Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken

Many foods convey a sense of place. Unless you are lucky enough to be in China, there’s no doubt that Chinese food tastes best delivered on a stormy night in the 212 area code. But for those of us outside the delivery area, there has to be an alternative and this is it – Take-Out/Fake-Out: Lemon Chicken.

Lemon Chicken

While it may not be as easy as dialing up the Chelsea Big Wok, this juicy crockpot lemon chicken is the next best thing. Set it and forget it, and at the end of the day just stir fry your favorite vegetables to serve alongside and enjoy. We have tried many spice blends in this dish and they are ALL fantastic, so whether you are in the mood for a little Thai Seasoning or Indonesian Ayam, take your pick, it is hard to go wrong with lemon chicken.

lemon_chicken_2

Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken

Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Thai Seasoning, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Rooster Spice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • Lemon wedges, Gomasio and sliced scallions for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the chicken thighs well, and pat dry.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken broth, sliced onion, soy sauce, honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Thai Seasoning and 1 teaspoon Rooster Spice. Stir the sauce well to combine, and pour it into a 5-6 quart crock pot.
  3. Nestle the chicken pieces in the sauce and cook on low for 4-5 hours, until the chicken easily pulls apart with a fork.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the crock pot and set aside. Adjust the crockpot to high heat.
  5. In a small measuring cup, mix together the arrowroot and cold water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce in the crockpot, then add the sesame oil, 1 additional teaspoon Thai Seasoning and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  6. Adjust the heat setting to warm or low, and return the chicken to the crockpot and gently shred the pieces before serving.
  7. Serve with rice and vegetables, and garnish with a lemon wedge, Gomasio and sliced scallions. Some folks like an extra sprinkle of Rooster Spice as well.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/take-fake-lemon-chicken/

gomasio

Categories: Asia, Course, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Take-Out/Fake-Out | Leave a comment

Voodoo Cheese Ball

The Seattle Seahawks are at it again, and we are busily prepping food for the next playoff game. This time it is a spiced up version of the classic cheese ball, enhanced with a little voodoo, smoked paprika and Harissa Spiced Pecans. The presentation is fun and easy, and the football shape allows for more nutty crunch on the outside.

voodoo_cheese_ball

Voodoo Cheese Ball

Voodoo Cheese Ball

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. medium cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced pimentos
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Voodoo
  • 1/2 cup Harissa Spiced Pecans
  • Carrot and celery sticks for garnish and dipping

Instructions

  1. Take the cheeses out of the refrigerator about an hour before assembling to allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cheeses, shallots, pimentos, smoked paprika and Voodoo. Mix well.
  3. On a plate, form the cheese mixture into a football shape and press firmly on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. While the cheese ball is chilling, make the Harissa Spiced Pecans.
  5. When the pecans have cooled, measure 1/2 cup from the batch and chop finely.
  6. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and use celery or carrot strips to make the "laces" of the football. Then sprinkle the chopped nuts on the cheese ball and press firmly to make them stick. Allow the excess to fall off the cheese ball and repeat until all sides are covered.
  7. Serve with veggie sticks and chips on game day!
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/voodoo-cheese-ball/

If you want more fan fare, whip up a batch of Hawk Wings too!

Categories: North America, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

Harissa Spiced Pecans

We never tire of whipping up different spiced nut combinations. Salty or sweet, hot or mild, there are endless combinations to try. Harissa Spiced Pecans are especially addictive, though, because they have it all: mild chile and smoky, savory spice, balanced perfectly with just enough brown sugar. These give a crunchy flavor punch to everything from garden salads to a pre-game cheese ball. But really, the best way to enjoy them is straight out of the oven.

harissa_spiced_pecans

This recipe is easy to make and not too sweet. Spiced nuts are a welcome treat for last minute gatherings or entertaining.

Harissa Spiced Pecans

Harissa Spiced Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground Harissa
  • 1 teaspoon Voodoo
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups whole pecans
  • 1 egg white

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil, oil lightly and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, whip the egg white until soft peaks form. Add the nuts and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the nuts, and stir again to coat evenly.
  6. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure an even toast.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and start munching!
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/harissa-spiced-pecans/

Harissa

Categories: Africa, Recipes, Salads, Snacky Bits | 2 Comments

Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

We have a new go-to cookie recipe! If you love the marriage of nuts and chocolate (and who doesn’t?), try these for easy baking, gifting and be sure to leave some out on 12/24. These delicious morsels are topped with little bit of salt and infused with mellow chile heat. In this recipe, we’ve mellowed the peanut butter with some almond butter, and added just the right measure of urfa biber to the chocolate ganache. Enjoy a few with your next cup off eggnog – it’s a tasty combination!

thumbprints_napkin

Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies

Nutty Chocolate Chile Thumbprints

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon urfa biber
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Maldon smoked sea salt flakes, crushed, for sprinkling

Instructions

    Cookies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and nut butters together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat until smooth. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating on low speed, and then increase the speed and beat until the flour is completely incorporated and a dough ball forms.
  5. Scoop out the dough in rounded balls of about 2 teaspoons each and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2" apart. Using your finger, press a deep well into each dough ball, supporting the edges of the dough ball with the fingers of your other hand to keep the edges intact.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookie begin to darken, but the center is still a little soft. Remove the pan from the oven and, if needed, deepen the well in the center of each cookie by pressing with the back of a teaspoon. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache.
  8. Ganache:
  9. Combine the dark chocolate chips, urfa chile and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Using a double boiler or water bath, melt over medium heat, stirring frequently. The ganache is ready when the ingredients are completely melted and smooth.
  10. When the cookies are cool, spoon a small portion of warm ganache into the center. Allow the ganache too cool a little bit, and then sprinkle with a small measure of the smoked Maldon sea salt. Note: If the ganache is too hot, it will melt the sea salt.

Notes

We've made these cookies several times lately- sometimes using gluten free flour, sometimes using all almond butter, sometimes creamy and sometimes chunky. They always come out great!

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/nutty-chocolate-chile-thumbprints/

thumbprint_2

 

Categories: Holiday, Recipes, Sweet Somethings | 1 Comment

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

While the name may be a bit dramatic, this colorful salad is worth a little fanfare. First off, Besar and butternut squash is a match made in heaven, although I’ve also made this using Ras el Hanout and Sri Lankan Curry, and those are delicious too. Pair that with the dark leafy kale tenderized with vinegar and wilted by the warm squash, top it off with the pop of fresh pomegranate and a little nutty crunch and you have a kaleidoscope of texture, color and flavor.

ras_butternut_salad

This is a great dish to keep on hand through the season for a healthy lunch, and it will look beautiful on your holiday table.

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Besar Kaleidoscope Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Besar, ground
  • 1 teaspoon urfa biber
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Cut the squash into manageable pieces and peel with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, then cut the pieces into 1" cubes.
  4. Transfer the squash cubes to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the besar, urfa and salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the oiled squash and toss again to coat.
  6. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, and oil lightly. Transfer the squash to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  7. While the squash is baking, remove the seeds from the pomegranate and set aside.
  8. Rinse the kale and remove the leaf from each side of the stem. Stack the leaves and cross-cut into bite sized pieces.
  9. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl or serving dish and add the vinegars. Gently massage the vinegars into the kale.
  10. When the squash is done, transfer to the mixing bowl on top of the kale. Add pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts, and stir gently to mix.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/besar-kaleidoscope-salad/

Chef Tip: Many different vinegars will work in this recipe and I’ve used everything from simple apple cider vinegar to this fanciful Cranberry Pear White Balsamic from Genesis Kitchen. Try your favorite and enjoy!

butternut_roasted

 

Categories: Curries & Masalas, Global Cuisines, Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Salads, Sides | Leave a comment

Brussels Sprouts with Za’atar and Nigella

brussels_sprouts_zaatarBrussels sprouts are a leftover food trauma from childhood that I’ve finally overcome. The limp, stinky-sulfur blobs (sorry, Mom) have been replaced with a crisp, roasted vegetable that is full of flavor and befitting a fall feast. Best of all, these are easy to make and a perfect vehicle for one of my favorite spice blends, Israeli Za’atar. The combination of herbs, sesame and sumac make this spice blend good enough to eat straight out of the jar, but it is even better on the brussels sprouts. A sprinkle of nigella seeds tops the dish off with an exotic garnish and a hint of nutty onion flavor.

Brussels Sprouts with Nigella and Za’atar

Ingredients

  • 1# brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Israeli Za'atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim the stems on the brussels sprouts, remove the outer leaves and cut in half.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and kosher salt, and toss to coat.
  4. Transfer the brussels sprouts to a lightly oiled sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Return the brussels sprouts to the bowl and add the balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing again to coat. Sprinkle on the Israeli Za'atar and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Transfer the roasted brussels sprouts to a serving dish and garnish with nigella seeds.
  7. Makes 4 side servings.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/brussels-sprouts-nigella-zaatar/

Categories: Holiday, Middle East, Recipes, Sides | Leave a comment