Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Posole

Few things make me feel more warm and cozy than a hearty hot bowl of soup or stew. I love making dishes like this on a cold winters day. I pour ladlefuls into a bowl, tuck my knees into my chest and enjoy spoonfuls of deliciousness as I watch snowflakes whirl around in some sort of whimsical dance.

This soup/stew is just divine! There's the heat from the jalapeno, the crunch and sweetness of the corn and homily as well as an acidic little kiss of lime! I love balance in food- balance of colour, texture and taste. This soup excels in all arenas and is totally worth the effort! It's not as though it's difficult per se, it just takes time to grow and flourish into something that's totally worth the wait!

whole broiler chicken cut into eighths
2 tablespoons peanut, canola or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
51/2 cups chicken stock
1-2 fresh jalapeno cut into thin rounds (the more seeds the spicier)
1/2 orange or red bell pepper diced
4 ears of fresh corn
2 cups yellow or white hominy
2 limes juiced
1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper chicken and let rest for 20-30 minutes in room temp. Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Lay chicken skin side down in batches. Let it get nice and golden brown, flipping over only once. Let rest on a plate .

Add the garlic to the oil and let it get lightly golden for about 30 seconds, add the chilis and cook for another 10 seconds. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken and all its juices to the pot and cook on a low simmer for 1.5 hours. Add the corn, homily, lime juice and cilantro and cook for 30 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. The chicken will fall off the bone and be so incredibly tender! Serve with rice or tortilla. Deeeeeelish!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baked Salmon and Mixed Veggies

When I say YUM you say YYYY...YUM---YYY YUM----!

Yes, I just did that. This salmon number is so good it makes me want to cheer. I've moved to a house and feel so inspired by the treelined streets, fresh produce from local farms and cooking in my kitchen that bathes in glorious sunlight.

All the colours around me have manifested in this rather colourful dish of pinky-orange salmon, green rapini and asparagus, red bell pepper, golden potatoes and vibrant sweet yams.

What adds shimmer and shine to the salmon is a dressing I prepared before hand that I generously spoon over the fish making it even more moist and flavourful. You must must must try this!

1-2 lb salmon fillet
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 potato, cut into eights
1 sweet potato cut into eights
1 leek, washed well and cut down the center and then in fourths
2 shallots, cut in half
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
a handful of rapini, stems removed and cut into fourths
a handful of thin asparagus, stems removed
1 red bell pepper cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of thyme


1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
juice of half a lemon
2.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all the veggies apart from the pepper, asparagus, leeks, shallots and rapini together with salt, pepper,thyme and extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the shallots, leeks and bell peppers well so that it's also has some oil, if there isn't enough add a bit more oil. Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove and add the rapini and asparagus and cook for another 10 minutes. You may want to check the potatoes when you remove them if they're browning too much.

Season salmon with salt, pepper and herbs de provence and place on a baking tray lined with tinfoil. Place in the oven until cooked to your degree of doneness.

If you're comfortable with your kitchen abilities, place the salmon in the oven while the veggies are cooking and time it so they finish at the same time. If not, you can always reheat your vegetables. When the salmon is cooked, spread a tablespoon of the sauce over it, reserve the rest for serving.

For the sauce... place the cilatnro and mustards in a mortar and pestle. Pound a couple of times. Add the lemon juice, sambal and extra virgin olive oil and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.