One Pan Chicken Tikka

Food lately:

  • The Wednesday farmers market is back. That means Tastebud pizza! It meant that I ate a leftover veggie burrito for breakfast in order to not waste the burrito but still have pizza for lunch. Priorities.
  • Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Hat Yai. Southern Thai food is so good.
  • I’m finally getting into this whole rotisserie chicken craze. Pollo Bravo and Chicken and Guns. Each different and so good. Pollo Bravo makes me miss Spain all over again. Tapas for days.
  • Still obsessed with Tehuana Oaxaca Cuisine. The guys at this cart continually blow my mind with their specials — housemade chorizo and some spicy camarones? Yes please.
  • Brunch at Ya Hala is pretty stellar. No wait. Interesting options. Fried chicken and cheesy couscous for breakfast. Enough said.

This one pan meal comes together as easy as a one pan meal should. The highlight of the whole thing is the marinade for the chicken. It is a deliciously spicy yogurt mixture that I left on the chicken for only the minimum amount recommended because I was impatient and hangry hungry. If I could have the foresight to leave it on overnight or at least since that morning because I imagine it would be that much better. Looking at it now, it’s not the prettiest thing I’ve made [beige!], but since when has that stopped me? We nearly ate the entire head of cauliflower in one sitting. Roasted cauliflower is so underrated, especially when it’s roasted in chicken fat and the residual marinade.

Chicken Tikka

Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken pieces, bone in and skin on
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 jalapenos, depending on spice preference [two!]
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into same-size chunks
  • 1 3/4lbs cauliflower [basically one head], cut into florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Preparation

Use a small food processor to mince the ginger, garlic, and jalapenos together. If that doesn’t exist in your world, feel free to mince. Mix this delicious mixture with the yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, sugar, paprika, and garam masala in a large freeze bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Toss the chicken in the mixture and massage it into the skin. Marinate it in the fridge for at least the time it takes you to prep the vegetables, or longer if you have the time.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, cauliflower, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cumin seeds with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables. Roast for 20 minute. Stir the vegetables and roast for another 15-20 minutes. The vegetables should be tender and the chicken cooked through. I like to use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is in the 165° range internally before allowing it to rest.

Allow to cool before serving.

Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza

The balcony has been taken back from the spiders. I can grill in peace again. The patio still needs a little bit of work to get back into proper form to want to spend more time down there, but the balcony? Perfect. We ate out on the balcony over the weekend–a simple salad and a grilled rib eye. I’m digging the simplicity.

Grilling pizza is one of my favorite summer pastimes. Can that be a proper hobby? It is now. I have been taking cues from East Glisan Pizza because I like having tested combinations. I trust them. They’re always unique pizzas but not over the top. A nice balance of simple and creative. I tried my hand at a cream sauce for once. It’s not usually a go-to for pizza. It’s so decadent and overwhelming sometimes but if East Glisan says so, I’m all in. I found this recipe and copied it. It’s a garlicky béchamel and did the trick. Fresh jalapeños are sort of nonnegotiable, same with the smoked mozzarella. I’m not usually a huge smoked cheese [or smoked anything] fan, but this does lend another layer to the flavors going on.

PS, finally watched the Michael Pollan’s Cooked series on Netflix. It’s a must watch. It makes me want to cook all the things.

PPS, finally ate at Shalom Y’all. It’s a must eat. It’s Mediterranean Exploration Company’s sister restaurant. So, so, good.

PPPS, new food cart in the ‘hood, Tehuana Oaxaca Cuisine. Freshest Mexican food going. It has the usual burrito/taco/torta fare, but also those memelitas and tlayudas. Also so, so good.

Sausage Mushroom White Sauce Pizza

Inspiration: East Glisan Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1 batch cream sauce [i had a little leftover]
  • 1/2lb pork sausage
  • 1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
  • Five cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil

Preparation

Heat the grill on medium high. The temp should be in the 450-500° range.

While the grill heats up, brown the sausage. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Sauté the mushroom slices in the same pan as the sausage grease. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms are dark brown and starting to caramelize in the edges. Remove from heat.

Roll out the ball of dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. I usually do this on a Silat or parchment for easy transfer to the grill. Brush the side facing up with olive oil. Transfer the dough oil-side down to the grill. Cover. Check after two minutes. If the dough lifts up easy and has grill marks, remove it to a baking sheet grill-side down. Spoon the cream sauce evenly over the non-grilled side. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top of the sauce. Spread the sausage, mushrooms, and jalapeño on top. Turn the heat down to medium and return the pizza back to the grill. Cover the grill for 4-8 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the crust the desired crunchiness. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

I had a cooking fail. It’s amazing how much of a rage something like that sends me into. I was trying my hand at a Spanish tortilla. Finally. Finally because I stopped being so scared. Something about it intimidates me. It’s really easy. Maybe it’s because stewing potatoes and onions in olive oil isn’t probably something you should do regularly. No, it’s not that. It’s because it’s intimidating. It’s a perfectly pillowy, yet dense, cake of eggs, potatoes, and onions. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, so if you fuck it up [and I did], it’s obvious. I was doing well until I got to that whole “slide a plate over the top of your pan and flip it over” thing. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. My non-stick pan is losing its non-stick properties. It’s given up on me. I’ve been eyeing this one [but probably an All-Clad], but I’ve been holding out. The one I have was a perfectly good non-stick pan, but once eggs start sticking–even with boatloads of olive oil–you’re dead to me. Needless to say, the tortilla became a scramble. It tasted fine. It tasted just like it was supposed to, but it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. It made me want to throw things. Sigh. I’ll try again someday. Probably not until I get a new pan.

Until that happens, there is this really good chicken spinach bolognese that doesn’t take much time to throw together, and pretends to be super healthy with all that spinach. I wanted something to take to work the next few days, which really turned into the next day only because I ate that much of it for dinner. Pasta is a weakness. I bought a little block of Pecorino Romano to grate on top. Deliciously salty.

I’m starting to understand the whole ‘reserve some pasta water’ thing; it makes all the difference to the consistency of a bowl of al dente pasta. It elevates it from becoming a congealed mass of starch with toppings. It keeps better in the fridge so I can steal multiple bites any time I open the fridge door [read: all the time]. The original recipe called for turkey, but I was hesitant to recreate the feeling of thanksgiving. Every time I cook with it, browned turkey just smells like thanksgiving. Chicken was the easy and obvious substitute. Pork would have been equally delicious, especially of the hot Italian sausage variety.  This is a lot more mellow in flavor that way. Feel free to add tons of red chile flakes. I did.

Quick Chicken Spinach Bolognese

Inspiration: Fuss Free Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1lb pasta of choice
  • Parmesan
  • Red chili flakes

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat a little bit of olive oil on medium high heat. Brown the chicken. Add in the frozen spinach and roasted tomatoes. Don’t drain them first. Stir until well mixed and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let it simmer together and unthaw the spinach.

While the sauce simmers away, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, retain 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, and possibly some red chili flakes.

Add the pasta to the sauce. Stir well and add pasta water to get the desired consistency.

Before serving, add a healthy dose of shaved parmesan.

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

There are a few new-to-me places I have to tell you about. Rose City Taqueria? It’s such a solid taco shop. Filling, cheap, and that green sauce is awesome. Oh and carne asada fries? Yep. Wiz Bang, the new soft serve place by the same folks as Salt and Straw? Talk about reinvigorating my love for them. They have these things called concretes, which is soft serve mixed with toppings. That Woodblock chocolate soft serve with salted, malted chocolate chip cookie dough is like a Dairy Queen Blizzard on steroids. Unbelievably good. It’s in the new Pine Street Market space, which makes me feel like I’m in Europe. I haven’t been to any of the other restaurants in there, but soon. Boke Dokie is Boke Bowl’s new food cart that focuses on their fried chicken [and tofu] sandwiches. I’ve had their ramen, but never the chicken, but it seems like it deserves it’s own food cart. The chicken was juicy, the bun a perfect mix of soft and sturdy, a kimchi-esque slaw, and the green salsa will melt your face. Bomb. So bomb.

So this simple sandwich of smashed chickpeas and avocado had me craving pickles like whoa. After that first bite, I knew that’s what I wanted. That salty brine and crunch was necessary. Some red onion or some capers would have also been gladly accepted. There was a jar of Colman’s Mustard at the store the other day and I had to have it. I haven’t seen it in non-powder form since I was in the UK years ago. It’s so spicy and intense–probably one of my favorite mustards. It definitely started my love affair with mustard at any rate. It would have been absolutely on this sandwich. It’s a versatile thing, this sandwich. I started with the bare bones of this recipe, smash an avocado and some drained and rinsed chickpeas together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice. It’s been all the rage, and I can see why. It’s filling and fresh. It doesn’t leave the office smelling like fish [but I’m not above that]. It can sit in your desk without needing the fridge, but that avocado may start to brown. I realize it’s not really much of a recipe, but it’s just that good.

Smashed Avocado Chickpea Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • A splash or lemon or lime juice
  • Bread
  • Optional mix-ins/toppings: mustard, pickles, red onion, capers

Preparation

Mash together the avocado and chickpeas in a bowl. I used my small capacity food processor because the avocado wasn’t as ripe as I would have liked. I think in a perfect world, a fork would work just fine. Add salt, pepper, and lemon/lime juice to taste. Mix in additional condiments and make your sandwich. Top with pickles if you’re into that sort of thing.

Udon Noodles with Spring Vegetables

Vegetables! Give me spring vegetables.

It can’t be pizza all the time around here. But I wouldn’t complain if it was.  

This came from a fierce craving of something fresh, green, and crisp. It’s rather coincidence that sugar snap peas are all the rage right now. Thanks Spring. I had a handful or two [probably two, lets be real] of dried udon noodles left over in the pantry, so noodles! I spent a crazy amount of time julienning again because it’s turning into a soothing ritual. Who am I? Meditating is all the rage, right?

If I’m honest, I really just wanted the vegetables [of which I ate a ton while cutting them up] and this sauce. The udon noodles just kept me from gnawing my arm off within an hour after eating. I love any excuse to use toasted sesame oil. It’s such a specific, slight overpowering flavor that it takes time to find those recipes that it would be good in. Rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger round out the rest of the flavors. It’s very bright and tangy. It feels almost as crisp as the vegetables. I added red chile flakes and a bunch of the seaweed gomasio, which is sesame seeds, salt, and seaweed. I had to immediately put half of this in a to-go container so I could eat some for work the next day, otherwise I’m sure I’d have eaten all of it in one sitting.

Spring Udon Noodles

Inspiration: Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 6oz dried udon noodles, cooked to package directions and rinsed/drained under cool water
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 handfuls of sugar snap peas, halved
  • Green onion, red chile flakes, sesame seeds for garnish

Preparation

In a small bowl or in a jar with a lid, add the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Whisk or shake together.

In a large bowl, add the vegetables and the dressing. Toss everything together before adding the noodles. Serve and top with your garnishes.