Mushroom Risotto

A classic dish that can be customized to your liking. Risottos are very easy to prepare, freeze and microwave well. This one uses an assortment of wild mushrooms that makes it an ideal winter dish.

Ingredients

2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 cup Arborio rice
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp Thyme
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup peas (frozen ok)

Preparation

  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep frying pan and saute the mushrooms and onions on medium heat.
  • Heat the stock in a separate pot and keep warm.
  • Add the rice and stir until the rice is translucent.
  • Add the stock on ladle at a time to the rice whenever the liquid has been absorbed. If more liquid is needed after the stock has been used, just use warm water.
  • Keep stirring the risotto frequently. The more it is stirred, the creamer it gets.
  • When the rice is almost done, add the Thyme, peas and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once done, take of the heat and stir in the cheese.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

taginechickenBring the flavors of the far away home. A great and simple recipe with fresh lemon and mild spices. Can be made with only the things stocked in a regular kitchen.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 4 medium breasts)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 6 medium thighs)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 lemon zest strips (2-inch-long), from 2 lemons
8 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
Water, as needed for reheating
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (for serving)
2 medium cloves garlic, mashed to a fine paste (for serving)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (for serving)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Preparation

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour, shaking to remove the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of the oil and the remaining chicken, and transfer to the plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, lemon zest strips, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned at the edges, about 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon of water if the pan gets too dark). Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the broth and honey, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add the browned chicken thighs, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and then arrange the breasts in a single layer on top of the carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer all of the chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Stir in the olives and apricots, return to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has thickened slightly and the carrots are tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces (alternatively, the breasts and thighs can be left whole). Remove the strips of lemon zest, stir in the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Curry

Not exactly a original Indian recipe, yet you won’t be able to put the fork down. Sweet and spicy with fresh fruit and a creamy sauce.

Ingredients

2 lb Chicken breast, skinless
3 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Vegetable Stock
2 Apples
3 tsp Curry Powder
1 tbsp Starch
4 tbsp Condensed Milk
1 tsp Honey
4 tbsp Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Rasins
2 tbsp Almonds, sliced
1 Banana 

Preparation

  • Slice the chicken into 1″ strips.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan under high heat and saute the chicken until golden.
  • Set to medium heat, add and saute the onion until glassy, but not browned.
  • Add the vegetable stock and simmer covered on low for 30 mins.
  • Peel and dice the apples and add the apples and the curry to the pan.
  • Cover and simmer for another 10 mins.
  • Blend the condensed milk with the starch and bind the sauce in the pan. Add the honey and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the the cream and rasins.
  • Roast the almonds and add to the pan.
  • Peel and slice the banana and add just before serving.
  • Serve with rice.

Mussels a la Camargue

This is a mussel recipe where you’ll eat the broth before you get to the mussels. The fennel and tomato give it a great fresh flavor. Add a fresh crisp baguette and you’ll be set.

Ingredients

4.5 lbs Fresh mussels, in shells
1 Onion
2 Leeks (white only)
2 Fennel or celery stalks
2 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp Fennel seeds
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Dry white wine (Off-dry Riesling is good)
2 tbsp Pastis or Pernod or Arak
28 oz Diced tomatoes
1 Pinch dried parsley
1 Pinch dried Thyme
Fresh french bread

Preparation

  • Well scrub mussel shells under cold, running water; reserve [do not soak shells in water].
  • Chop onion, leeks, fennel or celery stalks, garlic and fennel seeds.
  • Into a large casserole, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion mixture for approximately 5 minutes, until leeks are soft.
  • Do not brown vegetables.
  • Mix in dry white wine, Pastis and tomatoes.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to a boil; simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in mussels, parsley and thyme.
  • Cover; cook over high heat, until shells open-up, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Throw away unopened shells.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove mussel shells from casserole.
  • Remove mussels from shells; arrange mussels onto individual plates, or into shell halves, as you would oysters.
  • If using fresh parsley and thyme, remove sprigs from sauce.
  • Cook sauce, over high heat, for 5 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over mussels and serve immediately.