Tag Archives: dinner

Exotic Moroccan-Style Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine
Chicken Tagine
Chicken Tagine marinade
I am so fascinated with global cuisines that I jump from Italian pasta dishes, to Greek deliciousness, Middle Eastern delights, Caribbean flavorful dishes to other exotic cultures. Today, I am taking you on a journey (via my blog) to Morocco for a taste of My Chicken Tagine. A tagine is an earthenware pot in which this dish is traditionally cooked in.  Using preserved lemon is also part of the tradition, however in this recipe,  I used fresh lemon instead. No, I have not been to Morocco but I love the way they use aromatic spices in their dishes. Put on your apron and follow me in the kitchen for this delightful meal.

Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Allow up to 2.5  hours from start to finish

Ingredients for chicken marinade:

  • 5-6 lbs. chicken thighs and legs, skinless
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + slices of lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for marinade

  • Remaining ingredients: 
  • 6 -8 tbsp. of olive oil for searing the chicken
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed olives
  • 8 oz chickpeas
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

    Preparation:

    1) Marinate the chicken for at least one hour,  with onions, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, olive oil.  Keep refrigerated for 45 minutes and keep at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to cooking it. Please keep your house cool.
    2) In a large tagine or Dutch-oven, over med-high heat, heat olive oil, and sear the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. You will do this in batches and use more oil as needed. Remove and set aside.
    3) In the same pan, add the onions from the marinade, sauté for couple minutes, add garlic, sauté for 1 minute, tomato paste, 1-2 minutes till it’s rust in color. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Deglaze with the wine for 1-2 minutes.
    4) Add the chicken, broth, olives, chickpeas, carrots, raisins and lemon slices as seen in picture. Bring to a boil.
    5) Cover and simmer on low flame for 30 minutes. Remove cover, simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Serve with Moroccan couscous. Bon Appetit!

    Gina Martino Zarcadoolas – Foodiewinelover
    My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
    WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur
    Global Cuisines & Cultures Aficionado

Delicious Field Greens & Strawberry Salad

Field Green Salad, Rotisserie Chicken, Sourdough bread
Field Greens Salad, Rotisserie Chicken, Sourdough bread

imageNo one wants to cook during the hot days of summer. For this reason, I like to create different salads and pair them with a protein. Today, I picked up a rotisserie chicken and some sourdough baguette to go with my delicious salad. It’s easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Recently, I started using a nice wooden bowl.  I prepare the dressing right in it, and then, I toss the salad. This way, you avoid more cleaning and save time.   Follow me in the kitchen and watch me whip a quick meal.

 

Warning: If you are allergic to nuts  or any type of seeds, omit the pumpkin seeds.

Serves: 4-6 as a side dish
Level of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1  – 5-oz bag of mixed field greens
  •  1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  •  1 tsp. honey
  •  1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 4.5 oz. garlic and herbs goat cheese, broken into pieces

Preparation:  
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. Slowly, pour the olive oil and continue whisking until it emulsifies. Drop the greens, strawberries, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Toss well.

I served it with 2 store-bought rotisserie chicken, (only 1 in picture)  and some sourdough bread.  My family smeared the goat cheese on the bread and it was divine.

Cook’s note: You can substitute pumpkin seeds for pecans or walnuts.  If you don’t like goat cheese, use another soft cheese of your choice.

Happy Tossing from My Kitchen to Yours!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles

Shrimp Scampi, Oh-So-Yummy

Pasta is big in my family and there are so many ways to enjoy it. There is a variety of shape to choose from, and the recipes that you can create with them are endless. Today, I would love to share with you my Shrimp Scampi recipe, it is easy and delicious. You can use any size shrimp for this dish.

Shrimpscampi 004

Serves: 6 – 8
Difficulty level: Easy

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of pasta, preferably linguine
  • 1.5 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp. butter + more as needed
  • 3/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Pasta water, as needed
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, (Parmesan cheese)

PREPARATION:

1) In a large pot, bring water to a boil, and add desired amount of salt.  Drop the Linguine and cook according to package direction. There is NO need to add oil to the water, IF you’re going to stand there and give it a good stir once in a while. This will prevent the pasta from sticking together. I prefer al dente, it literally means, to the tooth.  It’s when the pasta is cooked on the outside but firm on the core. You get this result by reducing the cooking time by 1-2 minutes. Use the package directions as a guideline. I recommend this method because the pasta will cook again in the Shrimp.

2) While the pasta is cooking,  season shrimp with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, in a large frying pan, heat the oil and 2 tbsp. butter, sauté shrimp for about 3-4 minutes on one side, turn them, add the garlic, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Those are extra-large shrimp and need more cooking time, for smaller shrimp,  cut the cooking time, otherwise, they will become overcooked and rubbery. Shrimp are considered cooked when they become opaque, and obtain a nice pink/orange color.

3) Deglaze with the wine and lemon,  simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Swirl in more butter for a creamy texture, and to add richness to the dish.

4) Drain the pasta (save some pasta water) and pour it in the shrimp, mix well. If you feel like the pasta is too dry, add 1/4 cup of pasta water. This step may not be necessary, please use your judgement as to the consistency you’re looking for.  Add a liberal amount of cheese and stir again until it’s melted. I use this method because everyone in my family loves cheese, otherwise, place it on the table.

5) Plate the pasta, garnish with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. You can serve it with a crostini, which is like a garlic bread, to dip in the sauce and wipe your plate clean. At my home, if the plate is not empty, I take it as my food wasn’t good enough. When someone asks for seconds, I know, I have a winner and it feels wonderful.

My family devoured this dish, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as they did.  It is such a simple recipe, quick and very flavorful. Go ahead, give it a try, you will like it!

Shrimpscampi 014

o-SOPHIA-LOREN-facebook

In closing, I’d like to leave you with Sophia Loren’s famous quote: “Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.”

Wine pairing suggestion: A nice chilled Chardonnay

Bon Appetit from Gina’s Kitchen