This is a well-trodden culinary path for yours truly. And oh, what beautiful and delicious path it is. As a result, I was overjoyed to return and savor all the aromatic and mouth-watering flavors. All it took was a few chops of drumsticks and thighs (skin off/bone-in) and the infusion of one of my favorite spices, curry powder.
In addition to curry powder, other pantry and fresh ingredients were included:
salt and black pepper
scotch bonnet pepper
Marinated chicken overnight. Curried chicken drumsticks and thighs were braised and simmered under low to medium heat to a fork tender finish. I was ecstatic with the finished dish.
I can’t complain. The autumn (Fall) season has emerged in my kitchen in a huge way. It has doled out some of earth’s finest in the form of root vegetables. Thus, I treated them one of the favorite ways I like. I decided to roast them. Roasting is perfect for these veggies as it brings out the nutty and natural sugar within. Moreover, I know that these vegetables are filled with nutrients that are beneficial for the body.
So, it was with glee that I grabbed my baking sheet and embarked on a culinary process. Some of the veggies that were included were:
Vegetables were drizzled with canola oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper. Then, for extra flavor of spices, I added a sprinkle of paprika and cinnamon to carrots and sweet potatoes. These were placed in a heated oven of 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then then were given an additional 10 minutes at 420 degrees.
I couldn’t help myself; had a serving of summer’s favorites (loose grilled corn). I made extra during the summer and stored same in freezer. I did a rapid defrost in the microwave oven and added same to a quick pan-roast of small bell peppers and onions.
These were added to the oven roasted root vegetables. Each bite of the carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes was smooth and sweet. The corn still kept the sweet/crispness and the fennel had a beautiful licorice taste that went very well with all the other veggies.
All these roasted vegetables will be used a side dish for upcoming entrees.
It was like Christmas in September. My kitchen emitted a bouquet of warm and aromatic flavors that enveloped my entire abode. Guys, I’m talking about the co-mingling of paprika and cinnamon sprinkled on wedges of carrot and sweet potatoes. With a drizzle of canola oil and a pinch of sea salt along with the earthy spices of cinnamon and paprika, my root vegetables were ready for a piping hot 400 degree oven.
Roasting helps to bring out the natural sugars within these root vegetables which are loaded with beta carotene and other great nutrients. As I watched the golden wedges did their thing, my taste-buds became super-excited as they awaited the final dish. I gave the entire roasting approximately 40 minutes and turned them half-way through the cooking process.
Wedges of carrots and sweet potatoes were crispy on the exterior and smooth on the interior. They were like candy to my palate. I was happy.
I had a rather long day. And although it would have been just perfect to order delivery or eat out, I decided on neither. I just wanted to return to my nest and unwind. That meant unwinding with a sip of cocktail. Had a little left-over pinot noir on hand. And I put on a little soft rock and went to work in my kitchenette. It’s amazing what a few cloves of garlic, vine-ripe tomatoes and citrus can do to you.
It was a simple, quick yet delicious and hearty meal. In less than thirty seconds I was able to whip up a grilled paprika and citrus shrimp over a bed of linguine pasta. I made sure to season shrimp with a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, paprika and crushed garlic. After removing garlic, shrimp was drizzled with olive oil and placed on grill pan for approximately two minutes on each side. Shrimp was then removed from burner and a combination of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice was added.
Whole wheat linguine pasta was cooked al dente style. I made sure to season pasta water generously as that was the ideal time to flavor pasta. Pasta was drained and a little water was reserved for an addition so to stretch the sauce. It was important that I had a firm pasta in order that I could finish the cooking process in the sauce.
In a hot skillet, under low to medium heat, olive oil was drizzled and roughly chopped onions were sautéed. Then chopped vine-ripe tomatoes were added along with crushed garlic. In order to expel the all the flavors and juices, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper were added along with a squeeze of lemon and lime. Also, fresh thyme was added. Pasta along with reserve water were then tossed in and all ingredients were folded for a perfect finish.
Paprika and citrus shrimp was served over linguine pasta along with a garnish of fresh lemon/lime slices and parsley. Guys, I was super-happy as I puckered up to my citrusy dish. Now, if I could only find something to watch other than the re-runs.
I had a 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans commonly known as chickpeas. Decided to use same as a great snack. Thus, I drained and rinsed under cold tap water. Then, I dried chickpeas on a clean kitchen towel. On a greased baking sheet, I placed peas and drizzled a little olive oil, sprinkled a pinch of paprika, salt, and pepper and thoroughly rubbed in all the ingredients.
Chickpeas were roasted for approximately 20 minutes in the oven at a temperature of 400 degrees. The finished dish was crunchy and chock full of flavors. Frankly, I never missed the popcorn.
I’ve reserved some of my roasted chickpeas for a green salad. This will provide great texture and flavors to the salad. Moreover, I know that just by incorporating these beans I’ll also be gaining beneficial fibers that will keep be satiated for long.
Who would have thought that this former forgotten veggie could be celebrated as this. Cauliflower has somewhat emerged as a bright star among its counterparts. Step back broccoli and cabbage and in enter this cruciferous member. This creamy white and tight veggie is standing out on its own and seems to be stealing the stoplight from its family members. Well, that’s my observation.
And, the great thing is that cauliflower has numerous health benefits. Based on studies, it is excellent in preventing different cancers, like ovarian, prostate, and cervical. In addition, it is ideal for the lowering of the blood sugar in the body. It’s low in calories and as a result, it’s perfect in the area of weight management.
Chefs have created many dishes that seems to compliment this flower veggie. As a home cook, I’ve cooked cauliflower in the form of a mash, soup, roasted, and steamed. However, the last I’ve checked I realized it can be had many more ways.
One of the ways I’ve decided to cook this amazing veggie is to roast it in coconut milk. But, first I cut it in huge slices. Then, I soaked it overnight in coconut milk which was seasoned with a pinch of salt to taste along with paprika, and black pepper. I also put a sprinkle of cinnamon for added flavor….winner! Nutmeg would also be perfect as well.
In a 400 degree oven, cauliflower pieces were roasted for approximately 45 minutes until fork tender and coconut reduced. It was then placed under the broiler for another five minutes with shredded cheddar cheese for a quick melt and browning on top.
Guys, this dish is excellent for a perfect side dish at your holiday meal or any meal for that matter. It’s a crowd pleaser dish and will have everyone returning for seconds.
Guys, as always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.