Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower with Mint Cilantro Chutney

This roasted cauliflower dish was recommended to me so many times that I finally got around to making it, and we loved it – so delicious.

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Tandoori Spice 

 2 tsp. chili (or cayenne)
 1 Tbsp. cardamom (ground, or seeds)
 4 Tbsp. cumin seeds

2 Tbsp. coriander seeds

½ whole nutmeg, grated
 2 tsp. whole cloves
 2-3 sticks cinnamon
 2 Tbsp. ground turmeric
 2 Tbsp. paprika

Put everything except turmeric and paprika in a spice blender – blend well and then stir in the turmeric and paprika.  Store in airtight jar – will keep for months My spice grinder is getting a little old and struggles with the cinnamon … next time I might try using ground cinnamon.

(let’s be honest – if you buy a tandoori spice blend at the store you might be just as happy with this dish, but I love playing with spices so I enjoyed making my own!)

1 large head cauliflower

4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. tandoori spice blend
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup yogurt

 I like to marinate this in a ziplock bag – allows the cauliflower to get the spice blend in all those nooks and crannies.  Just put everything in the bag, give it  a squish, squish, add the cauliflower and allow to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, even better if allowed to rest overnight.

Roast at 400 for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower.  Remove from oven and drizzle with a great quality olive oil and a generous squeeze of freshly squeezed lemon.

Serve with Cilantro Mint Chutney

2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 shallot, minced
½ red chili, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
a couple pinches sea salt
1 tsp. raw honey

So easy to do – give all ingredients a whiz or two in the food processor, or a mortar and pestle, until you have a pesto like consistency.  Season to taste and serve with this delicious cauliflower.

Family Style Indian Curry Chicken

I know the title says chicken curry - but the sauce made an awesome  Prawn Masala another day!

I know the title says chicken curry – but the sauce made an awesome Prawn Masala another day!

I don’t know how I have managed to forget about getting this recipe on here!  It is a tried and true favorite, and as delicious as it is the first day – even better the 2nd.  I always find my curry recipes make more sauce than needed on the first night and so the sauce will show up with a different protein or vegetable a couple days later – tasting amazing.

1/3 cup canola oil (or ghee)

2 cups finely chopped onions

3 inch piece of cinnamon stick

3 tbsp finely chopped garlic

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 large can)

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 lbs chicken thighs, bone in

1 cup sour cream

1 cup water

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In large pan, heat oil or ghee on medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and cinnamon – saute for 5-8 minutes until they have reached a rich, golden yellow color.  Add garlic and saute for another few minutes.  Add ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne.  Cook this over medium heat until the oil separates from the masala.

Wash chicken thighs well and add to the masala.  Stir well and cook chicken thighs until they look cooked on the outside (about 10-15 minutes).  Add sour cream and water – stir well.  Increase heat slightly until it starts to boil,then turn down to gently simmer.  Stir occasionally, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through.  (at least 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken thighs)

Remove and discard cinnamon stick.

Stir in cilantro just at serving time and serve with basmati rice.  We also love it served with Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower with Mint Cilantro chutney …. yummmmmmy.

Try this with cooking the masala, and then stirring in a vegetarian option of tofu or vegetables! Also amazing with any number of seafood options – pictured today here with prawns.

Chicken Chile Soup

Chicken Chile Soup

I’m not sure what is going on with the weather, but we are having an unseasonal amount of rain and grey skies.  Today just felt like soup and biscuits.  After a look into the freezer, I discovered some chicken stock, and chicken breast – perfect – I had lots of vegetables in the fridge so a hearty, warm soup was exactly what we needed.

6 – 8 cups chicken stock

3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1 tin (14 oz) tomato

1 dried ancho chile

1 dried guajillo chile

1 onion, minced

1 each red, green, yellow and orange pepper, roughly chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1 tbsp regular chile powder

2 tbsp masa (corn flour)

Throw it all into a pot – leaving the ancho and guajillo chiles whole, and allow it to simmer – taste and adjust for seasoning – add a little salt and pepper.  If you like it spicy add more chile.

To dress the soup up a bit, garnish with chives, avocado and fresh herbs.

Yorkshire Pudding

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After trying a variety of different Yorkshire Pudding recipes, this old fashioned one became my favorite.  It always turns out, and is very simple, so go ahead and give it a try.

14 TBSP flour

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup water

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

Have all ingredients sitting on the counter for a few hours before you begin – if everything is at room temperature first it will make them puff up beautifully!

Preheat oven to 375 – put 1 tsp of canola oil into each of the muffin tins, and set pan in oven to heat while you mix the ingredients.

Lightly beat eggs, add milk and water.  Sift flour and salt.  Beat into egg mixture, beating well until smooth – NO lumps …

By this time your muffin tin will be hot and almost at the smoking point and your oven preheated.

Remove muffin tin carefully from oven and set on a safe – solid – heat proof surface.  Carefully (but quickly) add 1/4 cup of mixture to each muffin tin.

Return to oven and cook for about 40-45 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN YOUR OVEN.

They will puff up – turn golden, and be a perfect complement to most dinners, but especially to everybody’s favorite Sunday dinner – roast beef.

When they are cooked, I like to just lift them out slightly and rotate them so they are still in the muffin tins resting, but on an angle so air is getting at all sides – this keeps them nice and crisp.

 

Italian Salad Dressing

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4 tbsp. minced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 cup good quality olive oil

Soak minced red onion in cold water for 15 minutes, and drain well

Combine all ingredients except olive oil.  Using blender or immersion blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.  Gradually add the oil until creamy – taste for seasonings.

This keeps well in the fridge to use on anything from salad dressings to grilled vegetables – try brushing it over grilled steaks after removing from the grill.

 

Greek Style Pork Baby Back Ribs

Greek style ribs in Phoenix

Every so often I crave a simple rib without barbecue sauce ….. yes it is true, ribs can be fabulous minus the barbecue sauce (even one as great as mine!)  Try these, very easy to do and fall off the bone tender.  Serve with a greek salad, some grilled vegetables and garlic toast – pretty darn yummy.

2 racks baby back ribs (membrane removed from back)

olive oil

juice and zest of 1 lemon

kosher salt

freshly cracked black pepper

basil

rosemary

oregano

dry mustard powder

dry garlic powder

Combine all the dry ingredients, mixing well.  In season I like to use fresh herbs, but in the winter when we just can’t get them I use either dried or frozen herbs.

Give the ribs a nice little massage with the olive oil – drizzle lemon over top.  Now generously sprinkle herbs with seasoning and the lemon zest, and give it another little rub to make sure all these seasonings are covering every surface.

Cover tightly and allow to marinate.  A couple of hours will do the trick, but I really prefer to do this the night before so the flavours go right through and the lemon has a bit of time to make those ribs even more tender. 

I find it easiest to do this right on a foil covered baking sheet, with the ribs covered in another sheet of foil – that way you can just put the whole thing in the oven without any further fuss.

Bake in a slow oven – about 300 degrees for 2 1/2 – 3 hours – until they are tender but not off the bone.  Finish on the grill just to crisp up the edges – drizzle lemon over top and serve!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

P1110037P1100740This was one of those favorite school box recipes. The kids loved it for years – and it was one of Meghan’s favorites so when she got married this year, I made it once again and it was just as popular.

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups bananas

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time – beating well with each until the batter is light, creamy and fluffy.  Add vanilla and banana.  Mix until smooth. 

Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add to butter, egg, banana mixture alternately with the sour cream. 

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon

Spread half in a greased and floured 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle half the brown sugar, cinnamon mixture over and top with half the chocolate chips.  Add the rest of the batter, and complete with another topping of brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick – when inserted – comes out clean.

This can easily be converted to muffins if you don’t have enough over ripe bananas hanging around the kitchen counter …. today I only had half the bananas so I made 12 muffins by cutting the recipe in half.  Fabulous …. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake