Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey

I am back with another recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  The recipe is for Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey.  It was part of the menu that I put together for our gourmet group.

This recipe comes from their cookbook, Ottolenghi;  The Cookbook.  I have definitely placed this cookbook on the Christmas list....I know that I must have another cookbook to add to the library, especially one like this:  packed with delicious recipes!!

The only change I made was that I did not use a whole chicken.  I used leg and thigh quarters and I skinned the pieces.

Roast Chicken 
with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
slightly adapted

4 large chicken leg and thigh quarters  (I skinned the chicken.)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 generous pinch of saffron threads
1 lemon, juiced
4 Tbsp cold water
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Scant 3/4 up unskinned hazelnuts
3 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp rose water
2 green onions, coarsely chopped, garnish

In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper.  Leave to marinate for at least an hour,  or overnight in the refrigerator.  (It gives the appearance of there not being enough liquid, the onion, however, creates liquid while marinating.)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Chop coarsely and set aside.  (I had hazelnut pieces in the pantry so those are what I used.)

Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a baking sheet large so that the chicken is not crowded. If you did not skin the chicken, arrange the pieces skin side up.  Bake for 35 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rose water, and nuts together making a rough paste. Remove the chicken from the oven, generously spoon the nut paste onto each piece of chicken, spread to cover.  Return the chicken to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.  (I inserted a thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken.)

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped green onions.

I must admit I was worried about marinating the chicken when I didn't have much liquid...I wasn't taking into account that the onion would generate liquid....all was well, and it was a delicious meal. This is so easy and tasty that I can see it appearing on our table again and again....beside, what am I going to do with all of this rose water!!

I am sharing at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's County Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Haunted Halloween

While traveling this weekend, I spied a front yard that offered a special look!

I haven't participated in Outdoor Wednesday in a long time...but today I am sharing!  I hope you have a splendidly haunting Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Aleppo Pepper Muhammara

Along with with the Israeli Zahtar Flatbread that was posted earlier, we served Aleppo Pepper Muhammara and Humus. when our gourmet group met.  I immediately fell in love with the Aleppo Pepper Muhammara!   I had no idea what a Muhammara was but I knew it had to be a good thing!

So, what is Aleppo Pepper and what is Muhammara?  An Aleppo Pepper is a type of chili pepper that is from Aleppo, Syria.  It has a robust flavor and a moderate heat level.  Aleppo Pepper flakes can be substituted for crushed red peppers.  I loved the flavor and bit of spark it provided for the Muhammara.

A Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip mixture consisting primarily of roasted red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses....a little garlic, lemon juice and of course, Aleppo Pepper flakes!   It is served with toasted pita or crudities.

Aleppo Pepper Muhammara
adapted from World Spice Merchants

2 12 oz. jars roasted red peppers
1 1/2 cups walnuts, roasted
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp sea salt flakes
1 Tbsp Aleppo Pepper
3 1/2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 toasted pita, cut into small triangles

In a food processor or blender, pulse the roasted walnuts until they are broken  down into small pieces.

Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.  Taste for may wish to add additional salt, lemon juice or pomegranate molasses.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with toasted pita chips.

The Muhammara may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

It has been so much fun exploring the distinctive flavors of the Middle East!  I think I need another container of the Muhammara to snack on....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce

It is apple season so, of course, we had to drive to the apple orchards...what a treat!  The little town was having their Harvest Festival and was bursting with families enjoying the cool breezes, numerous booths and tasty food.  Small towns have a wonderful "feel" about them.  On the breeze was a carefree feeling....a was a great visit.

We moved on down the lane to find the "perfect" apple orchard.  Each one seems to have multiple was a question of what kind do we want....I selected apples of each variety to put in the box...some for me and some for my mom.

My mom used to make a large pot of homemade applesauce.  My brother and I loved those times...warm applesauce, with tiny little pieces of soft apple mixed in...lots of cinnamon...mmmm.
I pulled the recipe card from the box...and began to peel is relatively easy...chunk the apples, put them in the slow cooker with some sugar and spice...wait.....

Homemade Applesauce

6-10 large apples, peeled, cored and chunked
1/2 cup water
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 to 1 cup brown  sugar, packed

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook  on low for 8-10 hours.
Use a potato masher to get the desired consistency.


I only used half a cup of brown sugar as we did not want the applesauce to be real sweet.  It is an easy recipe and one that lets you adjust the sugar and spice to your preferences.....delicious....

I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's County Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lindsey's Corn Fritters

Lucky me!  Lindsey did some cooking yesterday and shared....I have never eaten a corn fritter so this was a special treat.  As promised, they were crisp on the outside yet soft and fluffy in the perfect is that!  Thank you, daughter, for sharing!

We do like a little "bite" to our treats so a jalapeño was chopped up fine and added to the mix...yum!

Corn Fritters
adapted from Yummy Tummy

1 can sweet corn, drained and divided
1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 jalapeño, chopped fine, seeds and membrane removed (unless you like really HOT)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Puree half of the corn in a blender and set aside.

Mix the flour and the baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg until fluffy.  Pour in the milk and mix well.  Add the corn puree and the remaining corn kernels and stir.

Add the flour mixture and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil.  When the oil is hot, fry the batter by the spoonful until golden brown.

Drain the fritters on a paper towel and serve.

Fritters may be served with hot sauce or Ranch dressing.


Thank you, Lindsey for sharing these tasty corn fritters!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Israeli Zahtar Flatbread

Earlier I mentioned that I was going to use my new cookbook, Jerusalem, when I planned the menu for our next gourmet group.  As I was ordering spices, from the World Spice Merchants in Seattle, I found this recipe that I could not resist adding to the menu.  It was a hit!!

I loved the flavorful flatbread with a little salad of parsley and cilantro. I know that I will be making it again this fall to serve with soup...somehow, that really sounded like a great combination for a meal.

But, wait, what is zahtar?  First, it is spelled many ways:  Zahtar, zatar, or za'atar.  It means thyme in Arabic but in this instance refers to a blend of sumac, sesame seeds, salt and dried green herbs.  The herb is usually thyme but sometimes oregano, marjoram or parsley is used.  Zahtar is a coarsely ground table condiment in the Middle East.  It is most often sprinkled on or cooked with meat or vegetable dishes. And, not to worry, the sumac which is the dominant ingredient in zahtar, is not the poison sumac!! This sumac is from the dark-red berries of a shrubby tree native to the Middle East and parts of Italy. It has a tart, fruity, and lemony flavor.  A perfect topping for this flatbread!

Israeli Zahtar Flatbread
adapted from World Spice Merchants

1 store-bought pizza dough or homemade
1/2 cup Israeli Zahtar
1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves removed from stems
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed from stems
1 pint cherry tomatoes, red, yellow or a mixture, quartered
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, quarter each slice and separate rings
1 small lemon, juiced
olive oil (for brushing, drizzling and salad)

Heat oven to 425° F.  Follow instructions on pizza dough package.  (Some dough must rest before forming.)

Divide into 3 portions and roll them  out thinly.  By rolling the dough into long ovals, and not rounds, they can all fit onto one baking sheet and they will cook more evenly.  Brush the baking sheet with the olive oil and place the dough on it, without any of the sides touching.

Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle on the Israeli Zahtar.  Bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.  Since there is only oil and spice on the dough, keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

While the flatbread is baking, make the salad for the top of the flatbread.  Combine the rest of the ingredients (except for the lemon juice and olive oil), mixing well.

When the flatbread is done, remove from the oven.  It will be easier (and less messy) to cut the flatbread into pieces before topping with the salad.  Put the cut wedges on a serving platter.

Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the salad and toss to coat.  Evenly top the flatbread with the salad.

Additional olive oil my abe drizzled on top before serving.


If you are ever in the Seattle area you won't want to miss stopping by the World Spice Merchants. They have a wonderful selection....and their turn-around time is great.

I am sharing today at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken with Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

From the moment I saw the post for Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans at The Cafe Sucre Farine, I knew I was going to make this dish. Chris is an absolutely wonderful cook....not only did the ingredient list have me salivating, but her artistic presentation was...well...gorgeous!  A true homerun in my book.  If you have never visited Chris, do hop on will love it!

I did make a tiny change to the recipe...I used chicken thighs instead of breasts and we always take the skin off.

Mediterranean Chicken 
with Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

Serves:  4-6 depending on size of thighs

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sriracha chili sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1 medium lemon, very thinly sliced
4-6 chicken thighs, (We prefer skinless.)
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 pints cherry tomatoes, I used both red and yellow for color
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 medium ripe avocado, smashed smooth
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Mix together the olive oil and the next eight ingredients (spices) in a small bowl.

Rub each piece of chicken with about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil/spice mixture.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Place the chicken in the heated pan and saute for several minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pan and place in a large oven-safe dish.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining olive oil and spice mixture with the beans, tomatoes, lemon slices, and 1/2 cup cilantro.  Stir gently to coat.  Add this mixture to the baking dish with the chicken, surrounding the chicken, but not covering it.  (I have to admit to some of this mixture getting under the chicken!)  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro.  Serve with reek yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce
Combine all ingredients.  If preparing ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


This was so very good...I mentioned to a friend that it reminded me of the flavor of the giant beans and chicken that we had when we were at the Restaurant Meteora in Kalampaka, Greece.

We walked through the kitchen and selected our meal from the pans of prepared many fragrant and delicious!

After eating our fill, we went outside and traveled to the Monasteries of Meteora...they were amazing.

This dish brought back all kinds of memories....thank you, Chris, for sharing your recipe!!

Oh, I forgot to mention that my friend made the recipe also and loved it....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cilantro Lime Rice

Sometimes I can hit a homerun in the kitchen!  That is what happened when I decided to make Cilantro Lime Rice to accompany the jerk chicken that Mr. T was making.  I love jerk chicken but it does need a side that can soothe the palate when the spiciness of the jerk sauce attacks!!  This was the perfect side!

I was totally surprised at the first bite, the lime came shining through...much more pronounced than I had anticipated...but, totally wonderful!  I have had cilantro lime rice before but the lime flavor was not as obvious....I did use two very juicy limes which may have been the reason.  Whatever the reason, it was delicious and so very simple to make.

Cilantro Lime Rice
adapted from Martha Stewart via Jen's Journey

Serves:  4

1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 whole limes, juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1 clove garlic

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the rice and 1/4 tsp salt; cover and reduce to a simmer (low).  Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, 15 to 18 minutes.  (A rice cooker can also be used.)

While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and water in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.


This is the Secret Recipe Club reveal day and I must thank Jennifer at Jen's Journey for sharing this wonderful side dish.  Jen's blog takes one on a journey....a journey about life and living...and food. This is obviously a very busy lady, as her blog is eclectic and addresses a multitude of topics.  I am just happy to have found the was perfect...hmmmm....I said that about perfectly delicious!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Cream Cheese Drizzle

There isn't much about fall that I do not like.  The weather gets cooler, the fall colors are everywhere, and I get to add more pumpkin recipes to my collection!  Today, though, I actually made one.  I have looked at this scone recipe quite a few, as it is time for the Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge, I am celebrating with a breakfast there any such thing? If not, there is today!!

Pumpkin Scones 
with Spiced Cream Cheese Drizzle
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp half and half
1 large egg

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half and half
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
Pinch of ginger

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Using a fork cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and there are no obvious chunks of butter, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half and half, and egg.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Form the dough into a ball.  Pat the dough out on a lightly floured pastry mat.  Form it into a disk, that is 1 inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter.  Cut the round into eight wedges, separate them and place the wedges on the baking sheet.  Bake 14-16 minutes, or until light brown and when tested the toothpick comes out clean.  Place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the drizzle, cream the butter until fluffy, but still cold.  Add the cream cheese in small chunks.  When completely combined (no lumps), add the powdered sugar, spices and half and half. If necessary, add additional half and half to arrive at the desired consistency.

Drizzle over each scone allowing it to dry before serving.


Most scones are a bit on the dry side for me....these were dense, yet not too dry.  We enjoyed them with a cup of was a nice way to relax!

The Dessert Challenge is hosted by Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain.