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.