Chicken Paprikash

Chicke Papirkash

 

I know that there are as many recipes for this dish as there are days of the year.  But I love this one, also taught to me by Adrienn, and what I love about it is its simplicity.  With just a few ingredients and steps, it is such a classic and homey meal, that I turn to it time and time again.  Every single time I make this dish, I wonder why I don’t make it more often.

That sauce.  It is just spectacular.  I could eat it on its own with a spoon, it’s that good.  Generally, when I have leftovers, I dice up the chicken and then toss the remaining sauce with some pasta or rice.  But not last night.  I made this for a friend of mine who came to dinner, and he was so excited that I had made the chicken for him again.  I had one of the thighs, and he finished off everything else.  My daughter didn’t even have any….not because she doesn’t like it, she just got her braces put in, poor thing.  He also polished off the barley that I had made to go with it, because I don’t have the thing-a-majiggy to make fresh Spaetzle and it is near impossible to find the ready-made kind here.

This is a perfect weeknight meal, you probably have everything in your pantry to make this dish.  So why not try it next week?

Here’s what you’re going to need:

Serves 3-6

3 chicken legs, cut into drumsticks and thighs

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 tbsp vegetable oil, I used olive

2 large onions, finely diced

1 heaping tbsp sweet paprika

Water

1/4 cup sour cream

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and toss with the flour to coat.  Shake off excess.  In a large frying pan, heat up the oil over medium high heat.   When the oil is very hot, place the chicken skin side down and cook, until it is golden brown and crispy.  Turn and cook until the other side is golden and crispy.  Set aside.

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In the same pan, add your onion, lower the heat to medium low.  Cook for about 5 minutes, and add some more salt and the paprika.  Cook the onions about 15 minutes, until totally softened and starting to caramelize.

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Add the chicken, and add enough water to cover the chicken up to 3/4.  Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.  If the water is evaporating too quickly, add a little bit more.  You want to have a thick sauce, not too watery but not just the onions and the remaining oil.  When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and add the sour cream, mixing well.  Serve immediately with Spaetzle, wide egg noodles, rice, barley, or any type of grain that you like the best!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Free form Cheese, Bacon and Onion Pie

Ingredients for Cheese, Bacon and Onion Pie

Ahhhh, the pie.  That magical, wonderful, filled with goodness food.  So humble, yet so incredibly fabulous.   I love pies.  I don’t make them that often, but I had to start after perusing a book that belongs to my friends Laura and Jim.

They have this amazing book which I stole borrowed, aptly and simply called “Pie” by Angela Boggiano.  They brought it back from the UK, and it is a veritable smorgasbord of pies!  I swear to you, every time I look through it, I start salivating like Pavlov’s Dog.  I honestly want to make EVERY SINGLE RECIPE.

I decided to tackle this one first, well, because one, it’s fairly easy and I am quite busy what with back to school and the such.  And also, who the heck doesn’t like cheese, onion and BACON??????  Just thinking about the combination makes me hungry.  Then finding out that it also has potato?  Oh….*swoon*.

Cheese, Onion and Bacon Pie

You can whip this up in no time if you’re having guests for dinner, because it calls for store-bought puff pastry.  And, if you’re guests or you are vegetarian, omit the bacon, and it’s still going to be UH-MA-ZING.

Cheese, Onion and Bacon PieServe it with a nice lemony salad, and you have a decadent and delicious meal.

So here’s what you’re going to need:

“Pie” by Angela Boggiano

Serves 4 (but I think it serves more, unless you’re REALLY hungry.

500g ready-made puff pastry

Beaten egg, to glaze

2 medium floury potatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into 2 cm strips

2 large onions, thinly sliced

200g mature Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

3 tbsp double or heavy cream

Ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 C.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into thin slices.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes until beginning to color.  Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened but not colored.  Set aside to cool.

Divide the pastry into two portions.  Roll out one half to form a 25cm square, (or in my case, leave it round).  Lay the pastry on a lightly greased baking tray and brush the edges lightly with beaten egg.   Spread the sliced potatoes over the pastry leaving a 2.5cm border,

Potatoes over pastrythen top with the bacon, onions, and black pepper.

Sprinkle with the grated cheese.  Drizzle over the cream.

 

Roll out the second piece of pastry to form a 28cm square (or leave it round, but with a larger circumference than the bottom piece…sorry I didn’t measure mine out!)  Place over the filling and press the edges together to join.  Trim away excess and cut a cross in the middle of the pie.  Brush lightly with beaten egg and bake in the top of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C and cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until golden and risen.

Serve cut into wedges.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Spanish” Onion Soup

The first time I ever had French Onion Soup was in 10th grade.  Our French teacher took us on a cultural field trip to a French restaurant, and one of my friends ordered it.   I would not have been so adventurous.  She told me to try it, and as an obliging teenager who only trusts her friends, I did, and it was a taste revelation!  I just couldn’t get enough of the gooey cheese, the crusty bread, and then hidden underneath it, that dark, caramel broth filled to the brim with soft, caramelized onions.  Heaven.

Cut to last night.  I have wanted to make this soup for ages.  But I had to wait until I got some earthenware that I could use in the oven to melt that amazing cheese.  So a couple of months ago I purchased two Le Creuset soup bowls, not only are they functional, they are pretty gorgeous too.  (I love Le Creuset by the way, but this isn’t a post about them.)

Also, as I have mentioned before, I have a gazillion cookbooks, and hardly ever get to use them.  So I adapted the French Onion Soup recipe from my Williams Sonoma Comfort Food cookbook.  But I didn’t want just a French Onion Soup.  I wanted the depth of Spanish ingredients.  First of all, I took the time to make my own stock, but instead of making a plain beef one, I did a Chorizo Stock.  This gave the stock a more golden reddish hue.  And as I caramelized the onions, I added a heaping tablespoon of pimenton, Spanish Paprika, to give it a smokiness that is missing from the delicate French version.  And lastly, I used Jerez, or sherry, instead of the wine.  In the end, I think it was a total success, the new version had levels of flavour, from the warmth of the chorizo and pimenton, and then a unique nuttiness imparted by the Jerez.  I hope you’ll be adventurous and trust me on this and try it at home!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Comfort Food

Ingredients for French Onion Soup


2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 1/2 lbs. Onions, yellow, white, red….go crazy!

1 tbsp pimenton or smoky paprika

1 tbsp All purpose flour

1 cup Jerez (Sherry) or dry white wine

Chorizo Stock (recipe follows)

2 tsp minced Fresh thyme

1 Bay leaf

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 Crusty baguette

2 2/3cups shredded Gruyère Cheese

For the stock:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 lb marrow and beef bones

1 spanish chorizo sausage

2 celery ribs, including leaves, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 leek, sliced

1 swede or rutabaga, chopped

2 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1 large sprig of thyme

Water

In a large stockpot, add the beef marrow bones and the chorizo and cook over med-high heat, for about ten minutes or the chorizo starts to lose some fat and color the oil.  Add all the veggies, salt, bay leaf and thyme.  Stir to coat and cook about 5 more minutes.  Add the water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer vigorously for 30 minutes.  Switch off the heat, cover and let steep for a good 2 hours.

 

To make the soup, in a large heavy bottomed stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, stir well, cover, and cook for 5  minutes.  Uncover, add the paprika, and reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Onions

caramelized onionsSprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until combined.  Gradually stir in the wine, then the stock, and finally the thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Discard bay leaf.

Spanish onion soup

 

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Have ready eight 1 1/2 cup broilerproof soup crocks.  Cut the baguette into 16 slices, sizing them so that 2 slices will fit inside each crock.  Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides, about 1 minute total.  Set the slices aside.  Position the oven rack about 12 inches from the heat source, and leave the broiler on.

Ladle the hot soup into the crocks.  Place 2 toasted bread slices, overlapping if necessary, on top of the soup and sprinkle each crock evenly with about 1/3 cup of the Gruyère.  Broil until the cheese is bubbling, about 2 minutes.  Serve at once.

 

Buckwheat Crepes with Smoked Salmon, Onions, Dill Cream and Crispy Capers

After I saw Girl in a Food Frenzy’s post on Crepes, I knew I had to make some.  I love Crepes.  I love them sweet, but I especially love them savoury.  What makes me love them even more, is their versatility.  And buckwheat?  Well, I love that too.  Yes, I am in a loving mood.

I don’t really know why I don’t make them more often, they are one of my daughter’s favorite things, and once you make all your Crepes, they keep really well in the fridge and you can re-heat them in a cinch.  I think I am going to have some for lunch, with cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms.  And I have more ideas up my sleeve, but that is for another post folks!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

6 Crepes, Recipe (Courtesy of Girl in a Food Frenzy)

300 g Good quality smoked salmon

1 medium red onion, sliced

1 cup light cream

1 bunch dill, chopped

2 tbsp capers, drained

2-3 tbsp olive oil

Fresh Ground Pepper

Make the crepes, set aside.

In a small bowl, place the sliced onions and a teaspoon of salt.  Start “massaging” the onions with the salt until they start to sweat and soften.  Set aside.

Heat the cream with the dill, and add some fresh pepper.  Set aside.

In a small sauté pan, heat about 2 tbsp of oil, fry the capers until they start to pop and crisp up.  Make sure you are far away from the pan, because when they pop, you could burn yourself with the oil.  Strain, and set the capers aside.

When you are ready to serve, in a large non-stick frying pan, re-heat the crepes.   While they are still in the pan, add a little bit of the onions, and add a couple of slices of the smoked salmon.  Fold the crepe and place on a plate, drizzle with the dill cream, and top with the crispy capers.  Repeat with all the crepes.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla