Tag Archives: paprika

Moroccan Beef Tagine

tagine

I feel like we are in the calm lull between back to school craziness and the madness of the holiday season. The cooler weather has been inspiring my cooking and has me wanting to spend more time in the kitchen putting together satisfying and comforting dishes. And because some of the best dishes are those that take time to make, this is the season to make them.  While the dishes take time to prepare much of the time is spent on the cooking rather than the preparations. And as these dishes cook their aroma fills the house with wonderful scents that give you a hint of the meal that is to come.

I’ve adapted this dish from a Jamie Oliver recipe and like so many of his recipes, it doesn’t disappoint. It is rich, flavorful and thoroughly satisfying. If you don’t have a tagine, or have one but also have a very small European sized oven that can’t accommodate a tagine, make this dish is a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven. The slow cooked results will be the same. And if you want to make a fancy presentation like I do for company, I transfer the cooked stew into my tangine and serve it at the table.

MOROCCAN BEEF TAGINE

For the spice rub:

 

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

 

1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix

 

1 tablespoon ground cumin

 

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

 

1 tablespoon ground ginger

 

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

For the tagine:

1 pound stew beer

  • To make the spice mix, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Place the beef into a large bowl, sprinkle with the spice mix and use your hands to massage it into the meat.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the meat and cook, tossing to ensure it is seared on all sides for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and coriander stalks to the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the squash, prunes and additional stock if the mixture looks too dry. Cover the pot and continue to cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours until the meat is fork tender.

Adjust the seasonings and serve alongside couscous and topped with the slivered almonds.

Serves 4

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Cherry Lambic Beer Can Chicken

photo 3-239

I had been hearing about beer can chicken, the whole bird roasted over a can of beer on the grill, for years but had never tried it. While visiting my in-laws this summer my father-in-law made a very tasty beer can chicken. It was moist and flavorful and I was determined to come back to Belgium and try my hand at making my own version.

One only has to search the web to find numerous version of this simple roasted bird. Ingredients may vary but the methods are the same. Invert a whole roasting chicken over a half filled can of beer and grill away. Some recipes call for brining the bird first while others suggest spice rubs. Others have you roasting a completely naked bird. Beer is the most common liquid of choice, hence the beer-can moniker, but other liquids are used as well.

I opted for a spice rub and because I am in Belgium, a Belgian lambic was my beer of choice. Wanting a slightly sweet-spicy and barbecue flavor, my spice rub that included paprika, brown sugar and BBQ 3000 from Penzey’s Spices. (You can easily substitute another spice combination if you prefer). For the beer I chose a cherry lambic which infused the chicken with a slightly sweet-sour fruit flavor. When served alongside some duck fat roasted potatoes and a salad, all I can say is “oh-my”. This recipe is a keeper and is sure to make return appearances at my dinner table. So fire up your grill and break open a can of beer.

Cherry Lambic Beer Can Chicken

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet paprika (or 1/2 tablespoon hot paprika)

1 tablespoon Penzeys Spice BBQ 3000

1 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken

1 can cherry lambic beer

2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • To make the spice rub, combine the salt, brown sugar, paprika and BBQ 3000 in a small bowl.
  • Drink (or pour out) half of the can of beer. Place the crushed garlic cloves inside of the can.
  • To prepare the grill, turn one burner to high and place a grill pan filled with 1/2 an inch of water on the other side of the grill.
  • Generously season the chicken with the spice rub by massaging the rub into all sides of the chicken sprinkling any extra spice into the cavity of the bird.
  • Place the cavity of the chicken, legs pointing down, onto the open can so that it supports the chicken uprights.
  • Place the can, with the chicken on the grill inside of the grill pan.
  • Grill the chicken, covered, until cooked through and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees about 45-60 minutes.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serves 4

Chicken Vindaloo

photo 2-305

I love Indian food. The complex spices and layers of heat are both comforting and warming. When we first moved to Albania there weren’t any Indian restaurants in Tirana. Whenever we traveled outside of the country we always made sure at least one of our dinners involved an Indian restaurant. But when we were at home I took to making my own Indian food in order to fulfill my cravings. Even after one opened its doors, I still preferred to make it myself.

The ingredient list for Indian dishes may seem long due to the many spices. Sure you could take a short cut and purchase a pre-made spice mix or even buy the spices already ground but then you would be missing out on so much of the complexity of the flavors. Investing in a spice grinder was one of the first things I did when I began my foray into cooking Indian food and it is one of the best purchases I ever made. There really is nothing better than freshly roasted and ground spices.

And despite what many people think making Indian food at home doesn’t have to be difficult. This Chicken Vindaloo dish, adapted from Saveur Magazine is one such example of how easy it is to make flavorful and authentic Indian food at home. This dish is fiery hot but if you prefer milder flavors reduce the number of chili peppers you use and choose a mild or smoked paprika rather than a hot variety. I make my Vindaloo hot and temper it with the potatoes and rice and wash it all down with a cold beer. And to please the youngest palate in the house, I sometimes I also serve cumin dusted carrots along with the chicken.

CHICKEN VINDALOO

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

5 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup Hungarian paprika

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

16 cloves minced garlic, divided

1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

5 red chilis, stemmed, seeded and minced

5 green chilis, stemmed, seeded and minced

1 pound small potatoes, peeled

Cooked white rice, for serving

  • Heat peppercorns, mustard, cumin and coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon in a 12″ skillet set over medium-high heat. 
  • Cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the spices are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  • Working in batches, transfer spices to a spice grinder and process until finely ground.
  • Transfer the ground spices to a small food processor and add the paprika, vinegar, turmeric, sugar, ¼ of the garlic, and half the ginger; puree until smooth.
  • Move to a larger bowl and add the chicken. Use your fingers to rub the spice mixture into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • When ready to proceed, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions, and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 25 minutes.
  • Add remaining garlic and ginger along with chiles, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken along with any remaining paste in bowl, the potatoes, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and season with salt; serve with rice.

Serves 4-6

Cherry Lambic Beer Can Chicken

photo 3-239

I had been hearing about beer can chicken, the whole bird roasted over a can of beer on the grill, for years but had never tried it. While visiting my in-laws this summer my father-in-law made a very tasty beer can chicken. It was moist and flavorful and I was determined to come back to Belgium and try my hand at making my own version.

One only has to search the web to find numerous version of this simple roasted bird. Ingredients may vary but the methods are the same. Invert a whole roasting chicken over a half filled can of beer and grill away. Some recipes call for brining the bird first while others suggest spice rubs. Others have you roasting a completely naked bird. Beer is the most common liquid of choice, hence the beer-can moniker, but other liquids are used as well.

I opted for a spice rub and because I am in Belgium, a Belgian lambic was my beer of choice. Wanting a slightly sweet-spicy and barbecue flavor, my spice rub that included paprika, brown sugar and BBQ 3000 from Penzey’s Spices. (You can easily substitute another spice combination if you prefer). For the beer I chose a cherry lambic which infused the chicken with a slightly sweet-sour fruit flavor. When served alongside some duck fat roasted potatoes and a salad, all I can say is “oh-my”. This recipe is a keeper and is sure to make return appearances at my dinner table. So fire up your grill and break open a can of beer.

Cherry Lambic Beer Can Chicken

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet paprika (or 1/2 tablespoon hot paprika)

1 tablespoon Penzeys Spice BBQ 3000

1 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken

1 can cherry lambic beer

2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • To make the spice rub, combine the salt, brown sugar, paprika and BBQ 3000 in a small bowl.
  • Drink (or pour out) half of the can of beer. Place the crushed garlic cloves inside of the can.
  • To prepare the grill, turn one burner to high and place a grill pan filled with 1/2 an inch of water on the other side of the grill.
  • Generously season the chicken with the spice rub by massaging the rub into all sides of the chicken sprinkling any extra spice into the cavity of the bird.
  • Place the cavity of the chicken, legs pointing down, onto the open can so that it supports the chicken uprights.
  • Place the can, with the chicken on the grill inside of the grill pan.
  • Grill the chicken, covered, until cooked through and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees about 45-60 minutes.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serves 4

Spicy Pear Poached Chicken w/ Chunky Apple-Pear Sauce

DSC_0013

SPICY PEAR POACHED CHICKEN w/ CHUNKY APPLE-PEAR SAUCE

For the sauce:

1 sweet red apple, peeled, cored and sliced

1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole peppercorns

For the chicken:

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pear juice

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • In a small saucepan, combine the apples, pears, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns.  Add 1/4 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is hot and the fruit cooks down.  Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Combine the oregano, paprika, ground cinnamon, pepper, and salt in a shallow dish.
  • Dredge the chicken breasts in the spice mixture and set aside on a plate.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  When the oil shimmers, add the chicken to the pan and cook until it is browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Flip the chicken and continue to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.  When it is hot, add the onions and cook until soft and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the pear juice to the pan and stir to removed any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the skillet.  Add in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, an additional 5-8 minutes.  At this point you can cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and allow the chicken to sit for up to one hour.
  • When you are ready to serve, place one chicken breast on each plate.  Remove the cinnamon stick and peppercorns from the apple-pear sauce and divide the mixture evenly over the top of each chicken breast.

Serves 4

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