Lemon chicken

9 February 2010

Lemon Chicken

Chicken recipe : Roasted Lemon Chicken with Sumac

What to do with chicken…. that ever versatile white protein. My mother has been trying to disguise it for years while my father throws every curry in the book at it just to ‘add’ some taste.

I was looking for a change, so went sniffing through my cookbooks for an EASY CHICKEN RECIPE when I came across Ottolengi’s ‘Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon’.

The basis of the recipe looked good but I didn’t have a few of the ingredients on hand  ie) no za’atar (Middle Eastern blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and salt) or allspice and didn’t feel much like messing around with a whole chicken, so I simplified things.

All you need is a few chicken breasts, fresh lemon, sumac (a spice made of crushed Mediterranean berries), garlic, stock and a few other spices. This makes a delicious, fragrant dish, that is healthy and great served over basmati rice.

See the link ‘lemon chicken’ below for the recipe:

LEMON CHICKEN

BEEF STROGANOFF

25 January 2010

Beef Stroganoff

BEEF STROGANOFF {Бефстроганов, Befstróganov}

A great Russian beef recipe!

“Don’t always listen to your husband but always listen to your BUTCHER!”

This is what I was told on Saturday after finding Olivier in the butcher shop. He had ventured in with our shopping list and ordered 350g of beef shoulder. The butcher put the meat on the chopping block and with his knife poised asked what we were cooking. “Beef Stroganoff” Olivier replied.

The knife went down and a knowing look came over the butchers face. “My friend” he said, “this is not the meat for you.  For beef stroganoff only beef fillet will do! You want the most tender meat, cut into ‘allumettes‘  (thin strips) and then quickly seared in the pan. It will melt in your mouth”.

And it did. The price was definitely not that of beef shoulder, but worth every penny.

Beef strogi as it’s known in our family comes with many variations on a theme. However I like a simple recipe, made with only beef, onions, paris mushroom and sour cream. A little salt & pepper, garnished with chopped parsley and you have a carnivores bit of heaven.

The name is likely derived from Count Sergei Stroganoff (1794-1881), a Russian official and gourmet! I bet you he was all over the beef fillet.

BEEF STROGANOFF

SP-handmade-sliced-ham

Sliced ham recipe

SLICED HAM RECIPE :  Just back from a great weekend in the English countryside. I was visiting Kip & Elise, my Aunt & Uncle and managed to fit in a spot of cooking. There is something about their kitchen that leads to cullinary experimentation and this time it was trying my hand at making pressed ham for sliced cold meats (luncheon meats).

Kip has made it for us in the past and we agreed that the taste, texture and reduced salt content will convert you in a heart beat. You can really taste the bay leaves, juniper berries and cider in the ham, which shaves perfectly into paper thin slices, just wonderful in a sandwich.

Not only does it taste better but making your own sliced ham is far more economical than buying it at the supermarket or butcher and stays fresh longer without that nasty oxidised taste, as you slice it as needed. Kip even keeps the stock and uses it to make wonderful green split pea soup, which will post in the future.

HAM RECIPE

FESENJAN : lamb recipe

20 January 2009

sp-fesenjaan

FESENJAN : Persian lamb recipe

Don’t you just love  how life has little culinary surprises in store for you…

This year we spent New Years Eve in a quaint Swiss chalet, nestled in the mountains of Eastern Switzerland. It was here that I had the good fortune of meeting Roswit & her daughter Lilly, in the kitchen…. We got to talking about cooking (funny that!) and it turns out that Roswit’s husband is Iranian and she’s learned to make several Persian dishes over the years. This explained why the chalet was filled with the delicious smells & fragrant spices during the holidays.

To my delight we exchanged details and one week later I opened my emails to find her wonderful Fesenjan recipe. This is a traditional Persian dish of duck, in a walnuts & pomegranate sauce. Roswit’s version uses lamb meatballs in a thick walnut, tomato & pomegranate sauce. It is not just the delicious scent of this dish that will capture your heart, not to mention your appetite, but the sumptuous flavour combinations. The lamb with cinnamon, garlic & a hint of sweet/sour pomegranate, with the unctuous nutty sauce that almost tastes creamy without the use of actual cream.

In the future I will try this recipe with chicken or duck and perhaps decorate the top with pomegranate seeds. I also recommend using fresh whole grain / whole wheat bread instead of white bread or bread crumbs as it keeps the meat very moist & juicy. I also used a slightly larger quantity of lamb (280 grams total), as I prefer this meat to onion ratio. This dish is excellent served on a bed of basmati onion rice (** see recipe at end of post).

FESENJAN

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The DUTCH Series N°1

My brother is currently an MBA student in Rotterdam, which means a crazy busy work schedule, with little time to do anything else but eat, sleep & study. I cannot help much with the later two but when it comes to the kitchen he has come to the right place. 

When asked what the magic recipe was to turn 24 hours into 48… I must say I was at a bit of a loss. However what I did have was a few ideas up my sleeve for quick & easy recipes that he could use as time savers.

The parameters he set me were simple : the recipes had to have a prep time of 15 minutes, be budget conscious and stove top friendly - as they have no oven in the apartment. So here is the 1st of what will be called the         DUTCH Series:

Lentils with Smoked ham & red wine: A wonderful winter dish, where the smell of onions, spices, garlic & red wine, simmering over a hot stove, invoke thoughts of mountain chalets, crackling fires, crisp evenings and good company. The smoky flavours of the ham go well with the warmth of the red wine and the slightly nutty flavour of the lentils. I find this dish quite filling so often eat it on its own, however it can be an excellent accompaniment to lamb, beef or a meaty fish (ie tuna).

RECIPE

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