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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekly Recipes: March 13

Claudia's Chicken

My friend Claudia, whose family comes from the Dominican Republic, made a huge pot of this chicken for my going away party last summer and I asked her how she made it, because it was so good. She made it with chicken wings, I've made it with chicken thighs, but drumsticks or chicken quarters or whatever you have will work.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mixed peppers, seeded and sliced (frozen is fine)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 pounds bone in, skin on chicken (dark meat tastes best in this, but white meat is fine)
1 large jar/can of roasted garlic tomato sauce (no basil!)

In a large, flat bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions, garlic, peppers. When the onions begin to turn translucent and the peppers soften, add the cilantro and stir to release fragrance.

Add chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Pour in tomato sauce along with a jar of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over medium-low heat about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Taste for salt.

Serve over rice.

Lamb Meatballs with Spinach, Feta, Olives and Pine Nuts

olive oil for pans
2 pounds ground lamb
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 package frozen leaf spinach or 1 pound fresh spinach
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup (handful) fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon oregano (or use a handful of fresh leaves in with the other fresh herbs)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 ounces feta, crumbled
1/2 cup, toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil two baking sheets and set aside.

Put lamb in a medium bowl. Puree onion, garlic spinach, parsley and mint in a food processor or chop very finely by hand. Mix puree into meat along with coriander, oregano, salt, pepper, feta cheese and pine nuts.

Form into 1 1/2 inch diameter meatballs and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, or not, I mostly just bake them in one spot until they are finished.

Salmon Cakes

3 6-ounce cans wild caught Alaskan salmon (boneless and skinless), drained
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced cilantro (or all parsley)
4 eggs
2 cups panko or dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Sri Racha
Juice of one lime
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 eggs, whisked

1 1/2 cups panko or dry bread crumbs

Olive oil, for frying

Mix salmon, onion, parsley, cilantro, eggs, panko, Sri Racha, lime juice, salt and pepper.

In another dish, mix together flour, salt and pepper, set aside.

Set aside dish with scrambled eggs.

In another dish, put panko and set aside.

Form patties out of salmon mixture, about two inches in diameter, and refrigerate for about half an hour.

Keeping one hand dry and one hand wet, dip patties in flour mixture, then egg, then panko. Pan fry over medium heat and serve immediately.

You can serve these as is or with an aoli type sauce, mix some Sri Racha into homemade mayonnaise to serve with them, a lime and cilantro mayonnaise, or one of the Thai sweet chili sauces that is available on the market.

I serve this with herbed cous cous, a mixed salad with vinaigrette or cole slaw and, usually, some fruit.

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