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2012 Recipe Roundup
That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:
Best way to spend a RAINY DAY: Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato
Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado
Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper
Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza
Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander
Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto
Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil
Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups
Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado
Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel
Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
What have I missed?

2012 Recipe Roundup

That’s it for me this year.  Here are my favorites from 2012:

Best way to spend a RAINY DAY:
Pulled Pork with Cannellini Beans, Butternut Squash and Tomato

Best HANGOVER cure: Arepas with Black Beans, Haloumi and Avocado

Best way to make your COWORKERS jealous: Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper

Best INVENTION: Grape, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg Pizza

Best CELEBRITY CHEF recipe: Neil Perry’s Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander

Best dinner for ONE: Pan Roasted Chicken with Pesto

Best LEFTOVERS: Balsamic and Pomegranate Short Ribs with Bacon, Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Trofil

Best way to make your friends HATE you: Smoked Salmon Dip in Cucumber Cups

Best BRUNCH at home: Sage Toad in the Hole with Tomato and Avocado

Best dish made with a WEIRD cut of meat: Master Stock Beef Cheeks with Spicy Rhubarb Sauce, Orange Salt, and Braised Fennel

Best SIDE dish: Saffron Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce

What have I missed?

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Saffron Chicken with Basil, Lemon and AlmondsI followed this recipe, cheating a bit and using the pressure cooker to make the chicken really soft.  I also swapped the parsley for basil and added a 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives and almonds (about half and half).  Really nice recipe and a bit of something different for a weeknight when you need something low-maintenance to cook.

Saffron Chicken with Basil, Lemon and Almonds

I followed this recipe, cheating a bit and using the pressure cooker to make the chicken really soft.  I also swapped the parsley for basil and added a 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives and almonds (about half and half).  Really nice recipe and a bit of something different for a weeknight when you need something low-maintenance to cook.

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Date and Thyme Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Carrots
Even though the dates are under the skin, the sugars go through it and carmelize the outside of this chicken.  I probably used less dates that this, but it needed a bit more so I’ve added them into the recipe.
Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, flattened
1 cup chopped and pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Olive oil, salt and pepper
5-6 whole carrots
In a mortar and pestle, mash up the garlic, lemon, almonds and thyme with a bit of olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Mix in the dates, and stuff the mixture until the chicken skin.  Season the top of the skin with salt and pepper.
Sear the chicken in an oven proof pan with a bit of olive oil, skin side down, for about 7 minutes, until skin is golden.  Flip the chicken over, and add the carrots, making sure they’re coated in olive oil and pan juices.  Bake for 25 minutes at 200C  / 375F.  Let rest before serving.

Date and Thyme Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Carrots

Even though the dates are under the skin, the sugars go through it and carmelize the outside of this chicken.  I probably used less dates that this, but it needed a bit more so I’ve added them into the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, flattened
  • 1 cup chopped and pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 5-6 whole carrots

In a mortar and pestle, mash up the garlic, lemon, almonds and thyme with a bit of olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Mix in the dates, and stuff the mixture until the chicken skin.  Season the top of the skin with salt and pepper.

Sear the chicken in an oven proof pan with a bit of olive oil, skin side down, for about 7 minutes, until skin is golden.  Flip the chicken over, and add the carrots, making sure they’re coated in olive oil and pan juices.  Bake for 25 minutes at 200C  / 375F.  Let rest before serving.

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Chili Fried Spatchcock, Duck Fat and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Kale
It’s a rare occasion when I make fried food these days.  Winter made me do it.  I blame Winter entirely.
For the potatoes, toss with rosemary, onion, salt, pepper and duck fat and roast for 45 minutes, turning halfway.  Saute chopped kale with garlic, salt and pepper.
Ingredients (spatchcock):
1 spatchcock, quartered
2 red chilis
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 egg
Salt, pepper, vegetable oil
Mash up the chili, garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until it’s a paste.  Beat with the egg and add the chicken pieces, coating.  Set aside until ready.
Fill a pan with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom, and season the flour with salt and pepper.  Making sure to dredge fully in the egg mixture first, coat the chicken with the flour and fry for about 7 minutes on each side until golden.  Pop in a hot oven for 10 minutes to finish depending on the size of your pieces.

Chili Fried Spatchcock, Duck Fat and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Kale

It’s a rare occasion when I make fried food these days.  Winter made me do it.  I blame Winter entirely.

For the potatoes, toss with rosemary, onion, salt, pepper and duck fat and roast for 45 minutes, turning halfway.  Saute chopped kale with garlic, salt and pepper.

Ingredients (spatchcock):

  • 1 spatchcock, quartered
  • 2 red chilis
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup self rising flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, pepper, vegetable oil

Mash up the chili, garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until it’s a paste.  Beat with the egg and add the chicken pieces, coating.  Set aside until ready.

Fill a pan with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom, and season the flour with salt and pepper.  Making sure to dredge fully in the egg mixture first, coat the chicken with the flour and fry for about 7 minutes on each side until golden.  Pop in a hot oven for 10 minutes to finish depending on the size of your pieces.

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Oorroomas (Pork) Curry
Well, not really, because I made this with chicken.  I’m still a bit weird about curry, I don’t usually love it, but after having a Sri Lankan curry a couple weeks ago that blew me away, I found this recipe from the Spicie Foodie and gave it a try, replacing the pork with chicken.  I googled some recipes on how to make your own Sri Lankan curry powder, and while I have very little idea of what I did, it was worth roasting and smashing up some seeds in order to get a really nice flavor.  I’m going to make more of this mystery powder to have on standby so I can try this with pork next time.  10 points.

Oorroomas (Pork) Curry

Well, not really, because I made this with chicken.  I’m still a bit weird about curry, I don’t usually love it, but after having a Sri Lankan curry a couple weeks ago that blew me away, I found this recipe from the Spicie Foodie and gave it a try, replacing the pork with chicken.  I googled some recipes on how to make your own Sri Lankan curry powder, and while I have very little idea of what I did, it was worth roasting and smashing up some seeds in order to get a really nice flavor.  I’m going to make more of this mystery powder to have on standby so I can try this with pork next time.  10 points.

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Dukkah Chicken with White Wine Barley and Mushrooms, and Red Cabbage
Ingredients (chicken and mushrooms):
2 chicken marylands
2 tbsp dukkah
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of white wine (you can use half verjuice if you have it)
1/2 cup barley
1 cup water
2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (any kind)
Salt, pepper and olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
In an oven proof pan, saute the garlic a bit in some olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, mix, then the barley.  Top with the wine and get warm, then add the water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put the chicken, skin side up, on top.  Rub the chicken with olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the whole dish with dukkah, and put in the oven for about 30 minutes at 200C until the chicken is crispy and the liquid has absorbed.
The red cabbage is a variation of this one; I ran out of dried fruit and used cilantro instead of dill, but it was really nice with this dish.

Dukkah Chicken with White Wine Barley and Mushrooms, and Red Cabbage

Ingredients (chicken and mushrooms):

  • 2 chicken marylands
  • 2 tbsp dukkah
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of white wine (you can use half verjuice if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (any kind)
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, diced

In an oven proof pan, saute the garlic a bit in some olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, mix, then the barley.  Top with the wine and get warm, then add the water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put the chicken, skin side up, on top.  Rub the chicken with olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the whole dish with dukkah, and put in the oven for about 30 minutes at 200C until the chicken is crispy and the liquid has absorbed.

The red cabbage is a variation of this one; I ran out of dried fruit and used cilantro instead of dill, but it was really nice with this dish.

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Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper
I’ve been making a fair amount of chicken salad for lunches, but rarely do I photograph it since I’ll make it at night and throw it in a tupperware.  One time I even made enough for 2 days to leave at work overnight, thinking I was really clever for planning ahead.  That was a huge mistake.  Going into the kitchen for Day 2 Lunch to see someone had been munching on it as a midnight snack was fairly infuriating.  Who does that? I digress.  I had to try a bit of this so I managed to take a picture, and it’s one of my favorites so far.  The rolls I made with leftover pizza dough that was in my fridge for 24 hours, mixed with some flax-seeds.  Really nice, and not just because they were warm.  The 24 hours in the fridge helped. Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 cup grapes, sliced in half
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Olive oil and salt
Rub the chicken with a little oil, then sprinkle with the curry and chili powder.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 220C / 375F or until just cooked through.  Let cool. In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Chop or shred the chicken once it’s cool enough to handle, and mix in.  Season with salt.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes, Almonds, Cilantro and Red Pepper

I’ve been making a fair amount of chicken salad for lunches, but rarely do I photograph it since I’ll make it at night and throw it in a tupperware.  One time I even made enough for 2 days to leave at work overnight, thinking I was really clever for planning ahead.  That was a huge mistake.  Going into the kitchen for Day 2 Lunch to see someone had been munching on it as a midnight snack was fairly infuriating.  Who does that?

I digress.  I had to try a bit of this so I managed to take a picture, and it’s one of my favorites so far.  The rolls I made with leftover pizza dough that was in my fridge for 24 hours, mixed with some flax-seeds.  Really nice, and not just because they were warm.  The 24 hours in the fridge helped.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Olive oil and salt

Rub the chicken with a little oil, then sprinkle with the curry and chili powder.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 220C / 375F or until just cooked through.  Let cool.

In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Chop or shred the chicken once it’s cool enough to handle, and mix in.  Season with salt.

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Goat’s Cheese and Sage Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Mushrooms and Pomegranate I’ve been making this style of chicken quite a lot, but am trying to mix up the stuffings. So what’s the #1 way to improve a recipe? Add cheese. It’s the American way. Ingredients (chicken):
1 whole chicken, cut up the backbone and flattened
1/4 cup goats cheese
3 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch of sage, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Mash the ingredients, starting with the garlic, and add a few tablespoons of oil.  Season with salt and pepper, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.  Stuff under the skin of a flattened whole chicken, and the brown skin side down in a skillet for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 minutes more before putting in the oven for about 30 minutes at 220C / 400F. This side, on it’s own, is a lovely vegetarian dish and would have been very sufficient as dinner. The caramelized fennel I got from the book Plenty I’ve been raving about, and served with oven roasted mushrooms and fresh pomegranate.  Buy this book.

Goat’s Cheese and Sage Stuffed Chicken with Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Mushrooms and Pomegranate

I’ve been making this style of chicken quite a lot, but am trying to mix up the stuffings. So what’s the #1 way to improve a recipe? Add cheese. It’s the American way.

Ingredients (chicken):

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up the backbone and flattened
  • 1/4 cup goats cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch of sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil

Mash the ingredients, starting with the garlic, and add a few tablespoons of oil.  Season with salt and pepper, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.  Stuff under the skin of a flattened whole chicken, and the brown skin side down in a skillet for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 minutes more before putting in the oven for about 30 minutes at 220C / 400F.

This side, on it’s own, is a lovely vegetarian dish and would have been very sufficient as dinner. The caramelized fennel I got from the book Plenty I’ve been raving about, and served with oven roasted mushrooms and fresh pomegranate.  Buy this book.

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Panko and Cilantro Stuffed Chicken
I used the same cooking method as Neil Perry’s roast chicken, where you split the chicken and flatten it down the backbone, and skillet fry it first then bake it to finish.  I switched up the stuffing, which was really nice and flavorful.  Made an awesome sandwich filling as leftovers, too.Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, split up the backbone and flattened
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup ponzu sauce
3 big garlic cloves
1 red chili, roughly chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Mash the garlic, chili and salt in a mortar and pestle.  Mix in the cilantro, lemon, ponzu, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Mix that with the panko so it’s all moist.  Stuff under the skin of the chicken, and season the outside with salt and pepper.In a hot oven proof skillet, drizzle with oil and then brown the chicken, skin side down, for about 5-7 minutes.  It should be pretty darkly colored when you flip it over.  Bake in a 200C / 375F oven for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your bird.  Five minutes from the end of cooking, baste the bird with the pan juices.  Cut into quarters to serve (mine was still a bit raw when I did this, it’s a good way to check if it’s done and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes if need be).

Panko and Cilantro Stuffed Chicken

I used the same cooking method as Neil Perry’s roast chicken, where you split the chicken and flatten it down the backbone, and skillet fry it first then bake it to finish.  I switched up the stuffing, which was really nice and flavorful.  Made an awesome sandwich filling as leftovers, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, split up the backbone and flattened
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce
  • 3 big garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil

Mash the garlic, chili and salt in a mortar and pestle.  Mix in the cilantro, lemon, ponzu, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Mix that with the panko so it’s all moist.  Stuff under the skin of the chicken, and season the outside with salt and pepper.

In a hot oven proof skillet, drizzle with oil and then brown the chicken, skin side down, for about 5-7 minutes.  It should be pretty darkly colored when you flip it over.  Bake in a 200C / 375F oven for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your bird.  Five minutes from the end of cooking, baste the bird with the pan juices.  Cut into quarters to serve (mine was still a bit raw when I did this, it’s a good way to check if it’s done and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes if need be).

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