Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chana Masala

I kind of had a loose recipe, and I didn't measure out exactly, but I'm writing down as much as I remember doing to hopefully replicate it somewhat closely again since Matt said it was one of my better attempts at Indian Food. How was that for a run-on sentence. =)

Chana Masala
a little oil
1 onion, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp corriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
lots of salt (TO TASTE!)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
About 1-2 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
1/2 cup water
cooked chickpeas
1 medium potato, peeled, diced, and boiled to soft

chopped cilantro to garnish

1. Cook the onion, add the garlic, add the spices when soft.
2. Add the tomatoes and water and ginger paste.
3. Let simmer for an hour or so.
4.  Add the chickpeas and the potato. Salt to taste. Add any more spices that you think it's lacking. Add cilantro just before serving.

Served over basmati rice with naan.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mongolian Beef (with broccoli)

Ingredients: (I usually half all of this for just 2 of us)
For the meat:
1 lb. flank steak
1/4 C cornstarch
2 Tbsp oil
For the sauce:
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely or minced
1 Tbsp or about 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C water
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes- depending on how hot you like it. You can leave it out all together to be more like broccoli beef as well.
2 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with a little water
1-2 heads of broccoli, cut to florets - you could also just slice up an onion and stirfry it if you don't want broccoli with this.


  1. Slice the steak against the grain thinly (1/4 in. or thinner). Tilt the knife blade at a 45 degree angle if you want a wider cut. Toss the steak slices with cornstarch and let the beef sit for 10 min. This is very important. Do not skip.
  2. To make the sauce: In a small sauce pan, heat 2 tsp oil, add garkic and ginger and stirfy 10 seconds, add soy sauce and the rest of the sauce ingredients except cornstarch. Bring it to a boil and then turn down very low while you do the rest of your prep. You will add the cornstarch slurry later.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the broccoli in and blanch. Meaning, right after you get it submerged in the water, dump it all out in a colander.
  4. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a wok and heat over medium high. Stirfry the broccoli for 1 min. and remove.
  5. Turn the sauce back up to a boil and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir till it thickens, take off the heat.
  6. Put a 1-2 more Tbsp oil in the wok and heat again. Cook the beef. It will cook quickly. Don't over cook it.
  7. Add back the broccoli and stir in the sauce. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scottish Meat pies

I've been working on meat pies for a long time and this is the closest I've come in both pastry and filling to a meat pie from a Scottish festival. Adapted from this recipe.

2 1/2-3 C flour
1 C water
1/2 C lard/ shortening

Bring water and lard to a boil, pour into a metal mixing bowl. Add 2 C flour and mix with a spoon and when you have a glob, dump it onto a floured surface. It will be hot, so be cautious. Knead in about 1/2 C more flour, or until it is not sticky, but not dry.  I think I did 2 1/2 C total. Maybe a little more. Cover till ready to use so it doesn't dry out.

1 lb ground meat -- I did beef, but you could use lamb
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 small onion grated or chopped finely
1 C oats (I used quick cooking oats) or bread crumbs (I may even like this better than the oats)
1/2 C beef broth
fresh grated nutmeg
Salt - depends on your taste preference
pepper (liberal)
white pepper - dash


Roll out the dough half at a time (keep other half covered). Roll it thin, but not too thin. The bigger pies don't need a paper thin crust.

I only have 4 ramekins, so I did four ramekins and the rest were smaller pies in a muffin tin.  (I think I prefer the muffin tin pies because they cook faster and cool down faster for the boys.) I cut a circle out of dough big enough to press into the ramekin, filled it with the raw meat mixture, and the cut a smaller circle for the top. I pressed the top and bottom edges together well and cut two slits in the top for steam.

Put in a cold oven and set to 350* cook for about 40-45 min.  The crust should be golden. If the bottom is not golden, cook it a little longer. You don't want under done crust.

Mexican Rice

I adapted the recipe from here.

1 can tomatoes (I had fire roasted with garlic)
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1/2 jalapeno (I used a canned rather than fresh since they seem to have more heat)
1 C long grain white rice
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed (I used 1 since the tomatoes had garlic)
1 C chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
lime* optional
cilantro* optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Puree tomatoes and jalapeno in blender or food processor
  3. Rinse rice under cold water in a fine mesh strainer till the water comes clean. I didn't do this and it was fine, but it does make for fluffier rice.
  4. Heat  a little oil over medium heat in and oven safe saute pan or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. I didn't have this, so I just did it in a pot and dumped it into a 9x13 pan when I was done sauteing.
  5. Cook the onions till translucent. Add rice and garlic. Cook till rice is light golden, just a few min.
  6. Stir in pureed tomatoes and broth. 
  7. Put in the oven (either in the oven safe saute pan or 9X13 baking dish), cover tightly, and cook for about 30 min. or till tender. I checked mine around 20 min. and it seemed like it needed more water, so I added a few tablespoons.
Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro if you so desire. I didn't, but I'm sure it would be good.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Moroccan Stew

1 pound Stew Meat or meat of your choice--or leave it out all together and go vegetarian!
3 T Olive Oil
1 T Cumin
1 T Cinnamon
1 T Coriander
1 T Paprika
1 tsp Pepper
1-3 tsp Salt 
1 bunch fresh Thyme
4 Bay Leaves
6 cloves Garlic
1 T Red Pepper Flakes or 1 to 2 tsp of Cheyenne Pepper
1 large Onion
1 bunch of Celery
2 Zucchini
1 Butternut Squash
2 large Potatoes
3 bell peppers (use different colors)
1 large can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 quart Beef Broth
1 quart Vegetable Broth
1.5 C Lentils
2 cans Garbanzo Beans 
1 large bunch of Parsley
1 small cup of Plain Greek yogurt

Chop all veggies in large pieces. Chop parsley roughly, reserve a bit for garnish. Chop thyme and garlic roughly. In a large stock pot, brown your stew meat with salt and pepper and olive oil.  Remove to another bowl. Add dry spices to pot, stir until your house smells amazing (approximately 1 minute).  Add garlic, onion and celery and cook till onions are starting to become clear.  Add the rest of the veggies, thyme (you don't need to remove it from the stem, but don't forget to fish them out later), bay leaves (fish them out later, too) and crushed tomatoes.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add broth, stew meat and lentils.  Bring to boil and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until lentils are soft.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Add beans and parsley.  Cook for 10-15 more minutes until potatoes and squash are desired softness/firmness.  :) 

Garnish with large dollop of yogurt, sprinkling of parsley and a little paprika.  Serve with warm, crusty bread.

This makes a TON of stew...  The good news is, it only gets better as it sits.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cinnamon Craisen Cranberry Sauce

Oh boy. I combined a couple recipes from food network and it turned out delicious!

Cinnamon Craisen Cranberry Sauce
1/2 bag fresh cranberries
1/2-1 granny smith apple, skinned and sliced into pieces about the size of the cranberries
1 C cranberry grape juice (or other cranberry juice)
1/2 C sugar
1 cinnamon stick broken in half
1 ish C craisens

Into a med. sauce pan, combine everything but craisens. Heat on med. until cranberries start to burst, add craisens. Lower temps for another 5 min. or so or until it starts to thicken. If it looks too watery, add a few more craisens. It does thicken up upon standing off heat.

The cinnamon makes is so yummy! I bet it would be good with some walnuts in there also.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept. Recipe Exchange Favorites: Breads

We have a church recipe exchange once a month. This month's theme was bread. I'm posting my favorites so I can have them easily accessible.

Artisan Bread Loaf (I loved this one. Probably my fav. Great crumb)
By:  Ruth Judd
3 cups (430g) flour 1½ cups (345g or 12oz) water ¼ teaspoon (1g) yeast 1¼ teaspoon (8g) salt olive oil (for coating) extra flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal (for dusting)
Two medium mixing bowls 6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic) Wooden Spoon or spatula (optional) Plastic wrap Two or three cotton dish towels (not terrycloth) 

Process: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water and incorporate by hand or with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx. 65-72°F).
Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface. Next, shape the dough into ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with flour. Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2 hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size. Preheat oven to 450-500°F. Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes Then remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned. 

*I used the baking directions from a similar recipe and put the loaf on a baking stone that had been preheated in a 450 degree oven. Right before I placed the loaf on the stone I sprinkled some cornmeal on the stone. I baked the loaf for 20 minutes, and had a pan with a cup of hot water under the stone to steam the loaf while it baked. Try the other method as well though. Each will make a great loaf.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bread (Not overly sweet, which I liked)
By:  Melissa Smith
For the bread:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/2 milk (or buttermilk)
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl, fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon zest and mix together. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in the blueberries.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the filling and whisk together.

Prepare a loaf pan by coating with cooking spray. Spoon about half of the batter into the pan, then spread the filling over the top. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the filling; you may want to drop by spoonfulls to get an even distribution as it will be hard to spread over the filling.

Bake bread for about 55-65 minutes, checking for doneness after 55 minutes. While bread is cooking, prepare lemon glaze. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil lemon juice and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat. When bread is done, remove to a cooling rack and spoon on warm glaze. Let cool 10-15 minutes in the pan then remove the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely. Resist the urge to cut into the loaf while it is hot, it needs time to set up.

Overnight Rolls (Crescent Rolls I'll probably use for Thanksgiving this year)
By:  Marci Preece
1 ½ c. warm water, divided                                    ½ c. shortening
1 TBS. yeast, (1 package)                                2 eggs
Pinch of salt                                                     1 tsp. salt
1 cup canned evaporated milk                  1 tsp. baking powder
6 cup flour                                                       ½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup instant mashed potato flakes               ½ TBS. sugar
1/3 cup sugar

In a small bowl add ½ cup of warm water, yeast, and ½ TBS. sugar.  Set aside to dissolve.  In a large bowl (or your electric mixing bowl) mix warm milk, 1 cup warm water, 2 cups flour, instant potato flakes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Add yeast mixture and remaining 4 cups of flour.  Knead well.  Crisco a large bowl and place dough in it.  Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in the fridge overnight.  Remove from fridge and flour the counter top very well.  Flour dough, and roll out.  There are many ways you can shape these.  Use a pizza cutter to cut strips and tie into knots.  You can also separate dough into 2 balls and roll out like a pizza.  Cut into slices and roll from wide end to the tip for crescent shapes.  Place on cookie sheets and let rise three hours.  Preheat oven to 400.  Brush with butter and bake for 10-12 minutes (or brush with melted butter after they are cooked).