Category Archives: JeffreyW

Moroccan Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemons

There are quite a few recipes out there for this dish and I read through several of them to get a feel for the spices involved.  I ended up with a marinade of olive oil, garlic, ground ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, ground cloves, red pepper flakes, paprika, lemon juice, and preserved lemon rind.  Marinate chicken parts for at least an hour.  I used bone in thighs with the skins removed.  Heat a little olive oil in a large, deep, skillet and brown the chicken on both sides.  Remove the thighs to a bowl and add a couple of cups of chopped onion to the pan, scraping the bottom to loosen the tasty brown bits, add a splash of broth to help.  Thinly slice a couple of garlic cloves and add them to the onions.DSC_8755 (1600x1060)

Add back the chicken and the rest of the marinade and enough broth to come at least halfway up the chicken.  I thought one lemon wasn’t quite enough and sliced up another.  Just use the rind, the pulp strips away pretty easily.  Rinse the rinds in cold water to remove some of the salt.  Cover and simmer for an hour or so.  I remembered that I had saffron that we looked high and low for a while back – I added a healthy pinch of it to the pan after grinding it in a mortar and soaking the powder in hot broth. DSC_8756 (1600x1060)Take the cooked chicken out and add large green olives to the remaining sauce, raise the heat to medium and reduce the sauce.DSC_8757 (1600x1060)Plate the chicken with a side of choice.  Rice will work, I used couscous cooked with dried apricots and cranberries.DSC_8761 (1600x1060)Spoon the reduced sauce over everything and garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.

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Preserved Lemons

DSC_8753 (1600x1060)I’m always running across recipes that call for these but there aren’t any stores nearby that stock them.  I could order some online but they are too expensive for me.  Fortunately most of the recipes I see provide links to pages that give good explanations on how to do it yourself.  I went with Jaime Oliver’s recipe for these but there are plenty that are simpler, not that this recipe is in any way difficult.  I’ll be using this one for today’s dinner – stay tuned!

Tidbits

DSC_8743 (1600x1060)Cherry tomatoes!  More than we can eat so I’ve got most of these dehydrating.  Kept enough of them back for a nice pizza Margherita.DSC_8744 (1600x1060)This one is a thin-ish crust, painted with garlic infused olive oil and sauced with sauteed cherry tomatoes with more garlic and fresh herbs.  It gave us a chance to use some of the latest batch of homemade mozzarella.DSC_8750 (1600x1060)Fresh oregano and thyme in with the sauce and fresh basil added after it came out of the oven.  A pretty good pie!DSC_8733 (1600x1060)Yellow melon for dessert.  These are super sweet and I think they are the best melons ever.  I really should get back over there for another one.PICT4135 (1600x1060)Random wildlife!  This young whitetail still has prominent spots.  They slowly fade over the summer.  Momma isn’t far away.DSC_8739 (1600x1060)I’ll wrap with a couple of sammiches.  Here’s  pulled garlic pork on a bolillo roll with slaw and a drizzle of a locally bottled bbq sauce.  I grabbed a bottle last time through the store because I knew I was running low and it’s a lot like the stuff I make myself.DSC_8718 (1600x1060)Last is another classic Reuben with our own corned beef and sauerkraut.  This one has provolone and thousand island dressing.

Tacos, Stuffed Peppers, and Corn Salsa

DSC_8736 (1600x1060)This came together at the last minute.  I wanted to stuff more of my Anaheim peppers because there are quite a few of them and the last time I used them the result was good.  I had a pork roast that was pulled from the oven late yesterday so I pulled some of that apart and cooked it in bacon fat left over from the lunch BLTs, adding garlic and various chili powders and beef stock left from another project.  I cut the kernels off a couple of cobs of sweet corn off thinking it a nice  colorful filler for the peppers.  It did go in there eventually but as a part of a black bean salsa.  While the pork cooked down I drained the beans and chopped some green onions and red and green jalapenos.  That was all tossed with chopped tomatoes in rice vinegar with cumin, salt, and pepper.

So…  I could have gone with the pork and cheeses as a filler for the peppers and have the salsa as a side, or used the pork and cheeses with the salsa as filler in the peppers, but that wouldn’t have looked like much alone on a plate.  I knew I had corn tortillas so I opted for the menu as you see it.  The filling is the salsa with cream and cotija cheeses, with Monterey jack on top.  The tacos have the pork, cotija, lettuce, onions, chopped peppers, and tomatoes with a drizzle of taco sauce from a jar.

I bet TaMara is pulling her hair out reading this “recipe”.  LOL!

Tidbits

DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Caprese Bruschetta

DSC_8715 (1600x1060)Thin sliced bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted, topped with my homemade mozzarella, a slice of my patio grown San Marzano tomato, and fresh basil.  That’s kosher salt on that basil leaf, not some kind of scaly bug!  LOL DSC_8713 (1600x1060)These are a few caprese bites I tried with balsamic glaze.  Pretty good stuff.

Steak Au Poivre

DSC_8711 (1600x1060)It’s been a while since I’ve had a peppercorn steak so this recipe looked pretty good.  We were watching Chuck’s Eat The Street while doing lunch today and saw an episode where a chef cooked the little potatoes in butter and heavy cream to go with his signature dish of elk tenderloin and I hoped the web site would have a recipe for them but no luck finding it.  The potato cookery went by in a flash and I couldn’t quite tell if the potatoes had been parboiled before going into the butter and cream for the finish.  I quartered some little golden potatoes and sauteed them for a while in butter and garlic and then added the heavy cream and let them simmer, covered, while I made the steak sauce – skipping the parboiling idea.  They worked out OK but I think boiling them for a few minutes is the way to go.DSC_8710 (1600x1060)I went ahead and mashed them lightly and stirred them about to get the creamy sauce coating everything before plating.  I used the golden potatoes just to finish out an open bag but little red skinned spuds will get the call next time.

Tidbits

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Sunflower Buffet

DSC_4729 (1600x1060)I noticed a Goldfinch working a sunflower yesterday so I grabbed a few shots.  I realized a little later that the flower he is on is the same one I photographed a week ago:DSC_4698 (1600x1060)Those sunflower have been a real gold mine over the years, providing some of my all time favorite photographs, like this winter shot of finches gleaning from the dry bones of the previous season’s crop:DSC_3274_Snapseed [1600x1200]I can easily understand why finches love these flowers, the seeds are a great source of food for them.  I bet this hummingbird was disappointed, though:DSC_9944 [1024x768]

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

DSC_4723 (1600x1060)The Anaheim peppers are doing great out on the patio and I needed to do something with them.  They seemed big enough for stuffing and a search for a recipe turned up this one.  She used mozzarella but I thought Monterey jack would work.  The six minute parboil worked fine.  Grill chicken breasts and shred them for the stuffing mix, the cream cheese acts as a binder.  I didn’t have any green onions, should have chopped some chives but didn’t.DSC_8674 (1600x1060)I wish I had shredded the chicken a little better but it worked out OK.  I had enough to stuff six peppers.  These went into a 375 oven and I looked at them after 15 minutes – there was just a hint of brown on an edge or two so I cranked the oven to 500 and kept a close watch, removing them after about 5 additional minutes.DSC_8683 (1600x1060)Her mole recipe would have been fine, I guess, but I know my ancho sauce recipe so I used it.  Simmer some dried ancho or similar chilies in a cup or two of water or broth and let them steep, then puree them with the liquid in a blender when they are cool.  I pushed mine through a sieve to remove any skin bits or seeds and poured it back into a saucepan.  In a skillet sweat half an onion with garlic, oregano, ground cumin, black pepper and salt then add to the chilies along with a splash of fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer until thick.DSC_8675 (1600x1060)I plated them atop a bed of Spanish rice along with refried beans, guacamole, and sour cream.  DSC_8680 (1600x1060)These were very good!

 

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