Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Moroccan Chicken and Eggplant Dish

I don't really have a story behind this, or anything interesting to say about this dish really, except that it came about because I was planning on making this Moroccan Lemon Chicken on Friday but I realized I had used up all the lemons I had. Lemon being a pretty important part of that recipe, of course, I made up something entirely different but using the same spices as the lemon chicken recipe.

The nice thing with this as well it that it is a one pot meal. Well maybe it's technically two, as you need a baking sheet to roast the eggplant, but I always line my baking sheets with foil so that I don't have to wash them. Leftovers are really good as well- just make sure to cover the plate or dish you are warming it up in so that you don't end up with rice and tomato sauce on the roof of your microwave like I did.

Serves 4

1 eggplant, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp lemon pepper, or the rest of 1 lemon if you have it and increase the pepper when you season
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tomatoes, diced, or use some drained canned diced tomatoes if this is what you have on hand
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 cup long grain rice
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, toss eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste*. Place eggplant in a single layer on foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spay. Roast eggplant in middle of oven until golden brown- about 20 minutes- stirring eggplant halfway through cooking to ensure all sides are browning evenly.

Heat a large skillet with about 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened. Add spices, cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, olives, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to season, and water. Bring to a simmer. Stir in rice and add chicken pieces on top. Cover pan and cook until rice is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add roasted eggplant, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning and serve.

*I never measure salt and pepper unless I'm actually following a recipe. I seasoned the eggplant with 2 big pinches of kosher salt and maybe 8 grinds of pepper, so I don't know the measurements. Go with your gut, you can always adjust the seasoning later.

Friday, September 10, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things... today

Yes, I can be fickle.

* Red River Cereal with blueberries and nectarines = fall porridge with summer fruit. Yum.

* Anthropologie - this blazer, this cardigan, this dress, and I love that this cardigan is called "Irina"- it's so fitting right? Oh and these boots. Sigh, I wish I were rich.

* Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag on Viva. They test recipes from one cookbook an episode and give a recommendation on whether it's worth buying. Cause you never really know with a cookbook until you test out some of the recipes, you know?

* Twilight Woods Candle from Bath and Body Works

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Broccoli Salad

I know, it's not really a salad kind of day today, being windy and cloudy and cold. I made this salad the other day when it was still nice out, however I think it can work for a fall day too due to the bacon and pecans. Ah, the magic of bacon and pecans.

Makes 4 servings
Soaking the onion in vinegar briefly mellows it out, which I prefer over onion breath. 

4 tbsp red wine vinegar, divided
4 tbsp low-fat mayo
salt and pepper to taste
1 large head broccoli
1/2 red onion, finely diced
3-4 slices bacon, depending on the thickness
1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped

In a large bowl, whisk 2 tbsp vinegar, mayo, salt and pepper. Trim and discard any dry ends and leaves from broccoli stalk. Chop broccoli, including stalk, into small pieces- I used the slicing attachment on my food processor for this. Place in bowl with dressing.

In a small bowl, mix onion and 2 tbsp vinegar. Cook bacon in a pan, or in a 400 degree F oven on a rack, until crispy. Drain on paper towel and crumble into broccoli. Toast pecans in a dry pan over medium heat until lightly browned a fragrant. Add to broccoli. Strain onions from vinegar, discarding vinegar, and add onions to broccoli. Toss everything together and serve.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mexican Pizza

Lettuce on pizza is weird, right? Two words- warm lettuce. Just saying those words makes my bum suck in (don't pretend you don't know what I mean). But I sucked it up (haha) and made the pizza, lettuce and all. Don't let the lettuce deter you from making this pizza! It tastes like nachos, and you don't think lettuce on nachos is odd, right? Plus, it really a very healthy recipe. More so than pizza normally is anyways.

The recipe is from Food and Wine Magazine. It's by Spike Mendelsohn, who was on a recent-ish season of Top Chef. He drove me nuts on the show (seriously, dude, don't talk back to Tom Colicchio), but after seeing his food in F &W and trying out this recipe I actually want to buy his new cook book. If that's not an endorsement for you to try that recipe, I don't know what is. As you know, I can be a little judgmental.

MEXICAN PIZZA - Food and Wine, July 2010

Here it is without lettuce, if you must.