chicken

Cilantro Chutney

by Anne Maxfield on May 12, 2016

Accidental Locavore Cilantro ChutneyCilantro, love it or hate it? If you hate it, you can skip this post (or just read to the end for the quality of the writing).

One of the first recipes of many recipes the Accidental Locavore wanted to try from Made in India was chicken with a cilantro chutney. First up – the chutney. This makes about a pint jar:

  • 4 ounces cilantro (a medium-sized bunch – see photo)
  • 2 ounces peanuts, unsalted and unroasted
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 serrano chiles, roughly chopped (seed and use more or less depending on your heat tolerance)

Accidental Locavore 4 Ounces CilantroWash and coarsely chop the cilantro, stems and leaves. Since you’re using the stems, make sure the cilantro is well washed. Add to a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until the mixture has a smooth consistency, like a pesto. Add some water if necessary to help the mixture blend. Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to your taste. Store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Fish in Banana LeafMy verdict: I didn’t have many peanuts so ended up with half peanuts and half pine nuts, but there was still a taste of peanuts. I’m sure you could probably use almost any nut. This was really good and went well with the chicken. With the leftovers, I continued my freezer cook-down and wrapped some cod in banana leaves for dinner, which looked cool and tasted great! The banana leaves are from my freezer but parchment paper or aluminum foil (as long as it’s not going in the microwave) would also be fine.

Accidental Locavore Made In IndiaIf you like Indian food, this is a great cookbook! I thank my friend Rob for introducing it to me. I’ve made several recipes from it, starting with the roasted cauliflower and have many more marked to try. So far, nothing is hard or complicated and my basmati rice is hugely improved! Look for more recipes from this great book.

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Indian Inspired Green Beans

by Anne Maxfield on December 31, 2015

Accidental Locavore Indian Green Beans and ChickenSometimes you just need a different vegetable…the Accidental Locavore was looking for something green to go with the Indian chicken I was making. Usually I toss some broccoli with a lot of sliced garlic and curry powder and steam it, but just wasn’t in the mood. I saw some nice looking haricots verts (very skinny string beans) at the market and figured I could do something with them. Serves 4:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound string beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger (about a ½” piece)

Put the beans in a microwave-safe bowl, cover and cook until crisp-tender about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Accidental Locavore Onions for BeansPlace a large skillet over high heat, and add oil. When very hot, add mustard seeds, and cook until seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add onion, and cook, stirring until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add ginger, and cook 1 minute more. Add the beans, and cook, stirring until hot. Season with salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Indian Green BeansMy verdict: A good (and easy) change from the broccoli. The onion gets nice and crispy and the ginger gives it a bit of spice. If you were really, really lazy you could just toss some of the canned fried onions (might there be some left from the Thanksgiving green bean casserole?). I was thinking that a little of the lemon curry powder that usually goes on the broccoli, might be a nice addition. If you were wondering what the difference between brown, black and yellow mustard seeds was, the black are the most pungent and expensive, while the brown and yellow will be milder. They also become nuttier rather than hotter when they’re fried (and its sort of fun to hear them pop).

 

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David Lebovitz at DeGustibus

by Anne Maxfield on June 22, 2015

Accidental Locavore D LebovitzAs you know, the Accidental Locavore is a big fan of David Lebovitz’s newish book, My Paris Kitchen. When DeGustibus announced that he was going to be doing a cooking demo, I couldn’t wait to sign up! As it turns out, he rarely does demos since he feels he’s not so good at cooking and instructing (but he would be wrong).

We started out with an amuse bouche of tapenade made from black olives and figs and served with champagne to get us in a celebratory mood. The figs were a nice addition to the tapenade, but what David said (and I haven’t tried yet) was that rinsing the capers and squeezing them dry “will change your life.” Stayed tuned!

Accidental Locavore Merguez MeatballsThese were followed by merguez meatballs with a harissa mayo. How these escaped me in the book, I have no idea! Nicely browned, the meatballs were just a bit spicy and the mayo added a nice little kick. Definitely have to give these a try and the mayo is a snap to make—just add a tablespoon or so of harissa to about ¾ cup of mayo. Bet it’s great on a lamb burger!

Accidental Locavore Parisian GnocchiProbably my favorite, and definitely the most indulgent, were the Parisian gnocchi with béchamel. Think savory profiteroles or cream puffs with cheese sauce and you’re most of the way there. It started with a pâté à choux, (it’s what’s used for cream puffs, éclairs etc.) formed into balls and poached until partially cooked. Then David whipped up a Mornay sauce, put the gnocchi in a gratin pan, covered that with sauce and sprinkled a healthy topping of Parmesan and Emmenthal and baked it. Think of it as the French version of mac & cheese, but better, so much better!!

Accidental Locavore Chicken and BeansNot that we needed anything else, but his main course was the chicken with mustard which I’ve made (and it’s great!). Your choice of mustard really counts here, so splurge and get some real Dijon. And if you think that green beans are generally ho-hum, you haven’t tried his—steamed and drenched in snail butter, in other words, lots of butter and garlic!

Accidental Locavore Chocolate Caramel MousseFor dessert, a chocolate, salted-caramel mousse. Since David is known as a pastry chef, it should have been the highlight of the evening, but it wasn’t my favorite thing. The texture was a little too slick and pudding-like for my taste, since I’ve never been a fan of toothless desserts.

If any of these sounds like something you’d like to try, get the book. It’s one of the few that’s crossed my desk that I’ve used over and over.

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Chicken Shawarma

by Anne Maxfield on June 4, 2015

Accidental Locavore Chicken Shawarma With RiceBoth the Accidental Locavore and Frank saw this on the NY Times website and thought it looked great, so it wasn’t long before it became dinner. While you probably want to start it marinating ahead of time, the actual cooking process is pretty quick and easy. Serves 4:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus about a tablespoon for greasing the pan
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Make a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken, and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°. Grease a rimmed sheet pan with the olive oil. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade and place on the pan in a single layer.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice across the grain. Garnish with parsley and serve with your choice of sauces—white, hot etc. and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Grilled Chicken ShawarmaMy verdict (and Frank’s): Great! Now that it’s warmer out, we’ll probably do this on the grill, but it worked fine in the oven. I served it with brown basmati rice (which took about as long as the chicken) and with both white sauce and harissa. For the white sauce, I used about 3/4 cup yogurt (actually labneh since I had some in the fridge), 1/3 cup mayo, juice of half a small lemon, and a garlic clove run through a garlic press. Check the taste and adjust as needed.

I made a small salad to mix up with the shawarma, of shredded lettuce, tomato and feta, so you could eat it on the side or add it to the chicken. Feel free to mix and match what you like to make this a great (and easy) meal!

Update: We did it again and grilled it this time. It was really good, but possibly a bit over-cooked. This time we served it with tabouli and asparagus grilled in a bit of the white sauce. Either way it’s a winner and how you cook it will just depend on whether you want to heat up your kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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