Thursday, September 21, 2017

Indian Chicken Korma

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In the last city we lived in, the little kids and I used to frequent this little Indian restaurant.  I dare say it was our favorite guilty pleasure.   One of those places that just walking in and smelling those exotic spices makes you feel so incredibly happy.   An additional perk to Indian food is that the spices used are super healthy, so at one point I got brave enough to try out a few recipe of my own.   We've made Naan and Curried Chicken Salad (which is probably NOT authentic Indian at all), and we've done this Korma recipe several times.   

It may seem like you have to gather up quite a few odd spices, but really you are just dumping them all together.  And Lordy, the smell!  Wow.   I will say that you could probably make this a lot more spicy than I did, but my little girl is quite sensitive to heat, so I limit the amount of chili powder to accommodate her.  This is a very simple recipe.

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Ingredients:
  • 2-3 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
    • I used chicken breasts
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 tsp chili powder
    • Add more for extra heat
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp+ salt (probably more)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
  • Freshly cooked basmati rice to serve with

Step-by-Step:
Put the chicken into a large saucepan, covered with water and bring to a boil.  Simmer only until the chicken is cooked through.  This does NOT take long!  Remove the chicken and set aside, reserving 4oz of the cooking liquid.  Empty the saucepan and use for the rest of the recipe.
2-3 pounds chicken, cut into equal sized pieces
water to cover

1/4 cup retained cooking liquid
cooked chicken pieces
Heat the butter in the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring for around 3-5 minutes until the onions are softened.
8 Tbsp butter
2-3 onions thinly sliced
Go with your preference and the size of your onions.
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
Or equivalent amount of garlic paste.
Add the ginger, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and salt and cook for five minutes more.
2 inches fresh ginger root, grated
Or equivalent amount ginger paste.
2 tsp chili powder
*Add more for increased heat.
1 tsp turmeric
**oops.. forgot to take a pic of the 1 tsp coriander!  Don't forget to add it!  
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp coriander at top right
1+ tsp kosher salt
You can always adjust this later.
And oh my goodness.  When you mix these spices together... the smell is just amazing!  
Add the reserved cooking liquid.  Cook for around two minutes.
1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid from the chicken
Blend the flour with a little of the milk and add to the pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer.
1 Tbsp flour + 1/2 cup milk
Stir in the half and half and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.  This may take around five minutes.   
1 cup half and half
You can use heavy cream if you'd like it to be richer.
Add the cooked chicken and heat just until the chicken is hot (it's already cooked).
The poached chicken.
Garnish with cilantro leaves.  
Serve over freshly steamed basmati rice and some warm naan.
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Here are some bonus recipes I hope you'll enjoy!
Dreamsicle Mimosas  - tailgating parties, anyone?
menumusings.com
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup - equally perfect for after those soccer games and under the RV awnings for football game gatherings.
menumusings.com
Sesame Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry - quick, low carb and elegant!
menumusings.com
Tomato Basil Chicken - all fresh ingredients.  MmmMmm good.
menumusings.com
5-Ingredient Berry Crisp Dump Cake - five pantry ingredients that you probably have on hand right now!  Great for emergencies like unexpected dinner guests or dinner invitations.
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Written Method:
Put the chicken into a large saucepan, covered with water and bring to a boil.  Simmer only until the chicken is cooked through.  This does NOT take long!  Remove the chicken and set aside, reserving 4oz of the cooking liquid.  Empty the saucepan and use for the rest of the recipe.

Heat the butter in the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring for around 3-5 minutes until the onions are softened.  Add the ginger, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and salt and cook for five minutes more.

Add the reserved cooking liquid.  Cook for around two minutes.

Blend the flour with a little of the milk and add to the pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer.  Stir in the half and half and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.  This may take around five minutes.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve over freshly steamed basmati rice and some warm naan.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Spicy Roasted Okra

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Probably like most of you, I am on this never ending quest/game/journey of trying to discover new ways of expanding the palates of my family.  On one hand it can be a little frustrating, fighting that uphill "mom" battle.  "Here, try this.  Here, try that."  You don't want to get stuck in the same old rut of cooking only the same familiar things over and over.  On the other hand, if you think about it in a little different light, it can be fun.  "What can we do with this?  How can we cook this that would be cool and exciting, that everybody (okay, most everyone) would like it?" 

My mom taught me that farmer's markets are a great place to visit when you want to find awesome, local produce that is locally sourced, supportive of your local farmers, and the freshest and tastiest way to go.  Recently my husband and got up early one Saturday and found the cutest little purple and green okra at our local farmer's market.  I've NEVER seen purple okra!  But they were SO CUTE!!! The only problem is that I sort of only like fried okra.  LOL.   Okayyyyy.... that's a dilemma.  

menumusings.comMy husband suggested that I bring them home and "figure it out."  Ha!   This is when you start looking in the mirror.  We all love roasted vegetables, and I read of someone else roasting okra (which removes the sliminess), so I decided to give it a shot.  To give them a fighting chance with the kiddos, I knew they'd better have lots of flavor, so I mixed up a seasoning blend.  And you know what?  EVERYone ate them!  YAY!  Success!!!  


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound or so young okra 
  • between the length of your thumb and index finger
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp restaurant style black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika 
  • Optional 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne (if you want them spicy)
Step-by-Step:
Begin my mixing up your seasoning mix:
2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp spanish paprika (or whatever paprika you have)
Mix the seasonings together.
** Add in additional 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne if you'd like your okra to be spicy
Here are my super cute little okra.
Cut each in half lengthwise.
Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Toss to coat.
EVOO
Spread them out onto a sheet pan.
Sprinkle the oiled okra with the seasoning blend.  The olive oil will give the seasoning something to stick to and help them crisp up (read as... not be slimy).
I roasted these babies at 400 x 20 min, then turned up to 450 x 5 min just to get a little extra crunchy edge.  That's up to you.  
I did shake them around every 10 min or so.  Just watch them.  Every oven is a bit different.  
The cooking time will also depend on the size of your okra.  I wanted them to be sort of like crispy seasoned okra "fries."
Here they are as a nice accompaniment to our goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin, Romano rice pilaf, and stuffed artichoke leaves.
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Here are some other recipes I hope you'll enjoy:
Curried Chicken Salad
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Skinny Buffalo Chicken Salad
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Mediterranean Chicken Pasta
menumusings.com

Mongolian Beef
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Crab Rangoons

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If you'd like to order or check out the interactive MenuMusings Cookbook, Click the link!  These make amazing gifts!  Especially for your kiddos who have just moved out to a new dorm or apartment on their own, or the new happy couple!  Each recipe has "how to" photos and its own QRS code linking it back to the blog for complete step-by-step photos!

Written Method:
Begin my mixing up your seasoning mix.
Cut each in half lengthwise.
Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Toss to coat.
Spread them out onto a sheet pan.
Sprinkle the oiled okra with the seasoning blend.  The olive oil will give the seasoning something to stick to and help them crisp up (read as... not be slimy).
I roasted these babies at 400 x 20 min, then turned up to 450 x 5 min just to get a little extra crunchy edge.  That's up to you.  
I did shake them around every 10 min or so.  Just watch them.  Every oven is a bit different.  
The cooking time will also depend on the size of your okra.  I wanted them to be sort of like crispy seasoned okra "fries."

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