Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken with Couscous, Tomatoes, and Hummus

I made this semi-Greek recipe that I found in Southern Living for supper last night.  Hummus and pita are the only Greek elements.  The recipe was really easy to make and the taste/texture combination of chicken, couscous salad, and hummus was excellent. 

The flavor of the chicken was really tasty.  I was skeptical of the lack of a marinade- boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces are simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper before they are cooked in a skillet.  The couscous is tossed with tomatoes, red onions, and a simple vinaigrette to make a really good side. 

The couscous salad includes 2 Tab of chopped red onion.  For this, I bought a container of chopped red onion at the store.  I had never bought pre-chopped onion and I loved the convenience of it.  If you hate to chop onions (you know who you are- Stacey), then I would highly recommend this.  It was a few cents more expensive than just buying a whole onion.  But, the convenience was worth the expense. 

The results:  Art and I loved the meal.  Jacob ate some chicken last night and some couscous for lunch today.  I don't know if he loved it, but he ate it. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spaghetti and Blackberry and Blueberry Pie

As I was cooking the spaghetti with meat sauce for supper tonight, Jacob stood beside me and systematically ate dry spaghetti noodle after noodle.  There is no telling how many of those noodles he chomped through.  Weird.

I also made a pie with blackberries and blueberries.  Blackberries were on sale at the store, so I grabbed a few containers.  The sweet blueberries were a great compliment to the tart blackberries.  It was a good pie made even better by a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

1 pie crust (top and bottom)
2 1/2 cups blackberries
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tab butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place bottom crust in pie plate.
Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Stir in berries to coat.  Pour into crust.  Dot with butter.
Top with top crust. 
Bake for 35-40 minutes, making sure the crust doesn't burn.  Let cool.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chicken In Curry Sauce- No Chips!

Last night, I made chicken in curry.   Art had never had it and he liked it.  Jacob ate a few bites and begged for chips.  We refused.  Then, he refused to eat anymore after that.  A picky toddler is a joy to cook for.  (I do feel very rewarded when he actually likes something I make.) 

I haven't posted any pictures recently, so here is a picture of Jacob with the Praying Mantis at the Children's Museum of Memphis- his home away from home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mahogany Broiled Chicken with Smoky Lime Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro Chimichurri

A couple of years ago, my aunt gave me a copy of this recipe she found in The Birmingham News.  I just got around to making it for supper last night.  Apparently, this was the $100,000 winning recipe in some chicken contest.

The combination of familiar and unexpected flavors was fantastic.  The chicken was tender and flavorful, the sweet potatoes were pleasantly spicy, and the chimichurri sauce was phenomenal.  Most importantly, the meal was easy to make.

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
6 Tab olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
5 Tab dark brown sugar
3 Tab Dijon mustard
2 Tab hoisin sauce (this is with the Asian food in the grocery store)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp lime juice, divided
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Tab unsalted butter
1 tsp chopped canned chipotle pepper
1 tsp adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
1/2 tsp lime zes
3/4 tsp cumin

Chimichurri Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix together chopped cilantro, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and garlic.
(My absent-minded pregnancy brain accidentally added the chipotle and adobo sauce to the chimichurri.  It turned out really good.)

Mahogany Sauce:
In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, mustard, hoisin sauce, and vinegar.  Reserve 2/3 of this mixture.  To remainder, add 1/2 cup lime juice and stir in chicken.  Refrigerate.

Sweet Potatoes:
In heavy saucepan, place potatoes and cover with boiling water.  Cook, covered, over medium high for about 15 minutes or until tender.  Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain potatoes in colander.  Return potatoes to reserved cooking water, add butter, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, remaining 1 1/2 tsp lime juice, cumin, lime zest, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp peper.
Mash potatoes.

Thread chicken on bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water.  Broil about 6" from heat, basting with remaining mahogany sauce until done, about 8 minutes.

To serve, divide potatoes among four plates; top each with two skewers of chicken and drizzle with chimichurri sauce.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Broccoli, Please!

Last night I picked up a pizza from Whole Foods for supper.  We all sat at the table to eat and Jacob kept asking for broccoli ("baak-eee!").  Normally, Jacob asks for chips for supper ("bis!"), so we are in the habit of saying "No" to these requests.  When he kept asking for broccoli, I had determined that he would eat what was on the table.  Finally, Jacob got so upset, we gave up on supper and let him down from his chair.

Art and I discussed the situation.  What kind of horrible parent forces their kid to eat pizza when all he really wants is broccoli?  I went and made him some broccoli.  He ate a huge bowl of it.