Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tandoori Chicken with Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Unlike the last recipe, this is one of the more com-plicated ones we have posted. But, com-plicated recipes are fun to cook together (even though Dee did most of the work). Start by measuring the following spices: 1 1/2t each of cardamom, garlic powder, ground bay, cinnamon cloves and ginger. Mix them together and then divide them in half and set aside. Puree in a blender a 3"piece of ginger root (peeled) along with 6 cloves of garlic, 1/4C water, 2t salt, 2T canola oil, 1T vinegar, 1T chili powder and one of the parts of the spice mix above. Cut deep slits in about 3 lb. chicken pieces (we used breast quarters). Place the chicken in a plastic bag along with the spice mix and marinade overnight in the refrigerator. About an hour before you want to cook the chicken, mix 1C plain yogart, 2T canola oil, 1T chili powder, and the other half of the spice mix. Add this mix to the chicken and cook in a preheated 500! degree oven for about 25 min; until the chicken is done.
For the chickpea and spinach curry: The recipe called for dry chickpeas and cooking them etc. We decided to use canned ones and cut the cooking time. To a sauce pan add 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and their juice, 2t ground corriander, 2t ground cumin, 1t garam masala, 2t salt, 1/2t black pepper and 1 14 oz. can of chickpeas. Heat the mix to a simmer and add 2C fresh spinach leaves. Toss until the spinach is wilted, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve along side of some steamed couscous to collect the juices. Any wine you like will go with this meal; it will stand up to a big red if you wish.


Sausage, Mushroom and Ricotta Pasta

This dish goes together really easily. Add your favorite shaped pasta to boiling water. While it is cooking, add 3/4 lb. link sausage which had been cut into bite sized pieces to a skillet with 2T olive oil. Cook the sausage through and then add about 6 oz. of sliced mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender. Add about 8 oz. of ricotta cheese to the skillet and stir until mixed. Thin the mixture with some of the pasta boiling liquid until it has a "saucy" consistancy. Drain the pasta and add to the sausage mixture. Toss to mix and serve with a green salad perhaps. Garnish the sausage with fresh basil.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pulled Pork BBQ with Baked Beans, Sweet Potatoes and Orange Salad

This post is mainly for a new sweet potato recipe we wanted to try. The pork shoulder was slow cooked on the Weber. The sauce is a secret. The salad had orange wedges and caramelized almond slivers and a vinaigrette with a touch of Tabasco.
The sweet potatoes were first boiled until just barely tender. They were then cut in wedges, finished on the grill and topped with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro...different and tasty.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moroccan Beef Meatball Tagine - Adapted from Bon Appetitit

A tagine is a Moroccan stew. For the meatballs: Mix together in a bowl 3/4 lb. lean ground beef (lamb might be good as well), 1/4C diced onion, 1/4C bread crumbs, 1/4C chopped cilantro, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2t turmeric, 1/4t cayenne pepper, 1/4t ground cinnamon, 1/4t ground nutmeg, 1/4t black pepper, 1/4t salt and 1/8t ground ginger. The best way to mix is to knead it with your hands. Once the ingredients are well mixed, form the meat into 1 in dia. balls and set aside. (this makes about 2 doz. meatballs)
For the stew: Saute 1 large diced onion in 1T olive oil. When the onions are tender, add 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 whole cinnamon stick, 1/2t tumeric and 1/8t saffron threads. Heat gently and stir for a couple minutes and then add 1C beef stock, 1 - 14oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice, and 1/4C raisins. Bring the mix to a low simmer and add 1C carrot slices and the meatballs being careful not to break them. Sprinkle on another 1/4C chopped cilantro. Cover and simmer until the meatballs are done, about 30 min. Just before serving stir in some whole spinach leaves (a good handful because it shrinks on cooking). Serve with couscous. You can add more cilantro and squeeze fresh lemon over the top if you wish. Very tasty stew that we served with a nice red wine.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Clilli Con Carne - Adapted from The Homesick Texan

We have been looking for an authentic chili con carne recipe for some time. We found it on the blog below. We couldn't find all the peppers mentioned in the recipe so we used the ones we could find, i.e. jalapenos, pablanos, anaheims and chipotles.

Start by browning two strips of bacon in an oven proof pan. Remove the bacon and add 1 lb. of beef stew meat that has been cut into bite sized pieces. Brown the meat and then add 1 medium diced onion. When the onion gets soft, add one clove of minced garlic and stir for another minute or two. To this mix, add your diced peppers. As stated above we used jalapenos, pablanos, anaheims and chipoltes, which had been seeded. At this point, unlike the original recipe we added the spices:1/8t each of ground cinnamon, clove, allspice and cayenne. Also add 1T ground cumin. Stir until the spices become fragrant. Add 1/4C brewed coffee, 1/2C water and 1/2C beer. After the liquid has been added, stir in 2T unsweetened cocoa. We also added a small can of red enchilada sauce because it had some peppers incorporated that we couldn't get. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in a 275 degree oven until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hrs. We thickened the dish a bit by adding about 1/4C mesa flour (finely ground corn meal) mixed with water. Bring back to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your choice of condiments, including beans, on the side. As a friend used to say "anyone who knows beans about chili con carne, knows there are no beans in chili con carne. The slow cooking and the complex mix of spices is well worth the effort.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings - Adapted from an old family recipe

This is real comfort food; not fancy but delicious. Start by sauteing 1/4C each of diced onions, celery and carrots and 2 cloves of garlic in 3T olive oil. Add 4T flour and stir for 2-3 min. Add 14 oz can of chicken stock and a whole cut up chicken. Add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Cook in a 275 degree oven for about 3 hrs; until the chicken is fork tender. Near the end of the cooking add 8 oz. sliced mushrooms which have been sauted in butter. The dough for the dumplings is made by mixing 1C flour and 2 eggs and enough water to make a stiff dough. Spoon the dough into the simmering chicken mixture. We served the dish with green peas and a tomato and cucumber salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup - Adapted from many

We wanted a light soup to serve for a late dinner and adapted this recipe from many we found. The meatballs are made from ground chicken rather than beef. Place 1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast in a food processor. Add one egg, 1/4C bread crumbs, 1T oregano and process until smooth. Cook a fingernail sized portion in the microwave and taste it for seasonings. Add salt and pepper if you wish and then form the meat into balls about 1/2" in diameter. Set them aside. In a large sauce pan saute 1/3C each of diced celery, carrot and onion. Saute them in 2T olive oil until they are tender. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic at the end so that it doesn't burn. Add 1qt. of chicken stock plus 1/2 qt. of water. Bring to a simmer and add the meatballs. Just before serving add 2C chopped fresh spinach. Garnish with parsley halved cherry tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread and a chilled white or rose` wine.


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Oysters, Oysters, Oysters

It wouldn't be March on St. Simons Island without oysters; many, many oysters. They served an interesting condiment in addition to the usual cocktail sauce and horseradish and lemon wedges. It was vinegar seasoned with finely diced red onion, tarrigon and sesame seeds...very nice. At a place called Catch 228 they have them for 35 cents apiece. I can eat a lot of oysters for $0.35 each!