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C’Rockin’ Curried Chicken

September 15, 2016

The odds of this dish  making it to the blog were pretty slim. I was drawn to it initially from one of those new step by step videos (something I need to think about doing …). The reviews were not wonderful, and even friends of friends deemed it a “bland waste”. Curry anything is not in my top five, another strike. For some reason though, the blend of coconut, earthy curry and unique heat had been calling my name for weeks. Always in search of something new and easy, I decided to set things up for success and see what several tweaks would do! This was also my first attempt with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Score! I loved them. There was a scant bit of fat on some which I left for flavor,but not too much to have a measurable depth when cooked. Shredding was a breeze with no wiggly wads of fat floating, no bones to work around and no broken bits of bone to strain. The best part? The chicken was tender and juicy. Certainly a surprise keeper all the way around. The original recipe had few vegetables and used jalapenos. I subbed  poblanos for the jalapenos for a milder heat. (another beauty of this recipe is it’s versatility). I cut back on the coconut milk  and added vegetable broth, and tossed in some curry friendly veggies. I was home so I scattered the addition of the vegetables, but it can just as easily all be put in the crock together.

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1 can coconut milk

1 C. vegetable of chicken broth

1 T. dried basil

2 T. yellow curry powder

1 t. chili powder

1 t. chili paste

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 poblano peppers,1 inch chop

1 red pepper, 1 inch chopped

2 jalapeno peppers (optional), minced

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 diced purple onion, small dice

1/2 diced Vidalia onion, small dice

2 carrots, sliced

1 inch knob fresh ginger

1 inch knob fresh turmeric

Wash and prep all veggies.

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Combine coconut milk, broth, curry powder, curry paste and basil in your crock. Stir well and put on high while you brown chicken. Set the timer for an hour.

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Season chicken with salt and basil. Lightly brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

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Put the chicken and the juices from the pan into the coconut milk in the crock. Add in half the onions and garlic. Cook for an hour. Then add in the rest of the vegetables. Keep the lid shut. Set the timer for 3 hours.

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Shred the chicken with two forks. Add in the minced turmeric and ginger. You can also at this point add a slurry of 2 Tablespoons corn starch and 3 Tablespoons broth to thicken your curry. I chose not to. I had so much chicken once shredded it was more than thick enough. Cover and cook another 15 minutes after shredding.

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Served over jasmine rice and garnished with fresh scallion……

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………a perfect start to fall dinners.

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Mandarin Orange Cranberry Sauce

November 25, 2015

This is a really easy recipe. I make a version of it every year. For some reason this year it came out  very well. The directions on the bag have a ridiculous amount of sugar. So can the can of that wiggly stuff and take less than thirty minutes to make it yourself.

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1 bag fresh cranberries – 12 oz.

Juice and zest from 1/2 orange

1 can mandarin oranges, not in syrup

1/4 C. sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 inch knob fresh ginger

Pour cranberries in a sauce pan. Add mandarin oranges and the juice.

Zest the orange first, then juice it and add to the cranberries.

Grate the ginger knob and add it and the cinnamon. Stir to mix.

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Bring to a boil. Let simmer about twenty minutes .When all the cranberries have popped, turn off the heat and let cool.

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Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

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Grilled Cheese Gone Wild

August 18, 2015

One of the top comfort foods around is the simple grilled cheese. It’s what Mom made for lunch with a steaming bowl of tomato soup, on a chilly fall day. Lately the grilled cheese has gone full scale gourmet, switching out American cheese for it’s fancier French sisters and tangy German brothers. With a glut of wild blueberries on hand, some spinach donated by the visiting vegetarian, a few slices of creamy Havarti and my favorite Muenster begging to be used, Grilled Cheese Gone Wild was born.A great combo encased between a hearty whole grain, you  almost might  consider it healthy!

3/4 C. blueberries

1 1/2 T. balsamic

1 T. brown sugar

4 slices dense bread, a whole grain or sourdough

4 slices of cheese- we used 2 Havarti and 2 Muenster- a perfect combo of creamy and a nice “bite”

2 handfuls cleaned dried spinach, stems removed

fresh cracked pepper to taste

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In a small pan, simmer the blueberries, balsamic, and brown sugar until the blueberries begin to burst. Smash them down a bit, to extract more juice. Simmer 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat to a mesh strainer and  push out most of the juice.This will leave you will a thick, tangy berry paste.Save the juice! Use it to flavor water, as a pancake syrup,  or do as we did, drizzle over some fresh watermelon – divine!

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On low heat, warm a frying pan large enough to hold two slices of bread. Butter one side of two slices of bread and put them face down in the pan. Spread one half of the blueberry balsamic paste on each,and cover with one slice of cheese.

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Top with the spinach and the other slice of cheese. Add a few generous turns of cracked pepper.

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It even looks  good just like that!

Butter the other two pieces of bread on one side. Lay the unbuttered side on top of the cheese.

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I recommend leaving it on low to brown, about 5 minutes,. Peek at the bottom, and when browned carefully flip over. Continue cooking on the other side until the cheese is nice and melty, and the bottom side of bread is browned.

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Slice in half  and serve. The blueberries should just be an accent to this ooey, gooey yummy creation. The spinach and the black pepper are the perfect balance to this sweet and tangy twist of an old favorite.

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That is serious goodness.

~ Enjoy~

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November 2, 2010

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