This week warranted a big quick-and-easy meal for dinner, because not only did I need a few days’ worth of hearty lunches and dinners to bring with me to work (Knit Night on Thursday, and an after-work meeting on Wednesday), but I was simultaneously prepping two lasagnas to freeze for a few days and bring with us down to Bend this weekend, where we’re renting out a house with about 15 of our friends, and going to see Yonder Mountain String Band.
Between these, Jesse’s famous curry for dinner on Friday night, his French-toast-croque-monsieurs in the morning, and Kate’s truffle salted caramel dark chocolate brownies (truffle as in truffle truffles, not chocolate truffles), and whatever the rest of the crew arrives with, we’re gonna be set.
So for actual dinner on Tuesday, after assembling these beauties of white creamy garlicky goodness, and before curling up in bed to watch The Wonder Years on Netflix, I whipped up a go-to that I’ve been making since high school, back when I thought all meals had titles. What makes this dish Moroccan I’m not entirely sure, except that I usually use those wrinkly black Moroccan olives instead of the ones I used here today, but that’s what my mom always called it, so that’s what it was.
In the past when I’ve made this I’ve bought whole chicken breasts and cubed them, but since it was my day off and I had a few hours of homey stuff to do like laundry and dishes and packing for this weekend, I bought a whole chicken and roasted it, saving portions to be frozen for later in the month, and shredding a good deal of it for tonight.
I started by sauteeing this in some olive oil, with a few cloves of minced garlic, before adding some fresh ground cumin, berbere (which I always use instead of paprika, but the latter would be fine to sub in here), a whole cinnamon stick, and half a bag of frozen pearl onions. This is one of the only times I ever buy frozen vegetables, but these little pearl onions are totally perfect for this dish. I took 2 cups’ worth of my homemade chicken stock out of the freezer, and let them simmer in with all of this until they were completely melted.
I sliced up some big meaty green and black olives, added those in, and let this all stew together for about 45 minutes. At that point, I tossed in a handful of slivered almonds, and sliced up a lemon and laid the slices on top of all this with the lid on, releasing just enough juice to make the dish a little tangy.
In the meantime, I made a big pot of fragrant rice: 1.5 cups basmati rice to 3 cups of water, all simmered together with: 1.5 tsp salt, 1 carrot cut up into slivers, a handful of raisins, and this super yummy Tandoori seasoning (saffron is the key component in here — you could also just add a pinch of that and be good to go).
Paired the stew and the rice with a delicious green salad, topped with olive oil and my new favorite fig balsamic vinegar. A delicious dinner, and lunches for the rest of the week!
Trader Joe’s 4/12
- orange peach mango juice: $2.99
- organic dark truffle bar: $1.99
- chocolate bar w/almonds: $1.99
- sparkling water: $2.08
- half and half: $0.99 — already thinking ahead to coffee after my cleanse was over!
- jumbo scallops: $12.99 — Hollis, Kate, and I made some delicious Tom Kha coconut soup last week with these
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $59.41
New Seasons 4/18
- lasagna noodles: $2.99
- garlic powder: $0.72
- organic milk: $3.39
- strawberry yogurt: $3.69
- dozen eggs: $2.89
- crimini mushrooms: $11.23
- fresh spinach: $5.45
- bananas: $1.21
- fresh herbs: $0.95
- lemon: $0.52
- blood orange: $1.00
- free range chicken: $14.34
- shredded Parmesan: $4.05
- olives: $2.80
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $4.23
How did the rest of my Project: Food Budget-ers do?