Butter Chicken

I’m told this dish originated in India, but I’m not sure of its region. No matter really because it’s so good when you make it you’ll say it came straight from heaven! I love the simplicity of an exotically spiced stew and it’s a recipe that you can whip up with confidence.

butter-chicken

 Butter Chicken

4-6 Boneless skinless, Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 cup (one stick) Butter
1 14oz can Light Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
2 cloves finely chopped Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Ginger
Cilantro to garnish.

Chop the onion, garlic and grate the ginger then set aside.
Cut each chicken thigh into approximately three strips each.
Heat a heavy stew pot with a lid over medium-high then add the olive oil and chicken thighs then season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown.
Add in the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until onions are softened and translucent.
Turn the heat to a simmer then add the tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Stir until well combined. Add the stick of butter. (it’s a seriously giddy moment when you add, wantonly, a whole stick of butter to the pot) 
Add the garam masala, chili powder, and curry powder.
Stir then cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
If you’d like the sauce thicker, turn the heat up and boil uncovered for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Garnish with Cilantro and serve over Jasmine or Basmati Rice.

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Chicken Burrito Bowl

chicken burrito bowl

This makes about 6 servings so make room in the fridge for leftovers or invite some folks over! It’s even better the next day for lunch!

Chicken Burrito Bowls

1 pound Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs or Breasts
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Diced Onion
1 cup uncooked Long Grain Rice
1 14oz can Diced Tomatoes (drained)
1 15oz can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock or Broth
Salt & Pepper

Toppings:
Fresh Tomatoes
Diced Green Onion
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Guacamole
Corn chips

In a large saute pan with a lid, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, until softened (about 3 minutes)
Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken to the onions in the pan and cook until browned.
Move the chicken to one side of the pan and add the rest of the olive oil, (1 tablespoon) the uncooked rice and toast for 2 or so minutes.
Stir in the beans and canned tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Stir until well combined.
Reduce heat to (low) a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
After cook time fluff the rice-beans mixture with a fork and serve with toppings.

Psst! If you’d like to make this vegetarian substitute the chicken broth for veggie stock and omit the chicken.

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Coconut Rice

coconut rice

The coconut and lime in this ridiculously easy side dish seems to mellow a spicy main dish. Try it with a spicy beef or pork stir-fry.

Coconut Rice

2 cups Jasmine Rice
2 1/2 cups Water
1 cup Coconut Milk (Shaken well)
Salt & Pepper
The Zest and Juice of one Lime.
Sesame Seeds for garnish

Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
In a pan (with a lid) add the water, coconut milk, salt, pepper and lime zest and juice.
Bring to a boil.
Add the rice and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
Take off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Fluff with a fork before serving.

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Rice Pilaf

rice pilaf

Classic side for a week night meal or a holiday gathering. Easy and make ahead too!

Rice Pilaf

1 cup Royal Blend or Wild + Basmati Rice Mixed
1 1/2 cups Veggie or Beef Stock
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup Angel Hair Pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Dried Sage
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Toasted Nuts (Almonds, Pine Nuts, Cashews etc.)

Combine the rice, pasta, olive oil and the stock and bring to a boil.
Add the salt and pepper to taste. Add the dried sage and garlic powder.
Turn the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Simmer for 10-13 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pasta is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside or cool and place into the fridge if making ahead.

In a large fry pan warm the toasted nuts over a medium heat until aromatic but not burned. Add the prepared rice/pasta and toss gently with a fork until warmed through. Add a bit of hot stock if the rice seems to want to stick together.

Serve along side any meat main dish or, add chick peas or cannellini beans for a vegetarian option.

Serves 3-4 as presented above but recipe can be doubled for 6-8 servings.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto

scallops2

If you’re celebrating something this is the dish for you! Yet it’s so easy to make you could go for it on a weekday as well.

Scallops and Herbed Risotto
For the Herbed Risotto:
1 1/2 cups Risotto/Arborio rice
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 cup White Wine
2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Tarragon, etc.)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Heat up the chicken stock in a large sauce pan and set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed saute pan heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the diced onion, cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and half the fresh herbs.

Add the rice and stir to ensure it gets coated thoroughly in the oil. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine. When the wine is all absorbed you can start to add the stock one ladle full at a time.

Ladle the hot stock into the rice by half cup increments, stir and wait until all the stock is absorbed until you add more. Continue with this process until the rice is fully cooked and tender. About 20-30 minutes.
You might not need all the stock, I always give the rice a taste every 10 or so minutes to test for doneness.

Right before you add the last couple of ladles full of stock add the rest of the fresh herbs. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese.

scallops1

For the Scallops:
1 lb. large Scallops (about 10-15)
4 tablespoons Compound Butter (divided) or, Plain Unsalted Butter if you’d rather.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (divided)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Chives
Salt & Pepper

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan turned to medium high, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 5-7 of the scallops into the butter and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and then fry for another 2 mins. Remove and place on a warm plate and cover with foil while working on the next batch.
Correctly cooked scallops are rare in the middle.
Repeat procedure for the remaining scallops.
Remove the scallops and place on the plate. Whisk in the heavy cream and reduce for 2-5 minutes, or until it is thickened.

Serve with the Risotto, the cream sauce poured over. Garnish with chives.

Cheddar Cheese Risotto

cheddar cheese risotto

Nigella Lawson is usually a very good influence to me. Needless to say when I found this recipe on her blog all dinner plans screeched to halt and we had this instead.

Cheddar Cheese Risotto

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 medium White Onion (finely diced)
1 1/2 cups Risotto Rice
1/2 cup white wine
4-6 cups hot Vegetable Stock
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Herbs

In a large saute pan heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.
Add the risotto rice and stir to coat in the butter and oil. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.
Add the stock about a 1/2 cup at a time to the rice. Once one portion is absorbed by the rice add the next.
Continue until the rice is tender and cooked (About 20 minutes)
Add the cheese and stir gently until combined with the risotto.
Serve with a sprinkling of herbs over the top.