Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tandoori Chicken with Mashed Chick Peas and Pepper and Onion Salad

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


* 1 cup Greek yogurt
* 2 inches grated ginger root
* 4 cloves garlic, grated, divided
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 2 teaspoons coriander
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3 tablespoons plus some for drizzling extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
* 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut across in 1/2
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cans chick peas, drained
* 1/2 cup chicken stock
* 1/4 cup tahini paste
* 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
* 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or 1/2-inch dice
* Hot banana pepper rings, drained and chopped plus 2 tablespoons juice
* Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1 lime, juiced, plus 1 lime, for garnish
* 4 pita breads


Preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees F, as high as it goes. Cover a
baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top if you have one -
not necessary but use it if you got it.

Place yogurt in shallow dish and combine with ginger, 3 cloves grated
garlic, chili powder, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cardamom, cumin
and 2 tablespoons oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and
coat in sauce. Arrange on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes
until juices run clear.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1
clove grated garlic. Pulse chop the chick peas in food processor then
add to garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Mash with chicken
stock and tahini and reduce heat to low.

Combine red onion, bell peppers, chopped hot peppers, to taste, 2
tablespoons hot pepper pickle juice, cilantro leaves, lime juice.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Wedge the remaining lime, reserve.

Warm and crisp pitas in hot oven last few minutes chicken is roasting.

Serve chicken with lime wedges to squeeze over top. Serve mashed chick
peas alongside. Top the chicken with pepper salad. Cut pitas in half
and pass at table.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice Seared Scallops and Shrimp

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 pound spaghetti
* Salt
* 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1/4 to 1/3 cup tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
* 1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin
* 2 rounded tablespoonfuls mild or hot curry paste (recommended:
Patak's) found on international foods aisle
* 3 tablespoons five-spice powder
* 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 12 diver scallops, trimmed and patted dry
* 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced
lengthwise into matchsticks


Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and
add pasta to cook to al dente or with a bite to it.

While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2
tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell
pepper, and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of
minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk soy into peanut
butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very
thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add a ladle or 2 of pasta cooking
water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to

Heat a small to medium skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice
powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the shrimp and
scallops into the powder. Add 3 tablespoons of remaining oil to hot
skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 minute, flip and sear
the other side until just opaque. Remove shrimp to a plate and set
aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat back
up to smoking. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until opaque.
Remove scallops and add to the plate of shrimp.

Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce
and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles on 4 plated and top with scallions
and seafood.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why-the-Chicken-Crossed-the-Road Santa Fe-Tastic Tortilla Soup

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons -- 2
turns of the pot in a slow stream
* 3 ears corn on the cob or 2 ears fresh-frozen cobs, defrosted
* 1 red bell pepper, split and seeded
* 1 pound chicken breast tenders
* 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
* 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palm full
* Salt and pepper
* 1 small to medium zucchini, small dice
* 1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 to 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (medium to hot heat level),
chopped -- available in small cans in Mexican and Spanish food section
of market
* 1 can stewed tomatoes, 28 ounces
* 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
* 3 cups chicken stock, available in re-sealable paper containers
on soup aisle
* 4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces
* 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
* 1/2 cup sour cream

Optional garnishes:

* 1/4 red raw onion, chopped
* 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
* 1 ripe avocado, diced and dressed with the juice of 1/2 lemon


Heat a grill pan to high and a soup pot to medium high. Drizzle oil on
corn and place on grill. Add red pepper to grill with corn. Char
vegetables 10 minutes, total, turning occasionally. Remove to cool, 5
minutes. Remove charred skin from the pepper.

While vegetables cook, dice chicken. Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup
pot. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt
and pepper. Lightly brown chicken on each side. Add zucchini, onions
and garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 to 7
minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to
a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.

Scrape corn off cob and add to soup. Chop grilled red pepper and stir
into soup. Add chips to soup in handfuls and fold in. Serve soup
immediately with scatter of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour
cream. Top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Broccoli Rice

Cook Time: 17 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 2 cups chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 cup white rice
* 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 box chopped frozen broccoli, defrosted and squeezed dry in kitchen towel


Bring broth and butter to a boil. Add rice and stir to combine. Bring
liquid back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, 15 minutes.

Add bell pepper and chopped, defrosted, drained broccoli. Cook rice
with broccoli and pepper another 2 to 3 minutes. Fluff with fork and