Chocolate Brioche Pretzels

brioche pretzels

 

A labour of love… the time it takes to make these is so very worth it! Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Makes 8 pretzels.

Dough

  • 1/3 C Milk
  • 1 tsp Instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 C All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C Butter, room temperature
  • ~1 C Dark chocolate, chopped finely

Glaze

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Water

Whisk together milk and yeast in a small bowl. In an electric mixer, use the paddle to stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add eggs and yeast mixture, and stir on low until dough comes together. Turn up speed to medium, and mix for 10 minutes. Add butter, 1/3 at a time, mixing in between. Once well mixed, switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Add chocolate and continue to knead until evenly distributed. Let dough rise in greased bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm spot for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Split dough evenly into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long (~18 inch) rope, and twist into a pretzel. Place on cookie sheet, brush with glaze, and let rise again for 15 minutes. Brush with glaze again and bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned.

Mango Chicken Curry

Mango curry

Red mango curry – adapted from Thug Kitchen. Serve with rice!

  • 2tsp cooking oil, divided
  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless), cut into ~1inch cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • Handful of green beans, ends removed and cut into ~1inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 C vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime

In a medium frying pan, heat oil and stir fry chicken until cooked through. In a soup pot, heat oil and saute the onion. Add green beans, zucchini, and bell pepper and cook until veggies are soft. Add cooked chicken, garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Stir, then add soy sauce, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a simmer, then add mango. Cook until mango is soft (about 8 minutes). Add lime juice, stir and serve over rice!

Tomato-free Slow Cooker Chili

SLow cooker chili

 

If you, like me, can’t eat tomatoes and are in need of a chili recipe to hold you over, look no further! This chili is chicken-based, is completely tomato-free, and feeds 4-5. Adapted from Spark Recipes.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 2-4 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 19oz can white kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 19oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3/4 C chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion with the garlic, cumin, and chili powder until onions are soft.

Add onions and remaining ingredients (except the flour, lime juice and cilantro) to slow cooker. Stir well and make sure the chicken is mostly covered by liquid. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours. Fifteen minutes before cooking time ends, shred the chicken breasts apart using two forks. Add the flour and stir well; the chili should thicken up. Immediately before serving, add lime juice and cilantro.

Creamy Chicken Soup

This recipe is a bit more fussy than soups I prefer to make, but it is definitely worth the extra steps! Makes approximately 5 servings. Original recipe from Cooking Classy.

  • 3/4 C wild rice/brown rice blend
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 C chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 C cream

Prepare rice according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt ~1 Tbsp of the butter, and saute the vegetables ~5 minutes, then add the garlic. Add the broth, seasonings, and chicken breasts and bring to a boil. Make sure the chicken is covered in liquid, and boil for ~15 minutes, until cooked through. Remove chicken and shred into bite-size pieces (two forks work perfectly). Return chicken to the pot, and add the cooked rice.

In a medium sized sauce pan, melt remaining butter, and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Stir until mixture thickens. Add to soup and let simmer until the soup thickens. Stir in cream and serve with rye bread!

Slow Cooker Frozen Burritos

These will keep you going for weeks – burrito filling concocted in the slow cooker and made into burritos you can freeze! Also can be made tomato-free for those with allergies/intolerances. Makes 10-12 burritos, total cooking time 6-8 hours. Adapted from The Kitchn.

  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes (tomato-free version: replace tomatoes with 1 can of refried beans + 1/2 can of chicken stock)
  • 1 C chicken stock, divided
  • 1.5 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and diced (optional, of course!)
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 C corn (frozen or canned)
  • Toppings: cheese, salsa, cilantro, etc. (lettuce, avocado and sour cream are also great toppings but do not freeze well)
  • 10-12 flour tortillas

In a large slow cooker, add the chicken breasts, tomatoes OR refried beans and chicken stock, 1/2 cup additional chicken stock, chili powder, cumin and salt. Make sure the chicken in covered in liquid. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Add onion, bell pepper, jalepeno, rice, beans, corn, and 1/2 C more chicken stock and stir well. Cook for an additional 3-4 hours on low. Stir the mixture once in a awhile and add water if it appears dry to make sure the rice cooks. When finished cooking, shred chicken using two forks and stir well. Serve immediately, or cool until room temperature to make frozen burritos.

To make frozen burritos: the burrito mix must be room temperature, otherwise the burritos will become a soggy mess. Place burrito mix in the middle of a flower tortilla, top with cilantro, salsa and cheese, and wrap into a burrito shape. Wrap in tinfoil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze. Lasts ~3 months!