Friday, February 02, 2024

Tandoori

 Came back to Tandoori chicken again, and I think I did it better this time.

First thing up was the marinade...

  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. long pepper
My garam masala and long pepper weren't ground, so they got a light pan toasting before going in my grinder.

This mixes up into a pretty thick paste. In the past, I think I was using too much yogurt, and the result was too fluid.

So the full method:

  1. Make the marinade.
  2. Coat four chicken thighs in the marinade.
  3. Put the chicken in the fridge for a few hours to marinate.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  5. Cook the chicken in the air fryer for 25-30 minutes, turning half way through the cook time.

We tried this with some Miracle Noodle Ready to Eat Rice from Publix, which wasn't bad, especially after it got some of that marinade from the cooked chicken mixed in.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Low-Carb Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash is pretty low in carbs already, but I generally like mine with pasta, so this one is just getting some low-carb pasta instead.

Ingredients:

  • Three chicken thighs
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • One small onion
  • About a tablespoon of almond flour
  • About five tablespoons of sour cream
  • One pouch of Skinny Pasta fettuccini
  • Enough chicken stock to deglaze (maybe 1/2 a cup)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste

Method:

  1. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs.
  2. Brown the chicken thighs using medium-high heat in a deep pan in some olive oil, about 5 mins on each side.
  3. Remove the chicken thighs.
  4. Soften the onions in the pan.
  5. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and brown.
  6. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock.
  7. Take out about a quarter cup of pan stock. Mix it with almond flower. Return to the pan and stir.
  8. Add the chicken back to the pan.
  9. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked (160°F on an internal temp probe).
  10. Stir in sour cream.
  11. Stir in pasta.


Lemon-Caper-Dill Chicken w/ Fried Zucchini

This chicken dish gets an awkward but literal name.


Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken thighs (thought the package would have 4, but one was extra large)
  • juice of one lemon
  • about a teaspoon of capers
  • about a tablespoon of fresh dill
  • about half a cup of dry white wine
  • salt & pepper
  • avocado oil
Method:

  1. Salt and pepper the chicken.
  2. Brown the chicken on both sides in avocado oil.
  3. Deglaze the pan with wine.
  4. Add lemon, capers, and dill.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
I spent my 20-30 minutes making fried zucchini.

  • 2 zucchini, cut into thin strips (I used a mandolin slicer)
  • salt & pepper
  • a cup or two of almond flower
  • two beaten eggs
  • corn oil
Method 2:

  1. Dip the zucchini strips in egg wash.
  2. Coat them in a mix of salt, pepper, and almond flower.
  3. Fry until golden brown.
  4. Season with an extra sprinkle of salt.
The low-carb zucchini turned out be a really good idea.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Gaza

Until now, I haven't said anything about Gaza. I really don't know what's to be done there. The Hamas attack on Israel was horrific. The ongoing Israeli response is horrific and tragic.

As an American, I think it would be hypocritical to criticize Israel. On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda's attack killed at least 3000 Americans. I can't even calculate the hundreds of thousands of deaths that America's response caused. I don't think a lot of those deaths could be justified, but they can't be undone.

I believe one thing, though. All this death and destruction is exactly what Hamas wants. When they attacked, they knew Israel would feel compelled to strike back hard. They wanted a disproportionate body count. They wanted tens of thousands of Palestinians to die. They have never cared about the Palestinian people. They only care about weakening and destroying Israel, and the media coverage of all that carnage is causing an international backlash in public opinion against Israel.

I would love to see the killing stop, but I don't see the path. Even if Israel can be convinced to stop its campaign, Hamas will just do something to incite them to renew it. I don't know how this cycle of hate can be brought to a halt. 

Fårikål

Middle Tennessee got a pretty heavy snow recently, and I wanted something warm and comforting for this weather, so I returned to an old favorite: Fårikål -- Norwegian lamb and cabbage stew.


This involved:
  • Three lamb shanks
  • A smallish head of cabbage
  • A quart of beef stock
  • About a tablespoon of peppercorns, ground (see below)
  • A few dashes of Maggi Würze seasoning
  • Salt to taste (I now use Redmond Sea Salt)
And the procedure:
  1. Chop the cabbage very coarsely.
  2. Wash and dry the cabbage in a salad spinner.
  3. Add the cabbage to a pot.
  4. Salt and pepper the lamb shanks, then add them to the pot.
  5. Add beef stock.
  6. Add the remaining pepper, Maggi seasoning, and some salt.
  7. Bring to a low boil, then cover and simmer for an hour or more.
  8. Remove the lamb shanks and cut the meat from the bones.
  9. Return the meat to the stew.
  10. Check seasoning and then serve.
Fårikål does not normally call for grinding the pepper, but I wanted to grind it so I could rub it into the lamb shanks. The side effect is that this recipe speaks black pepper in a very loud voice; whether that's good or bad depends on how much you like black pepper.





Friday, January 05, 2024

Fish Puttanesca

This is definitely not an authentic Italian recipe. As usual, I found a recipe on Pinterest and worked around any ingredients I didn't have on hand.

 

This recipe called for capers, but it turned out that I had no capers. No real substitution, here; I just figured that the olives would carry the dish in this case.

Ingredients:
  • About half a stick of butter
  • Six cloves of garlic, minced
  • Three anchovies
  • A generous pinch of Gina's Italian Seasoning (the recipe wanted rosemary, thyme, and basil, and this contains them all)
  • White wine (Chloe Pinot Grigio)
  • A can of whole tomatoes
  • Roughly a cup of pitted Castrelvetrano olives
  • White fish fillets (Greenwise Pacific Whiting from Publix, in this case)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zucchini "noodles"
My method:

  1. Melt about half a stick of butter in an oven safe pot.
  2. Add the anchovies and garlic and sauté briefly.
  3. Add a good glug of wine before the garlic burns.
  4. Add tomatoes and herbs. Break up the tomatoes with a wood spoon while stirring everything together.
  5. Simmer about ten minutes
  6. Add the olives and stir everything together.
  7. Add the fish and place the pot uncovered in a 400°F oven (204°C) for about eight minutes.
  8. Sauté some zoodles in a small pot with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  9. Take the pot out of the oven, add the zoodles to the pot, and stir.
This is the actually the first time I've really liked zoodles in anything (these came from the Publix produce department).

Please be smarter than me and remember that the pot just came out of a hot oven; don't grab the handle with your bare hand.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Lamb and Lentil Soup

Second time making a lamb soup. It worked well the first time, so naturally I'm messing with the recipe and adding lentils.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp of lamb tallow
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 long thin carrots, diced (you could probably use two stout carrots)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried rosemary to taste
  • 1 cup of brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 quart of low-salt chicken broth (beef broth or some wild homemade broth mix should work fine)
  • Ditalini and/or fregula sarda tostata pasta

Procedure:

  1. Brown the lamb in the lamb tallow over medium-high heat with some salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the lamb to a bowl.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and sauté with salt, pepper, and herbs until softened.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until its not terribly pungent.
  5. Return lamb to pot and add lentils. Stir
  6. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and simmer on low heat for an hour.
  8. Add pasta and simmer another 20 minutes.
Not an affiliate link, but here's a link to the pasta I used.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Chili with White Beans

This was something of a fluke. I thought I had black beans in the cupboard. I was wrong, so Great Northern Beans it is.




It's a chili, so most of this is improv.
  • 1 lb of ground beef (roughly)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 generous tbsp of chili powder (I actually filled the cap of the container)
  • 1 tbsp of cumin (the cap again)
  • 1 pinch of Mexican oregano (not what you were thinking, you deviants ;)
  • Salt and pepper (too taste)
  • Beef stock (as needed)
  • Corn meal (as needed)
On this occasion, I sauteed the diced onion and pepper over medium-high heat in a bit of grapeseed oil along with some salt and pepper, then added the garlic. I put that aside on a plate while I browned the beef, then everything went back into the pot along with the tomatoes, beans, and remaining spices.

I added enough beef stock to deglaze the pot and cover the ingredients, then left it to simmer for an hour or so. I added the corn meal toward the end as a thickener and let it simmer another 15 minutes or so.

Served with a spoon of sour cream.

Chili is pretty forgiving, and this turned out quite nice.


Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Whiskey and Lillet, Round 2

 For a second attempt, I've just changed the ratios to see what happens.

  • 2 oz Tullamore Dew
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Properly stirred with ice this time before putting in a chilled cocktail glass.

As expected, this version features the whiskey more, which is good, but it's still mild ingredients. I think I'll try a different bitters next time to see what that does. Failing that, it might be time to try some real citrus.

Whiskey and Lillet

I suppose this will need a name once I finish tinkering with it.

I decided to do something simple with ingredients I had on hand, so I mixed Tullamore Dew with Lillet Blanc in equal proportions. It's not exciting, but it's certainly not bad. There's somewhere to go with this, but I haven't figured it all out yet.

A couple of dashes of orange bitters helped, but it needs something else. Might try some citrus next time.

Friday, December 01, 2023

Leftover Pilaf

I made a venison stew for Thanksgiving, and it went over quite well, but after it was over, I had a lot of broth leftover. Inspired by Wilderness Cooking, I figured it would make a good pilaf.


Making this required one cup of rice and two cups of venison broth (which happens to be how much I had). These went into the Instant Pot and got stirred together. Just to give it some meatiness, I added some frozen meatballs and little smokies.

From there, all I had to do was set the pot for rice and wait for it to be done. I wouldn't call this a fancy meal by any stretch, but it made a very nice lunch.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 This went rather well, so it should be shared. This is another Instant Pot recipe.


The ingredients aren't too complicated:

  • 2 chicken thighs, well coated in salt and pepper.
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped into thin bits
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced (no cores)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ~1/4 cup green salsa
  • Chicken stock
  • ~1 tbsp corn starch

Started with the celery, peppers, and onions in the pot on sauté with some salt and pepper until softened.

As they were going, I also put the chicken thighs in skin-side down to brown that up a bit.

As the veggies were soft, I put the corn starch on them and stirred them around.

When a fond was forming from the veggies and chicken, I added enough chicken stock to deglaze the pot. After that, I added the salsa and the rest of the chicken stock (enough to just cover the chicken) and stirred everything together.

I then put the lid on the pot, made sure the pressure valve was "closed", and set for Soup.

When all was done, I just ladled it into bowls and crushed some tortilla chips on top.

And I think this one was a winner.

Sous Vide Barbecue Ribs

Had some pork ribs, so I tried to make some sous vide barbecue. Not my best work, but lessons were learned.


The dry rub went into the bag with the ribs and got sealed a few days before the cook. Nice thing about sous vide cooking is that you can take a vacuum-sealed bag out of the freezer and put it straight into the water bath.

These cooked at 151 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours. I have no complaints about that.

I did not pay enough attention to the rub, though. Too much salt, not enough sugar. I'll need to properly measure next time.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Woodland Heights Sour

I was thinking of making some New York Sours to enjoy while prepping the Thanksgiving dinner, but I don't have any rye or bourbon on hand. I do have Irish whiskey (Tullamore Dew). Can't call it a New York Sour if you're changing the base spirit, so Nena looked up the name of the Irish neighborhood in New York. The internet says that Woodland Heights is "Little Ireland", so that's what we're going with until someone of Irish descent corrects us.

  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1/2 oz Red wine

Going to go with adding the whiskey, lemon juice, syrup, and egg white to the shaker and doing a dry shake. Then we'll add ice for a second shake. We'll pour into tumblers and top with red wine (Yellowtail Pinot Noir -- it's what I have open for cooking).