Friday, March 11, 2016

Quick and Easy Delicious Chicken

I found this delicious and super easy chicken dish at while searching for a recipe to use extra chicken thighs. 

The original recipe calls for 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. I used 4 skinless, boneless thighs. With the smaller thighs, the size of the recipe was perfect for the two of us. With the chicken breast halves, it would serve 4. I also added a small chopped green pepper. The original recipe is at:


- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Saute green pepper over medium heat for about 4 minutes.

2. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes

3. Add chicken and brown lightly.

4. Combine ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and pepper; and mix well. Pour over chicken, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 to 35 minutes.

Fava Beans - Ful Medammes - A Popular Middle Eastern and East African Dish

I recently enjoyed a Middle Eastern dish called Ful Medammes (Foule Mudammes, etc.). It is a fava bean dish that is a staple of Egyptian life. It is served there with pita bread as a breakfast dish. It is also popular in various forms in other Middle Eastern and East African cuisines from Ethiopia up through the Levant. ( It can be served as an appetizer or side dish.

The one I tried is a ready-to-serve canned Egyptian version sold by California Garden, which sells five different types, including Egyptian, Lebanese, and "Secret Recipe."  ( I added other ingredients, suggested by a California Garden rep whom I called. The canned Egyptian version has fava beans, salt, lemon juice, sunflower oil, and spices. It is very mild. 

The size of the can was 16 oz. I added a quarter of an onion chopped, about a cup of canned chopped tomatoes, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Then I heated it. I loved the results and will have it again. The next time, I will have it with pita bread.

It can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online at Amazon, etc. I purchased it at the Oasis Cafe on U.S. 41 in Sarasota.

The California Garden Ful Medammes products are produced in the United Arab Emirates.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cajun Jambalaya - Delicious and Easy

I decided to make a Cajun Jambalaya as part of a Cajun dinner I was preparing for friends. I searched the Internet and found a number of recipes. I chose one by Emeril Lagasse because:
- I liked his combination of ingredients,
- It seemed very straightforward to prepare, and 
- It had great reviews. 

I was very happy with the results. See the original recipe at (

I only made three changes. I:
1. Doubled the amount of ingredients because the original recipe serves four, and there were six of us.
2. Did not chop the medium shrimp. I left them whole.
3. Used the ingredients to make his Creole seasoning, but I:
a. Cut the amount of each ingredient in half because the recipe produces far more seasoning than the two tablespoons necessary for making the doubled recipe below once.
b. Reduced the amount of cayenne pepper again in half because I was not sure how much kick our dinner guests could tolerate.

The seasoning recipe in this post is Emeril's original recipe, not my reduced amount.


- 24 medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
- 8 ounces chicken, diced (I used boneless, skinless thighs)
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (See recipe below, or purchase Creole seasoning such as Emeril's or Tony Cachere's)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 4 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes)
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
- 1 & 1/2 cups (long grain) rice
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 10 ounces Andouille sausage (I used Aidell's precooked Cajun Andouille sausage from Publix. I sliced it into quarter inch rounds and cut the rounds into quarters.)
- salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl, combine shrimp, chicken, and Creole seasoning. Work in seasoning well.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper, and celery. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces.

Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium, and cook stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender.

When rice is just tender, add shrimp and chicken mixture, and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning.

Recipe for Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning, AKA Bayou Blast

2 & 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon thyme

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Easy Baked Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Herbs

I found this really tasty and really easy baked chicken recipe on a site I had not previously visited ( The original recipe serves 4-6. I adjusted the amounts for the three of us, changed the size of the potato and chicken pieces, and changed the ratio of the ingredients to suit our tastes. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and an hour to cook. The recipe is very flexible. I recommend reading the original article.


- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into chunks (mine were about 2" by 2")
- 2 medium potatoes cut into chunks
- 1/2 an onion, cut into chunks
- 1/2 lb baby carrots
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme (I used rosemary and thyme)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper or lemon pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt/powder
- 1/4 tsp onion salt/powder


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Peel and cut the vegetables, and chicken; and cut the herbs.

3. Mix all the spices in a small bowl, and the herbs in another small bowl.

4. In an 8" x 11" baking dish, scatter the potatoes, carrots, and onions. Then sprinkle with half the spices, half the herbs, and half the olive oil.

5. Add the chicken chunks on top of the vegetable, and sprinkle with the remaining spices, herbs, and olive oil.

6. Put in oven and bake for 55 minutes.

7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.