Sunday, November 24, 2013

Indian spiced marinated roasted chicken

I was having some long time friends over for dinner on Saturday.  It was a good job that they were good friends as we were redoing our main floor bathroom. On Saturday morning, not only was the bathroom gutted and empty the entire main floor was covered in a thick layer of drywall dust and littered with plumbing supplies and tools.  Amazingly with a lot of help from friends and family by 6:00 the worst of the dust was gone as were all the plumbing supplies and we had a working bathroom!

This is a recipe that I have done many times, it is easy can be done ahead and is incredibly tasty.
I was cooking for 12, but I will give the ingredients for 6, but having a little left over chicken is never a bad thing. I used chicken thighs as they are my favourite part of the chicken, but you could use 6 breasts or even a whole chicken cut up.

1 cup of yogurt
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
one clove of garlic grated or through a garlic press
1" of fresh ginger grated
1/2 teaspoon of salt
12 chicken thighs

Sunday, November 17, 2013

East side art Crawl and a taste of Russia

November in Vancouver is not my favourite month, the days are short, rainy and cold. The only thing that makes it bearable is that next month is December with all that brings. Another thing to look forward to in November is the East side culture crawl.  I go every year, for at least one day, and wander round the studios until I am too tired or satiated with all the art. This year instead of going to large studios one of which holds 128 artists we decided to wander around Strathcona and visit individual artists sometimes in their own homes.

After an hour of wandering aimlessly looking at art and buying jewellery, we stumbled across someone with food in a take out container that they said they got from the Ukrainian church basement. As this was only a block away we headed over for a perogie lunch.  The church basement looked just like a church basement should, institutional with bad lighting, hard stacking chairs and grey walls.

The food on the other hand was great. Made by the woman of the church with pride and my friend who had grown up in Winnipeg said that it was very authentic to the large Ukrainian population on the prairies.  We got two lunches to share between the three of us $13.00 each plate.  A vegetarian lunch perogies, cabbage rolls, coleslaw and borscht.

vegetarian borscht

We also had the non vegetarian lunch, perogies, cabbage rolls, coleslaw and Ukrainian sausage.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chicken Tortilla soup

I am always inspired to try cooking dishes of the country that I have just visited, and so at the moment I am exploring the cooking of Mexico.  I did not have this dish in Mexico, but I have had it before and a love the clean bright flavours.  I found this recipe at Melissaguerra Latin kitchen Market. Though of course I have changed it a little.

4 dried  chilies
4 tomatoes or equivalent small ones
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
8 cups of chicken broth
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Juice of 4 limes

In a small saucepan, boil chilies until they are softened.

When soft and cool, remove stem, seeds, and veins. Place chilies in a blender/food processor container, along with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and about 1 cup of chicken broth (enough to facilitate blending). Puree well.

Puree well.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fishing in the Sea of Cortez

One day while staying in Mexico we chartered a boat to go marlin fishing.  This was not necessarily my idea, as I really do not like fishing that much, but I am always happy to go out on a boat so I happily went along.  We started early before it got too hot, boarding our boat at about 7:30 in the morning.

It turned out the marlin fishing was a bit of a non event, but we spent a very pleasant couple of hours sitting on top of the boat enjoying the view and listening to the crews music selection.

 The crew on the other hand were busy putting out all the lines and watching to see if there were any bites.  But there were no marlin to be found, so they took in all those lines and dropped different bait to catch bottom fish.

This was far more successful and within minutes a line was pulled in with two fish on it.  Then another and then another.

Before long there was literally a bucket load of fish.

I am not sure what they all were, the crew said the red ones were scorpion fish which had poisonous spikes, they carefully cut these off.  Then one of the crew very quickly and efficiently filleted and cut up the fish on the back of the boat.