Archive for April 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

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from Cook’s Illustrated Sept/Oct 2007… haven’t tried it yet, but I want to, so I’m saving the recipe here for future reference:

Chicken Tikka:

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp table salt

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

Masala sauce:

3 Tbsp veg oil

1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1.25 c)

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 serrano chile, minced (ribs/seeds removed)

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp garam masala

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp table salt

2/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. For the chicken: combine spices and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mix adheres. Put on plate, cover w/plastic wrap, refrigerate 30-60 mins. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger, and set aside.

2. For sauce: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until light golden (8-10 mins). Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala. Cook ~3 mins till fragrant (stir frequently). Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to about 6 inches from heating element (upper middle rack). Preheat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture to cover with thick layer, and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken till thickest parts are 160 degrees and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10-18 mins, flipping halfway through.

4. Let chicken rest 5 mins, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce–do not simmer chicken in sauce. Stir in cilantro, adjust salt, and serve.

Also, ricotta gnocchi:

1 15 or 16-oz container whole-milk ricotta

2 large slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed and bread torn into quarters

1 large egg

2 Tbsp minced fresh basil

2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley


1/4 tsp black pepper

6 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)


4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 small shallot, minced

2 tsp minced fresh sage

1 tsp juice from 1 lemon

1/8 tsp salt

For gnocchi: Drain in a strainer lined w/3 layers coffee filters or paper towels for 1 hr.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. Spread on baking sheet and toast till dry and just golden, about 10 mins, stirring once. Let cool to room temp. Should be about 1/2 cup crumbs.

Transfer drained ricotta to food processor and pulse till curds break down to fine, grainy consistency, about 8 1-sec pulses.

Using rubber spatula, combine ricotta, egg, basil, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add flour, Parmesan, and bread crumbs. Stir till well combined, Refrigerate for 15 mins. Check texture of dough (should turn into a ball, not too sticky) and add more flour if needed.

Lightly dust work surface w/flour. With floured hands, roll lemon-sized piece of dough into 3/4″ rope, rolling from center outwards. Cut into 3/4″ long pieces and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

For sauce: melt butter in 12-inch skillet over med-high heat, about 90 seconds, till butter is browned. Off heat, add shallot and sage, stirring till shallot is fragrant, about 1 min. Stir in lemon juice and salt.

To cook gnocchi: Bring 4 quarts water to boil, add 1 Tbsp salt, reduce heat till water is simmering, gently drop 1/2 of gnocchi into water and cook till all pieces float to surface. Continue to simmer another 2 mins or so, till gnocchi are cooked through. Remove using slotted spoon, repeat w/remaining gnocchi.

Or, tomato cream sauce:

1 Tbsp EVOO

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, pureed until smooth

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

2 Tbsp heavy cream

Cook garlic first, then tomatoes, salt and sugar, simmer 5-6 mins till thickened. Remove from heat and add basil and cream.


Written by orata

April 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Posted in recipes

peanut noodles

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In a small skillet, fry a Tbsp of ginger-garlic paste in a little oil until fragrant. Add a spoonful of sesame seeds, cover, and toast. Turn off the heat.

In a larger skillet, saute vegetables:

  • 1/2 onion, sliced into half-moons
  • Mixed red, green, and yellow bell peppers cut into strips (I used Trader Joe’s Pepper Medley)
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1/2 shredded zucchini

Scramble 2 eggs, add soy sauce, black pepper, and sugar and pan-fry the eggs and cut them into strips. Mix with the veggies.

Make sauce: mix the sesame seed/garlic/ginger mixture with 3 Tbsp peanut butter, some turkey broth (I used 1 frozen broth cube from our cache in the freezer, melted in the microwave), a drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce, water, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Mix the peanut sauce with the veggies and garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Written by orata

April 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Posted in recipes

best cake ever.

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from a messageboard:

Most dangerous cake recipe in the world

4 tablespoons SR flour (or sub all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt and baking powder)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using)
and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
(this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)

This recipe is the most dangerous in the world because it means we’re only ever 5 minutes away from chocolate cake.

Written by orata

April 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized