Tuesday, March 27, 2012
A few months ago, Rupal took Denise and I to Kalustyan's in Murray Hill for the first time. She was shocked that we had never been there as it's definitely a 'kid in a candy store' type situation for anyone who likes to cook. We spent over an hour wandering around and debating pressing questions like "Should I buy fresh or dried fenugreek?" and "Do I splurge on fresh curry leaves?" (The answers are fresh and yes.)
I finally emerged onto Lexington Avenue with bags full of paneer, preserved lemons, dried Persian limes, spicy lime chutney, and a dozen varieties of rice and lentils. Then came the hard part. What do I make with all this? I decided to start with the preserved lemons as they seemed the most perishable. I tried Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives. I accidentally drank the white wine the recipe calls for the night before so I just used broth. It's a simple recipe that lends a lot of flavor to chicken breasts.
Next on my list is a recipe with Persian limes. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Ryan and I tend to eat dinner around 9:30pm at which point I’m so starving that my blood sugars have plummeted and I can barely speak. I arrive home from work at 6:30 but then I launch into Xavier's frantic dinner-bath-bed time routine. I emerge from his room at 7:30 (practically ready to go to bed myself) and finally unpack the dirty lunch dishes from my purse, hang up my coat, blah blah blah. Fascinating stuff I realize. Anyways, by the time I re-energize (read: have a glass of wine) and Ryan gets home from class, it’s after 8 and time to start chopping.
Enter the slow cooker. I bought one a few weeks ago with the idea that at least a few times a week I could come home to dinner already made. I’m fairly suspicious of anything beyond brisket and beef stew that needs to cook that long but I’m open to suggestions if any of you have them. My first experiment was the Southwestern Pulled Brisket from Smitten Kitchen.
I served the brisket on blue tortillas with grated cheese, yogurt, cilantro and red onions. It was good. However, after marinating it over night, I reduced the sauce as Smitten Kitchen suggests and served it up as breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs. It was awesome. Unfortunately this means that if I want to make awesome brisket, I need to plan two days ahead. Is making dinner EVER easy??!!!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It’s basically summer outdoors today but we all KNOW that we have a few more cold days ahead of us before we can whip out the flip-flops and the Forever 31 sun dresses for good. Before starting to fantasize about sweet summer corn and fresh tomato salads, make a few more cold weather comfort dishes. You’ll miss them by mid-July so indulge now.
I recently followed a recipe that was described to me as small bites of Thanksgiving. You’ll know what I mean when you roast brussel sprouts with red grapes. It’s a perfect savory sweet combination that uses the same herbs as a roast chicken. Voila…the perfect side dish.
Heat the oven to 375. On a large rimed baking sheet, toss 1 ½ pounds of trimmed, halved brussel sprouts and1 lb of seedless red grapes with two cloves of sliced garlic, chopped tarragon and thyme and olive oil. Roast about 40 minutes or until browned. And then pray summer gets here soon!