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Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole with Cilantro-Lime Rice

13 Jun

I have long been intrigued by chicken mole, that Mexican dish with the secret ingredients of cocoa and/or chocolate. But since I keep kosher, I have never been able to enjoy it at a restaurant. Not too long ago I saw this recipe in the Detroit Free Press, which seemed easy enough, despite the long list of ingredients, so I decided to give it a try.

A can of chipotle peppers contains about two-and-a-half or three peppers. I didn’t know what I would do with the rest so I threw in the whole can. Don’t do this unless you really like spice, which luckily I do! It tasted great, but it was up there on the heat level.

I went out and bought a great big bar of Trader Joe’s 70% cacao dark chocolate, which I love, only to realize at the last minute that it was certified as “dairy” for kashrut purposes, even though it didn’t contain milk other than possible “traces” (I’m guessing it was made on the same equipment as milk chocolate). So I substituted an ounce of parve (non-milk) semi-sweet chocolate chips, and that seemed to work fine.

Aside from having to measure lots of ingredients, this dish was easy to make, and it was a hit at the company dinner where I served it, in spite of the heat.

I was also serving brisket, so I made regular rice instead of the cilantro-lime rice. I’ll have to try that another time!

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped onion
½ cup raisins
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbs. peanut butter, divided
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
20 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 Tbs, cider vinegar
1 oz. dark chocolate (70-85% cacao)
½ tsp. salt
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 tsp. lime zest
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
6 lime wedges

Directions:

Place onion, raisins, chipotle pepper, garlic, 2 Tbs. peanut butter, crushed tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin and cocoa powder in slow cooker.

Add chicken breasts. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours. Turn off slow cooker.

Using two forks, pull chicken apart into shreds, then stir the chicken back into the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 Tbs. peanut butter and vinegar and pour over the chicken. Add the chocolate and salt. Cover and allow chocolate to melt, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir to combine.

Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting salt. When rice is cooked, stir in cilantro and lime zest.

Put ½ cup of rice and ¾ cup of chicken on each plate, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Serves 6

Turkish Charoset

5 Apr

Many of you are probably up to your eyeballs in Passover preparation. If you’re looking for something to spark up your seder this year, try this Turkish charoset. It’s a bit of a change from the standard grated-apples-and-nuts variety, and it’s a snap to make with a food processor. This comes from one of my go-to Jewish cookbooks, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene.

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates, halved
1 cup light or dark raisins, or a mixture
1 large apple, peeled or unpeeled, cored and cut into large pieces
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup blanched, slivered or whole almonds
1 medium-sized navel orange, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbs. sweet red Passover wine

Directions:

Put all the ingredients except the wine through the coarse blade of a food grinder or coarsely grind them together in a food processor fitted with the steel blade (in batches if necessary). Add the wine and mix or process to form a soft, slightly coarse mixture. Refrigerate in a covered container and serve chilled.

(The charoset gets firmer when it’s chilled. It will keep fresh for several days in the refrigerator.)

Makes about 3 cups.

 

Chicken with Ginger-Sesame Glaze

24 Jan

chicken-ginger-sesame-glaze

I got this recipe from Cooking Light magazine last June and finally made it. I saw that the recipe called for chicken thighs, so I took a package out of the freezer. Only after I’d mixed up all the glaze ingredients did I notice that the recipe called for skinless, boneless chicken thighs. It was too late to change course, and when I cooked the chicken I discovered that it didn’t really matter. The glaze is delicious, and it would work well with any cut of chicken, with or without skin.

Because I don’t have an indoor grill pan and it was not outdoor grilling season, I oven-roasted the chicken rather than grilling it. Grilling would probably be better for skinless, boneless thighs or breasts, but oven-roasting is fine for chicken with skin.

The magazine suggested mixing up the glaze first thing in the morning so the chicken marinates in it all day. Then the cooking part is really easy. I did them one better and started marinating the chicken the night before in a large Ziploc freezer bag. They were certainly right about the dinner-making being easy after that!

Ingredients:

½ cup thinly sliced green onion
3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
2½ Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. dark sesame oil
1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp. sambal oelek (chile paste)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1½  lb.)
Cooking spray

Directions:

Combine everything except chicken and cooking spray and stir with a whisk. But half in a shallow bowl or large Ziploc bag with the chicken and toss. (At this point, you can leave it in the fridge for several hours, or even overnight.)

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts; cook about 4 minutes on each side until done. OR preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast the chicken , basting occasionally. The amount of time this takes will depend on whether the chicken  skinless and boneless or not and how big the pieces are. The chicken should be nicely browned; if using chicken with skin, the skin should be crisp.

Transfer chicken to a platter and drizzle with the remaining soy sauce mixture.

Serves 4

 

Sorry about that!

19 Jan

IF my last post looked a little weird, that’s because it was sent by my husband, who was trying to post something on out travel blog.  I’ll be back with more yummy recipes soon.

Bobbie

19 Jan

Russian Apple Sharlotka

10 Jan

apple-sharlotkaI adapted this from a recipe printed in the Detroit Free Press, which adapted it from Food & Wine.

It’s easy to make but elegant enough to serve to company. It’s also heavy on the fruit and not too sweet.

One caveat:  plan to eat it the same day you make it, because the crust can get soggy if it sits around overnight.

Ingredients:

4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup sugar
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
½ tsp. almond extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan.

In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and 2 Tbs. of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat the eggs with the almond extract and remaining sugar at medium-high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until thick and pale; a ribbon should form when the beaters are lifted.

Place the prepared pan on a piece of foil (because the juicy apples may leak). Spread the apples evenly in the prepared pan and then pour the batter evenly over them, making sure the apples are completely covered. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to sink in a little.

Put the pan and the foil in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, until the cake is golden and crisp on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a rack and rest for 15 minutes. Unmold and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar by sifting about a tablespoon of sugar through a small sieve.

Ideal served warm with ice cream!

Serves 8

Passover Chocolate Truffle Cake

3 Apr

Passover chocolate truffle cake

Passover is less than three weeks away (yikes) so you’re probably planning your holiday meals.

This recipe isn’t what I’d call easy, but it’s really yummy and it’s gluten free. You can kid yourself that it’s good for you because it’s made with sweet potatoes – which you can’t really taste, but which help make it lighter than most flourless chocolate cakes.

You can gussy it up more than I did in this photo by garnishing with berries and/or whipped topping.

Ingredients:

16 oz. semisweet chocolate, divided
1½ cups baked mashed sweet potatoes at room temperature (or use canned sweet potatoes)
1/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. very soft unsalted butter or margarine
6 large eggs, separated
¼ tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

Melt 10 oz. of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and let cool.

Using a wire whisk, blend together the mashed sweet potatoes with 1/3 cup of sugar, the vanilla sugar or vanilla and the softened butter until well blended.

Stir in the egg hyolks and then the melted chocolate, mixing to blend.

In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer, starting on low speed. When the egg whites are foamy, add the salt and whip on high speed, slowly dusting in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture and work in to lighten the batter. Then gently fold in the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites, blending well but taking care not to deflate the mixture.

Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise somewhat, look dry, and have a slight crack on top. The middle should be soft but firm.

Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove the sides from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Chill for at least an hour.

Make the ganache glaze: Chop the remaining 6 oz. of chocolate. Bring ¼ cup of water to a gentle boil and add the chocolate all at once. Remove from heat and stir briskly with a wire whisk until all the chocolate melts and is a thick sauce-like consistency. Refrigerate for an hour.

Invert the cake onto a platter so the flat bottom faces up. Pour the glaze over the cake, using a spatula to even it out and spread along the sides.

Serves 8 to 10