Harissa and Date Pan Chicken - The Clean Gourmet

Harissa and Date Pan Chicken

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Spicy and a little sweet, this is a meal for two that requires little chopping and prep.  It’s a beautiful date night (no pun intended) meal for the novice cook looking to impress ;).

Serve it over polenta, as I have here, or mashed Yukon potatoes.  The total active cooking time for the chicken is about 15 minutes, so I recommend getting the polenta or mashed potatoes going before you begin prep for cooking the chicken (unless you’re using instant polenta).  Even more fool-proof, simply serve with a hunk of crusty bread and a side salad.

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Harissa and Date Pan Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise, against the grain

1 1/2 tablespoons (a.k.a. 4 1/2 teaspoons) harissa paste

1/2 tablespoon (a.k.a. 1 1/2 teaspoons) avocado oil or olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 beefsteak tomato, quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 medjool date or 3 deglet noor dates, finely chopped

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/4 cup picked fresh parsley, minced

salt and black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Marinate the chicken in harissa paste 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Heat a large pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.  Toss the marinated chicken with the oil and sear in pan, about 5 minutes.

Flip chicken thighs and arrange in a concentric circle towards the edges of the pan.  Add garlic, tomato, and dates to the middle of the pan and cook, tossing frequently, for about 5 minutes while the chicken sears.

Reduce heat to medium and begin to toss the chicken with the tomatoes, which should be breaking down.  Add sherry vinegar, parsley, salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper and cook an additional 5-6 minutes, until the thighs are cooked through and the tomato has fully broken down.

Serve over polenta or mashed potatoes and be sure to include some sautéed greens or a leafy green salad to make it a complete meal.


Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

If you have tons of tomatoes, this is a great way to preserve them.  I make this sauce every August/September when I’m drowning in tomatoes and peppers, picked ripe from local vines.  None may go to waste!
Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Simmering tomatoes with olive oil makes the naturally occurring lycopene and carotenoids much more available for absorption by the body.  The longer, the better!

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Use this as a dipping sauce, pasta sauce or eat is alone as a soup.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce:

Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

1 red bell pepper

1 tablespoon high quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (include skins and guts)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 turns black pepper

1/2 cup creamy homemade almond milk or walnut milk (whole milk if you’re okay with dairy)

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Start by roasting your pepper:  Place pepper on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in your broiler.  Once you see dark browning/blackening, turn the pepper and repeat once or twice until blackened all over (should take about 10 minutes per side).  Remove pepper from oven and place in closed paper bag or covered bowl for 15 minutes to steam.  Remove blackened skins.

Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan until golden.  Add roasted pepper, tomatoes and salt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered.

Blend simmered ingredients on high in blender until smooth.  Add nut milk and black pepper.  Continue to purée until silky smooth.  Transfer to a container or bowl and stir in basil.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet


Summer Cold Green Bean Salad

This is a pretty simple salad but I thought I’d share it anyway.  You can easily play with this by adding things like walnuts, goat cheese or olives.  I’ve kept it clean by leaving out oil, but feel free to add some.

The picture is of Version 1, but I thought I’d include the recipe for Version 2 as I did it a while ago and really enjoyed it.

Serves 4

What you need:

10 oz FRESH green beans, ends trimmed

2 heirloom tomatoes, diced

Salt and Pepper

Version 1:

Handful sweet basil, torn into pieces

2 endives, chopped in thirds and leaves separated

Balsamic

Version 2:

Handful fresh dill, minced

1-2 oz goat cheese

Fresh lemon juice

Red wine vinegar

What to do:

Trim green beans and blanch in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes.  Strain and let cool.

While green beans are cooling, put tomatoes in medium-sized bowl and add the acid ingredients (Version 1: balsamic; Version 2: lemon juice and red wine vinegar) and oil, if using.

Once beans are cooled, add to bowl along with endives and basil for Version 1 or goat cheese and dill for Version 2.  Season salt and pepper and toss to coat.

You can either serve immediately or let marinate for a few hours.

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