You can’t really get more fresh and easy than this stunning dish from Iraq, a land as old as time. Here you have a chicken which is stuffed with fruit and roasted to perfection. A very simple dish which, at one time, was prepared only for royalty.
As you will note from reading the recipe ingredients, this dish calls for dried fruits (very Middle Eastern). When buying dried fruits you want to stay away from any sulfates. Sulfates are often added to dried fruits. Look at the label of the dried fruits and go organic. They might cost a little more but the taste will be real and the fact of the matter is, sulfates are bad for your body!
Ingredients needed to make Persian Stuffed Roasted Chicken (serves 4):
- ½ pound pitted dried prunes
- ½ pound dried apricots
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl of hot water add the dried prunes and dried apricots and soak 1 hour. Drain and the fruit and discard the soaking liquid. Chop the fruit.
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Wash the chicken, inside and out, with cold water and pat dry.
- In a medium sauté pan or skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add the chopped dried fruit and raisins and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and cinnamon and remove the pan from the heat to cool.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with the fruit mixture and sew or truss the cavity shut.
- Place the chicken, breast-side up, on a roasting rack and place in a roasting pan.
- Place in oven and roast 35 minutes or to desired doneness, basting often with the juices.
- Remove from the oven and place on a carving board. Let sit 10 minutes before carving and serving.
**This recipe is from the bestselling cookbook “Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals” by Chef Larry Edwards**
This is the only bread served at the abbeys that was eaten with a knife and fork. As a matter-of-fact, at times it was served as one of the courses. There were also the rare times when this bread was served during High Tea, where it was presented as thin wedges. It is a delightfully tasty bread with a slight zing thanks to the caramelized onions.
When prepared at an abbey, this bread would be made in a cast iron skillet. Due to the intense heat of the wood-burning ovens, this was the only way to ascertain the rich dough would bake properly and in time with the topping. For today’s kitchen, it can be made in a simple round cake pan.
Ingredients needed to make Sour Cream and Onion Bread (makes 1 loaf):
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 2 sweet yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup shortening, chilled
- 2 Tbs. minced parsley or cilantro
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium saute pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and using a pastry blender or pastry fork, cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal (crumbly).
- Stir in the parsley and milk until well blended.
- Spoon the dough into the prepared pan and even out.
- Spread the caramelized onions over the dough.
- Spread the sour cream over the onions.
- Place into the oven and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
- Remove from the pan, cut into wedges, and serve.
To help you through your Downton Abbey withdrawals, enjoy a regal entree with Orange Scented Cognac Chicken. When chicken was prepared at the Abbeys, only the breast meat was used and for rather obvious reasons. Can you really imagine the Dowager Countess grasping a drumstick?
Ingredients needed to make Orange Scented Cognac Chicken (serves 4):
- 2 whole chicken breasts, halved, skinned and boned
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup Cognac
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Place the breasts in a shallow baking dish.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the orange juice, Cognac, orange zest, nutmeg and cardamom. Pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the flour on a plate. Place the eggs in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then dip into the eggs and finally coat with the breadcrumbs.
- In a large sauté pan or skillet melt 3 Tbs. butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and fry until golden on both sides. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.
- Remove all the fat from the sauté pan. Add the marinade and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the remaining butter and cook 3 minutes.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
You won’t find this dish on any menu in the Caribbean, unless you happen to be a Chef there. True you will find fruit salads made from fresh locally grown fruit, but it is the dressing which won’t make it on the menu (but the Chef’s will be eating it in the back of the house). This dressing will bring out the tastes of the fruits unlike anything and it is very simple: rum, honey and lime juice! When I was stumbling around the islands as a young Chef and attempting to taste every type of rum being offered, I was taught to make this dressing. Now, every time I make a fruit salad this is the only dressing I will ever use.
So this summer enjoy the favors of the Caribbean at home with this Caribbean Fruit Salad with Rum Dressing!
Ingredients needed to make Caribbean Fruit Salad with Rum Dressing (Serving size depends on how much fruit you use):
- Pineapple, fresh and cubed
- Strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
- Mango, pitted, peeled and cubed
- Cherries, pitted and halved
- Bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1 lime, juice only
- 2 Tbs. rum
- 1 Tbs. raw honey
- Combine all the fruit into a large non-aluminum bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, rum and honey.
- Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss to coat.
- Let the fruit sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.
This particular pound cake is from the Edwardian era of England. An era now becoming very famous thanks to the success of the PBS television show Downton Abbey. When the cooks of the Abbey made this particular pound cake it was served at breakfast, usually with some heavy cream or Devonshire cream and fresh fruit. If it was served at High Tea, it was simply sliced and placed upon platter. It is not as sweet as most other pound cakes and actually has a much lighter texture.
Ingredients needed to make Edwardian Marmalade and Buttermilk Pound Cake (makes 1 cake):
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbs. vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Into a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter and beat until you have a batter.
- Beat in the buttermilk and orange marmalade until well blended.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and even out.
- Place in the oven and bake 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack until ready to slice and serve.
One of the more popular dishes ordered in Chinese restaurants is Cashew Chicken. This is a great introduction dish to learn Chinese cooking as it features a myriad of tastes and textures. At Casa de Cuisine, we like to accentuate the dish with some bok choy and snow peas.
Ingredients needed to make Cantonese Cashew Chicken (serves 4):
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. rice wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 pound chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cubed
- 2 Tbs. peanut oil
- 2 cups chopped bok choy
- 1 cup cashews
- ¼ cup water
- 12 snow peas
- 12 mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup bamboo shoots, rinsed
- ¼ cup chicken stock
In a small bowl whisk together the salt, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine and 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch.
- Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.
- In a medium sauté pan or skillet heat the oil over medium heat and add the chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Into the sauté pan add the bok choy, cashews and ¼ cup water and cook 2 minutes. Add the snow peas, mushrooms and bamboo shots and cook 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the stock, marinade and remaining cornstarch until the cornstarch has dissolved. Stir into the sauté pan to combine.
- Add the chicken and stir until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve over steamed rice.
If you happen to be one of the unfortunate people who buy their loaves of bread at a supermarket, you might have noticed that among those shelves of plastic wrapped loaves of chemical enriched doughy goodness, something called potato bread. It is a classic bread and usually rather expensive. Why buy it when you can make it at home at a fraction of the cost and with no chemicals.
The fact is, there may not be an easier bread to make than homemade potato bread. True is the fact it does take some time, as there is an overnight chilled rising period followed the next day by a 4 hours rising period, but you don’t have to sit around the house staring at it while nature is doing its thing.
If you have never made a homemade bread before, this potato bread is a good introduction due to its simplicity. You should be warned, however, that bread making is addictive and… it is also therapeutic!
Ingredients needed to make Potato Bread (makes 1 loaf):
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp. yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup potato water (the water the potatoes were cooked in)
- 6 Tbs. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
- Into a medium bowl, add the flour, yeast and sugar and whisk to combine.
- In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and beat, on medium speed, 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. Kneading by hand is important for the texture of the bread.
- Form the dough into a ball and place into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours). The dough will not rise much, so don’t worry.
- Remove the cold dough from the bowl and shape the dough so it fits into a 9x5 loaf pan. Before you place the dough into the pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Place the bread in a warm area and let rise 4 hours.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the bread onto the oven and bake 40 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.
When you live in Nevada, you get the best of a few different food worlds. We have some incredible Southwest food, some great Mexican fare and we also have our own little Nevada specialties. This dish, Tequila Sunrise Snapper, is a combination of all three and created by Chef Larry Edwards.
When you are at your market buying your red snapper, make sure you get nice robust fillets. Along the spine of the fillets you will find a line of bones. Take a pair of tweezers (or if you want to be macho, use pliers) and pull the bones out. This dish gets its name because the sauce you are going to make and drape over the fish is… tequila sunrise!
Ingredients needed to make Tequila Sunrise Snapper (serves 2):
- 2 red snapper fillets
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 Tbs. Grenadine syrup
- 2 Tbs. orange juice
- Run your fingers over the middle of the snapper fillets and feel for bones. If you feel any, pick them out and discard them.
- On each side of the snapper fillets, sprinkle some of the cumin and ground red pepper.
- In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
- Carefully place the snapper fillets into the pan and saute about 5 minutes per side (or to your desired doneness).
- Remove the snapper fillets from the pan and place on serving dishes. Do not empty the pan of any oil.
- Place the pan back onto the heat and add the shallots. Saute the shallots about 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the tequila, Grenadine and orange juice.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tequila mixture.
- Place the pan back onto the heat and cook the sauce 5 minutes.
- Spoon the sauce over the red snapper and serve.
Remember the line from the Wizard of Oz which goes: “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Well in the case of this sweet favorite from Chili you can shout with glee: “Mango and papaya and kiwi, oh my!” This may be considered, in culinary terms, a salad but the fact of the matter is, it is a wonderful dessert.
I love the taste of the tropics and this naturally sweet salad certainly is all that and then some. You have three tropical fruits which greatly compliment each other and then you toss them with a simple lime juice and raw honey. The acidity of the lime juice brings out even more of the natural taste of the fruit (and keeps it vibrantly colorful) and the sweetness of the raw honey accentuates each bite of the fruit.
Ingredients needed to make Chilean Sweet Fruit Salad (serves 4):
- 4 mangoes, peeled, pitted and cubed
- 1 papaya, skinned, seeded and cubed
- 3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
- 1 lime
- 1 Tbs. honey
In a medium bowl combine and toss the mangoes, papaya and kiwis.
- Grate the zest from the lime and place in a small bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the zest.
- Stir the honey into the lime juice and zest.
- Pour the dressing over the fruit, toss to coat and serve.
When it comes to international versions of pound cake, this beautiful version from Panama may very well be the best. It has all the richness you’d expect from a pound cake, yet the crumb (texture) is highlighted by cornmeal and the taste and color enhanced by freshly grated orange zest.
This would be a perfect light sweet touch to any Spring or Summer brunch on the patio or deck.
Ingredients needed to make Orange Cornmeal Pound Cake (makes 1 loaf):
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 6 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 Tbs. vanilla
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
- Pre-heat oven to 375. Line the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks and keep beating for 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes!)
- Stir in the vanilla and almond extract.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and zest. Stir this mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Place in oven and bake 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.