Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting older...

Somebody at our house is having a birthday today. I won't mention a name, but here is his present...

Happy Birthday!
I was kind enough to remove an essential tidbit of information from the above photos.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Apple Pancakes

I have been wanting to make dutch babies or apple pancakes for a really long time. I have found tons of recipes, but they all say to make them in a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet. When I found this recipe in the latest Penzey's spice catalog I knew I had to try it. This was so easy and quick for a Saturday morning breakfast. I thought it was really good and didn't even put syrup or butter on it. 

Apple Pancakes
from Penzey's
1/4 Cup butter (1/2 stick), divided
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
3/4 Cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 medium baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 TB. CINNAMON SUGAR, divided

Preheat oven to 400°. Divide butter evenly between two 9 inch pie plates and put them in the oven to melt the butter. Rotate the pie plates until the butter coats the bottom and the sides. To make dividing the ingredients between the two plates easier, we used a 4-Cup measuring cup as our mixing bowl. Beat eggs, PURE VANILLA EXTRACT, flour, milk, and salt on medium speed for 1 minute. Toss the sliced apples with 2 TB. of the CINNAMON SUGAR. Arrange 1/2 of the apple slices in each pan so they cover the bottom in pretty much a single layer. Pour 1/2 the egg mixture over the apple slices in each pan. Sprinkle the remaining CINNAMON SUGAR over the batter in each pan. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve right away, while still puffy, with warm syrup.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Friday, March 27, 2009

Almond Stuffed Chicken

Ok, so I'll confess...I used the full fat Boursin Cheese in this recipe. I feel guilty, this is supposed to be Cooking Light, but my grocery store does not sell "light" Boursin Cheese. I suppose I really missed the point here, but I did not miss the flavor. This was a really tasty and simple meal to put together. Another one to add to the "regular" menu (whatever that is). David wants to know what was wrong with the first hundred things we ate and posted on the blog. Why can't we have any of those things again? What fun would that be?

Almond Stuffed Chicken
from Cooking Light
Ingredients
1/3 cup light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese (such as Boursin light)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped, and divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
Preparation
1. Combine spreadable cheese, 3 tablespoons almonds, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons almond mixture into each pocket; secure each pocket with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

3. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; cover and let stand 2 minutes. Top chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes

I believe it was the February issue of Mary Jane's Farm Magazine that was all about bees and honey. One of the things they recommended to help save the honey bees was to buy more had been wanting to purchase the Raspberry Honey from Moon Valley for a long time and this gave me the perfect excuse. Save the bees, eat more cupcakes! I think I should make some bumperstickers. These were really good, but did not hold up to the second day. Eat them immediately after frosting.
Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes
from Mary Janes Farm Magazine

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice (1/4 cup) of one Meyer lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Butter, softened
3/4 cup Orange Blossom honey
2 large eggs
1/2 pint raspberries
Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a liquid measure, combine lemon zest, juice and buttermilk; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add honey; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time. Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the lemon mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until combined. Gently fold in raspberries. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack; cool. Frost with Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream (below) if desired.


Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream

- Makes 12-14 servings -

Ingredients

1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon Orange Blossom honey
2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, honey and jam. Beat until peaks form.

*Any mild-flavored honey such as Clover may be used.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Panang Tofu Curry

A really tasty, quick weeknight meal in the dreaded yellow light! I promise this will be over soon! Only a couple more lurking in the archives.


from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)*
1 cup water
1 13-1/2- to 14-ounce can organic light coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
1 tablespoon (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
2 14-ounce packages organic firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices peeled carrots (about 3 medium)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
PREPARATION
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, ginger, and garlic; cook until shallots are tender, about 6 minutes. Add peanut butter, turmeric, cumin, and chili paste; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup water, then coconut milk, lime leaves, and brown sugar; bring to simmer. Season sauce with salt. Add tofu, carrots, and bell pepper; simmer over medium heat until carrots are tender, adjusting heat to medium-low if beginning to boil and occasionally stirring gently, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Falafel

I think with the return of the sunshine and slightly warmer temperature my body has been fooled into thinking it is May. I had a serious craving for Farmer's Market Falafel. There is not much I can do about it since opening day of the market is still another two months away. Ugh! In the meantime I decided to make my own at home. I had thought I was going to try and make pita bread as well and lost my motivation at the last minute and just went the store bought route. These were some huge falafel, almost like veggie patties. I did find the mixture to be extremely wet and added about a 1/4 cup of chickpea flour at the end. These were just as good as the Farmer's Market, if only I had all the pickles and yummy toppings to go with them. I'm counting the days...

Falafel
from Vegetarian Times
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbs. tahini
1 large egg
2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. salt (or to taste)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
½ tsp. baking powder
Olive oil, for frying

Yogurt Sauce
2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. ground cumin
Directions

1. To make Falafel: Pulse chickpeas, tahini, egg, lemon zest, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, chili powder, and salt in blender or food processor until mostly smooth, but still chunky. Transfer to bowl, and stir in flour, onion, parsley, and baking powder.
2. Shape 1/4 cup chickpea mixture into 1-inch-thick patty, and place on platter. Repeat with remaining chickpea mixture. (Falafel patties can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.)
3. Pour enough olive oil into large skillet to have 1/4 inch in bottom. Heat over medium-high heat. Place patties in pan, making sure patties don’t touch. Cook 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper-towel-lined platter to drain. Repeat with remaining patties.
4. To make Yogurt Sauce: Combine all ingredients in serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with warm Falafel.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lemon Chiffon Cake

This month the Cake Slice Bakers chose this Lemon Chiffon Cake. I substituted Meyer Lemons. Are you surprised? This was a really delicious cake and would be just as good with regular lemons.  It was a great way to celebrate spring, although I must say it felt a lot more like spring two weeks ago when we ate this cake than it does today, the first day of spring.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beef-Ale Stew and Green Onion-Buttermilk Dumplings

Are you still looking for a quick St. Patrick's Day dinner? Well, unless you are in Alaska you probably already had dinner. Just in case...we had this ale stew a couple of weeks ago and I think it would make the perfect St. Patrick's Day meal. There is a lot of ale in this stew and a little touch of green in the dumplings. I had never thought of dumplings in beef stew, but they are really good. Who can't use another excuse to have dumplings?

Beef-Ale Stew and Green Onion-Buttermilk Dumplings
from Sunset Magazine
4 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
6 tablespoons plus 2 cups all-purpose flour
3 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bottles (12 oz. each) ale
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
3 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-in. lengths
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (green part only)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
About 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg

1. In a large bowl, toss beef with 3 tbsp. flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. Add enough beef to pot to form a single layer (about 1/3 of beef), being careful not to overcrowd pot. Brown meat on all sides, about 7 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a large bowl and brown remaining beef in 2 batches. If meat or pan juices start to scorch, reduce heat.

2. Add 1 bottle ale to pot, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Pour ale over reserved beef and return empty pot to medium-high heat.

3. Add remaining tbsp. oil to pot. Add onions and 2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have a hint of gold color, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, raise heat to medium-high, stir in 3 tbsp. flour, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, reserved beef and ale, remaining bottle of ale, and carrots. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 3 hours.

4. About 40 minutes before serving, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, stir together remaining 2 cups flour, green onions, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal with some pea-size pieces. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until a very shaggy dough forms. If more liquid is needed, add additional buttermilk 1 tbsp. at a time. Gently form dough into 12 equal balls and drop into stew. Cover pot and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until dumplings are fluffy and cooked through. Let sit 15 minutes before serving; stew will thicken as it cools.

Mine...


I couldn't figure out what was going on outside on Saturday. Brody almost never barks, even when we ask him to "speak" he just lets out a wimpy little squeak. When he does let out a full bark his Great Pyrenees comes out and the whole house shakes. Brody was outside with David and there was a lot of barking going on. Something exciting must have been happening. When I looked out the window I witnessed Brody retrieving a chunk of ice that must have been nearly as big as he was. 

Our dog is obsessed with snowballs. This weekend David chopped up all the ice in front of the garage and threw it over the edge of the hill. Brody tired himself out trying to retrieve every last chunk. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have never really been a fan of Sweet and Sour anything. The Sweet and Sour Chicken found in most Asian restaurants drowing in its thick red sauce with deep-fried chicken is just a bit too much. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against deep-fried chicken. I think it is the sauce that always got to me. Once I tried to make it with the jar sauce from the grocery store and that made matters even worse. This recipe however was a very nice only mildly red sauce that was quite light and complemented the dish very well. The ginger added a nice fresh flavor and I really enjoyed the extra kick the chili paste gave the dish. I would make this again and would like to try it with pork as well. 

Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken
from Cooking Light

Ingredients
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
5 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2 x 1/2–inch-thick pieces
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chile paste
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced onion
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced green bell pepper
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
1 cup (1/2-inch) diced fresh pineapple

Preparation
1. Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; stir well to coat. Set aside.

2. Combine chicken broth, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chile paste, and sesame oil.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, bell peppers, and green onions to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and spread in an even layer; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is done.

5. Return vegetable mixture to pan. Add soy sauce mixture and pineapple, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Yes, my friends I am cleaning out my draft folder this week. How did you know? Was it the horrible greenish-yellow light of winter that gave it away? I have about a dozen posts with only recipes and pictures sitting in my draft folder just waiting to greet you. I promise that they are all very good recipes and worthy of your kitchen. We just had a bumpy winter and although we didn't quit eating, I just couldn't keep up with the blog posting.
Did you realize this weekend is already daylight savings time? This means it will actually still be light out when I get home from work. Of course there still won't be any light for our dinner photos as this means will will just stay out playing later and dinner will continually be bumped later and later until we find ourselves eating at our regular 10pm dinner time. 
As soon as I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit I knew that it would make an appearance in our kitchen. What's not to love? It is quick and easy and tasty too. I am really loving the flavors of cabbage and lime together. I didn't have any green onions the night we made these so I used red onion instead. I love the flavor of red onion in lime juice and would definitely use red onion again. We made our own tortillas, well sort of we used the package mix. 

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw
from Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 white or yellow corn tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce
PREPARATION
Place beans and cumin in small bowl; partially mash. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon 1/4 of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with feta and slaw. Pass hot sauce alongside.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicken Biryani

The problem with setting up advance posting on my blog is that sometimes I forget to go back and add the comments before an item posts. Like today....
I really enjoyed this simple Chicken Biryani recipe from Cooking Light. I had been wanting to make it for a while, but all the cookbook recipes I have are quite long and involved. This one is another simple weeknight recipe.

Chicken Biryani
from Cooking Light

Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups rice mixture, 1 tablespoon almonds, and 1 lime wedge)

Ingredients
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 lime wedges
Preparation
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger, garam masala, cumin, salt, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add tomato, rice, raisins, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in cilantro. Sprinkle with almonds; serve with lime wedges.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Homemade Life...

Perfection!

Good Morning Sunshine! Yes, this is all natural light in my photos. It feels so nice to have the sun warming our morning breakfast table. Is it the sunshine that has me humming quietly in my kitchen this morning? Well, that is part of it. Another part is that I just finished reading Molly Wizenberg's book "A Homemade Life".  It will officially be released in bookstores today (gotta love amazon's pre-order). I am telling you that you should shut down your computer right now and get yourself to your nearest bookstore to pick up a copy of this book. Don't worry, I'll still be here when you get back. Once the word gets out about this book, it may not be there if you don't hurry. I can't say that you heard it here first, but I will guarantee in a matter of days every food blogger on the internet is going to tell you to go out and get a copy of this book. 
I first became interested in Molly Wizenberg's writing through an article she wrote in her Cooking Life column for Bon Appetit on the trouble with yeast. Not only did I enjoy the article, but the cinnamon roll recipe that accompanied it is now a standard that I have made several times. 
I'll admit that I was not a huge follower of Molly's blog Orangette. Yes, it is in my blogroll and I do glance at it every now and again. As with most blogs I don't sit down and read posts from day one, I have only read the posts since about last September when I was introduced to the world of food blogging. Molly only posts once a week and since I had not known the back story the present posts really didn't have much meaning to me. Yeah Yeah a pizza place, that is nice. Now that I know that Molly met Brandon through her blog, and I know the stories of her family, and growing up as an only child. Well, now I think "Wow, Brandon is opening a pizza place, that's great". Ok, just get the book. You will see what I mean. You too will want to go back and read every post since day one.
Normally I do not cook recipes from books that I read. I have a hard time with the reading/cook book combination. Do I read it or do I cook from it? The writing in this book was so warm, it was as though Molly herself was handing you these recipes in her kitchen on her own handwritten recipe cards. It just seemed natural to want to sit down and make something from this book. The desire was so great that I made these scones before reading the final chapter. The detailed description made me think that just possibly these could be "the" scones I was looking for. I had a feeling about them. As I mixed them together I could tell these were going to be different. When they came out of the oven and I took that first bite, I knew I was close, oh so very close. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what it was that made them different than my favorite Black Cat scones. I started to think that maybe if I couldn't figure how they were different then maybe this was the scone. I slowly savored each bite, and then it hit me, just a little too flaky, too biscuit like. I like my scones just a little more dense. Then I remembered a conversation I had with one of the baker's from the Black Cat a very long time ago. I was told that I really should not eat the scones every day as they were filled with heavy cream and butter. Could it be so simple? Just replace the half and half in Molly's recipe with heavy cream? So, this morning that is what I did and you guessed it, perfection! The photos below are of the scones I made Saturday morning. The photo at the top of the page is my perfect scone with the heavy cream substitute. 
The original version of this recipe calls for lemon and ginger. I think they would be delicious with any variety of combinations of fruit and citrus zest. 
Scottish Cream Scones
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons sugar
zest of one (meyer if possible) lemon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for glazing
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no butter lumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar, lemon zest, an raspberries and gently stir to incorporate. 
Pour the 1/2 cup heavy cream into a small bowl and add the egg. Beat with a fork to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and crumbly, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a round mass. Turn the dough, and any excess flour, out onto a board or countertop, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. You do not want to overwork the dough; ideally, do not knead it more than 12 times. There may be some excess flour that is not absorbed, it does not matter. Pat dough into a round circle about 1 inch thick.
Cut circle into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour a splash of heavy cream into a small bowl. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the scones with a thin coat to glaze. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. 

I swear there were eight! Hmmmm...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jerk Pork Chops

I have really enjoyed the February Issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. I try to curb my magazine addiction by telling myself I can not buy a magazine unless I can find at least four recipes I would like to cook in the index section. Too many times I have purchased a cooking magazine just for its pretty cover only to find there really isn't anything in it I want to cook. I am also being more cautious as most magazines print all their recipes online now. As of late Fine Cooking had not been posting most of their recipes online, so when I browsed through this issue and immediately saw several recipes I would like to try including three with pork (I am pork challenged) I decided to go for it. These pork chops were really good. I have been trying to find a really good and simple recipe for jerk seasoning. I love the fresh flavor these pork chops had. I would use this same recipe with chicken as well. I bet it would be great. This will probably being our first choice when looking for jerk seasoning in the future.

Spicy Jerk Pork Chops
from Fine Cooking
Serves four.
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the pan
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4 inch thick, about 2-1/2 lb. total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium scallions (white and green parts), coarsely chopped
2 small Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped (wear gloves)
2 small limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into 8 wedges
2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Lightly oil a broiler pan or a rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet.Season the pork all over with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. In a food processor, purée the oil, scallions, chiles, lime juice, garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt. Coat the chops on all sides with the mixture and set on the broiler pan or rack. Broil until the pork begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook until browned, the meat is firm to the touch, and an instantread thermometer inserted close to (but not touching) the bone registers 145°F, about 7 minutes more. Serve with the lime wedges.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sanha Pakoras (Chickpea-Flour Fritters)


It is not often that I make a full Indian meal for just the two of us anymore. When this arrived from Rebecca last week I knew it was time for a complete Indian dinner to appear in our kitchen: 
A little warning about these fritters, they are really good in the way that deep fried items are too good. If there are only two of you I recommend cutting the recipe in half. The measurements may already seem small, but this recipe makes about 20 pakoras and if you have very limited willpower you may just eat all 20. Not that this has every happened in our house. 
One last note, these are absolutely amazing served with Spicy Apple Chutney. So amazing that I can not ever imagine eating them without it again. It is a good thing that I won't have to as Rebecca has shared the recipe. I'll let her decide if she would like to share it with the rest of you. 

Sanha Pakoras (Chickpea-Flour Fritters)
from Ajanta Cookbook

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup finely diced potatoes
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 inch piece of giner chopped
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
Oil for deep frying

In a large mixing bowl combine chickpea flour, baking powder, and potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of oil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Add mixture to the flour mixture and add just enough water (about three tablespoons) to make a thick paste resembling chunky hummus. 
Heat about 1 inch of oil on medium high heat in a heavy bottom saucepot. Using a large spoon or tablespoon size cookie scoop drop several dollops of the paste into the hot oil and deep-fry, turning once until golden brown. Frying too many pakoras at one time will reduce the temperature of the oil and the pakoras will fall apart and soak up too much oil. Fry in small batches. Remove pakoras from oil and set on tray or platter lined with paper towel. Repeat until the entire mixture is finished. 


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