October 24, 2012

Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken - Aji de Gallina

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If you, like us, have a friend bequeath you packets of aji pepper puree, you may be dumbfounded at first too. Well look no further because you've found the answer to your aji prayers!

By far the best Peruvian dish we have ever made. OK so it's also the only Peruvian dish we've ever made. Yet after devouring this Aji de Gallina I'm not sure I could force myself to make any other Peruvian cuisine - it's that good.

This is a beautifully simple, though perhaps time-consuming dish to make. But the great thing is that it makes a ton of food. Great for dinner parties.

Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken - Aji de Gallina

Yield: Serves 6-8
  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 packet aji pepper puree
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices bread
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 yellow potatoes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 10 black olives, halved
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup cooked rice
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the yellow potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool, peel, cut into quarters, and set aside.
  2. Place the bread in a small bowl and pour the evaporated milk over it to soak. Set aside.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a pot with the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is just barely cooked through. Set chicken aside to cool. Strain broth and reserve 2 cups.
  4. In a blender, process pepper puree with the oil until smooth. Saute the garlic and onions with the pureed peppers and oil, until the onions are soft and golden. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Shred the cooled chicken into bite-size pieces.
  6. In a blender or food processor, process the evaporated milk and bread mixture with the walnuts and Parmesan cheese until smooth. Add the cooked onion mixture and process briefly.
  7. Return onion mixture to pan, and add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved chicken stock. Bring to a low simmer, and stir in the chicken. Heat until warmed through, adding more chicken stock if sauce is too thick.
  8. Serve over rice, garnished with the yellow potatoes, slices of hard boiled egg, and black olives.

October 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

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Wow! This is so cool is so many ways. Cake in a slow cooker. Delicious cake in a slow cooker. Moist, chocolatey, rich cake in a slow cooker. Simple and amazingly easy.

I don't know if I can get over how flabbergasted I am that this turned out so gorgeously well. So warm and dark and moist - absolutely the best cake I've ever made. One of the best parts is that it's a cake without frosting (because I generally despise frosting). OK, I'm going to just hand you the recipe now, both so that you can make it yourself and so I can grab another piece. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 servings
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Cooking Directions
  1. Spray crock of a 2 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the boiling water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared slow cooker.
  4. Set slow cooker to low. Cook until cake has no wet spots on top and has pulled away from the sides of the crock, about 4 hours. DO NOT remove lid at any time, otherwise you'll lose moisture. Turn off slow cooker and allow cake to rest for 30 minutes before serving.