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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Korma

So our guests this weekend pretty much asked me to make Chicken Korma because it was one of their most pleasant Indian memories from England. I decided to test it, since I too love to order chicken korma in restaurants, and why wouldn't I be able to make it myself, anyway? Well, this is the best non vege Indian dish I have made so far.. really!
Blended Marinade:
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece ginger
2 green chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup almonds

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup almonds
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cubed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cardamom pods (or 2 tsp ground cardamom)
6 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp powdered saffron infused in 1 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, to garnish

1. Blend the marinade and mix with chicken. Set aside for 1 hour (I did this earlier in the week and froze)
2. Heat oil in a heavy based pan, add onion, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon and cook until onion is soft. Add the chicken and marinade and fry, stirring until dry.
3. Add the yogurt, tbsp at a time, stirring until absorbed. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
4. Blend remaining almonds, cream, and saffron with infused water and stif into chicken. Check seasoning and simmer 5 more minutes, until chicken is tender.
5. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

I served this with Cauliflower Pachadi, Basmati rice, and Rotis. Probably my best non vege Indian recipe yet!

**recipe from Indian Food Folklore... best Indian recipe book out there!
*** replace the yogurt and cream by nonfat and this is fight food

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Cauliflower Pachadi

See photo here..
This is a very nice twist to cauliflower. Even Eric who "doesn't like cauliflower" loved it (since when does he not like cauliflower? I'd never heard him say that before, and we eat it regularly... men)

1 head cauliflower broken into florets
1/2 cup buttermilk (what is this? I used whole milk)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds (I only had regular, so I used 2 tsp)
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup dried cocout
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
whole greed chilies to garnish
1. Marinate the cauliflower in a bowl with the milk, salt and some pepper and set aside for 2 hours (I did this the night before)
2. Heat oil in a heavy based pan, add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until lightly golden.
3. Add mustard seeds, turmeric and coconut and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring.
4. Stif in the cauliflower with the marinade and water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender.
5. Remove lid, add peas, adjust the seasoning, and stir in cilantro. Increase heat and cook for 3-4 minutes to thicken the sauce. Garnish with whole chilies and serve as a side dish to whatever you desire!

**recipe from Indian Food Folklore... best Indian recipe book out there!

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Fish Chowder Remix

Oh my I did it again! This fish chowder is so easy to make, I added some extra ingredients to make it extra delicious!
Since I didn't have any celery, I scrapped that and added a chopped zucchini, and I DIDN'T drain the corn, so it gave it an extra little sweetness.
I also love how eric thinks he doesn't like soup (he didn't even want to taste it because I gave him home fries) so there's more for me!!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chili Ginger Stir Fry

I'm completely inspired by Chinese and Vietnamese food these days. I NEED to eat things that explode with flavor and that is not your everyday meal, especially since I've been hosting a lot, and people here now expect to eat dishes that are outside the box at my place.
This is my latest creation, completely inspired by what I had on hand and the flavors I was looking to find in my very hungry belly. I have to admit this is the recipe I'm most proud of so far.. mostly because I didn't steal it from anywhere, and it came out perfect!
serves 4
1 1/2 lb chunk of pork, sliced thinly (I found the cheapest cut.. pieces of pork shoulder that I sliced myself)
2 tbsp soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp red chili paste (if you want some kick)
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package Chinese egg noodles (or whatever you want, rice noodles would work too, but I like egg noodles better)
1 zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
4-5 mushrooms, quartered
1 egg, scrambled
whatever else you feel like adding

1. In a heavy based frying pan (or a wok if you have one), heat the oil and cook the meat, adding 1 tbsp soy sauce, the fish sauce, chili paste, and sweet chili sauce. Grate the piece of ginger over the pan and stir, cooking through. Add the mushrooms and cilantro, deglaze with the water and let simmer
2. Follow the instructions on the noodle package to cook the noodles, meanwhile..
3. In another heavy based frying pan, sautee the rest of the vegetables in a little bit of vegetable oil. You want the veggies to be a little crunchy. When the noodles are done, drain and transfer to the veggie pan with 1 tbsp soy sauce. Add the cooked egg and Stir-and-fry.

Eat with chopsticks!
Eric was blown away.. he said it I absolutely had to serve it to company!

*do not use egg noodles if GF

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Makhani

This is a restaurant classic... ah reminds me of the little fast food place on mira mesa blvd in SD.. yum!

1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken cut into pieces
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 large red chilies, deseeded and chopped (I unfortunately omitted this and used 1 tsp red chili paste because my guests are wusses)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp dry-roasted cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
4 tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 can tomato pulp
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the marinade by blending chilies, garlic and cumin seeds, and adding the rest of the marinade ingredients to make a paste. Coat chicken pieces and refridgerate 3 hours. I did this and then froze the chicken with the marinade so that when I actually wanted to make this recipe, I would just defrost the chicken and skip to the actual cooking.
2. Prepare the sauce by simmering the tomato pulp with no added water until it is thick and reduced. Then stir in the butter and some salt and continue to let simmer.
3. In a heavy based frying pan, remove the chicken from their marinade, reserving the marinade and fry them to seal about 5 minutes. Add the marinade and cook until chicken is cooked through.
4. Stir in the cream in the tomato sauce and pour over the chicken. Simmer for 5 more minutes and adjust seasoning.

Serve with basmati rice, chopped cilantro an chilis, and Naan if you can find it (Walmart or Trader Joes)
Needless to say, this one was a real crowd pleaser!
I made some spinach, too

**recipe from Indian Food Folklore... best Indian recipe book out there!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken with tomatoes and chickpeas

4 chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper to season
2 tsp Cumin
1.5 tsp Corriander
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced fruit (apricots or peaches) (Stef, do you have canned fruit? If not, use half cup chopped apricots and add a tbsp of sugar)
3 garlic cloves
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - drained, rinsed
1/4 cup parsley

Easy as 1 - 2 - 3:
1. Pound the chix out and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat EVOO in a skillet. Add cumin, corriander, cayenne. Cook for 1 minute, then add chicken. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side (about 4 minutes/ each side ). Transfer to a plate.

3. Saute Garlic. Stir in tomatoes and fruit with juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Return chicken to skillet and cook covered until heated through (about 10 minutes).

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Chipotle Pork with Mexirice

Ok, I've been craving REAL spicy mexican food (which by the way, you can NOT find here) and so when my dad was here in august, I told him to bring be a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce just in case I had one of those "can't get over it until I get my fix" cravings.
No, I'm not pregnant.
1 lb pork shoulder, cut into cubes
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (I used 1/5 of a 12 oz can)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bell bepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup beer (eh, why not?)
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp EVOO
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup basmati rice
1 cube chicken stock (consommé)
1 tbsp tomato sauce (I used a tube, but you can blend some tomatoes with onion and garlic)
approx 2 cups water
1. Sprinkle the cumin all over the meat and fry in a dutch oven or pressure cooker with EVOO until golden.
2. Add the onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, and adobo/chipotle sauce and the beer. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes or simmer for 30 minutes if using a regular pot.
3. When meat is cooked, add the bell peppers and simmer until tender.
For Mexirice:
1. Heat some EVOO in a pan and toast the dry rice until opaque. Add a few thin slices of onion and the tomato sauce with the chicken bouillon cube and a small amount of water.
2. Lower the heat and cover until the liquid has absorbed and add 1/2 more of the water etc. until the rice is fully cooked. I'm sorry but I didn't time it or measure it out, but I did use less than 2 cups water.

Serve with shredded cheese and lots of sour cream (cuz it's seriously spicy). I was out of beans but some black beans and tortillas would be awesome with this.
I got my fix!!

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Slow Cook Minestrone

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Here is the Slow Cook Minestrone soup version that I made recently. I just love Minestrone... I like a lot of chunk in my soups, stews, and chili!

FYI: If you ever want to convert a stovetop recipe to slow cook: Pre-cook Meat; Use half the reccomended liquid since it will not boil away or evaporate; Add creams towards the end; Add soft beans, cooked noodles and veges towards the end to avoid overcooking and sogginess; add spices towards the end to preserve the flavor.


3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

2 bay leaves

Salt and ground black pepper

2 cups cooked ditalini pasta

1 medium zucchini, chopped

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Basil sprigs, garnish, optional


In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.

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Chocolate Mousse Whips

I always make this during the holidays. Haven't got around to posting. But, this is a coveted family recipe - enjoy! The recipe can be made into Mousse as shown or frozen in a pie shell to make Chocolate Cheesecake.

1 8oz packages cream cheese (make sure it is softened- take it out of the fridge for a few hours)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 beaten egg yolks

1 package semi sweet chocolate pieces

2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Graham Cracker Pie Shell (for pie version)

1. Combine Cream Cheese, Sugar, and Vanilla. Blend well. (Seperate Yolks from Whites. Beat Yolks) Stir in Beaten Egg Yolks. Melt Chocolate Chips. Beat in Chocolate.

2. In separate bowl, beat Egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 sugar. Fold into Chocolate mixture.

3. Whip the Heavy Cream. Fold into mixture.

4. You can either pour the mixture into a Pie Shell and Freeze for a few hours to make CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE.


Pour into glasses and refrigerate for the Mousse version


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