Tag Archives: cilantro

Moroccan Chicken Tagine


I recently discovered the magic of one-pot meals and I’m a little bit obsessed. They are perfect for cozy winter nights where leaving the house is not an option.

This dish is combines complex spices with fresh ingredients – and it’s guilt free! It tastes so divine you will think it has butter and cream in the recipe. If you are an aspiring chef, or just want to explore with different flavors in only one pot, than chicken tagine is a must try. Just make sure you’ve allotted a few hours for prep work and cooking time. I can’t wait to try braised beef for my next one-pot recipe, so get ready for that one. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Adapted from In the Small Kitchen

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Serves 10

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each halved

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

3 medium yellow onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

About 1 quart chicken stock

1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 pound of butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup dried turkish apricots, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Note: You can make the stew through step 5 and then refrigerate it overnight. Just reheat it for 30 minutes over medium-low heat until you are ready to eat, and continue with the remaining ingredients.

1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Coat a large pot or Dutch oven with a thin layer of olive oil. Heat it over high heat and brown the chicken, in batches, making sure not to crowd the pot. If the chicken sticks to the bottom, don’t worry — this will help develop the flavor of the sauce. Remove the browned chicken from the pot and set it aside in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the onions to the same pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and saute until translucent, making sure to scrape up any remaining drippings from the chicken, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Cook until the spices are fully incorporated and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot, and add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Toss to combine.

4. Pour in enough stock to submerge all the contents (this may be less than 1 quart, depending on the size of your pot) and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat back down to low and cook, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, the longer the better.

5. During the last 45 minutes or so of cooking, add the sweet potatoes and butternut squash, submerge them in the liquid, and cook until tender.

6. Add the apricots, half the cilantro, and the lemon juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.

7. Spoon the tagine into individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with some of the remaining cilantro, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve with some rustic crusty bread or cooked quinoa.


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Thai Balls

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is three days away. I spent this last weekend prepping for and enjoying “friendsgiving”, hosted by delightfulcrab + a bunch of awesome people. When you love food as much as we do, celebrating Thanksgiving once just isn’t enough.

Last night, I decided to savor the last few moments of the pre-holiday craze and make something non-traditional.  These Thai meatballs are perfect for any occasion. You could even serve them as appetizers during Thanksgiving or at your annual holiday party. It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, and I couldn’t be more excited. Enjoy!

Thai Balls with Peanut Sauce

Adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook; Makes 2 dozen 1.5 inch balls

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound ground pork

1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, and roughly shopped

2 large eggs

3/4 cup fresh Thai or Italian basil, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

2 thai chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/2 bread crumbs

2 tbsp minced lemongrass or lemongrass paste

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

juice from 1 lime

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp fish sauce

For the Garnish:

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 large carrots, julienned or grated using the large holes of a box grater

10 fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (including stems)

10 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1 tsp sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

2. Combine the ground pork, shrimp, eggs, basil, cilantro, mint, chiles, bread crumbs, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

3. Roll the mixture into round, golf-ball size meatballs (about 1.5 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

4. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165° F.

5. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish. Meanwhile, to make the garnish, place rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, carrots, basil, cilantro, mint, peanuts, and sesame seeds in a bowl and toss to combine.

6. Spoon the garnish over the top of the meatballs and serve with toasted whole wheat Naan and peanut sauce (recipe below).

For the Peanut Sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

juice from 1 lemon

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp fish sauce

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and toast in the oil, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to turn golden brown, about 1 minute.

2. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, fish sauce, and cayenne (if using). Whisk together until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add a few tablespoons of water to thin the sauce, if needed. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.


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Huevos Rancheros: Your Hangover’s Best Friend

Happy Birthday, America! If you’re like me, you probably started celebrating this joyous holiday last night, and you could use some strength for the day’s festivities ahead of you. Brunch is in order.

I never particularly cared for huevos rancheros until I tried this Californian version at the Tipsy Pig on Chestnut Street. If you’re a native San Franciscan, or live in the neighborhood, then you know this place needs no introduction. It’s definitely one of the more successful gastro-pubs in SF, as there is a constant crowd morning, noon and night.

The dish itself is the best thing on the brunch menu (get there early – they will run out), so I refuse to order anything else. Its crispy tortillas, tangy cheese, and fresh bite of tomatoes, avocado and cilantro will knock the worst hangover out of you. I hope you have a very happy & healthy 4th of July. Go ahead, get your holiday on!

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Filed under EATERY LOVE

Gingery Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Red Quinoa and Cilantro Peanut Sauce

I have always had a thing for peanut sauce (seriously, I will ask for extra at Thai restaurants).

At first, the only peanut butter I knew was smashed between two pieces of bread (I didn’t care for jelly), so the concept of a savory sauce took some getting used to. My first peanut sauce experience as a child involved Thai chicken satay & lettuce wraps, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

This dish is a hybrid of the classic Thai interpretation, and is inspired by an unforgettable peanut sauce, which can be found in the Real Food Daily cookbook.

Gingery Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Red Quinoa 


3/4 lb large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

About 1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 orange bell pepper, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

2 carrots, shaved into ribbons using a potato peeler

1 head of butter lettuce, washed and dried

1 cup of organic red quinoa, cook according to directions on package

1 bunch of cilantro for garnish and peanut sauce

1 cup of cilantro peanut sauce recipe (listed below)

1. Marinate shrimp ahead of time – at least 30 minutes in advance. Place shrimp in a large bowl, add a few dashes of soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. Stir. Make sure each shrimp is coated in soy sauce mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. Heat a large heavy bottomed sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil

3.. Add half of the diced onion and cook until soft, using medium heat, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add peppers, season with salt & pepper, and continue to cook until peppers are soft, another 15-20 minutes. Turn heat to low, and simmer the peppers and onions while shrimp are prepared. 

5. Heat a second medium sized sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil, and add remaining diced onions. Cook until soft, using medium heat, about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and cook  for another minute.

6. Add marinated shrimp, and cook until shrimp are fully cooked – look for opaque skin and bright pink color.

7. Assemble lettuce wraps with layers of quinoa, peppers, onions, gingery shrimp, and garnish with carrot ribbon and cilantro. Top with freshly made peanut sauce. Yes, that just happened.

Cilantro Peanut Sauce (also known as Peanut-Sesame Dressing, according to RFD)


2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup brown rice vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

1. Blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finally chopped.

The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

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