The Classics: Chicken Vegetable Soup and Walking Pneumonia

I am lucky to travel the world on tour with Beyonce. However, every single time I come home I manage to get sick. It’s no surprise seeing as how many time zones and parts of the world we go through in such little time. This time it’s walking pneumonia, which is just a fabulous stroll in the park.. not. The ONLY cool thing about it, is it makes me sound like a walking zombie..which is OK in my book since I’ve been addicted to “Plants vs Zombies” (it’s a game) thanks to my Rie Chan, Rie Tsuji.

Anywho, I’m making a classic Chicken Vegetable Soup today loaded with garlic and fresh veggies and herbs to combat the zombie germs inside me..

  • 4 large carrots roughly chopped into chunks (same size)
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 3 lbs skinless chicken bone in (thighs and drumsticks)
  • handful fresh thyme
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

This is so easy to make (Thank God, since lifting a wooden spoon feels like a workout at this point). Combine all ingredients in a large pot with the exception of salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Fill with cold water until it reaches just above the ingredients. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until chicken falls off the bone. Remove chicken, remove all the bones. Add chicken back in. Season with salt, pepper. Serve. This takes about an hour.

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Let’s not forget to add a little hot sauce if you feel like an extra kick. Mine is super hot and made with cachaca from Belo Horizonte, Brazil..
 

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See you, Australia! Hello, Fish Tacos and home!

Thank you so much Australia and New Zealand! It was yet another incredible leg of the Mrs Carter Show with Beyonce. I can’t wait to visit again, but dang what a long flight! I just got back last night after traveling for 30 hours and to my surprise I was actually able to sleep through the night and so far, (thank goodness) I’m not really that jet lagged! (*knocks on wood*)

I hit the ground running back in New York, running errands and taking care of business today. I went super market hopping today (one of my favorite past times), lugging around my brand new mortar and pestle from Sur La Table, picking up a whole bunch of ingredients for some upcoming recipes.. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen after being away from mine for a month! The first thing that popped into my head was fish tacos with a homemade sweet chili sauce. The tacos are light and fun and the chili sauce is sweet, zingy, and packs a serious punch.. Kind of like the perfect track to pair up with this recipe.. Christian McBride’s “I’m Coming Home” from his “Family Affair” album. It just seems oh so fitting.

Check it out!

You’re going to need a mortar and pestle for this. If you don’t have one, it’s seriously a great investment for the kitchen. Great for grinding up spices, making pesto, guacamole, and much more. (Mine was $25 from Sur La Table)

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Recipe makes 4 tacos

Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • 2 red chilis deseeded and chopped (see Adi’s Tips below)
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed and peeled
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

Method

Combine chilis, garlic, sugar, and salt in mortar and grind with pestle until smoothish. Stir in olive oil, vinegar, lime, onions, and cilantro. Taste. Season accordingly.

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For the Fish:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb firm white fish (I used 2 basa fillets)
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Black pepper
  • Shredded radicchio
  • 1 small red onion sliced finely
  • Squeeze of lime
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • any other garnishments you like

Warm tortillas in a 300 degree F oven while fish cooks. In a pan large enough to fit the fillets of fish, heat olive oil over medium high. Season fish on both sides. Place in pan lying the fish down away from you so the oil doesn’t splash you. The fish should sizzle, if it doesn’t you need to wait longer for the olive oil to heat up. Cook fish 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip for an additional 1-2 minutes. Once cooked through, cut fillets into 4 servings and construct tacos with sweet chili sauce, radicchio, onion, and lime.

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Can you tell how excited I am to be home and cooking again!? haha

*Adi’s Tips: 

  • In order to de-seed a chili pepper you can pretend you’re the most killin’ drummer on the face of the planet and they are your drum sticks and jam out on your kitchen counter. (I’m serious) By tapping the pepper against a surface you release all the seeds, so once you cut the top off they will all pour out.
  • If your fingers start to burn because of touching the inside of the pepper rinse them with lemon juice. It’ll relieve the burn.

You can improvise:

  • Experiment with different garnishes like cabbage instead of radicchio, or by adding sour cream or guacamole, etc.
  • Use a different type of fish
  • Bread the fish with japanese bread crumbs by first dredging it in beaten eggs, flour, and then panko bread crumbs, then sear.

Stay tuned for more recipes! I’ll be cooking and playing up a storm the next 2 and a half weeks!

Packing snack: Mango chili and lime!

My goal by the end of this world tour is to be able to pack my suit case within 15 minutes flat or less. I’ve literally been packing all day, and I don’t know why I just don’t bring sweats and ‘Mrs Carter Show’ tees because there’s a little voice in my head saying.. “everyday you are just going to be inside of a chilly arena.. it doesn’t matter how warm it is outside, because most of the time you’ll be in the venue or trying to catch up on sleep” But yet my suitcase is bursting open at the weight of 50.4 lbs. I really hope I get a nice baggage person who lets that .4 lbs slide (ya hear me?.. because Mr Bear is coming with me.)

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Anywho, all this packing and preparing for a month in South America with Beyonce has made me hungry.

Introducing (dun da da dun gun gaaaahhhhhh!)…

My Afternoon Packing Snack: Mango spears dipped in lime juice and chili powder

This is my version of mango (or papaya) on a stick.. something you might find in Mexico, or S. America, or some Asian countries. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, sour, and salty.. Your taste buds won’t even know what to think. For one specific part of my audience (who i’m thinking of..) I know you’re saying, “She’s nuts. This isn’t a thing”. Well, open your minds folks and give it a try. You might like something new. 🙂 I say that with love, of course.

It’s quite simple.

What you need:

  • 1 mango peeled and cut into spears
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • chili powder (I like ancho, and the spicy stuff)
  • pinch of salt

I like to go heavy on the chili powder so I literally sprinkle the mango spears with a tiny bit of sea salt, dip one end into lime juice then dip it into chili powder. If you aren’t “Adventure Ad” over here and you want to ease into it.. Sprinkle the mango with salt and chili powder, and drizzle with lime juice.

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Back to work. See you soon, Brasil!

 

Sookk and a clip of my favorite cooking show!

Looking for a great lunch spot on the upper west side, NYC? How’s starting at $7? Meet Sookk!

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So here’s what you get!

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Veggie soup: light and simple, filled with crunchy cabbage, carrots, and onion. Next up:

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An appetizer and entree. Shown on top is the veggie dumplings and thai basil noodles (super spicy!) and below is my favorite salad (not because of iceberg lettuce but for the peanut dressing) and the spicy yaowarat noodles with mok duck! I’m a peanut lover and this dressing is so yummy, I even bought some in a togo container to take home. Some of my other favorite dishes are the massaman curry (with lotus seeds!), pad thai, and kai yud sai! Kai yud sai is an item that they have for brunch.. it’s an egg white omelette filled with minced chicken, pepper, onions, and a delicious brown sauce). Ok, ok I know it looks good so far.. especially for $7, but the best part is coming up!

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One scoop of coconut ice cream with little peanut crunchies on top! That seals the deal for me. For this one, they must have my favorite chef back in the kitchen:

coconurt ice cream anyone? 🙂 I would like everyone to take note of the saxophone playing in the theme song. It really sets the mood for our favorite swedish chef. I forgot to mention the kind of music they play in the restaurant. Think, house music, mixed with midi trombones and baritone saxophones, which makes it kind of comical for my boyfriend and I. But hey, I like to think of it as expanding our musical horizons. :p

Overall, this has been one of my favorite spots for the past 5 years. Sookk is located on Broadway between West 102nd and 103rd st. Next time you’re on the upper west side, be sure check it out!

Good morning! Smoothie diaries..

Good morning all!

I’m one of those people that practically rolls out of bed and eats breakfast, which usually consists of a smoothie of some kind. It’s the perfect thing to get me going and take on the day! This morning’s smoothie was very simple.

Yield: 1 serving

What you need:

  • 2 kiwis (skin cut off)
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • *1 tbsp flax seeds

*Flax seeds are a pure and natural source of Omega-3, Lignans, Fiber, Trace vitamins and minerals, and amino acids! They’re great added into smoothies, yogurts, cereal, baking, whatever! They don’t really have a taste at all.

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First things first, since you are getting ready to seize the day, you “Better Go” and play this while you’re preparing your smoothie!

That’s Ben Webster and Sweets Edison from “Ben and Sweets” The track is called “Better Go”. I’m a fan of anything that makes me dance. Between Ben and Sweets and this sweet berry smoothie this day is starting off on the right foot!

Add all of your ingredients into your blender and go! Don’t be afraid to improvise on this one by:

  • substituting your favorite frozen fruit
  • Throwing in an apple
  • subbing OJ or another juice for the coconut water..

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Have a great day!!

A