Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Beef Bhuna

I love Indian food. Or, more accurate, I love "curry house" (as the English would call it) food. That is, Indian restaurant food as it came to be in England (and thus North America shortly thereafter). I've been trying to re-create this stuff for years, and it's been tough (although I have butter chicken pretty much down). The internet is full of recipes, but you can never really tell if it's family-style home cooking, or the generic restaurant stuff I craved. So anyway, I purchased online a British cookbook specifically about cooking the restaurant-type stuff at home (www.curryhouse.co.uk). I just did my first dish, Beef Bhuna, and it's just awesome.

I won't post the recipe, as I don't want to violate his copyright and this website is open to anyone. My friends who read this know I'd be happy to make it for them, however. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blackened Fish

Normally one would use larger pieces of fish, and more extreme heat, but if you're doing this indoors in the winter you don't really want to do this the "right way" as you'll smoke up the house. Blackened seasoning + rocket-hot cast iron pan = fire alarms

You can have all the flavor though, as the seasoning is the same either way. Turned out really well, I must admit. I think I paid about $16 for this at Lone Star, maybe $4 at home. Had all the strong, hot flavor I was after.

Blackened Seasoning

1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder

Melt some butter, brush onto the fish pieces (I used bluefish, aka Pollock). Dust with seasoning, and drop into medium-hot cast iron fan (make sure the range hood fan is on). Turn when black and a little crispy, simple.

Normally, you'd have your gas grill outside nice and hot, preheat your cast iron inside, carefully transfer outside to the grill with double-layer oven pads, and do the cooking part out there using crazy-high heat.

Served with a pilaf and some boiled carrots. Garnished with a pinch of pine nuts.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Smoked Salmon Pasta w. Cream

Easy to make, and glamourous enough for company and candles. Certainly not health food, though. I suggest linguine or fettuccine with this.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
6 ounces smoked salmon, julienne cut
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp basil

Heat olive oil, then butter in medium skillet. Add garlic, onion, and red pepper and saute until softened (1 minute or so). Add salmon and saute for about two minutes. Add heavy cream and sour cream, then spices.

Cook at gentle simmer until thickened. Toss with pasta, plate. Garnish with chives, parsley, and some parmesean cheese. Pass the pepper mill.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Beef Fajitas

Normally an outside-summer-BBQ thing, doing this indoors is fine if you use a cast iron pan. I don't think anything else will quite do it right, but hey, I can't stop you. Better open a window, though. If you use the proper amount of high heat, there will be smoke happening.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 pounds inside skirt steak (or any thin, lean steak)

Heat cast iron pan, hot. Blow the dust off the blender and put in oil, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar and puree.

Put the steak on a cutting board and pound it flat. Cut into reasonable pieces if need be (don't want to overcrowd your pan).

In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Allow steak to marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Add steak to hot pan. Turn when dark and crusty (mmm...). When finished cooking, place meat in double thickness of aluminum foil, wrap, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in the same hot pan, getting them a little blackened but not overly softened.

Remove meat from foil, reserving foil and juices. Slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Return to foil pouch and toss with juice. Combine back with the vegetables in the hot pan, turn off heat and serve with tortilla wraps and sour cream, and guacamole if you have it. Cheese optional.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

French Garlic Chicken

Well, hello. I've not been keeping posts saved up while the site was down, it didn't seem as interesting if I could not immediately get them uploaded for viewing. So, I'll just pick up where I left off by posting whatever I just finished.

Garlic French Chicken...don't worry about the idea of using a whole bulb of garlic, it gets really mellow and earthy after an hour of roasting. Really good recipe that I'll make for Karen's parents sometime, and quite easy as most of this occurs in one vessel, a roasting pan.

1 frying chicken, in pieces and skinned (ask your butcher, or buy a package of bone-in skinless chicken)

1 tsp thyme
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

2 medium onions, cut into wedges
3 carrots, chopped roughly
1 bulb garlic (8 or so cloves) chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine

1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp cornstarch

hot cooked noodles

1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray, and arrange chicken pieces in a single layer.

2. Mix together dry spices, and dust over the chicken pieces. Around the chicken arrange the onions and carrots.

3. Combine the balsamic and wine, and pour over chicken and vegetables. Roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, turn chicken, baste with juice from pan, roast for 15 more minutes.
4. Remove from oven. Seperate chicken to a bowl, cover with foil. Remove vegetables to a 2ed bowl, cover with foil. Transfer pan juices to a small sauce pan, add chicken stock, and bring to boil. Thicken with cornstarch solution.

5. Plate the vegetables and chicken with broad pasta noodles. Spoon over the sauce and enjoy.