Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chicken Soup with Spices

This soup is like a burst of flavor in your mouth. There is just something delightful and comforting in the mixture of cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric spices. I found this recipe through tastespotting, wrote down the ingredients and brief cooking instructions and now can’t seem to find the blog where I got it from. If anyone knows who the rightful owner of this recipe is, let me know and I’ll link them. This soup is phenomenal. It is something of a mixture of Thai Tom Yom soup and Indian Chicken Masala and Chicken Curry. Top with fresh cucumbers or cilantro to add some crunch and freshness to this magical broth of Oriental flavors.

Ingredients: 1 lb chicken breasts, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon coriander, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1 bay leaf (I used 2 small ones), 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sugar, 3-4 cups chicken stock, 1/2 cup cream, cilantro to top

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 and baking the chicken. Shred the chicken and set aside. Note: If you have no idea how to shred chicken, click here.

To a pot, on a medium heat, add olive oil, onion and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes

Add the tomatoes with the juice and spices

Mix together and add the bay leaf

Cook for a few minutes before adding the sugar

Add the shredded chicken and mix everything together

Add the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf and as many cloves as you can (you know how disgusting it is when you bite into even one), add the cream and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro or fresh cucumbers on top.

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Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I love recreating classics. Especially if the classics are lightened up without the sacrifice of losing flavors. This recipe from Natural Noshing blog is a lighter remake of the traditional Russian stuffed peppers. Even the boyfriend, who skeptically approaches all poultry-replacing-red meat dishes, enjoyed the dish. I used a mix of ground turkey and chicken for the stuffing as I sometimes find ground turkey to be too dry. I also used green bell peppers instead of red and didn’t add zucchini. This dish is delicious and, as much as I am afraid to say, might replace my Russian favorite.

Ingredients: 2 large red bell peppers cut in half and seeded, 1/2 pound ground turkey, 3 teaspoons oil divided, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped carrot, 1 cup fresh baby spinach torn into pieces, 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup shredded cheese  (I didn’t add any)

Preheat oven to 350. Place peppers in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Set the dish aside. To a large skillet on medium heat add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the ground meat, cumin, garlic and oregano and cook until meat is cooked through for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove meat from the pan. Add the remaining olive, onion, zucchini and carrot

Add the spinach and saute the veggies for about 5 minutes or until tender

Return the meat to the veggies and add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper

Stuff the peppers with meat. If not using cheese, bake for 15 minutes. If using cheese, bake for 12. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 4 more.

 Sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!

The authors advices to fill small oven-safe bowl or ramekin halfway with water and placing the bowl in the middle of the baking pan in the middle of peppers or pour tomato sauce into the baking dish. This is supposed to keep turkey mixture moist while baking. I had enough sauce inside the pepper and so I did not do either step.

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Filed under Main Course, Turkey

Yogurt Cake with Raspberries

“This book is perfect for you. The subtitle is A Love Story with recipes,” my friend said to me the other day. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Bard‘s Lunch in Paris and it is such a great summer read. The memoir tells the story of a young American who leaves to go to Paris to live with her boyfriend (who later becomes her husband) meanwhile exploring the food of the City of Lights. The recipes are really simple but so delicious sounding. Only a quarter way through the book, I made this yogurt cake. It is absolutely amazing. Really moist, light and fluffy. Perfect for breakfast or any other time of the day. I went ahead and made my own addition to Bard’s recipe by making a sour cream topping. Before you get grossed out, try it. My mum always used sour cream for toppings on cakes. The sauce does not turn out too sweet (and therefore does not overwhelm the flavor of the cake and fruit) and is perfect consistency for a cake like this one.

Ingredients: 1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk), 1 cup sugar, large pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 1 2/3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, zest of 1 lemon, one 16-ounce can apricots (I used 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries)

For the sour-cream topping: 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, juice from 1 lemon, few drops of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Oil or butter a round cake pan (Bard advices to use a parchment paper but I found that I did not need one). In a bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, salt and vanilla

Whisk together until smooth. Add oil slowly and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one by one whisking between each addition.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda

Combine with yogurt mixture

Stir in the lemon zest

Transfer batter to the cake pan and top with fruit of your choice

Bake on the center rack for 45 minutes until slightly golden brown and slightly risen. Allow the cake to cool.

For the topping combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and raspberries in a blender. Pulse until smooth.

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Pork Lentil Soup/Stew

My first recipe from my New York kitchen! I am still figuring out the lighting for photographs and how to fit everything in a tiny studio kitchen. I saw this pork and lentil soup recipe in May and meant to try it before it became hot out. Fail. I wanted it to be more of a stew consistency so I used a lit bit more of lentils and pork. I was being lazy about the whole shredding the pork thing so I just bought regular boneless pork chops and just cubed them. This recipe is absolutely fantastic. I was hesitant about using the lime at the end (I am weird about lemons and limes squeezed over hot food. I hate lemon juice over seafood especially) but it made such a difference in how fresh this typically heavy dish tasted. Next time I would even use some cilantro on top before serving.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 yellow chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger,1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed basil leaves (I did not use any at all), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 medium carrot, chopped, 1 pound bone-in pork chops (I used boneless pork chops which I cubed), 3 cups chicken broth, 8 ounces brown lentils, rinsed and drained, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

Begin by heating olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger.

Season with salt, pepper and cumin and saute for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the pork and brown on all sides. Add broth.

Add tomato paste and lentils

Stir together. Cover and simmer for 50 (mine took only 40) minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add lime and red flakes.

Serve in bowls

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Useful Useless Delights

My mum has a theory about useful useless kitchen delights. These are little kitchen products that are super cute and technically useful but most of the time serve little purpose and are rarely used. Like this cutest Calzone Mold from Williams-Sonoma which I purchased recently. Among my list of other useless-useful kitchen utensils I possess a cupcake cake mold, grapefruit spoons (I never eat grapefruit) and Hello Kitty Toast Cutter. But I am really excited and have high hopes for making use of this calzone mold since I do make pizza frequently.

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