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Sunday Pot of Awesome

18 Jan

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Behold this thing of beauty; this vision in orange.

We recently spied this in our friend’s cupboard and gasped.

“That old thing? Never use it,” she said.

Quelle horreur. This vintage flame-coloured Le Creuset 4.5 quart with loop handle lid and scalloped side handles sitting unused? Time for a project!

This dish is perfect for dinner with a friend with enough leftover for Monday’s lunch.

COCONUT BEEF CURRY
1 lb package of stewing beef (plus flour/salt/pepper for dredging)
1 tbsp (or more) canola oil
½ onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp red curry paste (or curry powder)
2 handfuls of baby white potatoes (or more) sliced in two
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 small can coconut milk
½ cup of water or beef broth
scoop of honey or apricot jam: optional
Chopped cilantro
Lime

Heat oven on 275*F

Dredge beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In enamel-covered cast iron pot (looking at you, vintage orange Le Creuset), heat canola oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per batch or until browned on two sides. Take care not to crowd the pan so they will brown and not steam. Remove and reserve beef on a plate to collect juices.

a62d87ea-328c-49f2-8042-7dee87baeed9Splash a bit more oil in pot, and add onions, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, curry paste, and tomato paste (or curry powder). Saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add coconut milk, water or beef broth; mix well. Add carrots and potatoes.

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Add beef and liquid (and Sunday’s surprise guest star, sliced mushrooms).

Cover and put in oven for two and half to three hours, or until vegetables are tender and stew is bubbling.

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Note: time this so the curry can rest to nearly room temperature. Take out of oven and let cool as you start to make the rice. Salt/pepper to taste. Serve over hot rice and top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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The verdict via text message: “OMG this is the best dinner ever!”

Next up: boeuf Bourguignon, scaled to fit this pot!

Do you have any recipes scaled for a 4.5 quart pot? Let us know!

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Of Mad Men and Pot Roasts…

17 Aug


Pot Roast on Mad Men: recurring character?

Betty Draper once snarked about her father’s lady friend, Gloria (“a vulture”), subjecting her to the horrors of a ketchup-covered pot roast during a seaside coastal vacation in the episode Long Weekend.

After Trudy commits unspeakable acts with her former beau in a humiliating effort to get Pete’s short story published, she dutifully prepares a pot roast. She’s got good news: Charlie has agreed to publish Pete’s rotten prose in Boy’s Life. Pete is far from thankful. “I could have gotten you in The New Yorker if I wanted to,” Trudy bleats. “I just don’t know why you’d put me in that position.”

In Season 4’s The Rejected, we see a much happier and freshly knocked up Trudy snuggling with Pete on the couch, as he tells her he has to dump her father’s Clearasil account.
Trudy, ever eager to please, offers to break the bad news for him.

“Tomorrow night. Yankee Pot Roast,” she crows.

Is she capable of cooking anything else?

Regardless, we can imagine Pete’s excitement over his dinner. His WASPy background surely includes an appreciation for all colonial-era New England boiled dinners. It’s frugal. It’s sensibile. We aren’t sure what exactly transforms pot roast into Yankee Pot Roast. But we suspect its the addition of root vegetables or tomato sauce. Damn Yankees.

Side note: We still have a recipe for Sauerbraten (a German variety of pot roast) from our beloved Seventeen magazine (recipe at bottom).

Here we have two classic pot roasts, and a more daring one to follow spiked with merlot and horseradish smashed potatoes.

SIMPLE POT ROAST
Cook’s Illustrated
For pot roast, we recommend a chuck-eye roast. Most markets sell this roast with

twine tied around the center. If necessary, do this yourself. Seven-bone and top-blade roasts are also good choices for this recipe. Remember to add only enough water to come halfway up the sides of these thinner roasts, and begin checking for doneness after 2 hours.

If using a top-blade roast, tie it before cooking to keep it from falling apart. Mashed or boiled potatoes are good accompaniments to pot roast.

1 chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), boneless
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion , chopped medium
1 small carrot , chopped medium
1 small rib celery , chopped medium
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium carrots), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes , halved if larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter

(about 5 cups)
1 pound large parsnips (about 5), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)

Instructions
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until roast is almost tender (sharp knife should meet little resistance), 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Add carrots, red potatoes, and parsnips to Dutch oven, submerging them in liquid.
Continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface; discard thyme sprig. Add wine and salt and pepper to taste; boil over high heat until vegetables are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to warmed serving bowl or platter. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices or pull apart into large pieces; transfer to bowl or platter with vegetables and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

COUNTRY STYLE POT ROAST WITH GRAVY
Source: “Cook’s Country, Charter Issue”
6 pounds boneless beef chuck roast — tied (1 large or 2 3-pound)
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions — chopped
1 large celery rib — chopped
4 medium carrots — chopped
6 medium garlic cloves — minced
1 cup red wine
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Season roast liberally with salt/pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer browned roast to slow-cooker insert.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to empty skillet, along with onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker insert.

Increase heat to high. Add red wine to empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Add pepper flakes, bay leaves and thyme and transfer to slow-cooker insert.

Set slow cooker to high, cover and cook until tender, 6 to 7 hours. (Alternatively, cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.) Transfer roast to carving board; loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Allow liquid in pot to settle, about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Puree liquid and solids in batches in blender or food processor. (Alternatively, use immersion blender and process utnil smooth.) Stir in parsely and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove strings from roast and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer meat to warmed serving platter. Pour about 1 cup gravy over meat. Serve, passing more gravy separately.

NOTES : Boneless chuck roast is essential in this recipe–other cuts will cook up dry and tough. In most markets, you will have to order a large 5 1/2-6 pound chuck roast. Alternatively, use two 3-pound roasts (which are common in most markets). If making Beef Barely Soup with Mushrooms, reserve 6 cups of gravy and 3 cups of meat.

Pot Roast Key Points:
1. Start with a boneless chuck roast. Buy one big or two small raosts–5 1/2 to 6 pounds of meat in total. The meat shrinks alot as it cooks so if you want to serve something substantial, you must start with a lot of beef.
2. Brown the meat and vegetagbles for maximum flavor. You can do this a day in advance. Prepare recipe through step 3. Instead of transferring the meat, vegetables and sauce to the slow cooker, refrigerate them. (Wrap the browned meat in plastic; the browned veg/liquid ingredients can be refrigerated together in a container.) In the morning, just transfer everything to the slow cooker. The cooking time will run to the high end of the ranges given in the recipes.
3. Trying to trim fat from the family diet? Make the recipe a day ahead. Transfer the roast and gravy to a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you can easily remove the fat from the surface of the bowl. Take out the roast, then slice and transfer it to a microwave-safe casserole dish. Puree the gravy as directed, moisten the meat with gravy, and heat until warmed through. More gravy can be heated in a microwave-safe bowl and served on the side.

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MERLOT POT ROAST WITH HORSERADISH SMASHED POTATOES

Prep/cook time 8/12 to 9 1/2 hrs on low, 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hrs on high

notes: prepare the smashed potatoes as soon as the beef is tender; the meat can continue to cook until they are ready. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 tied fat trimmed boned beef chck roast (3-31/2 lb) fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 carrots (about 1/4 lb. each ) rinsed and peeled
1 onion (1/2 lb), peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup Merlot or other dry wine
1/3 cup canned tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Horseradish smashed potatoes
(recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 to 2 cups watercress sprigs, rinsed and crisped (optional) salt

Rince beef, pat dry, and sprinkle generously all over with fresh ground pepper. Melt butter in a 10-12 inch nonstickfrying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef and brown wekk on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cut carrots into sticks about 3/8 inch thick and 2 inches long. In a 4 1/2 quart or larger electric slow cooker, combine carrots, onion, celery,garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Set beef on vegetables: add drippings. In a small bowl, mix wine and tomato paste; pour over meat and vegetables.

Cover and cook until beef is very tender when pierced, 8 to 9 hours on low, 5 to 6 hours on high. If possible, turn meat over halfway through cooking.

With 2 slotted spoons, transfer meat to a platter; keep warm. Skim and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Turn cooker to high. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with a 1 1/2 tablespoons water; pour into cooker and stir often until sauce is bubbling, 10-15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, lift vegetables from cooker and arrange beside meat. Spoon horsradish smashed potatoes onto platter; sprinkle with parsley. Garnish Platter with watercress. Spoon sauce over meat. Slice meat and serve with vegetables, potatoes, and sauce, adding salt to taste.

Per serving without potatoes: 314 calories, 40%(126 cal.) from fal” 34 g protein; 14 g fat (5.6 g sat.) 11 g carb. (2.3 g fiber); 256 mg sodium; 115 mg chol.

Horseradish smashed potatoes

Scrub and peel 13 to 3 1/2 lbs. russett potatoes; cut into 1 1/2 inch chunkd. Put into a 4-5 quart pan with 2 1/2 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes mash easily when pressed, 20=25 minutes.

When potatoes are done, heat 1 to 1 1/2 cups half and half or fat skimmed chicken broth with 2 T. butter or margerine in a microwave safe container in a microwave oven at fullpower just until steaming 1 to 3 minutes. Or warm in a 1 to 1 1/2 quart pan over medium heat.

While cream heats, drain potatoes and mash in pan with a mixer or potato masher until almost smooth. Add cream, a portion at a time, and mix until potatoes have the consistency desired. Stir in salt, pepper, and 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish to taste. Mound beside Merlot pot roast or scrape into a bowl. makes6 to 7 cups 6 to 8 servings.
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SAUERBRATEN WITH GINGER SNAP GRAVY
3-4 lb. pot roast
1 1/2 c. ground ginger snaps

BRINE & GRAVY:
2 c. water
2 c. cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
8-12 pepper corns
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 med. onion, chopped

Bring brine to a boil; boil for 3 minutes then let cool. Place pot roast in the brine (glass or plastic container) NO METAL! Turn roast over in brine 3 or 4 times a day for 5 to 7 days while in refrigerator. Strain brine into Dutch oven. Put roast in, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 2 1/2 hours. Remove roast, bring gravy/brine to boil still in Dutch oven, but now stir in the ginger snaps to make completed gravy.

Slice roast and serve with ginger snap gravy and either potato pancakes or fried bread cubes and egg noodles.

Stuffed flank steak

20 Jun


america’s test kitchen

Ah summertime. Time for a barbecue with friends. Grilled stuffed flank steak sounds perfect.

We saw this herb, proscuitto and provolone stuffed and butterflied flank steak and we can’t wait to try it out for the gang. We also recall Trader Joe’s sells their flank steak pinwheels rolled up with 2 cups spinach, 1/4 cup feta and 1/2 tsp milk, and 1/3 cup diced red pepper.
Another version we like has sauted shallots, with gorgonzola and walnuts.
A heavier, autumn/winter version (recipe at bottom) features carrot, spinach, peppers, and prosciutto in a deep marasla and beef stock sauce.

We think these barbecued pinwheels served with crisp greens and fruit salsa/salad will be a perfect outdoor summer meal.

To prevent the meat from shrinking on the grill, and squeezing the centers of the pinwheels, we rolled up our flank steak, tied it with twine, and skewered it at 1-inch intervals before slicing and grilling. The twine kept the steak from unraveling, while the skewers prevented the meat from shrinking. Finally, we had stuffing that stayed stuffed and rich, smoky beef.

CHARCOAL-GRILLED STUFFED FLANK STEAK
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves , finely minced
1 teaspoon sage leaves , finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil , plus extra for oiling grate
1 flank steak (2- to 2 1/2-pounds) (see note)
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone
8 – 12 skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes 
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Mix garlic, shallot, parsley, sage, and olive oil in small bowl. Butterfly and pound steak into a rectangle. With grain running horizontally and opened side faces up, spread herb mixture over surface. Arrange prosciutto over steak, leaving 2-inch space at top. Next layer cheese, leaving 2-inch space from top. Starting from bottom edge and rolling away, roll into tight log. Set on a cutting board with seam-side down.
Starting ½ inch from the steak roll’s end, tie 8 to twelve 14-inch pieces of butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals underneath steak. Tie middle string first, then work from outside strings in to centre.
Skewer meat through outermost flap near seam through each piece of string. Allow skewer to extend ½ inch on other side. Cut roll between twine into 1-inch-thick pinwheels. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Grill pinwheels until well browned, 3 to 6 minutes. Flip them until second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer pinwheels to cooler side of barbecue, cover, and keep cooking until centre of pinwheels hit 125 degrees, 1 to 4 minutes.
Transfer pinwheels to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

BUTTERFLY AND STUFF FLANK STEAK
Lay steak on cutting board with grain running parallel to counter edge. Butterfly meat, leaving 1/2-inch “hinge” along top edge.
Open up steak and pound flat into rough rectangle, trimming any ragged edges.
Rub with herb mixture; layer with prosciutto and cheese, leaving 2-inch border at top. Roll away from you into tight log.
Place steak seam-side down and tie with string at 1-inch intervals, starting at center.
Skewer steak directly through each string, allowing skewer to extend 1/2 inch on opposite side.
Slice steak between strings into 1-inch pinwheels.

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Argentine-Style Stuffed Flank Steak
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

1 (1 1/2 lb) flank steaks, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 bunch spinach, carefully washed and stemmed
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, roasted (peeled and sliced)
1 cup fresh basil leaf
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup marsala
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1. Butterfly the meat by slicing horizontally, stopping about 3/4 inch from the other side. Open up the meat and pound with a meat mallet to an even thickness of 1/2 inch.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F
3. Mix together the vinegar, paprika, 1 Tb of the tomato paste, garlic, and 1 Tb of the olive oil. Stir to form a thick paste. Smear the paste on the open side of the steak, reserving 1 Tb.
4. Layer the prosciutto, spinach, carrot, onion, bell pepper, and basil on top.
5. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, 1 tsp of the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle the mixture on top.
6. Roll the meat from the long end into a tight cylinder and tie with kitchen string. Turn it seam side down and rub with 1 Tb of the olive oil.
7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining 1 tsp thyme.
8. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 Tb olive oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
9. Transfer to a flameproof roasting pan, seam side down, and roast for about 45 minutes.
10. Lift the meat and pour the white wine into the pan underneath to keep the meat from sticking. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130F, 30 minutes to one hour.
11. Transfer to a board and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
12. Add the marsala to the roasting pan and place over high heat. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the stock, worcestershire sauce, and the remaining 1 Tb tomato paste, and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve.
13. To serve, remove the string from the meat and slice it thickly into rounds. Transfer to individual plates and ladle the sauce over.

Vij-ions of nirvana

27 May


We know, we know. Another ghetto fabulous bberry photo. We’re getting a camera soon, honest!

From the Vancouver legend Vikram Vij and his cookbook, Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine (Douglas & McIntyre, 205 pp., $40).

About 1/4 cup of oil is the most we’ve dared to add. We’ve also been adding coconut milk at the end instead of sour cream. Best yet!

VIJ FAMILY’S CHICKEN CURRY
½ Cup Canola Oil
2 Cups Finely Chopped Onions (2 Large)
3-inch Stick of Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger
2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes (2 Large)
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
1 Tbsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper (I used 1 ½ tsp)
3 lbs Chicken Thighs, bone in
1 Cup Sour Cream, stirred
2 Cups Water
½ Cup Chopped Cilantro (including stems)
In a large pan, heat oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Add onions and cinnamon, and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until onions are golden. Add garlic and sauté for another 4 minutes. Add ginger, tomatoes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and cayenne. Cook this masala for 5 minutes, or until the oil separates from the masala.

Remove and discard skin from the chicken thighs. Wash thighs and add to the masala. Stir well. Cook chicken for 10 minutes, until the chicken looks cooked on the outside. Add sour cream and water and stir well. Increase the heat medium-high. When curry starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until chicken is completely cooked. Poke the thighs with a knife. If the meat is still pink, cook for 5 more minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Cool curry for at least half an hour.

Transfer cooled chicken to a mixing bowl. Wearing latex gloves, peel chicken meat off the bones. Discard bones and stir chicken back into the curry. Just before serving, heat the curry on medium heat until it starts to boil lightly. Stir in cilantro.

Serves 8The real secret to this recipe is to let the curry sit and cool for as long as you can- an hour is the minimum. This allows the flavours to blend together beautifully
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VIJ’S CHICKEN IN CARDAMOM YOGURT SAUCE

from Bon Appetit’s readers’ favourite restaurant recipes, Jan/09
1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 cups canned tomato puree
3 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons ground coriander
2 Tablespoons canola oil
4 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods, cracked
10 whole cloves
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 pounds chicken thighs
hanful of chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk first 13 ingredients in a 2 quart baking dish.  Add chicken, and stir to coat the chicken with the sauce.  Bake until chicken is cooked through (for bone-in thighs, I cooked them 50 minutes).
Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice.
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MINT-CILANTRO CHICKEN CURRY
2 cups cilantro, chopped
½ cup mint, chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1.5 cups red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1 cup water
½ cup canola oil
1.5 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons garlic , crushed
1 tablespoon salt
2 cup plain yoghourt, stirred, or 3/4C whole buttermilk
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in
3 cups basmati rice, cooked
Mix cilantro leaves and stems, mint leaves, jalapenos, and ginger in a food processor and the cup of water and puree until smooth, set the cutney aside.
Heat oil in a heavy shallow pot on med heat for 1 min. Add cumin and coriander seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 30 seconds.
Add garlic and saute for about 3 minutes or until golden brown, Stir in salt.
Turn off the heat and after 2-3 minutes stir in 1C yogourt. Add chicken thighs and stir well. Turn the heat to medium and cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring regularly. (If you have the time, let it cook a little longer, then the chicken should just fall off the bone.) Remove curry from the heat and cool for about 20 minutes.
Transfter chicken to a mixing bowl. Wearing latex gloves peel chicken meat off the bones. The size of the chicken pieces doesn’t matter but do not shred them. Discard bones and stir chicken back into curry.
Stir in mint-cilantro chutney and the other cup of yogourt, About 15 mins before serving bring curry to a boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat to a summer cook, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until chicken is ell mixed.
Serve over rice.
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BEEF SHORT RIBS IN RED WINE SAUCE
Important Cooking tips from Vikram: Smell the cinnamon bark. If it’s very strong, break the bark in ½ and only use half. If it’s not strong enough, add ½ bark. Smell for the cinnamon throughout the cooking process. You should smell a mild cinnamon flavour instead of a strong one. If cinnamon is the only spice you smell, take out the bark and continue cooking the curry.If at any time the onions or tomato spice mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan or looks like it’s about to burn, either lower the heat or add 1 tablespoon of oil or ghee. Do not add water. This is meant to be a rich curry.

• 6 large beef short ribs, bone in with excess fat trimmed off
• 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil (60 ml)
• 2 tablespoons ghee (30 ml)
• 1 large onion, very finely chopped (approximately 1 cup)
• 1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped garlic (5 ml)
• 1 cup ground fresh tomatoes (250 ml)
• 1/2 cup red wine (250 ml)
• 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock with the fat skimmed off (1 litre)
• 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (15 ml)
• 1 whole piece cinnamon bark (approximately 3-inches long)
• ½ heaping tsp. ground fenugreek seeds (2 ml)
• 1 heaping tbsp. cumin powder (15 ml)
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (2 ml)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper (2 ml)
• 1 heaping tbsp. Mexican chilli powder (2 ml)

1. In a large, heavy saucepan with fitted lid, melt the ghee on medium to high heat. Add the cooking oil and the cumin seeds. Let the seeds sizzle for 30 seconds and add the cinnamon bark and onions. Sauté until the onions are medium brown in colour. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until garlic is golden brown and onions are a darker brown. The darker you sauté the onions without letting them burn, the richer the onion flavour will be in this dish.
2. Temporarily lower the heat and add the tomatoes and all of the remaining spices. Once you stir the powdered spices in the tomatoes, increase the heat back to medium. Stir regularly and continue cooking the spices until the oil/ghee separates from the tomatoes. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the stock and red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the oil/ghee separates from the stock and rises to the top, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the short ribs and stir well. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer the short ribs until the meat completely separates from the bone. This will take approximately 4 hours and you will need to stir occasionally.
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VIJ’S SIGNATURE MARINATED LAMB POPSICLES WITH FENUGREEK CREAM CURRY
This recipe is for 30 medium size popsicles, with five per person.”
Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry Recipe
Marinade:
• 4 lbs French cut racks of lamb, in chops
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 3/4 cup grainy yellow mustard
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
Combine the popsicles with all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
Cream curry:
4 cups whipping cream
• 1 Tbs salt
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon dried green fenugreek leaves (known as “kasuri methi”)
• 60 ml or 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 60 ml or 1/4 cup canola oil
• 3 tablespoons packed finely chopped garlic
• 1 tsp turmeric
In a large bowl, mix the whipping cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek flakes and lemon juice. In a medium size pot, saute the garlic in canola oil on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden. Stir in the turmeric, and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream mixture, stir and heat on low to medium heat for about five minutes, or until it is gently boiling.
Finish Lamb Popsicles:
Preheat a stove-top cast iron grill or an outside barbeque to high heat. Each side of the popsicles should be grilled for two to three minutes. You can either pour the cream curry over the grilled popsicles or use the cream curry as a dipping curry for the popsicles

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HALIBUT IN COCONUT CURRY

4 portions of halibut
salt, pepper & pepper flakes to taste

Coconut Curry Sauce:

1/4 cup of canola oil
20 curry leaves
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup pureed onion
1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp each of ground cumin and coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 whole cloves
3 cups of water
1 cup coconut milk, stirred

Sautee curry leaves, garlic, and onion in the oil for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne and cloves. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until the water from the tomatoes has evaporated and the oil glistens on top. Add water and coconut milk, Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain and portion the liquid to 4 heated serving bowls.

Season fish with pepper flakes, salt and pepper and pan fry in olive oil and butter until cooked. Place on the serving bowls with the curry sauce, spoon a little bit of the sauce on top and garnish with cilantro leaves. The cookbook suggests serving with Muscat Ottonel.

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EGGPLANT, TOMATO AND GREEN ONION CURRY
7 ounces green onions (about 8 stalks)
1 cup plain yogurt, stirred
1 tablespoon Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
21/2 teaspoons salt
1 eggplant, skin on, in 1-inch cubes
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1/2 cup canola oil

Wash the green onions. Chop the white parts in rounds ¼-inch long. Remove and discard the hollow green parts. Chop the remaining solid green parts in rounds ¾-inch long. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, chili powder, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Add the eggplant, tomatoes and onions and stir well to make sure the vegetables are well covered in the curry mixture.
In a shallow, heavy pan, heat oil on medium-high for 45 seconds. Pour the curry into the pan and stir well. Sauté for about three minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking. Turn off the heat and stir once more. Remove the lid if you are not going to serve the curry immediately, or the eggplant will become too mushy.
To serve, ladle the curry into six bowls or plates. If serving with another curry, serve this one in a bowl, so that it doesn’t “run” on the plate. Serves 6.
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COCONUT CURRIED VEGETABLES
1/2 cup canola oil
25 to 30 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 tbsp + 1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 12 ounce can coconut milk, stirred
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 lb cauliflower, cut into small florets
3/4 lb red, green or yellow bell peppers, cubed
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Keeping your head at a distance from the pot, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle for about one minute or until a few seeds pop.
2. Immediately add onions and saute until golden brown, about 8 minutes
3. Add tomatoes and remaining spices and saute for 8 minutes or until oil glistens on top.
4. Stir in coconut milk an d bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Add eggplant. Cover and simmer to five minutes. Add cauliflower and bell peppers, cover and simmer for another five minutes. Stir in cilantro

Serve over basmati rice.
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WHITE LAMB CURRY
1 kilogram lamb, cut into pieces
½ kilogram plain yogurt
2 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
2 medium onions, ground in a food processor
2 bulbs garlic, peeled and ground
4 tablespoons oil
1 bay leaf
6 cloves
8 peppercorns
2 black cardamoms
4 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon grated coconut, soaked and ground
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, soaked and ground
6 tablespoons milk
METHOD
Wash the meat and squeeze out all the water. Add the yogurt, salt, ground onions, garlic and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil on medium in a heavy-bottomed pot. When slightly smoking, add the bay leaf, cloves, peppercornsand cardamoms.
Add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown. When the onions are nicely brown, add the meat/yogurtmixture and keep stirring. Bring the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cook until the lamb is almost tender. Add the coconut, poppy seeds and milk and bring to boil. Cook tillthe gravy thickens. If you like fruity flavours, you can add dried apricots or raisins as a little garnish. Serves 4 to 6.

Lazing on the lanai

10 May

Truly this is the last of the Lilly-obsessed inspired posts.
We can’t stop longing for loungetime on the lanai with these fresh-tasting, yummy bites.

GRILLED SHRIMP AND PINEAPPLE SKEWERS
Recipe from “Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays,” by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney.
Use mango in place of the pineapple, if you like.

20 12-inch soaked bamboo skewers
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
60 large shrimp, deveined, tails left intact
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 60 chunks
Soak bamboo skewers in pan of water until ready to use.

Finely chop basil; set aside half of basil to sprinkle over skewers after grilling. Place remaining half of basil in large bowl. Add orange juice, oil and ginger; whisk well. Add shrimp to marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 4 hours.

Remove shrimp from marinade and thread onto skewers, alternating with pineapple chunks, for a total of 3 shrimp and 3 pineapple chunks on each skewer.

Prepare grill (medium high heat). Grill skewers until shrimp are opaque and brown in spots, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with reserved basil and serve. Makes 10 servings.

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BEER AND LIME MARINATED FLANK STEAK
Skirt steak would also work well with this marinade.

2 cups light Mexican beer (such as Corona)
2 cups (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic
4 pounds flank steaks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Process beer, cilantro, lime juice, oil and garlic in food processor until ingredients are finely chopped. Place steaks in large resealable plastic bags. Divide marinade between bags. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.

Prepare grill (medium high heat). Remove steaks from marinade and place on grill; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill to desired doneness, turning once, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board. Slice steak diagonally across the grain and serve. Serves 10.

In like a lion, and into our tummy

10 Mar

Ann Lander's World Famous Meatloaf Recipe

MARCH IS A month at war with itself. Cold, windy evenings eventually give way to promising sunny, spring days only to blow back into blustery darkness.

March is, therefore, the perfect month for meatloaf.

Old-fashioned, warm and comforting dinners transform into hipster-friendly cold sandwiches for lunch the next day. See? Conflict resolution, people.

We were raised on our grandmother’s onion soup staple, and a sweeter, jammy ketchup and bacon-topped home variety.

As teenhood advanced, our household turned to adding oatbran or oatmeal and grated carrot and squash, which turned meatloaf into something entirely different — a little something we liked to call child abuse.

But seriously, our love of this dual dinner-to-lunch staple will never fade.

We flirted with a white wine and lemon scented New York Times version, and an allspice number with a ketchup, brown mustard and steak sauce pan gravy. We love the kitsch of our friend R’s cheeseburger rollup style: a diner-esque jelly roll stuffed with shredded cheddar and grilled onion, topped with mustard and ketchup, and served with cold dill pickles. A classic from L.A.’s The Ivy. And there’s this Pioneer Woman bacon-wrapped goodness.

But we want something that tries a little less, just like us. Because, people – this is meatloaf, not chateaubriand.

We are simply mad for the lashings of red pepper jelly served atop Diner Deluxe’s veal meatloaf alongside Dijon mashed potatoes and Avenue Diner’s AAA beef meatloaf served open-faced on savoury bread pudding.


DINER DELUXE MEATLOAF

Recipe by Dwayne Ennest

1.2 kg ground veal
1.2 kg ground beef
4 eggs
1 cup diced carrots, roasted
1 cup diced parsnips, roasted
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp HP Sauce
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, mustard powder, Worchester sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix all ingredients together. Cook a small piece of the mixture on the stovetop to taste and check seasonings.

Place the mixture in two or three loafpans and bake until internal temperature is 120°F, approximately two hours.

Red Pepper Jelly

2 cups pureed roasted red bell peppers
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp red chili flakes and Tabasco sauce each
salt, pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients, except for cornstarch and water, in a stainless steel pot; bring to a boil. Mix the starch and water and stir into the jelly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for two hours until it is thick and jammy with a shiny bright colour. Cool and refrigerate in airtight container. Keeps two weeks and can be frozen. Makes four cups.

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ROSEMARY-APPLE MEATLOAF
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, shredded
1 cup shredded apples
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl and with a gentle hand, mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil. Add some additional breadcrumbs if the mixture seems wet. Mold into a loaf and place in a standard loaf pan. Spread the olive oil over the top of the loaf (this keeps the moisture locked in) and place in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through and the juices run clear. Allow to sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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CATHI’S ‘SORRY IT’S SOLD OUT’ MEATLOAF

with herb wine jelly

1.25 kg lean ground beef
1 cup onions, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
salt, pepper
3 tbsp combined chopped fresh basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme

Combine all ingredients and pat into a 20 cm  by 10 sprayed pan.

Bake at 325°F for 30 to 45 minutes.

herb wine jelly

1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs: rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 cups sugar
1 bottle of Certo

Combine herbs with boiling water and let steep for one minute. Transfer herbs and water to a saucepan. Add wine and sugar and boil for one minute.

Add Certo and remove from heat. Continue to stir well for several minues, straining any foam from surface.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1 cm at top and seal.

Makes 6 one cup jars.

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UPDATE!
BILL BLASS’S MEATLOAF

2 lbs ground sirloin
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 ground pork
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried marjoram
1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large mixing bowl gently combine ground sirloin, veal and pork; set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sautéed celery and onions and all remaining ingredients except chili sauce to meat mixture.
Combine well and form into a loaf. Place loaf in a baking dish and top with chili sauce.
Bake 1 hour in a preheated 350° oven.

On marriage…

9 Mar

I don’t want to make him babies. I want to make him dinner.

BACON AND PRUNE STUDDED MEATLOAF
From Gourmet Magazine, February 2008
“This is the perfect antidote to the Sunday blues, not least because there will be enough left over to pack sandwiches for Monday’s lunch. A mix of beef, pork, and bacon ensures meatiness, with Worcestershire sauce, chopped prunes, and cider vinegar added for good balance and occasional suggestions of sweetness. Because the loaf is baked without a loaf pan, there’s plenty of well-browned crust to go around. “
 
This turned out amazing. Next time we will add some wine to our brunoise-cut mirepoix, and may swap out allspice in favour of some oregano (although we get that the allspice/prune combo substitutes for ketchup). We love the idea of making a prune/bacon paste to add, but are considering using leaner back bacon or pancetta. Thanks to our darling Le Creuset oval baker, we were able to drain the grease easily. There was a lot. Our loaf was very moist, but firmed up well. We like our meatloaf pan with its drainage holes, but we are kind of sold on our oval baker giving more crust surface.
  • 1 cup fine fresh, torn bread from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped (try less)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Garnish:
  • cooked bacon
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add to bread-crumb mixture.
  • Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and mix together with your hands.
  • Pack mixture into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan.
  • Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.