Shredded chicken Persian style

A lovely dish to make when you are running out of ideas… but equally so for its enchanting aroma!

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For a full chicken breast 
1- Boil the free range chicken breast in water with a handful of fresh cilantro and a teaspoon of whole black pepper grains. Make sure you take out the cilantro and the grains once the chicken is cooked.
2- Let the chicken cool and gently shred with your fingers.
3- In a large plan, place a little bit of olive oil. Add four garlic cloves crushed and about three centimetres of fresh ginger also crushed. Add some ground black pepper, but just a bit.
4- Once the garlic and the ginger let out their aroma, add two generous teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Adviye. If you do not have it at hand, just look up the ingredients in this recipe and just add them up.
5- Then add four to five tomatoes cut in small cubes. You can leave the skin. I do.
6- Mix well and when the tomatoes start giving out their liquid, add the shredded chicken. Mix well and add a handful of fresh cilantro chopped.
7- Let the chicken and the tomatoes cook for about 15 minutes uncovered on low fire. Mix frequently.

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I served it with basmati rice cooked with raisins and avocado. 

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Tagliatelle con aglio e limone

This is a really easy recipe and filled with flavours. It is most convenient to make when you come back from a trip and realise you have very few ingredients at home, as it happened to me a few days ago.

All you need is high quality pasta, some garlic, a lemon (or a lime), dried herbs, black pepper, olive oil and good Parmigiano.

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For two servings 
1- Cook the pasta per instruction.
2- In a pan, fry four to five garlic cloves sliced for a few minutes in olive oil.
3- Add one lemon or one lime (as in the photo) cut in very thin slices (make sure you take away the seeds). Let it all fry gently in medium fire until the garlic slices take on a golden colour. Add some dried herbs in the last few minutes along with freshly ground pepper.
4- Drain the pasta, place in a large bowl and top with the garlic-lemon mix and all the olive oil. Toss well.

Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano. Optionally, you can add some Peperoncino to give it a slight kick and more colours. 

Fettuccine con pomodori e aglio

The perfect pasta when you have little time. The tomatoes cook directly on the plate with hot oil and garlic. It is really good!

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1- Cook the Fettuccine (preferably egg based and fresh) per instructions.

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2- While the pasta is cooking, place some olive oil and fry as much garlic as you want in a small pan.
3- While the garlic gets golden, dice some tomatoes and place them either in a large bowl or in individual deep serving plates. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper and dried herbs. [If you use fresh herbs, add them just as you are about to serve the Fettuccine.]

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4- When the garlic is nice and golden, pour the oil with the garlic directly on the tomatoes. They will sizzle!
5- Add the cooked Fettuccine and mix.

Serve immediately (sprinkle with fresh herbs if at hand) accompanied by freshly grated Parmiggiano. Enjoy! 

Oven baked Samosas with ground beef

Being oven baked and not fried, these Samosas are wonderfully tender and light. Here, ground beef and potatoes are used, and you can make a non-meat alternative with only potatoes cooked with same spices.

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For the dough (similar to a pizza dough)
1- Mix 10 gr of baker’s yeast with 100 ml of warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2- In a large bowl mix: one and half cup of sifted flour (I like to mix whole and white wheat flour), one teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of brown sugar.
3- Add half a cup of yogurt and the yeast liquid. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers (add some flour if need be) and knead some more.
4- Place a wet towel on the bowl, and let the dough rise for at least an hour.

For the filling (for 400 gr of high quality ground beef)
1- First cook 400 gr of potatoes washed and unpeeled in boiling water (place them in cold water and let the water boil) until a fork can pierce through them. Then peel them when they have cooled a little and mash roughly. You can add a little bit of butter when mashing them to help with the process. Set aside.
2- While the potatoes are cooking, place a little bit of olive oil in a large pan and add a teaspoon of cilantro (coriander) seeds, one and half teaspoon of cumin, one and half teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper, some fresh ginger root grated, some garlic also freshly crushed and the pulp of three tomatoes. Add the ground beef and mix. Cook well and add a generous amount of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves chopped at the very end.
3- Mix the meat and the potatoes together in a large bowl and set aside

To make the samosas (about 20 of them)
1- Take the dough out of the bowl and separate it in 20 equal portions.
2- Flatten each portion with a roller in the form of a square.
3- Place some of the meat and potato mixture in the center and fold in the form of a triangle. You can use some egg white to close each of them but it is not necessary. Just press with your fingers.
4- Brush each samosa with egg yolk.
5- Bake in a 200º c. oven for about 15-20 minutes.

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Enjoy with some Raita on the side (yoghurt with cucumber, cumin and fresh mint).

Tagliatelle tricolore

Three colour Tagliatelle made with sweet red pepper and lots of garlic and herbs. The pasta is egg based, and the green one has a touch of spinach.

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1- In a large pan, fry in a little bit of olive oil a red sweet bell pepper cut in strips, five garlic cloves sliced and a generous amount of rosemary. Sprinkle with freshly crushed black pepper and let it cook for at least 20 minutes, or until the pepper strips are soft and slightly golden. Stir from time to time.

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2- Cook the pasta in a large amount of water.

To serve, just drain the pasta, mix it with the pepper mixture and top with freshly grated Parmigiano and more freshly crushed pepper.