Posts in "Almond"
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the different living situations I’ve had in the last nine years since I first left home. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been back at home for almost two years or if it’s because my twenty-seventh birthday is just a week away, but either way it has been on my mind a lot.

Living with my parents and my brother has definitely been the most rewarding living situation I’ve ever had, but living with Lish and Jeanelle in our first post collage apartment was one hundred percent the most fun.

We were young, full of ambition and just trying to make our way in the world.

In the morning, we would get ready for work together and in the evening we would eat dinner together.

And one of our main dish components for a large majority of the things was the sun-dried tomato pesto from Trader Joe’s.

We literally had one or two containers on hand at ALL times. It was a requirement.

Which is why I think it is SHOCKING that it took me years to make it myself.

But I finally did, and I’m pretty sure it will be a new Samuels family staple.

You will need…

½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil


1/3 cup salted roasted almonds, roughly chopped


2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped


½ cup olive oil
1 handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by combining the tomatoes, roasted almonds, garlic, basil, and sun-dried tomato oil in the base of a food processor.


Blend until you create a paste.

Season well, with salt and pepper.

While the processor is on, slowly add in the remaining olive oil and blend until completely combined.

Serve as a spread, dip or as a pasta sauce.


Love and Beer Floats
Angela 

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil
1/3 cup salted roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
1 handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by combining the tomatoes, roasted almonds, garlic, basil, and sun-dried tomato oil in the base of a food processor.
Blend until you create a paste.
Season well, with salt and pepper.
While the processor is on, slowly add in the remaining olive oil and blend until completely combined.
Serve as a spread, dip or as a pasta sauce. 
Chicken and Chocolate Mole
After an eventful, work and fun filled four days in Atlanta I’m back at home and back on my computer.

My brand spanking new computer. Well, not completely new. But it has a new frame and a new screen. New, clean, beautiful and not broken. All wins.

And as excited as I am to be back in action, today is a pretty sad day.

Unless you have been living under a rock today, you know about the horrifying bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

As I’m sure most of you are, I’m deeply saddened by the events today. It breaks my heart that people have enough hate and pain in them to hurt other people. You must be in a dark, black hole of a place to inflict that kind of fear in people.

I find it difficult to be faced with a problem with no obvious solution.

So I’m going to do the only thing that I think I can do to help.

Spread light.

And love, and kindness, and fun, and help, and all the other things that pull people out of the darkness and hate.

All that I can do, and probably all you can do is to spread your light.

Say please. And thank you. And open doors for one another. Offer someone else your seat. Or a snack.

It’s really difficult to be upset when everyone around you is being kind.

Part of spreading light for me is sharing. Sharing experiences and sharing food.

So here is something tasty for you to share. Share with family and friends and enjoy the good things in life.

You will need…

5 ancho chiles
3 dried New Mexico chiles


2 dried chiles negros
1/3 cup sesame seeds


5 whole star anise


½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coriander seeds


2 cloves


12 black peppercorns


12 inch cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons raisins


20 whole almonds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 corn tortilla, quartered
5 medium plum tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small onion, quartered
5 cups chicken stock
3 ¼ ounces Mexican chocolate, coarsely chopped


2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 lbs chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by covering all the chile peppers with hot water in a medium bowl and soak them for 30 minutes.

While the pepper are soaking, combine the sesame seeds, anise, cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick in a large skillet.

Toast the seeds and spices over moderate heat, stirring until fragrant. About 2 minutes.


Grind the seeds and spices until they are into a fine powder.

In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the shortening.

Stir in the raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds and tortilla.

Cook the mixture over moderate heat until the almonds are toasted and the raisins are plump. About 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook, turning until the skins are lightly blistered on all sides. About 12 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl with the seeds and almonds.


Add the garlic and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. About 8 minutes.


Transfer the garlic and onions to the bowl with the tomatoes.

Empty the vegetables onto a work surface. Peel the garlic cloves and coarsely chop them along with the onions and tomatoes.


Melt 1 tablespoon of the shortening in the skillet. Stir in the chopped vegetables and the spice powder and cook over moderately high heat until warmed through. About 3 minutes.

Remove the stems and seeds from the now rehydrated chiles and add them to the skillet.

Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the peanut butter.

Partially cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and blend the mixture either with a hand emersion blender or in a food processor. Season the mole with salt and pepper, add in the chocolate and blend until very smooth.


Then in a second large skillet, heat the olive oil till it is very hot.

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and brown the chicken well on both sides. About 4 minutes a side.

Don’t worry about cooking the chicken completely. Just make sure it is well browned.


Add the chicken to the pot of mole and simmer for an additional hour.


When the chicken has simmered for an hour, remove from the mole and place on a cutting board.

Depending on your textural preference either shred or chop the chicken and add it back to the mole sauce.



Serve the chicken and mole hot over rice or in a burrito.


Love and Beer Floats
Angela

Chicken and Chocolate Mole
5 ancho chiles
3 dried New Mexico chiles
2 dried chiles negros
1/3 cup sesame seeds
5 star anise
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cloves
12 black peppercorns
12 inch cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons raisins
20 whole almonds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 corn tortilla, quartered
5 medium plum tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small onion, quartered
5 cups chicken stock
3 ¼ ounces Mexican chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 lbs chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by covering all the chile peppers with hot water in a medium bowl and soak them for 30 minutes.
While the pepper are soaking, combine the sesame seeds, anise, cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick in a large skillet.
Toast the seeds and spices over moderate heat, stirring until fragrant. About 2 minutes.
Grind the seeds and spices until they are into a fine powder.
In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the shortening.
Stir in the raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds and tortilla.
Cook the mixture over moderate heat until the almonds are toasted and the raisins are plump. About 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook, turning until the skins are lightly blistered on all sides. About 12 minutes.
Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl with the seeds and almonds.
Add the garlic and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. About 8 minutes.
Transfer the garlic and onions to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Empty the vegetables onto a work surface. Peel the garlic cloves and coarsely chop them along with the onions and tomatoes.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the shortening in the skillet. Stir in the chopped vegetables and the spice powder and cook over moderately high heat until warmed through. About 3 minutes.
Remove the stems and seeds from the now rehydrated chiles and add them to the skillet.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the peanut butter.
Partially cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and blend the mixture either with a hand emersion blender or in a food processor. Season the mole with salt and pepper, add in the chocolate and blend until very smooth.
Then in a second large skillet, heat the olive oil till it is very hot.
Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and brown the chicken well on both sides. About 4 minutes a side.
Don’t worry about cooking the chicken completely. Just make sure it is well browned.
Add the chicken to the pot of mole and simmer for an additional hour.
When the chicken has simmered for an hour, remove from the mole and place on a cutting board.
Depending on your textural preference either shred or chop the chicken and add it back to the mole sauce.
Serve the chicken and mole hot over rice or in a burrito.