Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gastronomy: Monday Night Eats, Cumin Chicken with Red Pepper and Coconut Rice

This recipe is a savory and incredibly easy dish for a weekday meal. Preparation and cooking time take about thirty minutes. For picky little ones, you can easily remove the peppers. An added bonus is deglazing the pan with white wine gives the cook a chance to have a glass herself, which makes the "witching hour" a little easier. Mondays just became a bit more tolerable.

Cumin Chicken with Red Pepper and Coconut Rice

1 c white rice

1 c light coconut milk

2 c chicken stock

1 T olive oil

1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2 ½ inch pieces

2 large red bell pepper, sliced in julienne strips

2 large minced garlic cloves

2 t ground cumin

1 c white wine

1 T unsalted butter

1 bunch basil, roughly chopped

Cook rice according to package instructions—replace one cup of water with the coconut milk and 1 cup of water with chicken stock. Heat olive oil and butter in large deep skillet over medium heat. Pat chicken dry and salt and pepper both sides—brown about 10 minutes on each side until the chicken surface is brown. Add white wine and scrap the chicken bits off the pan—reduce wine by half and add garlic, cumin, and stock. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Add peppers and cook until softened, another 7 minutes or until juices are almost reduced. When rice is finished, salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken and peppers over rice—top with basil. Serves 4

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gastronomy: The Perfect Winter Meal is Seafood Chowder

When I think of the ultimate winter meal, soup is always on the top of my list. What better way to spend a winter evening than a hearty bowl of soup, a chunk of crusty bread, and a frosty mug of beer?

This recipe for seafood chowder is savory and rich without being too thick, as many cream soups tend to be. It is sure to warm your heart, fill your belly, and make the bitter cold seem bearable. I recommend picking up some Goose Island Matilda to go with—it’s a top-notch, Chicago brewed, Belgian-style ale (and my obsession as of late).

3 strips bacon, diced
1 large shallot, chopped
1 T thyme, chopped
3 celery ribs, diced
½ c white wine
½ stick butter
¼ c flour
6 c fresh chicken stock or three cans
2 potatoes (skin on), cubed
1 c heavy cream
½ lb salmon
½ lb mini sea scallops
1 lb whitefish, cod, sea bass or tilapia (I usually use two of these—1/2 lb each)
¼ c parsley, chopped
1 c white cheddar cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

In a large Dutch oven, sauté bacon until golden (about ten minutes). Add shallot, thyme and celery and cook until translucent. Deglaze with white wine, scraping the bits off the bottom of pan; simmer until liquid is reduced. Add butter and flour to form a roux. Cook roux over low heat until gold in color, about twenty minutes. Add chicken stock and potatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat about 45 minutes. Add heavy cream and seafood. Cook another 30 minutes over low heat; add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in low bowls with grated cheese and a bit of parsley. Serves 8.

Adventure (26) Gastronomy (38) Obsession (39) Style (26)

About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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