Tag Archives: salt

Chicken Machboos

This recipe is a winner. I’ve modified it slightly so it’s somewhat less dry; otherwise the original is just as good. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 3 large breasts
  • Onions, 2 large, diced
  • Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, sliced or minced
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Jalapeno, 1-2, diced
  • Cilantro, 3 tablespoons, chopped
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Chicken stock, 4 cups
  • Basmati rice, 2 cups
  • Loomi, 2-3
  • Green cardamom, 5 pods
  • Cloves, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick, 1
  • Salt, 2½ teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Baharat, 1 tablespoon
  • Rosewater for sprinkling
  • Ghee, 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Again, some of these ingredients may be hard to find. This is rosewater, and you can find it online, though you may also be able to find it at your local Asian market.

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Rose water.

These are loomi; again, they can be found online, or at your local spice merchant.

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Loomi

Finally, this is baharat, a spice mixture. If you’re so inclined, you can try making it yourself, but as you can see, I bought mine.

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Baharat.

First, do some frying: heat the oil, and brown the chicken on both sides, then remove.

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Browning.

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Golden.

Next, add the ghee to the oil that remains and fry the onions until they start to brown.

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Ghee, pre-melt.

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Onions, pre-brown.

You can use this time to prep the next ingredients – the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Then add them to the pot and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

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Three ingredients.

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Added to the pot.

Then add more stuff – the baharat and turmeric, to be exact – and cook for another minute or two.

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Spices added.

Now the chicken goes back in, along with a few other choice ingredients: the tomatoes, loomi, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and chicken stock. Make sure you perforate the loomi with innumerable holes before you plunk them in; a knife will do fine.

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More stuff goes in.

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And the chicken broth, too.

Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer, covered, for an hour or so. Meanwhile, you can prep the cilantro, parsley, and the rice. Make sure that you soak the rice in water for at least 20 minutes.

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Rice is nice.

When the pot is done simmering, you should simmer it some more – but this time, with the rice and the herbs added to the pot. Let it alone for another 20 minutes, so that the rice has time to soak up the liquid.

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Post-simmer AND pre-simmer.

Finally, sprinkle with the rosewater, which is optional but recommended. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough, but feel free to adjust to your own liking.

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Voila.

You can also shred the chicken if you want; it’ll probably end up that way anyway: it’s so tender it tends to fall apart. And it’s delicious. Highly recommended!

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Paleo Rogan Josh

I don’t really understand or care about the Paleo diet. But I did really like this Rogan Josh recipe, the first time I had it. So I decided to make it myself. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds
  • Onions, 2 medium, diced
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 1 cup

And for the spice blend:

  • Sweet Paprika, 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ground coriander, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cumin, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons
  • Chili Powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

You may want to start by browning the meat in the oil, because that can take a while, depending on the size of your pot. I browned mine in two batches. Be sure to let the meat sear for a good length of time before disturbing it, to ensure it develops a nice, crispy crust.

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Browning…

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Browned.

While the meat is doing its thing, you can assemble the spice blend:

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Spices!

And dice the onions:

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Onions!

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pan, along with the onions. Cook until the onions themselves have begun to soften and brown a bit.

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Brown some more.

Then add in the spice mix, stir for about 30 seconds to allow the spices to warm in the oil and grease, and then add in the water and coconut milk.

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Soon-to-be deliciousness.

Cover and simmer for about an hour to allow the meat to tenderize and the sauce to reduce, and you’re done.

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And done.

You may find, as I did, that the sauce has reduced a bit more than what you really wanted. If so, ameliorate by adding in a bit more coconut milk.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is delish, delish, delish. Absolutely and easily one of our favorites. We can’t recommend it enough! The ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts, 3, cut into skewer-worthy chunks
  • Yogurt, 1 cup
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, fresh minced
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Jalapeno pepper, 2, sliced
  • Cumin, 2 more teaspoons
  • Paprika, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped
  • Heavy cream, 1 cup
  • Tomato sauce, 2 cans
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The ingredients.

Sadly, this recipe takes a while to make – but the wait is worth it. The first step is to combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, a teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cumin in a large bowl. Mix it together, and coat the chunks of chicken in it. Cover and refrigerator for at least an hour.

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The marinade, part 1.

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The marinade, part 2.

Meanwhile, you may want to begin heating your grill (we used charcoal). Make sure to oil the grill grate, as this will help you later on. Once the chicken is finished marinading, thread it onto skewers (if you’re using wood, like we did, make sure to soak it first).

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Chicken, skewed.

Then, you know, place them on the grill! Turn as needed, until done.

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Chicken, grilled.

This is what that looks like, by the way:

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Chicken, grilled, part 2.

The next stage begins with heat: frying the jalapeno slices and garlic in the butter.

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The wok stage.

Then add in the rest of the cumin and salt, as well as the paprika.

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Wokking some spices.

Pour in the tomato sauce and cream, and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, to thicken the sauce.

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The sauce is the best part.

Add in the grilled chicken, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

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Homemade tikka masala.

And that’s it! Try it over rice, with the cilantro. It’s so, so good!

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I wish I had some now.

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Beef Curry in Peanut Sauce

This one turned out pretty well. The ingredients are:

  • Beef (obviously), 2 pounds
  • Peanuts, unsalted and ground, 6 oz
  • Chilies, 4 sliced
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Tomatoes, several, chunked
  • Coconut milk, 2-3 cans
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Palm sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Thai basil, to taste
  • Lemon grass, 2 stalks, minced
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: add the red curry paste to a can of coconut milk in your wok, and warm until boiling.

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The first step.

Then add a few more items: the fish sauce, the palm sugar, and the lemongrass.

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The next step.

Next, the beef – although you may want to slice it first.

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The step after that.

You can add the ground peanuts at this stage, too (I used a spice grinder to grind them, but if you want to use a spice buffer or a spice elevator, that’s your prerogative).

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Adding the ground peanuts.

Then the tomatoes, chilies, and Kaffir lime leaves.

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Adding more stuff.

Cook for just a while longer, and then it’s done. It should look something like this:

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If your dish doesn’t look exactly like this, it’s not done.

And this, over rice:

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It was yummy!

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Surat Baked Chicken

Catchphrase: “It’s just okay.” With that enthusiastic endorsement, the ingredients are:

  • Chicken, whole
  • Red curry paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • White pepper, 1/4 teaspoon, ground
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut milk, 3 tablespoons
  • lemongrass, chopped, 2 tablespoons
  • whiskey, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to make. First, mix everything except the chicken – this is your marinade.

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Pre-marinade.

Then, put the chicken in the marinade, and leave it. I know it may be tempting to cuddle that poor, headless chicken carcass, but don’t – just leave it alone to marinate on how it arrived at such a pass.

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Marinading.

Once it’s done marinating (for 15 minutes or so), bake for an hour, or until done (which in our case was longer) at 325 degrees. Then, it’s done – and you may find that the drippings add an immense amount of flavor. Feel free to eat with rice.

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This chicken is done.

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Beef Biryani

Oh, woe is me, this was such a bland recipe. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2.5 pounds, cubed
  • Onions, 4 large
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and chopped
  • Jalapeno, 2, chopped
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch
  • Almonds, 8 tablespoons
  • Water, 6 tablespoons
  • Ghee, 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, 2 good pinches
  • Yogurt, plain, 1.5 cups
  • Basmati rice, 3 cups
  • Chicken stock, 10 cups
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

It took a while to make, too – though I do have a few ideas for how it could be improved.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to blend! Roughly chop two of the onions, and combine them with the cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, ginger, water, and half the almonds.

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Blending can be fun.

Blend to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

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The aftermath.

Next, heat half the ghee with half the oil and fry the rest of the onion (after you slice it, of course) until it’s golden brown. When it is, transfer to another dish – yes, another one!

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Onions are yummy.

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Browned!

Then fry the remaining almonds briefly until they’re golden, too. Or more golden, at any rate.

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Browning almonds.

Transfer them – yes, you guessed it – to another plate, and then start searing the meat, in batches. Add more oil/ghee if you need to.

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Browning meat.

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The meat, seared.

Once all the meat is browned and moved out of the way – perhaps to another plate – you can put the blended mixture into the pot, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in all the additional spices, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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Re-heating the blended mixture.

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Plus spices.

Next, lower the heat and slowly mix in the yogurt. Then return the meat to the pot, cover it tightly, and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.

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Simmer.

Meanwhile, you can begin working on the other part of the biryani mixture – the rice. You should soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes, and begun heating your chicken broth.

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Chicken broth!

Heat to a boil, then add the rice (along with a little salt) and bring it back to a boil. Then cover and cook for 5 minutes.

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With rice!

After that, it’ll look like this: the chicken broth has magically disappeared, and the rice got a lot bigger. I wonder what happened?

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And now, just rice.

Add the rice to your chicken mixture (I used a slow cooker because I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough), and add the onions and almonds as well. Cover securely, and bake on high for about an hour (or 45 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325).

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Biryani-ing.

Voila! It can be spruced up with more spices – in particular, more salt and cayenne – as well as some fried eggs and possibly some Sriracha.

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The finished product.

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Jungle Catfish Curry

This dish was good, but not exceptional. Be forewarned. The ingredients:

  • Catfish, 1.5 pounds, cut into cubes or 1-inch slices
  • Thai eggplant, 1 cup
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced, 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 3 cups

And for the paste:

  • Shallots, 8
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4-6
  • Canned peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lesser ginger, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Lemongrass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little unusual, or hard to find. The Thai eggplants I found at an asian market.

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Thai eggplants. They’re like American eggplants, but different.

The lesser ginger I couldn’t find fresh, and so I had to order it dried, and online. When you use it, be sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand.

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The lesser ginger.

Finally, I found the canned peppercorns at an asian market, as well. They look like this:

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Canned peppercorns.

Blend together all the ingredients for the paste, until it looks something like this:

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The paste.

Then add the paste to a pan with some oil and fry for about a minute. Then, add in the fish, vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, water, and fish sauce.

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Into the pot it goes.

While they’re cooking, you can prepare some of the remaining ingredients: the jalapeno and thai basil.

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Slicing and washing.

Once everything else is cooked down to your satisfaction, add in the basil and jalapeno, and dinner is served!

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Enjoy.

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Delicious Ginger Snap Cookies

These came out incredibly. The ingredients:

  • Flour, all-purpose, 2 cups
  • Baking soda, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Sugar, 1 cup
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dark molasses, 1/4 cup
  • Butter, 3/4 cup
  • Egg, 1
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The ingredients.

In case you’re wondering, cinnamon sugar is awesome, and you can make it yourself, as I did.

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Cinnamon sugar.

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, sift a few of the ingredients together into a mixing bowl: the flour, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Then sift again into another bowl, to ensure an even mixture, and because you deserve the sifting-punishment.

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This is how you sift. With a sifter.

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Sifted.

Next, put the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.

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Beaten.

At that point, gradually beat in the white sugar. Then the egg, and dark molasses. And then, the crème de la crème: the opposite of cream, the flour mixture. Sift in a third of it at first, blend thoroughly, then sift in the rest.

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Beaten, part deux.

Mix together until a doughy softness forms. Pinch off small amounts and roll into 1-inch diameter balls; then roll those balls in the cinnamon sugar.

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Doughy goodness.

Place these on a baking sheet (ungreased) and bake for about 10 minutes.

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Into the oven.

Then cool and enjoy. They’re great!

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Out of the oven.

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Fish With Pickled Plums

Sadly, this recipe was a failure. Admittedly, I made the dish with fillets instead of whole fish, and that may have made a difference. But as it was, it was barely edible. So naturally, you’ll want to know the recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Fish, cod or some other white fish, 1.5 pounds (again, I used fillets rather than a whole fish)
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Pickled plums, 3, slivered
  • Lime juice, 2 tablespoons
  • White wine, 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger, slivered, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

The unique ingredient here is pickled plum. I found mine at a Japanese grocery.

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The pickled plums.

This is what they look like, in case you’re curious.

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The pickled plums.

The first step is to coat the fish in the salt and pepper, which I did by shaking it in a bag, like so.

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Prepping the fish.

Then place it on a steaming plate.

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Steaming.

Add in the rest of the ingredients as well.

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Steaming.

Then cover and steam for 30 minutes, and you’re done. Enjoy? I didn’t, but as I said – if you use a whole fish, you may have better results.

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Yum? Ummm…

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Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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