Indian Butter Chickpeas

This is an incredible vegetarian adaptation of the much loved classic Indian dish. It was also a fabulous weeknight dinner. I served it with steamed spinach which paired perfectly. ūüôā

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the amount of garlic, used San Marzano tomatoes, and served it over brown Basmati rice with warm naan. Great.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 T¬†unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 to 8 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 1¬†T¬†grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes
  • 1 (13.5 to 15 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
  • ground cayenne
  • cooked brown or white rice, for serving
  • ¬Ĺ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving
  • naan, for serving, optional
  • steamed spinach, for serving, optional
  1. Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Stir in onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until golden and browned around the edges, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up to medium-high; keeping the heat on medium ensures even browning without burning the butter.)
  3. Stir in garlic and ginger, and cook another 1 minute.
  4. Stir in cumin, paprika, garam masala and cinnamon stick, and cook another 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes with their juices. Using a large spoon or flat spatula, break up and smash the tomatoes in the pot (or you can use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes while they are still in the can).
  6. Stir in coconut milk and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and continuing to mash up the tomatoes if necessary to help them break down.
  7. Stir in chickpeas and a pinch of cayenne. Bring the pot back up to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
  8. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  9. Serve spooned over rice, topped with cilantro, with warm naan and steamed spinach, as desired.

Pork Sausage Chili

We have a new favorite chili in our house! It may double as a new favorite Super Bowl meal too. ūüėČ I was a little concerned about using sausage as such a primary ingredient but the end result was very balanced. It was hearty, full-flavored, and a perfect compliment to our mandatory guacamole appetizer. I also loved that it could be prepared in advance.

I was initially drawn to the recipe because it was titled “BLT Chili” which sounded intriguing and delicious. After reading further, I realized that it was not related to a BLT but was created by chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger in Las Vegas. Funny.

The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laurent Tourondel. I modified the proportions, used sweet Italian sausage, and served the chili over brown rice. We also had cornbread muffins on the side. Our dessert of After-School Specials completed our festive meal. Perfect.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole, heat the oil.
  2. Add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn and water and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve the chili over rice, if desired, with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalape√Īos, cilantro and hot sauce as optional toppings.

Cauliflower Tagine

This dish was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful CSA cauliflower. Although the base of this tagine was a bit spicy, the cauliflower and cheesy breadcrumb topping offset the spiciness and created a perfect balance. Because I didn’t have the Tunisian spice blend, Tabil, on hand, I was able to create the spice blend myself. The spiciness in the final dish could be easily modified by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes in the spice blend.

The tagine recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I reduced the amount of olive oil to lighten the recipe. I also included a leek as well as green and yellow bell peppers from my CSA share. The spice blend recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It was a full-flavored and fabulous vegetarian casserole.

For the Tabil Spice Blend:

Yield: about 3 tablespoons

  • 1 1/2 T coriander seeds
  • 2 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 T caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Finely grind all ingredients in a spice mill.

Note: The remaining spice blend can be reserved in an airtight container at room temperature.

For the Tagine:
Yield: Serves 6

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Chicken Paprikash

This dish was an easy, full-flavored, and hearty weeknight meal. We ate it over a whole wheat version of our new favorite bread, Sullivan Street Bakery’s No-Knead Bread. It would also be wonderful served with¬†rice or egg noodles. Rich and delicious!!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Molly Yeh.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 4 T unsalted butter, separated
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • coarse¬†salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 5 thighs)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Four 1-inch-thick slices of sourdough or other flavorful bread, toasted and torn into bite-size pieces
  1. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.
  2. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until dark red in color, 2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth and sugar and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Divide the bread between bowls, spoon the chicken 
paprikash on top, and serve.

Note: The chicken paprikash can be refrigerated overnight.

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Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chile-Yogurt Sauce

One of my friends has been teasing me about my fondness for chicken thighs! ¬†I have several chicken thigh recipes to share and was initially trying to separate them with other posts… you know, to not get teased… ūüėČ Well, I decided to post them all consecutively instead- as a chicken thigh “festival” of sorts! ūüôā They are so versatile and tasty. Enjoy!

This quick and simple recipe results in super moist and tender chicken. The sauce provides the spiciness, so the heat level can easily be adjusted – or omitted (gasp!)- to taste.

We ate this delicious chicken with warm naan, Turkish Bulgur and Vegetable Pilaf, as well as grilled peppers, tomatoes, and red onions on the side. This recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine kebab recipe, contributed by Jimmy Bannos, Jr. of The Purple Pig in Chicago. Great!

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika (I used Hungarian)
  • 15¬†boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (for kebabs cut each thigh into 3 pieces)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • coarse¬†salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon slices or wedges, for serving, optional
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the paprika. Add the chicken and toss to coat; let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, cayenne, crushed red pepper and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and mix well.
  4. Light a grill. For kebabs: Thread 3 pieces onto each of 8 skewers. (We grilled the thighs whole.)
  5. Oil the grate and grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter and serve with the yogurt sauce and lemon wedges.

Note: The yogurt sauce can be refrigerated overnight.

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