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Two weeks ago I received a slim, super special package from the great USPS. It was my copy of the 2011 Food & Wine Annual Cookbook..I’d been waiting for it for weeks! Looking through it was a complete and utter drool fest. Oh. MY. Gosh. So many delicious recipes. I’m not sure there are any I don’t want to make at some point in time in the very near future. YUM.

When trying to decide what to make for dinner last week, I stumbled upon this beauty in the cookbook. Harissa Chicken with Green-Chile-and-Tomato Salad. Now, the only North African cuisine I’m familiar with comes from all the lovely Ethiopian restaurants to be found in the DC Metro area. So, from my experience, North African food is tantalizingly spectacular. I was sold. I had chicken, I had chipotle in adobo, I had tomatoes, I had red onion, I even had some Hatch Chiles from over the summer that I’d grilled and stuck in the freezer! I had everything. Perfect!!

Harissa is a North African blend of spices that is just to die for. The version this makes isn’t so spicy hot hot, but it is spicy yum yum! Now, I had the main dish. What else? I’ve been trying to experiment with new grains lately and I had some millet in the pantry that I’d used in granola. So, I did some hunting and found a recipe for Millet Cakes with Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomatoes in my Joy of Cooking. Omgosh, I had sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge! And parm, because, really, who doesn’t? And, since I’m kind of weird and ALWAYS must have some sort of leafy green with my meals, I decided to saute up some red wine vinegar swiss chard. Tasty.

Now, I know I probably could have done some better styling than putting a spare lump of the Harissa on the chicken breast. For that, I’m sorry. It looks dumb.

So, keeping in mind that you don’t have to make the same culinary styling mistakes as me and that this dish is still super dee-duper-dee tasty, here are the recipes! (Note: I didn’t change anything about the Chicken recipe from Food & Wine, so please reference the link above.)

Millet Cakes with Parmesan and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

1/4 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, diced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
1/3 Cup Millet
1/3 Cup Long-Grain White Rice
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Eggs, beaten

Directions

Heat up 2 Tbsps of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Then add the Millet and Rice and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the Millet are golden, stirring frequently. Ok, so they’re kind of golden already…so…just cook for four minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth and bring that business to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the water has all been sucked into those tasty grains. Uncover and stir briskly, to soften the millet. Let it cool, off the burner, for a few minutes before you add the Parmesan and the Eggs. Stir this up until well blended. Then shape into 6 small patties. Or, however many patties you’d like. These would be great as little snack patties too! Place on a platter and let chill for at least an hour, to set. Once the chilling is complete, heat up the last Tbsp of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add the Millet Patties and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side.

sautéed Swiss Chard

Take a bunch of Swiss Chard and wash thoroughly. Seriously, the mistake of lightly washing has been made numerous times in our household. And, let me tell you, gritty Swiss Chard is most definitely NOT where it’s at. So, scrub those leafies! Then chop roughly. Heat up 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Once it’s heated up, add your Swiss Chard. Pour in a liberal amount of Red Wine Vinegar (I don’t measure, it’s not very important for this). Cook on medium heat, tossing regularly. Once the leaves are at the wiltiness that you desire, remove from the skillet and serve!

We seriously LOVED this meal. So many great flavors. Words cannot fully describe the delicious.

I hope you enjoy!

Do you have any African dishes that you simply adore?

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