Tag Archives: Parsley

Cucumber Salsa


You ever find food that you love so much you look for recipes that you can use it in?  Or that you can use as a substitute for other things?

That’s Creme Fraiche for me.   I can eat it by the spoonful, straight out of the container, but I usually restrain myself.

It’s so good on baked potatoes, used in Deviled Eggs, I’ve pretty much substituted it for sour cream and greek yoghurt in almost everything I cook.

And it’s not that bad for you either.  It’s got protein and calcium and doesn’t really have a lot of fat, cause the flavour packs a punch.  So a little goes a long way.

Usually.

I saw a recipe for Cucumber Salsa awhile back and the dressing called for Sour Cream.

Yeah right, I thought.   I’ll see your Sour Cream, and raise you some Creme Fraiche.

And I was right.    WOW!  I’m even more in love than before.

I brought this to my weekly Friday gathering.  And those people who could eat cucumber and cilantro liked it, as did I.  Well, actually I think I loved it.  And I will make it again.  Just one warning though, if you dress it too early, you will end up with a fair amount of liquid, but you can just drain that off if you like.  I served this with pita chips, but I think it would go well with just about anything.

Recipe- adjust to your own tastes

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced very fine
1-2 Roma Tomatoes, diced very fine
1/2 red onion, diced/minced
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1-2 Jalapeno’s  seeded and diced finely

Dressing
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche
1-2 tsp. Lemon Juice
1-2 tsp Lime Juice
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cumin

Mix the fresh veggies together and give them a quick grind of sea salt, let them sit for awhile and get acquainted.

I had to take this shot, after chopping, mincing and peeling.  They just looked so purty.

Fresh Parsley, straight out of my garden, how cool is this?

And when you go to chop it up, roll it up into a tight bundle and then cut across it, making a chiffonade, then just cross-cut it.  Makes it a lot easier to chop.

Everyone into the bowl now.

Toss the veggies together.

Mix dressing ingredients together and let that sit in the fridge for a little.

Just before serving, pour dressing over the cucumbers and mix together, serve with crackers or pita bread or tortilla chips.

I think I would make this again, but next time, just wouldn’t add quite so much dressing, and I would definitely add more jalapeno’s and cumin.

I wonder how this would taste on a sub?  hmmm, I think I’m getting ideas.

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Gazpacho and Courgette’s Couscous Recipes


I neglected to post the recipe for the Gazpacho Couscous the other day, on purpose.  I thought the blog post was getting a little long so decided to just post the pictures from Tapas night .  But, I took a lot of pictures for the Couscous recipes, and since I did, I want to share with you.

By the way, I have to admit to something here, I was so excited when I saw the package of Israeli Couscous at World Market, I just grabbed it and hurried up and bought it and put it in my pantry to use.  Then when I pulled it out on Saturday to make these dishes, I read the label.

Yup, read the label.

Turns out what I bought was Israeli Couscous with lentils, green peas and orzo.   But since I had the water boiling already, I went ahead and cooked it.  And you know it was good.  I did taste it, and it was a blank slate.   So I decided to go ahead and make the Gazpacho Couscous anyway.   I mean if I didn’t tell people that I hadn’t read the label, they were never going to know it wasn’t quite what I had intended to cook.

Gazpacho Couscous Recipe

1 1/2 Cups uncooked Israeli Couscous, cooked according to package directions.

1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 small green pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, finely diced
1 container  (8 oz.) grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup (approx) Rice Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons (more or less) finely minced mint leaves.

Toss all together and place in fridge for at least 3 hours, then taste and adjust seasonings.

I have to say this turned out so good, but did make a lot, enough that I was able to share with friends.   In other words, they got to take some home with them.

And I also made some Courgettes and Mushroom Couscous as well.   That wasn’t as photogenic, but it sure tasted good.

Here’s the how to on that one.   Oh and Courgettes, we call them Zucchini on this side of the pond, personally, I’m going to continue to call them Courgettes, cause I think it elevates them, a little.   Makes them just a tad more elegant, and if you think of all the things you can make with a Zuch, well, I just think they deserve to be called something cool.

Courgettes and Mushroom Couscous

1 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli Couscous, prepared according to package directions
1 small courgette, diced  (zucchini)
8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms, diced  (next time I’m going to leave them in slices)
1 small onion, diced  (I used the other half of the red onion from the Gazpacho couscous)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped.
1/4 cup EVOO (Olive Oil)
2 tablespoons butter mixed with 2 tablespoons EVOO
Lemon juice from one lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste.

 

Saute the mushrooms, courgettes and onion in a mixture of 2 tablespoons butter and EVOO, until softened.   Mix with the cooked couscous and then add the Lemon Juice and 1/4 cup EVOO and toss.  Add the the chopped parsley and taste.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.

So there you have it, the two Couscous recipes, that I got from  Chica Andaluza .  You should go by and check out her blog as well.  She’s got some great recipes and stories there.

Danish Chicken with Parsley Stuffing


I almost hate to admit to this, but it’s been a few years since I made this dish.  It used to be one of my favorites, in fact it was one I knew how to do well when we first got married and it was my ‘company’ dish when I wanted to serve a special meal.   Now,  as to why I haven’t made it for some time, I really couldn’t say.  But when I saw some lovely plump roasting chickens on sale for .79/lb, I grabbed a couple with the express idea of making Danish Chicken with Parsley stuffing.   I was suddenly craving it, to the point that I barely got the chicken thawed enough yesterday to get the parsley stuffed inside.

Oh, and I also have a lovely big parsley plant outside so the parsley was nice and fresh.

This is such an easy dish, so easy, you can put it on and let it cook while you go do some thing fun, like, oh I don’t know, cleaning out the vegetable drawer in the fridge or taking a nap or…    Just kidding about the vegetable drawer, mine needs cleaning   and it’s been nagging me to do so.

To begin with, get yourself a nice roasting chicken, rinse it off if you like and then pat dry.   Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and then take a big handful of fresh parsley,

and stuff it inside.

Then get a heavy saucepan, pour in a little olive oil and then add about 2 tablespoons of butter to it, let it get hot and place the chicken in the pot, breast side down.

Brown it a little, then using a large fork, turn it on the side, brown that, then brown the other side, and finally brown the back.   When it has browned on all sides, which will take about 30 minutes total, then place the chicken, breast side down in the pan.

Add some chicken stock, and a little water, I used 4 of my chicken stock cubes, and added an extra 1 cup of water.    For a total of two cups of liquid.    Placed the lid on the pot and walked away for 30 minutes.  Came back and checked to make sure that the liquid hadn’t cooked away, if it looks too low, go ahead and add another cup of water.
After 40 minutes I turned the chicken over and let rest on its back in the pot.   Cook another 30 minutes or so, or until a thermometer placed in the breast meat measures 160 deg.  Or do it the old fashioned way, wiggle the drumstick, and if it moves freely, the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter to rest, and strain the liquid that’s left in the pot into a smaller pan, if you like, or just add some flour and water you mixed together and use that to thicken the gravy.   Taste at this point to see if you need to add some salt.   If you want the gravy a little browner, add some Kitchen Bouquet or other gravy enhancer.
Slice the meat from the breast and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.   We also had some lovely asparagus with our meal.

Simple, easy and tasty.