Appetizers, Sauces & Other Extras

Muhammara

So we’re deep into Lent now, and this is the time that I am most likely to break. Not even necessarily that I consciously decide to go against the grain, but that I forget that I’ve made a decision to eat closer to the ground and that bowl of salted caramel truffles is calling my name and it’s like seven on a Thursday and what am I still doing at work… I know that you’re busy reshaping the world powered by other people’s humble prayers and good deeds, but God, please take a minute to forgive this human’s seemingly inability to not stop off at the grocery store for a bag of popcorn. I’m weak. I’m human. This dip is a good thing to eat to remind yourself that real food tastes better than fake food. This takes no time at all, and serves as both a great accompaniment to vegetables as it does a conversation starter. No one will believe that you just put things in the blender. Blend away, sinners.

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Muhammara

16 ounces roasted red peppers, drained

2-ish cups walnuts

6 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon molasses

1 cup virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt.

Blend until you’ve achieved a smooth texture.

***Note to the follower of this recipe. This dip is very forgiving – this is actually what I consider the cheater / I have to make something for book club and I have nothing in the house version of this dip. Today I forgot to buy a lemon – or did I buy a lemon and just can’t find it? – so apple cider vinegar went in instead. Feel free to sub in different nuts, I have found that cashews are a decent and creamier substitute for walnuts.

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Main Courses

Peruvian Chicken

I don’t mean to sour your kraut but there is nothing better than this chicken. It is juicy and spicy, and well, perfect. You need to set aside some time to marinate, so throw this together in the morning, and let the chicken hang out in the fridge during the day and bake the chicken at night. It might sound like a lot of work, but trust me, this chicken is worth it.

Peruvian Chicken

Peruvian Chicken

Peruvian chicken

6 pounds chicken (we used thighs and legs)

6 garlic cloves

5 tablespoons neutral flavored oil

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons paprika

2 teaspoons oregano

the juice of one large lime

Throw everything except the chicken in a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. Spread the paste on the chicken and marinate for at least six hours.

Bake for an hour and fifteen minutes at 400.

Serve with Qomer Sauce.

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