Friday, November 20, 2009

Beef. It's not what's for dinner...

Chicken. It's something I'm pretty much always going to have in the freezer. Diced tomatoes. Something I'm always going to have in the pantry. Put them together and viola. Dinner. I had a meeting for the community garden on Wednesday night and I needed something that could sit on the stove and simmer away. I did chicken curry last week, so trying out a recipe for Country Captain chicken wouldn't work. Sour cream. Something I occasionally have in the refrigerator. I was in luck. Chicken paprika it is...

If you read my recipes you may have noticed that I always use chicken thighs. This is what we like to eat, but feel free to substitute a cut up chicken.

Chicken Paprika (serves 4)

4 chicken thighs
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 t sweet paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1 t hot paprika
1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream (This is as low as I'll go. Fat free is icky.)

Heat large heavy pan over medium high heat. Salt and pepper chicken pieces on both sides. When pan is very hot, place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Let brown for several minutes. The skin will lift up from the pan surface when it's done enough. Don't pull the pieces up or they'll tear apart.

Meanwhile, back at stately Wayne Manor, I mean my kitchen, pull out the trusty sidekicks. The cutting board (I have one for meats and one for veggies) and a nice sharp knife.

Dice the onion and crush the garlic cloves. Traditional chicken paprika recipes don't call for garlic, but I think pretty much all chicken dishes should have garlic in them.

Turn the chicken pieces over and brown on the other side for several minutes.

When the second side of the chicken is nicely browned remove the chicken from the pan. If there's a lot of fat drain it out and leave a tablespoon or so in the pan.

Dump in the onions and the garlic. Make sure you scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. There's a lot of flavor in those little morsels. Cook the onions until they're translucent.

The hot and smoked paprika really make this dish. If you don't have any smoked paprika, I really think you should get some. It's crazy good.

I had a picture of just the paprika in the pan, but it kept uploading sideways. Imagine I've put the paprika in the pan, stirred it around to blend with the onions and garlic. Now put in your can of diced tomatoes.

Stir well, and then place the chicken pieces back in the pan, nestling them in the sauce.

Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is done. Take the chicken back out and add in the sour cream.

Stir well until all the sour cream is blended into the sauce.

Serve with noodles and green peas.

Nutrition for chicken, 1/2 cup noodles and 1/2 cup peas:

Calories: 482
Total fat: 23.9 g
Carbs: 39.2 g
Protein: 27.8 g

(Nutrition data comes from the GoWearFit recipe builder)

For the second part of this double feature, a couple of people asked for the recipe for the scallops I made the other day. It's my take on Coquilles St. Jacques A La Pariesienne. Here it is...

Scallops in Artichoke Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 lb large scallops
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
bay leaf
1 small shallot, diced (I had small green onion from garden I used)
1 t herbes de provence
1 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 c. cream

In large pan simmer the wine and the herbs for a few minutes. Add the scallops and mushrooms to the wine. Add enough water to just cover the scallops. Poach until done. (I wasn't timing, sorry)

In second pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour until smooth. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the flour is lightly golden. Reduce heat and add about 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid and stir, making sure there are no lumps. If it's too thick, add more of the poaching liquid. Stir in the cream. Add the artichokes, mushrooms and scallops and stir until everything's coated with the sauce.

Serve over spaghetti or rice. I served this over spaghetti, with a layer of steamed spinach in between. I'm sorry I don't have the nutrition data for this recipe. For some reason, the GWF website doesn't want to let me into my account. Check back with me on this if you like.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

I bought my first acorn squash last week. Just because. It looked interesting. The only acorn squash I'd ever eaten had been dipped in tempura battered and deep fried to a golden crispy yummy goodness. (The Aussie always orders shrimp tempura and the chefs always include veggies. He eats the shrimp, I eat some of the veggies)

So I had an acorn squash sitting on my counter. What to do, what to do. I asked one of my twitter friends, Trish, how she'd cook acorn squash and she gave me a great recipe for maple roasted squash, which turned out lovely. So Sunday I got a second acorn squash. What to do, what to do. Stuffing! I started rummaging in the freezer and came up with the following for what I will call Scarborough Fair Acorn Squash. (You know, parsley, sage, rosemary... you can go put on the Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits CD now. I'll wait.)

Scarborough Fair Acorn Squash (serves 4)

2 acorn squash, split in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out
2 T pine nuts, toasted
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 rib celery, sliced
2 c cooked brown rice
2 Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties, diced or crumbled
1/4 c. Craisins, chopped
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
parsley (1 t)
sage (1/2 t ground or 1 fresh leaf minced)
rosemary (1/2 t)
thyme (1/2 t)

Preheat oven to 375. Cook split acorn squash cut side down on baking sheet for 30 minutes. I know this looks a bit wonky. At first I was going to do a standing up acorn squash and then changed my mind. So I cut off more of the top than I should have.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat and toast pine nuts until lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.

Lower heat to medium and add olive oil to pan. Add in the onion, celery and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in turkey sausage and lightly brown.

Spoon in cooked rice, cranberries, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Stir to mix ingredients together.

When the squash has finished baking, remove from the oven and turn over so that the hollowed out section is facing up. Spoon in the stuffing mixture.

Put the squash back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned on top.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 276.5

Total Fat: 7.5 g

Sat Fat 0.9 g

Cholesterol: 13.75 mg

Sodium: 432.8 mg

Potassium: 512.9 mg

Total Carb: 43.65 g

Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g

Sugars: 5.35 g

Protein: 4.4 g