October 27, 2013

quick and easy

Fast food has become a necessity around here. It probably seems obvious considering babies don't really give off a homemade orecchiette vibe (dumplings - yes!), but that doesn't mean I don't want to eat hand crimped pasta with chunky bolognese sauce, because I do. And after three months of omelet eating I can tell you that omelets do not make a good stand in for homemade pasta goodness, not even when they are stuffed with parmesan cheese. I should have spent the months leading up to Alice's arrival expanding my fast food repertoire instead of making pound cake.

Squint and you might think the curry is fall foliage. No, but really, it's perfect for this fall weather, bright, but also hearty and flavorful. It's so well suited to the season that Zach and I are going to have it again tonight. That makes it three times in one week. You'd think that on a Sunday we would have found a little bit more time to meal plan, but we didn't and although we debated carbonara, another easy meal, this curry is easier because there's less active hands on time. You just wrap it up, stick it in the oven and come back in 17-20minutes...

....just finished said curry and it was delish. I'm glad I got my butt in gear to post this recipe because I think everyone needs it on their fast-food recipe list.

Speaking of fast, I eat so fast these days. Argh. I just never know if Alice is going to whimper and cry so I tend to hoover while I have a chance. It's not a good habit and I desperately need to break it and sloooow the heck down.  

curried chicken, peppers and peas en papillote
Dorie Greenspan Around My French Table
* the recipe in it's original form with my adjustments in parenthesis

2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
12 thin slices red onion halved (I used 1 large shallot)
1/2 red pepper cored seeded and diced (I used an entire red pepper)
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
(I added 1/2 a diced zucchini)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used 1 tablespoon, probably depends on your curry powder)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC

Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper each about 15 inches long.

Slice the chicken into stripes lengthwise and then crosswise in half. Put the chicken in a bowl along with the vegetables, curry powder, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to coat.

Spoon equal amounts of the chicken-veggie mixture on to each piece of parchment paper and fold over and crimp the edges so that no steam can escape. (if you are unfamiliar with the technique you can follow the instructions on Bon Appetit.)

Put the packets on a baking sheet and bake for 17-20minutes.

Zurich is putting on an amazing fall this year. Last year, not so much, but this year has been beautiful and warm and all around lovely. Alice hasn't been taking great naps in her crib so I've taken to wrapping her up in the Moby, where she sleeps soundly, and heading out on long walks.

Also since I'm in a Dorie place of mind I wanted to tell you about an absolutely out of this world cake. It might be my favorite cake. It's a mocha-vanilla-walnut marble cake and it will blow your socks off with it's moist deliciousness. Eat it for breakfast. Eat it for a snack. Eat it for dessert. It doesn't matter when you eat it as long as you eat it.  

And here's a photo of Alice from this afternoon, our little tumblebug, about to show of her newest skill - the roll.  Love her so much I could eat her. Nom nom nommmmm. 


  1. Talley, this sounds brilliant. I've been so busy writing (or at least agonizing about my writing) and TA-ing lately that cooking decent meals has been hard! So thanks for sharing this. We could all do with a few more tricks like this up our sleeves, I think. (I will also have to check out the bundt cake when I have more time. It has been ages since I've made a cake, as Octavian has been pointing out a lot lately!)

    As for rice, I've been having a lot of success lately with Fuchsia Dunlop's method for cooking rice on the stove. After thoroughly rinsing 1 cup of rice in a colander (presumably to wash away excess starch), you put it in a saucepan with 365 ml of water and a bit of salt and then bring it to a boil uncovered. Then, you give it a stir and let it keep boiling and frothing (the water bubbles up in big, soap-like bubbles) until the surface of the rice looks nearly dry and is mottled with little holes from where the water was bubbling up. Then, you cover it and let it cook on low, low heat for about 12 minutes. It's a bit more involved than Uncle Ben's, but makes for nice fluffy and firm rice.

    1. You are so nice to leave a rice recipe for me. I cannot tell you how many pots of mushy rice I've turned out in the last few months. My mom tried to take over the rice cooking while she was here and she ended up making even mushier rice. I'm going to forward this recipe on to her as well. Uncle Ben's is easy and firm, but it's certainly not fluffy.

      Good luck with all that writing and TA-ing. And if you find yourself with time definitely try the cake, it's delicious and would make a well deserved treat for you two.

  2. Talley, I want all of this! The curry, the cake, Alice...nom nom nommmmm is right. So yummy! All of it. No seriously though, sometimes the fastest foods are the best. I am going to try this. I am amazed at how simple and delicious it looks, and it really couldn't be more perfect for this time of year. I think the kiddos would completely enjoy the show of opening a parchment paper baggy at the table...and then they'd throw themselves to the ground upon being steamed. Oh toddlers. Thank you thank you for posting an Alice pic.

    1. I hope you do try and it and that the kiddos like it. It could be like a magic trick. Abrakadabra and dinner is ready. ta-da. Hopefully Ella will make one of her pouty faces. So darn cute.

  3. Sounds delicious ! And what a cutie pie Alice is :-)

  4. Alice!!! So cute! This dinner sounds good and that Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake sounds amazing. Happy Fall!

    1. Happy Fall to you to Darcy! so glad you're back to blogging.

  5. This is so cool. I not only have never even thought of cooking chicken in papillote, but I haven't ever tried this method with just vegetables or fish. But it is like fast food, isn't it? You open up the packet and pour it over rice... sounds almost like one of those frozen pre packaged meal things, only x100 better. Ah, that Dorie Greenspan, she's the best.

    That marbled mocha vanilla walnut bundt cake... bookmarked. Must find a reason to make it, soon.

    And Alice...! What a nice picture. I think I even spot a little stuffed animal mouse next to her? How cute.

  6. Dorie Greenspan really is the best. I can't wait to try that pear tart that you made. heaven. And yes, you just slice the packets and pour it over - ta da - easy as pie! truth be told it's actually way easier than pie. Perhaps a fun dish to try with your French kiddies.