Tag Archives: cayenne

May I Curry Your Flavor?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 3/4 c tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh spinach
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

P1100392Looking for — or didn’t know you were looking for — a spicy new sauce for pulled chicken or pork? Tailgate dishes becoming a little predictable? Don’t usually cotton to curries? Give this a try for more kick than curry.

Start onion and garlic in melted ghee on the L side of L for at least 20m. Sprinkle in the mustard seeds and increase heat to the M side of ML until crackling is heard. Add tomatoes, a dash of broth and cover 5-10m. Chop up your chicken and spinach, set aside. Return to the pan and crush those tomato bits with your spatula, adding the remainder of spices. Mix, mush and gently pummel everything before adding in the spinach. When it begins to wilt upon stir, add in the rest of your liquids, stir well, then add in the chicken. Do some more stirring well while it comes to a boil on M. When it does, cover the pan and turn heat back to the L side of L. Let sit and be heated together as one, then enjoy on a bun or over rice for 5 spoons of flavor.

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7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Cabbage Come a-Knockin (Or, “Pastabilities from Vegetable Grief”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 medium head red cabbage
  • 1 turkey kielbasa
  • 2 c cooked bowtie pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 c broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • Parmesan cheese (topping)

I just began absentmindedly cooking the cabbage in a figurative wail of disappointment over the head of broccoli I had planned on using showing unexpected rot this morning. Isn’t that the normal reaction to vegetable grief? When reality brought itself back, I was left standing before a half-sauteed head of cabbage with onion in a small pool of butter. I looked at it like a sudden, unwelcome visitor then broke away to scan the freezer. I had in all earnesty planned on another vegetarian dinner tonight, but in the back of the ice box — covered in ice itself, but not burnt — was half a turkey kielbasa. I fell back into an old recipe for safety, but modified it just enough to prove to myself that I still had it.

So there’s there’s the head of cabbage, there. Toss in 1/4 c broth and cover it so it can steam on M where it’s been. Oh, and throw in all those seasonings (especially the asafoetida — this much cabbage definitely calls for “fart powder”). Next, brown medium-thin slices of kielbasa in the pot you’re about to boil pasta in. When the bottom of the pot (on M) starts to brown before those slices of turkeybits, scrape it up and toss the slices in those not-quite-burnt bits. Keep it together on M for another minute or two then add it to the cabbage. Bring 1/2 c of stock to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to L. Let it all simmer while you rinse out that sausage pot and ready the pasta. Cook according to instructions but make sure it’s al dente when you take it off the heat because it’s going in with the cabbage/kielbasa mix and will continue cooking. If you prefer mushier pasta (I know who some of you are, stop shielding your faces) go ahead and cook it to your preferred point. Mix everything together and top with Parmesan cheese. 4 spoons!

3 Cheeses + 3 Vegetables + Pasta = Equation for Happiness

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c rice pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 c buckwheat, cooked in broth
  • 1.5 c red cabbage, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c minced kale, loosely packed
  • 1/5 c zucchini, sliced in small bits
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c broth (vegetable)
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mozzarella
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So you’ll start your onion, garlic and mustard seeds in a pan on ML. After translucency in onions begins, stir in turmeric and increase heat to M. Stir in kale, add a dash of broth and cover for 5-10m. Open the pan back up then stir in cabbage and remaining seasonings. Toss it all in a happy foray, then let your zucchini join in for a while (leave covered on L with another splash or two of broth).

Cook and drain your pasta. Mix buckwheat, mozzarella and feta into your cabbage/kale pan, then mix in your pasta. Serve topped with Parmesan. 5 spoons!

Daliciousness

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c moong dal
  • 3 medium-large red potatoes
  • 2 leaves of kale, minced
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 14.5 oz cans vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

What’s a great animal-free meat substitute when there’s no tofu and no beans have been soaked? Dal! Moong dal can be cooked in 10m at a boil, so when the mood for a comfort-style meal hits too late to arrange a primary protein, these little orange beads can wink their collective eye. Or maybe not, because if they could wink then they would be coming from some kind of animal and I’m really trying here, guys.

Start the big deep-bottomed frying pan out on cold M with ghee, and when at full M (with the ghee having dissolved into tears at the hellfire below it) toss in the chunks of onion. Stir for just a moment, then add your thinly-sliced chunks of potato. Put in the garlic paste and stir until everything is coated. Add the almond milk, stir then sprinkle kale on top and cover. Let it come to a boil for about 5m, then return to add seasonings and grieve for that blisteringly gorgeous green on the kale that won’t last until chewing. Stir, then add the vegetable broth. Cover and let return to a boil on MH. Go take a load off.

It’s important to note that I cooked my moong dal beforehand, but they could probably be put in the big pan at this point. Oh well. I just added them after the potatoes were soft, and no flavor factors seemed tested. In fact, the ultimate judging of this dish was no test a-tall: 4 spoons.

Li’l Matpe Cakes, or “U Rad!”

 

In my pantry today:

  • 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
  • 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
  • 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Leftover Basmati rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
  • Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing

First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.

It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size.  Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.

Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.

Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?

[UPDATE]

I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!