Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not a Week Night Curry…but so worth it!

A few days ago I posted my favorite week night curry recipe and discussed the importance of keeping week night recipes simple so you don’t lose your mind. I then somehow managed to find the most complicated curry recipe ever on the New York Times website and decided to make it. On a week night.

This Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews recipe is worth the effort and then some. Not only is it a great way to get your healthy fat serving in for the month (ha!), but it might be the most delicious chicken dish I have made…or at least it’s in a tie with the Pimenton Roasted Chicken I posted recently. The recipe says the total cooking time is an hour. This is a lie unless you have cooking elves or the ability to focus on one thing at a time on a week night. Please.

It involves toasting spices, nuts and coconut, browning the chicken and the turnips individually, grinding ingredients into a paste, etc. This is not a throw together meal. However, if you take the time to go through all these steps, you will be rewarded with a truly decadent curry.

The picture doesn’t do this piece justice since it’s so obviously in need of a cilantro garnish. But you know what I really don’t do on week nights? Garnishes. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weeknight Thai Curry

I struggle with striking a balance between exploring new recipes and keeping old favorites in circulation. Cooking something new feels creative but it can also be time consuming and turn an already frazzled Tuesday night into a shit show. 

Heidi Swanson’s Weeknight Curry from Super Natural Every Day is a great base recipe to incorporate a few times a month – especially since you can mix up the vegetables and/or the meat. It’s not an overly rich curry and can be thrown together in 15 minutes.

1.       Mix 2-3 tsp Thai curry paste with a few tbs of coconut milk and set aside.
2.       Chop up one onion, a nice chunk of ginger, 8 oz of tofu, chicken, shrimp, etc. and about 4 cups of vegetables (zucchini, cauliflower, red pepper, sugar snap peas, etc.)
3.       Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in the wok and then add half the onions and ginger. When translucent, add half the curry paste and coconut mixture. Stir to coat and then add your tofu of meat of choice. Cook thoroughly and then remove the mixture and set aside.
4.       Now do the same thing with the vegetables. Add another tsp of coconut oil and the remainder of the onions and ginger. When translucent, add the curry paste and coconut mixture. Stir to coat and add your vegetables.
5.       Add about 2/3 cup coconut milk and ½ cup of broth depending on how soupy you like you curry.
6.       Cover and let simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables lose their raw edge. Add your tofu or meat back in and cook 1 minute more. Salt to taste.

I can make this recipe in my sleep. I now just need to remember to MAKE it instead of embarking on a journey through exotic recipes on a particularly rough evening! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins with Pepitas

Xavier is not a kale-eating kid. I think you have to live in Brooklyn to have one of those. He will, however, eat a muffin in any form so sneaking vegetables into muffins is one of my many clever parenting strategies. My other ones involve TV and sugar.

These muffins from the Whole Foods site use 100% whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed, pumpkin, yogurt (I used full-fat) and molasses among other things. The recipe skips butter entirely...although you can see in the photo how Ryan made up for that 'flaw.'

 For the hell of it I just googled kale muffins. They do exist. Yuck!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi is a Persian stew made with a mixture of green herbs, dried limes and fenugreek. I have been anxious to make it ever since I bought dried limes and fenugreek only to have them gather dust on my shelves. Rupal to the rescue!
Last night she came over and taught Jen and I how to make what I hope was the first of many Persian dishes.  
 Soak and cook 1.5 cups of dried adzuki beans and ½ cup kidney beans or set aside 4 cups of canned beans.
Chop up a mixture of 6-9 cups of green herbs in any combo (e.g. 2 bunches parsley, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 cups/2 bunches of chives or scallions or even leeks, 1/2bunch dill)
 Saute two sliced onions, 4 garlic cloves and a green chili pepper until soft. Add in a few tablespoons of dried fenugreek as you cook. Add the beans and stir.
In a separate pan, sauté the scallions and then add all the green herbs. Cook down for a few minutes.
 Combine the two pans into one and add water until the mixture is just covered. Add one teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste and a bit more fenugreek. Add 6-8 dried limes and push down under the liquid. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Press the limes against the side of the pan so all their yummy juices seep out before serving with rice.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Need winter vegetable ideas? Fennel Compote with Tomatoes and Olives

The vegetables in the produce section in January don't exactly tempt me. I wish I were more of a parsnip and turnip fan but I'm not. Mark Bittman's recent post on fennel compote caught my eye though - even if it's cheating a bit to call olives and capers 'vegetables.'

The compote is a basic mixture of fennel, tomatoes, garlic, olives and capers. He recommends it as a side dish or over fish. It packs quite a punch allowing you to be lazy with how you prepare your fish, potatoes, rice or whatever else you want to prepare to go along with it.

Mediocre winter tomatoes work well in this recipe but use decent olive oil and olives.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pimenton Roasted Chicken

Lottie and Doof is one of my favorite food blogs and at the end of the year, he picks his top favorite recipes. Make these recipes...especially the pimenton roasted chicken with potatoes. This is one of those recipes that makes you squirm in your chair, confirm its awesomeness with whoever you are eating with seven times and then help yourself to seconds before you are even two bites in. The bonus is that it uses a lot of paprika which tends to have a slow turnover rate in my spice cabinet.

The key here is the smoked Spanish paprika. If you don't have it, don't make this...or go buy it and make this 15 times this month. The recipe is quite simple.

You make a paste out of the two paprikas, garlic, salt and olive oil. You then rub it all over the entire chicken and let it chill over night before roasting it. The nice part is the paste goes over the skin so you can avoid that overly-intimate moment of running your fingers between the meat and the skin of the poor bird. Eeck.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Years Pho

 Erin and Trevor took on Pho for New Years Eve. Step number one was a road trip to Little Saigon in Westminster, Orange County - the home to the largest population of Vietnamese Americans in the US. For $54, they purchased all the ingredients necessary to whip up Beef Noodle Pho and shrimp spring rolls for eight end-of-year revelers.

Using this recipe as a starting point, they boiled the beef bones , removed some of the marrow to keep the broth from getting too greasy and braved the pungent smell of fish sauce before it mellowed out with the addition of ginger, onions, rock sugar and spices.

The result was a rich, flavorful broth that you could never get from a bouillon. We poured it over rice noodles and thin slices of raw beef and then each tailored our own soup by adding Sriracha, hoisen sauce, sprouts, and cilantro.

We had some leftover rice paper from the spring rolls so we made fried bananas with chocolate sauce to finish off the meal. Happy 2013!