Search This Blog

Monday, October 5, 2015

Craig Ferguson, A Weekend to Reconnect, Tomato Garlic Soup, Chicken with Olives and Pine Nuts and A Sales Record is Set!

After last week's post about the importance of the Long Game, I calmed down. I decided to take it easy and spend the weekend re-connecting to Steph, starting with the Friday evening concert to go see Craig Ferguson. This very hilarious man is worth every penny to go and see in person. Man is he funny! You know the kind of laughter where you just can't stop no matter how hard you try? The kind where your face hurts afterwards? That is the brand of stand-up that this guy delivers. For those of you who have never watched this man in action, here are a couple of clips showing him in action:

An hour and a half of watching him could loosen up even the most uptight person on the planet. It sure worked for me. Anyways, if he comes to your city, I would very much recommend that you get tickets to go see him. It will be money well spent.

Steph and I spent the weekend just relaxing, sleeping in and hanging out with friends and family. It was wonderful to finally be able to relax. I managed to stay off my phone for the most part, except when checking offers. The funny part is that just as I started to chill, the sales came rolling in! I did very close to $2,000 in just one weekend, and there are still 26 days left in the month!

I have created new menus for the next two weeks, so I will be trying lots of new recipes and will be sharing the good ones here - changed slightly be me so as not to violate copyright of course. I have two to share in this post. One is a tomato-garlic soup made in the slow cooker, and the other is chicken with olives and pine nuts.

Tomato Garlic Soup

For the tomato garlic soup, all you need is:

4 cups of chicken stock, preferably the roasted chicken stock I wrote about in this post:

1 can tomato paste
4 heads of garlic separated into cloves
1 medium onion finely chopped

I am going to veer off the recipe that I read and made and recommend a slightly different approach that I think will result in better flavour. Don't get me wrong - the soup I had was delicious, but I think this approach will make it better.

Start by roasting the garlic. To do this preheat the oven to 425F and then slice the top off of each garlic head. Place one head on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil until full and just beginning to dribble over the sides. Wrap tightly in the tin foil and roast in the oven until fragrant - about 35 minutes. Do not go too long, or the garlic will taste burnt and acrid. Let it cool and then gently squeeze the cloves out into the slow cooker.

Next finely chop the onion and sautee it over medium high heat until glassy. Then add it to the slow cooker.

Finally, add the chicken stock and tomato paste into the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Turn it to low and leave it for 6-8 hours.

When ready to serve, use a food processor to puree it in batches. Serve at once with french bread and plenty of butter.

Chicken with Olives and Pine Nuts

The recipe that I made on the weekend wound up being way too salty, partly because I substituted cooking wine for real wine (cooking wine contains a lot of salt to stop people from drinking it) and because I used too many olives. However, I rescued the dish by adding a large tub of sour cream to the chicken at the end and heating the resulting sauce through. It was delicious. So my varied recipe follows:

(serves 3)

3/4 cup of pitted green olives in brine, or 1 cup of whole green olives in brine.
1/2 cup of dry white wine.
2 bay leaves
3 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 chicken legs
1 large tub of light sour cream

Take the chicken and lightly season it with salt, but use very sparingly - just to help bring out the flavour while you brown it. Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat (i.e. gas mark 4 if using a gas stove). When the butter just starts to get fragrant, place the chicken skin side down and cover for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up, turn the chicken, add the bay leaves and the garlic cloves in the spaces between the chicken legs, and cover for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn again and cover for 10 minutes.

After 30 minutes of cooking like this, the chicken should be more or less cooked. The garlic will have softened and most of the fat will have been rendered off. Uncover, tilt the pan and use a large spoon to skim off all the excess fat, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons.

Then add the wine and olives and deglaze the pan, scraping all the delicious brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 min or so until all of the wine has evaporated. Then add the pine nuts and cook for a few more minutes until the nuts are browned.

Then take the chicken out of the skillet and add the sour cream, stirring quickly to combine. Heat the sauce through and spoon it over the chicken. Serve with hot buttered noodles of pasta.

I find that using pitted olives will result in a higher salt level than taking whole olives and pitting them when you use them. This is why I recommend using a lower quantity as compared to whole olives. If the dish is still too salty, add more sour cream until you reach the desired salt level.

I'd love to hear from you about what your favourite recipes are. What are your favourites?

In the poll that I ran last week, one reader voted and told me that they would like to see more posts about general business development. So in keeping with this request, I will try to include some more posts about these topics. What about you? What would you like to see me write about more?

No comments:

Post a Comment