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Archive for October, 2011

Figs and roasted chicken – perfect comfort food for autumn. As it roasts, the aroma fills the house. Figs are easy to find in the markets this time of year.

Roasted chicken with figs (from Israeli Kitchen blog)

1 whole, clean, roasting chicken

1/2 lemon

2 larges cloves garlic, chopped fine

2 tablespoons olive oil (original recipe calls for oil infused with rosemary – I just added some fresh rosemary to the oil)

1 tablespoon coarse salt

black pepper, 3 or 4 grinds

1 small bunch basil leaves, stems taken off

14 small figs, halved and their stems cut away

2 tablespoons warmed honey

a dash of soy sauce

Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the chicken. Rub the lemonĀ  half all over the chicken. Tuck the spent lemon half into the cavity of the chicken. Cover the chicken and let it soak up the lemon while you’re preparing the next steps.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with the garlic, coarse salt, black pepper, and soy sauce. Rub the oily mix well over the chicken. Sweep up any garlic pieces that may fall onto the roasting pan and tuck them under the chicken.

Stuff the basil leaves under the skin of the chicken, anywhere you can fin or force room. Put any extra leaves inside the cavity of the chicken alongside the lemon half. Pile the figs up next to the chicken. Drizzle them with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the honey.

Tear off a strip of tin foil and fold it so that it covers the figs, but not the chicken. Let the tin foil lie lightly over the figs; don’t tuck it in around them. Roast at 350 degrees F. til the chicken is a nice golden color. Serve with rice or couscous.

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Inspired by Lidia Bastianich, I tweaked this pesto with a little less oil, and of course, soy parmesan to replace the real thing. It was a real pleaser.

Pasta with basil pistachio pesto (the original makes twice the amount you would need for a pound of pasta. Mine is cut in half from the original)

1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves

1/2 cup toasted unsalted pistachios

4 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup soy parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. In a food processor, add basil, parsley, pistachios, garlic, and salt. Turn on processor and add 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Process to make a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Scrape the pesto into a large skillet over low heat and add 1 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and transfer to the skillet. Toss to coat the pasta with the pesto. Off heat, toss with the soy parmesan. Makes 6 servings.

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Enter fall; enter comfort food. This recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen, enters the delicious category. Warm and substantive, with woodsy undertones and a lip-smacking creaminess. All made dairy-free, from my adaptations.

Mushroom pasta

4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4″ cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

table salt

1 pound farfalle pasta

3 – 4 large shallots, chopped fine

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer

1 tablespoon lemon juice

ground pepper

2 ounces grated soy parmesan

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot; add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until just shy of al dente. Drain and return pasta to stockpot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in 2 tablespoon olive oil, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper-towel lined plate. Add shallots to fat remaining in skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high; add shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in sage and cook 30 seconds. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add broth to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits; off heat, stir in creamer, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add mushrooms, pancetta, broth mixture, cheese, and parsley to pasta in stockpot. Toss over medium-low heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes; serve immediately. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

 

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Another fab soup. Definitely a keeper. Warm and hearty. The original recipe called for evaporated milk. Instead, I tried using coconut milk creamer, which I found in my local Whole Foods market. It has zero fat, and did not at all impart a coconut flavor to the soup, just helped to make it creamy. I did all my vegetable dicing in my food processor – everything came out finely chopped, which is perfect for this soup.

Creamy chicken noodle soup (modified by me from The Yummy Life blog – check out the photos of making this soup there – they’re wonderful)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced mushrooms

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1/3 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

6 cuts fat-free chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups cooked shredded chicken

8 ounces So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer

2 cups uncooked pasta (I used ditalini, but your choice)

Heat a large pot on medium-high, add olive oil. Saute garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, and celery until soft, approximate 5 – 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour, oregano, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning over vegetables. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in broth and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 – 15 minutes. Add chicken, creamer, and pasta; cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Makes 8 servings.

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What could be better on a cool autumn evening than a little heat in the soup bowl? I twiddled a little with sweet and spicy levels in this delicious soup to achieve a nice balance of flavors. The original recipe called for soba noodles, but I used ramen, as that’s what was handy. This was totally delicious.

Spicy ginger chicken noodle soup (modified from a Serious Eats recipe)

24 fluid ounces chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon Sriracha or other chili sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3″ strips

1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

3 tablespoons chopped scallions

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8″ strips

12 ounces soba or ramen noodles

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large pot, combine broth, chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil then cook, boiling, for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add chicken and mushrooms. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, fill a medium pot with cold water. Bring water to a boil, and add noodles. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain noodles and set aside.

Add scallions, snap peas, and red pepper to broth. Let cook one minute. Take off heat.

Divide noodles among serving bowls, then ladle in soup. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

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Remarkably good! This recipe calls for beef or lamb, and beef stock. We’re not big beef eaters, so I made this chicken-themed. It was awesome.

Moroccan chicken vegetable soup (inspired by this recipe)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ cubes

6 cups chicken broth or water

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 small turnips, peeled and diced

2 (I used 4) carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, leaves included, thinly sliced

pinch of saffron threads

12 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

8 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4″ dice

2 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces, about 1/2 cup

1 – 2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and turmeric; stir to coat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Add broth (or water), tomatoes and their juice, turnips, carrots, celery, and saffron.

Tie parsley and cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Bring soup to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer; cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender – about 45 minutes.

Stir in zucchini and cook, covered, until soft, 8 – 10 minutes. Add pasta and cook until soft, 5 minutes.

Discard the parsley and cilantro sprigs. Season with salt (start with 1 teaspoon and increase if needed), and pepper.

Serve with sprinkled parsley and/or cilantro, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

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So, I tried googling recipes for stale challah, and this bread pudding came up right away. This was made for the lactose intolerant, so no modifications were necessary by me. I added no fruit, as my challah already had raisins in it, but I do think that some fruit would also be a nice addition. This tasted amazing.

Challah kugel (from PrinceClan blog)

2 – 3 cups stale challah

1 1/2 – 2 cups vanilla soy milk

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

optional: two large apples, chopped small; or 1 cup raisins

Tear challah into smallish pieces, and drop into large bowl.

Pour soy milk over. Allow to soak for 20 minutes. Add eggs and sugar. Mix well.

Place into a greased pan (8 x 8″ or 9″ round) and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 – 60 minutes, until browned and golden.

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