Peruvian Chicken Curry

I am bias and literally love all curries. I love sopping up bread or rice in them, they are typically super flavorful and filling too. I am very down to try any sort of curry. Even if it means ordering some of the ingredients from Amazon because I am too lazy to find out where Aji Amarillo paste is sold locally. I will say, building off of my general theme of sloth, I did not roast my own chicken for this recipe, like the original calls for. That’s right kids, grab a good old Rotisserie chicken from your supermarket and make sure you adequately de-bone, de-skin, and de-fat that before throwing into the curry. So yum and a lot quicker than roasting a bird yourself.

  • 1 slice whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  •  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese (that sounded like a lot so I did one cup but 2 is probably right).
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus 1/3 cup toasted
  • 1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo paste (this was my Amazon order, shit is sooo good, I actually did 2 tbsp. because I like the kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (Again I wanted a brighter color so I did 1 tsp.)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves (I used dried because I didn’t have fresh, whatever).

**Peruvians typically garnish with chopped olives (I did black and green to add pops of salty color) and boiled eggs. Also note the curry is best served over Latin Rice (rice boiled with saffron threads).

Place the bread and half-and-half in the bowl of food processor or a blender. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid, about 10 minutes. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Cool slightly and add to the food processor with the soaked bread. Add the broth, cheeses, 1/2 cup walnuts, Aji Amarillo paste, and turmeric. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & add in the chicken to heat everything through together.

Happy Eating, XO.

PS that’s all that was left in the pot before I could even get to the stove to take a picture!

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Weeknight Wonder

Ok kids, the holidays are over. Back to reality, back to the grind. We need a quick weeknight dinner because cereal 3x a week just isn’t cutting it. If you want something filling & tasty in a hurry, this is your dish. Bust out that sage you bought for the Winter Warmth recipe and get crackin’ on this delight. Oh and for all you meat lovers…feel free to add a grilled chicken breast to the top when serving, but honestly if time is of the essence, the mushrooms will act as a great faux meat for one night.
  • 1 lb. penne pasta or fusilli (spaghetti just wont cut it since the pasta needs to be the same size as the mushrooms).
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (don’t act like you HAVE to open a bottle just for the recipe & weren’t pulling a Thirsty Thursday anyway).
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • sage, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • (reserved pasta water)
While the pasta is boiling per packet instructions, reduce the broth & wine down to a sauce (will turn into 1/2 cup of liquid). Sautee the garlic, shallot, sage, & mushrooms (s&p to taste) in pan while stirring in the cooked pasta, wine reduction sauce, butter, and cheese. Thicken sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, will depend on desired consistency of sauce.
* The idea for this recipe came from a coworker that is doing http://www.thefresh20.com with her husband. Check it out, it seems like a cool & easy program. Equipped with grocery lists, recipes, and everything you need for healthy & fresh dinners for 5 nights of the week. *
Happy Eating, XO.

Winter Warmth

I know what you are thinking. We just love our alliterations so much we will title a post anything. FALSE! Although this one IS a fun title, it actually represents the feeling you get when you eat this dish. This dish is stick-to-your-bones-good & will warm your insides up…that’s the heartiness of the squash and let’s face it any pasta dish reads comfort food as well.

  • 11 oz. (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage (sounds easy, except I had a blonde moment-yes brunettes can have them too! And I accidentally bought cooked spicy sausage. Wasn’t an epic fail but doesn’t come out of the casing or crumble like this recipe entails. Plus I was stressed out I was going to burn it since it’s already cooked. So ya don’t rush at the store and make sure you actually buy the spicy, chicken or turkey, uncooked sausage. Also don’t be freaked at the thought of spicy. The dish is not spicy at all. I believe from my very important palate (haha) that it’s because of the spices that are in Italian/spicy sausage-fennel seeds, etc. so that’s why the recipe calls for sausage that would already have those flavors in it and makes you have to think even less when making this dish! Score!)
  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced (trader Joes plug again, I wonder if they read this slash we could strike a deal with them? But anyway, they carry cheap, already diced & peeled butternut squash to save your fingers from cuts!)
  • 1 tbsp. light butter
  • 10 oz. casarecce, or pasta of your choice (I don’t even know what that kind is, I know I used fusilli, but legit penne works too).
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced (I made mine a half a cup vs. the ¼ because I heart shallots but to each his own).
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (Again I used the jarred minced stuff, so sue me).
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped (not gunna lie, I am lazy and didn’t chop…why should you have to? Spinach wilts down to nothing-ness anyway, why waste the time…don’t chop, whatevs).
  • 2 tbsp. fresh shaved parmesan cheese (I grated my finger doing this, because not only was I feeling lazy and stupid when making this I apparently was dying to eat it that I may have gotten over zealous with my grater. Anyway I lived to tell about it all thanks to my Cinderella band-aid).
  • 4 sage leaves, sliced thin (lay the 4 leaves on top of ea other, roll ‘em up and chop…it’s called something fancy like chefinade but bottom line is, its takes ½ the time than doing them individually, you’re welcome).
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (umm so I forgot this part, and I definitely noticed. Pretty bummed because I loved this dish. I would suggest doing this part when you sauté the shallots & garlic in the pan. I know it tells you that too but I didn’t have this out like a play book at the time, nerds!)

Bring a large pot of salted water (I substituted with chicken broth because I love the stuff & thinks it sneaks in flavor when you don’t even know it) to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth. Add pasta to that same boiling water (or broth) and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining. (you will need this to thin out the sauce to your liking).

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add puree butternut squash, season with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water to get the thickness you desire.  Add baby spinach and stir in parmesan cheese & sage.

Happy Eating, XO

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