I am excited because today I get to share with you some of my favorite things. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Ok, so not really (though I do think water drops on bell peppers, eggplants, AND roses are beautiful). More like some of my favorite kitchen things. Like garlic, ginger, lemon, cilantro, caramelized onions and…
Crock pots. They are beautiful things. I have been on the fence about them for years, but, I have officially decided I just had a few too many bland crock pot meals and blamed it on the innocent slow cooker. So, yeah. I am finally getting to the point where I can say…that thing rocks. I can put food in it, and come back hours later to it hot and ready to eat. That’s what all the moms have been trying to tell me about.
At some point I will break away from the chicken thigh path and try something new, but in the mean time I simply plan on enjoying the variations of this “rut.” Such as this shredded chicken recipe with pomegranate, and TONS of ginger.
Speaking of pomegranate, that breaks me to another thing I love, Pomegranate Molasses. Have you tried that stuff? It is phenomenal, in a pucker it up before smiling sort of way. You don’t want to over do it, but a bit goes a far way to add some unique tartness to this recipe.
To counteract the tartness though, you need a bit of sweet. Such as honey. My all time favorite sweetener. Sure, I use dates and sucanat and other natural sweeteners (sometimes even sugar :D) but honey stands out as my sweetener of choice. It’s hard to get more natural than that! Plus, it is always so beautifully golden and deliciously honey-y.
Who can forget the base of this recipe, the sweet potatoes? I have mentioned before, on my post about Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Apple Hash how much our family likes sweet potatoes, but there is another reason I have a warm spot for them. My three year old daughter loves them. She is the one that is hardest to feed, and it is so sad sometimes when she feels left out.
She and her brother were talking about the foods that “hurt her tummy” (gluten, dairy, corn, soy) and she pipped up “sweet potatoes don’t hurt my belly!” Since then every time she seems them she squeals and begs to cook them. She knows how to wash, and poke them, and has earned the job of official baked sweet potato prepper.
Between the honey, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onion you need something tart again. That brings me to one of the coolest things in this assemblage. Whipped tahini — that stuff is so fun guys.
I realized some of the creamy potential of tahini when I made the creamy tahini dressing for my chickpea salad. But, this goes above and beyond that. It is creamier then I ever imagined it could be.
How do you turn tahini from a pourable seed butter to a super creamy topping? By stirring in water. It is so simple, and almost magical. I also add in lemon juice for flavor and some olive oil for even more creaminess.
It is made extra cool because at first it looks like it curdles, and then you just whip more and more in until it fluffs up. Tasty as it is, I could make it just to see the transformation.
Last but not least there is Garam Marasala. Seeing as how I have only recently tried this delicious Indian spice mixture I can hardly call it one of my favorite things, but I am really questioning why I have not tried it before! It is delicious. It registers more on the sweet site of spice mixtures, which I love, but also with a distinct savoriness to them.
I did not grow up with spices, so I am still in awe of them as I get to know new ones/combinations. So, pardon me if this is too dramatic “GARAM MARSALA IS AMAZING!”
- For The Crock Pot:
- 2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons garam marsala
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- For adding later:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1½ tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- Juice of one small lemon (~2 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup raisins (optional)
- For serving:
- 6 medium sized sweet potatoes, baked*
- Caramelized onions**
- Whipped Tahini (recipe below)
- Cilantro (optional)
- Additional Pomegranate Molasses (optional)
- *I do this by washing and poking with a fork. I bake at 375 for about 1 - 1:30 hours depending on the size.
- **Here is a method I have used in the past to make caramelizing onions easy.
- Put the "for the crock pot" ingredients in the crock pot. Stir around to coat the chicken with the spices and ginger. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred the chicken right in the crock pot and add the "for adding later" ingredients.
- Before piling the sweet potatoes with the goodies very lightly salt and smash the flesh a bit with a fork to make eating easier. Top with the goodies, including an additional drizzle of pomegranate molasses if you like it tart (I do).
Recipe for Whipped Tahini adapted from here
- ⅓ cup tahini (the creamier it is the better)
- Approximately ⅓ cup of cold water
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Mix the tahini, salt, lemon juice, and garlic together. Stir in the water the water with a fork, about a teaspoon at a time, until it goes from looking curdled to very creamy and light. Stir in the olive oil.
Savoring Saturdays @ Raia’s Recipes
Mouth Watering Mondays @ A Southern Fairytale
Fat Tuesday @ Real Food Forager
Hearth & Soul @ 21st Century Housewife
Gluten Free Wednesday @ The Gluten Free Homemaker
F ight Back Friday @ Real Food Renegade