Israeli Chicken Sandwiches

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This recipe is just a slight variation of this Rachael Ray recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/israeli-spice-chicken-recipe/index.html

 
I have no idea how authentically Israeli this recipe might be, but as with absolutely every Rachael Ray recipe, it is deeelicious. Also not exactly what you would call healthy, but that’s because the two of us ate the entire recipe.
 
Finally, this was quick! Yay for an easy weeknight meal!
 
Serves 2 people who like to eat.
 
Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 red tomatoes
1 yellow tomato (I was so excited to find this at Kroger, but it just tasted like a tomato)
1/3 red onion
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 naan breads
 
Instructions:
 
Rachael recommends grilling, but we don’t have a grill. AND I really wanted to play with my new toy: this 12 inch cast iron skillet!
 
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Preheat the oven to 400. Dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and wipe the inside of the skillet so it glistens greasily. Place over burner on medium heat. While it heats, mix up paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Rub olive oil into chicken thighs. Rub spices into both sides of chicken thighs. When you can smell the pan (but before it smokes!), place thighs in pan. Cover loosely with foil. After about 2 minutes, flip the thighs. Give them another 2 minutes, and then put the whole pan in the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes.
 
While those thighs bake, chop tomatoes and onion. Mix with parsley, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Add more salt to taste.
 
Check the chicken. If done, pull out the pan and place the naan in the oven. Use tongs to pull the meat off the bones. I also removed the huge chunks of skin because they gross me out. Swirl the chicken meat around in the spicy juice in the bottom of the pan. 
 
Fix up some sandwiches! 
 
p.s. In case you’re wondering what that sauce in the picture is, it’s an Idaho classic: fry sauce. Mayo, ketchup, and a dash of cayenne. It’s a way to make oven fries a bit healthier!
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French Chicken Cassoulet and Peasant Bread

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This meal definitely needs a good red wine!

Cassoulet (recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-and-Delicious-Slow-Cooker-Cassoulet/Detail.aspx)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 ounces smoked sausage (1/3 off a big ring), cut into little rounds and then into fourths

4 slices bacon

2 chicken breasts, diced into small pieces

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp bay leaf flakes

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup water

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans Great Northern Beans

Instructions:

Six hours before dinner (or the night before). Fry bacon until crispy. Set aside for later. Add onion to pan. Cook until soft. Add chicken. Cook until browned. Add sausage, garlic powder, bay leaves, pepper, and salt. Stir in water, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Dump entire mix in crock pot. Turn on low.

One hour before dinner, add beans and crumbled bacon to the pot. Stir. Serve when beans are heated through.

Peasant Bread (not my recipe, but I don’t remember where it came from!)

Ingredients:

For the Poolish:
1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot! You don’t want to kill the yeast!)
3/8 cup flour
 
For the Dough:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 tbsp salt

Instructions:

The night before, mix poolish ingredients until completely combined. Cover and store in the fridge.

Bring poolish to room temperature. Place in bread maker pan. Add dough ingredients in the following order: water, yeast, salt, flour. Cook on french bread setting.

Vegetarian or Vegan Roasted Veggie Salad Wraps

Serves 4

Ingredients:

tortillas

feta cheese (optional–omit for vegan recipe)

chopped kalamata olives

chopped lettuce

chopped tomato

Hummus:

1 can garbanzo beans (save the juice!)

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp tahini or sesame oil

2 tbsp olive oil

Veggies:

zucchini

red bell pepper

red onion or sweet onion

mushrooms

yellow squash

yellow bell pepper

Instructions:

Chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make a foil boat large enough to place veggies in a single layer. Heat grill or oven to 400. Begin to roast veggies, tossing every 4 minutes. 

While veggies roast, place all hummus ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend and thin with garbanzo bean juice until desired consistency. Salt to taste.

Once veggies are tender (but not mushy!), create wraps by spreading tortillas with a good amount of hummus, about a cup of veggies, feta, olives, lettuce, and tomatoes. Eat while veggies are hot.

Vegan Sweet and Spicy Asian Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 block tofu

cornstarch

2 tbsp sriracha

6 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 can mandarin oranges (don’t dump the juice!)

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp cornstarch

chow mein noodles

green onions, chopped

sliced almonds

red bell pepper, thinly sliced

lettuce mix

1 tbsp sesame oil

3 tbsp white vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

Instructions:

The night before, place tofu block in strainer over a bowl in the fridge. This will keep it firm and help it not to fall apart.

30 minutes before dinner, prep lettuce. Mix sesame oil, white vinegar, garlic and salt and toss with lettuce. Divide between four plates. Top with mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, almonds, red pepper, and green onions. Set aside.

Slice tofu into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Dip in cornstarch.

In small saucepan, mix sriracha, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch. Heat until thick. Thin to desired salad dressing-like consistency with mandarin orange juice.

Fry tofu slices in oil until crispy and brown. Toss in sauce and place to the side of the salad. Drizzle left over sauce over salads.

–by Morenita A

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Salad

Serves Two

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast

1 1/2 tsp ranch dressing powder

4 ounces buffalo sauce

1 head lettuce of your choice

2 green onions

blue cheese (optional)

blue cheese or ranch dressing

Instructions:

5 hours before dinner, place chicken breast, ranch powder, and buffalo sauce in crock pot. Turn on high and ignore it for about 4 1/2 hours.

30 minutes before dinner, squish chicken with a wooden spoon (it sort of shreds the chicken). Turn off crock pot and drizzle chicken with a little extra sauce. Or a lot of extra sauce if you like life spicy.

Prep lettuce. Chop up green onions. Plate lettuce topped with green onions, blue cheese crumbles, and chicken. Add dressing.

–by Morenita A

August Challenge!

SALAD MONTH!!!!

Our goal this month is to flex our culinary muscles and transform the simple and often-boring salad. We each are to make six main-dish salads: 3 with meat, 2 vegetarian, and 1 vegan. The only rule is that they must be hearty enough that my significant other (Hops) doesn’t feel the need to race off to McDonald’s for his favorite heart attack in a wrapper, the McGangBang.

 

–by Morenita A