Braised Chicken Thighs with Savoury Marinated Peaches

 

P1060829

This chicken and peaches dish makes really a delicious summer meal, and feels a little bit decadent. I love the balance between the sweetness of the peaches, and the salty goodness of the prosciutto and capers. The peaches are marinated before adding them to the chicken, which makes them just a little less sweet. Normally I remove the skin from chicken thighs, just so they are a little healthier, but on this one it’s really necessary to leave the skin on so it can get nice and crispy.

I served this with a baguette and salad. Delicious!

This recipe comes from “Fine Cooking” magazine no.136.

What you need for the marinated peaches:

  • 3 medium ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons spiced dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar

What you need for the chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • about 30 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 3 pounds / 1.4 kg chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

What you do:

  1. To marinate the peaches, begin by slicing them into wedges about 2 cm thick.
  2. Combine the rest of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and gently coat the peaches with it. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  4. On medium heat, pour a little olive oil into a large dutch oven or frying pan that can go in the oven. Slice the prosciutto and cook it until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil to the pan. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper on all sides. Brown the chicken on both sides in several batches, about 12 minutes each batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  6. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot, and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the leek and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften.
  7. Add the flour to the pot and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Pour the peach marinade in and cook until the liquid thickens, scraping the browned parts from the bottom of the pan. This should take about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the broth and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chicken back in the pot with the skin facing up, and bring the liquid to a boil again. Place the pot in the oven with the lid off and braise for about 25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through.
  9. Remove the pot from the oven and turn the broiler on high. Put the chicken skin-side up onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy.
  10. While the chicken is crisping up, continue to watch it carefully, and place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir the sauce occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. (Of course part-way through your chicken will be crisped up, so you can just switch the oven off, and maybe keep it slightly ajar so the chicken doesn’t burn).
  11. When the sauce has thickened, add the capers and peaches, stirring with a gentle touch until the peaches have warmed. Stir in the butter and 1 tablespoon of tarragon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Place the chicken on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with the prosciutto and remaining tarragon.

Enjoy!

All the ingredients for this recipe were purchased at Vancouver’s famous Granville Island Market, which happens to be a short walk from my home. The amazing chicken was from Jackson’s Poultry. The prosciutto, plus a delicious Manchego cheese as part of an appetizer, came from Oyama Sausage. A Bread Affair makes my favourite baguette in the city. The organic Okanagan peaches were also purchased from one of the day vendors at Granville Island. I love shopping for everything in one market, and knowing that it will all be of the best quality.

 

Hummus Kawarma (Lamb) with Lemon Sauce

Hummus kawarma (lamb) with Lemon Sauce - trust in kim

Yotam Ottolenghi, thank you for this recipe! I have several of his cookbooks, and I think this is my favourite recipe out of all of them. It comes from Jerusalem, which is filled with awesome recipes along with beautiful photos of the food and culture.

There is so much flavour in this dish – the lamb is marinated in herbs, and then it is served on top of hummus and drizzled with a delicious lemon sauce. Completely addictive!

In the colder seasons I serve this with another favourite recipe, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. In summer I would switch to a refreshing fattoush salad.

You can substitute the hand-chopped lamb with ground lamb, but the hand-chopped meat has a much nicer texture to it. And it’s really easy to chop the meat yourself.

This recipe serves 6 people for an appetizer or small meal. Pita bread is nice served with this.

What you need:

kawarma ingredients:

  • 300g neck fillet of lamb (which I couldn’t find, so I just used a piece of top round)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried za’atar or oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

lemon sauce ingredients:

  • 10 grams flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (also delicious without parsley)
  • 1 green chile, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

optional toppings:

  • pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds

What you do:

  1. Chop the lamb finely. Combine all the kawarma ingredients except the butter and oil. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon sauce.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the lamb, in two or three batches, and stir as it fries. It only needs about 2 minutes to turn nicely light-pink inside.
  4. To serve, make a mound of hummus on the plate, and use a spoon to create a well in the middle. Spoon some of the lamb into the well, and top with a generous amount of the lemon sauce. Garnish with more parsley or other optional toppings.

Enjoy it while it’s warm!

Spinach Gomae (Horenso No Gomae)

spinach gomae-ae - trust in kim

I love to order spinach gomae when I eat in a Japanese restaurant. I’ve been making it at home for a while now, and I love how easy and delicious it is.

I’ve tried a few recipes, which were all good, but I’ve lost track of them. So here’s the one I made most recently. It comes from a recipe by chef Takashi Mizukami of the Dirty Apron Cooking School, and was published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

My favourite thing to make with Spinach Gomae is Tuna Sashimi. So delicious!

The recipe is for two people.

What you need:

  • 400 grams spinach, washed
  • 6 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

What you do:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
  2. Combine the sesame seeds in a bowl with the sake, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
  4. Optional: if you are going to use an ice bath, get that ready first. The rest happens quickly.
  5. Gather a bundle of spinach together and dip the stems in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, then let the whole bunch fall into the water, submerging for 10 more seconds. Remove the spinach with tongs and quickly place it under cold running water or submerge it in an ice bath. The cooling will prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Once the spinach has cooled, arrange the spinach so the stems are aligned, and then squeeze out the excess water.
  7. Arrange on a serving plate and pour the sauce over top.
  8. Enjoy!

Apricot and Peach Jam

apricot and peach jam - trust in kim

In the middle of winter it’s a little reminder of summer when I open a jar of jam and spread it with some butter on a crispy piece of toast. I usually make apricot jam, but this year I decided to go crazy and add some peaches to my usual. I’m happy with the results, and look forward to eating this as the weather turns colder.

I found this award-winning jam recipe on this site. I used fewer peaches than the recipe called for, partly because I didn’t have enough, but also because I really love apricots and wanted to make sure their flavour came through.

What you need:

  • 300 grams peaches, cut into small pieces
  • 600 grams apricots, quartered
  • 785 grams sugar
  • 100 mL water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from half a lemon
  • about 1 tablespoon butter
  • about 12- 125mL canning jars, or 6 – 250mL
  • rings and new lids for the jars

What you do:

  1. Place a few metal spoons in the freezer for use later with testing to see if the jam has set.
  2. Prepare the jam jars by boiling them or running through the dishwasher.
  3. Put all the ingredients except the butter in a large pot and stir it together. Heat on low, then bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes..
  4. Turn the heat off and put a few drops of jam on one of the frozen spoons to check if it has set. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then push your finger through it. If the jam crinkles a bit, it is ready. If it is not ready, put it back on to boil for 2 minutes. Test again, and repeat until it has set. Mine took almost 20 minutes to set.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the butter to remove any surface bubbles.
  6. Heat the lids in hot water and have the jars ready for filling on the counter.
  7. Fill each jar so it has just about 2mm of space at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars if they have any jam on them. Place the heated lids on the jars and fasten them with the rings.
  8. Place the jars on a towel on the counter in a place they can stay until they have sealed. Place another towel on top of the jars. You will begin to hear a series of ‘pings’ that will let you know that the jar has sealed. You will also be able to see that the lid has indented. Any jars that do not indent (seal) properly can be refrigerated. The rest are fine in a cool storage place. Some say they are only good for a few months, but I’ve kept mine for up a year, and they are great still.

 

Super Creamy Hummus, Ottolenghi Style

hummus - trust in kim

This hummus recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi is so much better than anything you can buy. It is light and creamy, and I like that I can control what goes into it – a little more lemon, a little more tahini. This recipe doesn’t have contain any olive oil, unless you pour some on top before serving.  A lot of the store-bought varieties don’t use olive oil either, often using canola oil or other substitutions. I like to drizzle olive oil on the top to add flavour, make it richer, and make it seems more Mediterranean.

It’s really not that difficult to make an awesome hummus, and there are different lengths you can go to, like starting with dry chickpeas, and peeling the skins off them. For me it’s worth the extra effort to have such a great tasting and smooth hummus, when I have a little bit of time to do it.

When I made mine I did cheat a little and use canned chickpeas, so the recipe below shows how to work with dry or canned chickpeas. One day soon I will use the method in the cookbook, cooking my own chickpeas while quickening the process by adding baking soda. But for now, because I used the canned chickpeas I had to remove the skins – this is one of the things that makes this hummus so creamy, and it only took about ten minutes.

I like to serve hummus with homemade pita crackers, and some veggie sticks.

What you need:

  • 1 & ¼ cups dried chickpeas (or one 540mL can)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup tahini 
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  Salt to taste
  • 6 & ½ tablespoons ice-cold water 

What you do:

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover them with at least double their volume of cold water; let them soak overnight. If you are using canned chickpeas you will instead remove the skins. This is a bit of work. Here’s what I do. I drain them and put them in a large bowl with water. Then I rub some of them between my hands, and a lot of the skins come off that way. Then I go through them and pull off any skins that are remaining.
  2. If you are using dried chickpeas, drain them the next day and put them in a pot with the baking soda over high heat; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will help them cook faster. Add 6 & 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, skimming off any foam and skins. Cook for 20-40 minutes until they are tender; they should break easily when squeezed, but not be mushy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and place in them a food processor or blender. Process until you have a thick paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of salt; blend this. With the machine still running drizzle in most of the ice water and let it mix for about 5 minutes. You will get a very creamy paste. Add more water if you think it needs it, and taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. Put the hummus in a bowl and cover it. Let it rest for at least half an hour. Refrigerate if you are not using it right away, but remove from the fridge at least half an hour before you use it.

Enjoy!

 

Walnut Vinaigrette

walnut vinaigrette - trust in kim

When I was in France last summer I picked up a tube of walnut Dijon mustard. It isn’t something that is easy to find at home; in fact, I’ve never seen it, even in specialty stores, in Vancouver. Soon I will devise a recipe for it, so we won’t have to search for it anymore.

Here I’ve also used a walnut oil, just to bring out the nutty flavour. I love a combination of garlic and walnut, so I put in a clove of garlic. It needs to sit for a while, so you’ll need to make this a few hours in advance or the day before if you want to get that garlicky flavour in there.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon walnut Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic

What you do:

  1. In a bowl or jar combine the mustard, sugar, and a little salt and pepper.
  2. Add a little bit of the vinegar to mix into the mustard, then add the rest, beating with a fork until combined.
  3. Add the walnut oil slowly, whisking in with the fork.
  4. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Peel the skin off the garlic clove, cut it in half and place it in the dressing. Let it sit for a few hours to allow the garlic flavour to be released. You can leave the garlic clove in the dressing for a week or two, or as long as it takes you to use it up.

Homemade Healthier Tartar Sauce

homemade tartar sauce - trust in kim

Tartar sauce with fish is so delicious, but typical recipes contain a lot of mayonnaise that is just way to easy to gobble up. I’ve recently bought some frozen, breaded fish to keep in my freezer for last-minute meals. I’ve also got some pickles and yogurt and a few other bits and bobs in the fridge that I can use to whip up this yummy sauce.

I served the fish and tartar sauce with oven-baked breaded zucchini and baked onion rings. The tartar sauce is a nice dip for those too. If I was in more of a hurry I would probably have just eaten it with some frozen peas, making it a great last-minute meal!

The amounts are estimates, so you’ll have to taste it and see what you think you need to add more of.

What you need:

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use 3.5%)
  • about 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • a dash or two of hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Combine the Dijon and yogurt.
  2. Add everything else. Mix it in. I like quite a bit of pepper in mine, but taste and see what you think.

Enjoy!

Seared Sea Scallops on Greens

seared scallops on greens - trust in kim

This

is

my

favourite

food

in the world.

Awesome! So delicious. I can die happy now. Hopefully I will live to eat these again, though.

Yes, I love papaya, blueberries, duck confit, lemon tarts and chocolate croissants. But this, the sea scallop, is my all-time favourite. And because of that I never cook them. They are so precious that I fear I will ruin them, and a ruined, over-cooked scallop is an atrocity.

So when I set out to cook this I did my research, found the very best scallops I could lay my hands on, and carefully crafted this dish. I got some beautiful fresh large sea scallops at Seafood City on Granville Island, for those of you in Vancouver. Fresh, not frozen scallops are a must here. If you want an awesome meal, that is.

Simple is the key – the scallops speak for themselves, so you have to do very little with them, except season and cook them carefully.

What you need:

  • the freshest sea scallops you can find, 2-3 per person depending on their size
  • good quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • salad greens
  • 1 lemon

What you do:

  1. Make the salad dressing before cooking the scallops. Grate a little lemon zest, then combine some lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your liking.
  2. Salt and pepper one side of the scallops, using a little more salt than you think you should, as some will come off in the cooking process.
  3. Get your salad greens ready on the plates. You want to be able to plate the scallops and eat them immediately.
  4. Heat a frying pan on high, but not a non-stick one. Add some olive oil to the pan and wait until it gets very hot – if the pan isn’t hot enough the scallops will stick to it. Add the scallops with the seasoned side facing down. You should hear quite a sizzle; if not the pan isn’t hot enough. Season the top side of the scallops. Let them sear for about 1 & 1/2 minutes (less time if they are smaller) ; it’s better to undercook them than overcook them. Turn the scallops over and sear the other side; the cooked side should be nicely browned. You will see they are no longer translucent, meaning they are now cooked.
  5. Place the cooked scallops on top of the salad greens and serve as soon as possible. You could add a little squirt of lemon to the scallops if you want, but I didn’t because the dressing was lemony enough.

Enjoy the best food ever. Hope you love it!

 

Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

lemongrass banh mi - trust in kim

A little while ago I posted a recipe for tofu banh mi wraps, which were quite delicious. On Halloween I ate a lemongrass chicken banh mi from a place that my friend John loves in the West End of Vancouver. It was so tasty that I knew I had to feed John’s addiction for these things by making them for him at my house. So I found this recipe on thedilettantechef, and I love the flavour. Marinating the chicken overnight really infuses it with the lemongrass and other flavours. It is topped it off with some homemade pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, Thai basil, cucumbers and optional jalapeño, and you’ve got the best sandwich ever.

I’m a bit of a sandwich snob – if I’m going to eat bread it has to be fresh and awesome, and if I’m going to eat a sandwich it has to be made on the spot, and have interesting flavours. Plus it has to contain a reasonable amount of fresh vegetables. No pre-made, plastic-wrapped sandwiches for this princess! This one passes my guidelines easily.

Be careful of the jalapeño – sometimes they are hotter than other times, so you might want to go easy on them if you don’t love them really hot. The jalapeños I bought for this one were so hot that our mouths and lips were on fire, and it took away from the flavour and enjoyment a bit.

For a later, gluten-free version, I used rice paper wraps to make up some sandwiches – loved that too!

What you need for the chicken:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts(~2 lbs)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red Thai chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • a few teaspoons peanut or canola oil for frying

What you need for the pickled carrot and daikon:

  • 1 large julienned carrot
  • 1 cup julienned daikon (optional)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • a large pinch of salt
  • a large pinch of red chili flakes

What you need for the sandwich:

  • a fresh crusty baguette
  • cilantro
  • Thai basil (if you absolutely can’t find it you can substitute fresh mint)
  • cucumber, thinly sliced
  • soy sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • Sriracha sauce
  • jalapeño slices

What you do:

  1. The day before you want to make these sandwiches, or at the very least 3-4 hours before, prepare the marinade for the chicken. Cut each chicken breast or thigh into about 3 pieces. Place each piece between a sheet of parchment paper and pound it until it is about 2cm thick. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a sealable container and coat the chicken with the sauce. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. You can also make the pickled carrot and daikon ahead of time. It needs at least a few hours to pickle the vegetables. Combine all the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on it and shake it up a bit, then refrigerate. If the liquid doesn’t quite cover the vegetables, make up a little more of it.
  3. To prepare to build the sandwiches, get the toppings ready. Chop the cilantro and Thai basil, and slice the cucumbers and jalapeño pepper. Add a little bit of Sriracha sauce to the mayonnaise and stir it up. Have the soy sauce and pickled veg on hand, and slice the baguette open hotdog style. I like to let people make their own sandwich, so I just lay all the ingredients out on a platter.
  4. To prepare the chicken, heat a heavy frying pan on medium high and add a little bit of the peanut or canola oil. When it is hot add some of the chicken, not crowding the pan. Fry until the first side gets some dark colour, just a few minutes, then flip it and fry the other side until cooked through.
  5. To serve, sprinkle a little soy sauce on the inside of the bread (you might remove a little bit of bread from the inside before doing this), and spread on a little bit of Sriracha mayo. Add the chicken and some of each of the toppings as you desire, and enjoy immediately.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

roasted vegetable salad - trust in kim

Please trust me on this one – this is the perfect fall and winter salad. It is so flavourful because of the combination of roasted vegetables, and the roasted garlic dressing is to die for. I could eat this every day. It makes a great starter, but throw the optional nuts on and it can work as a main course.

There were two surprises for me in this recipe: I’ve never really enjoyed turnips before, and I never imagined roasting apples with other vegetables, but I enjoyed every bite.

I made 1/4 recipe of the dressing since this was the first time I was making it, just in case I didn’t like it. I will definitely make more next time, as I imagine it would be good on top of many other foods. If you come up with other ways to use this dressing, please leave a comment so I can try it too. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.

This recipe  comes from Candle 79 restaurant in Manhattan, as printed in Brendan Brazier’s Whole Foods to Thrive. Thanks for sharing!

Serves 4

What you need for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water (or more)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • tiny pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

What you need for the salad:

  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup baby turnips, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium-sized beets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • arugula
  • toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a baking dish and add olive oil until they are covered. Cover the dish with foil and roast for about 25 minutes. When they have cooled slightly, remove the garlic and put it in a blender (I used an immersion blender). Keep the olive oil to use at another time, like for a stir fry or tomato sauce.
  3. Add all the other ingredients for the dressing to the blender, and blend until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary.
  4. When the garlic is roasted turn the oven up to 400F.
  5. Place all the cut vegetables and apples in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes, until tender. Mine were slightly browned, which I really enjoyed.
  7. Toss the vegetables in about 2 tablespoons of the roasted garlic dressing.
  8. Arrange the arugula on plates and top with the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with some nuts if you are using them, and add a little more dressing if you wish.
  9. Serve immediately!

Enjoy!

roasted vegetables - trust in kim