Chicken w/ Peaches & Ginger

Meat and fruit pairings are delicious, yet the idea of using both fruit and meat in the same dish is undoubtedly a little controversial.

One of the things I enjoy about cooking is combining flavors to create a wholesome dish. Sometimes, its interesting just to combine ingredients and flavors that don’t seem like they should go together.

Chicken is a good match for a wide variety of fruits with peaches being one of them. Whether fresh or frozen, nothing partners better with peaches than fresh ginger. To enhance the flavor just a bit more, I’m making a fluffy, golden couscous, speckled with green onion and fresh parsley. Subtle cumin and ginger spices add a heady fragrance and warm flavor. Nothing fancy, just a great taste!

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Chicken w/ Peaches & Ginger
Instructions
Chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt & pepper & cook on one side until golden, about 4-6 minutes. Flip, cook for 1 minute then transfer chicken to a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. Place peaches, sugar, thyme & ginger over & around chicken. Add the chicken broth & bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. While chicken is baking prepare couscous.
Couscous
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add green onion, cumin, ginger & garlic clove. Cook & stir for about 3 minutes until green onion is softened.
  2. Add honey. Heat & stir for about 30 seconds until green onion is coated.
  3. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Add couscous & 2 teaspoons oil. Stir. Cover. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes without lifting lid. Fluff with fork. Stir in chopped parsley & season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Serve the chicken & peaches over couscous with any ginger sauce from baking pan.

Apricot Lemon Chicken Breast w/ Couscous

The flavors of the meal hint of Moroccan cuisine to me. It wasn’t until Brion & I visited Morocco on a holiday one year, that I realized how many of their spices appealed to me.

Moroccan cuisine is very refined because of its interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. Its dishes are layered with sweet and spicy, earthy and bright flavors that reflect the vast array of spices available in their local markets.

Often referred to as the national dish of Morocco, couscous is made of tiny balls of wheat semolina, steamed so they’re are soft and fluffy. Subtle cumin and ginger spices add an exotic flavor to it.

Pairing apricot and lemon flavors with the chicken breast and serving it over couscous makes this simple meal quite special.

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Apricot Lemon Chicken Breast w/ Couscous
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Instructions
Chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Beat egg & water slightly. Stir together baking mix, lemon pepper & garlic powder. Pound chicken breasts gently to achieve uniform thickness. Dip chicken into egg mixture, then coat with baking mix mixture. Place on baking sheet & drizzle with melted butter.
  3. Bake uncovered 20 minutes; turn chicken. Bake about 10 minutes longer until no longer pink inside. While chicken is baking prepare couscous & sauce.
Couscous
  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil; add green onion, cumin, ginger & garlic. Cook & stir for about 3 minutes until green onion is softened.
  2. Add honey. Heat & stir for about 30 seconds until green onion is coated. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Add couscous & second amount of oil. Stir. Cover & remove from heat. Allow to stand for 5 minutes without lifting lid. Fluff with a fork & stir in remaining 3 ingredients.
Apricot Lemon Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine sauce ingredients, stirring occasionally, until warm.
To Serve
  1. Place couscous on a serving platter. Top with chicken breasts & drizzle with apricot lemon sauce. Serve.

Beef Stew w/ Cornmeal Dumplings

Dumplings mean different things to different people. Wrap veggies, meat, seafood in dough or just leave them plain …. bake, boil or fry them. Dumplings are what your mother made and that is what you love and consider true comfort food.

The other thing that makes them amazing is that they aren’t necessities …. just pure culinary luxury, there to just enhance the meal.

The dough for most dumplings, has always been based either on cereals such as oats, wheat, corn, etc. or on one of the vegetables from which bread dough can be made from, like potatoes.

Originally made by shaping small portions from a batch of bread dough before specific mixtures were developed. I recall my mother making a big cast iron pan full of dumplings for us on her bread baking day. Its strange how a little ball of dough can evoke such a wonderful memory.

Being a lover of ‘all things corn‘, I decided to make some cornmeal dumplings for our beef stew today. Their still ‘dumplings’, right!!

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Beef Stew w/ Cornmeal Dumplings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Servings
SERVINGS
Ingredients
Beef Stew
Cornmeal Dumplings
Servings
SERVINGS
Ingredients
Beef Stew
Cornmeal Dumplings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Beef Stew
  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil. Stir fry beef in 2 batches until browned. Transfer to Dutch oven pot, cover & keep warm.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in saucepan, add onion & garlic; cook until tender crisp & browned. Add spices; heat & stir for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add flour & 1/2 cup beef broth to onion mixture; stir for a few minutes to blend. Add beef, remaining broth, carrot, celery & salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover & cook about 30-40 minutes, until beef is tender.
Cornmeal Dumplings
  1. While your stew simmers, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cheese & green onion in a mixing bowl & set aside. In another bowl whisk the yogurt, eggs, oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. When stew meat is tender, combine wet dumpling ingredients with dry ingredients, stirring batter until blended. (If you wish, you can transfer tender stew into individual ramekins or a casserole dish at this point).
  3. Roughly drop scoops of the cornmeal batter onto each filled ramekin (or casserole). Place them onto a baking tray & cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until dumplings test done.

Beef Short Ribs & Shrimp

Today, March 21st, our family honors the memory of my father. He passed away at the age of 92, thirteen years ago. As a teenager, I never realized what a special privilege  growing up as a farmer’s daughter really was. Coming home on the school bus and having to do ‘chores’ seemed so boring as opposed to being able to spend after school hours with your friends. As I look back on those times now, it all comes clear as to how treasured and valuable those life lessons were.

To be a successful farmer takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage. I think back to those days with great admiration and appreciation of the special man he was.

Since my Dad enjoyed to eat both beef and seafood, I thought today’s blog recipe should be a nice combo of just that in honor of his memory.

                                    SPECIAL MEMORIES OF OUR WONDERFUL DAD


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Beef Short Ribs & Shrimp

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Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Korean

Servings

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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree peeled & cored Asian pear. Add next 8 ingredients & pulse a few seconds to combine. Into a large Ziploc bag pour 2/3 of the marinade; add ribs laying single file so they will marinate evenly. Refrigerate while marinating for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  2. Peel & devein shrimp. Place in another Ziploc bag with remaining marinade. Marinate shrimp about 30 minutes in refrigerator prior to cooking.

  3. At cooking time, thread shrimp on skewers. Barbecue ribs & shrimp on a grill over medium heat or you can broil in the oven if you prefer. Cook to your preferred liking making sure to not overcook shrimp. Place on serving platter & sprinkle with green onions & sesame seeds.


Recipe Notes
  • Using an Asian pear in marinade is a great tenderizer for beef.
  • If you prefer, keep a bit of the marinade for serving over a rice side dish.

Turkey/Apple Sausage with Herbed Couscous

There’s something special about pairing turkey or chicken with apples and herbs. It seems to me the whole idea probably stems from ingredients used in stuffing a turkey for Christmas dinner. I’ve tried a few different recipe combinations for these sausage. This one seems to be the one we always enjoy the most.

Speaking of turkey, I’d like to tell you about a very old memory since I brought the subject up. As you know, if you have been following my blog, I was raised on a farm in southern Alberta, Canada. It was dry land farming so it was imperative my folks not only grew grain but also raised animals. Along with cattle, pigs and chickens, my mother raised a few turkeys. On one occasion, my sister and I were making our way across the farm yard on our tricycle. Loretta was the driver with me standing on the back when all of a sudden I was accosted by a huge turkey. With his large wings, he knocked me to the ground and started pecking me for some reason. My mother saw the commotion from the kitchen window and came running to my rescue. Needless to say, from that time on, I have always been leary of animals bearing beeks and feathers. Nevertheless, I do like the taste of turkey.

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Turkey/Apple Sausage with Herbed Couscous
Homemade sausage is such a nice change from 'store-bought'.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Turkey - Apple Sausage
Dijon - Apricot Mustard
Course Main Dish
Servings
Ingredients
Turkey - Apple Sausage
Dijon - Apricot Mustard
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Turkey - Apple Sausage
  1. Heat oil in skillet; add onion & saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add apples & saute until until apples are very tender, 3-5 minutes longer. Transfer to a large bowl & cool completely. Add turkey, cracker crumbs, egg & spices; mix well. Divide the sausage into 6 equal portions & roll into approximately 8-inch lengths. When ready to cook, they can either be baked in the oven at 450 F. or lay on a sheet of greased foil & cook on the barbecue.
Herbed Couscous
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil; add next 4 ingredients. Cook & stir for about 3 minutes until onion is soft. Add honey; heat & stir for 30 seconds to coat onion. Add broth; bring to a boil. Add couscous & 1 tsp oil. Stir, cover & remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes without lifting lid. Fluff. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Dijon - Apricot Mustard
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard & apricot preserves. Serve with turkey-apple sausages.
Recipe Notes
  • I like to make extra sausage and freeze them for other meals. They come in so handy when your time is short.
  • If you prefer a plain couscous instead of spicy, omit cumin & ginger replacing it with dried basil or a spice of your choice.
  • This meal is nice to serve with a mixed green salad of your choosing.