Friday, April 29, 2011

Mexican Chopped Salad

After several heavy meals and not nearly enough working out, I decided it was time for M and I to be more conscious of what we're eating.  We, well me (and since I do the cooking, him) were very good before the wedding.  I loved how I looked on that day.  I'm not willing to go back to the "If it isn't lettuce, I'm not eating it" wedding diet, but being more conscious if definitely in order.  With delicious recipes like this one, it shouldn't be too difficult.

This recipe was simple to throw together.  The flavor was very light, so be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on.  We both loved the way the flavors worked together but, being someone who tends to like more assertive flavors, I think I'll play with jazzing up the heat factor next time.  I'm thinking I'll add some cumin to the dressing and marinate the chicken like I did for my chicken tostada bites.  I'll also be making the dressing the night before would also be a good idea, since it will give the garlic and jalapeno more of a chance to come through.  I've gone ahead and included the chipotle chicken in this recipe, but haven't made any changes to the dressing.


Mexican Chopped Salad
adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:
For the dressing:
1/3 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 TBSP honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
salt and pepper, to taste




  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice




  • 1/4 cup olive oil




  • 2 tbsp honey




  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro




  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced




  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper





  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice




  • 1/4 cup olive oil




  • 2 tbsp honey




  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro




  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced




  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice1/4 cup fresh lime juice

    For the salad:
    1/2 lb. chipotle chicken, shredded
    1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and well drained
    3/4 c. chopped seeded tomato
    3/4 c. chopped peeled jicama
    3/4 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels, uncooked 
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 1/2 c. chopped romaine lettuce
    1 ripe avocado, chopped
    1/4 c. crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

    Directions:
    1.  To make the salad dressing, combine all ingredients through jalapeno in a bowl or glass jar.  Whisk or shake to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

    2.  For the salad, combine all ingredients through cilantro in a large bowl.  Add enough dressing to coat.  Toss gently.  (If planning to eat all of the meal, you can also toss the lettuce in the dressing.  If not, I'd leave it out to prevent it from getting soggy.)

    3.  Divide lettuce among four individual bowls or place in one large serving bowl.  Top with chicken mixture, avocados, and feta cheese.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    31 While 31--Pad Thai

    Just when you thought I'd forgotten all about my 30 While 30 turned 31 While 31, I've got this DELICIOUS pad Thai.  Oh YUM!

    Readers, let me tell you...I was so proud of myself when this turned out not only edible but downright awesome.  You see, the last time I tried to make pad Thai I messed it up so badly I threw it out.  Me--the girl who hates to waste food and will eat just about anything if I've already paid for it and went to the trouble of making it.  And that scarring moment is exactly why I put pad Thai on my list.  I wanted to tackle it.  I wanted to be one of those people who, when asked at lunch where my pad Thai leftovers are from, can casually say, "Oh, I made it."  And now I am!

    Many Asian dishes intimidate me used to intimidate me because of the quick cooking times and techniques.  How silly.  This is actually great because you can have a super yummy meal on the table in no time flat!  Just make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before anything hits the pan.  This recipe is perfect for that because you can get everything ready and pour yourself a glass of wine or enjoy a beer while the noodles soak. 

    I used a pretty basic recipe, but now that I have my confidence in place, I can't wait to start playing with it and finding new recipes to try and compare.  I made a couple of substitutions with this one already, most notably using one chipotle in adobo in place of two fresh hot red peppers.  I know it is far from traditional and I knew it would change up the flavor a bit, but both M and I like smoky flavors (and I already had chipotles on hand), so I went with it.  We both thought it added a really great and interesting twist to the dish.  Next time I intend to play with the protein sources, perhaps adding chicken or even some pieces of firm white fish.  

    If I can do it, you can do it.  So what are you waiting for?  Get yourself in the kitchen and make some pad Thai!

    **Note: My supermarket didn't have some of these ingredients on hand, so I went to an Asian grocery store and found them easily.  


    31 While 31--Pad Thai
    adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Asian

    Ingredients:
    1/2 lb. (250 g) dried flat rice noodles, 1/4-in. wide
    1 chipotle in adobo
    2 shallots, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    3/4 to 1 lb. shrimp
    1/4 c. fish sauce
    3 TBSP tamarind concentrate (use tomato paste if you can't find it)
    1 TBSP dark soy sauce
    2 TBSP chopped palm sugar or dark brown sugar
    3 TBSP fresh lime juice
    2 TBSP canola oil
    1 1/4 c. mung bean sprouts, divided
    1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
    2 eggs, whisked
    4 TBSP unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped
    chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    one lime, quartered

    Directions:
    1.  Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with warm water.  Let soak for 30 minutes to rehydrate.  Drain and set aside.

     2.  While the noodles are soaking, combine the chipotle, shallots, and garlic in a mini food processor and process into a paste.  (Or go old school and use a mortar and pestle.)  Set aside.

    3.  Peel and devein the shrimp.  Chop into 1/2-inch pieces and set aisde.

    4.  In a measuring cup, combine fish sauce, tamarind, soy sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice.  Whisk to help melt the palm sugar.  

    5.  In a wok or large, deep saute pan over high heat, heat the oil until very hot.  Add the chipotle paste and stir fry for several seconds until fragrant.  (Be careful, the oil will spit at you.)  Add the fish sauce mixture and stir to combine.  Add the shrimp  and stir fry until the turn opaque, approximately three minutes. 

    6.  Stir in the noodles, one c. bean sprouts, and the broth.  Continue to cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until noodles are tender and have absorbed all the liquid, five to seven minutes.

    7.  Meanwhile, cook the two eggs into a small omelet.  When done, slice into thin strips to use for garnish.

    8.  When noodles have absorbed all the liquid, transfer to a large platter or four individual dishes.  Top with egg garnish, remaining bean sprouts, peanuts, and cilantro.  Place lime wedges alongside.  Serve immediately.

    three years ago: five-veggie, four-cheese lasagna

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Meatless Monday--Strawberry-Banana Smoothie with Pineapple

    Still full from Easter dinner?  Me too.  Ready to lighten it up?  You've come to the right place.  

    M and I actually had these Saturday morning, after a short but sweet bike ride and a wonderful Easter weekend Brunch hosted by one of the partners at his firm.  We knew the brunch would be brimming with delicious treats, but we knew we didn't want to go without eating anything, especially after getting a pretty decent, albeit it brief, workout on the bikes.  Light and bright in flavor (and cute in color, too!), these smoothies were perfect.

    Annie made strawberry-pineapple smoothies a while back and they looked so good to me.  Like her, I don't use a smoothie recipe, per se.  I just kinda have a general ratio of ingredients I adjust to fit the kind of fruit I have on hand.  I did learn a cool trick from her, though.  Annie says she freezes her fruit once she cuts it up so she doesn't have to add ice.  She said it makes for a more flavorful smoothie and I have to agree.  We really, really enjoyed these!


    Strawberry-Banana Smoothies with Pineapple
    adapted from Annie's Eats

    Ingredients:
    12 oz. low fat plain or vanilla yogurt
    1 1/2 c. frozen strawberry chunks
    1 c. frozen banana chunks (or one fresh banana)
    1 1/2 c. frozen pineapple chunks
    2 scoops protein powder (optional)
    1/4 c. milk, if necessary

    Directions:
    Place all ingredients except milk in blender or food processor.  If mixture is too thick, add milk, a bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  Serve immediately.

    three years ago:  salcicce arrabiata

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad

    When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  Right?  Isn't that how the saying goes?  But what do you do when life hands you lemons, you have a bunch of dill that needs to be used up, and rotisserie chickens are on sale?  Whip up a batch of this light and tasty chicken salad! 

    With spring weather (or early summer, depending on where you live) finally making an appearance across most of the country, it's prime time for picnics.  Just pack up this chicken salad, a bunch of grapes, some fresh strawberries, and some iced tea or light white wine and head on out.  Come on!  Savor spring while we can!


    Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad
    an Apple a Day original

    Ingredients:
    1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
    2 stalks celery, diced
    1/4 c. red onion, minced
    2 TBSP fresh dill, chopped
    1/2 c. Greek yogurt
    2 TBSP mayonnaise
    zest and juice of one lemon
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Directions:
    Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.  Makes approximately six sandwiches.  Keeps up to the three days.
    three years ago: One of my most favorite recipes ever--summer orzo salad.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Meatless Monday--Roasted Beet Quinoa

    Stop!  Don't run!  Beets aren't scary, I promise.  In fact, they're really, really tasty! 

    M and I both love them, so I knew I'd be making this recipe as soon as I saw it.  In fact, we would list every ingredient in this recipe among our favorites.  Plus the health value of this dish is fantastic--the quinoa brings the protein content way up and the beets are just chock full of fiber, folic acid, vitamins A and C, and nutrients that fight colon cancer.  With lemon, tarragon, and just a bit of goat cheese, the flavor definitely doesn't suffer.

    If you claim to be a beet hater or you've never tried them, please make this.  I mean c'mon...how many chances in life do you get to eat something that is naturally hot pink?


    Roasted Beet Quinoa
    adapted from The Novice Chef
    originally from Running with Tweezers

    Ingredients:
    3 large beets, washed and roots trimmed
    1 tsp. olive oil
    2 whole sprigs tarragon
    2 c. quinoa
    4 c. vegetable stock
    zest and juice of one lemon
    2 TBSP olive oil
    4 TBSP fresh tarragon, minced
    1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
    salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

    Directions:
    1.  To prepare the beets: preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  In a foil pouch, drizzle one TBSP olive oil over the beets. Lay tarragon sprigs on top.  Wrap tightly with the foil and bake until tender – pierce with the end of a sharp knife to test – which should take about 60 minutes (depending on the size of your beets).  Once tender, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Peel and discard the skins and cut into 1/2-inch squares.

    2.  While the beets are roasting, cook the quinoa. Bring stock up to a boil. Add the quinoa, boil for one to two minutes, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered until ready to use.

    3.  To assemble the quinoa, whisk together the lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Add the beets and toss to coat. Add the quinoa, then mix together (Have fun watching it turn bright pink!).  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. 

    4.  To serve, place in large serving bowl or four individual dishes.  Top with goat cheese and shopped tarragon.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Keeps up to two days in the refrigerator. 

    three years ago: grown up strawberry shortcake

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Strawberry Spinach Dinner Salad

    Lately, the blogging world has been all abuzz with lighter recipes.  Salads, fresh fruit, and tender green vegetables are making their way in along with the warmer weather.  I'm so glad.  As much as I like the braised meats, soups, and heavy flavors of fall and winter, I'm always ready for spring's bright and fresh fare.

    I saw this salad on Annie's blog just a few days ago.  She made it as a very simple salad really highlighting the strawberries, but I automatically knew I wanted to beef (chicken?) it up a bit and make it a meal.  Of course, like everything else from Annie's blog, it was perfect.  Just divine.  We will absolutely be having this many, many times throughout the spring and summer.  In fact, I can't wait to share it with all my family and friends when I visit them!


    Strawberry Spinach Dinner Salad
    adapted from Annie's Eats

    Ingredients:
    For the dressing:
    1 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
    2 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
    1 1/2 TBSP champagne or white wine 
    1 TBSP granulated sugar
    pinch of salt

    For the salad:
    baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
    1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
    2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
    1 c. crumbled goat cheese
    1 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped

    Directions:
    1.  To make the dressing, combine the strawberries, vinegar, champagne, sugar and salt in a blender or food processor.  Process until the mixture is well combined and completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

    2.  To serve, portion baby spinach leaves out on four salad plates.  Drizzle with the strawberry champagne vinaigrette.  Top with strawberries, chicken, cheese, and walnuts.  Serve immediately.

    three years ago: A sweet story and my very best chocolate chip cookies.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Apple a Day is on Twitter!

    That's right!  I'm excited to announce that Apple a Day is now on twitter.  You've been coming back for more and more for over three years now and, as of today, you have a new way to stay on top of what I'm buying, where I'm eating, and what I'm cooking.  So go ahead.  Click on that cute little button below and follow Apple a Day on twitter!

    By: TwitterButtons.com
    By TwitterButtons.com

    I'd love to follow you, too.  Just leave me a comment with your twitter handle so I can find you.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Chipotle Chicken Tostada Bites

    Last weekend I had the joy of attending my friend Nicole's baby shower.  She's having twin(!) boys!!  Nicole's had a rough go of things with her pregnancy.  She was ordered on bed rest (including six weeks in the hospital) at a frighteningly early time.  But with great medical care, tremendous attention and dedication on the part of her and her family, and the grace of God, she is still carrying two healthy baby boys in her ever-growing belly.  If ever a pregnant woman deserved to be showered, it's Nicole.

    Nicole loves Mexican food, so it was a perfect and easy choice for the food at her shower.  The two ladies who hosted the shower know Nicole so well but, both being busy new moms themselves, I offered to bring something to help out.  As soon I mentioned tostada bites, they were locked in.  As soon as I brought them, they were gone.  Talk about a hit!

    A word of advice on these--wait to assemble them until the last second.  The chips get soggy if the guacamole sits on them too long.  Luckily, all the components will be fine if made the night before or morning of serving.


    Chipotle Chicken Tostada Bites
    inspired by Z'Tejas

    Ingredients:
    1/4 c. plus 2 TBSP chipotle salsa, pureed (I like Herdez brand)
    1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
    2 avocados
    zest and juice of one lime
    2 TBSP red onion, finely minced
    1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
    1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, finely chopped
    2 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced
    1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced (optional)
    1/4 tsp. cumin
    salt and pepper, to taste
    24 round tortilla chips
    24 cilantro leaves, for garnish

    Directions:
    1.  The night before serving, pour 1/4 c. pureed chipotle salsa over the chicken breast and allow to marinate, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.  Turn once during marinating time.

    2.  Cook the chicken, covered, in a saute pan.  Allow to cool, then shred.  Mix shredded meat with remaining two TBSP salsa.

    3.  While chicken is cooling, make guacamole by combining all remaining ingredients (except chips) in a nonreactive bowl.  Mix together with a fork, leaving only small chunks.  Adjust salt and pepper as desired.

    4.  Just before serving, top each chip with a generous TBSP each of guacamole and chicken.  Top with a cilantro leaf and arrange on a platter.

    one year ago: lightened Waldorf salad
    two years ago: simple roasted asparagus
    three years ago: chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Meatless Monday--Spaghetti al Limone

    Shortly after I graduated college, when I was living on my own for the first time, I decided I needed to learn how to cook.  I'd always helped my mom in the kitchen, so it's not like I was clueless, but I definitely wasn't confident in my abilities.  When my mom came to visit me in my teeny tiny first apartment, she brought me my very first very own cookbook, The All-New Joy of Cooking.  Among the first recipes I made was a spaghetti with a simple lemon sauce.  It was very good by my 22-year-old new cook standards.  I think I made it every week.

    Fast forward to last week, and I saw this recipe on Courtney's excellent blog, Cook Like a Champion.  It was reminiscent of the lemon spaghetti of my past, but with a more grown-up twist.  I knew I had to make it...and soon.

    It was terrific.  It was full of bright lemon flavor but still hearty enough to make a satisfying meal.  As I sat down to eat, I couldn't think of how different my life is from what I, as a 22-year-old new graduate thought it would be.  And, as a new bride (one month today!), I couldn't believe how much better my life has become.


    Spaghetti al Limone
    adapted from Cook's Illustrated, January/February 2011

    Ingredients:
    1 TBSP salt, plus more to taste
    1 lb. spaghetti
    1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 TBSP)
    1/4 c. heavy cream
    2 tsp. lemon zest
    1/4 c. lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
    1 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 c.), plus more for serving
    freshly-ground black pepper
    2 TBSP fresh basil leaves, julienned

    Directions:
    1.  In a large Dutch oven, bring four quarts of water to boil. Add 1 TBSP salt and pasta to water. Cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.

    2.  In the now-empty Dutch oven, heat 1 TBSP oil. Once hot, add shallot and 1/2 tsp. salt, cooking until shallot has softened, about two minutes. Whisk in 1 1/2 c. of the reserved pasta water and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for two minutes. 

    3.  Remove from heat and add pasta, tossing to coat. Stir in remaining 3 TBSP oil, lemon zest and juice, cheese and 1/2 tsp.  pepper.

    4.  Cover and allow pasta to stand for about two minutes, tossing halfway through, so the sauce can thicken and pasta can absorb the sauce. If needed, add the remaining 1/4 c. pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

    5.  To serve, drizzle each individual portion with olive oil, top with additional Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with basil.

    two years ago: cilantro-coconut rice
    three years ago: Meyer lemon buttermilk tarts

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Pina Colada Ice Cream

    Coconut can be a bit of a divisive ingredient, but I happen to love it.  Especially if it's combined with pineapple and rum.  I mean, how could a piña colada be bad in any form?  Made into ice cream, it is so, so right.


    Piña Colada Ice Cream
    adapted from David Leibowitz, The Perfect Scoop

    Ingredients:
    For the toasted coconut ice cream:
    1 c. dried shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
    1 c. whole milk (I used 2%)
    2 c. heavy cream, divided
    3/4 c. sugar
    pinch salt
    1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
    5 large egg yolks
    1 TBSP light rum or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    For the pineapple sorbet:
    2 c. fresh pineapple chunks
    8-10 TBSP sugar
    1/2 c. water 

    Directions:
    1.  To make the toasted coconut ice cream batter, heat the coconut in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown.  

    2.  In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1 c. heavy cream, sugar, and salt.  Mix in the toasted coconut.  Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add to the saucepan.  Heat until the mixture is warmed through.  Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for one hour.

    3.   Rewarm the coconut-milk mixture.  Set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the coconut-infused liquid into the bowl, pressing down with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.  Return the strained milk mixture to the now empty saucepan.  Discard the coconut and vanilla bean pod.

    4.  Wipe out the now empty bowl and pour in the remaining cup heavy cream.  Once again, place the mesh strainer over the bowl.  

    5.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper.  Return the mixture back to the saucepan.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, reading 170-175˚ F on an instant read thermometer (do not go above 180˚ F!)  

    6.  Remove from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream.  Mix in the rum or vanilla.  Let cool, then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

    7.  To make the pineapple sorbet batter, combine the pineapple, sugar and water in a blender or food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  (I did this while the coconut was steeping.)  Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

    8.  To finish the ice cream, freeze both the coconut ice cream batter and the pineapple sorbet batter in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Alternatively, freeze the batters one at a time in an ice cream maker and spread in alternating layers in a freezer-safe storage container.

    one year ago: lemon-raspberry scones

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

    Thank goodness for slow cookers.  With just two ingredients, I was able to serve the kalua-style pork I loved in Kaua'i for my Hawaiian dinner party.  It couldn't have been easier and, when served with mango barbeque sauce, it couldn't have been more of a hit.


    ***Note: When adapting the recipe, I used smoked sea salt, a specialty ingredient I already had on hand.  The original recipe doesn't use specialty ingredients, so click there if you can't get ahold of smoked sea salt.

    Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
    adapted from all recipes

    Ingredients:
    1 (5-6 lb.) pork butt roast
    3 TBSP hickory smoked sea salt (mine is from Williams-Sonoma)

    Directions:
    1.  The day before serving, sprinkle salt evenly over outside of pork.  Wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate.

    2.  Place pork in a slow cooker and cook on low 8-12 hours.

    3.  Just before serving, shred pork with two forks.  (Mine was tender enough to use tongs.)  Serve immediately or keep on warm until ready to serve.

    one year ago: white chocolate mousse with strawberries 
    two years ago: orange-cinnamon roasted chicken 
    three years ago: chicken with lemon and oregano

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Hawaiian Dinner Party


    In order to thank my parents for their love and support, I had everyone over for a little Hawaiian dinner party. 


    We started the night out with a mai tai bar.

    While in Kaua'i, I tasted some rum from Koloa Rum Company, a local distillery that has been winning all kinds of accolades.  I wasn't all that wowed by the rum, but I loved the mai tai mix from Hawaiian Kukui.  It's made with Hawaiian cane sugar and fruit juices from right there on the island.  I'm not generally a fan of using mixes, but a quick Google search showed that mai tais contain several different types of juices and syrups.  The mix was much cheaper than all those juices would've been, plus I thought it would be more fun to be able to tell everyone they were drinking mai tais made with Hawaiian mix.  If you'd like to make your own from scratch, try this recipe from Trader Vic's, widely determined to be the inventor of the mai tai.


    Dinner was nothing fancy, but we all sure enjoyed it.  We sat down to a tasty meal of:
    Hawaiian sweet rolls

    Some of the family made kalua pork sliders with the rolls and some ate the meat and bread separately.  But man, did we all eat!  I'll be sharing the new recipes over the course of the week, so stay tuned.  You'll want these, I promise!

    two years ago: Calabacitas, a healthy side dish for Mexican meals.
    three years ago: lemon angel food cake

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Chicken Korma

    Not so long ago, readers, I used to think I didn't like Indian food.  I never ate it as a kid and the first time I had it was in college, when I took a bit of chicken in a yellow curry so thick and strong, it left me, a generally adventurous eater, scarred.  After that, I didn't give it a second try, let alone though, which is completely unlike me.

    Ever since then, I've been wading back into the curry waters to pinpoint exactly what I do and don't like about the various curries.  I know I like red curry and I know I don't like yellow curry.  I still haven't tried green curry, but it's next on my list.

    Despite my dislike of yellow curry (More specifically, the turmeric that gives yellow curry its vibrant color), I wanted to give this dish a shot.  I was a little hesitant of the turmeric, so I toned it down a bit and upped the cumin, since I know I love that.  I've left the original amounts here, though, since I'm certain I'll be making this again with the actual proportions.  It was delicious!


    Chicken Korma
    from Williams-Sonoma, The World Kitchen

    Ingredients:
    1/4 c. canola oil
    1 yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2-inch piece ginger, grated
    1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
    2 bay leaves
    1 TBSP ground coriander
    1 TBSP ground turmeric
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 1/2 c. chicken stock
    1 c. canned tomato sauce
    1 TBSP sugar
    salt, to taste
    2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
    1/2 c. buttermilk
    1/2 c. unsalted cashews, roasted
    steamed rice, for serving
    3 TBSP chopped cilantro or chives

    Directions:
    1.  In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, about three minutes.

    2.  Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin.  Saute until spices are are fragrant and evenly coat the onion, about one minute.  

    3.  Stir in the stock, tomato sauce, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt.  Bring to a boil and deglaze the pot, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

    4.  Add the chicken to the pot nad stir to coat.  Turn heat to low, partially cover the pot, and allow to simmer until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened, about one hour.

    5.  About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, combine the buttermilk and cashews in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely pureed and thoroughly combined with the buttermilk.

    6.  Add the mixture to the chicken stir to blend with the sauce.  Continue cooking until the sauce is completely heated through and thick, about five minutes.  Remove and discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

    7.  Divide the rice among warm bowls.  Top with chicken and sauce.  Garnish with cilantro and/or chives.  Serves 6-8.

    one year ago: roasted asparagus and shrimp chowder
    two years ago: calabacitas
    three years ago: lemon-fennel pork chops and basic risotto