Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Beans and Rice

Travel and food always makes me think of New Orleans, where good food and music go hand in hand. Red beans and rice is one of those ubiquitous dishes of New Orleans, with flavors of French, Cajun, and Creole all rolled into one great dish. I've made this with Andouille sausage, but when I feel like going vegetarian, I simply omit the sausage and use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock. 

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1 Andouille sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno
1 can pink beans, seasoned with peppers and celery, or red kidney beans
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp minced fresh sage leaves
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbs sriracha sauce (optional)
1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions: 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper and celery and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, until the onion turns translucent and the peppers begin to soften. Add the jalapeno, the can of beans, along with the herbs and stock. Cook until the beans are heated, then add the hot sauce, if using, and the rice. Cook until everything is hot. Serve.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: You may notice that I've been using pickled jalapenos in many of my recipes recently. That's because I can keep them in the refrigerator and always have them handy. Also, pickled jalapenos have an equal amount of heat throughout the jar. Some jalapenos may be very hot, and some may be very mild. With the pickling process, they are all the same! If you like mild heat, look for "tamed" jalapenos - they've had the seeds and capcacin producing veins removed.




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Chicken (or Vegetarian) Pot-au-Feu


Pot-au-feu is a quintessential French stew, and since I just returned from a delicious trip to France, I'm remembering some of my favorite dishes. Pot-au-feu is definitely one of the best! The one served at Pain du Quotidien in Paris is my inspiration. Their recipe is vegetarian, with root vegetables, quinoa and herbs simmered in a light broth. I made this one with chicken since late spring cold season is upon us and I craved some chicken soup! Serve this with a crusty bread and a salad, and you've got a meal that will delight!

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 pound chicken, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (omit for vegetarian)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup peeled and sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup peeled and chopped turnip
1 cup peeled and cubed potato
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 tsp harissa or creamy horseradish

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the chicken, onion, and celery and cook for several minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent and the chicken begins to lose its pink color. Add the stock, along with the vegetables and herbs. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook until the quinoa is heated through. Serve in bowls, with a teaspoon of harissa or horseradish on the side.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This is another of those dishes that will remind me of a trip ... and is a good way to get lots of vegetables into my diet. Vegetarian or chicken, it's chock full of lots of veggies!