Jamaican Jerk Chicken

K had a four day weekend this week  (Ascension day on Thursday as well as a ‘bridging day’ on Friday- companies here realize many people would inevitably take it off, so they give it as freebie – so progressive). Unfortunately, my employer does not celebrate Ascension day or bridge so we stayed in Basel, which was a nice reprieve from our otherwise hectic schedules.  Focusing on house projects, we FINALLY BOUGHT A GRILL!!!!  Now if anyone knows K, this is a BIG deal in our lives and I must say, I feel more grown up with this purchase than any other we’ve made.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Basel is a wonderful place to live; however, the food scene is utterly lacking.  Granted, if you hop on a bike and cross the border, you are bound to find incredibly decadent, delicious French food, which we did Saturday night, but if you want anything ethnic, with a hint of heat, we have found the best option is to make it ourselves.  As a result, we’ve really expanded our culinary repertoire.  We’ve made many dishes where after taking a bite we exclaim – “Wow…is that it? It’s so easy!” So we christened our grill with Jamaican Jerk Chicken (it’s so easy!), parmesan/lemon asparagus and veggies. DELICIOUS.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Ingredients (Adapted from Saveur):

This mix is for one whole chicken deconstructed.

– 1/2 c brown sugar

– 1/2 c allspice

– 1 shallot minced

– 1/3 c peanut oil

– 1/4 c kosher salt

– 1/2 c minced giner

– 1/3 c lime juice

– 2 tbsp soy sauce

– 1 tbsp fresh thyme

– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp ground nutmeg

– 7 gloves minced garlic

– 3 habaneros

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Rub all over chicken, especially getting into the skin area.
  2. Grill. (Not sure what one is involved here, but I’m sure most people who use one do).
  3. Consume.
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Jerk chicken with lentil, veggie quinoa salad with mustard, lemon vinaigrette

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Grills veggies and asparagus

Balsamic Reduction Pizza with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto, Arugula

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Female Monks Meditating at Angkor Watt – reminded me to slow down the pace in our crazy lives

Happy New Year!  When I was growing up whenever we came back to the US to my Aunt’s house, she always ordered my brother and I pepperoni and sausage pizza from Domino’s. Consequently, pizza has become a sense of homecoming for me whenever I return from traveling.  So when I got back from Southeast Asia after a wonderful holiday with both of our families and gorging myself on the flavors of lime, fish sauce, and fresh veggies, what more did I want when I returned home than a pizza?  My tastes have expanded since the Domino days to a flare of gourmet, but I bet if I had a Domino’s pizza now, I’d still find it delicious. Here are the reasons why this pizza is awesome:

1. Salad and main meal in one plate

2. Sweet/salty combo (you can add fresh figs when they’re in season for an extra punch)

3. Great for dinner party’s because it’s unique with the balsamic sauce and pizza (everyone loves pizza) AND it’s very easy to make

The pizza is inspired by a restaurant in Cambridge, Mass – Cambridge One – great bar and pizza!

Ingredients:

– 4 medium red onions sliced

– 2 tbs of butter

– 1/2-1 cup of balsamic

– 2 tbs of sugar

– Block of goat cheese

– Good prosciutto (5-6 slices)

– Bag of arugula

– Pizza dough (either store bought or this recipe is easy and good – http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/03/no-knead-pizza-dough)

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius

– Melt butter in a frying at medium to high eat (cast iron preferred to deglaze) and once melted, put in the onions

– Cook the onions stirring occasionally until translucent (10min) and browning in the bottom of the pan

– Pour in balsamic with sugar and stir until syrupy

– Pour over pizza dough evenly

– Crumble the goat cheese

– Cook until dough is golden brown

– Remove pizza and top with prosciutto and arugula

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Winter Soup: Sausage, White Bean and Kale

The weather in Basel has been grey, cold and rainy.  Although the temperatures aren’t anywhere near what we experienced in Hanover, I still am yearning for a glimpse of sun.  At least the the weather isn’t  stopping us from enjoying the full range of festivals Basel has in store. We enjoyed dozens of rides for the fall festival, Herbestmesse.  We got completely drenched with friends, but felt like we were kids again enjoying the gluhwein, brautwursts and cheesy bread. Granted I got totally motion sick at the end of the night…now we’re waiting for the Christmas markets to charm the city center.

The only other excitement with the weather turning is that we are in soup season again!  There is nothing better than having a hot pot of soup just steaming and reducing on your stove.  This recipe is one of my favorite soups because it’s hearty and really flavorful.  I also love kale and finally found some at the French markets.

Ingredients:

– 1 garlic clove (minced)

– 1 dried red pepper (chopped)

– 4 shallots (minced)

– 2 onions (minced)

– olive oil

– 2 sausages (I like to get merguez or something flavored. They had fennel ones at the store, which were delicious – chopped)

– 4 Cups Chicken Broth

– Parmesan rind

– 2 bay leaves

– 10 stalks of kale (chopped)

– Salt and pepper to taste

– 1 can of white beans

Directions:

– Heat olive oil in a pot (preferably a Le Creuset-like pot) and when hot toss in onions, shallots, garlic and chili. Saute until onions are translucent

– Place in sausage and brown the sausage. You want to get a nice brown base at the bottom of the pot.

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See the brown?!

– Pour in chicken stock and degalze (very important to make sure you get a good soup base)

– Bring to a boil adding in the bay leaves and parmesan rind

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– Turn the heat down low to reduce for an hour or so

– Remove bay leaves and what’s left of the rind and add kale and white beans

– Bring back to a boil and serve to beat those winter blues away!

– Optional garnish: parmesan cheese and parsley

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Goat Recipes!

Thanks Cat for your lovely post recapping our wedding!   After a month in the States, an amazing wedding in Wonalancet, NH and a glorious honeymoon in Greece, I am slowly returning to our daily rhythm in Basel.  We are still glowing from all the outpouring of love and support from our wedding as well as perhaps the strong sun in Greece despite the multiple applications of sunscreen throughout the day.  I loved the food in Greece (more on that later including a 5L jug of olive oil), but for now, I am glad to be back cooking.   Tonight I used my own recipe of Dan Dan noodles from a few posts back and we ate on a muggy summer day, which has broken thanks to a thunder storm as we speak.

My *husband* (eeeeeek  – first time in ‘print’) looked through our blog recently and commented on the lack of meat wondering if he wasn’t in the picture, whether I would be subsisting on seaweed, noodles, brown rice, kale, and tofu.  He’s most likely right, but thanks to him, I get exposed to such adventurous cooking as the below.

Consequently, none of these are my recipes.  This is all K-man, meat-master himself.  The first is a goat leg with potato gratin, which we luckily enjoyed with friends, and the second is goat liver in a rosemary red-wine balsamic reduction. The latter I did not have the pleasure to sample as I was in the States already.  Measurements are unclear as usual.

Goat leg with Potato Gratin

Marinade:

– Red wine

– Crushed black pepper

– Cumin

– Mustard

Potatoes:

– Mandolin potatoes

– Season with oil and rosemary

Preparation:

– Trim the goat leg of excess fat

– Insert five crushed gloves of garlic into the leg with slits

– Spread marinade over the leg three hours prior to roasting

– Prior to roasting, sprinkle with salt and rosemary and lay potatoes below so they get covered in the juices from the lamb

– Put at 400 degrees F to develop a crust for 10 min then turn down to 350 degrees F

Goat Liver in Rosemary Red-Wine Reduction

Ingredients:

– 3 white onions

– Spring of rosemary and 1 bay leaf

– 1/4 cup Balsamic

– 1.5 cups Red wine

– Flour, butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper

Preparation:

– Caramelize onions in butter until browned

– Pour in red wine  and balsamic with spring of rosemary and one bay leaf

– Simmer until reduced

– In a separate pan, lightly dust liver with flour and sear in olive oil (be careful not to overcook) with salt and pepper to taste

– Pour sauce over liver

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