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Friday, February 23, 2018

Rosemary Focaccia

This is a pretty easy recipe that smells heavenly while it is baking.  It goes great with pasta or as an appetizer with some pesto or marinara for dipping.  You can also load it with toppings and make a meal out of it.  So many possibilities!

2 1/4 teaspoon (or 1 package) yeast
3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
olive oil for drizzling
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

Mix yeast, water, salt, and sugar in a bowl and let sit until bubbly (about ten minutes).  Add flour and about half the rosemary and mix well.  Depending on your flour, you may need to add a little more water to the dough.  If it seems overly dry and crumbly, add just a little water and remix.  Continue until you get a non-sticky, non-crumbly dough.

Place on lightly floured workspace and knead until smooth.  Coat large bowl with oil and place dough in and then flip over so the entire dough is coated with oil.  Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 -2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen).

Preheat oven to 425.  Punch dough down to release gases and place on an oiled baking sheet.  Flatten out into a circle or oval and using your fingertips, poke dimples into the dough. Drizzle with oil, remaining rosemary, and a generous sprinkle of coarse salt.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color.

Note - I added a little parmesan to the dough when I added flour and rosemary and again to the top just before baking. I didn't measure it but just grated a little to the mixture.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Spicy Mustard

Do you know how easy it is to make mustard?  I'm almost embarrassed to post a recipe because it is so simple.  But because I don't think it's common knowledge I'm going to share this easy, yummy, spicy mustard recipe with you.

The hardest part of making mustard is getting the mustard seeds.  I ordered mine from Amazon because I don't know how easy it is to find brown and yellow mustard seeds in Abuja.  And I don't feel like taking the time to find out.  So, Amazon to the rescue.

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon turmeric

Mustard seeds soaking in vinegar and water

Place mustard seeds, vinegar, and water in a glass jar.  Cover and let it soak for about 2 days. Pour into a blender or food processor and add the salt, honey, and turmeric.  Blend until it forms a paste.  That's it.  Can you believe it?  It is so good too.  If you don't like spicy mustard, you can leave the brown seeds out and use 1/2 cup of yellow mustard seeds instead.

This mustard goes great with my homemade pretzels (which I'll try to post in the next few days).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peanut Stew

This stew is so delicious!  You can add peppers to spice it up but sadly, my daughter can't handle spicy foods.  Sigh.

This is a great vegetarian meal where you will not miss the meat.  It is so hearty and yummy. If we had cold weather here, it would be especially good then.  But I'll still eat in in 90 degree weather.  But for my friends and family in the throes of winter, make this now! You won't be disappointed. It might taste even better the second day.

1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 red onion, diced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Cooked basmati rice

Preheat oven to 425 and roast eggplant for approximately 30 minutes.  Set aside. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium heat.  Add ginger and onions and seasonings (salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne) stir well and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Then add the diced tomatoes, stock, and eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes. Add peanut butter and stir until melted and combined.  Add garbanzo beans and zucchini and cover then continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice and top with cilantro.  Or just add the cilantro to individual bowls.  Serve in a nice big bowl on top of a bed of basmati rice (or couscous).

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cranberry Pecan Granola

This is my latest obsession!  I make this granola almost weekly now and I savor every little bite.  It is so easy to make and so much better than a lot of granola on the shelves these days.  I love it with pecans and cranberries but you can easily substitute it for whatever nut and dried fruit you prefer (or have on hand).

3 cups rolled or old fashioned oats (not instant)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
2-3 tablespoons flaxseeds

Preheat oven to 300.  In a large bowl, mix oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt.  Add molasses, oil, and vanilla.  Press into a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, add pecans and flaxseeds.  Press the granola down and then cook another 15 minutes.  If you like big chunks of granola, allow to cool completely in baking sheet.  If you prefer looser granola, cool for a couple minutes in baking sheet then stir it around and then let cool.  Mix in dried cranberries.  That's it!  Easy and delicious.  Store it in an airtight container.

If you like it chunky, make sure you press it down well and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Granola stores beautifully in large mason jars.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Shawarma style chicken

I have been craving chicken shawarma for a while now and decided to do an at-home version.  This is not true shawarma though because real shawarma isn't roasted in the oven. But it is really good.  Really good. I made some hummus and tzatziki sauce and bought some pita to complete the meal. I made a lot so we could have it for leftovers too (but that's always a struggle because my husband wants to eat all of it right away).


11 cup greek yogurt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
juice of large lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 lbs chicken, cut into thin strips
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients for marinade in a plastic bag and add chicken.  Marinate for 3-4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and add chicken.  Roast for 15 minutes then remove from heat.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and some of the chicken (don't overcrowd) and sauté until brown.  Continue this process until all chicken is browned.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Potluck Chili

Nothing beats a big pot of chili on a cool night in October.  Well, it's October but it's in the nineties most days here in Abuja.  That didn't stop me from cooking up a delicious pot of chili.  I turned the a/c down while I cooked it so I could at least pretend it was cool outside. Regardless of the temperature, the chili is delicious.  I am typing this up thinking about the leftover chili that I'm having for dinner tonight.  And I can't wait!!

2 tablespoons oil
1 med red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1lb ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 small can tomato paste
1 can drained black beans
2 cups chicken broth
3 cans plum tomatoes

In a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in oil.  Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Once browned, drain fat if needed.  Add spices (chili powders, cumin, and oregano) and stir for about a minute.  Next add the tomato paste and stir to combine and let cook for another minute. Add the black beans, broth, and tomatoes and let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ginger Dressing

This dressing is easy, quick, and delicious!  The raw ginger and garlic are so good for you too.
You can whip this up in just a few minutes (the longest part of the recipe is chopping the garlic and ginger).  It will keep in the fridge for awhile.  I store mine in a small jar and just give it a good shake before using. Oh, and this is also good poured over noodles with some chopped veggies on top (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions).

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3/4 cup olive oil (or sesame oil)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients into a jar, close the lid and shake well.


All recipes are on Petitchef