No. 391Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Spiced Lentils & Brown Rice (Mejadra)

Spiced Lentils with Brown Rice

Spiced Lentil & Brown Rice first came onto my radar through Jerusalem the Cookbook, now a classic. Humble ingredients, lentils and rice, are spiced to create a wonderfully satisfying
vegan dish, for lunch dinner, or breakfast. A savory dish that truly is a little jewel.

MIDDLE EASTERN COOKING

The flavors and spices used in Middle East cuisine are among my favorites: cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and allspice. My friends from the Middle East have over the years given this California girl some lessons, and the dishes work wonderfully in our California cuisine template.

Kitchen standards like Chickpea & Fava Stew (Ful), Zahtar Chicken & Tangerine Couscous and Roasted Strawberries with Labneh and are among my go-to recipes, fresh, simple and healthy eating. Once I began cooking the cuisine, I sought out cookbooks to widen my knowledge. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s book, Jerusalem, not only shares recipes but stories from both of the chef’s childhoods and the food they grew up on.

Here at Bijouxs Little Jewels, I keep the recipes surprising, delicious and created for the home cook. I love to experiment with new recipes from cultures all over the world – good food is universal. Many times my friends introduce me to new recipes, food is all about sharing.

Spiced Lentils & Rice (Mejadra)SPICED LENTILS & BROWN RICE

I love simple dishes that combine a grain with a legume, such as Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans and Frijoles de la Olla (Beans in a Pot). This combination is satisfying and economical dining. The recipe can be made either in the Instant Pot or stovetop. I have made this both ways, and since I purchased the Instant Pot I have been giving it a try to simple and hasten long cooking dishes. In about 15 minutes Spiced Lentil & Brown Rice is ready to serve.

Spiced Lentils & Rice (Mejadra)

I have made a few minor adjustments, such as using less oil to sauté the shallots, and topping with fresh cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil and additional fragrant spices. A spoonful of yogurt sauce would lend a creamy texture. Finish with a green salad and some fresh fruit. Cuisines from around the world are little jewels.

No. 256Recipe Card Posted on 1 Comment

Chicken alla Cacciatora

Chicken alla Cacciatora | Bijouxs Little Jewels

Big Night cooking…it’s all about the sauce. Chicken alla Cacciatora, yes, an old school classic, a simple, family-style way with a chicken. Bijouxs la dolce vita!

One of my favorite food movies is “Big Night” and I can’t help but think of it whenever I cook a family favorite, Chicken alla Cacciatora (chicken in honor of the hunter’s wife). Leave it to the Italians to create the most fabulously simple food and this recipe is no exception. What you will need is a chicken, an onion, garlic, a can of tomatoes and oh, yes of course a bit of white wine. Result? A tender stew with fall-off-the-bone chicken, plus a healthy serving of sauce to embellish rice or pasta. Simple right?

Cooking from the heart and memory is a joy. You might have grown up with a version of the dish too. This is a flexible recipe, that is, I adjust the oil needed based on the size of onion, adjust garlic to taste, etc. The technique works with other meats as well to create a substantial sauce for Sunday night. With only a 45-minute stovetop stew, a budget chicken becomes a memorable, family-style meal, sending off an aroma throughout the house that just begs the pot to be opened and tasted.

I serve Chicken alla Cacciatora family style on a large platter, extra sauce on the side, and a bowl of fluffy white rice with fresh parsley. Of course, this dish is even better reheated the next day, if you can wait.

Wishing you a big night from the Bijouxs.

No. 177Recipe Card Posted on Leave a comment

Grilled Zucchini, Brown Rice & Herb Salad

During hot summer months salads make refreshing main courses. Grilled Zucchini, Rice & Herb Salad is main course material, with a with a nod (brown rice) and a wink (pimento stuffed olives) to the 70’s ‘health food’ heydey, a little jewel of a salad so good I did not leave it in the past. Continue reading Grilled Zucchini, Brown Rice & Herb Salad