Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower

Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

The perfect weekend family dinner with and Southern and Persian twist.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 24 hours prior
Cook Time: 60 min. plus
Difficulty level is: Medium

Buttermilk chicken from: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Buttermilk Chicken

Ingredients
• 3 ½ – 4 pound chicken
• Salt
• 2 cups buttermilk

Assembly
1. The day before you want to cook the chicken remove the wingtips by cutting through the first wing joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife.
2. Reserve for stock.
3. Season chicken generously with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Stir 2 tablespoons of kosher salt or 4 teaspoons of fine sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve.
5. Place the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour buttermilk in.
6. If the chicken won’t fit double up two plastic grocery bags to prevent leakage and tie the bag with a piece of butcher’s twine.
7. Seal it and squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate and refrigerate.
8. If you’re so inclined, over the next 24 hours turn the bag so every part of the chicken gets marinated, but that’s not essential.
9. Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it.
10. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack set in the center position.
11. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without obsessing.
12. Tightly tie together the legs of the chicken with butcher’s twine.
13. Place chicken in a 10” cast iron skillet or shallow roasting pan.
14. Slide the pan to the back of the oven with the legs facing the back.
15. After 20 minutes reduce heat to 400°F and continue roasting for 10 minutes and move the pan allowing another side to brown.
16. Continue rotating so that all sides can brown and continue to roast for 30 minutes or so until juices run clear.
17. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Tips
• Know your salt and how much to add.
• Use yoghurt if you can’t find buttermilk

Chelo or Tadig (Persian Steamed Rice)

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1 cup basmati rice
• 1 1/4cup water
• ¼ cup canola oil
• 1 tbsp salt
• Turmeric, to taste
• Saffron, to taste
• 3 pats of butter

Assembly
1. Rinse rice a few times until water runs clear.
2. Add water to pot and over medium-high heat boil.
3. Once water has boiled bring temperature down and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. In a small bowl mix, turmeric, saffron, a little water and canola oil and set aside.
5. As rice is steaming bore holes into the rice with the end of a spatula.
6. Pour turmeric saffron mixture over rice.
7. Wipe pats of butter around the edges on the pot and continue to cook.
8. Continue to cook until the bottom on the pan forms a crust.
9. Flip unto a plate and serve.
10. Optional – just flavour the rice with the turmeric and saffron mixture and serve in a bowl.

Tips
• I have never been a fan of burnt rice and as a West-Indian child, I have come across this many a time, so I opted for jus t flavoured rice.

Persian inspired Cauliflower

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 6 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Cauliflower, cut into florets
• 2 tbsp lemon oil
• Sumac, to taste
• Cumin, to taste
• Thyme, to taste
• ¼ pomegranate seeds
• Handful of cilantro, removed from stems
• Pistachios, shelled and chopped
• Pomegranate molasses

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized saucepan, steam cauliflower until just tender as set aside in a bowl.
2. Pour lemon oil, sumac, cumin, thyme into bowl and coat using hands.
3. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, cilantro, pistachios and drizzle with pomegranate molasses.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The chicken was salty and briny and the buttermilk marinated chicken made the chicken so succulent and simple. This was my first time using buttermilk in any of my cooking or baking as I have never understood the concept of sour milk. The Chelo almost Tadig rice was a bright and flavourful and complemented the chicken perfectly. The veggies was a nice addition; but I really hate cauliflower and am still trying to find a way to love it. I could tolerate it in this dish; but I will swap it out next time for broccoli or Romanesco. The pomegranates added a tartness, while the cilantro and pistachios added a lemony and crunchy texture. This is a wonderful complete meal that received comments like “wow look at this feast” and “look so yummy” with those compliments all that time in the kitchen and prepping was very much worth it.

Buttermilk Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Chelo – Candy Coated Culinista

Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

Buttermilk Chicken with Chelo & Persian-Inspired Cauliflower – Candy Coated Culinista

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Garlicky Shrimp & Tequila Lime

Garlicky Shrimp & Tequila Lime – Candy Coated Culinista

What beats a 5 minute shrimp dinner … nothing.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Now & Again

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 pound large shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp silver (blanco) tequila
• Finely grated zest from 1 lime
• 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
• Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Assembly
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan for about 1 ½ minutes over medium-high heat.
2. Once butter has melted add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt, stirring occasionally until opaque about 1 ½ minutes.
4. Pour tequila in and cook until it evaporates, another 1 minute.
5. Turn off heat, add lime zest and juice, and toss.
6. Add cilantro and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a unique recipe and in theory I thought I would love this. I loved my vodka shrimp; but the tequila shrimp I found slightly bitter; but maybe that was just me. Otherwise I enjoyed the simplicity of the recipe. I served mine with some rapini and my salsa potatoes.

Pea Guacamole

Pea Guacamole – Candy Coated Culinista

A controversial idea of adding fresh peas to guacamole; which even had Former President Obama tweeting about how this was a terrible idea.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 3
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark original recipe from Dominic Perri

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of fresh sweet peas
• 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1 large avocado, mashed
• 1 green onion, thinly sliced, whites only
• Zest from 1 lime
• Juice from 1 lime

Assembly
1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
2. Cook peas for 1 minute and shock in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and drain.
3. Using a food processor, puree peas.
4. Add cilantro, salt, avocado, green onion, lime zest and lime juice.
5. Serve with taco’s.

Tips
• Add 1 small jalapeno if desired
• Add 1 tsp toasted sunflower seeds if desired
• Serve with a fried fish taco and avocado taco.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I removed the peppers as I don’t like heat; but I bet this would taste just as wonderful with the jalapeno peppers. To me the addition of peas makes so much sense to guac as it add a complexity, it’s vibrant and fresh and add a much needed added texture to the normal guac. Also it makes the perfect “glue for tacos as the shells stay sealed together. This makes so much more sense to me than the avocado bun; which is very impractical and isn’t a bun. If you can get over the fact that peas are in your guacamole you must give this a try. It extends the life of the dish and adds a touch of something special.

Mango Salad

Mango Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Mango salad has always been a favourite of mine since I first tasted it many years back being surrounded by so many Filipino co-workers. Back then I thought mango salad was only a Filipino thing; but since I have learned it is also a Thai dish and this is the probably the only way you can get me to have chilies in anything I consume.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 mangoes, sliced into match sticks can be green or a little more ripe, your preference
• ¼ red bell pepper, sliced
• ¼ green bell pepper, sliced
• 1/2 medium red onion. Sliced
• Cilantro, handful
• 3 leaves of romaine or a leafy lettuce, chopped
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1 lime
• Sweet Thai chili sauce, to taste

Assembly
1. Prep all the vegetable & fruit and place into a large bowl.
2. Squeeze in lime juice and add sweet chili Thai sauce and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sweet, spicy and full of mangoes; I mean how can you go wrong. Whether you prefer the mango more green or a little more ripe it’s just a great salad with a slight kick.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Meal – Candy Coated Culinista

Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unexpected victory over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. The victory for the Mexican’s was short lived; but for this day they could celebrate a victory and they did. This is celebrated mainly in the U.S. & Mexico; but other countries around the world like to partake in this day like Canada, the Caribbean and even other countries further away from Mexico. To celebrate this day in history I ventured into something Mexican.

Yield/Serving: 4 tacos, serves 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time-consuming

Ingredients
Tacos
Shrimp
• 12 shrimp
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Avocado
• 2 ripe but firm avocados
• 1 egg
• Splash of coconut milk
• ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp canola oil
Toppings
• 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
• Handful of spinach
• 6 grape tomatoes, slices lengthwise
• ¼ red bell pepper, diced
• ¼ green bell pepper, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Small piece on red onion, diced
• Small handful of cilantro, rough chop
• Corn kernels from one ear of corn
• 4 corn tortillas
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
• Generous handful of cilantro, stems and all
• ½ of an avocado
• 1 generous table spoon of coconut milk, the solid portion not the watery part
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Few drops of fresh lime juice
• Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp or more
Mango Bean Salad
• 1 large mango, peeled and diced
• 1 dill cucumber, sliced
• ½ red bell pepper, chopped
• ½ green bell pepper, chopped
• 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
• Handful cilantro, chopped
• ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cloves garlic
• Corn kernels fresh from ear of corn
• ½ freshly squeezed lime juice
• Kosher salt, to taste
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
• ½ of a cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
• Tiny piece of ginger, finely chopped
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed
• 6 cubes of ice
• Cilantro, for garnish

Assembly
Tacos
Shrimp
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add olive oil and season shrimp with spices add garlic and cook.
2. Let drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Avocado
1. Using a medium sized frying pan over medium heat add canola oil.
2. Peel two avocados and sliced into pieces. Set one half of an avocado and put into the food processor for the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Wisk egg and milk in a small bowl.
4. In a plate mixed together panko crumbs and spices.
5. Dip avocado into egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs.
6. Fry until each side is a golden brown.
Corn
1. Using a small saucepan, slice corn kernels off and boil until cooked. Then set aside ¼ of the kernels for the tacos and the remainder for the mango bean salad.
Toppings
1. Prepare all the topping and place in a plate and set aside.
Avocado Cilantro Coconut Sauce
1. Blend all the ingredients together adding extra virgin olive oil little by little until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
2. Set aside.
Mango Bean Salad
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and add agave nectar and apple cider vinegar and stir until well combined.
2. Set aside and let marry.
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
1. Place cantaloupe, ginger, lime juice and ice cubes into a blender and blend.
2. Strain off some of the pulp if desired and garnish with cilantro.
Assembly
1. Add toppings onto corn tortillas and place avocado on two tacos and shrimp on the other two tacos.
2. Drizzle with the avocado cilantro coconut sauce.
3. Serve

Tips
• Add a splash of tequila if your feeling festive to the aqua fresca to make it a more adult beverage.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was beyond flavourful and I was super excited to make this from the moment I started and I kept building layers to this as I kept cooking. This took longer than I expected; but there are many different components going into the dish and it makes this a lovely complete meal from beginning to end. The creaminess and crunch of the avocado taco made me not miss the protein. Once again I found another dish where I can up my vegetarian recipes to two or three times a week and not miss the meat. The shrimp taco is a great option for those who still want seafood/meat, as the shrimp was packed with flavour and colour. With the addition of the avocado cilantro coconut sauce it once again added another layer of complexity and it was the usual American salsa. I must say that corn tortillas are the way to go, I highly recommend them to the whole wheat, ancient grain or regular floured tortillas I have tried. They are so much more authentic and if you can find them please give them a try. The bean salad was chocked full of all those Mexican ingredients with the vinegar and agave nectar dressing to add a little sweet and tart aspect. Washing this all down was a mild fruity beverage which didn’t overpower the meal, it was just a lovely compliment. Any vegetarian or pescatarian would be total chuffed to see this for dinner and they were. This is already being requested and I’ll gladly make it again soon and hopefully streamline this recipe down to a hour beginning to end as I like quick weeknight meals.

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Feeling in a Mexican mood, but not in the typical way I thought let me try to make a Mexican inspired soup. With Cinqo de mayo this week I thought a Mexican dish should be made.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Soup
• 5 chicken thighs
• 1 tbsp vegetable olive oil
• Cumin
• Chilli powder
• Cayenne pepper
• Red pepper flakes
• Paprika
• Garlic powder
• Sea salt
• 2 chorizo sausages
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 large green pepper, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 796 ml can of tomatoes, rough chopped
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 4 cups water
• 540 ml black beans
• 540 ml chic peas
• 340 ml corn
• Handful of cilantro, rough chop
• 1 tortillas , cut into strips and fried
Garnish
• Sour cream
• Diced avocado

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat fry chicken thighs and season with cumin, chilli powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt until cooked.
2. In another frying pan over medium-high heat frying chorizo sausages until cooked.
3. Using a large stock pot with a little vegetable oil sauté onion, green pepper and garlic for a minute or two and add in the tomatoes.
4. Add water black beans, chic peas, corn and cook over medium high heat for 60 minutes; stirring occasionally.
5. Shred the chicken and break the chorizo into pieces and add into the stock pot in the last 30 minutes.
6. At the last minute add cilantro.
7. Cut tortilla in small strips and fry until just crispy and put on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
8. Ladle soup into a bowl and add some diced avocado and tortilla pieces and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even though there were lots of spices I found this recipe lacked flavour and I couldn’t get it to be as seasoned as I’d like. Next time I will have to over season to get this to where I want it to be or perhaps I was feeling a little under the weather and the seasoning was fine.

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is:
Easy

Ingredients
• 500g fresh soft Ricotta cheese, water squeezed from it
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme minced
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
• ½ jalapeño, finely diced
• Handful of cilantro, finely diced
• Green onion, sprig of
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl and well combined.
3. Spoon into a fancy baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Tips
• Make sure you squeeze the water from the ricotta cheese.
• Serve with black and green olives, polish sausage, fancy crackers and bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This would be a great appetizer to serve at a party or a fancier snack. I didn’t take into account the water content of the ricotta and once we started eating it I could see some water at the bottom of the dish.

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