Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver

I love Indian food but find it so intimidating! I guess I hate the fact that I never really know if I'm doing it right because it is so unfamiliar... So when my friend Janine wanted to try out this Tikki Masala recipe I thought it would be the perfect time to tackle the challenge. By the end of the hour the house smelled like a spice market and our mouths were all watering.

Serves 4-6

1/2 fresh red chili, deseeded (more if you want it hotter)
1 clove garlic,
1/2 oz (15 grams) fresh ginger
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pinch paprika
1/2 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp tomato puree
a bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander)
about 14 oz (400 grams) chicken breast, diced into pieces
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into pieces
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped into pieces
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground coriander
1 pinch of turmeric
14 oz (400 grams) plum tomatoes
3.5 oz (100 ml) plain yogurt
3.5 oz (100 ml) sour cream

The day before: (or at least a few hours before)
Put the chili, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, paprika, garam masala, tomato puree, and all of the cilantro stalks into the food processor and puree to form a paste. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, coat them with marinade and put them in the fridge over night.

When ready, add a little vegetable oil in a large wok or fry pan on medium heat. Fry the onion, peppers and remaining spices in a large saucepan. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, then add the can of tomatoes and yogurt. Finally, add the chicken pieces and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Just before serving, stir through the double cream and chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve with fluffy rice and a leafy green salad.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

from Allrecipes

The ironic thing about German Chocolate Cake is that it is most certainly NOT German. Pecans aren't even grown over here and are actually quite difficult to find. That being said, this is a delicious, fancy looking cake.

1/2 cup water
4 oz (113 grams) chocolate
1 cup buter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs (separate yolks and whites)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups cake flour (all purpose is next best)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup (70 grams) butter
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Sauce:
2 ounces chocolate
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease and flour three 9" round pans (I used two 10" pans). Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set asidde. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces of chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla, then add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated (do not overmix!)

In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Pour into your prepared bake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing.

To make the filling, combine 1 cup of sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread filling between layers and on top of the cake. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together, stir until smooth and then drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Some people prefer to toast the pecans and coconut before adding them to the filling, but that is up to you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Roast a Whole Chicken

While I love the convienience of bags of frozen chicken breasts, it's much more economical to buy the whole chicken and to roast it yourself. Plus, it makes the whole house smell great!

1 shallow pan
1 whole chicken

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C)
Take the chicken out of the trappings, remove giblets, rinse thoroughly and pat completely dry with a paper towel. Then place the chicken in the center of an oiled baking dish. You can stuff the bird's cavity with a roughly chopped onion or garlic cloves if you like. Then, in a small bowl, mix spices together. Brush chicken with a thin layer of oil and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly all over the chicken.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until juices run clear. The cooking time really depends on the size of the bird; for anything over 3.5 pounds, cook for about 8-10 minutes per pound (about 8-10 minutes every 500 grams). To be completely sure it is baked through, you may want to use a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature gets to 165 F (73 C).

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!