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Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Lately we’ve had guests for at least one meal every weekend. So I’ve been making more chicken than usual. When we don’t have guests I rarely do it as my husband doesn’t like chicken. He likes chicken breast or schnitzel, but not chicken as is. Odd, isn’t it?

Anyway, as I’ve been doing more chicken lately leftovers are more of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken. I just don’t like it the same way every day. On the other hand, making something new when I’ve got perfectly good chicken in the fridge is a bit pointless as well. So this time I made sauce with the chicken, and ate it over pasta. It turned out delectable.

I didn’t photograph it as my baby grew pretty insistent that she wanted to eat as well, so I didn’t have time to savour it properly, and even less time to photograph. But it’s still worth remembering.

The base for the sauce was the chicken gravy and tomatoes. As I’ve already mentioned, a delectable tomato sauce can be made pretty easily in the microwave. Adding the chicken gravy to it made it richer and smoother. I removed fat from the gravy before using it, so it wasn’t too fat, either 🙂 To top it off, I added chopped leftover chicken and chopped leftover grilled fennel, and some dried basil.  The result was a rich sauce with a surprising depth of flavor because of the chicken and fennel.

Definitely something to remember.

Ingredients:

One quarter chicken, cooked
Chicken gravy
About 15 large cherry tomatoes, halved if large
About 1 1/2 chopped grilled fennels
Dried basil to taste
One portion pasta (or rice, couscous, burgul, whatever)

Put the tomatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cook on high for 3 minutes. If tomatoes remain whole, crush them until they pop (carefully! it sprays!) and cook on high for another minute. Add chicken gravy and chicken, fennel and basil. Cook on high for another two minutes. If using pasta, add to sauce and cook for another minute on high or until pasta is warm. Otherwise serve over rice or couscous (or whatever).

Bon Apetit!

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This is a great recipe for tomatoes that are beginning to get a little squishy. I use it for last week’s cherry tomatoes (whole – no need to chop!), or regular tomatoes. And the great thing about this recipe is that it takes zero preparation (well,  almost) and not more than 10 minutes. How, you ask?

The Microwave.

I use the microwave a lot because I don’t have the patience to stand over a hot stove in this heat. It is great for vegetables (as you can see in variation B), fish and I even have some ground beef recipes in the microwave. It’s a great time saver as it saves dishes too!

The basic recipe follows, and then a few suggestions for variations.

Ingredients

– Cherry tomatoes (whole)/tomatoes (chopped roughly), however much you have
– squirt olive oil
– 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (depending on personal taste and the amount of tomatoes)
– dried oregano/basil/thyme or a mixture (I use 1 tsp dried basil, and a few pinches thyme)
– 1 tbsp ketchup/pinch sugar/1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)

Put tomatoes in a microwave safe cooking bowl (Either a designated microwave cooking – not warming – plastic dish or a pyrex type glass bowl. Regular glass dishes tend to break at high heat in the microwave, because of the uneven heating of the microwave. Plastic dishes that aren’t specifically designated for cooking leach harmful chemicals into the food.) Add olive oil & soy sauce. Cover and cook on “High” in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, mix and cook for another 2 minutes.

If necessary, crush cherry tomatoes that haven’t popped yet with a potato masher or spatula. Add spices. Taste.

If sauce is too sour, add some ketchup, tomato paste, or a pinch of sugar.

Mix and microwave another 30 seconds.

Done!

Variations:

A. At the beginning, put the olive oil with some roughly chopped onion and microwave 3-5 minutes on high, depending on your microwave strength. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as written.

B. Add different vegetables: Zucchini, squash, bell peppers, pumpkin cubes, etc. Even frozen carrots or peas can be added without changing the cooking time. Fresh carrots need to be cooked in advance a bit, in the same bowl, with some water; potatoes need to be cooked  in advance  in some oil; champignon mushrooms can be added without advance cooking.

C. Add to your finished sauce some canned chickpeas and serve over couscous or pasta for a vegetarian main dish.

Bon Apetit!

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Yesterday I did two food saver recipes: kiwi-pineapple jam and stewed veggies.

Kiwi- Pineapple Jam

My toddler loves kiwi, so I wasn’t worried that I had a lot, but suddenly the all got ripe together! By the time they were over ripe I still had four kiwis. I looked around the Internet a bit and changed things to fit what I had and came up with this recipe. I intend to use it on bread and as a sweet and sour sauce on chicken.

1 small can pinepple pieces in syrup
4 kiwis, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup-2/3 cup sugar
rind and juice from 1 small lemon ( my brother has a tree of small lemons)

Combine all ingredients in a pot . Bring to a boil. Continue simmering for 20-30 minutes, until fruit is soft. Taste and add sugar or lemon if needed. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
If jam is too syrupy for your taste, blend in a blender until smooth.
Place in clean jars with airtight lids. Turn jar over on its lid to cool.
When cooled, place jars in the fridge. Don’t forget to label!

Update: I didn’t add a lot of sugar because I prefered to keep it tart, with the result that it isn’t that good on bread – however as a sweet and sour sauce it’s awesome! It should also be great as a filling in cakes.

Stewed Veggies

This is a recipe of my mother in law.  I’m not sure of the spelling, but it sounds like gedunskesgemuse (German), which literally means vegetables cooked in their own juice. The original recipe calls for tomatoes, cucumbers (yes, cucumbers!) and red/yellow/orange bell peppers, all of which are cooked in a pot with some salt on low fire in their own juice (no added water).  The result is frozen in portions and can be used as a base in a number of dishes. This is excellent for the softening peppers, wrinkly cucumbers, and over-ripe tomatoes.
I was too late to save my cucumbers, so I used only our 6-7 bell peppers and 2 tomatoes. Because I didn’t have enough tomatoes relative to the peppers, after half an hour stewing I added some water.
When soft, freeze in portions ( I froze about 3- cups together, so that the portion would be enough for all my family. if you live alone, freeze in one-cup portions)

Uses:

This stew makes an excellent pasta sauce: Thaw in a pot. When thawed, add 150 ml sour cream and if still too liquid 1 tbsp of flour. mix and serve over pasta with grated Parmesan.
I have also used it as a veggie side dish, thawed and warmed in the microwave with added seasonings.
It’s also great over chicken breast: fry chicken breast in a bit of oil, 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked. pour stew over chicken and serve.
Thaw, add a cup of canned drained chickpeas (or cooked if you have them), add paprika cumin and turmeric and serve over couscous for a quick vegetarian meal.
And it can also be used on rice or couscous as is.

I’m off for some chicken with pineapple-kiwi jam!

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