Leftover Chicken Coconut Curry over Cous Cous

Wondering what to do with those leftover pieces of chicken? Even if you didn’t cook them quite right the first time around, or you let them sit in your fridge one day too many, no one is ever going to know after you slather them in this delightful and aromatic coconut curry.  I mean, sure, you could use perfectly fresh and well-cooked chicken and no one would hold it against you. This is one of the few meals I can recall recently where our 14 year old actually ate a plateful. Without once complaining.

Chicken Coconut Curry over Cous Cous

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: < 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 5 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 13 to 16 ounces coconut milk (can be thicker, as desired, if made with powdered cocnut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat on the stove, heat 2 tablespoons of Canola oil in a large frying pain.

Add sliced onions and sauté until light brown.

Place diced potatoes into a microwave-safe bowl and add water until 1 inch above potatoes. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes.

Drain water off, or spoon potatoes out of bowl and add to pan of onions.

Cover pan and cook onions and potatoes about 5 minutes, on low heat.

Add butter to pan. Stir until melted.

Add coconut milk to pan, stir to blend.

Add sugar and blend.

Add chicken, cover, cook over low heat about 5 minutes, or until chicken is warmed.

Optionally, a basil top (stem and four leaves) on top of curry before covering and cooking last 5 minutes.

Serve over cous cous.

To make cous cous: in a microwave-safe bowl, mix 1 cup of cous cous, 1 1/4 cups water, 1 tablespoon butter, and a light sprinkle of salt. Cover lightly, making sure steam can escape. Cook on high in microwave for 4 to 5 minutes.

Testament to the edibility of this recipe, the pan has been scraped. It’s not exactly the curry over cous cous photo I was hoping for, but it’ll do.

chicken-coconut-curry

Curried Chicken Salad (no mayo)

Curried Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: < 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

– Solids

  • 1 apple, finely diced
  • 2 or 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 to 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cashews, whole, halved, or chopped, preferably without salt.
  • 5 cooked and diced chicken breasts or 2 12.5 oz cans premium chunk chicken breast

– Sauce

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 2/3 cup white wine

Mix all solid ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.

Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Thoroughly combine solids and sauce. Add pepper to taste.

Eat!

Even though it may seem tempting to substitute almonds or some other type of nut for the cashews, don’t do it. Cashews are an integral component for this dish to taste proper. I used slivered almonds once and, although it wasn’t inedible, I had to promise several family members I would never do it again. You may enjoy substituting 1/2 cup of cashews with pine nuts.

This recipe contains no mayonnaise. Every other curried chicken salad recipe I’ve tried contains mayo. And lots of it. I cannot imagine why. I admit that I’m not a big fan of mayo anyway, but I think it really overpowers the delicate nuances of flavor in this recipe. If you’ve used salted cashews and mayo, the result is a sodium overload. Even if you would normally use mayo instead, consider trying the sour cream at least once. It’s possible you could substitute yogurt or tahini, but I haven’t become that adventurous yet.

Lastly, regarding sauce substitutions, I tried using coconut cream, rather than sour cream. The sauce was so bizarre I converted it over for use as a satay and had my husband bring home a container of sour cream to use in the curried chicken salad. They can’t all be winners, I guess.

Here’s a fascinating video on cashew production. If you’ve ever wondered why cashews were so expensive, this is why. Bet you’re glad the recipe didn’t call for cashew apples!

Orange Julius-style popsicles or drink

orangepopsI have seen no end of recipes and packaged additives claiming the ability to transform normal orange juice  into something that tastes like the original Orange Julius. Each and every one of these–and, yes, I tried every single one I’ve come across–has been a monumental disappointment. Some were close, but no cigar.

The other day, I saw a recipe in a friend’s newsfeed describing itself as a totally healthy, GMO-free version of the orange creamsicle. After rejecting a couple of the suggested ingredients outright and substituting in what I had on hand, the results were not quite orange creamsicle, but were certainly reminiscent of an Orange Julius.

I gulped the test batch down right out of the mixing bowl, while my husband watched in amused and slightly horrified disbelief. The nearest Orange Julius stand is, as far as I know, about 200 miles away, so I feel this behavior was only to be expected.

Normally I wouldn’t say this, but, to get these results, you really have got to use the brand name products described in this recipe. As to the “Simply Orange,” their production includes a flavoring process that achieves a uniform, specific flavor that is distinct from all other brands (some find this process both unhealthy and undesirable). As to the “Silk” brand coconut milk, it contains, among other things, guar gum and carageenan, which moderates the texture, as opposed to unadulterated coconut milk from the can. It is also the most similar product to the coconut milk offered by Knudsen back in the late 1970s and early ’80s, which, to my knowledge, is no longer available.

With that long preface, onto the recipe.

Orange Julius Popsicles

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: > 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 cups “Simply Orange” orange juice
  • 2 cups “Silk” brand coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (optionally increase to 1/2 cup sugar)orangey julius

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly, preferably in a container you can shake or a blender.

Pour into plastic popsicle forms and freeze until solid, or serve over crushed ice, or blend with crushed ice. Might be good with some Caribbean-style rum.

Deeeelicious!

 

Cherry Vanilla No-roll Scones

Cherry Vanilla Scones

Sweetish and a little salty, crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, with cherry and  ground vanilla throughout, these no-roll scones are the loveliest I ever recall tasting, even if I did make them myself. They are very quick and easy to make and very, very difficult to stop eating.

I adapted this from an Alton Brown recipe for scones that can be found here:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/scones-recipe.html

Cherry Vanilla No-roll Scones

  • Servings: 10- 12
  • Time: < 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry ground vanilla bean*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup dried Mariana cherries (snip into halves or quarters, if desired)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375′ and lay parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine butter into flour mixture.

In small bowl, scramble egg, then mix in cream.

Add egg and cream to flour mixture. Combine thoroughly.

Mix dried cherries into dough.

Divide dough into 11 or 12 equal portions, or more to make smaller scones. Gently pat into roundish shapes and drop onto parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Cook at 375′ for about 12 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

Serving

To serve, split scone open carefully and spread with butter while still warm. Nice cold, too, but fantastic fresh from the oven.

* I get my ground vanilla beans through Amazon. You could substitute vanilla paste or even grind your own vanilla pods, both of which are also available there and sometimes in local stores. I do not think the same effect would be achieved by replacing  ground vanilla material with a vanilla extract.