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Monday, November 23, 2020

Turkey with Pumpkin Mole Sauce

Thoughts on Thanksgiving leftovers...? Well, I do keep a loose flurry of recipes that I have amassed over the years. This one, in my old binder, was apparently printed in 2004 and lay there, in wait. I'm so glad I riffled through the binder and found this old chestnut for chicken with pumpkin mole sauce--it's delicious! But let's talk turkey--why not try this recipe with a proud Tom this year? 

Now, I love traditional chicken mole as you might know and was delighted with this new pumpkin version. As often happens, I find there are delicious recipes to be discovered, waiting to be tailored to one's personal taste, the season, or even dietary restrictions. I, for example, am someone who does not like it spicy hot and I have an aversion to tomatoes (or rather they do to me). I substituted white cannellini beans for substance and the squeezes of fresh lime wedges made up for the acidity. My version was a smaller set-up designed for two and was all quite wonderful. The basic recipe is below with personal reflections and time-saving suggestions in italics. The link is here and thanks to Bon Appetit, and chef Rick Bayless for the recipe!

Chicken (or Turkey) with Creamy Pumpkin Mole Sauce
Serves 2

4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3-inch-diameter slice white onion (1/2 inch thick), separated into rings
2 garlic cloves, peeled (I used a garlic ginger paste that I had on hand, to great effect! About 2 teaspoons)
1 5x3x1/2-inch-thick slice country white bread, crust trimmed (I used a single onion brioche roll, not trimmed, just easier)
3/4 cup drained canned diced tomatoes (insert cannellini beans here)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 canned chipotle chile (or so, some like it hot!)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup whipping cream (I used fat-free sour cream, thank you)
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 skinless boneless chicken breast (I used 1 huge chicken breast, bone-in--or shredded turkey!)
Fresh cilantro sprigs (nope)
Lime wedges (yes!)

(Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)

  1. In same large pot, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion rings and (garlic and ginger paste). Sauté until brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to processor, leaving oil in pot. Add bread to processor (reserve pot). Add tomatoes (or beans) to processor. Puree mixture until smooth. Transfer tomato puree (or beans) to small bowl (do not clean processor). Add 1/2 cup broth and (1 ) chipotle chile to processor. Puree until smooth.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to reserved pot. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chile puree; cook until puree thickens and darkens, stirring often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add tomato (or bean) puree. Simmer until thick, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin and 3 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until mole thickens and reduces to 3 1/3 cups, about 30 minutes. Put chicken in oven for 25 minutes. Whisk in whipping cream (or sour cream) and sugar. Season to taste with salt. 
  3. (NOTE: If you are using leftover turkey, just add pumpkin sauce to it here, with the sour cream and sugar, and put in oven for 20 minutes. There is no need to cook further after that--you are really just warming up the turkey and letting the flavors blend together. Otherwise, proceed as below!)
Cook chicken for 20 minutes more, adding sauce and covering. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, cover slipped to the side to cool, before serving. Spritz with lime. Dress with chicken-flavored rice!

The link to the actual recipe is here. Thank you for the recipe!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Eating Outside the Box

As we are spending most of our evenings at home these days, food delivery has taken on a new meaning. There are so many well-assembled boxes available now to help us out, but which ones are the best? I have tried my hand at several of the meal delivery kits, such as Hello Fresh, Home Chef, and Blue Apron, writing about them here in some detail. If only I had known about, I could have possibly saved money (and most definitely time) to see how these boxes stack up first! While I am a great believer in experiencing things for oneself, provides a handy, thorough guideline to cooking, out of these boxes: Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Sun Basket, Every Plate, Freshly, Plated, and Blue Apron.

Click here for their "Best Meal Delivery Services" to get their comprehensive guide based on convience, shipping and delivery, cost, quality of ingredients and the variety of cuisines offered.

In the meantime, here's a recipe I featured from Blue Apron for Lemongrass Shrimp, peppered with my comments.

A peek into what's inside the boxes!

Do enjoy and thanks to!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Zucchini Tahini Dip

This is quite simple--and I believe it's even vegan! Everything is tossed into a blender and should amply serve a reasonable number of guests, depending on their voraciousness.

Zucchini Tahini Dip
Makes about two cups

An admirably sized zucchini, chopped--or 10 oz frozen vegetables of your liking, thawed. I found a great zucchini and summer squash frozen mix
1 cup tahini
Juice from one whole lime
1 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsps paprika
2 tsps cumin
2 tsps mustard seeds or powder
1 tsp salt perhaps, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup good olive oil

Throw everything except for the olive oil into a blender and push play. Then drizzle the olive oil in as well while the motor is still running. Place in an attractive vessel and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and suggest that your guests spread the dip on crackers, such as Ryvita wholegrain rye crispbreads topped with pumpkin seeds. Perfect for the season--do enjoy!