Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sauteed Chickpeas with Ham and Kale

Catching up with the blog...  This was a really yummy dish from Food & Wine.  I didn't realize it was intended as a side dish so it really only produced about 3 meal size portions.  In the future I might double it to have as a dish for two people to eat several times throughout the week! 

I had also never cooked with annatto seeds before, also called achiote.  After some internet research I found that annatto is often referred to as "poor man's saffron" and is used to give color to dishes.  A pinch of paprika or turmeric or a combo of both was most often recommended as a substitute. Turns out the Dill Pickle Co-op does sell bulk annatto seeds so I proceeded with the recipe as described.  Your local grocer might have some as well, if not try the pinch of paprika/turmeric substitution.


2 Tbso annatto seeds
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion cut into 1 inch dice
1 small can of diced tomatoes, some liquid drained off
one 4oz piece of smoked cured ham, sliced 1/2 inch thick and diced
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
one 19oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
fresh lemon juice

--In a small sauce pan cook the annatto seeds in the olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes.  Strain the oil through a seive over a bowl or jar and discard the seeds.  Set the infused oil aside

--In a larget skillet or dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the annatto oil.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion starts to brown, about 8 minutes

--Add the tomates and ham and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over high heat for about 3 minutes.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl

--Wipe out the skillet or dutch oven, add the rest of the annatto oil (I didn't quite use all of it) and the garlic and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. 

--Add the chickpeas and cook on med-high heat about 3 minutes, or until the chickpeas are about to brown

--Add the ancho chili powder, oregano and cook 1 minute

--Add the tomato and ham mixture and water and bring to a boil

--Lower the heat to medium, add the kale leaves, cover and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes

--Stir in some lemon juice to taste (1-2 Tbsp) and season with salt and pepper

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jambalaya with Creole Seasoning

It's that time of year and I was inspired to make jambalaya!  I used an Emeril Lagasse recipe off of the food network that I found online.  The original recipe called for shrimp but since Jason didn't want any, I eliminated the shrimp and upped the chicken and andouille a bit.  I've tried making jambalaya in the past but it always ended up a bit flavorless, not the case with this one.  Really flavorful and just the right amount of spicy!  Some of the reviews of the recipe I saw found the dish to be too salty.  The creole seasoning is pretty salty, so I used less than the 2 Tbsp recommended.  If you are using a canned broth or seasoned canned tomatoes, you might want to cut some more of the salt in the spice mix.  I used homemade broth which I purposely undersalt and my tomatoes had no salt added so I found the results to be perfectly seasoned!


6 oz. chicken diced (1 boneless breast)
1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning (recipe at end)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
3/4 cup rice (I used brown rice)
3 cups chicken stock
6 oz andouille sausage, sliced

- - In a bowl combine the chicken with the creole seasoning and set aside

--  In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil on high and cook the onions, green peppers and celery for 3 minutes

-- Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, worcestershire and hot sauce

--  Stir in the rice and slowly add the broth.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until the rice absorbs the liquid and becomes tender.  Since I used brown rice this took longer than I expected.  I also added 2 cups of the liquid at first, cooked that down for awhile and then added the third cup.  I kept a little extra broth on the side just in case the liquid cooked off too rapidly. 

--  Add the chicken and sausage and a dash more liquid if necessary and cook until meats are cooked through, about ten more minutes. 

--  Taste and season with salt, pepper and creole seasoning, but honestly I didn't add a thing! 


2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano