Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Braised Chicken over Pasta Puttanesca

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's Pasta Puttanesca. Yum!

Chicken Thighs
Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti Noodles
Kalamata Olives
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Onion
Minced Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper
Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste
White Wine or Chicken Stock

Bring pot of water to boil. While pot is heating, prepare sauce.
To prepare sauce - Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add chicken thighs (skin side down) and brown for 2-4 mintues each side. Skinless thighs will still work here but you will need to reduce the cooking time. Remove browned chicken; leaving 2T oil in pan.

Add gluten free pasta to boiling salted water. Most take 13-15 mintues to cook so you don't want to wait until the last minute.

Add onions to skillet & season with salt, saute until translucent. Add garlic & crushed red pepper and saute until fragrant. Here you can add white wine or even chicken stock to deglaze your pan. Add back your chicken thighs & diced tomatoes and bring to a slight simmer.
If sauce gets too thick then just thin with pasta water or chicken stock. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked.

When pasta is cooked completely, strain pasta into colander and rinse with cold water (if directed by pasta cooking directions).

Add olives, capers & parsley to sauce and combine to warm. Add desired amount of rinsed pasta to skillet and toss until warm. May need to remove chicken to do so depending on your skillet size.

Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Indoor Seeds Update

The indoor seeds are flourishing! Yeah! Watching the seeds slowly develop into plants brings promises of a fabulous summer garden!

Here's a quick peek of just a few of things growing indoors.....

Lemon Balm - This smells so fresh and lemony!
Thyme - Smells so savory!

Lemon Balm smells better than I ever could have imagined it
would smell! I can't wait to create with it!

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley / Radicchio Lettuce

San Marzano Tomato & Brandywine Tomato
Happy Gardening!

Cold Frame Completed

Here's a photo of our cold frame that has finally been completed. We started it at the end of last season and just finished it this March. I'm a little late posting it up here. Anyway, the goal is to grow lettuces and other greens in here. Hopefully it will allow us to extend our harvest season as well. I don't have much experience with it yet but am optimistic. We built the frame with non-treated cedar wood and the top is constructed with two layers of heavy plastic with an air space between.

Here's a photo of Tim finishing the hinges. The frame is South facing and is angled to absorb as much winter sun as possible.

For more info on building & growing in a cold frame see "Four-Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. It's a wonderfully insightful book to read. Very inspiring!
I currently have some seeds in the frame that are starting to sprout and a thermometer to measure soil temperature.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chickpea Cakes with Tahini Sauce

This recipe is great for using up leftover cooked chickpeas that you don't know what to do with.

This recipe is adapted from Chickpea Fritters by Cook's Illustrated cookbook The Best International Recipe.

Tahini Sauce:
1/2C. Tahini
1/4C. lemon juice
1/2C. water
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste

Chickpea Cake:
2C. chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and cooked until tender
1/2C. chickpea soaking liquid
3-5 green onions, chopped coarsely
1/2C. fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2C. fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4C. Gluten free flour (I use a blend of sorghum, potato starch & tapioca flour - Carol Fenster's blend from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes)
1-2T. grapeseed oil

Combine all chickpea cake ingredients except flour & oil in blender or food processor. Pulse until coarse paste. Taste & adjust seasoning if needed. Form 3"x1/2" cakes and roll in flour then set in refrigerator on parchment or wax paper for a few minutes.

While waiting for cakes to set make the Tahini sauce by blending all of the ingredients in your blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning & acid if needed.

Heat cast iron pan over medium high heat & add oil. Cook cakes in pan until brown on both sides. Don't overcrowd the pan so only cook 1-2 at a time.

I serve my cakes over a bed of sauteed greens with olive oil & salt. Drizzle with tahini sauce.