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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Titanic & Moroccan Style Chicken Stew

Yeah, I said Titanic. Don't judge me.

I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go.

This whole gluten free thing is so hard for me. I'm trying, but I just want a GOD DAMN SANDWICH. Deep breaths. But, I did find a gluten free pizza crust that I like, so I might just make it after all.

Moroccan Style Chicken and Chickpea Stew

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 an onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 cup diced, fresh tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups veggie/chicken stock
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
olive oil
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown chicken, and remove to a plate. Add a little bit more olive oil to the pot and saute onions and garlic until onions are soft. Add the spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger), and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, and cook until they become saucy. Add the chickpeas and the stock, making sure to scrape bits on the bottom of the pot. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. Place chicken breasts back in stew. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Once the liquid has reduced and the chicken is cooked through, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken back to stew, add raisins and pine nuts. Serve over couscous or jasmine rice. Garnish with cilantro.

As I wrote this, I watched Dr. Who, Daleks in Manhattan. Freaking intense.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Gluten Free and Angry

I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea, but I have decided to go gluten free. 

New year, new me? Ugh. No. I like being a fatty. 

But, I will see this through. Whining the whole time.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 purple eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pecan meal
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Pasta sauce, use your favorite
Shredded mozzarella (I used manchego)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Season eggplant rounds, both sides. In a small, shallow bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper. In another small, shallow bowl, mix pecan meal, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper also. At this point, you can add some grated Parmesan, or some of the shredded mozzarella. I didn't, since we are mostly dairy free. 

Dip seasoned eggplant rounds into egg, then into pecan meal mixture, and set on a lined baking sheet. Once all rounds are "breaded", bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven, top rounds with spoonful of pasta sauce and top with shredded cheese. Place back in oven for a few minutes to melt cheese and heat sauce through.

This was experimental. I didn't know how the pecan meal would work, but LAWD HAVE MERCY. It can out so freaking good. So good. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Duck, Duck, Tamales!

For Christmas Eve, I made duck heaven : Quack on a Rack
It was beautiful. Merm was so happy, I swear I saw a tear. It was pretty good if I do say so myself.

Then, of course, Mom asks me what I will make for New Years. "Tamales?", she asks. 

Duck tamales. Duck tamales with roasted grapes. DUCK TAMALES WITH ROASTED GRAPE PUREE.

I have never made tamales before. I live in Texas, I either know someone that will make them for me, or I can buy them in the store. I like a challenge. Let's do this.

Roasted Grape Puree

1 lb. seedless grapes
1 tsp. fresh thyme
Dash of red wine
1 tsp. sugar
Drizzle of olive oil (tablespoon or so)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss grapes with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread grapes onto baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool on pan. Once cool, place in a blender or food processor, and add a dash of red wine and one teaspoon of sugar. Blend until smooth. Pout in jar or container and refrigerate.

For tamales:

Cooked, and shredded duck meat (1/2 lb.)
Premixed masa harina for tamales (seasoned however you want)
Pre-soaked corn husks

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add duck and 1/2 a cup of the roasted grape puree. Let cook for 5 minutes (or until duck takes on grape color). Lay down first corn husk with pointy end towards you, add a teaspoon masa in the middle, teaspoon of duck mixture on top of that, and then a little bit more masa. First, fold up the pointy end and then start to roll for one side to the other. Lightly squeeze the tamale to create a seal, and pinch the top. Add these to either a steamer, or a colander set on top of a pot of water. Make sure that the tamales are standing up and not over lapping. Steam for 2 hours. 

They came out so perfectly. Topped with a little more grape puree, and they were wonderful. I was so damn proud of myself.