food amongst family and friends

Mulligatawny: The All Season Soup April 2, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Soups — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:03 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

MulligatawnyThis has quickly become one of my favourite soups to make. It comes together quickly, it easily adapts to make use of ingredients you have on hand and it makes for a thoroughly satisfying meal every time you make it. I don’t think I have made this the same way twice – I adjust the recipe to accommodate my cravings and my pantry. I have used chicken-apple sausage in place of the rotisserie chicken, potatoes in place of the chickpeas, light coconut milk in place of regular…this time around I was craving a big bowl of veggies, so I packed it full of carrots and kale along with a small handful of leftover tandoori chicken pieces. As usual, the flavour was rich, tart, spicy, nutty and exactly what I was craving.

The recipe comes from Spilling the Beans, but I pulled it from Dinner with Julie. The recipe below is the original, but I have noted possible substitutions. I think the key elements to keep intact are the chicken broth, coconut milk, tart apples and peanuts. You can easily use different cuts of chicken, add extra vegetables and substituted beans for the meat. I don’t know how well this would work as a vegetarian soup – it works well to leave out the chicken, but I don’t know if a vegetable broth would hold up well to the richness of the coconut milk and the spices. It’s worth a shot, but the recipe is definitely meant to be chicken-centric.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

serves 6

1 small roasted or rotisserie chicken (sub: chicken sausage removed from casing OR nearly any type of chicken (cooked or raw) + 4-6 cups chicken broth)
1 onion
coconut or olive oil, for cooking
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 T curry paste (I use Patak’s Madras paste)
1 t cumin (I like to use whole cumin, but ground will work)
1-2 cups cooked chickpeas (up to a full can, rinsed and drained) (sub: 1 potato, chopped)
1 t salt
1 14 oz can coconut milk (light or regular will both work)
1 tart apple (such as granny Smith or pink lady), finely chopped

steamed rice, for serving
chopped cilantro and chopped salted peanuts, for garnish

1. Pull the meat off the roasted chicken and put the carcass and bones into a saucepan. Set the meat aside and just barely cover the carcass with water. Peel the onion and add the outer layers of skin to the pan (at this point, you can throw in any veggie scraps you need to use up. Carrot ends, celery trimmings and fresh herbs all work well). Bring to a simmer and cook for at least half an hour. Strain into a bowl or pot and set aside. You should have 4-6 cups of stock.

2. Put your rice on, cook and let sit covered until the soup is done.

3. Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in a drizzle of oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeño, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the curry paste, cumin and chickpeas and cook for another minute or two. If you are using raw chicken, add it now and saute until nearly cooked through. For chicken sausage, you should break it up as it cooks. For raw chicken pieces, you should have them cut into bite sized chunks before adding them.

4. Add the chicken stock, salt and cooked chicken (if you are using cooked pieces rather than raw); bring to a simmer. Cook for about ten minutes, then add the coconut milk and apple and heat through.

To serve, put a scoop of rice into each bowl and ladle the soup overtop. Sprinkle with cilantro and chopped peanuts.


Chicken Mole November 13, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Sauces,Uncategorized — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

So I made a deal with myself this fall that I was going to use my slow cooker at least once a week, which I have mostly kept up with, but I have also run out of time to post lately which means that you are only getting the absolute superstars on here and this is definitely one of them. The recipe comes from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah M Schneider, which is amazing, beginning to end, but I’m posting this because I can’t stop making it. It’s super easy, with almost no prep time, so it’s perfect as a weeknight meal but fancy and tasty enough for company. The only real trick is finding the necessary dried chilies, but they are available at any decent Latin market or spice shop, if not in your local grocery store. And don’t feel daunted by the ingredient list; this is what gives the mole it’s complex flavour, plus you just throw everything in the pot; easy peasy.

12 chicken thighs, about 4 lbs
5 chile negros (I couldn’t find these, so I used an extra 3 ancho chilies instead), stemmed and seeded
3 guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
1 chipotle chili, stemmed and seeded
1/2 large white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 large tomatillos, husked, washed and diced
1/2 firm banana, diced
2 Tbsp each, almonds and peanuts (I doubled the almonds and skipped the peanuts due to allergies)
1/4 cup each, sesame seeds and raisins
1/4 tsp each, ground cinnamon, whole black peppercorns, and dried thyme
3 whole cloves
1 tsp whole anise seed
2 tsp each, dried Mexican oregano and salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp crushed Mexican chocolate

Put everything but the chicken and the chocolate in the slow cooker. Arrange the chicken on top. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Remove the chicken to a plate and remove skin and bones. Add the chocolate to the sauce and purée the sauce either with an immersion blender, or by transferring to a blender or food processor. Moisten the chicken with 1/2 cup or so of the sauce.

Serve chicken in warm corn tortillas, fold in half and pour mole sauce over top. Top with queso fresco and serve with your favorite salsa/sour cream/guacamole/rice and beans/roasted poblano peppers/etc.





Chicken Meatballs + Veggie Sauce + Homemade Spelt Spaghetti = Dinner Bliss September 20, 2012

I love it when my life manages to work out in such a way that I get to call this a Tuesday night dinner. Last week a few of us got together for an evening of cooking in which we made (possibly) thousands of meatballs, a vat full of pasta sauce and some marinated chickens that should be coming soon to a blog near you. A freezer full of that and a strangely lucid head the night before that inspired me to make the pasta dough before I went to bed and, Voila!, homemade spaghetti and meatballs on a school night. Super Mom Awards, here I come. The chicken meatball recipe comes from Gourmet Everyday (big surprise), which Katie also found on Smitten Kitchen. The sauce is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution one found on which is full of veggies that your family will never know about, but, more importantly, it tastes lovely, especially over meatballs (though I would add a little more salt than he says – it brings out the tomatoey flavour more). And what meatballs! So that’s the recipe you are getting here; try them in a sauce, make them big and have them with a salad, make them little and serve them as an appetizer with a roasted grape tomato skewered to the top, do what you will, but try them for sure!

Chicken Meatballs

3 slices Italian bread, torn up without crusts

1/3 cup milk

3 oz pancetta or bacon, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped (we used the food processor for this and the garlic)

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large egg

1 lb ground chicken or turkey

3 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about 4 minutes, then squeeze bread to remove excess milk and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic with salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes.

3. Add pancetta mixture, chicken/turkey, parsley, and a lightly beaten egg to the bread and stir to combine. Divide into meatballs; ours made about 16-18 per batch and were pretty good sized meatballs for having with pasta, but if you want these on their own, 12 meatballs would probably be about right.

4. Bake in 400 oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on size) or until just cooked through. Freeze for later, or serve immediately.




Peanut-Apricot Chicken Skewers: Summer Comfort Food August 22, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers,Chicken,Mains,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Peanut butter, coconut milk, yogurt, jalapeno, peanuts, apricots, chicken thighs. What more do you need to know? Make this lovely little meal while apricots are at their prime. Go! Now! Buy some apricots! And don’t forget to grease the grill.


PS – Not only is this crazy delicious, it’s super easy to boot. If you get the chicken in the marinade the evening before, it’s quick enough to make on a week night.
PPS – We had this with my favourite sweet potatoes and a corn and avocado salad. It would also be nice served over rice.
PPPS – I borrowed the recipe from Bon Appetit and made some minor tweaks.

1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
juice from 2 limes
1 T palm sugar or brown sugar
3 garlic cloves
1 t kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium jalapeño, with seeds if you like it spicy (go with less if you have kids)
1-1.5 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into thirds
12 ripe apricots, pitted and halved
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, lightly toasted and chopped

1. Blend coconut milk through salt in food processor until smooth. Add cilantro and jalapeno and pulse to combine.

2. Set aside 1 cup of marinade – cover and refridgerate.

3. Add remaining marinade to a large ziplock with the chicken pieces. Let sit a couple hours or overnight. Meanwhile, soak 30 wooden skewers in water.

4. Heat barbecue to medium-high. Before it gets too hot, grease it up really well.

5. Hold 2 skewers parallel to each other and about an inch apart. Thread onto the skewers a piece of chicken, an apricot half, a piece of chicken and another apricot half. Repeat until all the chicken is used.

6. Brush apricots with marinade, then put skewers on the grill for 3-4 minutes a side, leaving for an additional 2 minutes if needed.

7. Serve over rice or sweet potatoes, drizzle with the sauce you had set aside and sprinkle with toasted peanuts.


Easy, cheesy, creamy Chicken Mushroom Lasagna June 18, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Pasta — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I bought a new cookbook. It’s not something I do very often, but when I do it’s sooooooo exciting. This one is Gourmet Weekday from the now defunct Gourmet magazine and it is full of lovely, easy, tasty dinners that don’t take half your day to prepare. That said, this being from Gourmet, they aren’t necessarily 5 ingredient, 30 minute dinners either, but somewhere in between. This was the first one I tried and it was lovely. I subbed in fresh whole wheat pasta sheets for the oven ready ones and used Grada Padano instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano, because that’s what I had. I would recommend adding in some rehydrated dried wild mushrooms if you’ve got them, incorporating the liquid into the sauce, for a flavour boost if you like mushrooms. This was creamy and flavourful and everything you want from a treaty meal, without being too rich, especially when accompanied by a nice green salad. I increased the proportions to accommodate my 3 quart casserole dish instead of an 8×8 square, so this is my recipe for the slightly bigger dish. Hope your family likes it as much as mine – this finally convinced my 6 year old she likes mushrooms!

10 oz cremini (brown) mushrooms, thinly sliced

a handful of dried, wild mushrooms, rehydrated, liquid reserved (optional)

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 cups shredded chicken meat, from a deli roast chicken (approx. 1/2 a chicken)

3 1/2 cups whole milk (I used 2% and a little cream)

1/3 cup flour

4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 cup grated Grada Padano

6 fresh whole wheat pasta sheets (my dish uses 1 1/2 sheets per layer, you may want to measure yours to ensure you have enough sheets)

2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere

1. Preheat oven to 425 and find a 3 quart casserole dish (a deep 9×9 would probably work as well)

2. Cook mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper in oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are softened, then add the wine, wild mushrooms and liquid, if using, and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and set aside.

3. Warm milk either in a small saucepan or the microwave, so that you are not adding cold milk to the sauce. Melt remaining butter in a 4 quart saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly until all is incorporated. Add thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and scoop out 1 cup of sauce, set aside.

4. Stir parmesan into the sauce in the pan, then add the chicken mixture. This is the filling.

5. Spread 1/2 of the reserved sauce on the bottom of the pan to coat it. Add the first of layer of pasta sheets, and 1/3 of the filling, then sprinkle 1/4 of the Gruyere on top. Repeat 2 more times, then top with remaining pasta sheets, the remainder of the reserved sauce and the remaining Gruyere.

6. Cover with foil, making sure the foil does not touch the top of the lasagna, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden on top. Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.





Chicken chorizo pork burgers with grilled Pink Lady apples April 2, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Make Ahead,Pork,Quick and easy,Sandwiches — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:22 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I decided to try my hand at this after a lovely girls night out at Blue Star Diner, where I was, of course, the only person to go for the giant, fatty pork chorizo burger and homemade shoestring fries. But it was totally worth it, especially when I came home and realized that I had some chicken chorizo (from the amazing Missing Link at the farmer’s market) and lean ground pork sitting in my freezer, which meant I could replicate this using healthier ingredients and smaller portions, thus enabling me to re-enjoy this meal without all the guilt. Here’s what I did:

1 lb lean ground pork

1 lb chicken chorizo sausage (raw), casings removed

Combine pork and sausage in a bowl, mixing with your fingers, but being careful not to squeeze too much (makes the burger tougher).

Form into 8, 1/4 lb patties, set aside.


Pink Lady apple slices – brushed lightly with butter and grilled on the top rack while the burgers were cooking. This is a must, the sweetness is amazing with the spiciness of the chorizo

Cheddar slices (gouda or gruyere would be lovely here as well)



Buns – I used Sour Cream rolls which were soft and perfect, but any old burger buns will do

Once your have everything prepped, preheat your grill to medium high, then cook the burgers for about 6 mins a side, adding the cheese for the last minute if you like it melted. Flip the apple slices when you flip the burgers and they should come out just right. Serve immediately.




Easy weeknight chipotle chicken, rice, and beans February 9, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 1:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

You know how by midwinter you just don’t want to do anything? You don’t want to cook, you don’t want to clean, you don’t want to force yourself to exercise, again, in the effort to find your motivation for life, you just kind of want to sit on the couch, read an addictive, yet somewhat brainless  novel and eat really good chocolate. Or is that just me? Either way, this time of year, recipes like this are a godsend for me; 30 minutes to the table, including the time it took me to throw a taco salad together for a side, plus everyone liked it (which almost never happens in my house – my oldest daughter has started complaining as soon as I start making dinner now). I tore this out of a magazine ages ago (I think Canadian Living) and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to put it into service. This will be made again soon, I think next time topped with a salad-like avacado salsa (beg Katie for the recipe, she’s the queen of salsas) and a gob of yogurt (or sour cream) with a couple of tortilla chips on the side. For those who like things hot, I would double (maybe triple) the chipotle peppers.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup rice (I used white basmati, but next time I’m going to try some sprouted brown rice)

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped

2 cups water

1 bouillion cube (I used veggie, but chicken would work, as would broth)

1 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1. Toss the chicken with half the chili powder and some salt and pepper. Heat a medium/big pot (or dutch oven) over medium high heat, then add half the oil. When it starts to shine, add the chicken and allow it to brown on all sides. Remove chicken to a bowl. Set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil, lower the heat to medium, and cook the onion, garlic, remaining chili powder and some more salt and pepper until the onions are softened, scraping up the browned bits as you go.

3. Stir in the rice and chipotle and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice starts to look translucent. Add the water and bouillion cube, stirring to combine; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and beans, stir well, then cover and cook for another 10- 15 minutes, or until the liquid is all absorbed and the chicken is cooked through.