Chicken Curry Stew

It’s been a month of Sundays since I posted anything that wasn’t directly related to the podcast, and I apologize for that. I’ve been struggling with stress and depression for the last few months, and I’m trying to dig myself out of it.

One thing I’m trying to start doing is eating healthier. So this weekend, I did a grocery trip in anticipation of some meal planning. Last night, I made this AMAZING chicken stew with curry notes that will serve as my lunch for the rest of the week. I have to tell you guys, I was drooling over this as I was cooking it – and I thank the plethora of cooking videos on my facebook feed for improving my technique somewhat. I had to hold myself back from eating any last night! I had some for lunch today, and felt I had to share, because it was just THAT good. It’s also a good way to sneak some vegetables onto your family’s plates!

I thought about doing this stew in the Instant Pot, but I don’t think it would have attained the depth of flavor it got in the enamelled cast-iron pot. I think this would also make excellent filling for a pot pie, if you like that sort of thing! If I have any left at the end of the week, I may attempt that with some refrigerator crescent roll dough. Without further ado, here’s the recipe! (Note: You don’t have to thaw the frozen vegetables before tossing them in, and while I used fresh turmeric root, you could just use 1 tsp of powdered instead.)

Chicken Curry Stew

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp ginger paste, or 1″ knob, peeled and diced finely
1 Tbsp garlic paste (or 1 Tbsp chopped garlic, or 2 cloves garlic)
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 pkg frozen spinach
1 pkg frozen okra, chopped (or 3 cups fresh okra, chopped)
1 3-inch piece turmeric root, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1 tsp dried turmeric)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 quart vegetable cocktail
1 can coconut cream or coconut milk

In large enamelled cast-iron pot, or your favourite stock pot, heat oil. Add chopped chicken and salt, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion, stir until translucent, another 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and sweet potatoes. Stir frequently, and cook until potatoes begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add spinach, okra, turmeric, cumin and cayenne. Continue cooking approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and frozen vegetables have thawed.

Add vegetable cocktail and simmer uncovered 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil, then stir in coconut cream. Serve over rice or quinoa as soon as the coconut cream is completely incorporated.

This stew will serve 6-8 people.

A note about fresh turmeric: It may look a little off-putting in the store (it looks like big, juicy worms, to be honest), the difference in flavor between fresh and powdered is unbelievable. If you can get fresh, then buy it, and put it in EVERYTHING. (Turmeric has numerous proven health benefits, and the flavor is pleasant and goes with just about anything.)

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I’ll add a picture of the stew tonight when I get home – I didn’t photograph anything while I was cooking, and I ate my lunch too quickly to think of taking pictures 😉

Recipe Files: Simple Cabbage Soup

raw ingredients

On Sundays, I generally go to my mom’s house for dinner. When I was a kid, we used to buy this canned cabbage soup we all loved (Habitant brand, in case anyone is curious). Sadly, they stopped making it when I was a teenager. A few years ago, I decided I needed to reverse-engineer the recipe, because we loved it SO MUCH. This recipe is the result.

Every year, Mom has me make a big batch so that she can freeze it and enjoy it all year long. This year, we got a bit ambitious and did three whole cabbages. That yielded somewhere between fourteen and sixteen quarts of soup, which was insane and took ALL AFTERNOON. I’m not going to share those quantities with you here.

shredded cabbage

Now the most dangerous part of all this is shredding the cabbage. I tend to prep it the same way I would for coleslaw or sauerkraut. Take a sharp paring knife and cut out the core, using medium diagonal cuts all the way around the stem. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can cut out any extra bits of core after. Then place your cabbage on the cut end, and take a large knife (I prefer a santoku knife for stability,  but you could also use a chef knife) and cut into quarters. Slice each quarter thinly, no more than 1/8″ thick. Prep your onions the same way. (although without the coring, obviously).

This soup is more about ratios than specific measurements – as long as you keep your 1 cabbage – 1 onion – 1 quart stock ratio relatively similar, you can scale this recipe up as high as your stock pot will let you. We had to dig out the big 20-quart pot this year for the three heads of cabbage 🙂 You can also add a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes to the mix if you prefer. I do this at home, but not when making the soup for my mom’s stockpile 😉 The seasonings are simple, but they work very well with this soup. Let me know if you try this recipe! I hope you enjoy it.

Simple Cabbage Soup

Ingredients

1 head green cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large white or sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp black pepper
1 quart beef stock (if using unsalted stock, add 1 tsp sea salt – OR use 1 heaping Tbsp Better than Bouillon, beef flavor, and 1 quart water)

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions and cabbage, and sauté over low heat until browned and soft, approximately 10-12 minutes. Place in stock pot with remaining ingredients. If stock does not cover cabbage, add enough stock to cover all vegetables. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour. Serve, or freeze for later use. Serves 4-6.

soup

Episode 18

Weekly Cuppa:

Today’s tea is Super Fruit Herbal Tea by Tea Pigs. It’s a vibrant blend of unusual berries (including elderberries, currants, bilberries and cranberries) that is as good hot as it is cold.

Knitting Content:

Celestial Socks test knit for Brandi Miller. Knit out of Fleece Artist Trail Sock hand-dyed by krysknits on 2.25mm (US 1) needles.

Color Affection by Veera Välimäki. Knit out of Night Owl Fibers Basic Sock in Rusty Hook, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Leather Boots on size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

My Scrappy Blanket (based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis and memory blanket by Georgie Nicolson. Knit on size 2.75mm (US 2) needles. Squares added this week included Nova Sock Print, colourway 174; Knit Picks Palette in the Silver colourway, and an unknown neon variegated yarn.

Stash:

I received a skein of Bijou Basin Ranch Tibetan Dream in the custom ModeKnit Yarns colourway, Black-to-Green Flow. Carl also sent along some stickers, a to-do notepad (which will be included with the KAL prize) and a lovely stitch marker by Chappy.

Bijou Basin KAL

And that brings us to the Bijou Basin KAL!!! We’ll be casting on next Saturday, so be ready! Any Bijou Basin or ModeKnit Yarns fiber will qualify, as will any patterns featured on Bijou Basin Ranch’s site, or any Annie Modesitt pattern. I will be casting on the Flirt Shawlette by Heidi Sharp Designs.

The prize pack will include a book of Annie Modesitt’s patterns, as well as some yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch, and a few other goodies 🙂 The KAL runs from Saturday, October 20 to midnight on December 31. A participation prize of any pattern featured on BBR’s site will also be awarded.

On Screen

I managed to get another three episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in, so one more episode left before I get to watch Thor: The Dark World (I was completely wrong in the episode as to what the next film was!)

In the podcasting world, several people have new episodes out, but none more exciting to me than Little Big Knits with my lovely friend selmaknits, and Hawthorn Cottage Craft podcast with the wonderful ARunnerBean!! (can’t wait to see you, Kate!!!)

That’s all for now, folks. Prep for Rhinebeck is underway, and next week’s episode won’t be posted until I’m back home on Monday evening. Have a great week, and if you’re at Rhinebeck, please stop me to say hi! I have buttons!!

Killer Spaghetti Sauce

In episode 12 of The Wayward Skein, I promised that I would share my recipe for killer spaghetti sauce with all both of you 😉 So here it is. The recipe that prompted two proposals (neither of them from Rob, ironically), and has kept people coming back for more for about 20 years! (suffice to say, I will NEVER be a food photographer…)

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Lynne’s Killer Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced (or 1.5 Tbsp from a jar)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (or 3 jalapenos, finely diced)
  • 6 oz (or 1 cup) mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz beef sticks, sliced about 1/4″ thick (I prefer Wentzle Farms, but whatever you have is fine, as long as it’s not Teriyaki or some weird thing like that)
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 106-oz can diced tomatoes (a #10 can) or 3 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 12-oz can tomato paste

Open can of diced tomatoes and place in stock pot. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic, and cook until transluscent, about 6 minutes. Add bell peppers (or jalapeno) and mushrooms to skillet. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir into tomatoes.

Return skillet to low heat. Cook beef stick slices until slightly crisp, approximately 3 minutes. Stir into tomatoes.

Over medium heat, without removing grease from the beef sticks, cook the ground beef. Drain, and stir into tomatoes. Place tomatoes on medium-low heat, and add all spices. Simmer, covered, for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, and stir in tomato paste. Simmer 5-10 minutes more while pasta is cooking, and serve.

This recipe will make enough to feed approximately 20 people, or enough for dinner, and several containers for the freezer (makes approximately 5-6 quarts). And be prepared – if you feed this to people, they may just ask you to marry them!

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving

Calories              199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.7g
11%
Saturated Fat 2.5g
13%
Cholesterol 59mg
20%
Sodium 322mg
14%
Total Carbohydrate 11.9g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Total Sugars 6.9g

Protein 20.4g

Vitamin D 41mcg
204%
Calcium 29mg
2%
Iron 11mg
63%
Potassium 786mg
17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by verywellfit.com