Friday, August 29, 2014

More from the NYT

Butter Chicken is not a low calorie meal. I rarely order it due to how rich it is.

August 26th I read the following recipe in the New York Times and realized life is too short to miss out on the "General Tso's of Indian Food", as Sam Sifton refers to this dish.  I made it last night and highly recommend this recipe.

"Butter chicken is the General Tso’s of Indian food, a great, ever-evolving, cross-continental dish found in Delhi, London, New York, Perth and most points in between. In its purest form, it is yogurt-and-spice-marinated chicken dressed in a velvety red bath comprising butter, onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with garam masala, cumin and turmeric, with a cinnamon tang. This version was adapted from one a young kitchen hand at the restaurant Attica, in Melbourne, Australia, made for staff meal, and that the photographer Per-Anders Jorgensen included in "Eating With the Chefs," his collection of photographs of top restaurants around the world. It is wildly luxurious. Serve with basmati rice and mango chutney, with papadums or naan if you can find them, with extra rice if you cannot."

TOTAL TIME 1 hour 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone
1/4 pound unsalted butter
4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable or canola oil
 • 2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
2 red chiles, like Anaheim, or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt to taste
2/3 cup chicken stock, low-sodium or homemade
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed.

1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).

2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.

3. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

 YIELD 6 servings

 The article by Sam Sifton, published 8/24/2014 New York Times Dining & Wine.

Just One More

I wonder, did I drink as much alcohol when I was young as I do now? Now that I am 58? No.

I crave beer brewed near where I live in Seattle. I salivate for hops. My beer of choice, India Pale Ales, IPA'S. I enjoy the social side of breweries.

I enjoy wine too, Washington State bordeaux style blends. There are over 600 wineries in our state.
Now the cocktail revival attracts my palette. I stay busy visiting bars and restaurants, enjoying the creativity of small businesses. Do I worry that I consume more alcohol than is healthy for me? Yes.

I want to share Mark Bittman's article "The Drinker's Manifesto" published in the New York Times August 26, 2014 with you. I like his take on the subject. Hope you find it interesting as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Harvest Is On!

For dinner last night I tossed chopped plum tomatoes, diced garlic, olive oil, salt, and basil in a cast iron pan and roasted the sauce for 15 minutes, outside on the gas grill. I closed the grill lid and kept the temperature around 475 degrees.

While fifteen minutes is not long enough to caramelize tomatoes, the end result was sweet and fresh. No I did not skin or de-seed the tomatoes. I finished it off by mixing in a few ounces of goat cheese for a creamy tomato finish. Wait! I also threw in one chopped cayenne pepper for heat, before I roasted it; all vegetable ingredients from the front lawn garden!

 To accompany the pasta I made a kale salad, cutting the greens in thin strips. I added diced grilled patty pan squash, chopped raw almonds, and dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette. (Gardening rocks!) My sweetheart and I ate dinner outside, thrilled at our efforts and harvest. Next, grilled plums from the plum tree!