Tag Archives: rice

Roast Chicken with Thai Spices

I was menu planning for the week ahead on Friday and was inspired to create this dish by one of the plump, juicy local chickens from Winfield farms that I had in my freezer. Roast chicken of any kind is comfort food on a blustery winter day. I love the warm, spicy flavours prevalent in Thai cuisine and felt they would compliment a chicken nicely. Rob suggested making a yellow curry sauce and so it came together.

Thai Spiced Roast Chicken with Yellow curry Sauce and Coconut-Mango-Coriander Jasmine Rice

Ingredients for Chicken:
1 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken
1 tsp Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
2 limes
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
fresh ground pepper
A handful of coriander

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and set on a rack in roasting pan. Whisk together green curry paste, juice of 1/2 a lime, fish sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Baste chicken with spice mixture. Stuff some fresh coriander under the skin and place a handful of coriander and three lime halves in the cavity of the bird. Roast for about an hour and a half.

Ingredients for Yellow Curry Sauce:
1 tsp Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry Paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Can of coconut milk

Heat all ingredients together in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Serve with chicken.

Ingredients for Coconut-Mango-Coriander Jasmine Rice:
1 cup Jasmine or other white rice
Can coconut water with pulp
1/2 cup diced mango (frozen is fine)
1/4 cup chopped coriander

Using favourite method, make rice with coconut water instead of of water. When rice is done toss with mango and coriander.

Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.


Retro Fave: Pork in Mushroom Soup

I have no idea where this recipe originated, likely though off of a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. The gravy, pork and rice are a match made in heaven. This was a favorite meal in our house growing up in the 1970’s. I remember loving the slightly browned half inch of pork fat being my favorite part. I do recommend that you trim the fat away and use the more flavorful bone in chops. I have added Madeira wine for deglazing and fresh sliced mushrooms for more mushroom flavour and texture. We served this with a brussel sprout hash that Rob thought up.

Click HERE for these recipes in a printable form.

Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy with Rice

4 thick bone in chops
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can of chicken stock or water (add more or less depending on how thick you want the gravy)
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
fresh ground pepper to taste
splash of Madeira, white wine, brandy or cognac for deglazing…whatever you have on hand.

Melt butter and oil in a medium skillet. Brown chops on both sides and remove to a plate. Turn heat to medium low. Empty can of soup into pan and stir until heated. Add a little water or chicken stock to thin. Add sliced mushrooms and bring to a simmer.Add pork back and cook, covered until done, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with plain rice or rice pilaf.

Brussel Sprout Hash
This was a “make it up as you go along” dish, but here’s an attempt at formalizing a recipe:
2-3 cups of brussel sprouts, rinsed and sliced thinly
One medium onion
4 slices of thick, smoky bacon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sale and pepper to taste

In a large pan, render bacon and cook onions  over medium high heat until starting to brown
deglaze with apple cider vinegar
add sliced brussel sprouts and stir until coated by bacon fat and liquid, cook for 1 minute
add broth and lower heat to simmer, simmer for 5 minutes
add cranberries
Turn up heat to boil off remaining liquid. Mixture should be moist, not soggy. Stir often.

Lentils and Rice (Mujadarrah)

“Rice is great when you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.”     –Mitch Hedberg

 I have never been a big fan of rice. It’s boring, filler-food used to hold up tastier food. Then I discovered lentils and rice at a tiny corner market when we moved to Ottawa.

My sister and I would often visit Ayoub’s, a corner store that made a wide selection of Middle Eastern food, spending pocket change not on chocolate bars and chips, but crispy pakoras, cheesy garlic flatbreads and lentils and rice – all made in-house. Unfortunately, Ayoub’s burned down a few years back.

Lentils and rice is just that: a combination of lentils, rice, onions and a mixture of spices that turns it into yummy comfort food. Lentils and rice, or mujadarrah, is a perfect side and puts boring old rice to shame. It still works under things like curries and is even better cold out of the fridge the next day.

I might be overstepping, but I’ve found that any rice can be used for lentils and rice. It’s a perfect use for that free white rice that comes with Chinese food delivery no one ever eats, basmati, brown rice, Minute Rice or even old dried out rice left out on the counter all night in the rice cooker because you each thought the other one was going to put it away. No matter what type of rice you use, it works and it always turns out tasty. Best of all, the ingredients are the cheapest around.

Rice (3 rice cooker scoops will make a nice big batch. Otherwise, as much rice as you would normally cook up for dinner)
1-2 Cans lentils (green ones preferably as they hold their shape)
2 Medium white onions finely diced
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black pepper
1 tsp. Cumin
Splash lemon juice
1/4 cup Olive oil

Cook rice in advance.

  1. Coat a large frying pan or wok with 1/4 cup olive oil, and heat up.
  2. Add onions to the oil, moving them around occasionally until they are on the edge of nicely browned and about to turn black. They should be fried up enough that you would eat them right out of the pan should it be socially acceptable. Save a few onion bits for garnishing later if you’d like.
  3. Deglaze with a splash of lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons or one “whoosh” around the pan with a squeeze bottle of Real Lemon.
  4. Add salt, pepper and cumin to the bubbling onions.
  5. Add rice to pan and toss it around to coat it in the oil, onions and spices.
  6. Add lentils to the mixture and combine.
  7. Serve with a blob of sour cream or Greek-style yogurt on top and additional fried onion bits if desired.

Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.

There are plenty of variations to be found on mujadarrah online, including ones with different spices and bigger fried onion pieces. I’ve seen it referred to as the “mac and cheese” of the Middle East – and just like mac and cheese, every family has their own way of doing it. Try it, and come up with your own.

Dinner Party #1: Paella

A while back Rob and I were discussing ideas for our blog and decided that a series about dinner parties might be fun. We were not sure what this would look like, but it would be very social and interactive.

I haven’t made Paella in years, and then only three or four times. I don’t have a special recipe but I do have a paella pan that I must have thought was an essential purchase at some point. It’s quite large and takes up a lot of storage space in the pots and pans cupboard. I spied it while rummaging around in the cupboard the other day, and, combined with the awesome sunshine filled days of this Ottawa summer, decided to make Paella.


Our paella pan – empty and lonely.

Paella is not a dish for two and needs to be shared with friends. What a great way to get our new “Dinner Party” series off and running! In another impetuous moment we threw an invitation up on Facebook, casting a wide net out to family and friends. “We are blogging Paella. We need four guinea pigs to come to dinner. Who is in?” Within ten minutes we had our guest list complete. We usually try to choose dinner guests who either know each other or that we think will be a good match and enjoy each others company, but this time we threw caution to the wind and hoped it would not be an awkward evening. The experiment was a successful one, at least for this event and we will definitely do it again. From now on, we’ll send out random invites via our Facebook fan page. If you aren’t already a fan, go there NOW and click “LIKE”. We promise some good food, good company maybe even a surprise or two.

As usual, my wonderful guests always wish to contribute in some way. So when asked, “What can I bring?”,  I decided to keep within the Spanish theme and requested tapas from the guests who enjoy cooking. We would be spending a couple of hours on the deck in the sun enjoying sangria and Spanish beer, while Rob and I tended to the paella. My guests were really up to the challenge and arrived bearing Serrano wrapped fresh figs, mini pork ribs, and grilled haloumi cheese. All I had to do was add a plate of mixed olives and voila! One guest even brought a small potted red rose for the outdoor table for all to enjoy. Their contributions made for a really enjoyable early evening as we waited on dinner. It was a very sociable “get-to-know-you” time.

We plan on hosting and blogging more of these dinner parties. If you would like to be included in the invitation (it will be on a first come basis), “like” us on Happy Mouth on Facebook. Future invites and details will be posted there.

(adapted from Ethnic Spicy Food And More)

Serves 6-8

6 tbsps. olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (I used wild) shelled and deveined, leave tails on
1 pound mussels
2 dozen littleneck clams
1 pound Spanish (dry) Chorizo
1 chicken thigh per person
1/2 pound calamari tubes, sliced into rings (I used frozen as I could not get fresh and they were fine)
4 cups shrimp stock*
2 cups pinot grigio (or any cheap white wine)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 398 ml can of cherry tomatoes, drained and crushed with fingers
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crushed
3 cups Valenciano or paella rice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chop
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1 cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1 tsp. salt, divided
juice of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsps. of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the tomatoes, parsley and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt to the pot. Cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the shrimp stock, white wine, saffron, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low.

3. Place chicken, shrimp and squid in a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the the meat and sprinkle a 1/2 tsp. of salt. Toss and set aside.

4. Heat the paella pan over a medium heat. Add 3 tbsp. of olive oil and saute the chicken and sausage, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan, empty any liquid and saute shrimp and squid for about 1 minute. Remove from pan.

5. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil in the paella pan over medium heat. Add the rice, stir to coat and continue to stir until rice becomes translucent. Increase heat to high and add simmered stock to rice. Bring to a boil.

6. Reduce heat to medium and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Bury the chicken, sausage, shrimp and squid in the rice mixture. Lastly, bury the clams and mussels into the rice.

7. Sprinkle the peas and cilantro over the top of the rice and arrange the red pepper strips on top of the dish.

8. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn oven off, tent paella with aluminum foil, and let sit in oven for 10 minutes.

* Shrimp Stock: When ever I cook shrimp, generally I buy them in their shells. When I de-shell them I toss the shells in a baggie and throw it in the freezer.

For this stock I use the shells from about two pounds of shrimp. In a medium pot, melt a good sized knob of butter. Cut a large onion in chunks, skin and all and throw it in the pot. Roughly chop up two carrots and a two celery sticks. Throw them in. Add a bayleaf and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. I also threw in a handful of parsley stalks because I had them on hand (you can use up any old veggies in you fridge for stalk except for starchy ones like potatoes). Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring until shells turn pink, about 5 minutes. Add two tbsp. of tomato paste and stir to coat veggies and shells. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain. You now have shrimp stock.  Stock freezes well. You could substitute Fish stock or clam juice for this recipe, but it won’t be as rich or flavourful. Shrimp stock is also awesome in seafood risotto and shrimp bisques.







Buffalo Wing Risotto

A fellow foodie and hockey player passed this recipe along (thanks John) and I thought it would be a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love risotto and who doesn’t love Buffalo chicken wings? This recipe has all the flavours: beer (for de-glazing instead of white wine), celery, butter, Frank’s Hot Sauce, and creamy blue cheese. So if you like medium spicy Buffalo wings and don’t want to mess with saucy fingers and bones, or you want a fun but elegant dish for company all in one bowl, this is for you. I made only minor changes to the original recipe from Cuisine at Home and I used a Piggy Market spit-roasted chicken and a mild Fromagerie du Presbytere Blue D’ Elisabeth, produced locally (ish) and also available at Piggy Market.

Buffalo Chicken Risotto with Celery and Blue Cheese

Serves 4-6
Total time about 1 hour


4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cups Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup minced celery (plus a little extra for garnish)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tbsp butter
1 cup arborio rice (if you have never made risotto before, ARBORIO rice is essential. Don’t substitute)
1 cup lager beer, heated to hot in microwave
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue cheese dressing


1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the broth, hot sauce, honey and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat and cover.

2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter and sweat the celery and onion until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and saute until each grain is coated in butter.

3. De-glaze the pan with the hot beer and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the broth mixture to the rice mixture one half cup at a time. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Stir frequently. Continue until all of the broth mixture is used up. This will take about 45 minutes. Stir in chicken and heat through.  Remove from heat.

4. Serve with chopped celery, crumbled blue cheese and blue cheese dressing on top.

Click HERE to download a print-ready version of this recipe.

Not the usual risotto ingredients.
Wait… Is that hot sauce?
Onion, celery and rice.
…adding the hot sauce mixture.
Chicken comes next.
Served with blue cheese and dressing
In its full creamy, tangy glory.