Chicken Curry with Cashews

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes that a friend gave me years ago and one that I make over and over. It calls for adding the chicken to the dish raw and cooking it, but I always have whole chickens to deal with and since I can't be bothered cutting them up before cooking, I used cooked meat. Usually I roast the whole bird on the day prior, eat one meal from the bird, and the following day I throw the rest into this dish. Honestly this dish is so good it's like dessert. You can't stop eating it.

1/4 c butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TB finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 TB curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne

1 chicken, cut into pieces
14-16 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (this is nice but not essential)
3/4 c cashews (this I suppose is not essential but is what makes the dish dessert like)
3/4 c. whole milk plain yogurt

Heat butter over moderately low heat until foam subsided, then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 2 mins. Add chicken and cook stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

*If making with cooked chicken, add the tomatoes and cilantro after cooking the spices for 2 mins, and let simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Then add the cooked chicken and heat through. Then move to the steps below.

Just before serving (or heating up- the above can be cooked well in advance):
pulse cashews in a food processor until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice.

Vichyssoise (Cream of Leek Soup)

I am including this recipe not just because we have the potatoes and leeks but because this recipe uses miso too. From the cookbook Miso More than Food:Life by Suzanne Dionne, maker of your miso, this is a nice adaptation of the French classic. For a carrot soup, you can substitute 2 cups of grated carrots for the leeks.

2 TB butter
4 medium leeks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 stalks of celery, cut into strips
1/2 tsp chervil
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 cups water

1 cup milk
3 TB miso diluted in 1/4 cup hot water
2 TB chives or green onions, finely chopped
a few garlic croutons

In a pot, melt the butter and cook the leeks, onions, and garlic together for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown. Add the potatoes, celery, chervil, marjoram, and half the water. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Place the mixture in a food processor and puree. Before serving, pour the mixture back into the cooking pan and add the milk and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the miso.

Pour into bowls and top with a few croutons and the chives or green onions, and serve hot.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Share member Melissa Pasanen sent this recipe along a couple weeks ago after receiving the last round of pumpkin puree in the share. The puree makes soups like this a breeze! Assuming you want keep your precious mesclun for salad, you can skip the greens if you don't have anything appropriate in your fridge. But if you don't think you will make salad this week, you could add a few handfuls of your spinach/claytonia mix. This one has been adapted from Simple Suppers from Moosewood.

1 cup coconut milk (or 1 whole can)
1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste, or to taste
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable broth
24 ounces cooked winter squash (the whole 32 oz bag will be fine!)
1 lime
2 cups fresh baby spinach or bok choy leaves, thinly slivered
chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, salt, broth, squash together in a large pot. Cover and bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes or so until heated through. Lightly grate lime and add 1 teaspoon zest and juice of lime. Add spinach or bok choy and cook just until wilted. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with cilantro as desired. Serves 4.

Gilfeather Turnip Soup

Adapted from a recipe created by Greg Parks, Chef at Newfane's Four Columns Inn.

5-6 TB butter
3 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup half and half
scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
salt and pepper to taste

A few handfuls of fresh spinach (or some shoots perhaps?)

Melt butter in 5 quart kettle and sauté chopped onion and garlic until soft but not browned. Add stock and chopped turnips and cook until tender. Drain and reserve some of the liquid. Purée mixture in food processor until smooth. Put through a food mill or sieve and return to kettle. Add seasonings and half and half. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add reserved cooking liquid if soup is too thick. Sauté spinach in a small amount of olive oil until just wilted. Use spinach as a garnish on top of the soup before serving.

Mama's Potato Soup

I made a pot of this soup last night and savored every bite, again. I have been making this soup for 12 years or more and it never lets me down. It's a simple Mexican style soup that uses a pretty basic assortment of vegetables, but they come together beautifully and it's delicious. And spicy! The recipe comes from the Garlic Lovers Cookbook put out by Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. (Gilroy, CA is the self proclaimed garlic capitol of the world). Makes 4-6 servings.

2 TB sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 medium sized tomatoes (perfect place to use your frozen tomatoes - I used 2 cups of tomatoes I had canned)
1/2 cup green chilies (or just 2 jalapenos or chili peppers or what have you - see below!)
1 TB flour
2 Quarts chicken broth (I used turkey this time and veggie broth is great too)
2.5 cups peeled raw potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 medium-sized carrorts, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini (or half a bag frozen)

Garnish with handful of grated cheddar for each bowl of soup.
*Optional - a dollop of sour cream in the bowls
*Optional - Cilantro - if you have fresh or frozen cilantro, toss it in!

*Hot peppers - I once actually put the amount of peppers specified in the recipe, using jalapenos and served it at a party. Holy Moly. I would come across people who'd been sitting for half an hour or more at the table, teary eyed and sweating, trying to get through a bowl of soup, having downed a couple beers in the process just to cool it down. I find that just a couple peppers is plenty spice. In the summer I can hot peppers so I have them around to use in winter. I used 2 canned green chile peppers in my most recent batch.

Heat oil in a 3-Quart saucepan and add garlic, onions, tomatoes and green chilies; saute for 3 mins. Stir in flour and cook for 2 more. Continue stirring as you pour in the hot broth. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Top dress with a handful of grated cheddar and add a dollop of sour cream if it suits you.

Butternut Squash-Parsnip Soup with Thyme

In case you still have parsnips in your veggie drawer leftover from last week (I know I didn't offer up a recipe last week).... This one is from Bon Appetit October 1997.

2 tablespoons butter
1 2-pound butternut squash, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, thick end pieces cut lengthwise in half
1/4 cup water
1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup half and half

In a pot of boiling water, simmer parsnips til tender. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and thyme; sauté until onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Puree onion mixture and parsnips until smooth using a food processor or a potato masher if you don't mind some lumps in your soup. Mix in broth and squash puree.

Transfer mixture to heavy large saucepan. Whisk in half and half (you can substitute whole or even low fat milk here if you lke). Bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

Tunisian Stew

This one has been adapted slightly from a recipe in Andrea Chessman's Serving Up the Harvest. This is a simple and tasty way to get to know this vegetable a bit better.

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 TB olive oil
1 lb turnips, peeled and grated
1 lb tomatoes, skinned and cut into pieces
Sea salt
Black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lb spinach
Large handful of parsley, finely chopped

Fry the onion in oil in a saucepan. When the onion is soft, add the turnips and tomatoes. Season with salt, organic black pepper and organic spices, half cover with water and simmer, uncovered until the turnips are cooked but still crisp. Turn the turnips over once so that they cook evenly. Wash spinach, cut off stems and cut leaves into ribbons. Put them into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until they crumble. Serve hot and garnished with parsley.

Moroccan Style Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew

This recipe from epicurious comes with many solid reviews. I offer it here as a theme, and there is lots of room for improvisation. If you are vegetarian, you can substitute chick peas for the chicken and veggie broth for the chicken broth. You can dig through your fridge and use different root vegetables. Potatoes, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, even some cabbage, all would work great in this stew. Serve it up with couscous and some salad for a fine meal. Adapted from Bon Appetit January 1998, the recipe serves 6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (or chicken thighs or some leftover cooked chicken would work great!)

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled parsnips (or more turnips, carrots, potatoes)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled turnips
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabaga (or potatoes)
2 cups canned chicken (or veggie) broth
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1 cup drained diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh cilantro (or dried or frozen)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and sauté until light golden but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to bowl. (Skip this step if you are using leftover roast chicken from a previous meal.)

Add onion to pot and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add curry powder, cumin and cinnamon stick and stir 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, broth and currants. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken with any accumulated juices to pot. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavors blend, about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Tomato Soup

To go along with my salad, I also made a simple tomato soup. It's very basic, and could be made richer with the addition of some milk or cream, some grated cheese (cheddar or a parm would be great). Serve with some nice fresh flax bread for a good quick meal.

4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 onion sliced thin
3 whole cloves
2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the stock and your taste)
2 teaspoons honey

In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat. Remove cloves. Run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Or puree in blender or food processor (Carefully! Hot liquid!).

In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with honey and salt, and adjust to taste.

Optional - After adjusting seasonings, you could add a touch of cream, or some grated cheese if desired.

Winter Creme Fraiche Baked Potato Soup

The recipe was supplied by Vt Butter and Cheese. Serves 8.

5 baked potatoes
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups 1% milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz creme fraiche
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup scallions

In the oven, bake the potatoes at 400°F for one hour, then peel and mash coarsely. In a large casserole, cook the bacon and onions over medium heat until onions are translucent. Sprinkle flour over bacon and onions and stir until the mixture. Lower the heat and gradually whisk in the milk til blended. Turn heat back to medium and allow the milk mixture to thicken and come to a slow boil while stirring. Add mashed potatoes and cheese stirring until the cheese is melted. Lower the heat and add the creme fraiche, black pepper, and half the scallions. Cover and lower the heat for about 10 minutes, until hot (do not boil). Place soup in bowls and garnish with remaining scallions (and more grated cheese if you would like).
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
These dark, moist muffins will keep well for several days, and the brown sugar on top, should you not skimp on it, adds a crunchy touch. Adapted from King Arthur Flour. Yield: 12-18 muffins

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Winter Creme Fraiche Baked Potato Soup

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