RECIPES

South Indian Chicken - Kori Gassi (h/t to Monisha Bharadwaj)

25 May, 2021 0 comments Leave a comment

We have one cookbook that I will never, ever be without. I mean, we have many wonderful cookbooks full of delicious recipes, but Monisha Bharadwaj's The Indian Cooking Course is a work of precision and breadth, full of information about Indian regional cooking. Some recipes allow you to get the dish on the table in 10 minutes, some several hours. The photographer, Gareth Morgans, knows his stuff and accompanies the recipes - as well as descriptions of spices and vegetables -with sumptuous photos. This recipe is adapted from Monisha's book.

We recommend using good-sized chicken quarters (thigh and leg), and not using breasts. We prefer the moisture and taste of quarters.

This recipe for Kori Gassi originates in Karnataka and creates an immensely rich tasting main course that's also good for you. We serve it with high heat sauteed green beans with a handful of sliced almonds and some salt. And rice. You could easily make it vegan by switching out the chicken for potatoes and cauliflower (adding the cauliflower towards the end of the cooking process).

2-4 tablespoons oil or ghee
2 small onions, finely chopped
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed or grated
a large thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
a handful of unsweetened coconut, rehydrated in boiling water if dried
2 tablespoons of tamarind (or 1 tablespoon lime juice, added at the end)
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons Kitchen Imp Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1 hot chili, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium tomatoes, pureed, or 1.5 cup canned tomatoes and juice
2.25 pounds (more or less) chicken thigh quarters or just bone-in thighs, skin removed
1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat, as low fat will make the dish too watery)8 curry leaves, if you have them
salt to taste

Add 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee in a pan at least 10" across and 3" deep. Heat til the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion and cook 5-8 minutes, til the onion is golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger, as well as the hot chili, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes on slightly lower heat. Add the Garam Masala and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour the onion mixture into a bowl to cool slightly.

In a separate frying pan, toast the coriander and fenugreek seed til slightly darker and aromatic. Set aside to cool and then grind or add whole to the onion mixture when you blend it.

When the onion mixture is cool enough, blend it, along with the toasted spices and the coconut, with a stick blender or in a blender. 

Sprinkle the chicken with the Kashmiri chili powder and turmeric. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to the pan and heat to a shimmer. Place the thighs into the pan with the curry leaves and, after 30 seconds, flip them. After 30 more seconds, add the tomatoes. Stir to mix the spices into the tomatoes. Raise the heat until the tomatoes start to bubble and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes thicken slightly.

Add the onion mixture and cook, covered, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 135 degrees. Uncover and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees. Turn the heat to low, add the coconut milk, and cook for a few more minutes.

Taste the sauce and season with salt as desired. 

Vanilla Sugar Butter Cookies

03 March, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

These cookies make perfect use of our vanilla sugar. I've used weights here because it's so much faster and more efficient. A decent kitchen sale will run you $12-$20. Go for it!

375 grams flour (sub a 1-1 gf, if desired)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
100 grams white sugar
100 grams dark brown sugar
1/2 lb (227 g) softened butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Vanilla sugar for rolling

Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until the mixture pales. 2-4 minutes in a mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides between each addition. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour in two additions. If using wheat flour, mix just enough to thoroughly combine, as any more will toughen the cookies. If you use gluten free flour, don't worry because there's no gluten!

Refrigerate dough for at least an hour (overnight is best). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a small bowl with vanilla sugar. Roll dough into large marble sized balls and roll those balls in the sugar until they're completely covered. Place on a cookie sheet and press into 1/4 inch discs with the bottom of a glass. Bake 10-12 minutes, til just brown around the edges. 10 minutes will get you a softer cookie, 12 a crisp one.

Garam Masala Nuts

01 March, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

1 egg white, at room temperature 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1-2 teaspoons salt 
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala 
3 cups toasted nuts (we use pecans, walnuts, & pecans) 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. If you use foil, reduce cooking time and watch that the nuts don’t scorch.

Whisk the egg white and one tablespoon hot water until you have a thick froth (almost like foam on a latte). Stir in the sugar & garam masala. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and sugar is partially dissolved.  Toss the nuts with the mixture and then spread the nuts on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes.  Stir the nuts occasionally. Note: I tend to like my nuts sweet and spicy, so I would add another tablespoon sugar and a half teaspoon of hot curry.

Late Summer Farmers' Market Soup

08 September, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

This almost-stew soup uses end-of-summer bounty to make a delicious, satisfying dinner with leftovers for lunch. 

1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Chipotle Chocolate Rub
1/3 cup rice
1/4 c red beans
2 cups diced or crushed tomatoes
1/2-1 cup diced peppers (I used a mix of chilies; some hot, some not)
2 cups corn
8 ounces bacon
4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons lime juice
Sour cream
1 cup spinach (optional)

If you didn't remember to soak the beans the night before (I usually forget), put them into a small pot of boiling water with a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. After you cook them til they are chewable, but not fully cooked, add the rice to the pot. When the beans are nearly cooked, drain and rinse them and the rice.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large soup pot. Remove to a paper towel to drain when it's crispy. Pour all but a tablespoon of the fat into a bowl for use at another time. Saute the onions in the bacon fat on medium low heat until soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the peppers and cook another two minutes.

Add the Chipotle Chocolate Rub and cook, stirring, another 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the ingredients (except the spinach, which should be added towards the end of the cook time and the lime juice, which should be added just before serving) and cook, simmering, until the beans and rice and are tender. Taste and correct the salt. Stir in one teaspoon of lime juice, taste, and add more if desired. Serve with sour cream.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

05 September, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Or, what to do with all of those end-of-summer squashes.

For two loaves
5 grated zukes (4 1/2-5 cups)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 t baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar 
3 eggs
6 oz butter
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. ​Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each. ​Add zucchini and mix. Add flour mixture and mix til just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester or sharp knife comes out dry.

Roast Chicken with Chipotle Chocolate Rub

03 September, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

If you're an adventure cook like my brother, you could make a boiled, peeled pig tongue that you then smoke after sprinkling it with our Chipotle Chocolate Rub, but, well, many of us might not be up to that. Alternatively, here's a recipe for easy roast chicken.

1 whole chicken, backbone removed by a butcher or by you (poultry shears or a sharp knife will do the trick)

2-3 tablespoons of Chipotle Chocolate Rub

Sprinkle the bird, inside and out, with Chipotle Chocolate Rub. If possible, let the bird sit, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour or two. Then, if you have a gas grill, turn it on to its lowest setting. If you're using a charcoal grill, set up the grill for indirect cooking. 

Roast the bird for 25 minutes, exposed side down. Then flip it skin side down and roast until the breast measures 150 degrees F and the thigh measures 175 degrees. (Those are the temps the FDA recommends. Some people find that the bird is a little overcooked this way. You do you.)

Muhamarra (better than the last one I posted)

07 August, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Some years ago, I posted a recipe for muhamarra that was, well, fine for what it was, but it was too complicated (three kinds of nuts? really?). This one is easy and tastier.

1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (or sherry vinegar)
1 1/2 teaspoons harissa
1 cup + roasted red pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sheep or goat feta (or more)
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and garlic until they're coarsely ground. If you like your dips chunkier, pulse til the pieces are the size of small peas. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse til well combined. Taste and add more harissa, feta, or lemon juice, as desired. 

Serve with sliced vegetables, chewy bread, or grilled meats. 

Lentil Soup with Ginger and Spinach

13 February, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

ghee or oil, 1 tablespoon 
garlic, 1-2 tablespoons minced 
onion, 1 medium, chopped 
celery, ½ cup diced
carrot, ½ cup diced  
garam masala, 1 teaspoon 
sweet turmeric masala, 1 teaspoon 
tikka masala, 1 teaspoon
tamarind paste, ¼ teaspoon, mixed into warm water (opt.)
ginger, 1 ½ inches, grated
coconut milk, 8-12 ounces
red lentils, 2 cups
chicken or vegetable stock, or water, 1 quart
spinach, 10-16 ounces
salt to taste

Heat the oil to a shimmer. Sauté the onion on medium heat for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, add the garlic, and sauté for another minute, then add the carrot, ginger, and celery and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the spices and stir to mix thoroughly for 30 seconds. Add lentils and broth and simmer 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add more water or broth as needed. Add spinach and cook until tender. Add the coconut milk and bring the soup back up to a lower simmer. Taste, correct salt, and serve.

Dal with Spinach - Lentil Goodness for the New Year

05 January, 2016 0 comments Leave a comment

Like many of you, I over-indulged over the holidays. Not terribly, just a little more sugar, a little more meat, and several fewer vegetables than I like to. Yesterday, I shopped for the good stuff: spinach, peppers, lettuce, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, cabbage, eggplant, buttermilk, yogurt, and some lean beef so I can make my own ground beef. And all I wanted for dinner was a vegetarian, vegetable laden meal, satisfying, but not heavy. So I put some rice on to cook and made this.

a small thub-sized piece of ginger, minced or grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh hot chili, minced, or one to two dried hot chilis
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup split yellow peas)
water (or broth)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional)

Heat the oil to a shimmer. Add the onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir, cooking, 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin, mix, and cook another minute. Add the lentils and two cups of water. Stir, bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cover. Check every 15 minutes, stirring and adding water as needed. When the lentils are tender add the spinach and coconut. Cook until the spinach is wilted and tender. Add 1 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt as needed. Mix in butter and serve over steamed rice.

Serves 4 as a main course.

Kheer, a creamy coconut rice pudding

31 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

It's fall here in the Pacific Northwest. All of a sudden, after the hottest summer ever recorded here. The grey and the rain are a welcome blessing. And with that weather comes the desire for soups, puddings, and a move away from the cold, crisp foods of summer. Kheer is perfect for this time.

Kheer - serves 4
1/4 cup arborio or jasmine rice, soaked and rinsed
16 ounces of coconut milk
2-4 tablespoons of sugar (I used 2 1/2)
1+ cup water
a pinch salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
2 tablespoon roughly chopped almonds or pistachios (I omitted these this time)

Add the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt to a large-ish saucepan. Cook until rice is still chalky in the middle. Add the sugar and spices. Cover and turn down the heat to low. Check every 5-10 minutes, stirring. If it becomes thick enough for you and the rice isn't cooked through, add a half cup more water.

Serve topped with the chopped nuts, if using, and/or chopped peaches or berries.