Tzatziki

Simple and delicious!

Tzatziki

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I use whole milk yogurt.  You could strain the yogurt.  I skipped that step.)
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped mint or dill (Actually, I prefer mint flavor over dill, kids like the dill and Kent doesn’t care!)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1.  Grate or dice the cucumbers.  (I grated and then chopped) Wrap the diced/grated cucumber in a cheesecloth.  Squeeze over the sink and try to get rid of as much liquid as possible.  Cucumbers are very watery. ( If you don’t have cheesecloth, use a paper towel or thin dish towel.)
2.  Add the cucumbers to the yogurt along with the rest of the ingredients.
3.  Mix well and refrigerate 1-2 hours.  This is a flavorful condiment for your falafel, duner or any sandwich.  You could use as a salad dressing.

Enjoy!

Ethiopian – Doro Wat -Chicken Stew

Paige and Lily went to Chicago over the summer and mentioned they went to an Ethiopian restaurant. They really enjoyed the flavors.  I have been looking for a recipe since they put that in my mind.  Doro Wat is a slow cooking chicken stew with the main spice being Berbere. I have the recipe for Berbere below or you can get it at Penzeys in Appleton. I follow Festival Foods and saw this recipe while scrolling through Twitter over the weekend.  I enjoyed the flavors, Kent not so much.  See what you think!

Slow Cooker Doro Wat

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Ingredients

2# boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon, need the juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I used 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 Tablespoons Berbere spice (see below)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
4 hard boiled eggs, shelled and halved (I did not do this – next time!)

Berbere Spice  (This makes a little over 4 Tablespoons.  I used it all in my stew.)

2 1/2 Tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika (I used combination of both)
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds  (I used ground fennel for a substitute)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions for the stew

  1.  Season chicken breasts with lemon juice and set aside for 15 minutes. (that is about how long it takes to make the Berbere)
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook until softened – about 5 minutes.  Place onion mixture in slow cooker. (you could also slow cook in a dutch oven – 275 degrees for 2-3 hours)
  3. Place the chicken breasts on top of the onion mixture.  Add turmeric, Berber spice mix, tomato paste and chicken broth.  Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours.  (slow cookers differ in times so be sure your chicken is cooked through)
  4. Add eggs to the dish and serve warm with rice or flatbread

Simple and Delicious.  Enjoy!!

Pitka or Soda Bread-My Favorite

This is a recipe that I got from Martin’s baba. (FYI: Baba – Bulgarian for Grandmother) She just throws ingredients together visually.  I am more of a “how many cups” kind of girl.  Over a 2016 phone call she told Martin the ingredients she used for her Christmas Eve Pitka.  With those ingredients and a bit of luck I put a Pitka recipe together.  A couple of years have flown by and this year I updated with a few “FauxChef” additions.  For Christmas 2018 I added some sugar and buttermilk.  I thought these were a nice addition.

If you like, a Christmas Eve tradition is to put written charms and/or a coin in the bread. I wrap the coin in parchment paper or aluminum foil. With the charms I write a few positive expectations for the following year; good health, much happiness, that kind of stuff.  I flip the bread over and make a slit with a knife and put the coin/charms in random spots.  It is fun on Christmas Eve to see who gets the coin.

Martin said this was the best Pitka yet.  I have made many different “Pitka’s ” throughout the years.  This one seems to be a winner!!

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Pitka

Ingredients

5 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white.  You will need it to brush on top of bread)
2 cups plain yogurt (NOT non fat)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Sunflower oil)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour baking pan.  I used my cast iron skillet.  (You don’t need to grease or flour if nicely seasoned.) You could also use a 9″ round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl add dry ingredients.  Whisk together and make a well by pushing the flour mixture to sides of bowl.
  3. Add eggs, egg yolk, oil and yogurt and buttermilk in center of bowl.  Mix with hands. (Also, I use my standup mixer.  That is easier for me.)
  4. After mixed together form a round, flat bread.  (approx 9″ round, 2″height)  Place in prepared baking pan.  Brush top with egg whites.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top. I check doneness by checking temperature.  190 degree internal temperature is what I use.
  6. Take out of oven.  While warm, wrap in a towel.  When cooled place in plastic bag to store.

Enjoy!

Palichinka Spread

Martin has moved to NYC.  Moving up some recipes I think he will enjoy cooking up in his own kitchen.  IMG_8651 Would much rather he be in this kitchen.  Just saying’!!

Palichinka Spread (Tzatziki is awesome, too!)

Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8-1/4  cup bulgarian feta, depends on the consistency you desire.  Martin likes it thinner so I add 1/8 cup feta (you can use any kind of feta)
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon fresh dill

Mix above together and you have a delicious spread!  It is better if you can refrigerate a couple of hours before use. Use on Chicken Duner, as a spread for crepes, or a condiment for a sandwich.  Quite simple and delicious.

Pork Dim Sum

Kent enjoys Dim Sum.  The last time I made this was 2013!!  The reason is because it may be simple but it is time consuming.  Sometimes I am lazy.  I guess 5 years is being really lazy.  This time I used all the filling which ended up being 48 wonton skins.  It took 2 hours between filling and steaming.  They were delicious. You could use duck sauce or sweet/hot chili sauce for dipping.

Pork Dim Sum

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Ingredients

1 pound ground pork
3 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cabbage (any cabbage will do. Of course, Napa would be first choice.  Today all I had was red cabbage and it was just fine.)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (if you don’t have try 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar (you can use rice vinegar)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Wonton skins

Directions

1.  Place ground pork, green onions, shredded carrots, chopped cabbage, ginger soy sauce, sherry or rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and beaten egg white in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.

2.  Stir in cornstarch, mixing until completely incorporated with the other ingredients.

3.  Spread out wonton skins on your counter.  Place a heaping teaspoonful of pork mixture in center of each wonton skin. Lightly brush edges with water.  IMG_8583Bring sides of skins together in the center of the filling.  Pinching firmly together (it will look like a little purse).

4.  I placed the dim sum on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and covered with a damp cloth while I continued to fill the skins.  That way they won’t dry out.

5.  Line a steamer with a clean, DAMP tea towel (or you can use lettuce or cabbage leaves) and arrange wontons inside.  IMG_8585
6.  Cover and  steam for 5-7 minutes, until dim sum are cooked through.  Serve immediately.

You can always do a few at a time and then freeze the filling for later.  You can also freeze the wonton skins.

Enjoy!!

 

Chicken Doner Kebab (Bulgarian Gyros)

Martin is home for a visit.  He moved to NYC and can have gyros everyday, all day long.  I thought I would make our family’s gyro recipe for Sunday dinner before he heads back.  I always double this recipe and there are rarely leftovers.  As always, a very simple and delicious meal.

Chicken Doner Kebab!

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Ingredients

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1 # chicken thighs (lamb, pork, beef would work too.  It is up to you!)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon

For the Doner Kebab/Gyro
Pita Bread
Cabbage, shredded
Tomatoes, diced
French Fries

1.  In a large bowl or food safe bag, add the above ingredients with 1 pound chicken thighs.  (I cut into strips) Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.  (Don’t forget to make the tzatziki.)
2.  After you allow to marinate, heat frying pan at high heat. I don’t add oil,the oil from the marinate is enough.  Drop the chicken pieces into the pan and leave untouched for 1 minute. (Don’t use a non stick skillet.)
3.  Turn the chicken pieces and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes, until browned.   (I have grilled the chicken on a skewer also.)  The chicken tastes great grilled and fried.  So pick your way and go from there!
4.  Chicken is ready for the gyro!
5.  When you wrap your doner kebab you will use pita bread or flour tortilla, meat, tzatziki, diced tomato, shredded cabbage and a few french fries.  (Believe it or not the french fries are a nice addition.)  That will be your Bulgarian Doner Kebab.  It is truly simple and delicious!

Chicken Paprikash with Buttered Noodles – Hungary

How many of you out there make the same chicken dishes over and over again?  I know I do.  The last few weeks I have been looking for different dishes to make.  Main factor for me to even consider the recipe – they have to look like they are SIMPLE and delicious.  Simple to me means not too many ingredients. I know the delicious part won’t happen until we taste it.  During the week it is most important that it is SIMPLE.  I really like recipes that don’t leave me in my kitchen until 9pm on a weekday.  Also, sometimes I have to improvise.  I did not have any noodles in the house so I used Fettuccine.  (I always have pasta!) Here is a SIMPLE and delicious recipe from Hungary.

Chicken Paprikash with Buttered Noodles

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2 pounds bone in, skin on chicken thighs (6-8 larger sized.  I had boneless, skinless thighs.  I pulled a couple of bone in, skin on thighs out of the freezer.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
3 Tablespoons sweet /Hungarian Paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream, warmed to room temperature
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Take sour cream out of fridge – it needs to come to room temperature.
  2. Chop your onions and garlic.  (I also measured out all ingredients.  Makes it a lot easier when you have everything all set out to go.)
  3. Place chicken thighs on a plate and pat dry with paper towels.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium hight heat.  Add 1 Tablespoon butter swirl to melt.
  4. Add chicken to pan skin side down.  4 minutes per side.  Remove to plate.  Pour excess fat in heat proof bowl.  Leave a little oil in the pan for the onions and garlic.
  5. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute until translucent.
  6. Add paprika and cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix together.  (Have the tomatoes near by.  You don’t want to burn this combo.)  Once mixed all together add the tomatoes.
  7. After adding the tomatoes, add another 1/2-1 teaspoon salt and some pepper along with the 2/3 cup water.  Mix together.
  8. Add the chicken thighs back to the sauce, nestling into the liquid but not submerging (you want the skin exposed sit it stays crispy.)
  9. Transfer skillet into oven and roast until fully cooked.  35-40 minutes.
  10. Halfway through cooking start a pot of water on the stove and make your noodles.  Drain the noodles and add 2 Tablespoons butter and toss to coat until the butter is melted and the noodles are coated.  Add some salt and pepper along with 1/2 of the chopped parsley.
  11. Remove skillet from oven.  Take out the chicken and place on a plate.  Take 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and put in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and mix together.  Add to tomato sauce and stir until fully mixed.  Taste the sauce to see if you want to add any more salt.  Arrange chicken thighs along with juices back in the skillet and top with remaining chopped parsley.  Serve over noodles.IMG_E6635

Simple and Delicious.  Enjoy!!

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Once again listened to The Splendid Table podcast.  This week their podcast was ‘A Guide to Eating Filipino in the US’.  This recipe was so simple and delicious.  Here it is;

Filipino Chicken Adobo

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Ingredients

8 Bone in chicken thighs, trimmed (I used 6 skinless boneless thighs and 2 bone in skinless thighs. That’s what I had.)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 (13 1/2 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
1 scallion, sliced thin
2 onions, sliced
1 Tablespoon butter

Directions

  1.  Toss chicken with soy sauce in large bowl.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken from soy sauce allowing excess to drip back into bowl.  Transfer chicken, skin side down, to 12 Inch nonstick skillet; set aside excess soy sauce. (I used skinless chicken pieces.)
  3. Place skillet over medium high heat and cook until chicken skin is browned, 7-10 minutes.  (I know, I used skinless.  That’s okay too) While chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and pepper into left over soy sauce.
  4. In the meantime; Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in saute pan.  Add sliced onion and saute on low until translucent.  10-15 minutes. (I added this step after looking at other Filipino Adobo recipes.  Onion is always a great addition to a recipe.)
  5. Transfer chicken to plate and discard fat in skillet.  Return chicken to skillet, add coconut milk mixture and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.  Flip chicken and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes. (If boneless, less time) Transfer chicken to platter.  Add onions.  Cook until sauce thickens.IMG_6581
  6. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion and serve. (Kent does not like scallions so we skipped this step.  I do like them and think you should go for it!)
  7. We served over rice.  You can do whatever you want!

Enjoy!!

 

Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream

Found this recipe by listening to my favorite podcast, The Splendid Table.  This weeks episode was “Mexican Food in America”.  I went on their website to see if there were any taco recipes from Wesley Avila.  He was interviewed this week.  He is well know in L.A. for his taco food truck called, Guerrilla Tacos.  He also has a book out called “Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A”.  You should check out the menu on his website, it may give you some great “Taco Tuesday” ideas.  I did not find one of his recipes but I did find this one which I thought would be quick and easy.  I bought the roasted chicken at the grocery store this afternoon. It took under an hour to make dinner.  Don’t you love it?!

Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream

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Ingredients

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion, forgot to grab a red one at the store!)
1/2 red bell pepper (I used a whole one.  Why not?)
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika (You don’t have smoked, that’s okay, use sweet.  You could add a touch of adobo sauce from the chipotle can.  That is smoky too.)
2 teaspoons chili powder (I used 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used 1 1//2 teaspoons,1/2 teaspoon is a crime!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1 teaspoon.  That worked for us.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups shredded chicken
2 teaspoons minced, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded lettuce
3 green onions, chopped – white and green parts
Crumbled queso fresco (I forgot that at the store too.  I used shredded cheddar.)

Directions

  1.  In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil and cook the onion, bell pepper, paprika, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt until the veggies are soft, 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds
  3. Stir in tomato and chicken, and cook until filling is heated through, stirring frequently. About 5-7 minutes.
  4. Warm 6 – 6 inch flour tortillas.  Microwave, oven or dry skillet.  Whatever method works for you!
  5. While warming mix the sour cream and chopped chipotle peppers together.
  6. Pile the filling into the tortillas, topping with the chipotle sour cream, lettuce, scallions and choice of cheese.

I kind of changed the recipe up a bit, didn’t I?!  All I can say it we really enjoyed this recipe and will make again very soon.  Looking forward to another new taco recipe next Tuesday!

Also, if you don’t want to make your own tacos you should check out Vintage Cantina in Green Bay.  They have some great taco choices too.  Click on the link to check out their menu.  Again, this can give you ideas for home or to go out to eat for a fun evening!

Enjoy!!

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish – Simple and Delicious

I had some cabbage left over that I didn’t want to throw away.  Checked Google and put these ingredients in the search bar; cabbage, onions and carrots.  The first recipe that came up was this Ethiopian Cabbage Dish.  I always enjoy making recipes from different parts of the world.  Ethiopia works for me.  I served with fried bone-in pork chop seasoned with salt and pepper.  This meal took under an hour from prep to serving. Simple and Delicious!!

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish
(compliments of Allrecipes.com)

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Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil (It may seem like a lot but it works with this recipe)
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (I used Russet.  They were small to medium in size)
1 teaspoon salt (I used coarse ground sea salt.  If you use table salt, start with 1/2 teaspoon.  Taste before adding the potatoes.  If you need more add another 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I used coarse ground pepper.  You may want to use 1/4 teaspoon if you are using finer ground pepper.)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Directions

  1.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the carrots and onion 5-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric and cabbage. Cook 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Mix in the potatoes and cover.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the potatoes are done.  This will take 15-20 minutes.  Check halfway through cooking time to stir from the bottom of the skillet. It may stick, so you should check it.

I started the pork chops when I added to potatoes to the skillet.  This was a simple and tasty meal.  Hope you try it and ENJOY!