De Ma Cuisine

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January 2014



A Little Like Paris – Chicken and Rice Casserole

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Gluten Free, Inspired By, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Poultry, Rice, Sides, Travel, Vegetables

Chicken-and-Rice-Casserole-3We were in Paris in November. (I will never get tired of remembering that we went to Paris.) In Paris, we had some of the most wonderful food. Ever.

One of the dishes was at a café by the marché aux puces (flea market) called Café Le Paul Bert. We had the most phenomenal dish of chicken, rice, and veggies. It was the creamiest, dreamiest chicken and rice I could ever imagine. It was one of the dishes I most wanted to duplicate upon our return (third on my list of “musts” – after baguettes, which I have now successfully made, and our meal at Au Bon Coin – I have almost mastered the potatoes, but have yet to make the full meal).


I don’t know exactly what it is about this dish. It seems like a pretty simple concept. It’s just chicken, rice, and veggies. Buuuut, there’s a whole lot more to it. There has to be, right?


When I made it, about two weeks after we’d returned, I was surprised by how much it tasted like our beloved Paris dish. And I think I may have accidentally discovered the secret: almond milk. I’d been drinking a little more almond milk and a little less cow’s milk lately. Just kinda to see if I like it. At first I did not. At all. But it’s growing on me. One way that I have always enjoyed it is in cooking (same with coconut milk). I use it in soups, oatmeal, even cornbread.

I haven’t made this dish using cow’s milk, so I don’t actually know if the almond milk made it taste so much like our Paris dish. But, it’s more fun to think that I accidentally made something amazing than to just borringly have done it on purpose.

I’d originally called this Drunken Chicken Casserole, because there’s a cup of wine in it. A tribute to the wine drunk with lunches and dinners in Paris. However, this could be made using vegetable or chicken stock and I’m sure it would taste great too.




Let’s talk about the veggies. I used carrots because they were in the Paris dish, and because I had them in the fridge. I used broccoli because it needed to be used. If I’d wanted to try to replicate it more exactly, I would have used carrots and leeks. But, I’m more of a “cook with what I have” kinda cooker, so yeah… You could use whatever veggies you like with chicken and rice. Cauliflower wouldn’t add much to the look of the dish, but it would taste great. Spinach would be yummy. Peas would be fun. Green onions would add a pop of color and a nice flavor. If you wanted to make this sans chicken, you could make it with fennel, carrots, and some mahi mahi. Have a look in your produce drawer. What looks good?

Aaaand now I’m super hungry.

Happy Eating!

Chicken and Rice Casserole
Recipe Type: cheese, dinner, gluten-free, inspired by, kid-friendly, leftovers, lunch, main dishes, meat, poultry, rice, sides, travel, vegetables
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
One of our favorite dishes from our time in Paris, recreated at home.
  • 1 t unsalted butter
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1 C white wine (or vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 1 C cold water
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into long slices
  • water (for steaming)
  • 1 C chicken, cooked and chopped – I used leftovers
  • 1 C almond milk
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, pepper
  • 1/4 C cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese, shredded
  1. Cook rice in water and wine according to package directions (about 35-45 minutes), adding more liquid if needed.
  2. Add water to a pot with a steamer basket, place carrots and broccoli to the steamer. Steam until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes or so (you could add carrots first and broccoli halfway through, since it will take a bit less time to cook). (Save steamer water and freeze, to use at a later time as vegetable stock.)
  3. When rice is done, add chicken, milk, veggies, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is heated through and the milk has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.




October 2011



For Oma and Her Borscht – Beet and Beef Borscht

Written by , Posted in Beef, Dinner, Gluten Free, Inspired By, Legacy, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, One Dish Dinners, Potatoes, Soups, Vegetables


This post is for my Oma, who will probably never read it, as I’m quite certain that she’s not online.

My Oma is a wonderful cook. She’s one of the best, in my opinion. When we were little and we’d go to visit, she would have Chicken Noodle Soup for those of us who hadn’t yet discovered the wonders of Borscht. I didn’t know what I was missing! Her Borscht is amazing! She has two different kinds: Beef Borscht (I don’t know if that’s the real title, it might also be called Winter Borscht) and Sommer Borscht (pronounced like Zumma). I had the Sommer Borscht recently for the first time and it’s oh so good. She also makes Zwieback (the buns being made by me in the above photo), which I have memories of making with her as a small girl. I’ve made them since, as a grownup, and while they’re not quite the same, they’re pretty good (I have her Zwieback recipe, in her handwriting, so they’re as close as they can get!).


Oma’s Borscht is made differently than mine, but they’re the same idea. A meat and potatoes soup that has a dollop of sour cream on top. I make mine with beets (which I’m told she doesn’t) and she makes hers with dill (which I don’t). There may be other variances too, but those are the main ones.

I think Borscht came from a time where people used what they had out of necessity. I used what I had (beets) because I wanted to (and because it’s the only way we like beets in our house). This is how I normally cook, and why most of my recipes are uniquely my own. Some are inspired by a magazine, a blog, a cookbook. Others are concocted by standing in front of the pantry cupboards, or the fridge with the door open (I used to get in trouble for this as a kid) summoning my creative culinary skills to create something delicious. Either way, I’m often inspired to use things that we already have, often that have come in our Abundant Harvest Organics produce box, in a fresh, creative way.

I’ve made Borscht many times before, but until recently, had never written it down. So, here’s my most recent version, probably slightly different from any other, but good none-the-less.

Happy Eating!

Beet and Beef Borscht

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 17 minutes

Yield: 4

Beet and Beef Borscht


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 lb. (stewing) beef*
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 lg. or 8 sm. radishes, chopped (opt.)
  • 3 med. - lg. potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 sm. beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 T (or more) red wine vinegar
  • 1 C crushed tomatoes
  • 2 - 4 C water
  • 4 C beef (or chicken, or vegetable) stock*
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 C cabbage, chopped
  • Greek yogurt (for topping)


  1. Heat soup pot. Add olive oil, then beef. Cook beef 3 - 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots through beets, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the vinegar, to deglaze the pan, cook about 1 minute more.
  3. Add tomatoes, water, stock. salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 1-2 hours, adding the cabbage in the last 30 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve topped with yogurt.


*To make it vegetarian, omit beef, and use vegetable stock.