Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Braised Chicken & Vegetables over Rice

Cooking oil (not too much)
8-10 chicken drumsticks
Salt and pepper

2 onions, diced
4 carrots, rough diced (see note for xxx)
1 head garlic, cloves chopped
4 bell peppers, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cuban spice blend to taste

Brown rice and salted water for cooking

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add a little cooking oil. Brown the chicken well, then transfer to a deep braising dish.
3. Heat the pan again over high heat and add more oil if necessary. Sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the carrots, garlic and bell peppers. Season with salt, pepper and the Cuban Spice blend. Cover the chicken with these vegetables and a little more spice, add a few ounces of water, cover and braise for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions. Serve the chicken and vegetables over the rice.

Seven Spice Greens & Pasta Salad (V)

(with seasoning)
1 box penne pasta
Salted water for cooking
Olive oil

Cooking oil
1 bu red chard, cut bite-sized
1 bu spinach, cut bite-sized
1 bu broccoli rabe, sliced thinly
1 grapefruit, juiced
Salt, pepper and Togarashi to taste

1. Cook the pasta in the salted water, drain it and toss it in plenty of olive oil. Set aside.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, then add the veggies in batches to brown them. Season as you go, combine all ingredients, season to taste and serve.
(without seasoning)

Monday, May 23, 2011

French Lentil Stew (V)

A beautifully simple, almost humble soup with lots of flavor.

cooking oil
2 yellow onions, diced
2 carrots, roughly diced (carrots don't grow in squares so don't worry about cutting them into cubes; just get them appropriately, uniformly sized. don't sweat the small stuff.
4 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 small head red cabbage, cut bite-sized
2 leeks, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Melange Classique spice blend to taste

4 Yukon gold potatoes. diced
1 bag lentils
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large saute pan over high heat then add some oil. Saute the onions for 7-8 minutes first then set aside. Then, reheating the pan and adding more oil as needed, saute the carrots, garlic, cabbage and leeks for a few minutes per batch. Season each batch lightly with salt, pepper and Melange Classique.
2. Heat a large saucepan over high heat, rinse the lentils and add them to the pan. Add enough water to cover the lentils by an inch, season the water with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook the lentils for about 12 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and add more water to cover the lentils & potatoes by about an inch. Re-season the water to make it lightly salty. Cover and simmer for another 25 minutes or so, or until the potatoes and lentils are done.
4. Add the vegetables, adjust the level of water and seasoning if necessary, including the Melange Classique spice blend. Serve.

The May CK was Awesome

Dear May Community Kitchen,

You were very different but very fun, and I think I like you.

Love Ryan

I bought a bunch of food immediately before the community kitchen, food that was inexpensive, nutritious and locally available. I brought it to the kitchen, stood back and asked everybody what they wanted to cook. Didn't write any recipes, didn't have much of an idea what people were going to choose to make. Giving up control was a lot of fun, and the results were delicious and nutritious.

It worked out well, so I want to stick with this format for the time being. I like that it keeps us on our toes, and enforces the idea that as long as you know how to cook, you can get anything in front of you and make a tasty meal. It makes the community kitchen a place where we can all practice doing that so that cooking from scratch at home is that much easier. 

So, this is what I bought:
organic chicken drumsticks
1 bag lentils
1 box pasta
1 bag brown rice

yellow onions
bell peppers
green cabbage
yukon gold potatoes
red chard
broccoli rabe

Togarashi shichimi (Japanese seven-spice)
Melange Classique spice blend

And out of this, we made Seven Spice Greens and Pasta Salad, French Lentil Stew, Braised Chicken and Vegetables over Rice. None of these were my ideas; the pasta and vegetable salad in particular was something I don't think I would have thought of, and it rocked. 

There were only three of us, so we had lots of food to eat and take home. It's Monday and I'm still eating leftovers we made on Thursday. In June, we will have lots of new delicious fruits and vegetables to play with. Come cook with us on June 16th at 5:30 at the Pike Place Market!

Bring your sexiest heels.