Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mango Curry Chicken

Everyone loves when I make curry dishes. The trick is getting the balance of the spices and sweet/sour. Remember when using curry a little goes a LONG way!
Although it's not recommended I was in a rush and my chicken breasts were not fully de-thawed, so I just added a little more time to the cooking time and they came out perfect.
Serve with Jasmine rice.

Oven : 350Deg Time: 45mins Prep: 15ms
1 Can 8oz Mango w liquid (diced)
1 Can 8oz coconut milk
1 teaspoon Tamarind paste
1 Medium Onion chopped
3 garlic cloves finely diced
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon finely diced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (I just crush it with a mortar and pestle)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons Sugar (to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoons Salt (to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (to taste)
2-3 Tablespoon Red wine vinegar (or to taste, remember it's about balance)
3 lbs chicken breasts (or a whole chicken cut up)

Mix all ingredients except chicken. Taste the sauce and make sure it tastes good. It will develop a better flavor as it cooks so don't be to worried if the sauce isn't exactly what you want it to be Yet. Once you are happy with the flavor mix chicken in and place in a 13x9 baking dish. (or a roasting pan depending on how much chicken you have)

Bake till chicken juices run clear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simply Roasted Carrots

This is so simple but so yummy.
Roasting your carrots makes them sweet and tender. If you have an oven don't be afraid to use it!

1lb peeled and 2" sliced carrots
3 T butter
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
Oven 350@ bake for 25 minutes or till tender

It's so easy. place carrots on the bottom of a roasting pan (or my fav a glass  8x8" pan) season with salt and pepper and place butter on top. Turn carrots once during cooking and when they are fork tender you are done!

Lemony Mushroom and garlic butter glazed aspargus

This is very simple and easy.

1lb Asparagus
2 cloves garlic crushed and diced.
3 T butter
1/2 small lemon juiced
1 t. lemon rind
1/2 c sliced mushrooms

Steam Asparagus till done.In small sauce pan melt 1 T butter, add garlic and mushrooms, and saute till brown, add lemon rind then lemon juice. turn off heat and slowly add bit of remaining butter until you get a sauce.
serve on asparagus.

You are actually making a thicker "sauce" by adding more butter at the end. so you won't really "cook" the extra butter, it should be creamy.

Black Forest Braised Beef with Gravy

I love really hearty diners, especially in the winter. So I bring you my Black Forest Braised Beef and Gravy. I generally make mashed potatoes and roasted veggies as sides.
(try my lemony mushroom and garlic butter glazed asparagus or simply roasted butter carrots.)
*braising is the process of simmering a meat in sauce, the sauce shouldn't cover the meat and veggies it should only come up to about half the depth of the meat.
I like to use a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet.

Oven 350@. cook beef to a temp of  135, but you must let it set for at least 10 minutes to come up to 140-145 for medium rare, most dishes will continue cooking after you remove them from the oven, except for chicken which will be a different blog. :)

 1 3.5lb boneless cross rib roast
3 med onions sliced 1/4'' verticals (that means from root to stems)
1 small med bulb of garlic peeled  (about 12 med to small cloves)
3 medium portobello mushrooms sliced 1/4'' thick
1 T  Kosher or sea salt (divided, use to season each "layer" of ingredients)
1 T Butter
3 T crushed black pepper corns
1 8oz Can beef broth
2 T peanut oil or olive which ever you have, peanut brings a new dimension to the whole dish.
2-3T balsamic vinegar
After half the cooking time has elapsed add the following:
1 T Beef Base and 1/2 c. water Plus 2 cubes beef bullion and 2C. water)
Or 3 T Beef Base and 2 C water, Or 3 Cubes Beef Bullion and 2 C water.
basically you want to add  beef based liquid to bring the level of liquid back to the middle of the roast.

Heat your skillet until it's hot, add a tablespoon of oil, toss in the garlic and let it brown. Take the garlic out of the pan and set aside. Then toss in the mushrooms and season with salt, the mushrooms will soak up the garlic oil in the pan so when they start to dry add the butter, let them brown and put aside.
Salt and pepper the roast while you are working on the  mushrooms, make sure you season well on all sides.
Add remaining oil to pan and brown roast in pan on all sides, when you are ready to brown the last side add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the sides of the pan. Once browned (about 4-5 minutes) add the liquids (vinegar, beef broth) then season with the crushed black pepper and remaining salt.
Place the whole thing in the oven and braise for an hour and a half or until it reaches temp. Baste every 20 mins to half hour.
At 45 minutes flip roast over and add the remaining liquids to pan, return to oven and let braise till temp.

Take the roast out of the pan. Set pan on burner and bring to a simmer, make a slurry of  1/8 c corn starch and 1 teaspoon water (mix well) and stir into liquid, make sure you keep stirring or it will clump, let simmer till it's thick and gravy consistency.

Serve. :)
Please let me know if you liked this and if it worked out fabulously for you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hearty Country Chicken and Vegetable soup

We loved it! This is the recipe that I created for dinner tonight, but I would add more carrots and more parsnips. If you haven't tried parsnips or fennel you are really missing out. This is a perfect soup to try them both out for the first time.
* I made my own stock for this recipe, it's very easy, as always I try to use as much of an ingredient as possible, so with chicken we'll eat half the night I make it and half usually for sandwiches and the bones for stock.
Stock: Add bones to 3 cups of water , 1 T kosher Salt and simmer, the longer it simmers the more flavor. When it reduces by half but hasn't cooked longer than an hour add another two cups of water. You will want the stock to reduce by at least half before adding to soup.

1 med onion sliced 1/8" slices across the round.
1 leek 1/4" slices
1 fennel bulb (reserve the green tops for the end of the recipe) thinly sliced.
3 med cloves garlic rough chopped
1/2" ginger pealed & slivered into 1/4 slices (remove them before serving)
2 carrots sliced 1\2"
1 L parsnip pealed and sliced 1\2"
2T butter
6 med chicken breasts (mine were kinda skimpy when they were done cooking so I would add a few more to this recipe)
2 c. stock
2 c. water or to cover
3T red wine vinegar
1/2 C shopped fennel tops
salt and pepper

Saute your onions, fennel, and leek with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch (1/4ts) kosher salt. when your onions start to "dry" add the 2T of butter and saute till they are opaque.
Make a some room in the pan for the garlic and toss that in, let it brown a little before stirring it into the rest of the vegetables.
Add the rest of the veggies and chicken into the pan and let simmer for about 5 mins, then add chicken stock and water to cover.
Simmer everything until chicken is just done, take chicken out of pan and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Remove ginger slices.
Just before serving toss the fennel tops into the soup and slice chicken into bite sized pieces. (you can add it to the soup but I like to fill the bowls with the soup and then put the chicken on top).