Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Almonds & Saffron

A friend of ours has an annual "Groundhog Day" dinner party with a different theme each year...this year it was Moroccan food!!! YUMMY!  This is a mild and flavourful dish ~ and don't omit the cilantro as it does more than merely garnish the dish; it makes a vital contribution to the flavour and character of the dish!  As this was prepared for a large number of people, I shredded the chicken rather than leave it in large pieces, but it didn't affect the presentation or flavour at all!

2 tbsp olive oil
4 large chicken breasts
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2/3 cup chicken stock
A large pinch of saffron threads
1/3 cup almonds, freshly ground (or almond meal)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid.  Add the chicken and brown evenly.  Transfer chicken to a paper towels to drain.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and cook gently for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly coloured.  Add the stock and saffron.  Stir in the almonds, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Return the chicken to the pot and add enough water to almost cover the chicken.
  • Heat to a simmer, then cover the pot tightly and cook gently for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the chicken to a warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.  Boil the cooking liquid to reduce it to a thicker consistency and intensify the flavours.  
  • Scatter the cilantro leaves over top and serve.
  • ENJOY!             

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Winter Squash, Sausage & Feta Bake

I found this recipe in "Taste of Home" magazine (it actually won 1st place in their Oct/Nov 2012 edition!!)  and since I had a butternut and acorn squash I decided to give it a whirl...it was delicious! The kids weren't big fans as they don't love chunks of squash, but Greg and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

1lb Italian sausage meat
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" cubes
1 medium acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" cubes
2 cups crumbled feta cheese (ran out of goat feta so used grated goat cheddar instead)
2 small sweet red peppers, chopped
  • Heat oven to 375F.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage, onions and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sausage meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.  Drain off fat.
  • In a large bowl combine the olive oil, rosemary, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and remaining pepper flakes.  Add butternut and acorn squash, cheese, red peppers and sausage mixture.  Toss to coat.
  • Transfer to an ungreased large shallow roasting dish.  Cover and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until squash is tender.
  • ENJOY!          

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rockin' Moroccan Stew

Years ago I discovered this stew recipe in my "Crazy Plates" cookbook and I had forgotten about it until we recently went to a friend's Moroccan-themed dinner party!  It is simple, nutritious, filling, delicious and low fat....what more could you want?!?!

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup each of diced celery and chopped green bell pepper (I only had orange for the dish pictured!)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
1 can (19oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (19 oz) drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp each of ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander, and chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup raisins (I didn't have any so I used dried cranberries)
2 tbsp each light peanut butter, and chopped fresh cilantro
  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften (approx. 3 minutes)
  • Add all remaining ingredients, except raisins, peanut butter and cilantro.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in raisins, peanut butter and cilantro.  Mix well.  Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • ENJOY!