Balinese Sambal Matah

Many of you may or may not have heard of sambal. Sambal itself is typically a mixture of chilies and a variety of other ingredients making it one really, really good condiment. Most of us are probably aware of the default Asisan sambal oelek, the red condiment found in Asian markets, or in your ethnic aisle at your grocery store, however there are lots of other varieties. Sambal matah is one of those, and it’s a force to be reckoned with. Simple ingredients make this sambal super addicting.

Sambal Matah Recipe
Sambal Matah Recipe

This is what is known as a raw sambal using fresh ingredients such as chilies, shallots, and lemongrass.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 Thai bird’s eye chilies, thinly sliced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, tender parts (near the bottom) only, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (Red Boat or 3 Crab brand)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, warmed until a liquid

That’s it, and trust me when this is all mixed it is a powerhouse of flavor.

Once you have done all of your chopping and slicing, mix everything in a bowl. That’s it.

This sambal matah goes great (in my opinion) with pretty much anything. I’ve even caught myself just eating it by the spoonful. If you love the combination of shallots and chilies, then this will be right up your alley. This sambal is sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long) and serve as a condiment with your favorite dishes throughout the week.

You can find the fish sauce, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves at any of your local Asian markets. Hope you enjoy!

Kiwi Chips

This past summer I was doing my best to get a good intake of fruits, vegetables, and try to heal my body as best as I could. My appetite was there, but typically only in small amounts. Not a bad thing I suppose, but it was not the same as it was in the past. One of the things I was thinking about was how could I get great nutritional blasts with a depleted appetite? I was eating yogurt like it was going out of style, probably more for the probiotic impact, as well as smoothies, but there were those times I simply wanted a snack, and a good one. That’s when that dehydrator came into the game.

As you may know, I recently posted on making apple chips, and those were a huge hit, but when these little kiwi chips hit the table, well, they were like nutritious candy.

Dehydrated Kiwi Chips Recipe
Dehydrated Kiwi Chips Recipe

This recipe is way too simple to make and only takes a few minutes to get the skins removed from the kiwi, and yes there are a couple of different ways to remove the skin.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole kiwis, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • Food dehydrator

Whoa! Yep, pretty much only one ingredient and how awesome is that!

So your options for getting the skins off of the kiwi are up to you. You can use a pairing knife and work your way around the kiwi to remove the skin, or you can cut the ends of the kiwi off, and take a spoon and carefully insert it under the skin, working your way around staying close to the skin and the fruit, and wedge the whole kiwi out that way. It’s up to you.

Once the kiwi is out, cut them into 1/4 inch rounds.

How to dehydrate kiwi
How to dehydrate kiwi

Lay the kiwi onto the dehydrator racks, keeping an inch or so apart. Once all of your kiwi are on the racks, cover, turn it on, and let it go from 5-8 hours. Feel free to touch and feel to the desired texture you are going for. I liked a little spring or chew for that matter, so my time dehydrating was less.

The result is a bunch of not only cool looking kiwi chips, but a chip that is so delicious it’s seriously like candy. The great thing about eating these is knowing how good they are for you. I should really just keep my dehydrator out and on at all times. That thing is not just for beef jerky you know!?

Sopa de Ajo (Bread Soup with Garlic)

Lately I told you that I was making a lot of homemade bread lately.  It was a process that kept me occupied while I fought my time with cancer. I was probably making it so much that my kids were getting slightly bored with the fact that there would be a fresh loaf of bread waiting for them when they got home. Sure, everyone would tear off, or cut off a piece of the bread, swipe it in some softened butter and move along their way, but there were a few times where I was left with too much bread. That’s when the lightbulb went off in my head to use the leftover bread and make a Spanish style soup called sopa de ajo. This is not only a great and tasty soup loaded with flavor, but it is a great use of day old bread!

Sopa de Ajo Recipe
Sopa de Ajo Recipe

I’ll admit that it is not the prettiest of soups but the flavor and simplicity make up for it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 loaf of day old French or country bread, torn into 1 inch pieces, lightly toasted
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of pinot grigio or some version of dry white wine
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
What is not to love about this, right?
Start by heating up your soup pot on medium heat. Add in the oil, then add in the garlic, cooking for a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes, add in the Spanish paprika and give it a good stir. Add in the bread and give another good stir. Keep stirring the bread until it begins to get a little bit of crust on the bread. The day old bread should already be a bit hard but trying to get a little color on it works.
After a few minutes, of cooking that bread, add in the wine, and give that a good stir. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of some of that alcohol, then add in the stock.
Sopa de Ajo Ingredients
Sopa de Ajo Ingredients

Bring the stock to a boil, then drizzle in the beaten eggs, stirring along the way. Cook for a few more minutes, then season with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Taste and season with more salt and pepper should you desire.

Ladle into a soup bowl, and dig in. This sopa de ajo is so comforting. Yes, it’s way too simple, but it is super hearty and a great use of that leftover bread. If you are looking for a great and easy soup, and one that is perfect during these rainy and cold fall days then give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Lately I have been rocking out soups. There is something to be said about a great bowl of soup, and this recipe is one of those. I don’t know about you, but I typically never order soup, or seek out to get soup from any restaurant. I will often times hear my wife say that she had a bowl of soup from work, and I typically never get excited by the sound of that. Not sure why, but it’s true. There is some greatness when it comes to making your own stock, and building aroma and excitement when it comes to homemade. Maybe it’s the smell, or just simply the satisfaction of knowing that you made that pot of soup that you know everyone will be ladling from throughout the day.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my take on chicken soup and one that I probably make about twice a month.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into parts
  • water, to cover the chicken
  • 6 carrots, divided
  • 6 ribs of celery, divided
  • 2 onions, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 head of garlic, lightly smashed, skins removed
  • egg noodles, cooked, optional
  • salt to taste
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, optional

Start by getting a large soup pot on the stove. Add in the chicken, and completely cover with water. This will not only form the base of your stock, but the chicken will be removed later to be added back to finish the soup.

Add in 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, 1 onion, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook for about 3 hours to build your stock. I often times let it go longer as well, depending on the day. Remove any scum that comes to the top during the cooking process.

After 3 hours, remove the chicken pieces to a plate, and let them cool.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients

Strain the stock, or remove any of the remaining vegetables with a large slotted spoon.

Once the chicken is cooled, remove any skin and shred the chicken. Place the chicken back to the soup pot with the stock.

Dice up the remaining carrots, onion, and celery and add to the soup pot. If you are using thyme, add it now. Bring this back to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes or until your desire. Season with salt, taste and adjust any seasoning.

When you are ready to serve, add some cooked noodles to a bowl, and ladle in a generous amount of chicken soup. You want to talk about comfort, and something that I could eat every day, well… this is it. Hope you enjoy!