31st October 2007

Javanese Chicken Soup

I’ve been waiting for a co-worker (this means you, Walt) to set me up with some delicious Indonesian recipes but got impatient, so we adapted the following from a recipe in the old standby, Great Bowls of Fire. I’m not sure how close it is to traditional recipes, but we both really enjoyed this soup flavored with lime, coconut milk, peanut butter, and ginger.

Chris says:

Oooh, I love this. Not at all similar to the other soups and stews we’ve made from GBOF.

Lisa says:

It’s definitely different — I can really taste all the different flavors: the salty, the sweet, the spicy… you don’t need to add anything! It’s deceptively rich, too. So good!

Chris says:

If this is anywhere close to “real” Indonesian, sign me up!

Javanese Chicken Soup
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 lb boneless chicken breast, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger root, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup snow peas
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup canned light coconut milk
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup kecap manis
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp sambal
2 whole scallions, chopped
1.75 oz cellophane noodles

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until slightly browned and fully cooked, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the other tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, snow peas, cumin, coriander, and cooked chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, kecap manis, lime juice, sambal, and scallions and bring to a simmer.
Stir the noodles into the soup and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and serve with additional scallions and sambal.

6 Servings

posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Indonesian, Main Dishes | 7 Comments

28th October 2007

Shepherd’s Pie

From Fitness Food comes this lower-fat version of an old favorite. Ground beef, vegetables, and herbs are baked in a casserole with a mashed potato “crust”. Delicious!

Chris says:

We should have invited Damon over for this; he loves Shepherd’s Pie.

Lisa says:

You’re right, we should have! This is good, I like that you can taste all the herbs and spices.

Chris says:

Awesome job; this is one of my favorite meals that you’ve made. And you can definitely taste that rosemary — hooray for the only plant we seem to be able to keep alive!

Lisa says:

I’m happy that we’re not cutting the recipes in half anymore… I can’t wait to have this for dinner tomorrow night.

Chris says:

Assuming it lasts that long. Most of the time we cut recipes in half so I don’t eat 17 servings in one sitting!

Shepherd’s Pie
2 lb 4 oz russet potatoes
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsp skim milk
oil spray
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 lb 10 oz ground beef
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 tsp chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the potatoes into chunks and cook in a large sauce pan of boiling water with the whole garlic cloves for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and garlic until smooth. Stir in the milk and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Meanwhile, lightly spray a large nonstick pan with the oil and heat over medium. Add the onion, crushed garlic, celery, and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from pan.
Add the ground beef and cook over high heat until well browned, breaking up any lumps with the back of a spoon. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan with the tomato paste, herbs, bay leaf, stock, sauce, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Pour the beef mixture into a 2 liter ovenproof dish. Spoon the potatoes over the top, smoothing the surface, then fluff with a fork. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and crusty. You may want to finish the last few minutes under the broiler.

6 Servings.

posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

25th October 2007

Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino

Tonight I made a cioppino from Great Bowls of Fire. I love the combination of the swordfish and the shrimp in the tomato and fish-stock based broth. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of dry red wine — the one we used was so dark it almost gave the broth a purplish hue!

Chris says:

I loves me some cioppino! This is one of those GBOF recipes that you don’t really notice the heat.

Lisa says:

It tastes really good. Hmm, did you butterfly the shrimp?

Chris says:

Yeah, why?

Lisa says:

Makes it look like calamari or body parts or something.

Chris says:

Well that sounds appetizing; let’s eat!

Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
3 cups fish stock
1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
1/4 dry red wine
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb swordfish steak, cubed
1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tomato paste
1/4 cup parsley

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and serranos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the fish stock, stewed tomatoes, wine, oregano, basil, pepper, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the swordfish and shrimp and return to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.

4 Servings

posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes, Mediterranean | 1 Comment

24th October 2007

Huzzah! Best Saag ever!

I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Saag at home; it has been and remains one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes. I tend to judge every Indian restaurant by this dish — but this version gives the local joints a run for their money, and it’s lower in fat. The recipe is based on a few I found online, but with a lot less oil.

Chris says:

This was a bit time consuming, but really easy. It came out *so* good!

Lisa says:

Yeah, it really did. I love the spices.

Chris says:

Next time I’d make it a little hotter, but other than that it’s exactly the way I like it.

Lisa says:

Maybe a little less chicken?

Chris says:

Sounds good. I’ll post the recipe like I’ll prepare it next time.

Saag Chicken
2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, minced
1 (400g) can crushed tomatoes
1 inch ginger, minced
4 tbsp milk
4 bunches spinach, washed & chopped
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 big cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
7 tsp oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt

Heat 4 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir-fry for around 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
Put the spinach in a pot, add 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. When cool, grind very well (almost to a paste) in blender and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the ginger, garlic and onions, stirring until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, turmeric, cloves and cardamom. Add a tablespoon of water and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.
Add chicken and milk to the pan. Simmer until the chicken is tender (about 10 minutes).
Add spinach and garam masala to the pan. Cook until spinach starts sticking to the pan (about 15 minutes).
Remove from heat, add butter and cover until ready to serve with rice.

4 Servings

posted in Indian, Main Dishes | 4 Comments

22nd October 2007

Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup

This soup also comes from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites Book. It’s rich and creamy, and the corn and potatoes give it a sweet taste, with just a touch of heat from serrano peppers.

Lisa says:

You know what my favorite part of this soup is? The sweet — it reminds me of one of the Great Bowls of Fire recipes.

Chris says:

My favorite part is that it’s going into my mouth.

Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano, seeded and minced
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups Vegetable broth
2 tsp ground cumin
1 medium sweet potato, diced (~2 cups)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
lime wedges
cilantro, finely chopped

In a covered soup pot, simmer the onions, garlic, serrano, and salt in 1 cup of the vegetable stock for about 10 minutes or until the onions soften. In a small bowl, make a paste with the cumin and a tbsp of the stock, stir into the pot, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the the sweet potatoes and the remaining stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and corn and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Puree about 1/2 the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Add salt to taste and reheat on low heat. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro.

posted in Main Dishes, Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites | 1 Comment