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.

Mac N Cheese

I have been making lasagne without pre boiling my pasta noodles for years now, so why did it take so long to try it with elbow macaroni?  Not sure, but I will always do it that way now!  Give this a try and let me know what you think.  

Mac n Cheese

1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided

1/4 cup flour

3 cups milk

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 lb (450 gms) elbow macaroni

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup panko or home made bread crumbs

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add flour, and mustard,  cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute to allow the flour and butter to brown slightly.  Slowly whisk in milk until you have a smooth consistency.  Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, whisking often until you have a thin but glossy sauce. (around 10 min)  Stir in 1 tbsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.

Toss dry, uncooked pasta with 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and put in 13 x 9 x 2″ baking dish.  Pour sauce over – do not stir – and cover with foil.  Bake for at least 20 minutes – check to see if the pasta is almost cooked through.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in fry pan, stir in garlic – saute lightly and toss with bread crumbs and panko until lightly browned.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over pasta, then top with bread crumb/garlic mixture.  Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so until top is bubbling and golden brown.

This is the basic recipe – I’m pretty sure you won’t be pre-cooking your pasta before baking your own mac and cheese again!

Tonight’s version of this included:

aged white cheddar cheese and smoked gouda cheese

cubed cooked chicken

diced roasted red pepper

capers

whole grape tomatoes

The whole family loved it, and you can adapt this very easily to any leftovers or cravings in your household.  

Salsa

Ringo En Orchard started as an apple orchard, and as times change, so does the land use!  We are so lucky to live here – beautiful apples, peaches and nectarines on the trees along with amazing fruit and vegetables growing right out the back door.   Eaten fresh all through the late summer and fall, this is a superb way of producing that delicious taste right through until they are fresh again.

16 cups peeled tomatoes (blend 4 cups, dice 12 cups)

9 cups mixed mixed colored peppers, finely diced

6 cups finely diced onions

2 cups jalapeno peppers, diced (if you like it spicy, leave the seeds in)

6 cobs of corn, corn removed

I chop some of the vegetables in the food processor, (i.e., tomatoes, jalapenos and onions) but a lot of the peppers, and some of the tomatoes I like to do by hand so I can see the little bits of peppers in my salsa! 

4 cups cider vinegar

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans 5.5 oz tomato paste

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tbsp kosher salt

4 tsp smoked sweet paprika

2 tsp oregano

Use a large, heavy saucepan so things don’t stick.

Combine all ingredients in pan and bring it to a boil, stirring enough so it doesn’t stick.  Once it does you will have a hard time keeping it from getting worse!  Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn it down to a simmer and allow it to simmer for about an hour – this will allow it to thicken up a bit.

 

Put into hot sealing jars and process in hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Burgers Mexicana

I love making burgers that pack lots of flavour into every bite.  These are guaranteed to do just that! The addition of chipotle aoili makes anything have a hint of Mexican flavours.  Feel free to add a bit of minced chipotle pepper to the burger mix as well if you like to kick the heat up a bit.

1 pound ground lean pork

1 pound ground chorizo sausage or spicy italian sausage meat

1/4 cup minced fresh herbs – basil, oregano, rosemary and parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup finely sliced chives or green onions

1/2 cup monterey jack or havarti jalapeno cheese, grated

Gently toss just until ingredients are blended well and form into patties.  If you place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a while they will hold their shape much easier on the grill.  When you put them on the grill, gently place them on an oiled grill (or lightly oil the burger) and do not move until they have formed up.  Rotate for nice grill marks.  Flip when they are able to hold their shape, and cook through.

Grill:  avocado slices, tomato slices and onion slices

Grilling tomato and avocado slices is easier than you think – and for any vegetarian in the crowed – just use portabello mushrooms!

Chipotle Aioli:  Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1 minced chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce), 1 tbsp sliced green onions and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice -season to taste with salt and pepper

To serve burgers:  Grill buns, then spread the both halves with the chipotle aoili – place bun on bottom bun and pile it up with the avocado, tomato and onion slices – simply divine!

Vegetable Samfaina

This hearty vegetable dish is so comforting, a great meal for a vegetarian or fantastic side dish for many occasions.  Try it with whatever vegetables you have on hand and create your own favorite.

1 large white onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp each of basil, parsley and oregano

2 smaller zucchini (quartered lengthwise and in about 1″ chunks

1 eggplant, cut in similar pieces to zucchini

2 cups mixed colored peppers – cut in rough chunks

1 28 oz can good quality tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Cover bottom of saucepan with olive oil and saute onions until they just start to soften and get little brown bits of carmelization.  Add garlic and the rest of the vegetables – stir well and add tomatoes. Taste for seasoning and add a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as needed.

Allow to stew at a very gentle boil until all the vegetables have softened and are tender, (about 30 minutes) but still hold their shape.  Taste again, and adjust seasonings if needed.

Don’t you just feel like a taste?

Grilled Vegetables

One of the best ways to enjoy fresh seasonal vegetables is to grill them – often just right on the grilling surface and don’t mess around with them too much!

 Let the fresh flavour speak for itself.

Zucchini likes to be brushed with a little olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground pepper – while tomatoes like just a little olive oil and save the seasoning for after they come off the grill.

Cauliflower can get a little tough on the grill so I like to steam it a bit first, until almost cooked.  Toss with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice to keep that bright whiteness, and season with  bit of salt and pepper.

Asparagus is happier if you just grill it right on the cooking surface naked … then dress it up with a drizzle of your best olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, season with salt and pepper.  Added flavour punch comes from occasionally treating it to a bit of freshly grated Parmesan and/or toasted nuts.