This recipe is so perfect for rainy Spring days! Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorites and I love trying different versions of the classic. This soup is filled with veggies, vermicelli noodles and herbs. The fresh ingredients give the recipe a lighter effect which is great for the current season. The broth is simple and clean, seasoned with cilantro, parsley and lime juice. While I’m used to the thicker egg noodles in chicken noodle, I really liked the thin vermicelli noodles too. You can make the soup easily with just 4 drumsticks but I chose to make the stock and soup out of the whole chicken. I like the mixture of white and dark meat in the soup; plus the whole bird flavors the stock nicely. I can see this becoming a regular meal on colder days!
To accompany the batch of Moroccan Chicken Skewers and flat bread I wanted to make a few sauces that would go along with the main courses as well as complement each other. The three I settled on was a refreshing Mint and Cilantro sauce, spicy Harissa, and a cooling Yogurt Lemon sauce. They complemented the chicken and flat bread and were perfectly balanced with each other. These different sauces allowed me to play “choose your own adventure” of sorts which made eating fun. Not only did the types of food and sauces matter in the experience, but the order played a key role in it too (not exactly a new idea in the historical record of food but a fun thing to experience at home by accident).
Since each sauce had a different “purpose” it stands to reason that each sauce affected the other ingredients differently as well. The easiest comparison to make would be dipping the chicken in the yogurt sauce vs. the harissa sauce. The yogurt enhanced the lemony flavor of the chicken and helped cool off its spiciness. The Harissa sauce is made of chilies and instead invigorated the chicken’s spicy seasoning. This seems obvious now, but I really wasn’t expecting how different the “experiences” would be. I came to notice that I enjoyed pairing the chicken more with the yogurt and mint sauces, and the flat bread with the harissa. Later I realized I probably did this to help balance things out a little bit in terms of spiciness. Although I also spooned generous portions of mint sauce and yogurt sauce on the bread as well so who knows really. This was one of those meals that I had a lot of fun making and eating. I loved all three sauces and I still can’t decide on a favorite!
Flat breads and grilled meats are popular fare all over the world. I was so impressed with the Lebanese version I made a few months ago. I fell in love with the smorgasbord effect of the different condiments, seasoning, breads and meat. All of the different parts came together in a beautiful way. When there’s so many separate parts you can almost “choose your own adventure” (more about that in the sauces post). I decided to try out this idea with a version of Roasted Moroccan Chicken–one of my favorite recipes. This recipe takes the spice blend from the original recipe and uses it to season the chicken which is skewered and then grilled. It worked out great with the Moroccan Flat Bread and was a perfect accompaniment with the dipping sauces.
April has blown by and Cinco de Mayo is only a few days away! Here are some of my favorite recipes that would be perfect for any table on Cinco de Mayo.
I love flat breads since they are the perfect vehicle for amazing sauces! I have always loved Moroccan food and have been making it for a few years. This bread is not as flat as pita, but still works great as a dipping bread for sauces. The interior is pillowy, with not much crust on the outside. It wasn’t difficult to make but it does require some monitoring as you don’t want the dough to over rise. I was happy with how this turned out though I might try flattening the dough more to make it a little less thick next time. This couldn’t have been a better bread to serve alongside several tasty sauces!
Ever since I made Irish Soda Bread Cranberry Scones I have been thinking about making another batch with a twist. I loved the fluffy texture of the previous batch and I wanted to keep that going. I took the basic ingredients of the first recipe and added chocolate chips and orange zest. It was so easy with great results! The texture and consistency was just like before only with the added bonus of orange and chocolate. The orange zest and chocolate were balanced perfectly and it reminded me more of a dessert than a breakfast scone. These were a huge hit so I will definitely be making these again!
The days are getting longer and each day feels a little bit closer to summer time! And what says summer more than barbeque grilled chicken sandwiches? I chose a simple recipe for barbeque sauce made with molasses, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and chipotle peppers. Then as a side I made some baked potato fries served with malt vinegar. I chose a smoky Gruyere cheese to go with the sandwich which paired very will with the flavors of the barbeque sauce. This was a tasty dish that I will definitely make again this summer!
Roasted a whole chicken is a perfect meat for tacos because it is tender, flavorful and easy to shred. I chose a basic spice blend of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and oregano for the chicken. Then I baked it in the oven for a few hours which gave me enough time to make some fresh Pico de Gallo and shredded manchego cheese. Manchego is a great cheese for tacos because it has the creaminess of queso fresco but with a little more tartness. The tacos turned out really well! The smoky flavor of the chicken worked nicely with the manchego and creamy avocado. The recipe for the chicken is pretty versatile so I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with different salsas and condiments next time!
Whenever I’ve picked up store bought scones I’ve always been disappointed. This year with Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner I came across a recipe for these Irish Soda Bread Scones. Determined to like scones, I gave this recipe a try. The recipe was originally made as a full loaf bread so I don’t know how traditional these are to scone recipes. The fluffy, dense texture on the inside and the rough exterior was very scone-like. If it tastes like a scone and looks like a scone, it’s a scone right? It was fair enough for me, especially since these were so delicious. I loved the bursts of sweet and tart from the cranberries, which paired well with the caraway. Next time I might go a little crazy and add orange or lemon zest to the dough and see how that turns out.
Chocolate and espresso is a subtle combination. In many recipes a little espresso or coffee is added to enhance the chocolate flavor. The espresso compliments the chocolate and these cookies play on that idea very nicely. The batter is made with cocoa and espresso powders along with melted chocolate. Solid chocolate chips are mixed into the batter so any cravings you might have had for chocolate will probably be satisfied. After the cookies are baked the outside forms a glossy layer that cracks apart. The inside isn’t really like a normal cookie’s but rather like the inside of a brownie. I was really happy with how these turned out and next time I have a chocolate craving I know which recipe to turn to!