November 15, 2014

All about Food and Love

I just finished watching a lovely lovely film about cooking,  scents, flavors, texture,  friendships, race, culture, love and most importantly Spices. A salad of culinary delights.

I highly recommend you watch it  -- The Hundred Foot Journey. A Masala for your senses. May they be awakened by simple beauty to the wondrous musical composition of A.Rahman.

November 5, 2014

Ethiopian Chicken Recipe - Doro Wat made Easy.

Hello everyone, been kind of lazy but have not forgotten you or my pledge. My pledge is : every time you try a new recipe of mine, you are to feed one (or more) hungry person. Read the welcome note ---> over there - first.

So my recipe for today is Doro Wat - a lovely Ethiopian dish made easy. I say made easy because there are so many variants to this succulent chicken recipe, and it can get quite complicated for busy and important people like yourselves.

So here I am to make it easy for you. Tested in my own kitchen more than once...and not only tasted by this humble self, but also by others and if two or more (unrelated) individuals tell me it's very good then it is.

Let's start-  Doro Wat made Quick and Easy.

You will need for two :

-  250 grams of boneless/skinless chicken cut in chunks.
- 2 medium red onions chopped (preferably red but don't sweat the small stuff).
- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
- half of your index finger worth of fresh ginger - grated
- 2 tbs of butter (I don't usually use butter in cooking but for this dish it is preferable)
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- the following spices. This is the important's all in the spices. If you don't have all the spices mentioned below, you may have a little problem, because trust me, I have simplified it for you, the original recipe is way more complicated. So I say invest in a little spices and you can go a long way.

- ground cumin  1/2 tsp
- ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp
- all spice 1/4 tsp
- ground cardamom 1/2 tsp
- turmeric  1/2 tsp
- powdered cloves 1/2 tsp
- dry coriander 1/4 tsp
- sweet paprika 1/4 tsp
- chili powder 1/4 tsp
- black pepper 1/4 tsp
- ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp
- dried basil about 1 tsp
- salt to taste


- 1  cup of chicken stock enough to cover all your chicken
- less than 1/4 cup of red wine or red vinegar
- a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice.

Bear in mind that this is not an exact science, so you may add a little more or a little less..go by flair and sense of smell.

Preparation :

- wash the chunks of chicken - leave to drain.
- in a non stick deep pan on medium fire mix the following : butter, olive oil, onions, garlic, ginger, all the spices mentioned above and is important for the mix to emanate that wonderful smell before you put the chicken in. Add a little water if you see that the mix is drying out.
- put your chicken in, mix well, and leave it on medium fire until the pieces of chicken absorb all the spice mix
- once your chicken is half cooked (look at color, flesh should turn white on the outside), add the chicken stock plus red wine or red vinegar, bring to boil cover  and leave it to simmer on a low fire, adding a squeeze of the lime or lemon juice, until the sauce thickens. It should look like a thick brown sauce .

Rule of thumb it is always better to start with little water and add more than have too much water. So if you feel/see that you need to add more water, do so, but remember this is not a soup. So the law of parsimony is applicable here.

You can serve it with boiled potatoes, hot flat bread or sauteed spinach in olive oil plus nutmeg or my favorite - rice.

If you plan on serving it with rice, I personally use small grain rice for this recipe as opposed to basmati rice (never processed ie. half boiled rice whether short or long grain)

For the short grain rice recipe 

1 cup of rice, thoroughly washed until water is clear
1 tbs of cooking oil (not olive oil any other oil is fine)
1 1/2 cup of boiling water.
salt to taste

In cooking pot,  heat oil well, drain rice, add it to pot, mix it, add salt...then pour boiling water, bring to boil once and then leave on a very low fire till all water is absorbed and rice is tender.

Bon appétit and enjoy.

March 8, 2014

Grilled Turkey and a Polenta Spinach Gratin.

If you are new to my blog  --- please read the introductory welcome note on the right hand side of this page.

I feel terrible for not updating this blog in a long, long time. It's not that I stopped cooking, far from it ...but it's just not sure why...anyways, what does it matter? am back and hope to be regular in my contributions, again.

So let's start with something simple and very easy to prepare in less than 30mn with a cooking time of about 20mn max.

For 2 you will need the following :

2 largish pieces of Turkey slices thinly sliced.

Let's start with marinating the turkey first.

1 tbs of olive oil,
1 smallish tsp of ground powder ginger
1 smallish tsp of garlic powder
1 tbs of non salty soya sauce (salt makes the meat hard),
1 flat tbs of dried basilicum
1flat tsp of 7 spices (a spice mix of rose petals, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) if you don't have this in your country, just use an all spice mix.

Mix everything together and pour over raw turkey - make sure that the pieces of poultry are well imbued with the mix. Set aside.

Now for the polenta and spinach gratin. 

2 largish cups of frozen spinach
1 cup of polenta (non Genetically modified cornmeal)
1 spring onion chopped
1 flat tbs of mixed dried herbs
1 flat tsp of ground cumin
1 flat tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 tbs of mixed dried herbs
1 small onion sliced in thin rings
1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Spinach preparation.

in a saucepan, put oil, add chopped spring onion, add spinach still frozen, mix well, let it all thaw, add a tiny bit of water so it will not dry up, add nutmeg and salt if you wish until the spinach is tender but not overcooked. Make sure it is not soggy. So easy on the water as spinach gives its own water.

Polenta preparation

Follow directions on your pack for one cup of polenta. I personally use a mixture of half water and half full milk -- bring it to boil, pour in the polenta gently stirring on a low heat (polenta cooks quickly like 3 mn), then add while stirring the cumin, dried herbs and salt to taste. Polenta must be thickish in texture not soggy.

Once both spinach and polenta are ready, get a deep oven dish, place the spinach then cover with the polenta, addonion rings, top it with the grated cheese and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top.
Place in oven at about 150 temp for 15 mn or so until cheese melts and you see onions turning golden.

Now grilling the Turkey filet   Heat a grill pan FIRST then lower heat, and grill your turkey slices until cooked to your liking.

Serve with a salad - I made one with sliced carrots, walnuts, rocca, and tomatoes in a vinaigrette made of : olive oil,  balsamic honey vinegar, 1 tsp of mayo, a squeeze of mustard, mixed herbs, salt, and pepper, shake it all in a jar and pour over your salad mix.

Fig mustard goes very nicely with the Turkey slices.

Enjoy and don't forget to feed someone if you try this recipe.