Archive | November, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

12 Nov

Monday night I was reminiscing about wandering the streets of Delhi and the cheap delicious food.  Then I looked in the fridge and realized I had plain yogurt and cream… might as well make some myself.  Thanks to the Indian cooking book that my mom bought me about this time two (really… two already??) years ago, I made a pretty good version of Tikka Masala without having to spend too much time or money at all.


From the book “the food of india: a journy for food lovers


  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tbl garam masala (available at most stores from McCormick, if you don’t have it substitute with cardamom, bay leaves, pepper, cumin, cloves, and coriander)
  • 1 1/2 tbl lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tb cardamom seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 teas ground cinnamon
  • 1 tb garam masala (see note above)
  • 1/2 teas chili powder
  • 1 teas brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream

*The recipe originally said to marinate overnight but I wasn’t that organized so it only marinated for about an hour and it was still pretty good but it probably would have been better if it had sat over night.*

  • Blend all of the marinade ingredients together and taste.  Put the chicken in the marinade and mix thorougly.  Let it sit in the fridge overnight (or as long as you have).
  • Heat oil for sauce in large heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cardamom and fry until onion is soft ans starting to brown.  Add the garlic to the pan.  Then add the tomato and cook until thick (7-10 minutes).

While you are waiting for the sauce to thicken you can prepare the chicken.

  • Heat the oven to 400F and thread the chicken pieces onto metal skewers if you have any (I just dispersed them on a cookie sheet lined with foil).  Roast, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the thicken is cooked through and browned on edges.

chicken in oven


While the chicken is baking you can finish the sauce.  To the saucepan add cinnamon, garam masala, chili powder and suage and cook for about 1 minute.  Stir in the cream, let simmer until chicken is done.

  • When browned, add the cooked chicken pieces to the saucepan and gently simmer for 5 minutes.  For picky eaters (Andrew) you can serve the chicken and sauce separate so they can put there own amounts of sauce over the chicken on a bed of rice.



Fried Snapper

12 Nov

Andrew and I were feeling fancy so we bought some fish a fried it… that’s fancy right?

Well it was tasty even if it’s not fancy.


A slightly modified version of the recipe which was on the package of the snapper.


  • 1-1 1/2 lbs of Snapper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbl spoons milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • paprika
  • ground cayenne red pepper
  • oil to fry (about 5-6 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut up snapper to bite sized pieces and make sure there aren’t any bones.

Heat up oil in pan.  Add spices (and whatever else you want) to the flour). Mix together eggs and milk.  Dredge snapper in flour, then egg, then flour. When oil in pan is hot, place snapper in pan(gently).

Fry snapper for about 10 minutes, turning over to prevent burning.

Serve with whatever sides you want and hot sauce! mmmmmmm…..

Avocado Stuffed Chicken

12 Nov

You probably had to read that heading twice. I did.  Avocado… in a chicken? Andrew told me don’t do it, don’t waste the avocado.  But when he wasn’t looking I mashed an avocado with lime, lemon, garlic, and Tabasco sauce and stuffed it under the skin of a whole chicken. Glazed it with honey and Tabasco sauce. Put it in one dish with potatoes and onions. Baked it.  And out came perhaps one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Plus it was easy, baked all in one dish!



  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teas chili pepper flakes
  • 2 teas parsley
  • 1/2 teas Tabasco sauce


  • 3 tbl honey
  • 1/4 tea paprika
  • 1/4 tea Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350F

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and skins, and mash with fork.  Add the remaining stuffing ingredients, mix together and taste.

Stuff the mixture between the skin and flesh as best you can all over the chicken.

Mix the ingredients for coating and drizzle or brush the honey mixture all over the chicken skin.

Put in large baking dish along with any other sort of side you want.  I coated some potatoes in olive oil and red pepper flakes and roughly chopped up some onions, bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes for fun.  Basically, put whatever you have in the fridge in!

Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on size, and baste occasionally if necessary.

I only have pictures of the before and not the after because as soon as I took it out of the oven we ate it all.  We were taking care of a kitten when I made this and she licked my plate clean after I was done!

I used a “chicken brick” for this recipe but it’s not necessary at all.  It’s a heavy terracotta baking dish that has a glaze inside the bottom half and really kept the chicken moist the entire time.  I  didn’t have to baste it once!  I picked this up at a Goodwill for $4 and it’s probably over 20 years old because it says “Made in W. Germany” on the bottom.  Quite appropriate for the 20 year anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling!  Plus it’s really pretty.

Yorkshire Puddings

2 Nov

It started as a challenge from Andrew to see if I could make them, and it turned into an amazing dinner.

I started with a simple piece of roast (rather cheap) salt and peppered it and roasted it for about 45 minutes on a baking sheet covered with tin foil.  This made pouring the fat into a measuring cup a lot easier (and clean-up).  There was also lots of leftover roast, but no left over Yorkshire puddings!  It was actually a lot easier than I thought, although cooking time is a bit long so I would recommend for a Sunday night dinner not a weeknight.  I used rather large muffin tins for the Yorkshire puddings and they were big and fluffy and greasy and amazing…

Yorkshire Puddings
Source:  Thibeault’s Table via TasteSpotting

3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cool milk
1/8 cup fat, reserved from roast

Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat with electric beater for one minute.

Add salt. Alternating the flour and the milk, add to the eggs.  Beat only until all ingredients are well combined.  Cover tightly and refrigerate. I refridgerated for about half an hour.
Pour reserved fat into the hot deglazed pan and place in the 450 oven.  Let heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour cold batter directly into pan.  Cook for 15 minutes.

TIP:  The secret to the perfect Yorkshire is to make sure that there is sufficient fat in the bottom of each cup.   The fat should be at least 1/8 of a inch deep and should be smoking hot before pouring in the batter.  So don’t be stingy!

I served it with green beans quickly sauteed in butter with salt and pepper.  I know it’s not the traditional peas but I didn’t have any and I like green beans better.

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

2 Nov

I served this on a nice cool fall day, right after you know summer is gone but you’re not quite sure if winter is here.  It’s a sort of cross between a chili and a stew, and is a nice change up to add to the options for a quick weekday dinner.  Tons of leftovers for the next day!

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew
Adapted from A Dash of Sass via TasteSpotting

12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (19 ounce) can white beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed or stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian blend spices*
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


– Remove sausage casing using small knife and tear sausage into small pieces.
– Heat a large saucepan or high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan.
– Add green peppers and onion. Saute until soft. Add minced garlic and quickly saute. Be careful to continue stirring to avoid burning the garlic.
– Add sausage pieces to pan, saute until lightly browned.
– Add beans and tomatoes. Add spices. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or simmer until dinner time!
– Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, crusty bread or fresh basil.

First Food Post- Chicken Tortilla Soup!

2 Nov

in this blog I’m going to try to track some of the recipes I use!  I’ll have to catch up!

First Off- Chicken Tortilla Soup! Recipe

I made this recipe a little bit more time and cost friendly than I found in other place.  I made this starting in the afternoon and let it simmer all afternoon.  We had some unexpected friends come over for dinner and they all went back for seconds.  I’d say it’s a great, cheap, entertaining dish that is sure to please many.

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Garnishes

Chicken Tortilla Soup!
Recipe adapted from Whitney in Chicago (via TasteSpotting)

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded, veins removed, chopped
4-6 cups chicken broth, I used it from a box
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup of corn; from a can
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
2-3 chicken breasts

tortilla chips
1 ripe medium avocado
some shredded cheddar cheese
1 lime

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Place chicken breasts in heated oil and cook for about 10 minutes until browned on both sides and cooked all the way through.  Take out of pot and set aside to cool.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to pan.  Cook onion in oil 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and jalapenos and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cumin and chipotle peppers and cook 1 more minute. Stir in broth, tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Cut cooked chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, then tear apart, shredding it.  Add shredded chicken and a handful of diced cilantro; heat until hot. Let simmer from 30 minutes to as long as desired.

Slice the avocado in half. Slice into 1-inch slices. Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla chips, avocado, grated cheese and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!