Bonnie Stern that is! I think I’ve already mentioned her a good couple of times on the blog and she’s yet to fail me! This past Friday night dinner was no exception. This time I used the other cookbook of hers I have, Friday Night Dinner (seeing as how it was Friday night, it seemed an appropriate choice). Also an excellent cookbook and one I definitely need to use more, I went with two recipes I’ve been meaning to try for a while. Chicken Tagine with Honeyed Tomatoes and Grilled Eggplant with Tahina and Tomato Lime Salsa. Now I did modify the recipes slightly, but I do need to give Bonnie the credit. The two went together as well as sushi and soy sauce (unless you’re my sister and you don’t use soy on your sushi for some strange reason!)
Chicken Tagine with Honeyed Tomatoes (Adapted from Bonnie Stern’s Friday Night Dinners)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cumin
2 bone in, skinless chicken breasts
Combine salt, paprika, and cumin in a bowl and sprinkle on chicken
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinmamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
pinch of tumeric
1 14 oz can plum tomatoes with juice, crushed
Chicken in honeyed tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat and add chicken and cook about 5-8 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from pan. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes, scraping juices from bottom of pan. Add cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tumeric, tomatoes, and stock and bring to a boil and reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in honey, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken back to dutch oven and cover with sauce. Place in 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.
Grilled Eggplant with Tahina and Tomato Lime (or lemon) Salsa (Adapted from Friday Night Dinners)
1 large eggplant
olive oil, salt and pepper
Cut eggplant lengthwise into long slices. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper and grill over medium high heat about 3-4 minutes per side. Arrange overlapping on a platter
1/4 cup tahina
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
The finished eggplant. Isn't it beautiful!
1/2 tsp kosher salt
sprinkle red pepper flakes
3 tbsp water
Mix all ingredients together until thin and pourable (add more water if needed)
Tomato Lemon Salsa
1 tomato, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle tahina sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with salsa
The flavors from both dishes really complimented each other nicely. The sauce from the chicken was so delicious…we actually had leftover sauce which was then used over simple baked tilapia. It could also be served with chickpeas over rice or just take some pita and go to town! To make sure we had all the food groups on our plate, I also made some roasted sweet potatoes. Just chop 2 sweet potatoes and season with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. These tasted like candy (and when is that ever a bad thing!)
The rest of the weekend was filled with delicious eats out of the house. With guests visiting from Toronto (the running coach Jody, her husband and adorable son), we went out for a vegetarian dinner at Candle Cafe. Please don’t be turned off by the VEGAN in the description of this restaurant. It was actually quite delicious. We started with a couple of shared apps:
Seitan grilled on skewers with chimichurri sauce
The seitan chimichurri was the surprising hit of the night. Seitan is made of wheat gluten and is a meat alternative that actually has a very meaty texture. It was smokey and really went well with the very green and herbal chimichurri sauce.
Good Food Plate
For my main, I went with the good food plate upon recommendation from one of Jody’s friends who was dining with us (who is now my vegetarian restaurant dining companion…we vowed to try one new veggie restaurant a month…let me know if you want to join in this adventure!). You get to pick 4 side dishes from a very long list of sides and also get two sauces or dressings on the side. I loved the variety of this and also the ability to try lots of different things. I went with the grilled tempeh, black rice pilaf, and steamed veg and green of the day. All of this was perfectly cooked and really really good! But what really made it was the carrot ginger sauce. Everyone at the table was blown away by this bright orange sauce and I continued to douse my whole plate in it!
The one disappointment of the table was Adam’s dish. It sounded so good…grilled seitan in a smoky black bean sauce on top of quinoa pilaf, sauteed greens and guacamole. But what he got was very burnt seitan accompanied by an overly smoky black bean sauce. The quinoa was fine but nothing to write home about. So moral of the story, got to candle cafe, order the good food plate with a giant side of carrot ginger sauce.
I know this is getting to be a long post but I HAVE to tell you about Sunday eats at the Food Truck Rally in Prospect Park. After running almost 3 hours, I was ready for some good eats and thankfully, we had heard of this amazing event.
I ran (or walked as fast as my tired legs could take me) to the Red Hook Lobster Truck. A very nice friend offered to share the two different types of lobster rolls with me and neither disappointed. The Maine roll was fresh lobster mixed with homemade mayo, served cold, and the Connecticut version was butter poached lobster served warm. Both were STUFFED with huge chunks of fresh lobster and these were some of the best buns I’ve ever had! Honestly, I liked both…If I were to go again I would need someone to split it with me again!
Maine on the left and Connecticut on the right
After seeing Cool Haus on Eat St. my heart was set on an ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert. The problem was the choices were overwhelming (I guess this really isn’t a problem). So, to make sure I could taste the most cookies and ice cream possible, I did half and half on everything! Potato chip/skor cookie on top, oatmeal raisin on the bottom, and half peanut butter ice cream and half nutella ice cream. Peanut butter ice cream mixed with nutella ice cream…enough said!
The sandwich comes with an edible wrapper made of potato/soy. I wasn't a fan of that.
Tired legs and full belly, the rest of my day was spent relaxing on the couch, catching up on my favorite food network show, The Best Thing I Ever
Ate. I hope you all enjoyed some good eats this weekend too!
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