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Posts tagged ‘Dinner’

Chicken Biryani

For the longest time I have wanted to make Chicken Biryani.

I’ve seen it on menus at Indian restaurants, but always end up ordering the Butter Chicken…..cause that’s the kind of girl I am.

And then in Canada we have a food product line called “President’s Choice” which is associated with a chain of grocery stores and so The President……who’s choice I’m assuming these products are……who seems like a fun enough guy, is always doing these funny commercials for his stuff.  And lately he’s been flogging the President’s Choice frozen Chicken Biryani.   So I’ve REALLY wanted to eat some!

Then I went on-line to just “look up” a recipe!  Easy enough!  Only it seemed that every recipe I seemed to find was a long drawn out ordeal that I just couldn’t be bothered with!!

Then along came my blog friend at Frugal Feeding with a lickedy split recipe for Chicken Biryani that will knock your socks off!

Well, let’s just say, you’ll really like it!

I followed his recipe to the “T”  (except for the Bay leaves, which I never seem to have and find tedious)  which, if you are a regular visitor to this blog, you know I sometime can find sticking to recipes a bit challenging!  But this one was great!

The Chef and I ate this…..till we could eat no more!!

Chicken Biryani


Fancy Fish Dinner

The Chef whipped up a very tasty quick summer supper.

I can’t be completely sure what is actually in anything, he sometimes gets a little secretive about what he is making.  Let’s face it, with someone like me around, he is going to guard his secrets so I don’t make “Cheffing” look too easy!!

Here is what we had:

  • Baked salmon with garlic, lemon & capers topped with tomato salsa
  • Couscous with diced red pepper & chopped fresh basil
  • Shaved fennel, red onion & lemon salad
  • Beet and blueberry salad

That’s a lot of brain food going on there.  Salmon, beet, blueberry, fennel, all with a lot of lemon, just tons of nutrients AND it all tasted great!!

Chicken and Broccoli bake

I had a roommate long ago who used to make something like this.  It was very comforting and I often try to recreate it, but haven’t quite figured it out.

This version does the trick though.

I started with some frozen chicken breasts.   But don’t fret, we can use that to our advantage!

I popped them into a sauce pan with about 4 cups of water, give or take, with a shot of olive oil and about a table-spoon of “poultry seasoning” and a pinch of salt and then put them on to boil.

Meanwhile, I chopped up a nice size onion and browned it up in a bit of oil in a large skillet with a clove or two of chopped garlic.

When they were brown enough, I poured them into a good size casserole dish and spread them evenly on the bottom.

Then I fished the chicken breasts out of the boiling water ( which is now very much like chicken broth!) and popped them into the skillet with the onion flavours still lingering!

Brown the chicken breasts to give them a little colour and a lot more flavour.

While those are browning, wash and chop up a head of broccoli, in hind sight, I would have chopped it smaller than I did, but if you like bigger bits of brocoli feel free to chop them to  the size you like.  Spread them into the casserole over the onion.

I then added a few handfuls of fresh chopped parsley to help give it some colour.

Meanwhile back at the chicken……

As they browned up, I fished them out of the skillet one by one and sliced them into 2-3 bite size morsels then tossed them back in the skillet and repeated till all were cut.  Then I added about 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to zing it up a bit.

Meanwhile, add two cups of short grain brown rice to the casserole dish and toss everything together making sure everything, especially rice, is coated with any juices or flavours going on in there.

Then arrange  the chicken bits in the casserole in some sort of evenly distributed pattern.

Then get about four cups of the left over “chicken water”  ( thought we were just gonna waste it didn’t you??) and pour it all over everything, making sure that most of the stuff, at least all the rice anyway, is submerged.

I think my roommate used to use a can of “cream of something” type soup in hers and that’s what made it so much more creamy or saucyer than mine.  Feel free to experiment, but just make sure you have double the liquid to whatever the rice amount is.

Then cover tightly with tin foil and place into a 375 oven for at least 45 minutes.

After that time take it out and test the rice to see if it’s done.   If it is, sprinkle the top of everything with a good few handfuls of your favorite grated cheese.   I used smokey cheddar and then replace in the over UNCOVERED under the broiler and turn it up to 500 degrees and watch it closely.   It should only take about 5 minutes or less to melt and brown the cheese.

Your done!

Serve at will!

What’s good about this stuff is, it works well the next day as a work lunch, either re-heated ( but I don’t use micro waves) or at room temperature  it is just as good!

Chicken and Broccoli Bake

My Valentines

I know that many of you have expressed envy over the fact that I have a Chef around the house.

And although there are MANY perks to this, there are also a few hazards, like the high risk to your waistline and the fact that there ALWAYS seems to be a lot of dishes!

But on this past Valentines Day this year, I was once again treated to a lovely meal!

Actually it started with a very nice breakfast, simple but effective.

Eggs, cooked inside slices of red pepper that looked very much like heart shapes, on toast, with a bit of cheese.  I couldn’t have been happier!

Heart shaped eggs

Who knows what I had for lunch?  Probably nothing, knowing I would be coming home to a feast.  And a feast it was.

For weeks I have been nagging the Chef to try out something I saw on someone else’s blog.  The other blogger had taken goat cheese, rolled it into balls, breaded them and then deep fried them and then tossed them in hot sauce.  Exactly like you might do with chicken wings!

The Chef, not liking to be outdone, took it up a notch!

Instead of just goat cheese, he used shredded chicken and blue cheese!  So these balls were even closer to a chicken wing!   But then we just dipped ours in hot sauce instead of having them completely covered in them.   

Very tasty! 

Chicken & blue cheese balls

Then we moved on to the “Party Snack Sampler”.  I am a big fan of party snacks so to start with a few to whet my whistle, was very nice.

Tapenade topped goat cheese, hummus and pita. 

And my favorite little Spanakopita!


Next was a simple salad of bundles of baby greens wrapped in finely sliced cucumber with a nice sun-dried tomato and balsamic dressing.

Then the main event.  asparagus filled ravioli on a mound of puree of sweet roasted butternut squash, topped with brown butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Asparagus ravioli with butternut squash and brown butter

Finally, for dessert, the triple header chocolate delight!!

Home made chocolate pudding, topped with grated chocolate infused whipped cream and a shard of Lindt 70% dark chocolate bar!  

Chocolate Triple Header

Doesn’t get much better than THAT!

I am a lucky girl.

Turkey schnitzel

Well now that we have two German style side dishes, I guess we will need something to go with them!

How about some turkey schnitzel?

Not a problem.

Here is what you will need:

  • thinly sliced raw turkey breast

Now you can beat them flatter or roll them or whatever OR you can just get a big breast and slice it thinly.  Which you will find much easier to do if your breast is slightly frozen.

Then prepare you battering station.

You will need three shallow vessels:

  • one with flour
  • one with beaten egg
  • one with jazzed up breadcrumbs ( you can add some paprika or poultry spice, chopped herbs, S&P etc)

Batter station

Then get your skillet nice and hot with a little oil in it and begin the process.

Dip the turkey fillet into the flour, coat well, then to the egg and finally to the breadcrumbs and then into the frying pan!

Turkey schnitzel

Cook thoroughly on both sides and then keep in a warm oven till you have completed your whole batch.

Then when you’ve cooked it all up, it’s time to partner them up with some braised cabbage and spaetzle!

Turkey schnitzel with braised cabbage and spaetzle

Quick Summer Supper

I know that I am kind of cheating on this one, but you can’t expect me to come with something for dinner on my own every night!

Here is what we had with two receipes taken from other people.  But don’t worry, I am giving credit where credit is due.

These were  both very nice, very fresh and great on a hot evening!


Gazpachio Soup ( click here for recipe )

Michael Smith’s tuna salad ( click here for recipe)


Salmon and pancakes

So put them all together and what do you get?

We have “What we had for dinner”!

However this would make a really good brunch or lunch too.

Start with the roasted tomato pancake as the base, top with salmon, add some healthy greens and then drizzle with a little left over salmon cooking juice and you have yourself a lovely meal.

Maple ginger salmon with roasted tomato pancakes


Easy cabbage rolls

I was always intimidated by cabbage rolls.

I first had them as a kid at my German friend’s house.  I was one of those annoying  picky eaters when I was a kid.  Actually I take that back, I WAS a picky eater until I went to Girl Guide camp one summer, where they actually try to make a man out you!!

It was a traumatic event.  It was 10 years old, my first time away from home, deep in the woods, living in tents, with 15 year olds in charge of us and it rained the entire time!  The food was frightful and sparse, luckily we didn’t have to kill it ourselves.  It was a turning point in my life, I was never a picky eater after that!  In fact that’s probably where my tendency to over eat began,  because after that camp experience every meal felt like it could be my last!

But I digress.  Back to the cabbage rolls that I had at my friend’s house.  Normally I would have never eaten something so exotic in those days, but my friend’s mom’s cabbage rolls were the best!

Here is my version.

First you need to boil up a big pot of water.  Then cut the core out of a medium size green cabbage.

Core a green cabbage

Then when the water is boiling, or even just about there, toss in the cabbage.   Well, be careful cause boiling water can burn, but you know what I mean.

Cabbage in the pot

It won’t take long for the leaves to let go.  So keep poking at it with a wooden spoon and the leaves will come loose.   As they do, fish them out with some tongs and put them in a bowl of very cold, or ice water so it will stop the cooking and they will keep their shape and not get too soggy.

Cooling down the cabbage leaves

Meanwhile, or before you start boiling your cabbage, you will want to make your filling.

There are various “traditional cabbage roll” fillings so feel free to use the one of your choice but this is what I used.

  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 pound bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • the left over smaller leaves of the cabbage once large leaves are removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch salt
  • a few twists ground pepper

Mix well.  I find the best way is to just get in there with your hands and squish it together.

Cabbage roll filling

Now it is very easy to make Vegan or Vegetarian versions of these by replacing the meat with extra rice and some sautéed vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, carrots or combinations of these, as well as some cooked brown lentils for example.

Now you are ready to assemble.

Place a cabbage leaf on your work area:

Cabbage leaf

Now if the bottom of the ridge or vein of the cabbage is too tough you can make small slits and remove the hard part to make the leaf easier to roll, but this one was just right.

Add the filling:

Filling on cabbage leaf

Then fold in the sides and roll up into a nice package with seam side down.

Cabbage Roll

Then place into a lightly oiled baking dish in a single layer.

Cabbage rolls in baking dish

Then top with the tomato sauce of your choice.

Cabbage rolls in tomato sauce

At this point you could sprinkle with breadcrumbs, or some grated cheese or if you really wanted to be decadent, a little bit of brown sugar!  But on this occasion, I left them o natural!

Place is a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes till they get all bubbly.

They are just fine all by themselves or you could add some salad and bread to round out the meal.


Cabbage rolls in tomato sauce

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