Sweet Curry Roast Chicken

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My dear friend Celest and I would often visit our neighborhood spice shop, Savory Spice Shop, in Sonoma County for freshly ground and handcrafted spices and seasonings. This quaint shop offers an array of specialty salts to the best spice blends for any recipes. On our last visit, Celest picked up this beautiful Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry spice blend but never got around to using it. A few weeks ago, we said our goodbyes to each other as she was moving back home to Australia. As she was packing up, she passed along heaps (HEAPS!) of delicious goodies from her kitchen, including this beautiful spice blend and recipe.

This easy to make curry roast chicken is packed with flavor but still light and refreshing! Serve over coconut rice or rice noodles along with a crisp, bright white wine.

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Chicken

  • 4 organic chicken leg quarters
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Savory Spice Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced

Mix together the oil, curry, cumin, fish sauce and soy sauce together to make paste. Rub chicken pieces with paste and place in zip lock to marinate in refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours. When chicken is ready, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lay sliced onion across bottom of baking dish. Place chicken pieces on top of onions and roast in oven until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 1¼ hours. When chicken is done, start the sauce.

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup broccoli crowns, sliced
  • 1 cup bok choy, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced ( I used rainbow carrots in this dish)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat in saucepan. Add vegetables and cook for a few minutes until they just start to soften. Add roasting juices from cooked chicken dish, chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce is reduced by about half.

Pour sauce over chicken pieces when ready to serve and garnish with cilantro.

* this ingredient is from a local spice shop in Sonoma County. To make your own, combine white sugar, turmeric, lemongrass, cumin,black pepper, paprika, salt, coriander, garlic, cardamom, cayenne and curry leaves.

Cheers, Crystal

Adapted from a recipe by Andy Klein, One Ten Thai chef/owner.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple-Ginger Soup

Apple Butternut Soup

We finally received some much needed rain here in Northern California a few weeks back. For a minute there, I forgot it was winter with all of the beautiful, warm days we’ve experienced in December and January.

It was a Friday night and I had planned for my dear friend Morgan to come over and make dinner together. That morning over text we both had same idea for dinner: SOUP! What a perfect choice to pair with this rainy evening. She had a few ideas that we kicked around and then we both settled on making a comforting squash soup with granny smith apples paired with a pear & pomegranate salad.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup & Salad

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled & cored
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 granny smith apple, for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the butternut squash, coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove the skin and let cool. (If your local store doesn’t have whole butternut squash available, check to see if they have cubed butternut squash.)

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Add the apples and 2 cups of broth into a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja and it worked great!) Puree until smooth and transfer it to a bowl. Set aside.  In a heavy stockpot, add olive oil, onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the onions from pot and place in a bowl. Transfer the apple / broth mixture to the stock pot and simmer. Add the cooled squash to the blender along with 1/2 cup of broth and puree until smooth. Add the squash puree to the apple / broth mixture. Add the half & half and stir continuously until completely mixed together. Add the fresh thyme and ginger. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

Apples & Broth in Blender

Garnish soup with thin slices of apples & fresh thyme sprig. Enjoy with your favorite salad or crusty bread.

Serves 4 -6

Pear & Pom Salad

Pear, Pomegranate & Gorgonzola Salad

  • Arugula salad
  • 1 – 2 ripe pears, sliced
  • Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • Pomegranate seeds (click here to learn an easy way to deseed a pomegranate)
  • Walnuts, toasted
  • Citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine pears, cheese, pomegranates and toasted walnuts over a bed of arugula salad. To make this simple vinaigrette, combine juice from 1 orange, 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil (slowly added), salt & pepper.

Enjoy! ~Crystal

Roasted Butternut Squash, Garlic & Rosemary Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

The fall season calls for deliciously irresistible winter squash and butternut squash is one of my all-time favorites. Last night I had the opportunity to hang out with Chef Don Garrett from Wine Country Artisans Catering who made an AMAZING homemade butternut squash ravioli. These raviolis were hands down the BEST butternut squash raviolis I’ve ever tasted (perhaps we will have a blog post soon and Don will share with us his recipe!) Nevertheless, as I was eating his leftovers this afternoon for lunch, I got inspired to whip up something tonight for dinner that incorporated this wonderful autumn squash. In the past, I’ve made butternut squash soup, roasted squash with thyme and butternut squash risotto… hmmmm, I have lasagna pasta sheets – let’s make lasagna! I haven’t made lasagna in a long, long time so this was the perfect dish to make. Not only is this dish comforting — a perfect pair to the cooler weather — but it’s easy to make.

Prepping Lasagna

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • olive oil
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • No-boil lasagna pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Butternut Sqash Lasagna

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss fresh butternut squash pieces with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir butternut squash and roast for another 10 – 15, until tender and golden.

While squash is roasting, melt butter in a large saucepans. Add garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Stir in flour and cook roux, stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add milk, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook and stir frequently until thickened yet smooth – about 5 – 8 minutes. Stir in roasted squash.

Butter a casserole dish and pour some sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Begin layering the lasagna pasta sheets. Spread the sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering noodles, adding the sauce and finishing with Parmesan cheese. Pour heavy whipping cream over the top of the entire dish and sprinkle a little more cheese. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Allow dish to cool for about 5 minutes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Serves 4 – 6.

Wine Pairing? Try pairing this decadent dish with a rich & buttery Chardonnay. Do you have a personal favorite? Share with us in the comments below or on twitter!

Enjoy! ~Crystal


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