Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chicken with Couscous Halabi Style

I think this was one of the first recipes I learned from my mom. Its an easy dish, just requires a bit of prep work.Ive been making some fatty dishes lately, so I decided to go healthy today. =)  Take out your chopping boards and sharpen those knives! One of my friends suggested to me that I take pictures of the steps as I'm cooking, so here goes. Enjoy.


6 Peices of Chicken with thigh skin on
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 red pepper
2 Carrots
5 vine tomatos
1 Vidalia onion
1 can of garbanzo beans
4 tablespoons of fresh crushed garlic
6 tablespoons of olive oil
Crushed red pepper ( add as much or as little as you want, depends on how much heat you'd like.)
4 tablespoons of cinammon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of all spice
2 teaspoons of tomato paste
1 vegetable bouillon
Couscous ( Get the boxed instant couscous, and make as much as you like, just follow the instructions on the box but use the broth that were going to make, more instructions later)

First, cut up all your vegtables. You can use any vegtables you like, but these are the ones that I like to use.


Then, Take your garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper and combine them into almost a paste.

Take the chicken in a large pot and put about half of the garlic paste on top. Saute them for about 4-5 minutes on high heat.

Add 5 liters of water I know like this seems alot, but its going to cook down alot and your going to need the broth for the veggies and the couscous. Add the cubed vidalia onion, all the spices, and a vegetable bouillon.

Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for about an hour, until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and put it in a baking pan. Add about half of the leftover garlic paste, and add a teaspoon of tomato paste to that. Cover the chicken with that and let it bake in 450 in the oven till the skin is crispy, your not cooking the chicken, just browning the skin.

Add the tomatoes into the broth. Once it comes to a boil, add your vegetables and garbanzo beans and lower the heat. Let your vegetables cook at a simmer. Near the end of cooking your veggies, add the remaining garlic paste. Once they are done cooking, remove them. Be careful, and make sure that you don't overcook them. Now, if your using different types of veggies, you may want to add some before others. For example, some people like to use summer squash. If you do that, you'll have to add it before the zucchini, which takes less time to cook. Play around with your vegetables and use what you like. Some people also like to add raisins near the end.

Now, follow the instructions for cooking the couscous. But instead of using water, use the liquid from the vegetable broth.I also like to add a teaspoon of tomato paste to the broth for the couscous and some salt. Traditionally, couscous is steamed, but not all of us have a couscousi pot. =)

Once the couscous is done cooking, Take a large plate. Add the couscous, ladle a some broth, and then add the vegtables. Finally, add the chicken on top. Have some of the broth on the side for people to add if they'd like, its delicious! Enjoy!! =)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shrimp with Rosa Sauce

A couple of weeks ago, we went to dinner @ this place called Buca Di Beppo. Everytime we try to go, its insanely crowded. So this time we made reservations. I decided that the crowds must be because:

A) The food is really good
B) They have huge portions ( I was leaning towards 2, we all know how much american's love supersized portions.)

Turns out its a family style restaurant with pretty good food. So we split a salad and a pasta dish.  We ordered shrimp with rosa sauce. Before we ordered, we told the server we only want vegetarian food, ( bc my hubby is zabiha.) Much to my disappointment, the rosa sauce they made used their alfredo sauce, which has chicken stock in it. So we ended up getting shrimp with  marinara sauce. After I left, I was determined to try some rosa sauce. I researched online and made some of of own. Here's my attempt: ( FYI this is by no means healthy, but hey its ok to splurge sometimes right?)

Shrimp with Rosa Sauce

- 1 pound of cooked shrimp ( I bought some yummy pre cooked frozen shrimp)
- 14 oz of thick, yummy marinara sauce. ( Don't use anything too liquidy, like prego or something.)
- 6 oz of whipping cream
- 2 cloves of garlic smashed ( FRESH people!!)
- 1 finely diced shallot
- 1 finely diced small red onion
- some red pepper flakes to your liking
- 6 ozs of broccoli buds
- 8 oz of mushrooms thickly sliced 
- 3 ozs of  frozen peas ( Just eyeball the veggies, use as much or as little as  you like)
- 1 pound of macaroni, bow tie, penne, etc.
- 2 cups of freshly grated parm cheese.
- 2 cups of freshly chopped roma tomatos
- About 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Now, obviously, boil your pasta, and about 5 minutes into boiling it, add the broccoli buds and peas. Wait till everything is cooked and drain it.
 Take a large sauce pan, add some olive oil, enough to cover the bottom, and add the smashed garlic, shallot, and red onion over medium heat. ( If the heat is too high the garlic will burn.)
Let them saute till they start to soften, and add the mushrooms, a sprinkle of fresh black pepper, and some red pepper flakes.
Once the mushrooms are about halfway cooked, add the marinara sauce and the whipping cream. Add the cooked shrimp, fresh tomatos, and basil. Let it simmer on medium heat covered till the sauce thickens and reduces.
Once the sauce reduces, ( takes about 10-15 minutes) remove from heat, and add the parm cheese. Stir it in till it melts.
Mix in the pasta and enjoy!! =)