Javanese Grilled Chicken and Celebration Yellow Rice-Java, Indonesia

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I LOVE this grilled chicken. The simmering in spices before marinating and grilling really adds complex layers of flavor to the final dish. The meat is also really moist.

I could eat the marinade with a spoon. I really love the flavor of Kecap Manis(pronounced Keh-CHOP mah-NEESE according to the book)

I used bone in skin on thighs instead of a whole chicken.

Both these recipes come from Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oselund.

Javanese Grilled Chicken-Ayam Panggang Jawa


4 Cups water
3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
7 whole daun salam leaves(available dried at an Asian grocery)
2 tbs coriander seeds
1 2 inch piece galangal peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tbs salt

1 whole free range chicken


1 tbs coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic peeled and coarsly chopped
2 tbs peanut oil
1/2 cup Kecap Manis(Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)

1. Combine the ingredients for the broth in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lwer the heat to medium, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Add chicken to broth, raise heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes until it's about 3/4 cooked.

3. while the chicken is cooking make the marinade. Grind the coriander seeds to a dusty powder in a small food processor. Add the garlic and remaining ingredients and pulse until garlic is pulverized. No shards or slivers should be visible.

4. Put the chicken in a non-reactive bowl and cover with the marinade. Marinate uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigetrator overnight, turning the chicken to ensure it's evenly covered. Bring chicken to room temperature before grilling or broiling.

5. Grill chicken over medium-hot fire or broil basting occasionally with reserved marinade.

6. Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Celebration Yellow Rice-Nasi Kuning

The author advises not to cut the recipe in half or use a rice cooker for this recipe.

I really liked this rice. I tasted the lemongrass, kaffir lime and coconut more than the tumeric. I also think you could easily use light coconut milk in place of the regular.

Traditionally this rice is reserved for special occasions or as a celebration of a baby's first taste of solid food. It originated in Java and is now eaten all over Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It's also often served as a dish called Tumpeng. The rice is formed into an inverted cone with a splayed red chile on top and with peanuts and omelet strips on the sides. This is said to represent early volcano worship by the Javanese.

2 Cups Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 Cups water
1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp kosher salt
2 thick stalks lemongrass each tied into a knot (smash with a knife and then tie)
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, crumbled to release their essence
4 fresh daun pandan leaves torn(optional-I didn't use them)
4 whole daun salam leaves

Rinse rice and place in large saucepan.

Combine water and tumeric and stir.

Add tumeric water, coconut milk, salt, lemongrass, lime leaves, and daum pandan and daum salam leaves to rice and stir well to combine.

Bring rice to a boil over high heat stirring frequently. Boil for 15 seconds, immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid.

Remove pan from heat and allow to sit covered for an additional 15 minutes.

Open the pot and remove the lemongrass and leaves.. Fold rice with a spoon to distribute the flavors. Transfer to a dish, fluff and serve.

Chipotle Chicken Salad

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I'm getting down to the bare bones in my fridge before I leave. I had most of the ingredients for this salad on hand and had to make a regional dish for The Monthly Challenge Blog.

I didn't buy a rotisserie chicken-instead I baked a boneless,skinless chicken breast in foil in the oven for 25 minutes at 375. I seasoned it with salt and pepper. I normally would use tortilla chips but the Frito's are outstanding in this salad.

Chipotle Chicken Salad Gourmet Magazine July 2006

Melissa Roberts-Matar

1 rotisserie-cooked chicken (2 lb) at room temperature
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 (15- to 19-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1 rounded tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 firm-ripe California avocados, halved, pitted, and left unpeeled
3 oz corn chips such as Fritos (1 1/2 cups)
1 heart of romaine, separated into leaves
Remove chicken from bone in large chunks, with some skin if desired, and toss together with onion and black beans in a large bowl.

Purée cilantro, chipotles, oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender, then add to chicken mixture.

Cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes, without cutting through peel.

Toss chicken mixture with chips. Scoop avocado into chicken mixture with a spoon. Serve salad on romaine leaves. © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ribeye cooked in cast iron and roasted cauliflower. USA

I won't be cooking much because I'm going to Iowa next week. I'm going get creative with whatever ingredients I have on hand.

I added some new cookbooks to the list at the right so you'll know what to expect when I return.

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This recipe comes from The Notes from a New Orleans Foodie... in exile blog It's not so much a recipe as much as a technique. I bought a cast iron grill pan and have been itching to cook a steak in it. I bought my grass-fed ribeye at Wild Oats and topped it with mushrooms and Maytag Blue Cheese.

Warning-this will heat up your kitchen and smoke a bit so use your vent fan. You simply heat your oven to the highest temperature it will go to and put your cast iron pan inside. When the pan is the temperature of the oven, remove it and put it on a lit burner. Your steak should be at room temperature. Season your steak(I just used salt and pepper) and brush one side with olive oil. Put the steak,olive oil side sown, and sear for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn with tongs(no turner-use tongs)and sear the other side. Finish the steak off under the broiler. I cooked mine about 3 minutes because I like it on the rare/med rare side.

On the side is Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter which is a Cooking Light recipe. Roasting is my favorite way to prepare cauliflower with or without the brown butter. Sometimes I just toss it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

6 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with
cooking spray. Coat cauliflower with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and
pepper. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes, turning cauliflower twice.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until
lightly browned. Combine cauliflower and browned butter in a bowl, and
toss gently to coat.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 53(37% from fat); FAT 2.2g (sat 1.2g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g);
0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.5g

Arroz Gratinado-Mexico

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I always take a dozen pictures of my finished dish for my blog. Is it any wonder my dinners are never hot?

Anyway I couldn't decide which picture was better so I'm posting two.

This recipe is from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine. I loved it although I was tempted to add more cheese. I love cheese! But I used the amount the recipe called for and it was perfect. You could also use shredded chicken or make it without meat if you wish.

The wine is a Pinot Noir Rose and was recommended by the owner of my local wine store. I don't think I've ever had rose before but I really liked it with this dish!

Tomato Rice Casserole with Poblanos and Melted Cheese.

This main dish recipe offers great everyday flavors: roasted tomatoes and green chiles baked with shreds of beef, tender rice and gooey cheese.
Without the meat, this casserole is a substantial side dish to serve with grilled or roasted meats or poultry. To set on a buffet, double the recipe and bake it in a 13 x 9-inch dish.

Serves 6 as a casual entrée

For 2 cups essential roasted poblano rajas
1 pound (6 medium-large) fresh poblano chiles
1 T vegetables or olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 t dried Mexican oregano

1 pound ripe tomatoes
Salt )
1 cup medium grain rice, uncooked
1 cup grated Mexican Chihuahua or other melting cheese such as brick or Monterey Jack
1 1/2 cups boneless, shredded, cooked beef

1. Making 2 cups Essential Roasted Poblano Rajas. Roast the chiles directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on all sides, about 5 minutes for open flame, about 10 minutes for broiler. (If using broiler, the tomatoes from step 2 can be roasted at the same time.) Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 5 minutes. Peel, pull out the stem and seed pod, then rinse briefly to remove bits of skin and seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch strips.

In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat, then add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until nicely browned but still a little crunchy, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano, toss a minute longer, then stir in the chiles and remove from the heat.

2. The Tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and roast the other side. Cool, then peel, collecting all the juices. Chop tomatoes coarsely and combine with the juices. Return the chiles to medium-high heat, add the tomatoes and their juices and stir until the juices are nicely reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, usually 1 teaspoon.

3. The Rice. In a large (6 quart) pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the rice and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, until the grains are tender but not mushy or splayed. Pour into a strainer, then spread onto a tray to cool.

4. The Casserole. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread half of the rice over the bottom of a lightly greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Spoon on half of the chile-tomato mixture, spreading it to the edges, then sprinkle over about half of the cheese. If you’re using any meat, distribute it over the cheese at this point. Cover with remaining rice, chile-tomato mixture and cheese (in that order), and bake until bubbling and brown, 20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Yogurtlu Kebab Turkey

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Well I hear it's going to be cooling down here. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a brisk 103 instead of the 110 degrees we've been having. So hopefully I'll be able to fire up my oven soon!

I just can't seem to get away from the Turkish recipes! I was drawn in by the picture of this recipe although, mine didn't look anything like the food photographers. I think food stylists and editors cheat.

The kafta tasted like meat loaf to me. She gives a lot of ideas on other spices to add, which I'll definitely do since I have leftover meat. I have some fresh mint that needs to be used. Other suggestions are cinnamon and allspice. Cumin and Corriander, or red pepper flakes.

Kafta is usually rolled onto a ball, flattened and grilled on a skewer. You can also make "sliders" like this recipe.

When I make them again I'm going to grill them on my cast iron grill pan instead of broiling so they'll get a sear on them.

This dish was invented in Turkey by a man called Iskander in the 1920's and is a mainstay of Turkish Kebab houses.

The sauce and meat are served hot and the yogurt should be at room temperature.

Kofta Meshweya

1 1/2 lbs lamb with the shoulder with some fat, ground into a pate. (I just bought ground lamb)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 medium onions, finely chopped


Yogurtlu Kebab
(Kafta with Tomato Sauce and Yogurt)
From The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

1 lb tomatoes peeled and chopped
4 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 pita bread
Ground Lamb Kafta mixture from above recipe
2 1/2 cups plain whole milk or thick strained yogurt(I bought 2% Greek strained yogurt to cut some fat and calories)
1 tsp Paprika
2-3 tbs toasted pine nuts
2 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Put tomatoes in a pan with 1 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they soften.

Toast the pita bread until it is crisp and brek into pieces.

Shape the lamb meat into 12-16 small burgers. Broil, turning once, until they are brown on the outside and pink on the inside.

In a bowl put a quarter of the toasted pita, cover witht the tomato sauce, and top with a layer of yogurt. Mix the paprika and the remaining olive oil and dribble over the yogurt. sprinkle with pine nuts. Top with a kafta burger and sprinkle with parsley.

I promise my next recipe will not be Turkish.

The Imam Fainted- Turkey

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The story behind this dish is that when it was fed to a Muslim Cleric for the first time he swooned either from the sheer pleasure of the dish or from the amount of costly olive oil used. The dish was very very very good but not quite swoon worthy. Maybe if you're a cleric who doesn't eat well.

Anyway I cut the recipe in half. The dish is served at room tempreature as an appetizer but I had it for dinner with a salad and bread. One serving is one eggplant. I really had to restrain myself from eating two. Leftovers need to be brought to room temperature.

The Imam Fainted- Imam Bayildi From The Greatest Dishes by Anya Von Bremzen

6 Slender Japanese eggplants about 7 inches long
4 medium ripe tomatoes
2/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
3 medium white onions halved and sliced
12 large garlic cloves,peeled and chopped
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 heaping tsp sugar
1/3 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tbs lightly toasted pine nuts
lemon wedges

Using a vegetable peeler slice off strips of eggplant skin in one inch intervals for a "striped" effect. Pierce in several places with a small knife. Soak completely submerged in a bowl of water with 1 tbs salt. Place a plate on top of the eggplant to weigh them down. Soak for 30 minutes. Remove, squeeze water out of eggplants and pat dry with a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 350

Halve and seed 2 of the tomatoes and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Discard the skins. Seed and dice the other 2 tomatoes.

Heat 3 tbs of the oil in a large shallow ovenproof casserole or dutch oven. Sautee the onions over medium low heat until softened (about 10 minutes). Stir in the garlic and tomatoes both grated and diced and arrange the eggplants among the onions so they touch the bottom of the pan. Pour in the rest of the olive oil. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes urning the eggplants once.

Mix the water and sugar and pour over the eggplants. Salt to taste and place the pot, covered, in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes turning the eggplants every 10 minutes. At the end of cooking all the water should be absorbed and the cooking liquid and tomatoes should be glossy.

Cool the eggplant to warm or room temperature. Cut a slit in each eggplant and stuff with about 1 1/2 tbs of the onion/garlic/tomato mixture draining it on a fork as you stuff.

Transfer the eggplants to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce around them and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts. Squeeze some of the lemon juice on top.