30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Coconut Curry Recipe

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30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

This post is sponsored by Revol, a French manufacturer of top-quality ceramic cookware. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

It’s Confession Tuesday and I have one to make: I don’t really like spinach.

On my early twenties’ quest to rediscover and fall in love with the vegetables I’d grown up not liking (I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts!) spinach was a total fail.

I blame years and years of school cafeterias and well-meaning summer camp counselors. Unless the spinach is of pristine freshness and cooked with fairy dust in really inspired ways, the metallic aftertaste makes me shudder and push my plate away.

So I hardly ever buy spinach at all. But on a recent trip to the Perche, when we got to the organic produce stall where we buy a week’s worth of marvels (and then some) the minute we arrive at the greenmarket, we saw he had gorgeous spinach that was selling out fast. Maxence was tempted, I relented, and we snatched up an armful.

Fresh Spinach

That spinach was so fresh and young it barely needed trimming. It did need a few baths of fresh water to rid it of grit and sand — do not skip that step! — and I decided to cook it down to a coconut creamed spinach of sorts, wilting it ever so briefly with some softened onions, and finishing it with the coconut butter I was traveling with (I am nothing if not prepared).

Spinach tends to release quite a bit of water when it cooks — it’s hard to spin it thoroughly dry — and the beauty of using coconut butter here is that it thickens those very cooking juices to a creamy film that coats the spinach leaves, sweetens their flavor, and efficiently negates any bitter or metallic aftertaste.

It was such an effortless preparation and we lapped it up with such enthusiasm that I have been making it again and again since, to the collective joy of my spinach-loving family (where do they come from?).

I have improved upon the initial recipe by adding strips of chicken (or an alternate source of protein, such as fish or tofu), which makes it a complete one-pot meal that you can put together in a mere half-hour, prep included. It is a great family dinner, but also sophisticated enough that you can serve it to friends for a weeknight dinner party. Throw some rice into the rice cooker, and you’re in business.

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

Speaking of pots! I am using the most recent addition to my kitchen equipment, a handsomelicious, yellow-lidded ceramic Dutch oven that was sent to me by Revol, a French manufacturer of high-end ceramic cookware.

I’d actually been coveting one for a few years (also, their elegant tagine pot) and this made it very easy to accept their offer to sponsor a post on Chocolate & Zucchini. Revol is a family-owned business that was founded in 1768 (nine generations!), their wares are entirely manufactured in Saint-Uze in the South of France, and they use all-natural materials to craft light but extra durable cookware that absorbs heat gently and conducts it evenly, preserving the moisture of dishes.

This particular model is very versatile: it is flameproof and induction-compatible, and it goes into the oven and the microwave oven, in the fridge and freezer, and into the dishwasher as well. I find it’s an ideal size to cook for four to six, and I have been l.o.v.i.n.g. it. (I’m actually selling a similar-size cast-iron pot I already owned to make room for this one in my tiny kitchen cabinets. If you’re in Paris and interested, let me know! ^^)

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30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4.

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) boneless organic chicken meat (breast or thigh), sliced into strips (substitute white fish or tofu, as preferred)
  • 650 grams (1 1/2 pounds) fresh spinach, carefully washed and trimmed
  • 45 grams (3 tablespoons) coconut butter
  • Coconut spiced rice or cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • 1 lime, quartered, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot; I use my gorgeous Revol ceramic Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion, salt, and curry, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft.
  3. Onions cooking
  4. Add the chicken and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the meat is cooked through and has a bit of color.
  5. Chicken and onions cooking
  6. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until just wilted; don't overcook.
  7. Cooking the spinach
  8. Stir in the coconut butter.
  9. Spinach and chicken curry
  10. Serve immediately, over coconut spiced rice, with a squeeze of lime juice.
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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

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Edible Paradise: A Food Lover’s Coloring Book (Giveaway)

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Edible Paradise

Coloring books for adults are all the rage right now, and deservedly so: with an increasing portion of our lives happening on screens and clouds, what could be more grounding than to sit down at the end of a long day with an actual paper coloring book in your lap and favorite pencils scattered around you?

Indeed, it’s an ideal activity to unplug and unwind: low-pressure (I mean, we can all color, right?), high-satisfaction (in just a few minutes, voilà, your page is all pretty and complete), and wonderfully meditative, as your fingers busy themselves and your mind is free to wander.

I have seen quite a few such books for sale in bookshops here in Paris, and I was thrilled when a talented Paris-based illustrator I know, Jessie Kanelos Weiner, released one of her own, titled Edible Paradise: An Adult Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, celebrating the edible plant kingdom.

Edible Paradise

Like everything that Jessie does, it’s beautiful and poetic and whimsical, and the quality of the paper is excellent. I have enjoyed spending time with it a great deal, and I think you’ll like it too.

Jessie’s publisher Universe has agreed to give away five copies of Jessie’s Edible Paradise to C&Z readers.

Edible Paradise

To enter, please fill in this form before Thursday, May 26, midnight Paris time. I will draw 5 names randomly (if you’re curious this is the service I use), and announce the winners here the next day. Please note that the books can be shipped to North America or any country in the EU. Good luck to you!

And as a warm-up, I am able to share these two FREE spreads from Edible Paradise, which you are welcome to save, print, and color: strawberries and vegetables. I hope you send me photos of your best work!

Join the conversation!

Are you a fan of coloring books yourself? What non-screen activity do you like to engage in to relax and unplug?

Edible Paradise

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Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker Recipe

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/vegetables-grains/coconut-spiced-rice-cooker-recipe/

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Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker

This coconut spiced rice has been on heavy rotation in my kitchen lately, and it’s all thanks to Maxence.

A little while ago, he expressed the desire for us to acquire a rice cooker. I admit it: I scoffed. I argued that we could cook rice on the stovetop just fine, that we didn’t need a specialized appliance for that, and where in the world would we put it anyway?

But I could see he really wanted one, and considering that 90% of the stuff taking up room in our kitchen cabinets is, ahem, by all intents and purposes, well, my stuff, the least I could do was green-light the rice cooker. (And that’s the secret to relationship longevity right there. You’re welcome.)

So Maxence went off and researched the heck out of the rice cooker equation, because that’s what he does (I don’t have nearly as much patience for it) and he decided on this model from Cuisinart, which happens to be pretty good-lookin’, too.

Fast-forward a couple of years and I’m eating my words.

I am a hopeless fan of the rice cooker now. It is my friend and my ally, it is a joy to use, and I have carved out an extra special place for it so I can easily pull it out every time I need it, at least once a week.

I mostly just cook rice in it — perfect rice! effortlessly! every time! — but I also like to use it to cook other grains, pseudo-grains, and legumes (provided they don’t contain too much starch, otherwise it boils over, and boy, is that annoying), to make porridge, or to braise this amazing ramen-style pork.

Also: this coconut spiced rice, a super easy twist on Indian-style rice.

Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker: An extraordinarily easy recipe for coconut spiced rice you can put together in minutes using your rice cooker. Effortless yet fabulous side for any curry!

It is inspired by a pre-seasoned boxed rice that had called my name at the organic store. But when I looked at the ingredients list, I realized I had everything at home to make it, and felt pretty sure it could be made from scratch for a fraction of the price.

And indeed, it can: just combine some basmati or jasmine rice with grated coconut and a few spices (feel free to play around with the mix I’m suggesting), add water, and switch on the rice cooker.

Minutes later, when you hear the happy click of the rice cooker and lift up the lid, you are greeted by this deeply fragrant rice that’s a significant step up from plain, yet has taken you nearly zero effort to prepare.

This coconut spiced rice can be served with any type of curry (especially this vegetable curry and this easy fish curry), or topped with your favorite stir-fried vegetables and perhaps a dollop of yogurt sauce for a quick and satisfying meal.

Join the conversation!

Do you have a rice cooker of your own? What’s your favorite way to use it? Any clever recipe you’ve devised for it?

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Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4.

Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker Recipe

Ingredients

  • 190 grams (1 cup) long-grain rice, such as basmati or jasmine, white or brown
  • 25 grams (1/4 cup) unsweetened grated coconut, toasted if possible (see note)
  • The seeds from 1 pod cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional, see note)
  • Fresh mint or cilantro, finely snipped, for serving

Instructions

  1. Rince the rice in several baths of fresh water until the water runs more or less clear. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Place the rice in the bowl of the rice cooker, and add the coconut, cardamom, cumin, mustard, and salt, if using.
  3. Rice, coconut, and spices
  4. Add 240 ml (1 cup) fresh water if using white rice; 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) if using brown rice. Stir.
  5. Adding water to the rice, coconut, and spices
  6. You can prepare the recipe in advance up to this point (say, in the morning before you leave for work, or just an hour before dinner). The rice will simply absorb water as it soaks and cook faster. This is especially desirable if you use brown rice.
  7. Place the lid on, and switch the rice cooker on to "cooking" mode. Don't open the lid while the rice cooks.
  8. When the rice cooker switches to "keep warm", allow the rice to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Cooked Coconut Spiced Rice in the Rice Cooker
  10. Stir to fluff up. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve warm with a scatter of mint or cilantro.

Notes

  • I like to toast a large batch of grated coconut in the oven, and keep it on hand in a jar for use in my baking, in my bowl of granola, and in this recipe.
  • I find this recipe has enough flavor that it doesn't actually need salt, but some people prefer a little bit of salt to give it more depth.
  • Please note that different rice cookers operate in slightly different ways. Make sure you're familiar with the user manual for your own rice cooker and adjust my instructions accordingly.

3.1
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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.

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Coconut Butter Bars with Sea Salt Recipe

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/candy-mignardises/coconut-butter-bars-recipe/

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Coconut Butter Bars

A little while ago, I told you how much I adore coconut butter. My passion has not abated in the slightest, and I continue to enjoy it as the divine treat that it is — here’s 20+ recipes to use coconut butter if you’re curious to know more.

But the tricky thing about coconut butter is how temperature-sensitive it is. Depending on the season, my jar of coconut butter can be super runny, which I don’t find the most pleasant consistency for eating with a spoon, or so solid you need a pickaxe to dig in.

So I’ve found a neat little way to make sure I have coconut butter available in a snack-friendly format at all times. You know, for emergencies.

I use my silicone chocolate bar molds — the very ones I bought to make these knock-your-socks-off caramelized sesame chocolate bars — to create these coconut butter bars, easily broken up into squares for popping into your mouth.

All it takes is to soften the coconut butter in a hot water bath (unless it’s summer and the coconut butter is creamy already), so you can pour it into the molds and put them into the fridge to set completely.

I sprinkle on a bit of sea salt, because it brings out the flavor of the coconut butter in the most flattering way. But I leave it at that in terms of flavorings, and pair my squares with banana slices, plump dates, or squares of dark chocolate.

You could, however, dream up all kinds of ways to guild the coconut butter bar lily by adding some delicious mix-ins:

  • Cacao nibs or chocolate chips,
  • Chopped nuts or seeds,
  • Freshly grated citrus zest,
  • Freeze-dried berries or banana chips,
  • Spices such as chili flakes, vanilla powder, or fresh cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill),
  • Bacon bits (I’m only half kidding).

How would you eat these coconut butter bars?

Want more coconut butter recipes?

Follow my coconut butter board on Pinterest!

 

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Coconut Butter Bars with Sea Salt Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Makes 3 bars

Coconut Butter Bars with Sea Salt Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If the coconut butter is creamy at room temperature, simply stir with a fork to combine well.
  2. If the coconut butter is set at room temperature, place the jar of coconut butter in a large heatproof bowl. Pour in boiling water to reach the neck of the jar and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Remove the jar from the water, dry it, and stir the contents with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  3. Softening the coconut butter
  4. Place the silicone chocolate bar molds on a tray.
  5. Pour the coconut butter into the molds, not quite filling them to the top as the coconut butter will expand slightly when set. If using a different shape of mold, I recommend you form a layer not much thicker than 1 cm (1/3 inch). (If you have extra coconut butter, just keep it in the jar for another use or another batch.)
  6. Pouring coconut butter into the molds
  7. Sprinkle the surface with fleur de sel. (I like quite a bit of salt, but adjust to your own taste.)
  8. Sprinkling salt on the coconut butter
  9. Transfer the tray to the refrigerator and allow the coconut butter bars to set completely, about 2 hours.
  10. Unmold the bars and transfer to an airtight container. They'll keep in the fridge for weeks.
3.1
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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.

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