I made this recipe while half in the bag. It culminated after a spirited afternoon of listening to music and chatting with my love in the company of lots of wine and year end best-of lists. Miraculously, this dish emerged as an elegant meal that only added to our evening. It was rich and packed with flavour, perfect for soothing the transition into early winter darkness that is, frankly, super depressing.
If you’ve never made garlic confit before, you probably should. It is super easy and can be added to almost any dish to add some finishing oomph. It is essentially whole cloves of garlic slow cooked in olive oil until soft. It’s a lot like roasted garlic, but the bonus is the by product garlic-infused olive oil that can (and should) be saved for future sauces and dressings. I die.
I made a batch before hand (which inspired this pasta dish now that I think about it ((foggy)). The most annoying part is peeling the cloves, but luckily the garlic I had comprised of those dreamy, huge, easy to peel bulbs which made my life a lot less tedious. Just peel garlic (don’t smash!) and submerge in good quality olive oil, over low heat simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half until very soft. Reserve the garlic and olive oil and use in future dishes (i.e everything).
Spaghettini in White Wine Cream Sauce with Sausage, Capers and Garlic Confit
- 8 cloves garlic confit (or roasted garlic)
- 1 fresh red pepper
- 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 cup dry white wine (or whatever you be drinking)
- 3 Italian sausages
- Pasta (about four servings)
- Dried (or fresh) parsley
- Red chili flakes
- Fresh black pepper
- Sea salt
Hmmm…let’s see if I remember this correctly now (I kid)
- Pre heat oven to 350-375 degrees. On baking sheet, place sliced red pepper and whole cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil and salt in the oven. Set timer for one hour.
- Meanwhile, place peeled garlic cloves in low simmering olive oil for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Your house will smell amazing.
- When veggies and garlic are almost done, in a separate pan fry the sausages in bite sized pieces. I removed them from their casing for a more rustic feel (about 10 minutes over medium heat).
- To begin the sauce, in a medium sized frying pan, over high heat reduce wine to about 1/3 of liquid (about 4 minutes). Add butter and stir.
- Add capers and cream to the sauce and stir. (Tip: some capers are extremely salty, you may want to rinse them first). Remove two cloves of cooked garlic from the oil and break into the sauce. They should be very soft. Mix. Taste for salt and let simmer over low heat.
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until desired level of done-ness (for me, about 6 minutes). Strain pasta and leave just a little bit of starchy water in the pot.
- Return pasta to pot with water and mix about 2/3 of the cream sauce into the pasta along with the sausage.
- Once plated, top with the peppers, tomatoes, three cloves of cooked garlic along with the remaining sauce.
- Garnish with spices and cheese.
I really liked how the peppers and tomatoes turned out. Super packed with flavour, and just a little bit charred. Yum.
Quick! Eat this now before all your January diets start! (Or just wait until March when winter becomes just too much to bear without food like this).
Tell me, what’s your favourite winter comfort food? Maybe I’ll feature it on the blog!
I realize that my blog has been rather meat-centric lately. Although I’ve had some vegetarian posts here and there, it has been awhile since I’ve shared any vegan dishes.
I’m certain come January when I’ve had my fill of Christmas-y cheese puffs, sausage rolls and pâté that I will concentrate on super healthy, veggie-filled recipes again. That’s the plan.
So, this one is for you in mind, vegans. And for me, a little head start on 2014.
To continue on with my Indian kick, I present you with…
Vegan “Butter Chicken” with Fried Tofu
- 1 fresh green chili (I used jalapeno)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 heaping tablespoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk (full fat is best)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying spices and tofu)
- dash liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 package extra-firm tofu
- Salt (to taste)
- Cut tofu into thick slices and press between paper towels to remove moisture for about 20 minutes, while preparing the sauce. Top with something heavy, like a cookbook.
- Meanwhile, in a pan at medium-high heat melt coconut oil and add 1 tablespoon garam masala. When it begins to puff and bubble, add garlic, ginger, chopped green chili and tomato. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining spices and cook another few minutes until well mixed and fragrant.
- Stir in tomato paste, and then tomato puree. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, sugar and liquid smoke.
- Using a hand blender, blend sauce so that it is creamy and smooth, and all the spices are incorporated. Simmer until liquid has reduced about 1/4 (25 minutes or so). Add fenugreek leaves.
- Meanwhile, in separate pan, fry tofu slices in hot oil with salt until browned and a bit crispy.
- Remove from oil and chop into smaller bite sized pieces. Add to sauce.
- Serve curry with basmati or naan, top with fresh cilantro or more dried fenugreek leaves.
As for you meat eaters, fear not. This recipe is a real spicy, rich, hearty winner!
The sauce makes a great base, that would be good with almost anything; chicken (duh), chickpeas, tempeh or even pineapple. This recipe is pretty quick and easy as far as curries go. It smells amazing while it’s cooking and makes a pretty decent yield.
On a side note, in terms of views, November has high and above exceeded October (my previous best) on Food, Mostly. It is super exciting to see the blog growing, slowly and steadily. I really appreciate all the sharing and comments from you guys. I love the engagement (that’s the whole point!), so if you like what you read, I encourage you to keep writing and sharing. It makes my day!
A sincerest, “Thank You”
I have not posted anything in quite some time, and the reason eludes me. Have I been so busy with school that I could not possibly have a spare minute to post? Nope…usually cooking something elaborate and then posting about it is my preferred method of procrastination (in fact I’m doing that right now!) Have I been working insane hours? Nope…just the usual. Have I made a series of humiliatingly disasterous dishes that I am too embarrassed to share? Hmm…just one! (I will not tell)
I’m unfortunately going to chalk up my absence to pure, unadulterated laziness- and the fact when life is good, time passes in the blink of an eye.
In the last few weeks I have documented exactly two meals- both chicken dishes. To avoid becoming repetitive, the only logical thing to do is combine the post. One is my take on Tandoori chicken and the other is my take on a classic Filipino chicken adobo. Both were distinct, healthy and extremely flavourful. First up: The Tandoori Chicken. It’s very easy, it just takes a little planning. Marinating overnight is a must. The spices distinctly infuse into the chicken!
- 1 and 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1 generous tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 5 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 4 organic chicken thighs
- Combine all ingredients minus the chicken in a large bowl. Reserve one cup of marinade. Transfer remaining marinade to large seal-able bag and add chicken. Marinate for 24 hours in the fridge placing the bag in a bowl, turning once to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated.
- This chicken would be excellent barbecued, but since I do not have a BBQ set up, I cooked the chicken on a rack over a baking pan lined with foil at 350 for about 40 minutes. I broiled the chicken for about 4 minutes at the end to brown it up.
- At about the 35 minute mark, spoon more of the yogurt marinade over the chicken, as some of it will have dripped off during cooking.
Makeshift BBQ. Served with baked sweet potatoes and a mango salad with sesame vinaigrette.
Chicken Dish #2: Chicken Adobo with Black Rice and Edameme
This recipe is tangy, spicy and rich.
For this recipe you will need:
- 4 large organic chicken legs
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 gloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbl spoon whole peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbl spoon honey
- fresh black pepper
- (Optional- combine all ingredients and marinate chicken for 1-3 hours. I did not do this but it is always a good idea if time permits!)
- Combine all ingredients in a large pan (I use a large wok), covering the chicken.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes, turning the chicken to make sure it is evenly cooked around the half way mark. Uncover and cook another 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pot and saute (sorry no accent!) using coconut oil in a separate pan to brown the outside of the simmered chicken. Leave marinade in the wok and cook at high heat for about 10 minutes until significantly reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency.
- Remove bay leaves from sauce and season with more fresh black pepper.
- Generously coat chicken in the sauce and serve.
The sauce is killer.
Fear not, this will be the end of my chicken posts for a long while, as these ones will be hard to top! Hmm…what next?