This week’s bounty includes cilantro, scallions, radishes, parsley, strawberries and u-pick English peas.  I’ve never picked a pea; ChefBaby and I are positively pickled with excitement.

If you need an easy recipe to use some lovely cilantro and scallions – and heck, throw a few radishes in, why not; and the peas would also be a great addition – try this Chicken Biriyani we made last night.  In place of the called-for onions, I used my lovely bunch of scallions, finely chopped.  Substituting one (or 2, or 6) item for another in recipes is my favorite way to cook – nothing gives me greater pleasure than using up every last little morsel of tucked-away leftover what-have-you.  A handful of chopped almonds gets tossed in the freezer, and used when I make a dish that would benefit from their crunch but I’m too lazy to chop.  Half an onion, 6 grapes, a quarter cup of chicken stock  – everything usually ends up as part of dinner, or the basis for  a ChefBaby snack.  The way I see it, it’s not just the food you’re saving, it’s the effort – you washed, peeled, chopped, ground, grated, boned or julienned that smidgen of goodness, why let it go to waste??  Then the terrorists win.

Chicken Biriyani
Btw, don’t be afraid of any maybe-not-everyday ingredients – garam masala is a lovely, aromatic Indian spice blend; it isn’t curry-ish or spicy; and you can find it at most local markets (or here.)


Chicken Biriyani

  • 2 teaspoons olive, canola or other mild oil
  • 1 pound skinless – boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used a whole breast from our Chestnut Farms meat CSA, and just took it off the bone)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (or a bunch of CSA scallions)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper – seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (I keep a jar of grated  garlic on hand; it lasts forever, and it’s pleasant tasting and bright, unlike very gross jarred minced garlic)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes, or you can use a 15 oz can of diced & drained)
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 can (14-ounce) less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 lime wedges
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger, garam masala, cumin, salt, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add tomato, rice, raisins, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in cilantro. Sprinkle with almonds; serve with lime wedges.



CSA Week 2, and a super-easy one-dish recipe
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