Monday, January 14, 2013

Ranch recipes: Moroccan Chicken


Yummy! I love this recipe for a couple reasons:

1) It is fast and on the table in 20 minutes
2) It only dirties one pan
3) I can make a couple batches of the dry ingredients and store them in glass jars on the shelf meaning I just have to dump the jar contents into the pan on days I'm short on time or creativity
4) It is bursting with exotic flavors yet every ingredient is easily sourced at the average market. Likewise, if I am missing one or two spices I can leave them out since there are enough other flavors to carry the meal.

Morrocan Chicken

- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or a 1" cube of fresh, minced)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves, crushed)
- 1 TBSP onion powder (or 1 small onion, chopped)
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup Isreali couscous (I find mine in the bulk bins, it is larger than traditional couscous)
-  2 cups chicken stock (or water)
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- plain yogurt for garnish (optional)
- chopped herbs - basil, mint or cilantro - for garnish (optional)

I like to mix all my spices together first in a medium bowl with the apricots and couscous (if you are prepping this recipe to make another day, pour these ingredients into a glass jar or zipper bag, label and set aside).

1. In a large, non-stick skillet (with a lid, we will use that later) heat oil over medium heat and add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

2. Add spices, apricots, couscous and 2 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If needed, feel free to add another splash or two of liquid to ensure the pasta is covered.

3. Stir in frozen peas and cook 2-3 more minutes or until peas are heated and couscous is cooked through. To serve, top each serving with 2 TBSP plain yogurt and a sprinkling of herbs. Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ranch Recipes: Banana pancakes


It has been quite a while since I posted a recipe and today's recipe for Banana Pancakes is tasty and just about as easy of a recipe as it gets. If you are like the average American household, you probably already have the ingredients on hand too. It makes a small enough quantity to serve one or easily doubles to serve two or more. It is also a quick, gluten free pancake recipe that doesn't require special baking mixes which makes it a great recipe for ranch guests.

Banana Pancakes (makes four 4" pancakes)
- 1 egg
- 1 small/medium banana

1. Mash banana with a fork or potato masher. Beat in egg. Batter will be very thin.

2. Over medium heat in a non-stick pan or griddle, pour batter into 4" pancakes and cook 1-2 minutes then flip and cook another minute. Enjoy!

In my experience 4" pancakes are about perfect, any larger and they tear or can be difficult to flip. The texture is somewhat of a cross between a crepe and a pancake and delightfully banana-y. A shake of cinnamon sugar or a splash of vanilla in the batter would be good but even as written and eaten plain with no syrup, these pancakes are still yummy.