Showing posts with label #SundaySupper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #SundaySupper. Show all posts

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings #SundaySupper

Chicken and dumplings mean different dishes depending on where they originate. In southern Louisiana, it’s fluffy drop dumplings, cooked in a roux-based simmering rich brown gravy with stewed chicken, just like my grandmother used to make. 

Where are you from?
When one lives in a place where bargaining is standard practice, there is a hierarchy of pricing guidelines and most folks assume I’m a tourist. So, when I am out and about in a local market and someone asks, “Where are you from?” I always answer, “I live here.” And then, if I am truly interested in buying the thing, I start chatting with the vendor. “I live here” puts me squarely in Resident Expat sector, which usually gets me a decent price but not as low as it could be if I cajole my way up the Friendliness/Bargaining Savvy Continuum. If you know what I mean. Here, I’ve drawn you a handy chart.

Sadly, I've met folks from a few countries who could qualify as "ugly Americans."

It’s only when someone pushes further, that I might say that I am from the United States. If you prod even more, you’ll get “The South.”  We have to be having a real conversation for me to get into, “Well, I was born in Louisiana but I lived more years in Texas, but Louisiana is still kind of home because that’s where my grandparents were. Actually, I’ve lived overseas even more years than I have lived in the US.” Whew. But when it comes to cooking, the first hometown favorites that come to mind are my grandmothers’ traditional Cajun dishes, like chicken and sausage gumbo,   courtbouillionmaque choux, smothered pork chops, smothered cabbage with pork, eggplant casserole with shrimp or crawfish etouffee, just to name a few. I’ve shared all of those already, as you can tell by the links, so I was wracking my brain for another of my grandmothers’ dishes that I haven’t shared for this week’s Sunday Supper hometown favorites theme. Perhaps smothered round steak or cabbage rolls or crawfish fettuccine casserole? And then it hit me!

What your hometown favorite? 
A couple of years ago, when we were living in Cairo, it was chilly, my heater was broken and I was cold and lonely. I needed some comfort food. So I called my mom on Skype and discussed the ins and outs of my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings recipe. I made it that day and even took photos but I never shared it here. It's the perfect dish for this week’s Sunday Supper Hometown theme, and it's kind of chilly here in Dubai, so I made it again. The roux-based gravy is wonderful, the chicken is tender and falling off the bone. And the dumplings! The dumplings are light and fluffy, so wonderful that my husband went back for seconds of just the dumplings with extra gravy. As my grandparents would say, “Talk about good!”

For the chicken stew:
1 whole chicken
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
1 medium onion
2 long stalks celery

For the dumplings:
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1 large egg

Note: My grandmother would have undoubtably finished this dinner with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. I plumb forgot.

Cut your chicken up into at least eight pieces and season liberally with salt, black pepper and cayenne. If the breasts are large, I cut them in half again to get 10 pieces. I go pretty heavy on the cayenne because we like things spicy but use your best judgment for your family’s tastes.

Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and panfry the chicken until it is golden on both sides.

While the chicken is browning, dice your onion and celery.

Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the pan and set aside.  Add the four tablespoons of flour into the pan and stir until it is completely combined with the oil in the pan. Use a wooden spoon to loosen all the lovely browned bits that are stuck to the pan.

Cook the flour/oil mixture, formally known as a roux, over a medium heat, stirring almost constant, until it reaches a lovely dark copper color. Make sure not to let it catch and scorch or your gravy will taste burnt.

Add in the chopped onion and celery and continue cooking for several minutes until they soften.

Slowly add in a couple of cups of water and stir. Keep stirring until you have a lovely brown gravy without lumps of flour.

Add the browned chicken back into the pot, along with any juice that is in the plate it was resting on.

The gravy should come most of the way up the sides of the chicken. Add a little more water, if necessary.

Cover the pan and turn the fire down to simmer. Leave to simmer for about 45-55 minutes, checking occasionally that the water doesn’t completely evaporate and adding more if necessary. About halfway through the cooking time, turn the chicken over.

When the chicken is tender and cooked through, lightly whisk your egg with your milk and then combine your dumpling ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring until just mixed.

Remove your chicken from the pan and set aside. Cover it so it stays warm.

Use a tablespoon to spoon the dumpling batter into the simmering gravy, leaving room between the dumplings so they can puff up as they cook. The batter comes off the spoon more easily if the spoon is wet so rinse it with water first and between scoops. Put the lid on for a few minutes.

Remove the lid and turn the dumplings over and replace the lid for another minute or two.

Transfer the dumplings to a plate and keep them warm until ready to serve, while you cook the remaining dumplings. They will soak up some of the gravy so you can add in a little water and stir well between the two batches if you need to.

Serve the chicken and dumplings with the remaining gravy from the pan. And my grandmother would always have had a vegetable or two alongside.


So fluffy inside!

I am so excited about this week’s Sunday Supper because I know I am going to learn about dishes from so many different places around the US and the world through the loving, perhaps even a bit nostalgic, eyes of my fellow Sunday Supper colleagues and our wonderful host Coleen of The Redhead Baker. What a fabulous list, don’t you agree?!

Appetizers and Snacks
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Baked Lemon Dessert #SundaySupper

Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice are the stars of this tart, sweet dessert baked in a buttered casserole dish until light and fluffy. The supporting role is played by the raspberries or whatever berry you can get your hands on this time of year. 

Gin and bear it
Over the weekend, which regular readers might remember is Friday and Saturday here in the United Arab Emirates, we went out sailing offshore Abu Dhabi and then stayed over at a friend’s house on Friday night. Our friend is quite a collector of gin so it is not uncommon for the evening cocktail hour to start with a tasting of the new additions to his collection. One gin and tonic is mixed with each new gin and then we pass the glasses around, sipping the cocktails and discussing the attributes of the different gins. One in particular caught my fancy. It was made in Wales and contained an unusual ingredient: kelp or seaweed. After enjoying the gin and tonic and to extrapolate on the suggestion that we serve it in an oyster shell, we mixed a small shot of the Dà Mhìle seaweed gin with ice, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt, which really brought out the kelp. Which led to a discussion of whether Americans use the word kelp. Or do we just call it seaweed? I honestly could not remember so if anyone wants to weigh in, please leave me a comment. What do you call the green stuff on the seashore?

Pudding is dessert, pudding as dessert
As I straddle UK/US divide both in my home and with friends, I often lose track of whom uses which word for what but as a majority of my readers are US-based, I tend to name dishes in a way that they will understand. Way back in October, when I was trolling the internet and my cookbooks for a dessert to fit our budget friendly Sunday Supper theme, I came across a recipe on All Recipes UK. It was called lemon pudding in the British sense, meaning dessert. Because if they were actually making what we Americans call pudding, they’d call it custard and eat it for pudding. If you know what I mean. Anyway, I ended up making profiteroles for that occasion in October but this dish has been on my list of “things to make” every since, no matter what you want to call it.

Captivating Casseroles
Lemons are like eating a healthy dose of sunshine and while we get that almost every day here in Dubai, I know that there are a lot of folks in the northern hemisphere that could use some sunlight and warmth right about now. This Sunday Supper is for you all! If you are trying to keep warm, may I suggest you turn the oven on to bake a casserole or two? Scroll on down to the Sunday Supper link list to see all the fabulous captivating casseroles we are sharing, along with our talented, over-achiever of a host, Alice from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen, who is in the middle of an international move but still stepped forward to host. You are a star, Alice!

4 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons or 90ml fresh lemon juice
Zest 1 lemon
1/8 cup or 30g butter, softened, plus extra for buttering casserole
1 cup or 230g sugar
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups or 350ml milk

Optional for serving: fresh berries and a sprig or three of mint

Butter your casserole dish (about 8x8in or 20x20cm square – or equivalent volume in another shape) and preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Separate your eggs and put the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer or in one that is deep enough to use electric beaters. You can certainly whisk egg whites to stiff peaks by hand but it’s hard work!

In another mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter until well combined. If your eggs are too cold, the butter is going to break up into little pieces again rather than whisking in. If you’ve made this mistake, just keep whisking. Eventually it will all soften again and create a homogeneous mixture.

How you know your eggs were still too cold. Ugh.

In yet another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt then mix well.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients at a time to the yolk mixture, along with one third of the milk, whisking well after each addition, until all of the flour/sugar is incorporated.

Beat your egg whites until stiff.

Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk/milk mixture.

Pour into your prepared baking dish.

Put your baking dish into another larger baking pan and fill it with hot water (should not be boiling) halfway up the baking dish.

Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 40-45 or until set and puffy, but still jiggly when you shake it gently to check.

Remove from the oven and take the baking dish out of the baking pan.

This can be served hot, warm, room temperature or even cold.

Garnish with berries and mint if desired.


It's kind of soufflé-like except then it's saucy on the bottom, which tastes pretty amazing, actually.

Check out all the lovely casseroles we have for you today!

Captivating Breakfast Casseroles
Appetizing Casserole Sides
Main Event Casseroles
Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fish Steamed with Spicy Couscous #SundaySupper

The fish fillets are steamed on top of the couscous in this dish so all the lovely cooking juices are soaked up, making the already spicy, herby couscous even tastier. This is one of my favorite dishes to make when entertaining guests. See easy instructions to adapt for a dinner party at the end of the recipe.*

Parlez-vous français? Yeah, I really didn't either.
To say that three years of high school French prepared me poorly for living in Paris would be an understatement. As much as Madame Reat taught me about La Belle France, including our occasional field trips to a nearby French café where we were supposed to order in French to justify the educational status of said excursion, I learned more useful things by reading signs and labels in grocery stores and recipes on my own. I now know weird but handy phrases like laissez gonfler - leave to swell -  and saupoudrer de chapelure – sprinkle with breadcrumbs - and napper en sauce – coat with sauce - that hardly ever come up in normal conversation. Not a culinary word, but one I am very proud of learning is autocollant. It means self-adhesive. Not useful you say? Try ordering stamps and imagine miming, "the ones I don't need to lick," at the post office. Probably more importantly, I learned that Ah, bon, despite containing the word for good, can be used to acknowledge good or bad things, a confirmation akin to “I hear you”  - or a question, depending on inflection: “Really?”

Répétez après moi: Le couscous est simple à préparer.
I am always on the lookout for new and different starches to add variety to our plates, outside the usual triumvirate rice/potatoes/pasta so I was delighted to come across couscous for the first time in France. It’s a staple there, I am guessing thanks to the North African influence from the former French colonies. It has since become essential in my cupboard as well and the instructions on that first box of couscous, graine moyenne or medium coarse, is the source for my pet phrase laissez gonfler, which I have managed to work into more conversations that you would imagine. 

This spicy dish is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe from a series called Oliver’s Twist. I’ve been making it regularly since 2003 when the episode Flash in the Pan first aired. It’s perfect for this week’s Sunday Supper theme of Lighten Up for the New Year, with lots of flavor from the spices and cilantro and very healthy steamed fish on top. Make sure to scroll down to see all the other lovely lightened up recipes the group has made for you today!

For the spice mix:
1 1/2 teaspoons flakey sea salt (I use Maldon.)
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 (2-inch or 2.5cm) piece cinnamon stick

For the dish:
2 cups or 370g wheat couscous – medium grain
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 red chilies (Remove the seeds for less heat.)
1 large bunch cilantro or fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely sliced
Four portion size filets of a relatively thin white fish like sole or flounder. Cod will do if it is not too thick.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning fish
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Couple of handfuls cherry tomatoes (more or less to your taste)
1 large lemon, cut in half at the equator
Optional: another lemon cut in wedges for serving.

Put the couscous in a bowl with enough hot - but not quite boiling - water to cover it. Seal the top of the bowl with cling film and then drape a towel over the top and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Laissez gonfler!

 The couscous will soften and double in size. When it's done, fluff it with a fork and keep covered till needed.

Make your spice mix by pounding the salt, fennel and cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cinnamon together in your mortar.  (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use already ground spices.)

Mince your onion and one chili pepper. Slice the garlic and the other chili.

Cut the very tough bottom parts of your cilantro stems off and discard. Finely chop the rest of the stems up to the leafy part and then roughly chop the leaves. Some leaves are going to get in your stems and, of course, your leaf pile will have the most tender stems, and that’s okay.

Mostly leaves in front. Most stems in back.

Lay your fish out on a plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large saucepan on a low heat, and sauté the onion, garlic, cilantro stems and chopped chili in a good drizzle of olive oil.

Add the spice mix to the pan with another drizzle of olive oil.

Cook for a few minutes and then add the butter. Let it melt then add the couscous.

Mix thoroughly with the spices and sautéed seasonings. Stir in most of the cilantro leaves, reserving some for garnish when serving.

 Turn the stove down to a very low heat, and lay the fish fillets on top of the couscous. Drizzle with olive oil and tuck the lemon halves, cut side up, and the whole cherry tomatoes in the couscous.

Cover with some foil or a tight fitting lid, and cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is white through and flaky. You may need to add just a little bit of water so that the couscous doesn’t burn on the bottom, so do check it about halfway through. A very heavy pan or a diffuser will help with this problem.

Adding a few tablespoons of water about halfway through.

To serve, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and sliced chili, squeeze the cooked lemon halves over everything and drizzle on some more olive oil. Divide the couscous between four plates and top each with a steamed fish fillet. Serve with additional wedges of lemon, if desired.

*Dinner party instructions
If you are having a dinner party for eight or 12, double or treble the ingredients and prepare as instructed up to the point where the couscous is ready. Allow it to cool then transfer to a greased baking pan (Make sure it is one that can go straight from refrigerator to oven) before adding the fish, the halved lemons cut side up, cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. If you want to get fancy, throw in some raw shrimp or prawns as well. Cover with foil and refrigerate if it’s going to be more that a half an hour till it’s cooked or if your kitchen is warm. Once the guests have arrived, bake your fish on couscous- still covered in the foil - in an oven preheated to 350°F or 180°C, allowing extra time for cooking the fish if the dish is chilled. Follow the same serving instructions above.


If your New Year’s resolutions include eating more sensibly, I’ve got a great list of “lightened up” recipes for you this week. Many thanks to our great host T.R. from Gluten Free Crumbley!

Bright Beverages
Blissful Breakfast Items
Appetizing Starters
Savory Soups and Sides
Marvelous Mains
Delightful Desserts

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET.

Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rhubarb Fool Cocktail #SundaySupper

A bright, refreshing drink that is just the right combination of tart and sweet, this rhubarb lovely is drizzled with a little cream and some tangerine or orange zest, and is guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood! 

The first time I ever saw rhubarb, perhaps in Sydney circa 1987, I had no idea what to do with it so I didn’t buy any. It looked like pink celery and that was odd. Was it a vegetable? Used for seasoning like celery was? I didn’t have a clue. Finally I bought one of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazines (This was, after all, way before I had internet access of any kind.) and all was revealed. Rhubarb is a fruit! Or at least it is used like a fruit, in compotes, pies and other baked goods. Technically, of course, it’s a vegetable.

Our favorite way to enjoy rhubarb, up till now, has been in an apple and rhubarb pie because the apples and rhubarb complement each other so nicely with the rhubarb breaking down completely and the apples still keeping a bit of their shape and bite.

Another favorite is the British classic rhubarb fool dessert made by folding stewed rhubarb through whipped cream.

But this drink, made with rhubarb syrup, may be my new favorite way to enjoy my tart pink friend. I mean, really, just look at that color!

This week my Sunday Supper group is gearing up for the holiday parties by bringing you a plethora of concoctions, some made to imbibe directly, others using alcohol as an ingredient or flavoring. Many thanks to DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts and Alice from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei In The Kitchen for hosting this fun event. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the whole link list of libation-full recipes.

1 1/2 oz or 40ml rhubarb syrup
2 oz or 60ml vodka
2 cups crushed ice
Couple of tablespoons lightly whipped cream
Orange zest

Put the crushed ice into a cocktail shaker and add in the rhubarb syrup and vodka.

Shake well for a minute or so, allowing the ice to melt a bit.

Pour the liquid through the strainer into a martini glass. Garnish with a drizzle – or more – of the whipped cream and a few pieces of orange zest.

I put my whipped cream in a decorating bag for easy drizzling but you can just as easily pile the cream into the top of the glass.


If you are feeling extra generous, let your helper lick the cream off your empty glass. 

We are set to PARTY this holiday season! Join us!

Savory and Sweet Libational Dishes
Libational Desserts
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

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