Sunday, April 17, 2011

A recipe and monday menu plan...early!!!

I wanted to sare this recipe for a while now, but always forget. Then this morning I came across the pictures I took while making the dish, so this time I made sure to share it with you all. It's a tajine with chicken, olives and lemon.

Basically, a tajine is a sort of stew. It incorporates ingredients which take well to long, slow braising at low temperatures, such as lamb. Depending on the origin of the tajine, the spicing of the dish varies widely, and is possible to find tajines with vegetables, beans, and various grains in addition to meat stews. After several hours of cooking, the ingredients in the tajine are extremely tender and very intensely flavored, and you can ladle the tajine over rice or scoop it out of the dish with hunks of bread.

But don't worry, since this recipe calls for chicken it will not take more than 1 to 1 1/2 hours to cook.

I also have my tajine spices send from France, but I will give you the recipe for you to make your own...

First you will need to clean a whole cut up chicken. In a dutch oven heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

Salt and brown the chicken pieces (in batches) on both sides (2 minutes per side should do the trick)...but as you can see I didn't have pictures of that, don't know why!!! When the chicken is brown add the chopped onions, garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until very soft and turning golden brown. This could take 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the spices to the onions...and cook together for a couple of minutes, stirring.

Add a whole bunch of chopped fresh coriander, and 1 sliced lemon

When the ingredients all got a chance to mingle together, cover with chicken broth and cook for 30 minutes

When the chicken is almost done remove all the lemon slices and in goes a cup of pitted green olives

Simmer for another 10 minutes, and it's ready.

I usually serve it with couscous, but rice is just as good.

Bon Appetit...

Chicken Tajine recipe :

1 chicken cut up
2 big onions chopped
4 gloves of chopped garlic
1 whole bunch of fresh coriander
1 lemon
3 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of pitted green olives

Spice mix :

This is the closest recipe I could find of the spice I have

1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper powder
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon


Now it's been a while since I posted my menu plan, for technical reasons it was difficult for me to do it, but now it looks like my computer obeys all my orders, so let's roll!!!!

Monday : The pioneer Woman's beef and snow peas stir fry

Tuesday : Couscous with steamed vegetables (I'll make sure to take pictures!!)

Wednesday :  Croque-monsieur, tomatoes and green beans

Thursday : Chicken kebabs, corn and grilled zucchinis

Friday :  Fish en papillote and roasted potatoes

Saturday : Turkey and artichokes stuffed shells (a Giada's recipe)

Sunday : Crock pot of some sort, still have to think about that one..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cream cheese flan

Today's recipe is a cross between the american cheese cake and the french flan. It has the consistency of a thick flan with the taste of a cheese cake, and to top it of yummy caramel on top!!! Unfortunatly my camera died on me during the recipe so I could only take the result pictures. But the recipe is super easy to do, and just so you know it's not for people on diet...

What you'll need :

4oz of soften cream cheese
4 eggs
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp of good vanilla
1 cup of sugar

Heat your oven at 350F

Beat the cream chesse with the eggs. Add the 2 milks (??) and the vanilla, mix well.

Make a caramel by heating the sugar over moderate heat and keeping an eye on it.

Once the caramel starts browning at the edges, begin to drag the sugar towards the center to prevent any burnt spots. At this stage, it will quickly turn darker, so pay attention! It will look grainy and lumpy but don't worry just lower the heat and keep stirring. When the caramel is at it's liquid form, what I do is pour a tiny bit of vanilla (I have to put vanilla in everything).

Pour the caramel at the bottom of your pan turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides and pour the flan preparation over it and cover with alumiun foil.

Now I bake my flan on a bain marie. For that put your pan on a rimed baking sheet lined with a towel, put it carefully in the oven and pour hot water in the baking sheet. Be really careful while doing that, your don't want any water in the flan or on you, which ever is worst for you...Bake for 60 minutes.

Let cool completely.

To serve, carefully invert on serving plate with edges when completely cool. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Goat cheese and zucchini cake

Although the word cake make us think of sweet....well cakes!! in France they also make savory cakes. It's a nice change from the quiche lorraine (which I often make). What's funny is I never made any savory cakes in France, and only started making them a year ago or so. The nice part is that you can put any combination of your favorite meats and vegetables. Green olives and ham, salmon and feta cheese, ham and swiss (my kids favorite)...My all time favorite is goat cheese and zucchini, simply because I loooove goat cheese. It's a really nice to make if you're having a BBQ either at home, or with friends, I had many compliments for that cake and received e-mails afterward asking for the recipe!!!

Preheat your oven at 350F

Clean and remove the fluffy part of a medium size zucchini and cube it

Heat olive oil in a pan and let the zucchini cook on medium heat for 10/12 minutes (dont' forget to salt them!!)

remove from pan and let it cool on a paper towel.

Meanwhile in a bowl blend the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, make a well in the center

add the eggs, warm milk and wisk everything together, until smooth.

Add the olive oil,

then in goes the grated gruyere,

the yummy goat cheese cut into big chunks

and finally the zucchini

Pour all that yumminess (should check that word in the dictionnary) in a greased pan, I grease my with olive oil

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick (a clean one...) comes out dry from the cake.

Bon Appetit.

Recipe :

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of warm milk
1 medium size zucchini
4 ounces of grated gruyere cheese
8 ounces of goat cheese

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Be careful those brownies come with a warning ADDICTIVE, I mean seriously there is no way you can stop after just one brownie, this is why I had 3!!! and ended on my bike for a little ride outside to get ride of the guilt...I haven't come across a brownie this good in a looong time. They are the best just a few minutes after being out of the oven, mmmmm the melted chocolate chips the crunch of the peanut butter, can you see me melt on my chair. And they are very easy to make...would you look at that.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil so that the foil comes up the sides of the pan and overhangs slightly

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When it's melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugars

add peanut butter until the ingredients are all incorporated. Let stand to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the vanilla. What a funny face!!

When the peanut butter mixture has cooled, stir it into the eggs until smooth and incorporated.

Stir in the flour and salt until well blended

then stir in the chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips

At this point I was ready to take a spoon and eat the whole bowl yum yum!!!!

Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Place on a rack to cool.

When the brownies are cool, turn out onto a cutting board. Peel off the paper. Turn brownies over, and slice into 16 squares. Brownies will keep for several days stored in an airtight container. My son and I couldn't wait another minute to taste the warn and melty brownies...sooooo good!!! 


Ingredients :

6 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 each eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter chips