Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chicken and Lentils Fantastic Food Product

Alright so this dish is one of my standbys as it is healthy, delicious, and reheats well for leftovers/lunches.

1 T Olive Oil
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cubed for skillet cooking [2-3 chicken breasts]
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot (or more), finely chopped
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped [I like garlic]
3/4 cup dried lentils [I use green, and I soak in water (fill measuring cup to 1 C. line) starting that morning so they are more tender]
14 Oz. Chicken Broth
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/2 t dried basil
10 oz. tomato sauce
1 T lemon juice

*Heat the Oil in a skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until done [Josie likes it browned a bit]
*Set aside chicken
*Cook onion until tender, ~5 minutes.
*Mix in the carrot and garlic, stir in lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, simmer 20 minutes.
*Return chicken to skillet, cover and cook 20 minutes.
*Season with salt, if mixture too dry add some water (not needed if lentils pre-soaked)
*Stir tomato sauce into skillet, season with rosemary and basil.
*Cook ~10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in lemon juice and serve. [lemon optional]

At some point I'm going to try making this dish into a curry (maybe ginger and yellow curry?), as the same basic ingredients would work well there. If anyone has suggestions for curry seasoning let me know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Easy Tomato Soup

Sometime between the cold shower I took this morning (Thanks, Dave!) and my first step into the cold morning weather, I decided it was going to be a soup day. More specifically, I was craving tomato soup - something I don’t usually eat or particularly enjoy, and didn’t have on hand – and a grilled cheese sandwich. With a three-hour break between classes, I had time to stumble upon and enjoy the following recipe for simple homemade tomato soup.


Homemade Tomato Soup
Adapted from Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello

· 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
· 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 stalk celery, diced
· 1 small carrot, diced
· 1 yellow onion, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3)
· 1 cup chicken broth
· 1 bay leaf
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used dried basil)
· 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I used ¼ C of milk)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet (I used a 9x13 w/ aluminum foil on the bottom for easy cleanup), season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender (or regular blender) until smooth.


This soup was really easy to make and really, really good. It is a rich, earthy, not too tomatoey tomato soup. Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t even like tomato soup that I’ve had before too much, but this I will definitely make again. The soup goes well with sandwiches or just toast.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a bit late, but is there really a wrong time for egg nog?

Hello! So I made this cake for Christmas dinner with the Morris side of the family. It kind of doesn't really taste much like egg nog, but it's pretty tasty just the same. I put some holiday sprinkles on mine for a little extra Christmas cheer. :)I had a picture, but me and the blogger image uploader are having some issues this evening.


1/2 c. butter
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. EACH rum extract & vanilla
3 c. flour
2 1/2 baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. egg nog
2 tbsp. water

Beat butter and sugar, eggs and extracts. Add dry ingredients, followed by egg nog and water. Mix well and bake in a greased and floured angel food cake pan. I always cut out a layer of waxed paper for bottom of pan so cake comes out easily. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing.


3 tbsp. egg nog
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. rum extract

Mix and add powdered sugar to desired consistency and spread over cake.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice

We experimented with this new dish for Christmas Eve and were very impressed. Less impressive was our failure to take a picture of it for your viewing pleasure.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice (from Dave's Dinners)

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp paprika
10 cardamom pods (cracked lightly)
2 Tbsp honey
1.5 tsp salt
black pepper (plenty)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
Basmati rice

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. In a large bowl mix the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, cardomom, honey, salt and pepper. Add the chicken, mix, cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Bring up to room temperature before cooking.

Make the rice according to directions. (We used about 2 cups of uncooked rice.)

In a large skillet heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the curry powder followed by the tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes. Add the cream and mix together until smooth. Add the chicken and marinade, stir and bring to a simmer. Maintain at low simmer for 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. The mixture should thicken. Serve over the rice.

Claims to serve 4-6 and that sounds about right.