Stuffed Vegetables Provençal

July 11th, 2019

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Summer calls out for sunny colorful food.  Red, orange, and green sweet peppers, plus plentiful zucchini are all wonderful stuffed with a meat mixture.  Topped with a marinara sauce and baked, this makes a satisfying meal with a crispy cool salad.  It is easy and would be so inviting doubled and served to guests on a huge platter.  There is something special about Provençal recipes.

French Friends

I know I have posted this picture before,  but it reminds me of our friends in France and the wonderful meal that Carole (second from left) served us in her Loire Valley home.  Stuffed vegetables were the main course after our Prosciutto wrapped melon.

Tours-stuffed-peppers

Carole stuffed peppers and tomatoes with a flavorful meat mixture.

Lulu's Kitchen

This is Lulu Peyraud’s kitchen at the Domaine Tempier winery in the Mediterranean coastal village of Bandol, France.  While in France on that same trip, we stopped at the winery and learned more about  Mrs. Peyraud.  She is a great friend of Alice Waters and the late Richard Olney.  Alice Waters serves the winery’s Bandol Rosé in her Chez Panisse Restaurant.  Lulu has a cookbook of her recipes written by Richard Olney.  You can find it here.  Lulu’s kitchen is dominated by a huge fireplace, where most of her cooking is done.  She has a small gas stove in her pantry.  It is obvious where her priorities lay.  I can just imagine how well stuffed peppers would taste coming out of that fireplace oven.  We encountered both stuffed pepper dishes and versions of ratatouille all over Provence.

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This dish is obviously summer and Provence on a plate.

STUFFED VEGETABLES PROVENÇAL

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably lean
  • 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

    Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the ground beef. Cover and refrigerate the beef mixture. 

    Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables. 

    Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.

Printable Recipe

Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

March 25th, 2019

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Time in Florida is winding down.  We leave for North Carolina at the end of the week.  I have been looking for recipes to use up food items in the freezer and the pantry.  This Country Captain Chicken recipe fit the bill.  I have blogged about this chicken curry casserole before here.  And here.  You can tell I am fond of the ingredients.  The difference with this recipe is the hands-off use of the slow-cooker.

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According to legend, curry powder and the recipe for Country Captain were brought to Charleston in the early 1800s by a British sea captain.  The dish includes chicken, curry, raisins, tomatoes and almonds.  It is perfect to serve to a crowd accompanied by rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

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Enjoy. Let’s welcome Spring.  Looking forward to seeing the blooms on the trees in the mountains.

SLOW-COOKER COUNTRY CAPTAIN CHICKEN (Taste of Home)

 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or raisins
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

 

  • Place onion, pepper and garlic in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Arrange chicken pieces over vegetables.
  • Whisk the next 5 ingredients with the chicken broth. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Add raisins and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken reaches 165°, 2-1/2 hours. Serve over rice; if desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Printable Recipe

 

Beef and Bacon Stew

December 19th, 2018

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With the holidays fast approaching, thoughts turn to warming comfort food.  I would even consider this Beef and Bacon Stew a worthy meal for Christmas Eve or Day.  It has been a challenging week.  We were hit by a freak snowstorm that normally would not occur in North Carolina.  Five days without power tested our coping capacity.

Snow in 2018

It was a test of our capacity to get along without things we all take for granted.  We stayed warm because our home is well insulated and  we have a gas fireplace and a wood burning fireplace.  We stayed well fed because we have a gas stove and oven, plus the grill grate in the fireplace.  We stayed hydrated with jugs of water and other drinks.  The only thing missing was a shower.  That’s why we have friends.  Thank you to Ron and Jackie for a much needed clean up and a delicious dinner.  But next year we are getting a whole house generator.  Weather in our area seems to have taken a more violent and unpredictable bent.

 

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David is actually responsible for this delicious stew.  Over the years he has been cooking more of our meals with creativity and elan.  While I was finishing my wonderful new book in the series from Louis Penny, Kingdom of the Blindhe was chopping and assembling this flavorful dish.  It did require a new ingredient.  Miso Paste.  I found it at Whole Foods in the refrigerator section near the cellophane boxed lettuces.  Do not leave it out as it adds a great depth of flavor to the sauce.

Chistmas silliness

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I couldn’t resist including this outtake of our Christmas card photo shoot.

BEEF AND BACON STEW (BON APPETIT)

1 Bottle of dry red wine
1 2 1/2 boneless beef chuck roast
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
8 oz. bacon
3 medium red onions
3 medium carrots
8 coves garlic
4 large sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp. white miso paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Crusty bread (for serving)

Complete recipe here.

Country Captain

April 7th, 2018

Country Captain

This wonderful chicken casserole has been in my wheel house for a long time.  I first blogged about it here.  This version came from Sam Sifton at the New York Times.  I love the addition of lots of tomatoes. But the basics of the dish are still here: chicken,curry, dried fruit, almonds, and bacon.  It is perfect for a crowd.

Country Captain

The port of Charleston saw many products from the Orient in the 18th and 19th century.  Curry powder was one of them and this dish became popular with hostesses all over the south.  FDR was very fond of Country Captain and had it served to him often in Warm Springs, Georgia.  It is best served over rice.

Country Captain

We are back in beautiful Lake Lure enjoying our home and especially my kitchen, although David was the one responsible for this delicious meal.  So glad that he loves to cook as much as I do.

COUNTRY CAPTAIN

1/4 cup flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbls butter
3 pounds chicken pieces (We used thighs and legs)
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
2 tsps celery, diced
1 Tbls minced garlic
2 Tbls curry powder
3 Tbls dried cranberries or currants
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juices
3 Tbls slivered almonds, toasted
Cooked white rice

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and the thyme in a bowl.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until it foams.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, and fry, in batches if needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium heat, add the bacon and fry until crispy.  Transfer to a plate.  Once cool, crumble and set aside.

Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, curry powder and 1 tablespoon of the cranberries or currants to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole large enough to hold the chicken snugly in one layer.  Arrange the chicken on top.  Pour the remaining sauce over and around the chicken.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for 15 minutes more.

Top with the crumbled bacon, remaining cranberries or currants and slivered almonds.  Serve with cooked rice and any condiments you wish.

Printable Recipe

Chard and Sweet Corn Gratin

June 27th, 2017

Chard and Sweet Corn Gratin

A good side dish is always welcome on a dinner table.  Sometimes it as simple as sautéed green beans. But I am trying to incorporate unusual combinations in our diet.  Everyone loves corn, but how many people love swiss chard?  In an effort to include it, I made this corn gratin that has all of the friendly flavors of corn with the brightness of healthy chard and nutrient rich red peppers.

 

Chard and Sweet Corn Gratin

We decided to have this with our Chicken instead of potatoes.  A salad rounded out the meal.  Three days to go on the diet marathon.  David is looking forward to enjoying the 4th of July with family without restrictions.  View some of our previous family get togethers.Lake Lure Dinner

Wine-tasting-2015

Needless to say, he will not be sticking to a diet.  We always have a blind wine tasting that involves many wine choices.  (By the way, the plastic bottles on the right are for the kids juice tasting).  So many funny pictures.

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I don’t think any of the adults had this reaction to the fine wines that we were tasting.  Maybe this year we should give the kids  better choices.

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But this was a very good choice for dinner tonight. Hope you give it a try.  Would look pretty on your holiday table.

American Flag

Happy 4th of July.  Will see you next week.  Enjoy!

CHARD AND SWEET CORN GRATIN ( The New York Times )

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 generous bunch (3/4 to 1 pound) Swiss or rainbow chard, stemmed and washed
  • Salt
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 to 3 ounces Gruyère, grated (1/2 to 3/4 cup), to taste
  • Kernels from 2 cooked ears sweet corn (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin.
  2. Blanch chard: Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the chard leaves. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add chard leaves. (Set aside stems for another use, or discard.) Blanch 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but still bright. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain thoroughly and squeeze out excess water; chop medium-fine.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet and add red pepper . Cook, stirring, until pepper is soft.  Add garlic and cook  30 seconds to a minute, then stir in rosemary, thyme and chopped blanched chard. Season with salt and pepper and stir over medium heat until chard is nicely coated with oil, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in chard mixture and Gruyère. Stir in corn and mix well. Scrape into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan over top and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned on the top and sides. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.