Moscow Mule & Chicken Chili Recipes

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One of my favorite things to make is chili.  Here on Multi Cultural Cooking Network, we have a couple of variations from veggie to black bean and pumpkin.   Years a ago, we even posted suggestions for wine with chili.   Well, it is time for another pairing.  Moscow mule with specifically chicken chili.   I have no doubt that is would be paired well with other meats but the light taste of chicken with the Moscow Mule is just a great sit back and kick your feet up for a comfortable time at home.

Moscow Mule

Yes, you can use a glass but those popular copper mugs you see in store is for this cocktail.

Let your mug or glass be filled with ice.

Pour equal parts ginger beer and vodka.

Squeeze a bit of lime and use a wedge to garnish.

If you are not a lime fan then this will not make or break the taste.

Chicken Chili

As for the Chicken chili recipe, I am going to differ to Martha Stewart.  After all her recipes should be so good that it’s criminal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Beach, CA: West Coast BBQ Classic

The Queen Mary welcomes back the 5th annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) for a finger lickin’ afternoon full of barbeque grillin’ on Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. BBQqueenmary-72 (1).jpg The WCBC invites barbeque experts and amateur grill masters to take part in a classic showdown that will leave your taste buds filled with the unmistakable sweet ‘n smoky flavors of BBQ.

The WCBC will feature BBQ styles from across the country including slow-cooked hickory barbeque from Texas and southern Memphis-style barbeque. The competition is an official California-State-Certified, KCBS-Sanctioned, BBQ Championship and will bring Southern California’s most accomplished Champion Pitmasters together to compete for a $10,500 cash prize and the coveted title of West Coast BBQ Pitmaster Champion.

Whether you are a barbecue aficionado or simply a foodie fan, the West Coast BBQ Classic offers something for everyone with delicious BBQ samples for only $2 each, live music, backyard games, contests and a merchant market. Live entertainment will be provided by the country sensation, Scotty Mac Band. Join in the fun and participate in the watermelon or cobbler eating contests. Children are invited to Kids Country offering games, a bounce house, face painters and potato sack races just for little BBQ fans.

Cost: General value pack tickets are $20 each through April 30 and include event admission plus five tasting tickets and access to the Queen Mary ship. AfterApril 30 tickets increase to $25. VIP value pack tickets are $35 through May and include one-hour early event admission plus five tasting tickets and access to the Queen Mary ship. After May 1 tickets increase to $40. Event parking is $15.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the 5th annual West Coast BBQ Classic visit http://queenmary.com/events/west-coast-bbq-classic/.

Classic Lentil Soup Recipe

I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started lentil-soup-2out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!  -Contributor- Michelle Karam – Feb 2010

Ingredients

I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes cut into small cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked thru
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup plain tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and pepper. Allow to sweat or cook on the stovetop until the onions are translucent or you can see thru them. About 5 minutes. Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings and allow to cook on a med-low simmer for about one hour. Add spinach and cook for 10 more minutes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil on top… mmmmm!!!!

Optional Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked small pasta shells
  • ½ cup diced smoked ham (that will be added when the vegetables are sweating in the oil)
  • 1 sausage diced or sliced – spicy chicken sausage is excellent!
  • ½ cup canolini beans
  • ½ cup croutons – add upon serving

French Onion Soup Recipe by Chef Jay Jones

French Onion Soup

This classic is quick and easy to make. The key is getting your onions nice and brown.

Culinary Terms to know
Emincer- To thinly slice
Singer- To add flour to sautéed item as a means to thick a sauce or soup
Caramelize- To sauté an item until brown

Ingredients
4 Large Onions
¼ cup flour
4 cloves garlic smashed and sliced
Salt
Pepper
½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
8-10 cup beef stock

Equipment
Large Sauté pan
Large Stock pot

Preparation
Heat beef stock in large stock pot
Heat large sauté pan
Add onions to sauté pan
Caramelize onions
Use stock to deglaze onion sugars from bottom of pan
Singe with flour
Add hot beef stock to onions
Cut baguette into thin slices 2 for bottom of bowl and 1 for top
Rub baguette with garlic and oil
Put baguette in oven until brown on one side then flip and brown on other side

For Service
Put 2 slices of the baguette into bottom of bowl
Cover with soup to the top of the bowl or ramekin
Add one slice of baguette and cove with cheese
Make sure cheeses touches lip of bowl
Put in oven until cheese melts

Remove and serve hot
Enjoy

Memories of hot cocoa—a cup of warm comfort

I used to drink chocolate milk when I was a kid; it was a real quick fix. Just pour some milk in a glass and add two tablespoons of the powdered chocolate and that was it. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but it was a good enough drink to settle down with on a Saturday or after school on a weekday. Sometimes my mother bought the powdered strawberry mix, but I didn’t drink the strawberry milk. That often stayed right in the cabinet unused. It wasn’t until I was just out of college and visiting my aunt at Christmas when I tasted something different—hot cocoa. Now, I’m not going to say that I never had hot cocoa before because I’m sure that I did, but this time it was so memorable.

chocolate with marshmallows

Take an occasion like Christmas. Add on a spoonful of Christmas music like Donny Hathaway and little Michael Jackson from the Jackson 5 Christmas Album ( a classic in a lot of African American families).  Sprinkle in some family with just a pinch of understanding about how precious this Christmas was because it would probably be our last holiday with my aunt, who was dying from an incurable disease. Then serve this reality with a cup of hot cocoa fully loaded with marshmallows from the hand of that loved one. This made for a special cup of hot cocoa and a memorable experience.

My aunt was a very direct person—intentional in getting in your business, especially if your business was raggedy. She loved you straightforward. She was the kind of aunt that said what she thought and didn’t mince words, like the time she asked my 22-year old boyfriend what he wanted with an 18-year old girl. Talk about OMGeesh! Soooooo embarassing! Do you think I told her that? No way! I just went with the flow and watched him sweat. Survival of the fittest dude!

My aunt had no children of her own, but that never stopped her from making her influence felt. She was strong and intelligent and she expected her neices and nephews to be that way too. However, she was a little different on this Christmas. It was just a few months after we learned of the disease she had been living with for seven years. It had robbed her of her full-figure. It had stripped her of her smooth glowing brown skin and left a ash-gray cover over her normally vibrant brown complexion. She was frail—less than 100-pounds—but she was still just as strong, just as concerned and just as loving as ever. So that Christmas she fretted over her neices because she wanted to and since then, hot cocoa with marshmallows has always felt like a cup of warm comfort. It takes me to a time of love and celebration that was so fleeting and sweet, and much like those fluffy marshmallows I could just lay back on the memories and rest for a while.

My aunt died the following summer, but oh how I remember her unabashed love, advice and correction. I will also always remember the way she loved on me with a cup of warm comfort that made everything all right that one Christmas.

Click here for a homemade recipe for hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Effie’s Chicken & Lemon Potatoes

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Almost every American child has had meatloaf for dinner…it’s common to us and an easy meal… well in Greece what would be considered their meatloaf is this fabulous chicken dish…I went to Greece when I was 19 years old with my mom and my cousin Danielle. To this day, it’s one of those trips that I think was one of, if not the BEST vacation of my life! The sites, the beaches, the people and mostly THE FOOD! Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were on that tiny island in Santorini!

One of them was Greek Chicken and Lemon Potatoes. I’m not a huge chicken lover and I find it to be bland sometimes, but this chicken… I can’t even begin to tell you! It was so moist and packed so much flavor and the potatoes were crispy and rich! For years after, I tried a hundred times to make it just like they did in Greece and it just wasn’t the same… that was until my cousin Danielle, who was with me on that amazing trip to Greece so many years ago, married a fantastic Greek man, who’s mom Effie knew exactly what I was talking about when I said I had eaten this potato and chicken dish while there… so she shared this recipe with me.

Thanks Effie! It really is true, you really can relive an entire memory through a dish. In this case, I’m back on that Greek Island having the time of my life!  -Michelle Karam

Ingredients

Potatoes:

6 Medium Yellow Potatoes Quartered

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 teaspoon oregano

½ cup lemon juice

Chicken:

1 whole chicken quartered

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

¾ garlic salt

2 tabespoons. butter melted

1/4 cup lemon juice

Peel & quarter the potatoes. Place in bowl and combine with all ingredients. Let marinate, mixing it every so often so chicken and potatoesthatpotatoes do not discolor or turn brown.

Combine all of your dry seasonings together in a bowl and rub all over both sides of your chicken pieces.

Place chicken, skin side up, in roasting pan and drizzle butter and lemon juice over the top. Add potatoes all around the sides of the chicken, juices included. Roast,uncovered, in preheated,395 degree oven for 45 min to 1 hour.

Greek: Recipe for Bodino Stifado (Beef Stew with leeks)

I recently got exposed to the culinary stylings of Chef Michael Psilakis at the Buick Discovery Tour near the Los Angeles beef stewarea.  Chef Psilakis  has a number of restaurants in New York featuring Greek Cuisine.  Additionally, he competed against fellow Greek and Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Here is his recipe for Bodino Stifado. (Beef Stew with leeks)

Serves 4 to 6 family-style with potatoes, rice, or orzo
Braises like this are perfect for meat with tough muscle tissue and tendons (which come from the part of the animal that works hard), a great example of poverty cooking. This less expensive cut of meat develops its own natural and luscious sauce as it cooks. You want a little marbling in the meat, because it melts down as you cook and adds a lot of flavor to the sauce. You can use brisket, shanks, shoulder – all fairly tough meats – but save the filet mignon for the grill or a pan. It takes a little time to cook and become tender, but it’s a relatively easy setup, and once you get it onto the stove you don’t have to worry about it for about an hour. So you can do your laundry, or walk the dog, or make a salad.
A couple of days later, if you have any leftovers, you can shred the meat, then return the meat to the sauce and add your favorite pasta. The resulting dish is a Greek version of beef stroganoff.
The herbs are very important to the flavor development here, since I’m using water instead of stock, so use fresh herbs if possible.
Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons blended oil (90 percent canola, 10 percent extra-virgin olive)
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 ½ – inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ large Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, cut into thick rounds, washed well in cold water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 to 5 cups water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried leaves
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley

See Directions

7 Korean soups for the soul

Dongtae jjigae (동태찌개), Pollock stew

The word “soup” can have different shades of meaning in Korean. Jigae is more like a stew, and while tang and guk are similar, a guk can be put together in a day, but a tang requires more time. Whatever the case may be, a good soup requires a good base, whether it is made from a radish and dashi broth, or simmering ox bones for hours on end.

Arm yourself with one of these hale and hearty soups and you’ll be ready to brave the winter once again. (READ MORE)

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you’re having trouble sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin. READ MORE

Grilled Cheese & Wine Pairing

Photo Credit: Yum Sugar

One day I was flipping through stations and stopped on an old soap I use to watch called the Young & the Restless. On this episode the popular characters Phyllis and Jack were munching on Grilled cheesed paired with white wine.    I began to imagine the possibilities.  Recalling a review I did at the Sportmen’s Lodge on Ventura Blvd in California about two years ago.   On the menu were bited sized grilled blue cheese sandwiches.  The grilled cheese sandwich experience can be gourmet by choice of cheese wine and even a good soup for the sandwich experience.   Add horseradish, chutney, mushrooms or pesto to the melt for a little added kick.- Crystal Johnson- MCCN Editor

The Soups

  • Navy Bean
  • Black Bean
  • Lentil
  • Butternutsquash

The Cheese & Wine Pairings

  • Blue Cheese  Pairs well with Tawny Port,Madeira, or Sherry
  • Sharp Cheddar, an English Cheese Pairs well with Cabernet, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gruyere, a Swiss Cheese Pairs well with Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc
  • Muenster, a French Cheese Pairs well with Beaujolais, Zinfandel

This special pairing is from Chow and we decided to add it.  MCCN suggests the Wine Pairing.

Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese – A White Wine is best but the type of white wine depends on whether your Gouda is mild(Light Whites) or aged(Medium Whites).