Sunday, June 26, 2011

Delicious Food!

Other than food, work, a little gardening and yoga outside (when it is not raining...which is not often!) there is not much else going on right now. I am trying very hard to get 2 chapters of my thesis done this summer so I can finish my PhD by next summer. I know I said I would take a blogging break this summer but I just couldn't help myself. I have actually been missing it. Since all the excitement in my life is about food, this is what I will be posting about today.
I made these amazing strawberry-rhubarb galettes for Father's Day (photo from the recipe website). My dad would have loved them! The recipe says that it makes 6 personal sized galettes but really one can be easily shared between 2 people. I did not have the 5 spice mix that it called for so I substituted with cinammon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves and they were DELICIOUS!

Yesterday, Diego and I made the fresh strawberry pie I posted last year at this time. I also have 10 quarts of strawberries waiting to made into jam and pies. I will freeze the pies uncooked to be eaten over the winter.
This is my latest cookbook acquisition and I LOVE it! If you love Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan food, this is the book for you! You can take a peek at it here. A friend of mine turned me on to it by cooking amazing recipes from the book every time we went over so I bit the bullet and bought it last week. Every recipe I have tried so far has been amazing. I have only personally made 3 from the book but have eaten at least 6. The recipes are not all that complicated but you should read them ahead of time. There are usually quite a few steps but you can do them cooking the chicken while preparing the sauce...

One of my favourite recipes from this book is called Beets with Tropical Flavours and has been reproduced here. If you don't know what to do with beets, definitely give this a try. I have beets peeled and ready to make it tonight!

I had a whole happy (free range organic) chicken in the freezer so I opened the book to the chicken & eggs section and just picked a recipe more or less (I read the ingredients to made sure I had everything) at random. I was not disappointed.

Aromatic Slow Cooked Chicken (serves 5-6)
Source: Mangoes & Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid

2-lb of bone in chicken or on2 2.5-3 lb whole chicken
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup of grated onion
1 Tbsp of minced or mashed garlic
1 Tbsp of minced or mashed ginger
1 Tbsp of ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp of salt
2 green cayenne chilies, minced
2 Tbsp of plain yogurt
2 tsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems

Wash the chicken and remove the skin and discard (this video shows you how to skin and cut up a whole chicken). Chop breasts into 4 pieces and separate the thighs and drumsticks. If the drumsticks are large, chop them in half. If you are using a whole chicken, you want to have 10-12 pieces. Remove any bone fragments and rinse the chicken well. Place the chicken in a heavy pot (I used my cast iron dutch oven) and add water. Bring to a vigorous boil, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 30-40 mins or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Measure out 2 cups of broth and reserve. If you have more than 2 cups, you can use the rest to make rice to accompany the chicken. If you have less, top it up with water.

Rinse and dry the pot, then heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Toss in the cumin seeds and black pepper and when the oil sputters a little (after ~ 30 sec) add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir. Cook for ~5-10 mins, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and translucent, then add the ground coriander, salt and minced chilies. Stir well and cook for several minutes to blend the flavours. Stir in the yogurt, one spoonful at a time, until well blended. Pour in the reserved broth and add chicken pieces. bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for several minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir in. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook at a strong simmer for several minutes. Toss in the chopped coriander and simmer for another minute. Serve, hot with the remaining coriander strewn on top as a garnish.

This is amazing over rice or with Naan bread. We ate it for at least 3 meals and it just gets better with age. I followed the recipe to the letter (except the cumin seeds) the first time but next time I would cook the chicken in a separate pot while preparing the sauce to cut the prep time down by about 10 minutes. Since I used the same pot as the chicken, once everything was cut up I had about 10 mins to spare.

I can't wait to try some of the fish recipes on our CSF fish...that starts next week! They have more delivery locations this year and will set up a new location if you get 10 or more subscribers. Definitely check them out here if you like sustainably caught fish!