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Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

12 Oct

Every time the seasons change, I start hunting for new recipes. Anything I can toss in the slow cooker in the morning and have ready for dinner in the evening shoots straight to the top of my to-try list. When I came across a burrito bowl recipe from The Kitchn, I was pretty sure it was going to be a hit. It’s healthy, it uses ingredients I have in the house already and appeals to the adults and the foodNURDling. We topped the tender chicken, fluffy rice and kernels of corn and black beans with shredded cheese, avocado and hot sauce. You could also add sour cream, salsa and/or cilantro. I let everything cook for 6 hours, but you could certainly go 8 hours if that’s the timing that works for you. Cook up some rice on the stove, top with all the burrito-y goodness and you’re set!

Makes a lot. Unless you’re feeding a football team, you’ll have leftovers.

Ingredients

1-1 1/2lbs chicken thighs or breasts
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c chicken stock (plus more for rice)
2 ts chili powder
2 ts salt
1 ts cumin
1 ts pepper
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 c corn
2 c rice
Optional: sliced avocado, shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce

Directions
1. Place the chicken, diced tomatoes, stock, chili powder, salt, cumin & pepper in the slow cooker. Ensure the chicken is immersed in the stock/liquid from the tomatoes. Add more stock (or water!) if necessary. Cook on low for 5 1/2 – 7 1/2 hours.
2. When the timer goes off, add in the black beans and corn. Stir everything let it cook for half an hour.
3. In the meantime, cook up the 2 cups of rice (I used jasmine rice, but you can use whatever you have in your kitchen). If you’ve got extra stock, use that instead of water. It’s much more flavourful.
4. When the 30 minutes are up (or are close enough to up) remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with a couple of forks, taking care to remove any small bones. Toss the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir.
5. Grab some bowls and spoon in some rice, then the chicken, beans and corn with a good helping of the sauce. Top with whatever appeals to you and enjoy!

IMG_1037

Salbutes

24 Nov

This is one of my absolute favourite Belizean dishes to make. I first tried them years ago when J’s mom made them for dinner. Instantly hooked. As with many local specialties, everyone makes them just a bit differently and everyone claims their (or their mom’s) way is best. The basics, though: crunchy fried tortillas topped with shredded chicken or pork. The toppings and sauces are totally up to the cook: pickled onions, salsa verde, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onion, sliced jalapeno, and cilantro are all popular options. We do ours with thinly sliced avocado, shredded chicken simmered in salsa verde, sour cream, green onion, cilantro and a bit of hot sauce. You can include or omit just about any of the ingredients listed above: it’s truly about your own personal taste. We usually roast a whole chicken so we have leftovers for the rest of the week and shred both wings, a thigh and a breast. (Tip: take the skin off and save it to add when you’re dressing the tortillas. You want it to be crispy.) You could also poach chicken breasts in spice-tinged water – salt, pepper and oregano would be a nice combo.

This recipe makes 10. Two of us can polish that off but we are very full afterward.

Ingredients

10 tostadas (or 10 tortillas, fried)
2 chicken breasts or equivalent, cooked & shredded
1 c salsa verde
2 avocados, sliced
salt & pepper
lime juice
3 green onions, sliced
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
sour cream
hot sauce, optional

Directions

1. Warm up your tostadas in the oven at a low temp. They have a high oil content, so make sure you keep an eye on them ensuring they don’t burn.
2. Heat up the salsa in a sauce pan til it simmers. Add in the chicken and stir. Allow chicken to warm through, 5-8 minutes.
3. Divide the avocado slices evenly among the warmed tostadas then season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Layer on the chicken, sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Top with dollops of sour cream and, if you wish, dabs of hot sauce.

photo

Roast Chicken & Smashed Kimchi Potatoes

13 May

In the mood for something easy, something reliable, but with a twist? Try this recipe from Bon Appétit! I had it whipped up in about 40 minutes from the time I turned on the oven to plating. You can find kimchi in most large grocery stores but I got mine at the Lisa Marie market and it was quite tasty. You could also head on over to Koreatown and have fun going through the markets there!

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1.5 lb small potatoes (new, fingerling, whatever you’ve got)
vegetable oil
salt & pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 jar kimchi (roughly a cup) plus 1/4 c liquid
1 tb rice wine vinegar
4 c greens

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the potatoes with 1 tb of vegetable oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, turning once.
2. Rub the chicken thighs with garlic and season with salt & pepper. Heat 1 tb of oil in a pan to medium-high. Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, 10 minutes.
3. Place the chicken skin-side up on the baking sheet and cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
4. With a large spoon, gently smash the potatoes. Spoon the kimchi over and roast until warmed through, no more than 5 minutes.
5. In the meantime, combine the reserved kimchi liquid, 2 tb of vegetable oil and rice wine vinegar in  a small bowl.
6. Scatter the greens over the chicken and potatoes, drizzle half of the dressing and toss gently. Plate and finish with the rest of the dressing.

chicken kimchi

Easy Roasted Chicken Thighs, New Potatoes & Veggies

30 Jan

With the foodNURDling around, I don’t have a lot of spare time or free hands. A few days ago, however, while he slept blissfully in the early evening I headed into the kitchen to make dinner. It felt so good to be back in there after weeks away from the stove.

I had some chicken thighs, some potatoes, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t want to make a lot of dishes, so on to a large roasting sheet they were to go. In a large bowl, I made a quick marinade with olive oil, paprika, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and tossed in the chicken and halved new potatoes. In went the potatoes into a hot oven, followed by the chicken and finally the peppers and tomatoes (with just a little salt, pepper and olive oil). Forty-five minutes later I have moist, aromatic chicken, beautifully roasted potatoes that are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and lovely, caramelized vegetables. There was almost no prep work and minimal clean up: perfect!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs (skin removed, if you like)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 tb paprika
1 tb thyme
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper
1 lb small potatoes, halved
1 sweet pepper, sliced
1 container of cherry tomatoes, scored on the top

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, oil, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the potatoes and chicken and toss to coat.
3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread out the potatoes in a single layer on one side. After 15 minutes, add the chicken (skin-side down if you kept it) and stir the potatoes around. Bake 15 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes are up, add the vegetables to the sheet (with their own salt, pepper and olive oil) and flip the chicken over. Bake for another 15 minutes.
5. When the  last timer goes off, remove the sheet from the oven and enjoy!

chicken thighs, potatoes, veg

Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Soup

26 Nov

Soup, soup. I love soup. And when it’s this tasty, basic and healthy, it’s hard not to love it. We added a few drops of hot sauce to our bowls post-cooking as we are wont to do. I thought it was much better with it, but spice is certainly subjective.

Additionally, the original recipe calls for Cajun seasoning. If you have it, wonderful. If not, just mix up the ingredients I listed below: there’s a good chance you already have them in your pantry.

Ingredients

1 smoked turkey thigh/leg (1lb)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
1 ts cayenne
2 ts paprika
1 ts oregano
6c water
1 tb cider vinegar

Directions

1. Trim and discard any excess fat from the turkey leg/thigh (but keep the skin).
2. Place the turkey, garlic, onions, celery, potatoes, spices and water in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. Remove the turkey from the soup and allow to cool. Remove and discard the skin. Shred or roughly chop the meat.
4. Place 4 cups of the soup in a blender and purée. Place the puréed soup and the turkey back into the slow cooker.
5. Add in the cider vinegar and stir. Season to taste and serve!

Turkey Meatballs w/ Vegetables & Rice Noodles

26 Sep

New house, new kitchen, new recipes! Tried this one out last night and it was a whole pile of filling, healthy deliciousness. Definitely give it a whirl: it’s easily adaptable and pretty quick to make. J pickled the red onions and cucumbers that he served and it added a great sour bite to the sweet and spicy sauce that accompanies the dish.

You could also serve the meatballs as an appetizer, serving the sauce on the side as a dip.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 tb sesame oil
1 tb chives/green onions, finely diced
2 ts cornstarch
1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
1 ts salt

1 tb hoisin sauce
1 tb rice wine vinegar
1 tb oyster sauce
1/2 tb Sriracha sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tb soy sauce

bell peppers, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1/2 red onion, juilenned

2 green onions, sliced
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
2 lime wedges

1-2 packages rice noodles, cooked according to instructions

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Do not overmix. Refrigerate for anywhere from 2 – 24 hours.
2. Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil. Dampen your hands and roll out roughly 16 meatballs. Bake 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs and preheat your broiler. Cook for 5 more minutes.
3. Meanwhile, if you plan to stir fry the veg, heat a pan with 2 ts of olive oil to medium and sauté for 4 -5 minutes. If you’re pickling them, however, you can skip this step.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce. Adjust flavouring to taste – some people like it hot, some salty, some sweet.
5. Place the noodles at the bottom of a bowl and layer in the vegetables and meatballs, topping with green onion, cilantro and a lime wedge for garnish. Either pour the sauce on top or serve on the side.

Turkey meatbals

Lemon Curry Chicken

25 Jun

I have a seriously awesome husband. Since we found out that we’re expecting a little foodNURDling in December my moods and energy have fluctuated a lot and he’s rolled with the punches (metaphorical punches, to be clear…my mood swings aren’t that intense!). I’m often too tired to cook, to clean, to make it past 9:30pm without a nap. So, to thank him for picking up the slack, I headed off to Kensington to pick up some delicious, fresh ingredients for a yummy dinner! This is Tyler Florence’s recipe, as is the mango-basmati rice with which it’s served. This recipe calls for a chicken in 10 pieces: if you go to the butcher, they will be happy to do this for you! You can also get chickens broken down at the grocery store…or you can try it at home yourself.

Ingredients

1 3lb chicken,  cut into 10 pieces
2 c plain yogurt
2 tb curry powder
1 lemon, zest & juice
1 tb sesame oil
salt & pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Rinse and pat chicken dry.
2. Stir together the yogurt, curry powder, lemon zest and juice, sesame oil and salt & pepper in a big bowl.
3. Add the chicken and toss gently with the yogurt marinade.

Prepped & read to go in the oven

4. Place chicken on a baking sheet and roast, basting twice with the remaining marinade as it cooks. (Roughly 45 minutes.)


5. Serve with Mango Basmati Rice.

Crispy-Skinned, Juicy Roast Chicken

15 Apr

I took a friend on her inaugural visit to the St. Lawrence Market the other day and, while there, figured I ought to pick up something for dinner. I didn’t want to do anything too complicated as J and I had plans later that night so I stopped by De Liso’s and grabbed a whole chicken. I had already picked up some herbs and cippolini onions so, after picking up the bird, I was good to go.

I so love roasting chickens and am always on the look out for tricks to make this simple dish even better. I saw someone make one up, carve it in the pan in which it was cooked with carrots, potatoes, onions and celery and then he mixed it all together in the same roasting pan. I thought that was kind of genius as the elements in the pan soak up all the delicious juices released by the bird. Though I didn’t use most of those aromatics, I did have the onions and I also tossed in some garlic. It came out fabulously and I’ll likely be making my chickens this way from now on.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 4lb chicken
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & fresh black pepper
3-4 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary
8-12 cippolini onions
6 garlic cloves

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 500F. Rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat the chicken dry, placing it on top of the onions and four of the garlic cloves in a roasting pan.
2. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub over the skin, coating it completely but not heavily. Liberally salt and pepper, including inside the cavity.
3. Place the herbs and the remaining garlic cloves into the cavity.
4. Wrap a little bit of tinfoil around the wing tips so they don’t burn.
5. Place the chicken in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350F. Cook for roughly 70 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. You can also tell if it’s done if the juices run clear.
6. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes once it’s cooked. Carefully carve the chicken in the roasting pan and mix the pieces in with the onions, garlic and juices that have accumulated. (You can also cut the bird on a cutting board and then return the meat to the pan if you’re not comfortable doing it in the pan itself.)
 *Note – the skin should be nice and crispy and you don’t want to lose that by soaking it in the pan juices. Reserve the skin off the breast and leg meat, adding it back when you’ve plated.

Ginger-Lime-Honey Chicken

16 Feb

This was one of the first recipes I tried out back when I started cooking more on my own. It makes use of stuff you may well already have in the kitchen: lime, ginger, honey…and chicken. I use chicken thighs, but you can certainly use chicken breasts if you like.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 lime
2 tb honey
2 tb fresh ginger, grated
4 chicken thighs
1 tb butter
salt & pepper

Directions

1. Mix together the juice of the lime, ginger and honey in a small bowl.
2. Season the chicken with salt & pepper.
3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter on medium-high. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken. (Make sure your pan isn’t too crowded.)  Cook 3 minutes/side.
4. Add the mixture to the pan with the chicken. Lower the heat and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, turning a couple of times.
5. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow it to rest 10 – 15 minutes. Make sure you scrape up all the caramelized bits from the pan – they’re delicious!

Turkey 2011

28 Dec

Another Christmas dinner has come and gone and the troops have been well fed. Seven of us arrived at my folks’ place Christmas evening and tucked right in to a cheese and pate plate while glasses of red and white wine were poured.

But before the feast could be devoured, that turkey had to get prepped & cooked!  I posted earlier my general plan for the turkey and I stuck pretty close to what I had planned out. For this recipe, you’ll need either a large cooler or a non-reactive container (a large bucket and garbage bags work, I promise) and you’ll want to start at least 24 hours ahead. I actually brined my turkey for 36.

Here’s what I got up to…

Serves 10.

Ingredients

1 11lb fresh, organic turkey
2 c hot water
2 c brown sugar
2 c kosher salt
1.5 c molasses
1 head garlic, halved
4 sprigs rosemary
2 lemons, quartered
2 onions, halved
2 oranges, quartered
1/2 c black peppercorns
enough cold water to cover the turkey

2 leeks, halved
4-5 carrots, rough chop
4-5 stalks of celery, rough chop
1 head garlic
1 orange, halved
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tb ground black pepper
2 tb butter, room temperature
4 c chicken stock

Directions

Brine

1. Take the turkey out of the fridge. Remove the neck and giblets, then rinse with cold water.
2. In a large pot, combine the hot water, salt and brown sugar. Stir until salt and sugar have dissolved and cool the mixture. (You don’t want hot water in with your turkey.)
3. When the mixture has cooled, place it in the cooler/container. Add enough cold water to cover the turkey. Then add in the molasses and stir.
4.  Toss the oranges, lemons, rosemary, peppercorns and garlic halves into the mixture.
5. Place the turkey in the brine and store in a cold place.

Cooking

1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
1. Remove the turkey from the brining solution. Rinse and pat dry.
2. In a roasting pan, place the leeks, carrots, celery and 3/4 of the garlic.
3. Place the turkey breast-side up on the bed of vegetables and smother completely with the butter. Season thoroughly with the black pepper, including in the cavity. (You won’t need salt.)
4. Place the rest of the garlic, orange halves and rosemary in the cavity of the turkey.
5. Pour 3 cups of the chicken stock into the pan, reserving the last cup for gravy  or if you need extra liquid during the cooking process.
6. Wrap a little bit of foil on the tips of the wings so they don’t burn.
7. Put the turkey in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 325F. Cook the turkey for 20 minutes per pound, basting every 30 minutes, until the turkey’s internal temperature reaches about 160-165. Let it rest for 20-30  minutes and enjoy!

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