Saturday, September 29, 2012

Indian Curry...YUM!

I LOVE curry!  I especially LOVE creamy curry with potatoes and onion and carrots and chicken...hmmmm...I'm having a moment remembering one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Layton, Utah called Pad Thai.  They had some of the BEST creamy Masaman Curry I have ever had.  When I found this recipe I was hoping it would be a similar creamy curry, because that was what I was craving.  While it was SUPER flavorful, it missed the creamy boat a little.  It also stunk up my kitchen to high heaven!!!  I cooked this recipe a week ago and my house STILL smells like curry!

  • Indian Curry
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion until lightly browned.  Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt.  Continue stirring for 2 minutes.  

Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt and coconut milk. (I also added carrots to offer some hidden veggies to my family).  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve over rice.

The left overs of this dish were even better than the original meal.  I would highly consider making this meal and eating it the next day to get some serious flavor!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thai Stir Fry...Hey, That Rhymes!

I LOVE cook books.  In fact, I collect cookbooks.  Whenever I visit a new city, museum or even a cool book store, I like to leave with a cookbook to remind me of my visit.  That's how I connect with people and place...FOOD!  I pulled out a SUPER old Thai cook book I bought in my early early twenties that I purchased at Barnes and Noble when I was starting to grow my cook book collection and found a GREAT recipe for stir fry.  I changed it up a bit because I didn't grab all the necessary ingredients at the grocery store to make the recipe in the book.

Thai Stir Fry:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger puree
3/4 cup carrots cut into 'batons'
1 cup zucchini cut into 'batons'
1 chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsbp rice vinegar

Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add garlic, ginger, carrot and zucchini.  Cook until slightly brown.

Add Chicken and cook through.

Add cilantro, spinach, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.  Cook until the spinach is wilted.  Serve immediately over white rice.

This didn't last long enough for me to get pictures of the final product.  It was AWESOME!!!  The sauce was FANTASTIC!...even if it was a tiny bit sweet.  I will TOTALLY make this recipe again.  I was even able to get my 3 year old to eat her veggies with this meal!

Monday, September 17, 2012

"I miss my neighbor" meal...

While moving to the D.C. area has been chalked full of fun, historical visits, we have been missing our friends back in Colorado.  Tonight I decided to make a meal my neighbor, Rachael, made for us right before we moved.  This is some SERIOUS comfort food, whether it is coming from a good neighbor or because it just makes you feel homey and happy.  It is SUPER SIMPLE cooking and SUPER TASTY!!!

Comfort Food a la Rachael:
1 lb ground hamburger
1/2 a large onion, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 packet sazon seasoning salt
salt and pepper to taste

Cook onions in a frying pan until translucent. 
Add ground meat and cook until meat is nearly cooked through.

Drain excess fat...or you could keep it for additional flavor.  Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are wilted.  Add cilantro and seasonings, cook for additional 5 -10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Serve with rice.  You could totally use this to make as the meat base for tacos, but I definitely prefer it with rice...just like Rachael served it.

Note the SWEET pan I am using to cook this meal.  I bought this pan from the same neighbor who gave me this recipe.  She sells Princess House products and they ROCK!!!  This is the BEST pan I have ever owned!  It cooked everything so evenly and it is HUGE!!!!  Want to try it out?  Check out Rachael's web site.

Thanks for sharing your AWESOME recipe with me Rachael!  Here is to you...sure wish you were here to enjoy a glass of wine with me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vitamix Smoothie Recipe

My in-laws bought Alex and I a Vitamix for Christmas last year.  This machine is pretty sweet!  It is quite industrial and makes some pretty amazing smoothies, soups, puree' is AWESOME!  In addition to the Vitamix, we got a 'cook' book with recipes for some of the most AMAZING smoothies EVER!  Every time I think I can make a better smoothie on my own, I am always sorely mistaken.  They have some phenomenal recipes that hide SPINACH in a yummy fruit smoothie!  This is a green smoothie even my 3 year old could appreciate!  This is a great way to get some fiber in her cheese eating body!

Going Green Smoothie:
1/2 cup water
1 cup green grapes - we like to freeze the grapes so they don't go bad.
1/2 cup fresh pineapple - same with pineapple, when you freeze the fruits you don't have to add ice.
1/2 medium banana - I used a whole one because I didn't want to waste the other half
2 cups fresh SPINACH - washed
1/2 cup ice cubes

Blend for 90 seconds or until consistency is as you like it.

Can you really believe that a SPINACH smoothie would be yummy?  Well, call me Popeye, because this spinach smoothie ROCKS!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cedar Planked Salmon and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

When I was in high school, I went on a rather memorable date to see Tom Petty in concert.  On the way to dinner, my date's car broke down and his parents had to pick us up and trade cars. :)  While the Tom Petty concert and the broken down car were very memorable, I just as vividly remember the meal we had at City Creek Grill, which is no longer in business.  Yes, leave it to me to remember a meal I had  almost 15 years ago!  I ordered Cedar Grilled Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  It was so divine!  It is one of my favorite, simple meals to make.

Cedar Planked Salmon:
1 cedar plank
2 pieces of salmon brought to room temperature - I've found this makes the meat more juicy!

Soak cedar plank for at least an hour or longer if you can.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  You can use either gas or charcoal.

Salt and pepper the salmon to taste and place in the center of the cedar plank.  Cook on grill for approximately 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.  Be careful not to over cook as it will make the salmon chewy...I've done this plenty of times, so don't feel bad if you do too. In fact, I actually won't grill outdoors, that is something I have always left up to Alex. :)

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
5 golden yukon potatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces - I left the skins on, but you can certainly peel them
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic

Boil potatoes until soft, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Cut garlic into medium sized pieces so you have some good surface area, you want to steep the garlic to infuse the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the milk and keep warm until the potatoes are cooked through.  

Drain potatoes and mash.  Add the butter, milk and garlic mixture.  You can strain out the garlic if you want, but cooking it in the butter makes it nice and soft, but not too strong like roasted garlic.  Serve immediately.

Sorry, there are no pictures of the garlic mashed potatoes...the moment the food hit our plates all pictures were forgotten.  I'm serious.  We finished this meal in five minutes or less!  I'm pretty sure that is how quickly I finished this same meal before the Tom Petty concert....but that might have been because we didn't have a lot of time, due to the car breaking down.