Tag: dried apricots
Great healthy way to start off the new year!
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or till the seeds become aromatic. Take off the heat and grind smooth in a coffee grinder. Take out in a small bowl and add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Keep aside.
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 medium turnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup green olives, sliced
- ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried mint, crushed
Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, harissa and the spice mix. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, turnips, carrots, chickpeas, chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check to see if the root vegetables are tender. Mash some potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to slightly thicken the liquid. Add the olives and apricots. Turn the heat up to cook off some of the excess liquid to get the desired consistency- it should be like a thick soup. Add the almonds, cilantro, parsley and dried mint. Check for seasonings and serve with couscous.
I made this compote for Thanksgiving. Our tradition is to open wine sometime in the afternoon- while I am still cooking. Around 3 I take the cheese and crackers out. I usually make a fig compote cooked in red wine, brown sugar and fresh thyme. It is delicious, especially with some aged goat cheese. We also drink Kir Royale with the cheese and crackers. I love the tradition and look forward to it every year.
The other thing I did different was the compote. I made this one with dried figs and apricots. I decided to use orange and lemon juice with honey. I served it with a variety of Spanish cheeses including manchego, an aged goat cheese and another one- can’t remember the name.
Definitely make this for your next holiday get together. It is quick, easy and delicious. You can make this in advance and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!
- ½ cup dried mission figs, cut into thin strips
- ½ cup dried apricots, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, add the figs, apricots, orange juice, lemon juice, honey and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn it down to a simmer. Reduce the liquid till the compote is thick and syrupy. It will take about 15 minutes. Taste for seasonings and serve with cheese.
The Royal wedding is tomorrow and a friend suggested I repost this old scone recipe for the occasion. I love eating scones but certainly don’t like all the calories… This is my healthy version. You can slather a huge amount of clotted cream and not feel too guilty. Enjoy these with a cup of English tea and enjoy the wedding. Speaking of the wedding, will you be up early morning or will you dvr it??
When it comes to eating out- one of my all time favorite things to do is- afternoon tea. I love the tradition and of course the food! I love the idea of sitting in a very adult and pleasant place; drinking tea and eating all the finger sandwiches and scones. When we were in London and Scotland, I made sure to go a few times for high tea. I usually get the darjeeling tea; all the sandwiches I can eat and of course – my favorite – currant scones. The subtle flavor is just enough to enjoy them with lots of jam and clotted cream. Oh- how I love the clotted cream- if it wasn’t so bad for me- I would eat it all the time. There is a place in Chester, NJ that serves great afternoon tea- I have not been in a very long time- now that I am writing this piece- I will be going very soon!
Typically scones are made with all purpose flour and lots of butter. The texture is crumbly and a bit dry- perfect combination for jam and cream. I do have a recipe I have been meaning to try for a long time- it is for traditional English scones given by my English Aunt. For whatever reason- I have never made them at home. Recently, I had a friend ask me if I could post a scone recipe on the blog. I remembered the one I have from my Aunt and thought about using the recipe- but I realized it has a lot of butter … and somehow it didn’t appeal to me. I started looking for other recipes but nothing stood out. Then, one day I had an overripe banana and I didn’t want to make my usual banana bread – so I thought- maybe I can bake some scones with it. Bananas are sweet and I wanted to pair a tangy ingredient to make the scones eatable without jam or cream- more like a snack- actually I was trying to save myself the clotted cream calories!- so I came up with dried apricots. I switched the all purpose flour for white whole wheat flour and decided to cut back on the butter a bit- this recipe does not have that much at all. I also decided to add some white chocolate chips- somehow using apricots made me think of white chocolate- they added a nice burst of sweetness to the scones.
Overall the scones were good- moist and not overly sweet- the bananas helped with the soft texture. I think next time I bake them- I might add an egg glaze on top with some extra sugar. They would be a bit more aesthetically pleasing. In terms of taste, they were delicious- Sia loved them and I gave them to my husband for breakfast- which he loved!
Sometimes I get into a rut and make the same chicken dishes time and time again. I had chicken thighs in the fridge and I wanted to make a different preparation for a change. Nothing was coming to mind until I was flipping through a William Sonoma catalog. They were featuring a tagine and had a recipe for a chicken cooked in the contraption. I noticed the recipe included olives and apricots- I had both in the fridge- so I started cooking.
I sprinkled salt and pepper on chicken thighs- my favorite part of the chicken. Thighs are great to use in such dishes- they can be cooked for a long time and not get tough on you, plus they have great flavor. I made a simple spice mix with cinnamon and coated the chicken. I then browned the pieces and sauteed them with garlic and onions. I decided to add some grated carrots- to add some veggies- no one was able to detect anything healthy!
The olives and apricots really gave the chicken an incredible flavor and texture. I love the two ingredients together… The sweetness and chewiness of the apricots complimented the saltiness of the olives really well. I went to a few local stores to find preserved lemons (often used in Moroccan dishes) but was not able to. The olives I had were marinated with lemons- so that is what I used. It worked really well but I am sure using the actual preserved lemons would have been delicous too.
The dish was yum- I made cumin couscous with it. My daughter until recently didn’t care of couscous, but once I told her it is pasta in another form- she was a little more receptive. I made a green salad with our dinner and opened a bottle of red wine. Delicious!