Eat at Bett's

Our Passion for Food came from our Mom

Archive for the category “Dinner Entree”

Afghan Rice with Chicken

We haven’t posted in a while, but I wanted to share this recipe given to me by a good friend. I’m sure the first time I had it was over at this friend’s house for a Friday night meal. A group would often gather at his house for the end of the week, with good food and good conversation long into the evening. This recipe, while having a few steps, is well worth the tiny extra bit of effort. The flavors from the spiced poached chicken along with the rice, carrots and raisins are amazing. A wonderful dish for Autumn.

We’re enjoying it tonight—a Friday—with some good friends. I hope it becomes a favorite for you, too.
Afghan Rice with Chicken Serves 6-8
—Sauté 1 onion in 1/2 cup of olive oil till brown. Reserve oil.
—Poach chicken pieces (your choice—I use whole chicken cut up) in water to cover. For every 2 cups of water add 1 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of mixed spices (1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp cloves, 1/2tsp cumin, 1/4tsp cardamom). When cooked, set aside chicken and cover to keep warm. Reserve broth.
—Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tsp sugar. Simmer 2 carrots, cut in toothpicks, remove. Simmer 1 c of raisins till swollen. Reserve oil.
—Cook 2c of rice in 4 cups of liquid (onion oil, carrot oil, broth & water as needed) with 1 tsp of salt and onions; about 20 minutes. Pour into large serving bowl.
—Sprinkle carrots and raisins over rice and place meat on top to serve.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

This past weekend we went in to Denver to purchase a few gifts for folks from our local Ten Thousand Villages store. While there we discovered a great new cookbook called Simply in Season put out by the same people who created More with Less.

This is a hardback cookbook which is spiral bound inside. The book is divided into the four seasons, and focuses on foods that are more readily available from local growers. So the Spring section has recipes for asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, peas and maple syrup. Autumn includes squash, apples, pears, cauliflower and others. It supports the locavore movement, of course, but it also helps save you money since the produce in season is usually cheaper at the market. There are plenty of meat options in this book as well, so it is a great resource with over 300 recipes, and each key ingredient is comprehensively listed in the index. If you have sweet peppers, you can find over 40 recipes listed.
We found one we just had to try for winter, a sweet potato and black bean burrito. It was both easy to prepare and absolutely fantastic!
Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

Preheat oven to 350

3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
Sauté in a large frying pan in 1 tablespoon of oil until just tender. Add water to prevent sticking.

2 cups cooked black beans (or 1- 15 ounce can) drained and rinsed
1 t ground cumin
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
Add to sweet potatoes and cook until heated through.
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese (shredded)
Divide potato/bean mixture and cheese among tortillas and roll up. Place in 9×13 pan. Cover pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.

Pizza Rice Casserole

We made it our mission to use stuff in the house this weekend for our meals.  So I pulled out my copy of the More-with-Less Cookbook and went hunting.  I came across this delightfully simple little casserole.  I admit it sounds a little odd—cottage cheese and rice???—and yet the taste is very nice.  We served it alongside a fresh fruit salad.

2⁄3 c raw rice, brown or white, or 2 cups plain cooked rice
1 1⁄3 c water or vegetable broth
3⁄4 lb ground beef  (we had leftover ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 cn 15oz., tomato sauce 
1⁄4 t garlic powder or 1 clove minced fresh garlic
1 t sugar
t salt and pepper to taste
1⁄4 t dried oregano
1 t parlsey flakes or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1⁄2 c cottage cheese
1⁄2 c shredded cheese

Cook raw rice in water or broth until tender, 15 minutes for white rice or about 40 minutes for brown rice; cool slightly. 
While rice is cooking, brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Add tomato sauce and seasonings; cover and simmer 15 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 325°F; butter a 2-qt. casserole. 
Combine cooked rice with cottage cheese. Spread one-third of the rice mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the meat sauce. Continue to alternate layers, ending with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. 
Bake in preheated oven about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Homemade Pizza

I love pizza a lot.  I’m a carbs guy, I guess, and toss on some cheese and toppings and giddyup!  My favorite pizza comes from the More with Less cookbook.  Homemade dough and sauce.  Definitely tastes better than the store bought sauce.

Oven to 450.
Combine in a bowl
1 c. warm water
1 package (1 Tbs) yeast
When dissolved, add
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/4 c flour
combine (or beat) until smooth. Add:
2 c additional flour or enough to make a stiff dough
Knead until elastic, about 5 minutes.  Let rest 10-15 minutes, or, if you have time, put in greased bowl and let rise until double about 45 minutes.  Form 2 balls (or 1 deep dish) and stretch into 2 greased pizza pans.  Let rise 10 minutes.

1 small onion, chopped
2 1/2 c canned tomatoes, OR 2 c tom. sauce OR 3 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
1 bay leaf
1 t. salt
1 t oregano
1/2 t basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Combine in saucepan, bring to a boil.  Crush whole tomatoes, cover and cook slowly for 30 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.  Discard bay leaf. 
Add your favorite toppings (green pepper, onion, pepperoni, sausage, mushroom) and add cheese (1/2-1 lb of moz. cheddar or swiss (or a mixture)), bake for 20-25 minutes.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Melissa and I are not eating meat for Lent (3 days down, 43 to go! — for our reasoning, see my Rambling Priest blog) and have been looking at all sorts of meatless recipes that are more than rice and beans or pasta.  Cooking Light (I’m starting to feel like a shill for them) has some great ethnic vegetarian options.  We’ve both traveled to Morocco so this one seemed like a wonderful place to start.  The parsnips were slightly spicy for me personally, but Mel liked them.  I may make it with potato next time instead or another root type vegetable (fennel, or turnip?).
This tasted authentic to be sure, and I made one big variation, (which I’ll note below): I kicked up the spices to 3 teaspoons from 1.  This was a good solid recipe and we’ll do it again in the coming weeks!

5 cups diced peeled sweet potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled parsnips (about 10 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout (See below for mixture — I used 3 teaspoons)
3 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked couscous (I used a Far East box and upped the broth to 2 cups per the box)
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

TOPPING: (This was delightful, and gave a sweet edge to this)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, separated into rings
1/4 cup pine nuts (we used small pumpkin seeds–pine nuts were $16 a pound!)
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. To prepare couscous, combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place potato mixture on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; gently stir in chickpeas. Keep warm.

4. To prepare topping, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add pine nuts and raisins; cook 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon; cook 30 seconds. Stir in honey, and remove from heat.

5. Mound couscous in the middle of a serving platter. Place the roasted vegetables around base of couscous. Arrange 5 carrots vertically around couscous; spoon topping over top of couscous.

Ras el Hanout
1/4 cup (serving size: 1/4 teaspoon)

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (I didn’t bother since I didn’t have them)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

One-Dish Rosemary Chicken

From Cooking Light, December 2003

2 t. olive oil
1.5 t. dried rosemary (we used fresh)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 1 lb)
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can of white navy beans, drained
1/4 c chopped pitted kalamata olives (we omitted these because we don’t like olives)
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine rosemary, salt and pepper, sprinkle over one side of chicken.  Place chicken in pan, seasoned side down; cook 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, turn chicken.  Add tomatoes and beans, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done.  Stir in olives and serve.
Absolutely delicious and very quick and easy.

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