mint

Turkish Spiced Chicken With Green Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on August 13, 2015

Accidental Locavore Turkish Chicken With Green SauceBeing a lover of all foods Middle Eastern (okay, maybe just all foods), the Accidental Locavore made this chicken recipe for dinner recently. Give it some time to marinate but don’t worry, the marinade comes together really quickly, so you can do it in the morning before you take off. The ingredients for the sauce are going in a food processor, so you can just coarsely chop them. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Marinade for Turkish ChickenFor the chicken:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs

Accidental Locavore Sauce for Turkish ChickenFor the sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 chiles, jalapeno or Serrano (more or less to taste), seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs of mint
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Mix the olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over, turning to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.

Make the sauce just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic, chiles, cilantro, mint and olives and vinegar in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Gradually add the olive oil and process until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky). Add lemon juice and salt to taste and set aside in a small bowl.

Accidental Locavore Grilled Turkish ChickenHeat a grill or grill pan on medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and shake off the excess. Cook the chicken for about two minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another four minutes per side. The chicken should be cooked through and singed, but not burnt.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and lemon wedges and enjoy!

My verdict: Great! I did the chicken thighs on the grill and they were delicious! If you can’t grill, a grill pan, or even a hot (400°) oven with a sheet pan would work fine. The sauce is really good with them and you can adjust the spice and salt to suit your personal taste (so mine was nice and spicy). The sauce would go well with a firm fish or even some lamb chops. I served the chicken with couscous and some green beans, but eggplant would be a good side dish too. If you have any Greek yogurt or labneh, you could add that too.

 

 

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Grilled Eggplant and Lemon

by Anne Maxfield on July 30, 2015

Accidental Locavore Grilled Eggplant and LemonIf you’re part of a CSA, you know that there are always a couple of veggies that appear once too often to really inspire you. For the Accidental Locavore, that vegetable is eggplant. It’s not that I don’t like eggplant, I actually love the stuff; it’s just that my husband doesn’t. This, from bon appétit, looked interesting (to me anyway) and serves 4:

  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 small eggplants, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar 
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt), or Greek yogurt

 

Accidental Locavore Soaking Red OnionPrepare a grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Soak onion in ice water 10 minutes to mellow its flavor. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and transfer to a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, toss eggplant, za’atar, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper in another medium bowl. Grill eggplant, turning often, until tender and charred in spots, 5–8 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Halve any large rounds; set aside.

Accidental Locavore Grilled Lemon SlicesIn a small bowl, toss lemon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill lemon, turning often, until lightly charred in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool slightly. Cut lemon slices in half and add to bowl with onion. Stir in mint, Sherry vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. In another small bowl mix garlic and labneh. Spoon labneh mixture onto a platter and arrange eggplant and onion mixture over it. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A huge hit! This was so good that Frank, the eggplant avoider, had seconds, declaring that it was the best thing I’d made in a long time. It was delicious! The grilled eggplant was a nice contrast to the creamy labneh and the crunch of the onions. We were also lucky because the eggplant, mint and onions were all from the farm, so fresh and local. I need to remember how good grilled lemons or limes are and use them more often! I used labneh which I got at Murray’s in the city, you can often find it in better grocery stores, but if you can’t, a thick Greek yogurt would be fine. If you don’t have access to a grill, either a grill pan or roasting everything on sheet pans in about a 400° oven would probably work fine. Give this a try and see if it’s as big a hit at your house.

 

 

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Thai Fried Rice

by Anne Maxfield on July 23, 2015

Accidental Locavore Thai Fried Rice (2)The beauty of fried rice is that it’s great for all those small bits of leftovers you have cluttering the fridge. The Accidental Locavore had a bunch of stuff that needed to be put to good use and it was lunchtime…. Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go, this comes together really quickly! Generously serves 1:

  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup meat (thinly sliced pork, chicken, shrimp, etc)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or run through a press
  • 1 extra large or jumbo egg, well beaten
  • 1-2 cups cooked rice, preferably Thai jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 good squirt Sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Garnishes

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Thai basil
  • Mint, chopped
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Soy sauce

Accidental Locavore Making Thai Fried RiceGather all your ingredients near the stove. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan. If you need to cook any of the meat, add that now and stir-fry until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beaten egg and cook until scrambled. Add the rice, pressing it against the pan and then stir-frying it for about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, Sriracha and scallions and toss until well-mixed, about 30 seconds. Taste and add more fish sauce or Sriracha as needed. Serve with your choice of garnishes and enjoy!

My verdict: Since my favorite Thai fried rice is about 3000 miles away (in Rancho Mirage, CA), this is a fine substitute! This is really just to get you started–feel free to add whatever is taking up room in your fridge. The day I made it for lunch, we had half a wonderful Thai sausage from Jacuterie, roast pork and a rotisserie chicken, so they all went in along with some broccoli, and a mushroom or two. Any vegetables can be tossed in, just be sure to add them early if they need to be cooked. I love cilantro, mint and Thai basil on top, a squirt of lime and maybe a dash of soy sauce. And don’t let the wok scare you; if it’s well seasoned it’s super easy to clean! What would go in your fried rice?

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Grilled Cabbage With a Thai Inspired Dressing

by Anne Maxfield on September 25, 2014

Accidental Locavore Grilling CabbageThe Accidental Locavore always wonders what to do with cabbage when it’s hot out. Earlier this summer one of the guys at the farm said he roasts his (which wasn’t really a solution to the cabbage in August dilemma); I’ve been thinking about roasting or grilling it. I came across a series of recipes for grilling cabbage on Serious Eats recently and gave it a try the other night at a friend’s house (larger audience of guinea pigs). I used a medium sized cabbage and this fed 6 as a side dish.

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges with the core left intact
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and garlic in a small microwaveable bowl (I used a glass measuring cup). Microwave until steaming hot, about 20-30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cool in the refrigerator. When it’s cooled, add the mint, cilantro and remaining lime juice. Taste and add additional red pepper flakes and fish sauce if you’d like.

Accidental Locavore Grilled CabbagePreheat a gas or charcoal grill to high. Place the cabbage wedges directly on the grill and grill, covered, for about 3 minutes a side, for all three sides. Either lower the heat, or move the cabbage to a cooler spot on the grill and cook until the cabbage is tender, about another 4-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, put the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the cooked cabbage and gently toss to coat. Drizzle the sauce over it, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: The sauce was great and would work well with broccoli, Brussels sprouts or even cauliflower. The guinea pigs all enjoyed it (or said they did). I kept it pretty mild as we were dining with friends and I wasn’t sure what their heat tolerance was. The issue was the cabbage. It got nicely browned on the grill, but got tossed off the grill to make room for other stuff and didn’t get the extra 5 minutes of cooking time, so it was pretty crunchy. Near the core, it was raw, so really tough and essentially inedible. A quick couple of minutes in the microwave before grilling would have helped, or more grill time. If you don’t have a grill, you could easily do this on a grill pan. If you use a grill pan, I would pre-cook the cabbage, unless you have a cover for the grill pan. I’m definitely going to try doing another cabbage this way, but will cook it until it’s tender.

 

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