Monday, December 30, 2013

Onion dip from The New midwestern Table

I made this for the UT-Auburn tailgate. It's really, really good! I added more cayenne and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Prep Time:30 minInactive Prep Time:10 minCook Time:20 min
8 servings (1 1/2 cups)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
Dash of cayenne pepper

First, clarify the butter so that you can fry the onions at high heat and put a very dark, almost burnt crust on them. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until it foams and browns. Remove from the heat. Tilt the skillet and carefully spoon off the foam, saving it in a small bowl. Pour the clear butter into another bowl, and pour the dark dregs at the bottom of the skillet into the bowl with the foam. Add the clear butter to a larger heavy skillet. (Discard the butter foam and dregs.)

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fry the onions, flipping them now and then, until they're dark on the edges, even black and crispy in spots, about 10 minutes. Add the honey and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vermouth, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Put the sour cream and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until smooth. Finely chop the fried onions on a cutting board and add them, along with their pan juices, to the cream cheese mixture. Stir in the chives. Add the cayenne and season with salt.

Transfer to a small bowl and garnish with more chives. (This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.)

Read more at:,1946,FOOD_9936_725569_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

Pimento cheese and bacon bruschetta from Food and Wine

  1. 2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  2. 2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp orange cheddar cheese
  3. One 7-ounce jar pimientos, drained and finely chopped
  4. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. Cayenne pepper
  8. 40 slices baguette, toasted
  9. 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  1. In a mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the white and orange cheddar cheeses. Add the chopped pimentos, mayonnaise, black pepper and garlic powder; blend at low speed. Season the pimento cheese with cayenne pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° Spread the pimento cheese on the toasts, top with the bacon and bake until the cheese is melted and browned, about 2 minutes. Serve.
MAKE AHEAD The pimento cheese can be prepared through step 1 and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

White chocolate cheesecake with raspberries

This is my sister's recipe via epicurious. I made it yesterday for my book club, and it is stupendous! It looks like the cover of a magazine and tastes incredible.  

Ellen likes to make this with a graham cracker crust, and she adds gran marnier to the batter. Yum! Next time I'll definitely do that. I think that I will also add the grated rind of an orange.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake
18 vanilla wafer cookies
1 cup almonds, toasted
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 large eggs

3/4 cup fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened, thawed, drained

1 8-ounce container sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries or one 1-pint basket strawberries
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place large piece of foil on heavy large baking sheet. Set 8x2-inch bottomless heart-shaped cake pan atop foil. (If unavailable, use 8-inch springform pan; omit foil.) Wrap foil around outside and 1 inch up sides of pan. Butter foil and pan. Finely grind cookies and almonds in processor. Add butter and blend until mixture forms very moist crumbs. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumbs firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

For Filling:
Melt white chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth, stirring often. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peel in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in white chocolate.

Spoon half of batter into crust. Top with 3/4 cup berries. Spoon remaining batter over. Bake until edges of cake are set but center 3 inches still moves when cake is shaken, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature. Using fingertips, press down gently on edges of cheesecake to flatten slightly.

For topping:
Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Spoon over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake 5 minutes. Transfer cake in pan to rack. Run small knife around sides of cake. Cool completely. Chill cake overnight.

Fold down foil along sides of pan. Lift cake pan off cheesecake. Transfer cheesecake to platter, discarding foil. Cover cake with berries. Bring jam to simmer in small saucepan, stirring often. Gently brush jam over berries. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead; chill.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Spinach kootu

A hearty and delicious Indian vegetarian main .  This is from the edible garden.  Here's the link--


Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 20 minutes 
Serves 4

3/4 cup of moong dal (cherupayar, paasi paruppu) 
3 cups of packed, chopped spinach leaves 
1 tomato (optional) 
1/3 cup of grated coconut 
1 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera, jeerakam) 
2 shallots 
1/2 tsp of minced garlic 
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder 
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder 
2 tsp of oil 
1 tsp of mustard seeds 


1. Wash the dal and add to a large cooking pot along with the spinach, chopped tomato (if using), turmeric, and 2 cups of water.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe

2. Simmer until the ingredients are cooked and soft. This takes about 10-12 mins on low flame. If not done, cook longer and add more water if required.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-4

3. Meanwhile, grind together coconut + shallots + garlic + red chilli powder + cumin seeds with some water to a smooth paste.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-2
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-3

4. Add this to the cooked dal mixture along with 1 cup water. Note that if the cooked dal is watery, you can skip adding more.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-5

5. Simmer for another 5-8 mins. Add salt.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-6

6. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add to the cooked kootu. Mix well.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-7

Serve spinach kootu hot with rasam and rice or chapati / roti. You can make this kootu with chana dal (kadala paruppu) too.

Garlic and cumin chicken from Healthy Indian cuisine

I made this tonight, and we both loved it. If you buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs, this is a snap to make. I served it with Basmati rice and spinach kootu.

Garlic and Pepper Chicken


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 to 4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried red chilli pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped lengthwise (optional)


  1. Cut chicken into medium-size pieces. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, red chili pepper, cumin, and fennel seeds.
  3. Add onion and garlic. Saut� for few minutes. Stir in turmeric powder.
  4. Add chicken and ginger to skillet. Cook, covered, over low heat until the chicken is partially cooked.
  5. Add black pepper and cumin powder, salt, curry powder, and cayenne powder. Stir well to coat the chicken with spices. Add about 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook chicken, covered, over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. During the cooking process, stir often to prevent chicken from sticking to the skillet.
  6. Add red onions and stir the chicken.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Rick Bayless' Pork Tinga

This is super easy, delicious, and you don't need a slow cooker.  All the pork butts were huge, so  I bought country style ribs (pork butt cut into thick pieces) and cut them into chunks. I used 2 chipotle chiles and that was plenty. If you don't like your food spicy, use one. Next time, I will also add a tbl of vinegar at the end.  I baked this, covered in the oven at 350 for 3 hours, stirring every hour and adding water if needed.

Pork Tinga with Potatoes, Avocado and Fresh Cheese

 Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from Season 7 Mexico One Plate at a Time


1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 pound lean, boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces chorizo sausage, removed from its casing
4  to 5 medium (about 3/4 pound total) red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4–inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1  28-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles, en adobo, finely chopped (use only 1 if you aren't a spice fan)
4 teaspoons chipotle canning sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
About 1/2 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like salted pressed farmers cheese
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and diced
Warm corn tortillas


Heat the oil in a stovetop-rated slow cooker liner over medium-high heat.  (If your slow cooker liner isn’t made from a material that can be used on a stovetop, use a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet.)  Once the oil is very hot, add the pork and chorizo in an single layer and cook, stirring until the meat has browned, about  6 to 8 minutes.  Turn off the heat and if you’re using a skillet, transfer the meat and its juices into the slow cooker.  Add the potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Pour mixture into the slow cooker and stir to mix thoroughly.  Cook for 6 hours at the highest temperature.   

After six hours, gently stir the tinga.  If the sauce seems too thick, stir in a little water.  Taste, and season with salt if you think the dish needs it.   Scoop into a large bowl, sprinkle with the fresh cheese and diced avocado, and serve with warm tortillas. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Epicurious' Chicken Tikka Masala

I made this tonight with a few changes. First, I pan sauteed the chicken until nice and brown. Then, I removed it, wiped out the skillet and made the sauce.  I only used about 1 tbl of butter and 1 tbl of olive oil for the sauce. Also, i replaced the cream with full fat yoghurt, and i added 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp cayenne. I may add 1 1/2 tsp cayenne next time cause it wasn't real spicy.  I liked this a lot, but Jim wasn't a big fan.

For the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 to 4 breast halves total)
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika ot cayenne if you like it hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1-inch piece)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups canned tomato purée (see Cook's Notes for a fresh-tomato alternative)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional sprigs for garnish
For serving:
  • Equipment:Meat mallet or rolling pin, Microplane


Marinate the chicken:
Use a fork to prick the chicken breasts all over on both sides. Arrange the chicken breasts on a large sheet of plastic wrap, spacing them apart from one another, then cover with a second large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, beat the chicken until the breasts are an even 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, lime juice, and garlic. Add the pounded chicken, and rub the marinade over the meat. Set the chicken aside while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, and grated ginger. In a heavy, wide 4-quart pot or sauté pan over moderately high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until light brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. (Note that because they are sautéed so quickly over moderately high heat, the onions will not caramelize evenly.) Reduce the heat to moderate then stir in the spice and ginger mixture. Add the tomato purée, water, heavy cream, and salt, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to gently simmer the sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD: The sauce can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 3 days.

While sauce is simmering, cook chicken:
Heat a heavy 11- to 12-inch griddle or skillet over moderately high heat until very hot and add 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil. Working in two batches, cook the chicken breasts, turning them a few times and lowering the heat if the chicken chars too quickly, until just cooked through and browned well on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the chicken as cooked to a cutting board. Wipe the griddle or skillet clean with a paper towel and cook the remaining chicken, adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil between batches.

When all the chicken is cooked, cut it into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Add the chicken to the simmering sauce and continue to gently simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the black pepper and chopped cilantro, and season with salt. DO AHEAD: Chicken tikka masala can be prepared ahead, cooled, uncovered, and refrigerated, covered, up to 3 days.

To serve:
Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and garnish with additional cilantro sprigs. Serve with naan, and/or if desired with Basmati Rice .

cook's notes:•If you prefer to make the sauce with fresh tomatoes, chop 1 pound fresh tomatoes and purée them, including the skins and seeds, in a blender with 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 3/4 teaspoon sugar. When using fresh tomatoes, omit the 3/4 cup water from the recipe. 

•If you are really short on time, substitute the meat from a rotisserie chicken.

Read More

Aarti's Chicken Tika Masala


1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
3 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 3 cloves garlic put through a garlic press or finely minced)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced)
2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don't want it spicy)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 cups water
Oil, for grilling
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving
For the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator up to overnight.

For the sauce: When you're ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the Ginger-Garlic Paste and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.

Meanwhile, fire up your grill. When it is nice and hot, lightly brush it with oil. Place the chicken on the grill, shaking off some of the excess marinade. Cook until it's charred, about 2 minutes on each side. (Don't worry that the chicken will still be a little uncooked, it finishes cooking in the sauce).

Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the chicken and fenugreek leaves, if using. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil
Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.

Save what you don't use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It's a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc. We always had a jar of this stuff in our fridge growing up.

Read more at:,1946,FOOD_9936_531774_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joe's chili cookoff chili

Last night our friends, Joe and Mary Beth, came over so that Joe and I could make some great chili for his office's yearly chili competition. Here's the "recipe". We didn't measure the spices--just added til it tasted good. We made a ton, so you might want to cut this in half.

2 lbs ground buffalo (or lean ground beef)
1 lb ground beef, course ground
1 lb Mexican chorizo
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
3 large onions, chopped
2 large poblano chiles, deseeded and chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
1 1/2 bags kidney beans or red beans, pre-cooked
3 cans tomato paste
2 large cans whole tomatoes, pureed

4 bay leaves
Paprika ~ 4 tbl
Cumin ~ 1tbl
Smoked paprika ~ 1 tbl
Mexican oregano ~1 tbl

Ancho chile powder ~ 1 tbl
Guajillo chile powder ~ 1 tbl
Chipotle chile powder ~ 1 1/2 tsp

Salt and black pepper to taste

To precook beans
1/2 onion
2 slices bacon
1/2 banana pepper
Bay leaf
Salt to taste

Soak the beans overnight. Drain, rinse, add fresh water to cover beans and all the other  ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are just tender. Discard the onion, bay leaf and banana pepper. The beans willfinish cooking in the chili.

For the chili
Saute chopped bacon until the fat is rendered. Add all the meats, season with some paprika, cumin, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, ancho, guajillo, and chipotle, salt, and pepper and cook until no longer pink.  Remove some of the fat if necessary. Add onions, garlic, and poblanos and saute til onion is translucent. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaves. Taste and season again with some paprika, cumin, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, ancho, guajillo, and chipotle, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover but leave lid ajar, and simmer for 1-2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally and don't let it burn.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Indian style stir-fry broccoli

1-2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl garlic, grated
1-2 tsp ginger,grated
1/2 - 1 tsp garam masala
1 shallot or half a red onion, diced fine
3 cups broccoli florets
Salt to taste
1/4 cup water
Juice of half a lemon

Heat oil in skillet or wok.  Add ginger, garlic, and garam masala, sauteing. Add onion, shallots and saute til translucent.  Add broccoli and 1/2 tsp salt, and saute til broccoli is coated with seasonings.  Add water, cover, and cook til broccoli is tender. Remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice and stir. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bistec con cebolla y tomate (beef steak a la Mexicana)

Serves 3

1 1/3 lb top round steak or chuck steak
Goya Adobo seasoning
Black pepper
Flour to dust steak
2-3 tbl olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 fat garlic cloves, diced fine
1-2 banana peppers, diced (if you want some heat, leave the seeds in)
1 can petite diced tomatoes or 2-3 fresh, diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tbl red wine vinegar

Season steak with adobo and pepper and garlic. Pound thin and dust with flour. Heat olive oil in skillet and brown steaks on both sides. Remove steaks and add onion and peppers, sauteing until wilted.  Add tomatoes, oregano, cumin, and vinegar. Add steaks back to pan, cover, lower heat and cook until steaks are tender and sauce reduced--1 - 1 1/2 hours.  Serve with rice and a salad.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Creamy Chocolate Bourbon Pie

This recipe originally came from Cajun-Creole Cooking. I've changed a few things, but it is essentially a riff on grasshopper or pink squirrel pie. It's easy and delicious. I made a chocolate cookie crust, but store-bought crust would do in a pinch.

Preheat oven to 350

Chocolate crust
1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (I use the Nabisco chocolate wafers that are always with the ice cream toppings
1 tbl sugar
3 tbl melted butter
I like to melt the butter in my glass pie plate, then mix in the crumbs and sugar. Pat into bottom and sides, and bake 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

25 large marshmallows (1 large marshmallow = 13 mini-marshmallows)
2/3 cup light cream or evaporated milk
3-4 tbl Bourbon
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Melt marshmallow and light cream in microwave stirring often and don't let it boil. Cool slightly and cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Beat heavy cream with bourbon until medium soft peaks form. Fold cooled, toasted pecans and whipped cream into marshmallow mixture. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate 4 hours.

Top with grated chocolate.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Curry Meatballs from Food Network

 II made this tonight, and it is delicious. Jim and I both loved it, and it's really easy. The sauce was sooo good. I think that you could use it on chicken or vegetables and it would be great. Next time, I will increase the cayenne in the curry recipe to make it spicier. I also think that you could make the meatballs smaller and serve this as an appetizer or part of a party buffet.

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time:30 min
4 servings

1 pound ground beef
1 green serrano chile, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
4 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1-inch piece) ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, use 1 tsp if you like it spicy
1 tbl flour, if using low fat coconut milk
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1 (14-ounce can) full-fat coconut milk, I substituted low fat 
Kosher salt

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice (about half a lime)
Serving suggestions: Rice, Indian bread, such as naan or chapatti or spaghetti
For the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, chile, ginger, cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt together using your hands until just combined. (Don't mix any more than this or you'll end up with tough meatballs!) Make 16 balls like this: divide the mixture in half, and then in half again. Take each quarter and divide it into 4 small portions. Roll each portion between your palms until smooth. Set aside and repeat for all 16 meatballs

For the curry: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the coconut oil until nearly smoking. Add the mustard seeds, covering the pan with a lid so you don't get popping seeds all over you.

When the spluttering subsides, add the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook until golden brown. Then add the ground coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, and flour(if using low fat coconut milk). Stir, and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk,  1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the meatballs. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. When meatballs are done, remove them to serving dish. If your sauce isn't thick enough, turn up the heat and reduce. Taste for salt and add more if needed.  Pour over meatballs. 
Add the cilantro and lime juice. Shake the pan gently to mix them in, and then taste for seasoning. Serve over rice, with Indian bread (naan or chapati) 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chicken Biryani

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon cayenne 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
pieces cut into chunks
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pinch powdered saffron
5 pods cardamom
3 whole cloves
1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1.In a large skillet, in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee) fry potatoes until brown, drain and reserve the potatoes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and golden. Add chili, pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add yogurt, mint, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.
2.When the mixture is thick and smooth, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture. Cover and cook over very low heat until the chicken is tender, approximately 35 to 45 minutes. There should only be a little very thick gravy left when chicken is finished cooking. If necessary cook uncovered for a few minutes to reduce the gravy.
3.Wash rice well and drain in colander for at least 30 minutes. 

In a large skillet, fry onions in oil til golden. Add saffron, cardomom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, and rice. Stir until rice is coated with spices. Heat chicken stock and salt and pour over rice. Stir well.  Add the chicken mixture and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover saucepan, reduce heat, and cook 20 minutes. Serve.