Coriander and Lemon Chicken

Shortly after I arrived in Kigali, a friend of mine told be about a cookbook called “Beyond Ugali in Kigali” which is a compilation of recipes which use local ingredients to make beloved favorites from home instead of Rwandan recipes. {All profits of the sale of the cookbook go to support Kigali Christian School’s lunch program.} I immediately bought a copy after hearing about it and as I was a little in shock as to how I was going to curb my cravings for my cousin’s million dollar mac’n’cheese, buffalo wild wings and chick’fil’a, hamburgers, shrimp tacos, and everything else under the sun! But this cookbook made me realize just how many options and combinations were out there just waiting for me to put them together and try out and got me excited to continue my culinary journey of learning to cook.

While scouring the grocery store aisles for culinary inspiration, I found that ground ginger, coriander, cardamom, and curry are among the common spices on the shelves as well as on menus here in Rwanda. Inspired to use these ingredients to put a spin on favorites from home, I decided to try it out as a twist on my Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic Butter recipe using ground coriander and pair it with a fresh salad {Beet, Orange, and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette}.

I’m also looking forward to experimenting with curry powder and other common spices of East African cuisine as well as seeing how I can adapt other favorite meals using these ingredients! I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Instructions for Coriander and Lemon Chicken:

  • Follow instructions for Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic Butter, however, instead of the rosemary and garlic butter mixture replace with the following ingredients:
    • Boneless chicken breasts with skin
    • 3/4 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  •  In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, ground coriander, and cilantro. Peel back the skin of your chicken and sprinkle salt mixture on the breast beneath the skin. Pat the salt mixture down, top with lemon slices, and unroll the skin overtop. Sprinkle any remaining salt mixture on the top and bottom of the breasts. Cook according to Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic Butter recipe.

Pork Sausage with Colcannon and Sauteed Apples | Luck of the Irish

Pork Sausage with Colcannon and Sauteed Apples.jpg

I don’t know what it is about the month of March, maybe it’s my Irish roots coming out, but I love this month! It reminds me of my childhood with my mom cooking corned beef and cabbage and beef and barley stews as well as adding dye to my milk so I could have green milk and using cookie cutters to make shamrock shaped chocolate chip cookies. It also reminds me of a trip I took to Ireland a number of years ago with my parents and my sister. We visited with family from my mom’s side that still live in Ireland, saw the old family homestead that had long been in our family, and saw the ruins of castles my family used to have. Every year this month comes around and I crave all the Irish comfort foods I have known of since childhood as well as from Ireland itself. In a desire to learn more recipes from my ancestral lands, I purchased an Irish recipe book {Rachel’s Irish Family Food} and set out to try recipes from it. First up, a dish called colcannon. Although traditionally a dish made around Halloween, it seemed to me to be a perfect recipe for a snowy evening, when comfort food seems to taste the best. I was excited to see at the grocery store the other day that Johnsonville had a Luck of the Irish and Garlic Pork Sausage that I thought would pair perfectly with the colcannon and sort of be a version of Bangers and Mash. This dish turned out perfectly and reminded me of the dishes I remembered eating with my family in Ireland seven years ago while betting on dog races to see who was going to buy the first round of beers at the pub later in the night. So here’s the recipe so you too can bring a little bit of Ireland to your home this month.

Colcannon:

Equipment:

  • Ovenproof dish
  • Aluminum foil
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Large saucepan
  • Large skillet
  • Potato Masher
  • Immersion Blender
  • Measuring cups

Ingredients:

  • Large bulb of garlic, whole and unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 2 1/4 pounds of russet (baking) potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 pound of green cabbage, outer leaves removed and quartered, cored, and cut against the grain into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425º. Line an ovenproof dish with aluminum foil. Place whole garlic bulb in the middle of the aluminum foil and then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lastly, place two sprigs of rosemary next to the garlic. Wrap the foil loosely around the garlic bulb, sealing it tight and with space left around the garlic. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.
  • Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with enough cold water to completely cover the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to boil for 10 minutes, then drain out 2/3 of the water and return to a boil for 30 more minutes. Drain water out. Use a knife to help peel the potatoes, the skin should peel off easily. Mash the potatoes immediately after adding 4 tablespoons of butter as well as salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Then, put cabbage into skillet and add one cup of milk and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top. Bring to a simmer and leave for 4 minutes. Drain out some of the heated milk into a measuring cup and add a little at a time to the mashed potatoes, just until it becomes a fluffy puree.   If you have one, use a handheld immersion blender to create the puree. Add the cooked cabbage and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. Best if served immediately with additional butter melting on top.

{Recipe found in: Rachel’s Irish Family Food}

Sauteed Apples:

Equipment:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 apples, sliced thinly (I used Pink Lady but I’m sure that Granny Smith ones would taste really good with this dish as well)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

  • Melt butter over medium high heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add apple slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring and flipping continuously until they have softened and start to brown.
  • Remove from pan and dry off on a paper towel.
  • Add to plate with the colcannon and sausage cooked according to package instructions.
  • Enjoy!

And to bring a little more of Ireland to your home on Saint Patrick’s Day, here are a few of the many, many photos I took on my trip to Ireland! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Garlic Shrimp | Camarones al Ajillo | Ecuadorian Cuisine

Last Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a cookbook for traditional Ecuadorian cuisine and even better it was in English so I didn’t have to use my husband or Google Translate to explain to me the ingredients and the instructions. My sister-in-law is living in Ecuador where their family lived for a number of years as kids and which I have been able to visit twice. The first trip I took to Ecuador with my husband I was not adventurous at all about trying new things, especially when the menu was in Spanish and I had never tried some of these foods before. However, I tried to do my best to try out different items to experience their cuisine. I even tried a dish called seco de chivo which contained goat, although at the time I thought I was eating beef. It wasn’t until several weeks later that my husband finally told me that he tricked me into trying goat! I have to admit it was really good but at the time I probably would not have even tried it if I had known what it was. One of my favorite dishes was pork with llapingachos (similar to a potato pancake)…this was another dish I was a little apprehensive about because it was served at a roadside stand that had the meat hanging on lines, like you would hang clothes to dry. Although, I thought it would be weird, it was actually so good that after 7 years from that first visit to Ecuador, I’m still craving that meal and would give anything to have it again.

During this holiday season, my sister-in-law, who is newly engaged {CONGRATULATIONS!!!}, stayed down in Ecuador with her fiance which made Christmas in New Jersey with the rest of my in-laws incomplete. So in this time of missing Stefy and thinking about her life and the delicious food down in Ecuador, my husband and I decided to make a meal out of that cookbook she gave me. The ingredients were simple to find at an international food market near our home. The recipe below is by far my second favorite recipe from my two trips to Ecuador. I think I ordered this dish at least 5 times during our last trip alone! After exploring the international food market and the cookbook, we have  several more dishes on our to do list that are my husband’s favorites. If you’d like to try an Ecuadorian dish to taste the different flavors, ingredients, and cuisine try this dish below and check back for others to try in the future.

Garlic Shrimp over Rice | Camarones al ajillo

Equipment:

  • Deep skillet pan
  • 6 ramekins (optional – I used to hold each ingredient as I chopped or minced them up to keep them separate until I was ready to use them)
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Latex gloves (optional – I used to protect myself from the chilli peppers)
  • Spatula

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white onions, approximately half a medium onion
  • 4 tablespoons of garlic, minced or pushed through a press, approximately 6-8 decent sized cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli peppers, chopped and without seeds
  • 8 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a deep skillet pan, add onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Fry ingredients just until garlic is about to brown.
  • Add shrimp, salt, pepper, and white wine. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp is a rosy color.
  • Place mixture on top of rice and sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve immediately and ENJOY! | DISFRUTEN!