basmati rice

Palestinian Chicken with Red Onions

by Anne Maxfield on March 11, 2019

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs PlatedSoon I’m going to have to watch how many dishes I make with chicken thighs, but this one looked really good and it seemed like an easy weeknight dinner.

  • 14 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons ground sumac, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, coarsely crushed (1 tablespoon)
  • 1teaspoons salt
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large red onions, halved then thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs Skin side up, use a sharp knife to slash the flesh of each piece of chicken against the grain a few times, then transfer the meat to a large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sumac, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well, using your hands to rub the marinade into the meat. Add the onion and toss with the chicken, then cover and refrigerate for 1–3 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350°.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then add the chicken, skin-side up. Scatter the onion around the pan. Roast until the chicken skin is deep golden and its juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a paring knife at its thickest parts, 50–60 minutes.

Plate the chicken pieces and onion, sprinkle with the pine nuts, a little sumac, and the chopped parsley, then drizzle with any remaining roasting juices. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs AsparagusMy verdict: This was just about as much work as I felt like doing on a busy (and snowy) Monday. Super easy and delicious! I’m out of pine nuts and forgot the parsley (as you can see from the photos) and it was still good. Pine nuts would give it a nice crunch, so they’ll definitely be added the next time.

Frank liked it, especially with the red onions.

There were some beautiful asparagus at the market so I tossed them in the last of the marinade and roasted them with the chicken for the last 30 minutes.

The recipe called for serving it on naan bread, but it was Monday, so I served it with some leftover basmati rice and that was fine. If you use bread, warm it on a clean baking sheet before serving.

 

 

 

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Indian Spiced Lamb Shanks

by Anne Maxfield on March 16, 2017

The Accidental Locavore came across these Indian lamb shanks searching for something else on the Internet.

Has that ever happened to you?

They looked like a nice switch from my usual way of doing lamb shanks and I had some nice ones from a local farm. Serves 2 or more depending on the size of your shanks. The lamb needs to marinate, so plan accordingly.

Indian Spiced Lamb Shanks

For the lamb:

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1” ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • Salt

Spices for lamb shanksFor the sauce:

  • 2” piece of cinnamon
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 2 green chilies (serrano or jalapeno) slit lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • A small can of tomato sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped for garnish

Blend garlic, ginger, curry and ground coriander with a bit of water into a paste.

Season the lamb shanks with salt and cover with the spice paste. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.

Bring the lamb to room temperature.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and ghee on medium heat.

Coarsely crush the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns and add to the oil. Allow to sizzle on low heat for a few seconds before adding the sliced onions.
Sauté the onion till light brown and then add the slit chilies. Stir and continue to sauté till the onions turn dark brown.

Onions for lamb shanksAdd all the spices and the tomato puree. Sauté for another 2 minutes taking care that the spice mixture does not stick to the bottom.
Add the lamb shanks and the marinade to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes turning occasionally, Take care that the spice mixture does not burn.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the yogurt a little at a time to make a thick sauce.

Place the pan back on the heat and add 2 cups of water. Season with salt, mix well and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid, add the grated nutmeg, stir and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes until the meat becomes really tender. The sauce will also thicken and develop a deep rich color.

Stir in the lemon juice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

My verdict: This was really good! We served it with basmati rice to soak up the sauce. The only issue we both had with it was that you kept biting down on bits of cinnamon, etc. which wasn’t terribly pleasant. Next time, I think I’ll make a little bundle with cheesecloth that I can remove at the end.

If you don’t have ghee floating around your kitchen, microwave some butter until it’s all melted, skim off the white stuff on the top and what’s left is clarified butter.

I just used one large jalapeno and it was a little spicy but probably could have been spicier.

There was lots of sauce left because our shanks were a little small, so I got some lamb for stew, browned it well, added it to the leftover sauce and it made dinner for another night later in the week. If you’re not a fan of lamb shanks (congrats for reading this far), a couple of pounds of lamb or beef stew meat would work well.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ottolenghi’s Baked Rice With Feta

by Anne Maxfield on June 9, 2016

Accidental Locavore Baked Rice With RelishYour first thought is probably why are we heating an oven up in the summer? Good question! Trust me when I tell you that this recipe is worth it.

It’s an Ottolenghi that was in bon appêtit. It may look like a lot, but it’s really pretty simple and mostly hands-off. The Accidental Locavore’s tweaks are after the recipe. Serves 6:

Accidental Locavore Pomegranate RelishPomegranate Relish

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¾ pomegranate seeds (from about ½ a pomegranate)
  • ¾ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 garlic clove crushed into a paste
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Rice for BakingRice and Assembly

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 mint sprigs
  • 8 ounces feta, sliced 1/4 “ thick

Relish: Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Turn the oven up to 450°.

In a medium bowl, toss all the relish ingredients to combine. Check seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.

Accidental Locavore Baked Rice With MintRice: Combine rice, butter and salt in a 13×9” baking dish, add 3 ½ cups of water. Top with mint sprigs. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 30-35 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from oven, remove mint sprigs and fluff rice with a fork.

Heat broiler. Arrange feta over the rice. Broil until the rice is browned around the edges and the feta is starting to brown, 8-10 minutes. Top with pomegranate relish, serve and enjoy!

Baked Rice With FetaMy verdict: Possibly one of the best rice dishes ever! I divided the recipe in half and still made a pretty big dish of it, easily enough for 4 people, so you might want to do the same unless you’re having a party. Pine nuts substituted for the walnuts and I toasted them in a frying pan on top of the stove, a microwave will work too. Just keep an eye on them, they go from barely toasted to burnt in an instant. Frank doesn’t like pomegranate seeds (and we didn’t have any) so I made it without them. However, if you don’t have pomegranate molasses, forget this recipe until you get some, it’s really key (and here’s the link to a great salad dressing with it)!

Having some really good basmati rice from Kalustyan’s and (not that I’m bragging) some homemade feta also contributed to this being a great dish and well worth heating the oven!

 

 

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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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