Posts about Paul Salvatore Petersen
In the Kitchen with Paul Salvatore Petersen: Paul gets up close and personal with Bitchin Kitchen’s Nadia G
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I don’t even know where to begin with the story of how this dish came to be. I guess it is a testament to the power of the Internet. Via the Internet so many things, good and bad, have been made possible in my life. Thankfully mostly good.
I have learned a lot, gotten jobs, found old friends, found my husband (through a hacker actually), and perhaps most importantly I have met new people.
Recently, due to the magic of social media I have been in contact with 90′s pop icon Zelma Davis! As the lead female vocalist in the hugely popular C+C Music Factory, she rose to stardom with mega hits like “Things That Make You Go Hmmm” and “Just a Touch of Love” Check out one of my favorite videos;
When I was younger I had a HUGE crush on her, and as an adult I was so blown away when she commented on one of my food posts. It made my year! Turns out she is a bit of a food enthusiast too, and on a whim last week I asked if she would like to share a recipe with The Best Food Blog, and she did!
Mrs. Davis checked in with her family to see what they thought was her best recipe, and came back to me with this crazy delicious curry dish.
With Zelma’s creative twists, and my necessary alterations I would like to introduce you to Zelma’s Jamaican Curry Chicken!
Here is what you’ll need!
12 Chicken Drumsticks (I used boneless skinless thighs because the drumsticks at Whole Foods were not looking too good)
2 bell peppers. (Zelma called for 1 green and 1 red. P2 and I like the yellow and orange, so I switched them up)
6 table spoons of Jamaican Curry Powder. (I used hot)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
a bunch of Cilantro
a teaspoon of fresh ginger
8 carrots chopping into large pieces
2 chicken bullion cubes (or one box of chicken broth if you are like be and forgot to get bullion at the store)
Flour for dredging the chicken (seasons with salt and pepper)
Rice (Zelma suggests using a rice cooker. I don’t own one, but I would recommend it too!)
one can of Black Beans
1 1/2 cans of Coconut milk
Zelma’s recipe called for all the veggies and the ginger to be minced in a food processor. Mine was not only broken, but was flying off of my shelf by some annoyed spirit in my kitchen. I stayed away from that particular gadget and used my knife. I diced the onion and garlic and I used a micro plane for the ginger. For the peppers I actually sliced them in long strips.
Once that was all set I heated my pot to medium high and added a few tablespoons of oil.
I dredged my chicken thighs in the flour and then, in a few batches, I browned them in the oil. You just want to get a nice golden color on the chicken. Don’t cook it all the way through.
Once the chicken has all been seared, take them all out and drop all your veggies into the pot. Give them a little stir and after 2 or 3 minutes add the chicken back in. This is when you would add your bullion cubes that you have dissolved in about 4 cups of water, or if you you wanted you could add 4 cups of chicken broth. You want to fill the pot until the meat is covered. About 75% full (depending on the size of your pot). Bring the pot to a boil and add the curry powder and carrots. (These steps are different than the way Zelma suggests. I will post the real recipe at the end of this entry.)
I let this simmer for about an hour until it got nice and thick. At this point the recipe called for adding half a can of the coconut milk, and some of the cilantro chopped. Continue to let it simmer.
While the curry is finishing, it is time to make your rice. Follow the box or bag’s directions for making 4-6 servings. Add the beans into the pot to cook along with the rice. Just before the rice is fully cooked add a can of coconut and cook until the rice is finished and most of the milk is absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste. The same process would be used in the rice cooker as well.
Now you are all set to plate. The recipe states to transfer the rice into a bowl to mold it into a perfect half circle. Then invert the bowl onto a serving platter. Place the curry around the rice and some on top. Garnish with more cilantro. I did that on a more individual manor on plates. For the rice I used a one cup dry measuring cup.This curry was SO good!!!! I ate until I was stuffed and couldn’t fit any more in my belly.
If you like curry, this is a must!!
Below is the recipe as Zelma sent to me. Try it either way and I am sure you will be more than happy!!
Also, what was really great about this dish is that it is super affordable! My grocery bill for this whole meal was about $25. That is a steal for the amount of food this made! It is great choice for entertaining!Thank you so much Zelma!!!! I am truly honored to have one of your recipes! I’d love more if you ever want to share again!
Enjoy everyone!!! And don’t forget to add the love!!
XO – P
Here’s the real recipe!
Curry Chicken/Coconut Rice and beans for 6
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoons of fresh ginger
2 cans coconut milk
4 to 6 teaspoons of Jamaican curry powder
2 chicken bullion cubes
8 carrots chopped into large pieces
12 pieces of chicken drumsticks
2 cups of Rice
1 can of black beans
1 cup cilantro choppedPrep
-Chop and blend bell peppers, onion, garlic and ginger in a food chopper. Set aside.
COOKING THE COCONUT RICE AND BEANS (Using rice cooker)-Rinse the rice in warm water and drain. Place rice in cooker and add water per bag or boxes’ instructions .Add beans and liquid and mix well. Start cooker. Cook on white rice setting.-When rice is almost done and still has some liquid in it, add 1 can coconut milk and mix well. Cover and let it finish cooking.COOKING THE CURRY CHICKEN-Fill large pot with water about 75 percent full. Place on stove on high heat.-When water begins to boil, add chopped ingredients and 2 chicken bullion cubes, mix until cube dissolves.-Rinse drumsticks and add to boiling ingredients in pot. Let this cook for about 45 minutes until chicken is very tender.-Add carrots to pot.
- In a small cup mix curry powder with 1 cup of water, slowly add curry mix into pot, stir and cook till carrots are tender and liquid starts to thicken.
-Add half can of Coconut milk and stir. Let simmer for a few minutes, taste and add a pinch of black pepper and add salt if needed.
-Add half of cilantro.
Scoop some rice into a small round bowl. Push rice down into the bowl to insure that it makes a nice mound.
On a large white plate place bowl of rice upside down and let it fall onto plate. Rice should look like a mound on the plate.
Add curry, chicken and carrots around rice on plate. Add some curry on top of rice. Place cilantro on top rice and serve.
To read more wonderful recipes from Paul, click here.
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In the spirit of the upcoming Oscars I will award the Best protien in a leading role award goes to the Steak. I briefly marinated it simply in a bit of chopped garlic, white wine vinegar, Olive oil, about a tablespoon of tomato paste, salt and pepper for about 15 minutes. Really basic and tasty. The tomato paste seemed to help out with the caramelizing of the steak when I seared it.
The Oscar for Best New side dish goes to the Polenta. While fumbling around Whole Foods yesterday I stumbled upon de la Estancia Organic Polenta. It promised to cook in one minute but to NOT be instant Polenta. They were right. It cooked in one minute. Here is the reason why according to the website;
“De la Estancia polenta is unique among all the polentas because it cooks faster than the instant variety and is more flexible than the hard polenta found in the tube variety but de la Estancia polenta is NOT pre-cooked, processed or treated in any way. It is a completely natural product that cooks quickly because the corn that grows in Argentina is different than the corn grown in Europe and the United States and results in a superior polenta.
Argentine corn is a sub-tropical variety of orange/yellow corn, called flint corn, which is not successfully grown in the Northern Hemisphere. Flint corn requires a much longer growing season – up to 7 months in the field including a period of natural drying in the sun, nearly twice as long as the corn grown in North America or Europe. It also benefits from the cool nights found in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Of course the yield of flint corn is substantially less than for common corn but lower quantity is a small price to pay for higher quality.
The physical characteristics of flint corn are different from ordinary corn? Flint corn is harder, has a higher protein content, has less starch and yields a product which is more intensely yellow in color. The hardness of the kernels is fundamental because it allows us to more closely control the milling process and we can obtain a finer grind of polenta. This in turn results in the polenta being smoother and creamier. The low starch level also means that the polenta is less gluey. The grind and the low starch level mean that de la Estancia polenta cooks much faster than traditional polenta – de la Estancia polenta cooks in just 1 minute. It simply cooks fast naturally.”
The recipe printed on the bag was 1 cup polenta, 3 cups Chicken Stock, and grated cheese. I don’t remember the amount because I didn’t pay attention to that. I added my own amount of grated Romano. I also added butter. I mean come on.. it’s polenta. It needs butter and tons of cheese, right!?
Before starting the polenta because that is one of the last things you should do when making this dinner, heat your oven to 375 degrees, and an oven safe skillet until it’s very hot. Cast iron is always the best. Once your skillet is really hot put your steak in it. It should make a loud sizzle. If not, you didn’t heat it enough. Let that sit without touching it for about 3-5 minutes until you have a nice brown caramalization. Flip the steak and put the pan in the oven. Depending on thickness and the desired doneness you like it should be in the oven for about 10 minutes to be medium. When done to your liking, take the meat out of the oven, off the pan and let it rest on a cutting bored for about 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, start the stock simmering for the polenta. Also at this time you can make a nice pan gravy. Put the skillet you had the steak in and put it over medium heat on the stove. Add a little flour and mix it with the pan drippings. Once they are combined pour in a little beef stock and whisk. It’s not to important how much stock you add. It depends on how think you would like the gravy.
The Chicken stock for the polenta should be simmering now. Add the polenta and stir for about a minute. It will get nice and thick. Thats when you can add butter and cheese to your desired taste. I also added a little salt.
It seems like a lot of work, but it’s all really easy. Don’t be scared.
At this point I chose to make a little bit of an Arugula salad with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing just to add a little acid to cut through the richness of the meat and Polenta.
Now slice the meat and plate.
I chose to layer my dish, but you can plate it anyway you want. I love to be able to cut through and get everything on my fork at once!
This is perfect for a cozy night in alone, or even if you want to make something that looks fancy for a date.
I hope you enjoy this one. It really hit the spot for me!
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I knew how to how to make a great and easy Tomatillo Salsa already, so I essentially just tossed in an Avocado.
If you have never used or even eaten a Tomatillo before they are great. The look like green tomatoes but are a bit more bitter. You need to cook them unlike a tomato which are also great raw.
4 medium to large Tomatillos peeled and quartered.
6 cloves of garlic
1 large onion quartered
2 Jalapenos cut in half
A handful of Cilantro
A box of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Heat up a skillet on high. Once it is nice and hot add the Tomatillo, garlic, onion and Jalapenos and let roast. You want a nice caramelization on all the veg. This will take about 10 minutes or so.
Once that happens turn the heat off and add a little of the chicken stock to the pan to deglaze, and get all the wonderful brown color off the pan. Then put everything in a blender with the Avocado, Cilantro, about 3 quarters of the remaining chicken stock, and the salt and pepper to taste.
Once it is blended and smooth, put the mixture in a sauce pan and add the rest of the chicken stock. Turn the heat to medium and let it simmer away!
After about an hour you should have a nice thick and very flavorful salsa. And the Avocado adds a really nice smooth texture while maintaining the “salsa” feel.
I put it over some pan seared Monk Fish, but you can use it for just about anything. It’s really good to just dip tortilla chips in too!
If you try it let me know! And don’t forget to add the love!!
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Chicken meatloaf, Crushed sweet potatoes, and herb gravy!
They are predicting it to be so cold tonight in NYC. Doesn’t this sound perfect for a cold night in?
Here is what to get and what to do;
1 pound or ground chicken
1 Medium can of stewed tomatoes
3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
2 handfulls of chopped parsley
1/2 a small onion diced
1 tablespoon of diced scallions
1 cup of chicken stock or broth
About 1 stick of butter
4 or 5 medium sized sweet potatoes. (Use your judgment here. Think about one good sized sweet potato per person. If you have more or less people eating, you will possibly need to change the other recipe amounts as well)
2 tablespoons of all purpose flower
Salt, pepper, and garlic salt
Now one of the best things about this dish is that you can make the meatloaf ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
The other great thing about this is how easy it is.
Take the chicken, egg, one handful of the chopped parsley, the can of stewed tomatoes (drained of most the liquid and crushed up with your hands), bread crumbs, diced onion, and the salt, pepper, and garlic salt and mix them all together.
Go easy with the salt, pepper, and garlic salt. You can always add more later if you need it. Once it is all mixed together I usually make a little ball and saute it in a pan to check how the meatloaf will taste. This is when you can add more seasonings if you need it.
Once you are happy with your mixture, prepare the loaf the way you would like it to bake. You can form it into a loaf on a sheet pan, put it in a loaf pan, or even form it into individual loafs for easy serving. This time I placed the loaf in a small Pyrex. This way it was in a nice shape and pretty thin.
I cooked it in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Depending on your size and shape loaf you may need up to an hour. You will know when it is done because it goes from being a very soft mixture to a very firm loaf.
While that is in the oven peel, and dice your sweet potatoes. The smaller you dice them the quicker they will cook, so dice according to the time you have. Once they are diced, place them in a pot and fill it with cool water. They will take about 30 mins to boil depending on size. Boil away until they are fork tender.
When they are done add about 5 tablespoons of butter, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Then smash it all up. Once everything is all combined check to see how it tastes and adjust accordingly. To these you can add whatever you like. Cream, cinnamon, chives…. whatever.
Once the meatloaf is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool. You can cover it if you would like.
Take out a small pot to make the gravy. This gravy is going to actually be what is called a Veloutè. Veloutè is like a béchamel but made with stock instead of milk. So melt a little more than a tablespoon of butter and add a heaping tablespoon of flower. Mix it together and let it cook for about 30 seconds. You don’t want it to get dark, but you want to cook it enough to get the raw flower taste out. Then add the chicken stock to it and whisk together to make sure there are no lumps. Then add salt, pepper, garlic salt, scallion, and the remaining handful of parsley and let it simmer until it is smooth and thick.
Plate it however you would like. Sometimes I like to stack it up, but most the time the meat and potatoes are separate. Pour on the herb gravy and dig in!
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Paul’s whipping up a treat to keep your warm during these cold winter days. “I’m a different 1 per cent, ” he says.
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Ibrido means Hybrid in Italian. It also sounds like soup to me. So, being that the soup I made last night was a combo of my 2 favorites, I thought this would be a perfect name!
My two favorite soups are both Italian classics; Wedding Soup and Tortellini en Brodo (in broth), and both are mega comfort foods for me, so when I was wondering the store last night exhausted I had a feeling combining the 2. It’s basically pasta and meatballs, and what could be bad about that?
Here is what I did.
For the mini meatballs:
1 pound ground meat. ( I used chicken, but you can use beef or anything you like)
A big handful of grated Parm or Romano cheese. ( I like Romano)
A handful of chopped flat leaf Parsley
1/4 of a medium sized white onion
Salt and Pepper to taste.
For the Tortellini:
Well… a bag of fresh tortellini. (1lb)
For the Brodo (broth);
1 Box chicken stock. (I like organic and low sodium)
1/4 of a medium sized white onion diced. The other half of the one you used in the balls.
1 clove garlic diced
A few sprigs of fresh Thyme
A little less than a handful of chopped flat leaf Parsley
A handful of Arugula.
Now, get the pot that you will be using and put it on medium heat with a little olive oil in it. This will be to test your meatballs.
To make the meatballs, mix all your ingredients well to make sure all the components are evenly distributed.
Then take a little of the mixture and put it in the pot. You want to make sure your balls taste good! After you test them, adjust the seasoning as needed.
Once the mixture is all set, make little meatballs and set them aside.
Then add the onions, parsley, and garlic to the pot. You may need a little oil, but don’t use too much. You don’t want oily soup.
Once the onion has softened and gotten a little caramelizing, slide all the meatballs into the pot and let them start to brown. After they are brown on one side stir everything up a bit and let the balls brown on the other side.
Once they have browned add the stock. Some tips here for extra flavor. I liked a little kick of red pepper flakes, but those are optional. Also, if you are using a wedge of cheese, either the Parm or the Romano, take a big chunk of it and throw it in the pot. It flavors the broth perfectly!!!!
Now… let this sit. You can let it simmer for an hour if you want, or boil until the chicken is cooked. Depends on how much time you have.
Taste for salt and pepper.
When you are ready to eat. About 5 minutes before add some water to the soup. I was able to add about 2 cups without losing any flavor. Or, if you can add another 1/2 a box of stock. This is so there is enough liquid to cook the Tortellini.
After adjusting the liquid level, add the Tortellini and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the Arugula.
Stir, and serve.
After putting the soup in the bowls, garnish with a little more grated cheese.
I’m telling you, this is perfect on a cold night. Light and filling, with tons of flavor.
A little vino, and someone you love makes this dish come alive! However, if you eat it solo, or even with someone you hate, it will still be really good! I suggest if you eat it with someone you hate, increase the amount of vino you drink!
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