Some of my family and friends do not like curries as hot as I do, yet I wanted them to experience the great aromas and flavors of India. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to share a kitchen with an Indian woman from New Delhi for a few months and she introduced me to this very mild curry.
All curries do not taste the same nor are they made with the usual blend of curry powder found in your grocery spice aisle. This fact turned out to be a selling point that encouraged a number of people to give Indian curries a try. With this recipe, I’ve converted a good number to Indian cooking!
You will also find that whole coriander seeds and cloves are rendered quite mild and less pungent in flavor after they’ve cooked; you can actually bite into them without trepidation.
The Saute-Then-Simmer function on the Aroma Rice Cooker is perfect for making this dish. After the liquid ingredients are added, just close the lid and enjoy visiting with your guests until it’s ready to be served. You will be pleased with the results!
NEW DELHI CHICKEN CURRY
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2” pieces
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp salt
3 tblsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inches of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 Bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped in have then lengthwise
1 large russet potato, cut into 2” pieces with skin on
2 cups cilantro, chopped
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
1 13.5oz can coconut milk
4 oz can roasted mild chiles, chopped
1/3 c chicken broth
non-stick cooking spray
In a bowl, combine the cut chicken pieces, cardamom and salt. Add the oil, toss and set aside.
In second bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and bay leaf with the chopped onions, carrots, potato and cilantro. Save the mild chilies, coconut milk and chicken broth to be added last.
Set your Rice Cooker to Sauté then Simmer. Dry toast the coriander seeds and whole cloves until aromatic; remove to a small bowl.
Spray a small amount of oil to the pan; add chicken mixture and lightly sauté all the pieces. Add in your second bowl of vegetable ingredients and stir to combine. Add chicken broth, milk and chilies. Place the lid on and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Serve with Naan bread.
There is something about a good grilled vegetable sandwich that, for me, puts it above all others. Perhaps it is the special taste grilled vegetables have or the warm cheese oozing out between the layers. And why is it that the vegetable combinations are tastier when served this way than when they appear together in a bowl? I don’t know, maybe some or all of that. I do know that when I see those vegetables and greens in my refrigerator, I start lining up my spices and then hunt up the right cheese that will bring them all together for one great warm and fragrant sandwich. Thanks to the Grillet, it all comes together in no time.
And with that indoor grill it matters not what the weather is like outside; I know some of you still have snow. So here is a way to get into the promise of springtime weather with a tasty sandwich from the grill! Get a good book, settle in and enjoy this sandwich!
THE GREAT GRILLED VEGGIE SANDWICH
2 tblsp olive oil
1 Italian squash, sliced lengthwise in ¼ “strips
1 Portobello mushroom, 1/4 inch slices
1 sweet red onion, sliced thin
Greek seasoning (I prefer Cavender’s for this for the finer grind)
honey wheat bread, sliced and brushed with olive oil
cheese slices – such as fresh Mozzarella, Havarti, Swiss or Provolone
Brush olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle with the Greek seasoning and saute until crisp tender. Remove from pan and lightly toast the bread. Place vegetables on top of bread, adding the lettuce and cheese slices. Top with another slice of bread and cook until cheese melts, turning once.
Well, the time came again and I needed something to prepare for a large group function. As it often happens, my week was already full to bursting with other commitments.
Naturally, I gave thought to what I could do using the slow cooker function of my Rice Cooker. As I’ve mentioned before, I take great pleasure getting more than one thing done at a time. In this case, transportation was also an issue. But, no worries, this Savory Bread Pudding was the answer.
If you have not thought of a savory bread pudding as a great side or a luncheon main dish, it is time you do so. Once you have made it, you will likely have it as a regular go-to recipe. It also lends itself to your creative touch! I usually serve this with a roasted bell pepper and sun-dried tomato sauce but even there you have lots of options, so go for it!
SUNDRIED TOMATO, FETA, OLIVE AND ARTICHOKE BREAD PUDDING
8 cups stale bread cut into 1″ cubes, using any type or mixture of breads (wheat, sour dough, whole grain, etc.)
8 eggs, beaten well
2 ½ cups chicken broth
2 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup artichoke bottoms, drained well, blotted and chopped
½ cup pimiento stuffed green olives, sliced
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 cup feta cheese
Toast the bread cubes in a 350 degree oven until dry, stirring often.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl and add the beaten eggs, chicken broth, cream, artichokes, olives and dried tomatoes. Stir well to incorporate, cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours, the longer the better.
When ready to cook, add the feta cheese and place the mixture into the inner pot which has been lightly buttered. Set to slow cook for 4-5 hours. Let cool for an additional hour and remove.
Mincing or chopping meat has been used in recipes that date back to ancient times. There isn’t a culture that doesn’t use some kind of minced or chopped meat in its recipes.
Originally, this dish was made with minced squab but it can be made with any meat to your liking such as duck, chicken or pork. The type of meat used is not as important as the other ingredients that go into it. Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and soy sauce are pantry staples for Asian cooking and together they complement each other with their unique flavors.
With the added crunchiness of water chestnuts, the sweetness of mushrooms and aromatic bits of ginger and garlic, you can create a dish that is not only delicious but fast and easy to put together.
This can be served in many ways – from filled lettuce cups, with rice or even placed in a scooped out baguette.
MINCED PORK LETTUCE CUPS
2 tblsp oil
1 lb finely ground pork
¼ cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
3 tblsp water chestnuts, chopped
2 tblsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tblsp hoisin sauce
1 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tblsp soy sauce
¼ cup mushrooms, chopped
optional: fried Chinese vermicelli (cellophane noodles) and cashews for garnish.
Heat the oil in the wok and stir fry the pork and onion together until pork is lightly browned and cooked through. Drain off any fat and add the garlic and ginger, frying an additional minute.
Add the water chestnuts, rice wine, hoisin, oyster and soy sauce and continue stirring until all the flavors have combined.
Add mushrooms, mix thoroughly for another minute and serve.
Some years ago while visiting England, I was asked by our hostess how Americans cooked a particular chicken dish. I noted that while we may all call it by the same name, the ingredients would differ from one place to the next. In fact, some recipes were so different that you may not recognize it as the same dish.
The same is true for Hungarian chicken. My husband, his parents and two of his four siblings were born in Hungary. This recipe is the only way the family made it. Yet for some, having tomatoes in the recipe makes it unrecognizable as Paprikás Csirke, or “Paprika Chicken,” one of Hungary’s most famous dishes. Authentic? Our family says yes. Delicious? You bet!
It is an easy dish to prepare in your Grillet. Have all your ingredients ready and it goes together in no time at all.
HUNGARIAN CHICKEN WITH PAPRIKA
2-3 tblsp Hungarian Sweet Paprika (I prefer Szeged brand from Hungary)
1 ¼ cup chicken broth or water (with ¼ cup in reserve)
2 tblsp olive oil
2 pounds chicken, boneless breasts or your favorite pieces
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin
1 large green or red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 22 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 1 ½ cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat Grillet to 350 degrees.
Blend paprika with the reserved ¼ cup broth in a cup; set aside. Heat the oil and add chicken pieces a few at a time, browning on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel.
Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Saute the onion and bell pepper until they begin to soften. Stir in the tomatoes, paprika mixture and some of the additional broth. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat, return chicken to the pot and spoon the sauce over all the pieces. Add the remaining broth, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove cover and allow sauce to thicken to your desired consistency.
Options: Sour cream can be stirred in after 15 minutes, or as my family prefers, it is offered separately. Serve over egg noodles or with rice.
In Thailand, dishes that are considered curries are made with a paste which varies regionally and ranges from mild to very hot. Unlike their neighbors in India, Thai curries feature more fresh ingredients. Both Indian and Thai curries have complex flavors created by the blending of ingredients. India uses dried spices but Thai curries are flavored with a number of fresh herbs and aromatic leaves. Today, I’m offering you a Panang curry that’s both aromatic and mild. Unlike most Thai curries, this one is made with tofu.
For those of you who have not taken the leap, here is your opportunity to try tofu. I doubt that you will be disappointed. Before you get to the ingredients, let me also point out the use of fish sauce. Yes, it is made from fermented fish but don’t dwell on that aspect. Remember this instead: when fish sauce is combined with other ingredients, your Thai curries taste better, period. Fish sauce doesn’t dominate the flavors, it enhances them.
Unlike the northern regions of Thailand, this dish uses coconut milk that adds a delicate, yet deeply rich component to the overall taste. Be sure to breathe deeply as you prepare this dish; you’ll really enjoy the experience.
PANANG TOFU CURRY
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 tblsp panang curry paste
1 tblsp dark brown sugar
zest from 1 lime, grated
1 tblsp fish sauce
1 jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed, sliced into thin strips
2 thin slices red onion, quartered
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 baby bok choy, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
7 oz firm tofu, cubed
1-2 green onions, green tops only, chopped
2 tblsp cilantro, chopped
optional: Thai chili paste – add an additional ¼ to ½ tsp per serving
Preheat the Grillet to 300 degrees.
Pour into the pot the coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, lime zest, fish sauce, jalapeno, red onion, and basil leaves. Stir and cook for a few minutes, turning down heat if it begins to boil. Add bok choy and bean sprouts and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Gently mix in tofu so as not to break it up. Cover and heat for another minute.
Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the green onion and cilantro mixture. If desired, stir in Thai chili paste.
Note: This dish can be eaten as a soup, or over rice. It can also be made with thinly sliced beef, chicken, or fish in place of the tofu.
Waffles are one of the few things that can draw people out of their beds when the aroma wafts to their room. I remember my grandmother making these whenever we kids came to visit. She would bring out her heavy cast iron heart- shaped waffle maker and we would line up in the kitchen for a plate of happiness.
Though I do like to eat a great waffle now and then, I could never justify buying a piece of equipment that would only make one thing. The Grillet not only allows me to revisit my fond food memories at grandma’s house but it also makes a pretty good waffle – soft and moist on the inside but crispy on the outside. It may not have all the nooks and crannies of a real waffle iron, but the flavor is what it’s all about. And for the heart shape…well, I just used a cookie cutter. I’m sure grandma would approve.
So now is the perfect time to consider making a great Valentine’s breakfast of Grillet waffle hearts for yourself and your Valentine.
VALENTINE’S DAY GRILLET WAFFLES
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
2 tblsp sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 tblsp butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Combine all the dry ingredients and then add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk. Stir together just until mixed.
Heat Grillet to 325 degrees. Pour batter onto lightly sprayed pan. Cook approximately 5 minutes on one side with lid closed. Carefully flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Shape waffles into various sized hearts (or any other shape) using cookie cutters. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, syrup or jam and enjoy.