Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Trip to the South, via India

Here's a delicious Indian recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Indian Food Made Easy.  It's at least as good, if not better, than "real" fried chicken.  To save some money, you can buy the chicken with the skins on, then remove them yourself at home. 

Oven-fried Chili Chicken
Serves 6

1 3/4 pound skinless chicken pieces (I stick to dark meat here)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
lemon wedges, to serve

1 1/4 inch fresh ginger, chopped
9 cloves garlic, peeled
2-4 green chilies, seeds and membranes removed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala (buy it, if you don't have it on your spice rack.  It's amazing in scrambled eggs.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1) Blend all the marinage ingredients into a paste.  Put the chicken into a non-metallic bowl and cover really well with the marinade.  Let marinade in the fridge at least 2 hours, or overnight.  Even with just two hours, the stuff was super flavorful.

2) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  While the oven is heating, pour the oil in a roasting pan, and heat it up in the oven for 15 minutes. 

3) In a gallon freezer bag, mix the breadcrumbs and dried spices.  Take the chicken out of the marinade, letting the excess drip off.  Add the pieces one at a time to the freezer bag, shaking between each to make sure they don't stick.  After the first coat, dip each piece into the egg, then give a second breadcrumb coating.  This ensures the chicken is extra deliciously crispy. 

4) Place the chicken in the roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes.  Then lower the temperature to 400, flip the chicken, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until done.

I served this with a spicy mac and cheese and collard greens, for a twist on a traditional Southern Sunday dinner.  Oh, and a frosty beer.  Brooklyn Black Ops, to be exact.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chimichurri, repurposed

I told you that this stuff can be used on pretty much anything.  Case in point: breakfast.

Toast some bread, slather with chimichurri, top with a fried egg.  Sprinkle with chopped red onion.  Voila!  Non-boring breakfast is served.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fajitas with Chimichurri

It’s summertime! To me, that means grilling. Unfortunately, my apartment does not have room for an outdoor grill. That doesn’t mean I can’t grill, though! A grill pan can make a decent substitute. Whether you’re grilling indoors or out, grilled steak fajitas are a great summer dish. Here, the chimichurri sauce makes them extra special. In fact, I used the leftover sauce on everything. It’s especially good on turkey sandwiches.

So fire up your grill and throw on a steak, chop up your favorite toppings, and mix up this chimichurri from Bobby Flay.

As you can see, I sauted some peppers and onions, made guacamole, sliced some grape tomatoes, and chopped some lettuce in addition to the chimichurri. 

Chimichurri Sauce:

1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste


1) Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
2) Add oil and vinegar a bit at a time and pulse until it reaches a soupy vinaigrette consistency.
3) Salt and pepper to taste.
4) Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps

I just love Rotisserie chicken. It doesn't cost too much and we always get two meals out of one. We love chicken salad and always look for new ways to prepare it. Here's a pretty tasty version!

P.S.: Our camera gave up on us in the middle of our Florida vacation so no picture of the recipe!


-10 oz Rotisserie chicken breast, skinless (about 2 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 medium Granny Smith Apple, skin removed if too tough, diced
- 1 medium stalk celery, diced
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped nuts (I took walnuts, but pecans or almonds are very good too)


- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise (I took Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise, but you can substitute low-fat mayo)
- 2 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
- 1 tsp curry powder
- salt and pepper to taste

Romaine Lettuce leafs for serving.

Combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix with the remaining ingredients (except lettuce).

Wash lettuce leafs and top with salad to make wraps.

Number of Servings: 2


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pound Cake with Fruit Compote

So I've been trying to eat somewhat healthier lately.  One of the things I'm doing is making a fresh fruit salad every week.  I go to the store, and just buy a bunch of stuff that looks good and is decently priced.  Then once I get home, I chop it all up, mix it together, and put it in Tupperware, and, voila!  a fresh, healthy snack at a moment's notice.  This week though, I bought a bit too much fruit, and it started to get unpleasantly mushy before I could finish eating it.  I decided to cook it down into a compote of sorts.  And what does that go good with?  Duh, pound cake (which yes, I realize is not exactly low-cal.)  Here goes:

Pound Cake
How did it take me so long to discover The Joy of Baking? Oh my goodness there are some delicious looking morsels on that site.


3 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
13 tablespoons (185 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1) Optional: Take out the cold stuff and place on the counter while you go for a run.  Gotta do something to offest the calories you're going to consume later.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.

3) In a medium bowl lightly combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.

4) In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake's structure.

5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the cake browning too much as it bakes, cover with a piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil after about 30 minutes.

6) Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack.

Makes one 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.

Fruit Compote
4 cups chopped fruit (anything really will do, but make sure there are a decent amount of berries)
about 1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons either balsamic vinegar or red wine (your choice)

1) Heat fruit in sauce pan over medium heat.
2) Pour orange juice over fruit until not quite covered
3) Add wine or vinegar
4) Cook down until thickened
5) If it needs a little extra sweetness, add a tablespoon of honey

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eating Seasonally: Clams in White Wine Sauce

I try to eat seasonally as much as possible. It’s hard, because I don’t really know what the seasons actually are for many things! I think this is partly because where I grew up, produce was available in the supermarket year-round. So now I try to do some research about what fruits and vegetables are in season near me, and visit the farmers’ market for fresh produce. Part of the process is also just keeping your eyes open and looking at your surroundings.  If figs are hanging from your neighbor's tree, then figs are in season.  If you see a big weird tent-like thing in the river, ask about it.  You just may discover that people are out catching clams (like hubby and I did) and  end up buying the freshest, yummiest clams you could ever dream of eating.

Clams in White Wine Sauce
2 Servings

2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (use the anchovy butter if you have it)
1 cup white wine
Zest and juice of half a lemon
.25 teaspoon dried thyme
.25 teaspoon dried oregano
.25 teaspoon dried parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 pound pasta


1) Boil and salt water for pasta. While pasta is cooking, prepare the clams. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
2) In a large sauté pan, heat oil and butter on medium-high
3) Add shallot and garlic, sauté for about a minute, then add herbs
4) Add clams, stir to coat with oil mixture
5) Add wine, reserved pasta water, lemon zest and juice. Cover turn to high
6) Steam for about five minutes or until clams open fully. Salt & pepper to taste.
7) Add clam mixture to drained pasta, coating completely

Serve with green salad and garlic bread.

Garlic Bread


1/2 loaf of Italian bread
1 tablespoon softened anchovy butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper


1) Preheat oven to 350 F
2) Slice bread open lengthwise. Spread with butter.
3) Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper
4) Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown

Monday, June 7, 2010

Anchovy (yes, anchovy) Butter

Okay, so I realize most people aren't fans of anchovies.  I admit, they are a bit much when you eat them whole.  I've nearly choked on one a couple times while eating my grandma's antipasto. However, the flavor of these little guys are off the charts.  I got the idea for flavoring butter with them when a read about this event going on tonight at the Mermaid Oyster Bar in the East Village.  Sounded interesting, but I just don't love oysters enough to spend $55 per person on them for dinner.  I figured I would just take the best sounding part of the night, the anchovy butter, and make some myself.  So that is what I did.

1 anchovy (buy them in the jar so you can reseal and use again later, after I've convinced you they are delicious)
1/2 stick of room temperature butter

1) Heat a small pan/skillet/whatever with a tiny dab of butter.
2) Add anchovy.
3) Stir until anchovy is melted.  That's right.  It will just melt away, discarding its questionable texture and leaving behind all its heavenly flavor.

4) Let cool a bit, then stir into the rest of the butter.

5) Optional: To make butter into a log, plop it onto a piece of parchment paper, then roll into a cylinder shape.  Refrigerate.

I just spread this on some toast and ate as is.  The flavor is not overpowering, but just adds a bit of savory goodness to the butter.  I think next time I would use 2 anchovies for the same amount of butter for a stronger flavor.

Need more convincing?  Check out what to do with anchovies over at My Kind of Food.