Where I live, stew and chili season is quite a long one, from about October to about end of April or so. Not really knowing how to make this Georgian dish (ex-USSR Georgia, not southern US Georgia), I searched online and found a few recipes. I got the general idea, but not having an authentic recipe, I didn’t want to attempt it. But the pictures looked so good, that they got me thinking. With that as inspiration, I made a pretty good stew, if I do say so myself. This certainly hit the spot on a cold and rainy evening.
Chicken (I used 3 bone-in thighs and 4 legs; season with salt and pepper all over, even under the skin)
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 peeled tomatoes cut into rounds
4-5 potatoes (I use Yukon Gold)
2-3 red bell peppers cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 tb of ketchup (or tomato paste)
Beef stock (about 3-3.5 cups total, depending on how much sauce you want and how thick you want it)
Olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground chipotle (optional, dash), paprika (a dash), fresh dill
Chicken Stew Cooking
1. Saute the onion and when the onion starts to brown a little, add the garlic.
2. Brown the chicken. This won’t cook it, just make it look prettier.
3. Add the peppers and the peeled and sliced tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium. To peel tomatoes, place a small X on the bottom and pour boiling water over the tomatoes. Let them sit in the hot water for a few seconds. This will loosen the skin so you can peel it. Once peeled, slice in rounds.
4. Season everything (salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin, chipotle, and paprika).
5. Add beef stock and ketchup (about 2 cups or so of stock, to start) and let come to a boil. Make sure the ketchup is well mixed and distributed in the pot.
6. Add the potatoes (I cut them up into bite-sized pieces). Let cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Check the sauce. Add more stock and/or spices if you like. If you like things as they are, let cook another 20 minutes on low heat.
7. At the very end, add dill.
I served it over cilantro rice. The sauce was great with the rice, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone, the veggies and potatoes were good enough to eat on their own. Which I did the next day. YUM! Can’t wait to make this again.
Posted in Bell pepper, Chicken, Dinner, garlic, Potatoes, tomatoes
Tagged beef stock, chicken stew, gar, garlic, Healthy, olive oil, onion, Potatoes, red bell pepper
I didn’t grow up eating asparagus and it always looked a little scary in restaurants. You know the kind, an unnatural green, bizarely sagging, mushy spears. Yuck. Not knowing how to cook it, I’ve resisted it for a long time, but finally gave it a try. Turns out, I like it. A lot. I’ve roasted it a few times, but I was in an experimenting mood today. What you see is what I came up with.
1 lb asparagus
1-3 tb of olive oil,
1-2 tb of anchovy paste
3-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
a pinch of chipotle pepper (optional)
1. Heat the minced garlic in the olive oil on low heat, until it’s fragrant.
2. Add the anchovy paste and try to dissolve it. It probably won’t dissolve completely at this point, and that’s OK. It will with the asparagus.
3. Add asparagus (and chipotle pepper, if using) and turn up the heat to high. Cook for a few minutes stirring all the time, until crisp-tender.
I served it with baked salmon. If you’re worried about tasting anchovies, don’t. All you taste is the smoky, velvety taste of something. Can’t quite put your finger on it, but definitely no fishy taste. And my choice of serving it with salmon was great. It worked out well.
I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. Who wouldn’t want this even as leftovers?!
Salmon and Asparagus
Chunky Pasta Sauce
I haven’t made anything pasta related in a while and figured it was time to get back to that. So today I decided to make pasta sauce. Additionally, I had a lot of vegetables in my fridge that I haven’t used up yet, so I figured it’s a perfect opportunity to use them. This worked out really well since I like a really chunky tomato sauce. And if you have kids, this is a great way to get them to eat vegetables. This recipe can also be vegetarian quite easily – just leave the meat out. With this recipe, use what ever veggies you like, in any quantity you like. Here is what I did.
We're cooking now!
Pasta Sauce Ingredients
Adding the meat
Ingredients: 1 lb of ground turkey
1 very large carrot (cut into half moons)
2 red bell peppers (diced)
1 large white onion (minced)
1 zucchini (cut into half moons)
1 summer squash (cut into half moons)
3.5 oz of mushrooms (that was the size of the package I had. Use more or less)
3-4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used 1 can of Red Gold roasted garlic and onion and 1 can of Red Gold basil, garlic, and oregano)
Roasted tomatoes (optional; I had some on hand so I used them)
Tomato paste (I used about 3 oz, half of a 6oz can of Red Gold tomato paste)
2-3 tb of olive oil
Olives (optional, but I had some so I used them; chopped, about 2 handfuls)
Paprika Salt, Pepper (freshly ground)
Flat leaf parsley (for garnish and for cooking, to taste)
6 bay leaves (3 for the sauce, 3 for the pasta)
See the parsley
All the ingredients cooking
Adding pasta to the sauce
1. Saute the onion for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
2. Add the carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and salt & pepper. Let cook for a few minutes (I put the lid on and let the veggies steam a little).
4. If you are adding meat, do it at this stage. I pushed the veggies to the sides of the pan and added the meat into the middle so that it can brown. I also season the meat at this point. Cook the meat until it’s all browned and thoroughly cooked.
5. Add bay leaves and parsley. Mix everything together and taste seasoning. This is when I add more salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and anything else that strikes my fancy.
6. Add the tomato products (canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted tomatoes if you have them).
7. Put the lid on and let cook over medium-low for about 10-15 minutes.
8. Add the pasta to the sauce (which has been cooking in a separate pot, according to the directions on the box.) I serve it with a little bit of cheese grated on top. I used a very mild goat’s cheese.
I know you can't resist this!
Posted in Bell pepper, Dinner, garlic, Healthy, Mushrooms, pasta, Quick and Easy, tomatoes, Turkey, Veggies
Tagged Bell pepper, carrots, flat leaf parsley, garlic, Healthy, Mushrooms, pasta sauce, summer squash, vegetables, zucchini
I love this saute. It’s easy to make and absolutely lip-smacking delicious. Most people would eat this as a spread on a piece of lightly toasted bread, and that’s how I grew up eating. However, now I can’t be bothered with making toast just for this, so I eat it straight-up. This is also a great side dish or a cold salad. It’s actually intended to be eaten cold or at room temperature.
Carrots, Eggplant, Onion, Garlic
3 carrots (medium)
1 onion (large)
4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper.
1. Peel and dice the egg plant. Set the eggplant into a colander and salt it heavily so the liquid can drain out of the eggplant. Let sit in the colander for about a half hour. After draining, wash the eggplant thoroughly to get rid of the salt. Look at the picture below to see how much liquid was drained. You don’t want that in the pan because it will make everything soggy.
2. Dice the onion and carrots.
3. Heat a bit of oil in a skillet and start sauteing the veggies (you can add them all the same time). If you see things are starting to stick, add a touch more oil. Eggplant is like a sponge in that respect, it soaks up the oil.
4. Add garlic when the veggies are a getting a little soft. Salt and pepper.
It’s done when the carrots are soft, which would take about a half hour on low-medium heat.
Size to cut the carrots
Liquid from eggplant
Eggplant cut up
Veggies in the pan
Fresh Roma Tomatoes
I found this recipe on The Perfect Pantry and decided to give it a try. I followed the recipe closely, but not exactly. Since ovens vary, I actually roasted my tomatoes for around 14 hours (started late in the evening and turned it off in the morning). Also, I didn’t add the thyme. To me, it makes everything taste moldy. Yeah, I know, it’s odd.
But just to recap, here is what happened.
Several pounds of Roma tomatoes
Olive oil (if you have garlic olive oil, it would be PERFECT! here)
Garlic (a lot/to taste)
Black pepper, freshly ground
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise. Salt and pepper liberally. Place on a cookie sheet.
3. Sprinkle minced garlic (this should be to taste and it should depend on how many pounds of tomatoes you have).
4. Drizzle olive oil and place the tomatoes into the oven.
The phenomenal smell emanating from the oven will be ridiculously hard to resist, but please do. The results will be well worth the wait.