Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chickpea Flatbread with Rosemary and Onions

Argentines eat chickpea flatbread – or as they call it faina - with pizza. It always seemed a bit bizarre to me to combine gooey, doughy pizza with another starchy side-dish, even if it is delicious. Now, however, I can’t eat pizza…so bring on the flatbread!

Last night I gave it a shot with this simple recipe that combines chickpea flour, water, olive oil, rosemary and onion.

I’m still craving pizza like nothing else but this really did the trick to tide me over. The dough is moist and satisfying and the onion caramelizes in the skillet to give it a touch of sweetness. It would be a great base to serve prosciutto, roasted vegetables or mixed greens. Tonight I’m going to serve it with some roasted lamb. You know what it would be awesome with though? Pizza.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Chicken Stew with Dried Limes

Ever since I made Gormeh Sabzi with dried limes a few weeks ago, I have been looking for more ways to incorporate these little flavor-bursts into my cooking. The New York Times did a feature story on them a few years ago called “Dried Limes, a Middle Eastern Secret for Flavoring Soups and Stews.”
The author described them accurately with this sentence: “Holding one to your nose is a bit like sniffing freshly grated lime rind while standing in the center of a brewery.” They are very pungent which mean they lend themselves well to lazy cooking. If you throw a couple of these limes in your dish, you won’t need much else for flavor.

I loosely followed the suggested recipe for chicken stew.

1.       Heat 2 tbs of olive oil and brown 6-8 chicken thighs in a large stew pot. Remove and set aside.

2.       Add 2 chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add 2-4 garlic gloves and sauté for one minute more.

3.       Add 6 cups of chicken stock, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and the chicken.

4.       Pierce 4-6 dried limes with a knife. (This is like trying to stab a ping-pong ball so be careful!) Add to the pot.

5.       Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. Occasionally push limes against the side of the pot so they release their juices as they soften up.

6.       During the last five minutes, add a cup of chickpeas, a giant mound of chopped spinach and whatever other chopped herbs you want (cilantro, chives, parsley, etc.)

7.       Season with salt if necessary and serve with sliced radishes, scallions, chopped mint, walnuts and or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

I like to leave the limes in the stew but don’t eat one. Pungent means pungent!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spicy Peanut Dressing with Pomegranate Molasses

I should never do anything without a list, especially shop for groceries. Even if I have made a recipe a thousand times, I still manage to forget half the key ingredients unless I write them down. Last night I started to chop up some kale for my favorite Kale Tabbouleh Salad and then realized I was missing the chickpeas and the grains. I had, however, bought the mint which is the most expensive item in the recipe so I was determined to use it. I googled mint and kale and stumbled across a recipe for which I had all the ingredients on-hand. Nothing beats that on a cold winter night!

It was a simple salad with a peanut-based dressing that called for my newly-acquired pomegranate molasses. I was hesitant about the combination at first and tried it before sacrificing my mint to its flavors, but the dressing was fantastic. It hits all the right salty, sweet and spicy notes without being too heavy and overwhelming.

I did not use a blender as suggested but just whipped together 3 tbsp of peanut butter, 3 tbsp warm water, 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1tsp fresh garlic, minced, 2 tsp fresh minced ginger, 1tsp sesame oil and1 tsp dried red chili flakes. Toss with a one bunch of chopped kale, one cup chopped mint and one cup of chopped nuts of your choice. The dressing is thick so toss for a good few minutes to distribute.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Citrus Salad with Shallots and Toasted Pecans

Last Friday I worked from the reading room of a small library in New Hampshire surrounded by oil paintings of very old Yankees and bald eagles. It was an incredibly relaxing environment since I wasn’t in the office bouncing from meeting to meeting but also not at home wondering if I should vacuum. I actually got a lot done, (in case any of my coworkers are reading this!) but then I discovered a pile of Cook’s Illustrated magazines.

This is the real deal cooking magazine. You won’t find any food porn inside these pages but instead it’s a simple, black-and-white publication with recipes and cooking tips reviewed by the best in the field. Knowing it’s an expensive subscription, I began secretly snapping photos with my iPhone.  There is nothing quite like that misbehaving in the library! Here is a rough summary of one of the stole recipes:

1)      Peel pith away from 2 red grapefruits and 3 naval oranges. Cut each fruit in half and then slice crosswise into thing pieces.  Toss with 1 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt and let sit for 15 minutes.
2)      Meanwhile, toast ½ cup of pecans in 1 tsp of butter (or coconut oil) until browned.
3)      Drain fruit in a colander and reserve 2 tbsp of the juice. Toss the juice with one minced shallot, 1 tsp of Dijon and 3 tbsp of olive oil.
4)      Arrange fruit over 4 cups of watercress, argula, etc. and sprinkle with pecans. They also recommended dried cranberries as well but I get sick of those this time of year.
5)      Drizzle dressing on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Before tossing, ask families members to appreciate how much time you spent getting the pith off the fruit!