Enjoying the last days of summer & my roasted tomato Gazpacho

IMG_1048

The nights have got quite cool, but we’ve a had a few warm days, so a barbecue called for roasting vegetables while grilling my supper in preparation for what could be possibly be the only Gazpacho I will make this season. Gazpacho is what you make when tomatoes are in full season and the days are still hot and you really don’t want to spend time in the kitchen making it any hotter than it already is. I can’t say we had one of those famous heat waves this summer… Oh well, I still want my gaspacho! I like to roast the tomatoes and peppers (in a dish) on the top shelf of my barbecue, closing the lid when I’m done, leaving the tomatoes inside and allowing the smokiness to really sink into their flesh. You don’t have to make the gaspacho that same day, the tomatoes and peppers will keep for a couple of days and you want to soak the bread in all that glorious cook juice, so if you have some tomatoes handy and you’re firing up the barbecue, place them in a dish (that can withstand the flames) and roast them while you grill your meal. You can also easily make this gaspacho without roasting the tomatoes, I just like the smokiness you get when roasting your tomatoes. So, go out there and enjoy the last of the summer!

Recipe

3-4 medium size tomatoes, roasted

1 red pepper, roasted

1 cucumber, seeds removed and cubed

1-2 garlic cloves

1 large slice of country bread, crust removed and cubed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup fruity olive oil

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Soak bread in bottom of bowl topped with roasted tomatoes and pepper overnight (you can also soak bread in water for 10-15 minutes, drain without squeezing) place in bowl of food processor. Peel and remove stem and seeds from pepper and add with remaining ingredients in the bowl with bread. Process until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and parsley, serve with a slice of fried country bread. Makes 2-3 portions, keeps in the fridge for 1 week and can be frozen up to a month. Enjoy!

IMG_1044IMG_1049IMG_1046

 

Stick to your ribs chili and can’t stop eating them biscuits

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so I was inspired to cook up some comfort fare, such as a delicious chili with biscuits to sop up all that juicy goodness. Each are absolutely delicious on their own ( I actually ate ALL the biscuits, I just couldn’t stop! ), but why deny yourself perfection?  The long simmer of the chili breaks down the chicken and ends up melting into the sauce. The biscuits are so flaky and delicious, they can be eaten alone, with jam & butter, anything really! I used a combination of whey leftover from making greek yogurt and yogourt instead of buttermilk and the result is fantastic! So let the chili simmer, crack open a beer and enjoy your Sunday!

Chicken chili

Ingredients

230 gr. chicken thighs, cubed

2/3 cup red lentils

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 of each orange, red & yellow peppers, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 stick cinnamon

1 tablespoon mexican chili

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with sour cream, grated cheese, diced avocado and cilantro

Instructions

Sauté chicken thighs until browned, add onions and continue cooking until soft and translucent. Add garlic, chili, cumin and paprika and sweat the spices for 1-2 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn & cinnamon. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Check that chicken has pulled apart, if not muddle with a wooden spoon until meat pulls appart. Continue simmering for a further hour uncovered. Add lentils and cook for 30 minutes more. Serves 2 with toppings and biscuits. Both can be frozen seperately for 3-4 months. Enjoy!

Biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter

45ml whey

45ml yogourt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 ° . Sift all the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter until rough crumbles occur without overworking, add liquid and stir in using a wooden spoon. When you have a shaggy dough, lightly need with your hands 5 or 6 times. It’s important not to overwork the dough, keeping pockets of butter will make the dough flaky. Roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and cut using a floured cutter or glass. PLace on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool. Makes 6 medium or 8 small biscuits, biscuits can be frozen in an airtight container for 3-4 months.

A big bowl of sunshine to combat the february blues

This is the last stretch, the long haul before the light at the end of the tunnel. I need as much sunshine as I can get to see me through. I crave colour and strong flavours. I also fight the instinct to crawl into bed and not come back out for air before spring! This soup is all that and more, colorful, flavorful and very satisfying and the bonus is it is quick to make. 20 minutes from start to finish. BAM! Party in my mouth! Why resist when happiness is so quick and easy to achieve 🙂  I made mine with shrimp but you could easily swap the shrimp out for chicken or beef strips, tofu, fish… Whatever floats your boat! The most important part to acheive perfection is to have good quality ingredients, the stock being one of them. Making your own stock is simple even if it needs some time to simmer, you can just leave it simmering on the stove and go on with your day, you’ll see a huge difference between your homemade stock versus the grocery store variety.

Coconut & red-curry shrimp soup

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 of each orange, red & yellow peppers, thinly sliced

White & pale green parts of a leek, thinly sliced

100 gr. shrimps

1/4 cup coconut cream

1/2 teaspoon red curry paste

Kafir lime leaves

Lemongrass stalk, cut in 2 inch pieces

Salt to taste

Thinly sliced green onions, cilantro & lime for garnish

Instructions

Bring stock to a boil with kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass stalk. Simmer for 5 minutes then add curry paste, shrimps and vegetables. When stock comes to a boil again, add coconut cream. Let soup come back to a boil tbefore serving. Garnish with cilantro and green onions and a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!

img_2153img_2151img_2149img_2148img_2144