hand on the lid so it doesn’t end up on your ceiling!)

Heat remaining oil in skillet.  Add marinated chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until browned on all sides.  Add the sauce to the pot and heat through.  Once it starts to simmer, add cream and garam masala.  When is regains a simmer, add fenugreek leaves.

Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Little Spice Jar

Noisy Chicken

When my husband and I discussed moving to Mexico almost 10 years ago, I was afraid.  We had two small children and although I always enjoyed trying new things and having adventures, I wasn’t ready to sell everything and drive down in a van to live on the beach.

We picked Playa del Carmen for a few reasons, one of them being that a very good friend of ours had been living here for a few years.  She came down as a single girl to do volunteer work, met a blond Texan, got married and stayed.  I figured if I had someone who was willing to help me out when I needed it, someone that I didn’t feel bad pestering constantly, it would help make the transition easier.

Boy, was I right.

Those first few days, weeks, months, were overwhelming.  We don’t realize how many things we do without thinking. We know where everything is at the grocery store, and if we don’t, we know how to ask.  I came here not knowing any words for food in Spanish, and stood in the grocery stores not even knowing what to ask for.  I would often just yell to my friend “What’s the word for bacon?” “Tocino”, I would hear, from two aisles away.  She must have answered a million questions those first few months.  And if she didn’t have the answer, she directed me towards people who did.

I don’t know how I would have survived without her help.    I was glad to know that I could repay my gratitude in food and she was happy to accept.  This trade-off worked well between the two of us, and continues to down to this day.  Although it is a little more difficult because she deserted me moved to Guatemala a few years ago,, but when we visit, I still need to feed her.  It actually brings me joy.

Her and her husband were regular fixtures in our home.  They only lived a few blocks away for a few years, and would regularly drop by for a visit, a swim, or a snack.  One time I answered the door and her husband was there.  My husband and I weren’t expecting him and asked what’s up. “I’m here to play Nerf with (our son) Jake”.  Yup, they were family.

One night they were over and it was the usual affair: I was making dinner and she was telling a story.  She is a master story teller.  She makes normal, daily events sound like an adventure beyond proportions.  I was trying something new that night, frying up these chicken thighs on the stove.  My girlfriend is relating some story and I couldn’t hear her very well with sizzling chicken on the stove.  Finally, she says with exaggerated irritation, ‘well if you would finish cooking that noisy chicken, maybe you could hear the story.’

And that’s why this is called Noisy Chicken.

It’s probably the easiest thing you’ll make and yet surprisingly fantastic.  If you have a cast iron pan it’s a one pan meal.  If not, just move the thighs from the skillet to a glass pan and continue cooking it that way.  Although the skin won’t be as crispy as if it stays in the cast iron skillet.

Make it tonight.  But don’t expect to hear what anybody around you is trying to say.  They’ll just have to wait to tell their story.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 skin-on chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Place chicken skin side down in skillet, fry for about 12-15 minutes.  Rotate chicken around the pan about halfway through cooking time but do NOT turn over.  Transfer skillet to oven that’s been preheated to 450 degrees and cook another 12 minutes with the skin side remaining down.  Flip chicken and continue cooking until meat is cooked through, about another 5 minutes longer.  Transfer to plate, let rest for five minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Coconut Peanut Chicken on Rice Noodles

We have a little pasta restaurant in our town that we used to go to all the time.  The portions are huge and the prices are low.  We used to order two or three dishes for the four of us in our family, share and try new dishes, and usually still come home with leftovers.

I’m a pasta girl at heart.  As teenagers, a few of my girlfriends and I even called ourselves The Pasta Club. Did we cook and invent new recipes together? No, we just loved pasta.  Silly, but true.

This restaurant that’s still around in Playa has I’m sure at least 25 dishes to choose from, and while it’s not an authentic Italian restaurant, I like how they play around with their flavors and fuse different cultures together.

One of the dishes we ate was infused with some Thai flavours and that led me to try my own at home.  The sauce is sooooo thick and creamy, I really can’t eat a large portion of it, but my oh my, those flavors pop.

Now I prefer this over rice noodles, somehow I feel it’s more authentic.  But of course you can use spaghetti noodles if you prefer.  I also like a more coconut flavour than a peanut butter flavour, but if you are the opposite, adjust the amounts as you prefer.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tab sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (13.5) can coconut milk (light if you prefer is fine)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tab soy sauce
  • 2 Tab brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, mined
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, thickly grated
  • salted peanuts as garnish (optional)
  • 12 oz rice noodles

DIRECTIONS:

Soak rice noodles in a bowl of water, about 30 minutes.  Once softened, set a pot of water on to boil and cook until al dente.  They are already softened so don’t take as long as dry pasta noodles.  Drain and put aside.

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken until pieces are almost cooked through.  Add carrots and finish cooking chicken until golden brown and carrots have softened.

Heat coconut milk, peanut butter, and broth in separate saucepan, stirring constantly until heated through, do not let boil.  Add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, cumin, curry, salt, and cayenne and stir until sauce thickens.  Squeeze lime juice in.

Add chicken and carrots back to sauce and warm through.  Serve over rice noodles, top with chopped green onions and peanuts, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Genius Kitchen

Easy Hungarian Chicken & Spaetzle

Don’t be mad at me for saying this (especially if you’re a Canadian and it’s anywhere from December to March), but sometimes, just sometimes, I miss winter.  I miss snow lightly falling, fireplaces, coming into a warm house, stomping off the snow, getting some hot chocolate going to warm up the children, or turning the oven on in preparation to make a meal for family or friends in which the scents and warmth please our senses.  It’s such a comforting feeling.

I don’t miss the other parts of winter, the driving, the frozen windshields, the who-is-going-to-warm-up-the-car-for-the-kids battle … but I can’t deny I miss parts of the changing of seasons.  To me, that’s when food was actually comforting, warming, inviting.

I have no objection to spending a whole day slicing, dicing, simmering, steaming, baking, you name it, it’s my happy place.  But lets be honest, those kinds of days don’t always happen when it’s just too hot to do anything but siesta.

This recipe reminds me of a creamy meat stew that’s been simmered on the stove for hours as it warmed up my kitchen on a cold winter day.  But instead, when it’s 30 degrees here, I can whip this up in under 30 minutes and still have comforting food.  You can serve this over rice, mashed potatoes, or try something new, and make this spaetzle.

What is spaetzle?  The name comes most likely from the German word Spatzen which means “little sparrows”. Some say that before there were spaetzle tools, they would put dough into their hands like holding a little sparrow and put small pinches in the water. Another idea is that the dough was formed with two small spoons, making little oval shapes like little sparrows. How it got from Spatzen to Spaetzle is not clear.  What is clear, is that it’s budget friendly, simple, and a delicious form of dumpling.

It’s really as simple as mixing everything in a bowl, and picking out tiny pieces with a spoon, or pushing it through a colander.  If you are using spoons, make the pieces as small as possible, as they puff up when boiling.  Toss a little olive oil into the water to help them not to stick together.  They aren’t the prettiest dumplings out there, but they are goooood.

hungarian2

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup butter + 1 Tab
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 Tab paprika
  • 2 Tab flour
  • 1 cup sour cream

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Dry and lightly dust with flour.

Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Melt 1/4 cup butter.  Add chicken, paprika, salt and pepper to taste, and saute until chicken is lightly browned.  Remove chicken from pan.

Add remaining 1 Tab butter to pan and saute onion until it is translucent.  Return chicken to pan.  Add chicken broth and gently simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken (leave broth) from pan and tent loosely with foil.

Stir 2 Tab flour into the pan and boil until the sauce has thickened to your liking.  Add sour cream and return chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce.

 

SPAETZLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk (not fat-free or light)

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, stir the flour, eggs, milk, and salt until smooth (dough will be very wet, this is what keeps them moist, resist the urge to add more flour).

Put on medium pot of water to boil.  Take serving spoon and dip into hot water. Take small amounts of spaetzle mix and drop into water.  (or alternatively, pour dough into a colander coated with cooking spray, place over boiling water, push dough through in small pieces drop into boiling water).  Cook for two minutes or until dumplings are tender and float.  Remove with a slotted spoon, toss with butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Chicken Curry

Even though we’ve lived on the Mayan Riviera for a long time now, I’m not a big fan of spicy food.  Here, when you eat out, usually the tacos and tortas come very plain, and it’s up to you to add the condiments.  That means everybody gets to choose the level of spice that they can handle.  Which means everybody at the table ends up happy (usually).

I find that is similar in thai/asian/indian cuisine.  While I have gotten better at a good kick of spice, I’m not at the same level as my husband and daughter are.  I like a little kick, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

I like this recipe because it has just that, a kick, but not so much that I can’t taste the real flavours that should shine.  It’s actually a really healthy dish, mostly protein and vegetables and coconut milk.  We like it a little saucier than the picture shows, which is great over jasmine rice.

Watch out when you put the curry paste in the pan to release the flavours, your eyes will probably burn more than when you chopped the onions!  I have a pretty spicy red curry paste so I usually walk away for a minute so I’m not blinded.

If you want to make this easier, buy a roasted chicken from the grocery store and toss that in instead of the cooked chicken.  Here’s to great flavours coming together quickly!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tab olive oil
  • 2 Tab red curry paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 3 Tab ketchup (optional)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tab brown sugar
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • basil, salt, and pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oil in the skillet. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Cook until golden brown and set aside.

Add more oil to the skillet if necessary.  Add red curry paste.  Stir for a minute to release the curry’s aromas and then add garlic and onion.  Cook for a few minutes or until translucent.  Add coconut milk and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  (If you like a tomato flavour, add ketchup here). Add the vegetables and cook until al dente.  Add the chicken and fresh lime juice just before serving.  Garnish with basil and serve with steamed rice.

Adapted from: Susannah’s Kitchen