As soon as the market is open, my day begins. I shop for all my ingredients for the day, scurry home and then I get cooking!
Lucky friends in Sarasota have been enjoying my food .– enough for two — delivered by me, with love and butter!
There are quite a lot of steps in making my Spinach & Meat Lasagna because I use both béchamel and tomato sauces.
Also, instead of piling on Spinach, or squeezing out frozen spinach, I chop fresh spinach into fine bits, then combine it with some cream and ricotta cheese to make it spreadable and hold its integrity.
In addition to the Ricotta spinach mix, and the béchamel, which has Parmesan, I use Provolone in one layer because I find it less gooy. Then I top with the fresh, soft Mozzarella.
In the old days, I used to boil my noodles until al dente but today, I find it easier to use the “oven ready” type. Hey. I’m a modern girl with lots to do!
When my lasagna is cooked and cooled, I package up 32 ounces, enough for two hungry adults, and include bread that is lathered in my own, fresh herb butter.
I woke up with an oddly urgent hankering for Thai food. I honestly can’t explain this, since I have rarely tasted Thai food and never been to Thailand. Usually, when I have a strong craving, it relates back to some nostalgic time in my past but, well folks … Not Today!
Now that I’ve prepared this dish, only an hour before this post, I can’t stop eating it. And, as I was cooking, a friend dropped by exclaiming “Oh it smells so good in here!” then happily waited until the Jasmine rice was ready so he could take a batch of this dish home with him.
This dish wasn’t at all complicated!
4 Boneless Chicken Thighs
1 Can full fat Coconut Milk (The cream will settle on top. Do not shake!)
1 Cup Chicken Broth (I had home made but any will do).
2 Tbsp (6 teeth/cloves) Minced Garlic
1 Heaping Tbsp Fresh Ginger
2 Heaping Tbsp Thai Curry Paste (does not taste like yellow curry powder)
1/4 Tsp Chili & Garlic Sauce (Hey… red pepper flakes will do just fine!)
1 Tsp. Fish Sauce
Zest of a whole lime
Juice of a whole lime
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
2 Cups of Steamed, Jasmine rice
Sear Chicken Thighs in some hot oil for a few minutes, skin down, until skin is brown and crispy. Remove and set aside.
Open the can of coconut milk and skim off the creamy, oily top into your medium hot saucepan.
Into the creamy coconut oil, Sautee Thai Curry Paste, Garlic Chili Sauce, Ginger, and Garlic on medium heat for about 1 minute.
Add the remaining coconut milk.
Add the chicken broth.
Add the zest of the lime.
Add the chicken and simmer for 1/2 hour, until chicken is tender.
When you are ready to serve, toss in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and the juice of the lime. Reserve cilantro and lime wedges for presentation.
Spoon 1/2 cup Jasmine rice into a bowl, add 1 chicken thigh, coconut broth and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedge.
When I came across Alison Roman’s NYT-Famous Chickpea Stew, I thought “Ohhh … I’ll try this one!” Alas, and as usual, I found I had neither the patience nor temperament to read a complete recipe or to follow anything or anyone. But you can find Alison’s recipe here. Famous Chickpea Stew.
I took my own path to delicious (USING double the Turmeric; adding Nutmeg and Curry, Carrots, Celery and the option of adding chicken or shrimp). The result was a hearty, gorgeous soup with a beautiful, golden color. Here is what I did, from me to you, With Love and Butter!
A note to meat eaters!: Look for the notes in Bold below, if you are adding Shrimp or Chicken..
1, 29 ounce can of Chickpeas, or 2 15 oz cans Rinsed Well!
2 15 oz cans of full fat coconut milk
1 Cube of vegetable or Chicken stock
1-1/2 cups chopped Kale or Mustard Greens. This is optional. The soup is also very good without the greens! Spinach or Arugula are ok, but not sturdy.
NOTE TO MEAT EATERS: Option: If you want to make this meaty, have some raw chicken Breast Chunks OR Fresh Shrimp at the ready.)
3 Sticks Celery, diced small
2 Carrot Sticks, diced small
1/2 a Medium Onion, diced small
A knob of fresh, minced ginger (about as big as your whole thumb) (I keep mine in the freezer)
3 Teeth of garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Turmeric
1 Tsp Yellow Curry
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Tsp (or more) Red Pepper Flakes (Cayenne will work)
In your favorite a sturdy soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil plus 1 tbsp butter.
Toss in the chopped Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Celery & Carrots.
Sauté over medium heat, adding a bit of water to prevent sticking or burning, until the onions are clear and becoming soft.
Add the Turmeric.
Now add your rinsed Chickpeas. Stir.
After the Chickpeas are in the pot, add all the coconut milk. Stir.
Into this mix, add the remaining spices:, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes. (Gentle with the pepper flakes. You can add more later.)
Cover and simmer on low for 30 – 45 minutes.
IF YOU ARE USING GREENS, this is when you add your chopped Kale, or whatever greens you prefer. I served some of this dish before adding the Kale! It’s optional, really. See my photos at the end. I have pictures of this soup with and without the kale!
IF YOU ARE ADDING MEAT, this is the point when you add your Chicken Chunks or Fresh Shrimp!
Cover and cook on low for another 20 minutes.
SERVING & GARNISHES Ladle into a bowl and garnish with any of these:
Sour Cream or Yogurt
Fresh Mint OR Cilantro Leaves
Orchid, Hibiscus flower or any edible flower (Pansies are nice!)