Local Heart, Global Soul

May 7, 2014

Chicken-Lime Chopped Salad, Recipes And Tastes Change…

Filed under: FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m going back through some of my cookbook recipes and tweaking some that had promise but that I wanted to try and improve on.

When I first reviewed this Chicken-Lime Chopped Salad recipe from Recipezaar (now Food.com) back in 2007 I wrote:

” I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.. the flavours are fresh and full of zing and the lime/garlic combination especially compliments the celery and radishes as well as the chicken.

Raw celery here in NL isn’t really great tasting at all but I used the very centre pieces and leaves which had a sweeter flavour and it actually tasted ok.

At the end of the day the Poulier was out of cooked chicken and supermarkets here don’t sell them cooked so I roasted a bird myself and used that.

 4 excellent stars for a different salad recipe, not one that tops our all time favourites but definitely one for when we fancy a change of pace and taste.

I think we would also prefer this salad and its flavours on a hot balmy day in Summer.. Thanks!”    Since that review this recipe comes out every year, usually when the days grow warmer, a greater variety of fresh ingredients hit the supermarket shelves and when I am looking afresh at salads as weekday menu options.

Over the years I’ve made various changes: first of all, Dutch celery never got any better tasting so I’ve ditched it completely.  Radishes, I use if I have them to hand, otherwise I skip them too. Second, I’ve increased the amount of garlic and lime in the vinaigrette (We adore garlic and Himself now likes limes more than he used to so I use the juice of an entire lime which I guesstimate to be a minimum of six tablespoons depending on the lime) And last but not least I make the chicken pieces smaller and let the vinaigrette soak into it a bit before serving.

Himself was never a fan of citrus flavours, but for a while now has been forcing himself to drink fresh lime juice and hot water every evening in an attempt to get more vitamins and hopefully less colds. He started drinking this with sugar added at first but slowly reduced the sugar until he could drink it totally without and a side effect has been a new appreciation for recipes with limes in that he used to shun in the past.

I’ve always adored both lemon and limes so his original aversion was hard to understand, and now that he’s had his “Damascus” moment with limes it’s prompted me to revisit many more recipes that  were formerly in the “just for me” section of my recipe book.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken-Lime Chopped Salad
By ” WI Cheesehead ”

Ingredients:

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped ( or favourite lettuce)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe Avocado, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 radishes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
Lime Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1 cup leftover chopped cooked chicken

Directions:

Combine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, celery, radishes and cucumber in a salad bowl.
Blend Lime Vinaigrette ingredients together; lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Mix chopped cooked chicken with lime vinaigrette.
Toss chicken vinaigrette mixture with vegetables and serve.

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-lime-chopped-salad-212081

April 1, 2014

Chicken Roulade: Quick Prep, Slow Cook, Divine Result….

Filed under: Dutch Cuisine,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I scored this recipe from a fellow foodie friend after a dinner out at their place over a year ago.

Since then I have made this recipe fairly regularly and have even tweaked the original recipe in a way that I think makes it even better.

The recipe in question is a “roulade” and the name comes from “rouler” (French for “to roll”) and in the Netherlands at least,  consists of  raw meat tightly rolled up and encased in a net of butchers string.

The meat is slow cooked, lifted out to cool, very finely sliced and a jus (gravy) made from the resulting stock.

The cooked roulade meat is then served in the gravy.

I know that roulardes come in pork meat and in chicken, this recipe is for the chicken version.

What I like most is that there is minimal work needed for maximum flavour, the slow cooking is the secret and who doesn’t like an easy recipe?

Don’t worry at all about this recipe being to “mustard-y”, even if you use a really strong mustard the resulting meat will have a lovely full flavour but rather surprisingly not at all be of overpowering  mustard. In fact, I never would have believed how much mustard this was made in had I not made it myself. The onion and chicken seem to balance things out perfectly. If cooking this recipe in bulk don’t be afraid to add as much garlic as you like and also some extra onion, as you will see later in the recipe, I use it all in the end anyway so nothing is wasted and the flavour just gets better and better. Since this meat is slow cooked, I usually cram my le crueset pan as full as I can manage and then later when the recipe is finished, freeze the rest of the meat for easy meals at a later date.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I haven’t yet tried to make this in my crock-pot / slow cooker, simply because it’s so easy to make on the stove top: prepare and leave for hours to simmer.

The only hassle is that sometimes the supermarket only has three roulades on their shelves, when I really would have liked there to have been five so that I could fill the pan up. I took the step-by-step photographs over various cooking sessions.

Ingredients:

1 chicken roularde (already prepared and tied up in butchers netting)

2 large onions

3-6 large cloves garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

100 grams  (3.5 oz) butter

2-3 bayleaves

1/2 of a 350 gram / 12 oz jar coarse mustard

water

Method:

Chop your onions and garlic…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

With a spoon or a spatula, coat the roulade as evenly as you can with the mustard.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Melt the butter on a low heat in a heavy based cooking pan, then place the roulade into the pan and gently brown it on all sides.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and enough water to cover. (The roulade will want to float so I often place a soup plate on top of them to keep them better immersed in the liquid)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cook on a very low heat (the water should be just moving) for 3 to 3 1/2 hours depending on the thickness of the roulade.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Remove the meat from the liquid, be careful because the meat is soft and the roulade can break apart at this point (even inside the string net). Whilst the meat is still hot, use tongs and scissors to gently cut the net away from the meat. (doing this whilst the meat is hot can be a little tricky but if you wait until the meat has cooled then the net will stick to the meat and tear chunks of it away when you try and remove it). Try not to break the roulade as you take the net off. Leave the meat to cool completely before cutting it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Take the cooled roulade and using either a very sharp knife or a cutting machine, cut as thin slices as you can manage. (my cutting machine setting made slices 1-2 mm thick).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At this point in the original recipe my friend usually makes a packet mix of vegetable gravy and adds the meat to it to serve, my own addition to this recipe is as follows: Making sure to keep all of the liquid, Sieve the mustard/onion  and bay leaf from the water,  discard the bay leaf, and using a stick blender, blend the mustard and onion pulp so that it becomes a paste. Add some flour to this paste to thicken the gravy, cook it on a low heat and then add several cups of the liquid that the roulade cooked in for added flavour.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bag and freeze any bulk cooked chicken (with or without the gravy as preferred)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This recipe is divine with mashed potato, and I’ve mixed the chicken sans gravy into stir fry and pasta dishes. Yum!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 24, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Easy Chicken Kebabs

Filed under: FOOD,INDIA,Indian Cusine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Recipes — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken Kebab

500 grams Chicken mince
2 Tablespoons grated garlic
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
3-4 finely chopped shallots (or one medium onion)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 egg yoke
3-4 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
2-3 finely chopped chilies (optional)
3-4 Tablespoons Laziza’s seekh kabab powder (optional, it gives a more spicy taste).

I’m almost at the end of my Indian Cooking Lesson Series and I understand that people around the world may have difficulty in finding (or not) many of the specialist ingredients in the recipes that I’ve posted in recent weeks.

Therefore in just a few days time I will be running a competition where you  are  invited to make a comment on getting to know these genuine Indian recipes… or review them if you have tried them out!

One lucky winner will then receive a parcel of the more specialist items so that they can make and enjoy these recipes at home as well.  It could be YOU so  …..Watch this space!

Method:

To your chicken mince…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…Add the finely chopped onion (or shallots)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then the grated ginger…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the garlic… and mix well into the minced chicken.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the lemon juice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and the chopped chilies (if using)… and mix well again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Separate the egg,  (you will only be using the yoke for this recipe)… add the yoke to the chicken mixture.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the freshly chopped coriander…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the yogurt…  and mix again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is what Laziza Seekh Kebab powder looks like,  it gives extra flavour to the mix…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the Laziza Seekh Kebab powder to the minced chicken mixture…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for at least one hour so that the flavours meld…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Moisten your palms with a little water and roll the meat mixture into 20-25 evenly sized balls that you flatten slightly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Place the kebabs under a moderately hot grill for 8-10 minutes… or until they are cooked and golden brown, turning them over once or twice as necessary…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turned over and back into the oven..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All cooked… just have to plate them up nicely.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The finished kebabs… Serve hot!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Teacher’s Serving Tips: These tasty kebabs can be served with drinks or as a starter with rice and lentils (dal). Serve with chopped onions/ spring onions and lemon wedges. These can be frozen but reheat using an oven. The kebabs can also be barbecued or fried in a shallow pan.

Kiwi’s Notes: These are amazing… I’d personally choose a spicy sauce, the raita or coriander chutney recipes from this set of lessons to go with them and my biggest tip? Make a double batch because these are going to disappear fast!

May 31, 2013

Lifting The Lid On Something Totally Unexpected For Lunch…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post relates to a trip some weeks ago when Himself and I took a friend of ours to the Belgian city of Mechelen to help with an urgent personal matter.

We have to get everything done today with reasonable speed and get back to the Netherlands  by early afternoon because otherwise our children will be finishing school and will be wondering where on earth their parents have disappeared to.

(We did arrange backup with other friends in case we got delayed in traffic or unforeseen circumstances but I’d taken some annual leave the week we went,  and had made  other promises to the kids too so it was preferable to get back on time if we could).

The business end of things went relatively fast today (compared to the previous trip we made a few weeks earlier in the pouring rain when our friend was made to wait ages in more than one establishment even though she had previously arranged appointments).

Since it was a stunning day today we decided to have a very quick lunch and a better look around the city centre  in the sunshine as we made our way back to where the car was parked and then headed to the motorway again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We stumbled on a little area full of cafés and restaurants with outside tables in a picturesque area by Vismarkt. There wasn’t really time to look at the various menu’s, our choice was made more by trying to stay upwind from little gaggles of dining smokers.

All of us were rather thirsty by this time and ordered cold drinks,  then opened the menu and were surprised to see only a very short range of menu choices: pretty much all of them being tagine.

After recovering from the shock that there was nothing like a sandwich on offer we settled into the idea that having a tagine for lunch might not be a bad idea at all.

Himself likes a hearty breakfast and if he eats warm in the middle of the day he would very much to have accompanied his meal with a very nice local beer (lots of that available in Belgium!) or a glass of wine, but being by necessity the only driver amongst us, and by far the least hungry, he opted to pass on food and went for  tea and a little of our bread instead.

Our friend and I were hungry though, so ordered a vegetable and chicken tagine respectively and after a short wait were each presented with single serve tagines containing our meals. Yikes, these containers were hot… literally fresh from the oven, and the steam poured off for ages, making for impatient photo taking.

Due to our time constraints I didn’t even remember to photograph the menu for the name of the place,  ( the waiter had removed the menu’s before I had my wits about me). I did ask for a business card but they didn’t have one and so I didn’t even get the name. I can tell you though that it’s the red/brown place with four upstairs windows and  red tiled roof in my photographs, so a description will have to do.

It was not overly spicy, but also not bland and we each enjoyed our meals. We agreed afterwards that whilst we liked what we ate, the unexpectedness of the menu had caught us off guard and eating this at a leisurely pace would have been far more enjoyable.

However, we had already  made  wish-list of what we want to do with our short remaining time and in order to achieve it we needed to rush lunch. It’s a pity we didn’t really do it justice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 19, 2011

Chicken With Cashews… Fast, Easy, Lazy, Perfect!

Filed under: FOOD,Reviews — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Since I haven’t managed to be standing cooking in my kitchen for the last ten months, and am having Foodie withdrawal symptoms, I’ve had to console myself by asking Himself to make some of my favourite recipes for dinner  instead.

This one is by “chef floWer”  from the ex Recipezaar, (now Food.com) cooking website.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chicken With Cashews

2 chicken breasts, diced
6 tablespoons corn oil or 6 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup bamboo shoot, diced
1/2 cup green peppers or 1/2 cup green capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 cup cashew nuts

Marinate

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch or 2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons oil

In a bowl add soy sauce, water, cornstarch and oil to form the marinade. Mix well until the cornstarch as dissolved.

Add to the marinate chopped chicken breasts, mix well cover and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Heat oil in Wok until hot, add bamboo shoots and green capsicum. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Remove bamboo shoots and green capsicum with slotted spoon or any spoon which drains the oil back into the wok.

Drain marinate and add chicken to the wok. Quickly toss and turn.

When chicken is cooked or slightly brown add hoisin sauce. Continue to toss.

Return vegetables to work.

Serve over rice and sprinkle the cashew nuts.

I’m a tougher than usual reviewer of recipes and awarded this oe the full possible five stars.

In my review I mentioned that I couldn’t find bamboo shoots and just used red and yellow peppers, but over time I have adapted this recipe and basically through in whatever stir-fryable veggies we have to hand on the day.  The yield is small:  two decent servings for a main meal for two people (mind you we didn’t bother adding rice)

I usually gently saute my cashews in 1 T olive oil, until they are gently toasted and then add some extra during the last minutes of cooking.  I found the peanut oil to be a little excessive, so right from the start I used homemade chicken stock (also in the interests of cutting down fat) and this has always worked well in this recipe.

I love that this is easy, in the past I’ve prepped veggies the evening before and just thrown everything together when we got home the next day for a mega lazy meal that’s ready in minutes.

When you have grumpy hungry  kids begging dinner 3 minutes after they cross the threshold, that make this recipe into a winner.

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