Posts Tagged OLIVE OIL

Slow Cooker Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb vindaloo with Basmati RiceAnother amazing Indian food here, this time made in a slow cooker. I have to tell you that I think a slow cooker (or crock pot or whatever you want to call it) is an essential kitchen item, and I have just posted this in my Kitchen Essentials section.

Vindaloo, whether it be with lamb, pork, chicken or beef, is one of the hottest dishes in all of Indian cooking. Not only does this recipe call for cayenne pepper, but it also calls for six Chipotle chili peppers. These are essentially Jalapenos that have been smoked. This dish is not for the weak willed, but it is so delicious. It should be served over Basmati rice.

For those who may not have an adventurous palate where “heat” is concerned, I am also providing a recipe at the end for a yogurt sauce that can be used to “cool” the dish when serving. The combination of the rice and the yogurt sauce should make it tolerable for even the weakest palate.

Ingredients

1 boneless leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs, trimmed of fat and cut in bite-sized pieces

3 medium red potatoes, washed and cut in bite-sized pieces

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 large Vidalia onions, chopped and divided

1.5 cups of frozen petite peas, defrosted

10 garlic cloves, crushed

6 Chipotle chili peppers, reconstituted and scraped (see Directions)

2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp cardamom

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

2 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro

1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp water

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cucumber, peeled, trimmed and seeds removed

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper (to taste; for the yogurt-cucumber sauce)

Directions

The first order of business is to prepare the Chipotle chili peppers. Reconstitute the peppers by soaking them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Once they have cooled, cut them open and scrape the chili meat from the skin and set aside.

In a food processor, take half the onion, the garlic, the Chipotle chili peppers, the cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, paprika, ginger paste and two tablespoons of the olive oil and pureé into a paste. Put it into a bowl and add the lamb pieces. Stir to coat the lamb thoroughly and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day heat the balance of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the marinated lamb. You may need to do this in batches, but you do not need to cook the lamb through. Place in a slow cooker along with the beef broth, the salt, the sugar, the tomatoes, the potatoes, and the bay leaves. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before the vindaloo is done, add the peas, then mix the tablespoon of cornstarch and the tablespoon of water and add it to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. The cornstarch-water mix will help to thicken the stew.

Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.

Turning Down the Heat

Yogurt is a great way to temper the heat of this dish. Take the cup of plain Greek yogurt and the cucumber and put it in a food processor. Pureé until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in bowl and refrigerate until you serve the Lamb Vindaloo.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cajun-Creole Jambalaya

jambalayaThis can loosely be called the Louisiana version of Paella. The only real difference is that I bake this in the oven to finish it off, as opposed to cooking it on top of the stove. This is a crazy good dish, a complete meal in itself.

Again, I first got turned onto Jambalaya on my travels to New Orleans in the eighties. Although the travels were for business, I never failed to tack on vacation time at the end of my business obligations to enjoy the food and culture of New Orleans. While a lot can be said about New Orleans crime and corruption, the one thing that is absolutely certain is that you will never be served substandard food and drinks in that town.

This recipe calls for Andouille sausage. I have never had a problem finding this in my local supermarket, but Tasso or some other kind of smoked ham is a great substitute here. Alternatively, buffalo chicken sausage is great also.

You will need a pretty deep baking pan for this. If your skillet is big enough and can handle oven cooking, you can simply work with that.

Ingredients

3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)

2 cups Andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch pieces then quartered

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup chopped onion, divided

1 cup chopped celery, divided

1 cup chopped green bell peppers, divided

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 28-oz can Italian whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up by hand

1 tsp broken-leaf sage

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 whole bay leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups long-grain rice (Basmati works well here)

Tabasco sauce (for the table)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and Andouille sausage, and cook until browned. (The meats do not need to be cooked through.) Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and heat up. Add 1/2 cup each of the celery, onion and peppers, along with the cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, sage, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now, we move to the pan you’re going to bake in. Add the meats and shrimp. Then add the cooked vegetables and all of the juices that are left from that process. Add the rice, chicken stock, the remaining uncooked half cup of the celery, onions and green pepper. Add the tomatoes and the bay leaves. Stir everything together.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees.

Serve with a full bottle of Tabasco sauce.

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Good Karma’s Awesome Hummus Recipes

Hummus-Recipe-1There’s nothing quite like Hummus. It’s so versatile, and so tasty, and there are so many ways to serve it. I confess that there are days when I buy Hummus ready made. Sabra makes a great Hummus. But there’s nothing like making your own because you can make as many permutations as you like!

I got turned onto Hummus way back in the 80’s when I spent a lot of time eating at a great restaurant called Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was awesome. That’s where I learned you could serve Hummus with more than just pita bread.

We’re going to start here with five recipes for Hummus, but I can guarantee you that I will be posting several more as the winter months progress.

All of these recipes call for roasted garlic. It’s much better when the garlic cloves are roasted before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. Garlic is sweeter after roasting, and the flavor isn’t overpowering. It doesn’t take rocket science to roast garlic. Toss the cloves in a 350-degree oven lightly coated with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it. It could take less time, it could take more. You want the garlic to be slightly browned and softened, but not burned.

Lemon-Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

1 16-oz can chick peas, drained and liquid reserved

1/4 cup reserved liquid

4 tbsp Tahini paste

5 tbsp lemon juice

5 cloves garlic, roasted

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Olive oil and paprika (for garnish)

Directions

Roast the garlic and set aside. Put all ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Remove to a serving bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Place in a serving bowl, make a small well in the center, add some olive oil, and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with pita chips, warm pita bread, cucumbers, petite carrots, pepperoncini, whole pitted Kalamata olives, and red onion slices.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

1 16-oz can chick peas, drained

1/3 cup Tahini paste

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, roasted

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

3/4 cup roasted red peppers

Directions

Roast the garlic and set aside. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with several strips of leftover roasted red peppers. Serve with pita chips, fresh cut red pepper strips, red onion strips, and warm pita bread.

Jalapeno Hummus

Ingredients

1 16-oz can chick peas, drained and liquid reserved

1/4 cup reserved liquid

2 Jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and chopped

1/3 cup Tahini paste

3 garlic cloves, roasted

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

Roast the garlic and set aside. Put all ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl, create a small well in the middle and add olive oil, garnish with strips of Jalapeno peppers. Serve with warm pita bread, blue corn strips, and Pepperoncini.

Black Bean Hummus

Ingredients

1 16-oz can black beans, drained

1/4 cup Tahini paste

3 garlic cloves, roasted

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground chili powder

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

Roast the garlic and set aside to cool. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with blue corn chips, warm pita bread, and fresh pepper strips.

Roasted Pine Nut Hummus

Ingredients

1 16-oz can chick peas, drained and liquid reserved

1/4 cup reserved liquid

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp roasted pine nuts

3 tbsp Tahini paste

3 garlic cloves, roasted

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Roast both the garlic and pine nuts and set aside. Add all of the ingredients, reserving the 2 tbsp roasted pine nuts for later. Puree until smooth. Put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with the reserved 2 tbsp roasted pine nuts. Serve with warm pita bread, red onion strips, pita chips, and fresh red, orange and yellow pepper strips.

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Greek Lemon Chicken Nos. 1 and 2

Greek Lemon ChickenThis is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and there’s more than one way to make it. Therefore, I’m posting both recipes here, listed as numbers 1 and 2. The baking instructions are the same, as you will see.

Greek Lemon Chicken incorporates some of the greatest spices on the planet, like oregano, thyme and rosemary. And let’s not forget the lemon, which is amazing. I’m not going to tell you which one is my favorite because I cannot choose between the two. If I could, there would only be one recipe here. So, don’t go thinking that I like the recipe labeled no. 1 better. It just worked out that way!

For this dish, I use bone-in chicken as opposed to boneless chicken. And I use everything but chicken breast.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried rosemary

2 tbsp lemon zest

1.5 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 1

Here’s where that Good Seasons cruet that I always talk about comes in handy. Check out the Kitchen Accessories page on this blog. Place all the ingredients in the cruet and shake like you mean it.

Take a toothpick and poke holes in both the top and undersides of the chicken pieces. Place them in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Be sure to turn the chicken by squeezing the bag every once in a while to ensure that all the pieces spend time in the marinade.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, turn the heat up to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes to “crisp” the chicken.

Ingredients for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

For this version of Greek Lemon Chicken, you are basically making a “rub.”

2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken (wings, thighs and drumsticks)

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp onion powder

3 tbsp dried thyme

3 tbsp dried oregano

3 tbsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

3 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

Zest of one lemon (reserve the lemon)

1 additional lemon, cut into thin slices

Directions for Greek Lemon Chicken No. 2

Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano. salt, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, and lemon zest together to make a rub. Rub each piece of chicken on both sides with olive oil and apply the rub. Then, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow the chicken pieces to absorb the flavors for a minimum of 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.

When you are ready to bake the chicken, unwrap the pieces and place them in a baking dish. Poke holes in each piece with a toothpick, and squeeze the lemon you zested on top of the chicken. Cut the additional lemon into thin slices and place them on top of the chicken.

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven. After an hour, increase the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional hour to “crisp” the chicken.

Discard the lemon slices that may have burned prior to serving. Otherwise, you can serve it with them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eggplant Roll-ups Italiano

Eggplant roll-upsI remember when I was a kid, the thought of eating eggplant grossed me out. Man, was I DUMB. I can assure you that, once I was older and on my own, doing my own cooking and experimenting with flavors, things changed dramatically on this front.

Like stuffed mushrooms, there is almost nothing you can’t do with eggplant. However, I am starting off with this particular recipe because I made this just this past weekend for an event at my house. People simply could not get enough of these.

Ingredients

3 medium-large eggplants

1 medium Vidalia onion, minced

1 cup flavored breadcrumbs

8 oz prosciutto, sliced thin, cut in to very thin strips

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

6 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

4 oz thick-shredded Mozarella cheese

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

1 tsp fresh chopped sage

1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

1 tsp crushed red pepper

6-8 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

3 tbsp coarse salt

Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Several fresh parsley leaves (for garnishing)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Do not peel the eggplant! Cut it lengthwise into 1/4″ slices. Salt with the 3 tbsp coarse ground salt and place it in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes. Then, wash them well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

To prepare the pine nuts, prepare them by chopping coarsely. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Place on a baking sheet and toast for about 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.

Add 3 tbsp of olive oil to a large skilled and sauté the onions for about 10 minutes (until wilted). Add the breadcrumbs and stir continuously until they are browned. This will take about another 10 minutes.

Place the mixture in a large bowl with the toasted, chopped pine nuts, the proscuitto, herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper, Parmesan and Mozarella cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brush both sides of the eggplant with the remaining olive oil and place them on a oiled baking sheet. Bake on the top shelf of an oven until lightly golden on both sides for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pile them on top of each other to steam for about 5 minutes. This will make them easy to roll.

Divide the filling evenly among the eggplant slices. Place the filling on the wide end of the eggplant and roll them up. Place them on an oiled baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake the rolled eggplant appetizers for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Remove them from the oven and place them on a serving platter. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves. These are delicious right out of the oven, or after they have cooled for about ten minutes.

Cook’s Note: These can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. When you’re ready to bake the final product, remove them from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before placing them on an oiled baking sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

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