Appetizers/Small Plates · Condiments/Sauces · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

A few years ago, he and I had a terrible fight….

Trader Joe and I–that is.

What can I say?

He broke my heart — the day he stopped carrying their Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus. Herby, a bit spicy, rich and creamy. I L-O-V-E-D it and would slather it over just about everything.

Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

Then one day when I came in to grab a tub, it was gone. Sure, T.J. offered a three layered hummus that claimed it had my beloved Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus inside. But once you opened the container, it barely had a dollop of the green goodness in it.

What’s a girl to do?

Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

It was then time to take matters into my own hands and make my own version so that I could have my fill of whenever I wanted.

I threw a little bit of this and A LOT of that into the food processor and within a couple of minutes, I had something amazing that I dare say, love even more than the original.

True story.

Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

Just like the original, it’s delicious over breads, to dip all kinds of goodies in, and to use as a sauce.

So T.J., I forgive you for cutting off my hummus supply and still love you for everything else you fill my kitchen with. And let’s face it, who cannot adore that you have your staff wearing Aloha gear? 🙂

Side note: T.J. is now carrying a version of Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus but trust me when I say this–it’s not the same. I don’t know how they altered the recipe but it’s missing some of the old KA-POW the old hummus did.

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Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus

Ingredients:

1- 2 bunches fresh cilantro, approximately 4-5 loosely packed cups (more to garnish)
1-2 jalapeño peppers, roughly chopped (depending on your heat preference)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more to garnish)
1/3 cup tahini
4 garlic cloves
1 can garbanzo beans (15 ounces), drained with juices reserved
2-4 tablespoons juices from the garbanzo beans
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika (more to garnish)

Add the cilantro, jalapeñopeppers, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the items have broken down.

 

Add in the garlic cloves, garbanzo beans, 2 tablespoons of the reserved garbanzo beans juices, kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika. Blend until the hummus is smooth but still thick. If needed, add in the remaining garbanzo bean juices until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and add additional kosher salt if needed.

 

Plate the hummus and garnish with a drizzle of additional olive oil, sprinkle of paprika, and chopped cilantro. Serve as a spread or as a dip.

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Poultry

Braised Sage Chicken with Kale & Chickpeas

Braised Sage Chicken with Kale & Chickpeas

I adore “one-pot” meals.

Not only do you cut down on the extra dirty dishes (I detest washing dishes!) but it also gives me a great excuse to use some of my fab dutch ovens, braisers, and other pots that can go straight from the stove/oven and directly to the serving table.

These types of cooking gear are fantastic to braise proteins in as they allow for an even, slow cooking process. And since I happened to catch a great deal on chicken thighs and drumsticks at the grocery store the other week, I decided to throw them into one of my fav Le Creuset Braisers for an easy Sunday night meal.

Braised Sage Chicken with Kale & Chickpeas

After browning the chicken for a few minutes, I cooked down some onions, garlic and chopped sage–an herb that pairs wonderfully with poultry. A bit of white wine and a few cups of chicken stock go into the braiser. And then the chicken goes back into the liquids for a slow, bubbling bath in the oven.

Finally, with just a few minutes left of braising, I throw in fresh kale leaves and chickpeas for that extra level of earthiness.

Braised Sage Chicken with Kale & Chickpeas

The chicken is super tender, flavorful and plays off well with the kale and chickpeas. The final touch of fresh lemon juice adds a bit of brightness to round out the hearty dish.

All in all, a winning one-pot meal that’s easy to pull together and totally satisfying.

I’m all about it.

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Braised Sage Chicken with Kale & Chickpeas
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

3-4 pounds bone-in chicken (I prefer thighs and drumsticks)
kosher salt
black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
8 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
4 heaping cups chopped kale leaves
juice ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven (or other oven proof pot with a lid), heat olive oil to medium. In batches, brown the chicken pieces on both sides and transfer to a plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the leftover grease.

Add the onions and cook until they have softened and are translucent. Add the garlic, chili flakes, sage and sauté for an additional minute.  Pour in the wine and with a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking until the wine has reduced by half. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken to the pot with the skin side up. Place the lid on and transfer to the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Carefully remove the lid and use a spoon to skim off and discard any excess fat and grease. Add the kale and chickpeas to the pot, cover with the lid, and place it back into the oven. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone.

Remove the pot from the oven. Taste the broth and adjust for seasonings as needed. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the dish and serve warm.

Salads · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

I’ve received a bunch of recipe inquiries about the salad we gobbled up during our last Family Dinner.

And I can’t blame ya because it was DEE-LISH!

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

My niece and seester prepared the dish using Ina Garten’s recipe for a Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad and it was a WINNER! It packed a huge punch of flavor from the abundance of herbs, feta cheese and citrus. It was extremely bright and would be a fab dish to enjoy on a warm day with a glass of pinot grigio and chunk of freshly baked bread. MMMMM!

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

We didn’t have fresh basil on hand and ended up omitting it. Truth be told, I didn’t really miss it—but I’m sure it would be wonderful with it.

Oh that Ina…..she knocks it out of the park—AGAIN! Think she needs a new bestie in the form of a quirky Vietnamese gal?

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Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients:

10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and 1/2-inch-diced
1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and 1/2-inch-diced
1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
8 ounces good feta cheese
Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion.

Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently.

Recipe from Ina Garten

Vegetables/Vegetarian

Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

 

Here we are……the final installment to my Indian Foodventure. And let’s be honest. This isn’t a bad way to end it—-with Channa Masala!

Essentially Channa Masala (also seen spelled as “Chana“) is an Indian spiced Chickpea Curry. You’ll find several different preparations of Channa Masala but I like mine to be spicy and in a thick tomato sauce. Which is why the recipe from Eat, Live, Run suited me so well.

As a legume, Chickpeas are chopped full of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber. It’s hearty and filling and I find this particular dish to be a wonderful vegetarian option. Even I don’t miss the “meat” while enjoying this!

 


Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

 

Jenna of Eat, Live, Run does an amazing job chronicling a step-by-step process to create her version of Channa Masala. It was easy to understand and I followed every step to the “T”! I really believe the pince step is crucial to the process and really intensifies the seasonings. DO NOT skip it! The flavors were incredible—deep, smoky, and spicy. Just how I like my Channa Masala. And best of all, it tastes even better the next day!

This concludes my Indian Foodventure! It was my first endeavor but I know I will be trying my hand at it again. And if you are anything like I was, I hope you’ve seen that some Indian dishes aren’t as intimidating as you may think. So get in your kitchens and whip up some delicious Indian foods! 🙂

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Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
From Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients:

2 15 Ounce Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Garlic Cloves, smashed and chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Inch Knob Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 15 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4-1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
2 Tablespoon Butter

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the butter. Once melted, add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes on medium low heat, or until golden brown. Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and stir well. Cook for about two minutes or until it starts to smell like heaven on earth. Add the tomato paste and pince*. This is very important and if you don’t do it right your dish is pretty much doomed. No pressure. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and tumeric and stir well. Then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and garam masala. Cook for about five minutes or until the chickpeas have heated through. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with plain yogurt and cilantro if desired!

**To pince is essentially a browning process. For this recipe, after you add the paste, stir it well into the other ingredients. Next you’ll want to flatten the ingredients into one layer on the bottom of the pan. Turn up the heat and allow the sugars to cook down for a few minutes and create a really nice brown crust on the bottom of your pan. It may look like it’s burnt but it’s not. Jenna describes it as smelling like “pizza” —and it does!

Appetizers/Small Plates · Condiments/Sauces · Vegetables/Vegetarian

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I love Hummus. So tasty, so many “flavors” it can come in, and so versatile in how it can be served. Great as an appetizer with pita chips, bread, and veggies—it’s also delicious as a spread in sandwiches for a scrumptious vegetarian option. And let’s be honest, any way we can squeeze in extra veggies is a good thing.

And here’s a secret….it’s so easy to make. How easy? So easy that I often kick myself when I buy prepared tubs from my local grocers.

The following recipe is my standard “go-to” take on Hummus. However, I often use it as a base for my “specialized hummus flavors”.  I also used to use fresh garlic in my hummus but have found that by using roasted garlic, you’ll still get great flavor that’s slightly more mellow. But hey, if you’re a fresh garlic kind of person, be my guest. 🙂 However, I would try using only 2-3 garlic cloves as the flavors will be much more intense.

If you’re looking for a kicked-up hummus, try the following recipe but throw in some sundried tomatoes or fresh cilantro and jalapeno. DELISH!

Until next time Friends, Cheers!

**photo updated on 4/1/2013**

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

Ingredients:

15 Ounces of canned Garbanzo, drained with juices reserved
2-4 Tablespoons Liquid from Garbanzos
1/3 Cup Tahini
¾ Cup Fresh Italian Parsley
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Roasted Garlic, minced finely
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon White Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Paprika

In a food processor, pulse the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini. Add garlic, beans, 2 tablespoons of garbanzo liquid, salt, pepper, and paprika. Blend until smooth but still thick. Add remaining garbanzo liquid, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasonings as needed.

If serving as an appetizer, garnish with a drizzle of additional olive oil, paprika, and chopped parsley.