Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I tried this Peruvian roast chicken in green sauce recipe for the first time last week, and I can’t stop eating it! It’s not just the chicken either, it’s the sauce. I loooove the sauce. I made enough to have extra, and I’ve been putting it on everything. It’s tangy, spicy, garlicky, and just spectacular.  And the chicken is lip-smackingly good too!

There are two stages to this recipe, which I adapted from Epicurious, but since we’re only making it for one person (instead of a whole chicken) we can cut some steps and speed everything up. The reviews on the original commented that it was a lot of work (but worth the trouble). But, my way, it isn’t a lot of bother at all.  There’s a lot less to chop and a single chicken thigh cooks a lot faster than a whole bird. You wait less and you don’t have to baste as much either. No need to butterfly/spatchcock one piece of chicken!

First you mix up a spice rub for the chicken and spread it on the meat. While the chicken cooks, you make up the sauce, which is essentially tossing ingredients in a mini chopper or blender and then mixing them together with some mayonnaise. Baste the chicken once and then serve it with the sauce.

The chicken cooks at a higher temperature than usual, so it ends up with crispy skin, while still retaining its juices. Plus, it’s ready in 35-40 minutes instead of an hour and a half.

If you like, you can add a salad of cucumber, avocado, lime, olive oil, and scallions on the side.




Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Peruvian

one serving

peruvian roast chicken with green sauce

Tangy, garlicky and spicy, this chicken ends up with crispy skin outside and juicy meat inside. It looks so good (and tastes better) you can serve it for company. You may not want to share though.

Ingredients

    Chicken
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp tablespoon paprika
  • grinding black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 chicken thigh
    Green Sauce
  • 1/4 C spinach leaves, packed
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño, chopped (keep or remove the seeds depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 3/4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mayonnaise

Instructions

    Chicken
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and move a rack to the center of the oven.
  2. Mix the spices and half the salt together in a bowl, and cut the lemon in quarters. Add the zest from one of the quarters (about 1/4 teaspoon) to the spice mixture. Then squeeze the second quarter to get about one and a half teaspoons of lemon juice. Add that to the spice mixture.
  3. Rub chicken thigh on both sides with the zested quarter and squeeze the juice over the meat.
  4. Loosen the skin on the chicken thigh and rub half the spice mixture both over and under the skin. Then season with the rest of the salt.
  5. Place the chicken on a small roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Then brush the skin wit the rest of the spice mixture and the juices from the pan. Roast another 20-25 minutes. Check to see that the juices run clear and the chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Remove from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
    Green Sauce
  1. Purée the spinach, jalapeño, garlic, oil, lime juice, and remaining salt in a mini chopper or blender until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add mayonnaise and purée until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl and serve drizzled over the chicken. This will keep in the fridge for several days.

Notes

If you don't have a fresh lemon, you can use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice instead.

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Green Sauce Substitutions and Variations

Unlike the usual changes, this list is largely focused on the sauce, rather than the chicken.

  • Try different herbs or combinations of herbs and leafy greens instead of the spinach. You could use basil, coriander (the original recipe), or some sage
  • Instead of mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt or lebne
  • Serve the sauce over eggs with crusty bread
  • Use the sauce as a dip with fresh cut up carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber wedges
  • if you don’t have fresh lemon, use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice

More Chicken Recipes

Crispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Chili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

Feta Brined Roast Chicken




Mini Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

This week would have been my dad’s 84th birthday.  I thought about writing a tribute post last year, when he died, but I was in no mental condition to do it. And then all hell kept breaking loose and I was too physically and emotionally wrung out to do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.  However, one thing about my dad: he had a terrible sweet tooth. He loved desserts, chocolate, and pies. Especially pies.  Particularly strawberry and blueberry pies. Sadly, I haven’t found the right strawberry pie recipe yet. For some reason, most of them have rhubarb, which he hated, or cream cheese, or even jello?! (nope nope nope) but this mini blueberry hand pie recipe is something he would have loved.

The pies are stuffed with blueberries, they’re sweet, and they taste like long, summer days.

I happen to like the fact that this mini blueberry hand pie recipe makes a bunch of little, one person serving hand-held pies, rather than a single large one.  It’s much easier to just eat one, and a hand-held pie is a lot less messy than a standard pie.  You don’t need silverware or a plate, you can just pick one up and eat it. They make a wonderful, sweet, summery treat. They’re easy to eat, and easy to pack for lunch or a picnic, without making a big mess. A slice of pie doesn’t travel all that well!

I’ve adapted this recipe from King Arthur, cutting the recipe in half to make four pies, rather than eight. Eight was a bit much! If you don’t have time to finish the recipe all at once, you can make the filling, chill the dough, and then come back to it later. The finished pies will keep well in the fridge for several days, or you can freeze them.




Mini Blueberry Hand Pies

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

four servings

mini blueberry hand pies

Mini blueberry hand pies that are easy to pack and the perfect size for one person.

Ingredients

    CRUST
  • 1 cup flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cold sour cream
    FILLING
  • 1 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 T plus 2 tsp sugar
  • small pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    GLAZE
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Add flour, salt, and baking powder to a medium size bowl. Whisk them all together until they are thoroughly mixed. Add the butter, mixing it together until the mixture is crumbly with pea size pieces of butter.
  2. Now mix in the sour cream. It should end up with chunks of flour/butter/sour cream.
  3. Sprinkle some extra flour onto a counter or board and then dump the flour/butter/sour cream mixture onto the board. Knead it together (just a few turns), to form a dough.
  4. Shape the dough into a log shape (doesn’t have to be perfect or neat). Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture out into a rectangle, about 4 x 5 inches. Sprinkle it with flour, turn it over and sprinkle the other side.
  5. Fold the dough into thirds, starting at one third from the bottom, and then from the middle to the top (like folding a letter into an envelope).
  6. Wrap the “letter” in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
  7. Rinse and drain the berries and add them to a small saucepan (don’t heat it yet). Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the berries in the pan. Add the salt, and then the lemon juice, and stir it all together.
  8. Now put the pan on the stove and heat on medium-high. Cook, and stir, until the liquid starts to simmer. Turn the heat down and keep cooking, and stirring, for about five minutes (until it starts to thicken).
  9. Once the blueberries are cooked, take them off the heat and let them come to room temperature. You can do this part in advance, and refrigerate the berry mixture until you are ready to bake. Just let it come to room temperature again before you start.
  10. Preheat the oven to 425, with the rack on a middle shelf.
  11. Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
  12. Roll out the dough into a 7 x 7 inch square. Cut out eight squares, using a knife or a pastry wheel, or a square dough cutter, if you have one.
  13. Put about a tablespoon of filing onto four of the squares and brush some of the beaten egg along the edges.
  14. Cut slits into the remaining four squares and then place one slitted square over each filled one. Push along the edges, using a fork, to create a seal.
  15. Take the rest of the beaten egg and brush it along the top of each mini pie and then place the pies on the baking sheet.
  16. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the pies for 18 to 20 minutes. They should turn a light brown. Take them out of the oven, and let them cool a bit (about 20 minutes or so) before you eat one.
  17. They’ll stay in the fridge or a week or so or keep at room temperature (wrapped loosely) for a few days. Or, you can freeze them to eat later.




More Fruit Dessert Recipes

Rustic Pear Tart

Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

 

Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I loooove starch: pasta, rice, potatoes, you name it. Especially the noodles and the potatoes.  The trouble with the potatoes though, is that baking them takes a while. Yes, I know you can microwave them, but the texture isn’t right.  Or, you can fry them. That’s faster. On the other hand, cutting up and frying French fries still takes a while, uses lots of oil, and it’s messy.  However, there is a solution! The answer is these crispy garlic basil potato bites.  They’re bite size pieces of crispy, fragrant, fluffy potato heaven.

You cook them in a skillet, with just a couple of teaspoons or so of oil, and a bit of butter. Unlike a baked potato, they’re ready in under 25 minutes!  And the only thing you really need to chop is the potato. Yay!

The potatoes end up crispy and brown on the outside, and creamy on the inside. Almost like French fries (but much easier) and with an extra flavor boost from the garlic and the basil.

I adapted this from a recipe that called for making the dish with sage leaves.  I had none, so I used basil leaves instead. It would also be good with rosemary (preferably fresh). The garlic clove is left whole, so it adds lots of flavor without being overpowering.  Also, the recipe said to peel the potatoes, but I’m lazy, so I didn’t bother.  Besides, more vitamins that way!

Not to mention, it’s an easy side dish that doesn’t require a lot of fussing.  And, it goes well with crispy lemon chicken, a lamb chop, or meatloaf.  You can pop the chicken in the oven and then start the potatoes about half way through. Or, start a lamb chop about halfway through cooking the potatoes.  Great with a hamburger too (you may have spotted them in the background of last week’s newsletter).




Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 24 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one serving

crispy garlic basil potato bites

Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy inside, with a burst of flavor from mellow garlic and summery basil.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large potato (I used Yukon Gold), scrubbed, and cut into small wedges, about an inch or so
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp canola or neutral oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch ground black  pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Rinse the potatoes in cool water, and drain them. Use a paper towel to pat them dry.
  2. Heat a small skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the butter and the oil.
  3. Pour the potato pieces into the pan and cover it.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Rotate them every once in a while, so they brown evenly.
  5. Turn the heat to low, add the garlic, replace the cover, and cook another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you are using and toss it all together.
  7. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Crispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites Substitutions and Variations

  • Use different fresh herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or sage
  • Add more garlic
  • Try some hot pepper flakes
  • Or, add some crispy bacon
  • Try the potatoes with lemon, garlic, and sage

More Potato Side Dish Recipes

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Paprika Potatoes

French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad




Quick and Easy Summer Pasta

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer here in the US, even though actual summer doesn’t start for another month.  This quick and easy summer pasta lives up to its name. It’s great for hot, sticky weather (which we always get plenty of here in NY).  The dish can be eaten hot or cold, and since there’s no mayonnaise, it’s perfect for picnics or traveling. And, it’s good either for a quick lunch or a light dinner.  Pairs beautifully with a cold glass of Chardonnay.

I’ve adapted this dish from a recipe for summer pasta in Jacques Pépin’s Fast Food My Way cookbook.The only thing you have to cook is the pasta. The rest is just a bit of chopping and maybe shredding or grating the cheese.  I’ve used parmesan, but put in anything you like that works. It could be mozzarella, or Fontina too.

He says to warm the veggies first, but I didn’t. I don’t like freshly cooked tomatoes; they taste odd to me (kind of like some people think coriander tastes like soap).  If you don’t have that issue, go right ahead and heat the veggies, for thirty seconds or so, in the microwave.

The original recipe called for zucchini, but having none, I went with some bell pepper instead. So, use whatever vegetables you like or have handy. For example,  use zucchini, carrots, some cooked eggplant, a handful of spinach, or a mixture of bell peppers (I love the mini ones). This is not baking, so exact ingredients and careful measuring aren’t crucial.

One more thing, as is, this is a light, easy meal. If you want to make it heartier, add some protein to make it more filling.




Quick and Easy Summer Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: American

one serving

quick and easy summer pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. dried pasta (preferably short, such as fusilli)
  • 1 quart water (for cooking pasta)
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2-3 sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 C green bell pepper, diced
  • pinch salt
  • grinding black pepper
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T grated parmesan cheese
  • 1T fresh basil, shredded

Instructions

  1. Boil the water and add the pasta. Cook about 10-12 minutes, until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the tomatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a medium size bowl. Toss everything together.
  3. Once the pasta is ready, drain it, and add it to the bowl with the veggies.
  4. Add the grated cheese and the basil.
  5. Toss everything together.

Quick and Easy Summer Pasta Substitutions and Variations

    • swap the pasta for some crusty bread (and transform it into panzanella)
    • add some green olives castelvetrano would work nicely)
    • toss in some diced Genoa salami
    • include some pre-cooked leftover chicken, cut in strips
    • add chunks of hard boiled egg

More Quick and Easy Summer Pasta Recipes

Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese

Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Sometimes you get recipes from a cookbook, or online, or from a friend. This recipe for spinach lamb meatballs started in a cookbook in NY, bounced to the US West coast, and then back again to NY. It was a cross-country collaboration!

Here’s what happened.  A friend had some ground lamb and was looking for dinner ideas.  I mentioned a spinach lamb meatball recipe I had and gave her the ingredients.

She wanted to serve her meatballs with marinara sauce, so I suggested she might want to change it around a bit (the original recipe called for nutmeg, which wasn’t going to work with marinara sauce). Also, while the recipe I had fit her requirements, it was, honestly, a bit bland, and needed more punch.

She added her own spin, then told me what she did. I made a few more changes, and ended up with this recipe.

Red wine vinegar stands up to the lamb’s assertive flavor, while cumin adds a warm, nutty, slightly spicy bite. The spinach adds color, and those all important vitamins and iron too.

It’s pretty easy to put together too. First, you sweat the onions (cook them over low heat for a few minutes, until they become transparent). Then wash and dry the spinach (this is important, otherwise the meatballs will be too moist and won’t hold together). The rest is simply measuring, mixing, and rolling.




Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Meditteranean

one serving

spinach lamb meatballs

Rich with lamb, tangy vinegar, earthy spinach, and spicy/warm cumin, this spinach lamb meatballs recipe is ready in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 C spinach, washed, drained, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 egg (break the egg, mix with a fork, and pour off half into a container, save that for another use)
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1T breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a small skillet. Add the onions, and sweat them, cooking on low heat for about 5 minutes until they become translucent.
  2. Add the cooked onions to a large bowl, and then the remaining ingredients. Mix everything together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into meatballs, about one inch in diameter.
  4. Wipe out the pan you used for the onions, add the rest of the oil and heat on medium-high heat. Then cook the meatballs, turning gently so they cook on all sides. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and serve.

Notes

Note: it's easier to turn the meatballs if you use two teaspoons (one on each side) to rotate them)

Spinach Lamb Meatballs Substitutions and Variations

  • try red wine (say a Pinot Noir) instead of the vinegar
  • add an extra flavor punch and spice with some harissa
  • use ground beef instead of lamb
  • skip the cumin and have the meatballs with marinara sauce
  • serve the meatballs with Greek yogurt and cucumber

More Lamb Recipes

Turkish Lamb Burgers

Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe




Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

The great thing about pork tenderloin is that it’s fancy enough for guests, but so easy and quick you can serve it on an ordinary weeknight.  Adding mushrooms and a bit of sour cream transforms the pork from plain to elegant. And, it’s done in about twenty minutes or so.  There’s very little fussing.  The only thing you have to cut up is a few mushrooms (and then slice the pork at the end).  You get a rich, creamy sauce boosted by the bite of Dijon mustard and piquant capers —both of which complement the pork beautifully.

Add some rice (I always make extra so I can just reheat it) and a simple salad and you’re ready to eat. In this case, I went with just some spinach and cucumber, topped with baslamic vinaigrette. And now, that I think of it, the balsamic vinaigrette would likely work well with the pork too. That’s really easy!

Make sure to get the pork tenderloin, not a pork loin roast. The tenderloin is long and skinny and weighs about a pound each.  You cook it fairly quickly on high heat. Think of it as the filet mignon of pork. The loin roast is closer to a pork version of roast beef. It’s much larger and rounder and you cook it low and slow.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, on to the recipe.  This is adapted slightly from an old New York Times Menu cookbook recipe. The recipe in the book called for pork chops (which you can also use if you like).  If you do that, cook them 2-4 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. The original recipe called for a much longer cooking time, but the chops then were much fattier.

 




Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: American

one

pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour cream

Ingredients

  • 1 half pork tenderloin (about 4-6 oz)
  • 2 1/4 tsp flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2-3 mushrooms, sliced (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 tsp water
  • 2 T sour cream

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the tenderloin and cook, on medium high heat, turning until the outside browns, about 5 minutes.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the tenderloin, and add the mushrooms. Let cook for a minute, then add the beef stock, mustard, capers, and water.
  4. Cover, and simmer for 8 minutes, turning the pork occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and let the pan rest for five minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat for a minute on low to warm the sauce.
  6. Remove from the pan, slice the meat and serve.

Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream Substitutions and Variations

  • Use pork chops instead of the tenderloin (get the boneless center cut)
  • Make it a bit lighter with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Add a splash of white wine or Marsala (sweet) wine to the sauce
  • Toss in some scallions or some shallots or onions (skip the capers if you do)

More Pork Recipes

Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples

Schezuan Chili Noodles

Apple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person




Eggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

So here we are again with two major holidays on the same weekend.  And, they’re two holidays with entirely different food requirements!  One traditionally goes for brisket and matzo; the other gets lamb or ham. However, there are two common themes. The first one is eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.  The second is everyone stuffs themselves silly at either one or two big dinners.  But, you still have to eat something in-between all of that. Eggs with spinach and chili peppers is just the thing. It’s quick, and easy to make. And, it’s not a big, heavy meal.  It’s essentially a sort of egg pancake or frittata, except with South Asian flavoring.

The other nice thing about this recipe, is it’s done in two stages, but you only need a single skillet to make it.  First you cook the veggies, garlic, and ginger, then add the eggs to the same pot.  Let those cook, and you’re done.  Add the yogurt (or not) to serve.  Depending on your affiliation, serve with toast, matzo, or just some fresh fruit. If your chili is super hot, the sweetness in the fruit will also help reduce the burn from the pepper.

Oh, and a third thing. It’s ready in about 15 minutes.  So, if you’re hungry, and it’s late (as it was the first time I made this), you don’t have to wait long for a hot meal.

I adapted this from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking.  In addition to reducing the amounts, I replaced the coriander with spinach. I don’t particularly like fresh coriander and I know lots of other people don’t care for it either.  And, since my jalapeño pepper turned out to be really, really super hot, I added a dollop of Greek yogurt to cool it off, even though that wasn’t in the recipe.  I found I liked it better that way too.




 

 

Eggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: Indian

one

eggs with spinach and chili pepper

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • two pinches of salt (divided)
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T chopped spinach
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced into thin rounds (keep the seeds if you prefer your food spicier, remove them if not)
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them with a fork. Add one pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper.
  2. Pour the oil into a medium size skillet and set it over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot (it will sizzle if you add a drop of water), add the scallions.
  3. Stir the scallions in the pan with a wooden spoon and let them cook for a minute until they brown slightly.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds more.
  5. Once the garlic softens, add the spinach, jalapeño pepper, ginger, and turmeric to the pan and stir briefly.
  6. Add the lemon juice and the rest of the salt and stir that into the spinach mixture, spreading everything evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  7. Now pour in the eggs. Pick up the pan and swirl it around so that the eggs cover the pan from side to side. It should look like an egg pancake.
  8. Put a cover over the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for two or three minutes, until the eggs are firm on the edges and cooked through.  They may be slightly brown and crispy on the edges.
  9. Cut into wedges (like a pie) and serve topped with yogurt (if you like).

Eggs with Spinach and Chili Pepper Substitutions and Variations

  •  use the coriander if you like it
  • add two or three sliced mushrooms to the vegetable mixture
  •  toss in 1/4 C diced canned tomatoes
  • if you’re not a spicy food fan, replace the chili with some bell pepper

 

More Egg Recipes

Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

Cherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Fried Egg Burrito

Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

 




Vietnamese Baked Chicken with Lime

Great for a weeknight dinner, this Vietnamese baked chicken with lime is an easy meal that requires very little active work.  Measure, mince, and pour, then let it sit.  Once it’s finished marinating, all you have to do is cook it for half an hour. The ginger and garlic are warm and spicy, while the chili garlic sauce has a bit of a kick. The lime adds brightness and a citrusy tang that complements the spicy flavors and cools them down. 

The original recipe called for chili garlic paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce.  And, it’s true, those ingredients would be more authentic. However, they also violate my own rules about avoiding  hard-to-find or one use ingredients.  I don’t want to buy an entire bottle or brick of something (like palm sugar) just to have it sit there. And where would I even find palm sugar? Nope.

So, I cheated.  I used chili garlic sauce (not paste), swapped brown sugar for palm sugar, and ditched the fish sauce in favor of Worcestershire sauce (which does have some anchovies in it). I also wanted (for personal preference) to avoid all the salt in the fish sauce.

Marinating, even for a short time, helps the chicken absorb lots of flavor. Just don’t let it sit too long or it will get mushy from the citrus.

When you’re ready to start cooking, just pour out the marinade, pop the chicken in the oven, and wait half an hour. Dinner is done!




Vietnamese Baked Chicken with Lime

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Vietnamese

one

Vietnamese baked chicken with lime

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken thigh (leave the skin and bone in place)
  • 1T soy sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce (if you like fish sauce, use that)
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T cooking oil

Instructions

  1. lIn a small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, ginger, chili garlic sauce, lime juice and zest, garlic and oil).  Pour that into a zip lock bag, and add the chicken.  Close the bag, and shake it around so the marinade covers the chicken.Let that sit for half an hour, or up to four hours (in the fridge).
  2. About fifteen minutes before you’re ready to cook, remove the tray from your toaster oven and line it with foil. Then preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees. Also take the chicken out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
  3. Take the chicken out of the bag and set it on top of a wire rack, skin side up,  and then place the rack over the lined toaster oven tray.  This will reduce cleanup a bit and help keep the chicken from getting soggy.
  4. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for five minutes. Serve with rice and garnish with lime.

Vietnamese Baked Chicken with Lime Substitutions and Variations

  • add some soy sauce to the marinade
  • swap the lime zest for lemongrass (you can buy lemongrass paste, which is easier to find in western markets than the stalks)
  • chop up some cilantro and add that to the marinade
  • if you do like fish sauce, I’m told Red Boat and Three Crabs are good brands (avoid the Taste of Thai, it’s full of sugar)

More Chicken Recipes

One Pot Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

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Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Since it’s spring and everything is turning green (and yellow and pink), it’s time to take advantage and turn from heavy food to something lighter and fresher. Spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko hits all those buttons. It’s light, it’s green, and it’s a bit of a flavor bomb that will wake up your taste buds.

It’s got zesty garlic, and earthy fresh spinach, paired with tangy capers, briny olives and a burst of citrus. Crispy, golden-brown panko crumbs mixed with dill and lemon zest add a bit of crunch.

In fact, I shared it with some friends and one of them said, “Oh I want that! I want it now! But I’m at work! Sob.”

I hate that the internet doesn’t include a “push here for spaghetti option”!

I found the original recipe on Bon Appetit, but I changed it a bit.  First, it had anchovies. Nope! Nope!  Second, I swapped the original parsley for some spinach instead. One, I had lots of spinach. And two, I don’t like parsley all that much, so there’s no point in buying a whole bunch of it. The spinach I will use for other meals.

One more small thing. The recipe said to cut some of the olives in half and then chop up the rest. It may have said to chop up the capers too (the instructions were a bit unclear). I started to chop the olives and then decided it was silly, so I stopped.

It also occurred to me after I made it that I could prepare the pasta first, then keep it warm while I cooked the panko and mixed everything else together.  Just drain and wipe the saucepan, add the oil and panko, and proceed with the rest of the recipe. That way it’s only one pot!

I used ordinary green olives (because they were handy). I think I will try it next time with castelvetrano olives instead, since they are my favorite olive (and taste great with pasta).

Oh dear, I’m revising and internet commenting my own recipe! Ha!




Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one

spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 T fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1/4 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 2 1/4 tsp drained capers
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium size skillet.
  2. Add the panko and cook stirring, over medium heat, for a minute or two. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Once the panko turns golden brown, remove it from the pan and spoon it on a paper towel so it will drain. Add salt and pepper and mix in the dill and lemon zest.
  3. Boil water in a large pot, add salt, and then add the spaghetti. Stir the pasta when you add it, so it doesn't stick. Once the spaghetti is done (about 8-10 minutes), remove from the pot and drain nearly all the water. Keep about 2 T of the water in reserve (this will help thicken the sauce).
  4. While the spaghetti is cooking, mash the garlic. Use the broad edge of a wide knife to smash it, and then smear it around on the cutting board with the side of the knife to make a paste. Put the mashed garlic, spinach, basil, olives, and capers in a large bowl. Now add the rest of the olive oil. Toss it all together and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and the half the reserved cooking water to the spinach olive mixture. Mix it all together so that the pasta is covered. If it's too dry, add more of the pasta liquid.
  6. Squeeze the lemon you used for the zest and add 1 1/2 tsp of juice to the sauce.
  7. Top that with the panko mixture and more Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko Substitutions and Variations

  • like anchovies and parsley? Go for it!
  • use castelvetrano olives instead, they are firmer and more buttery
  • top the whole thing with some red pepper flakes
  • add more garlic
  • use the sauce over cooked fish (such as cod or tilapia)

More Spaghetti Recipes

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese




Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

I usually plan my meals, not precisely, but generally write down six or seven entrees and build from there. But, I had some ground lamb in the freezer and didn’t quite know what to do with it. My first thought was shepherd’s pie.  But that requires first making mashed potatoes and then making the meat mixture. Too much work.  Then I dug into my bookmarks and found a recipe for keema (or kima).  She says it’s her most requested recipe! Keema is, roughly speaking, Pakistani shepherd’s pie (or maybe cottage pie, since the original is made with beef). It’s got ground meat, potatoes, and some veggies.  And, best of all it only requires one pot!  That’s my kind of cooking.

I’ve seen this spelled keema, and kima or called keema aloo (for the potatoes).  However you spell it, you get a savory, not too spicy all-in-one pot meal. A meal which is ready in about half an hour too.

I used ground lamb, but ground beef is fine if that’s what you have.  You could probably even make it with ground turkey if you wanted to. Chicken would probably be a bit bland.

Don’t be put off by the ingredients list. It’s mostly just adding small amounts of spices into the pan. You don’t even really have to measure.  Just shake the jars a couple of times (if you have the kind with the small holes in the lids) or grab a pinch.

This is generally made with peas, but I didn’t have any so I tossed in some frozen broccoli instead. You could use the peas or whatever other veggies you have such as: cauliflower, cabbage, or peppers. I used Yukon gold potatoes, but regular russet potatoes will work too. You could even substitute sweet potatoes if you like.

As written, this recipe is relatively mild. If you want more heat, increase the curry, and/or add some fresh hot peppers or red pepper flakes.

If you want to go all out with the starch, you can serve this with rice or naan.  I just made a side salad (trying to get my veggies in!).




Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Pakistani

one

Lmab keema with potatoes and broccoli

Ingredients

  • 1T cooking oil or butter
  • 1/4 C chopped onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 ground lamb or beef
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch cumin
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ginger (ground)
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 small to medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 C frozen broccoli or peas

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil or melt the butter in a medium skillet.
  2. Add the chopped onion and the minced garlic and cook about five minutes until the onion softens (watch to make sure it doesn't burn).
  3. Crumble the chopped meat into the pan and brown it, cooking about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the spices, salt, and pepper.
  5. Now, put in the cubed potato and the tomatoes.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Check it once or twice and add a little water if necessary to keep it from drying out.
  7. After 10-15 minutes, put in the broccoli (or peas) and cook another 10 minutes.

 

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli Substitutions and Variations

  • Try a different kind of protein, such as beef or ground turkey
  • Use peas instead of broccoli
  • Add some coconut
  • Spice it up with hot peppers, more curry, or fresh ginger instead of ground
  • Add some yogurt

More Lamb Recipes

Turkish Lamb Burgers

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe