A couple of weeks ago, I received the new jamie oliver cookbook, "Jamie's food revolution." I've always been a pretty big fan of his stuff, and this one didn't disappoint. I was excited to see that there was a whole chapter on curries. He recommends using a brand of curry paste (korma, masala, vindaloo, called patak's.), if you choose not to make your own (but he does give recipes to make pastes, which I eventually want to try.) The chicken tikka masala pictured above was from that book. It was pretty good, would have been even better if I hadn't accidentally doubled the amount of tomatoes involved.
So, yeah, have kind of been on an indian food kick here recently. Also have been experimenting on making different interpretations of aloo (indian spiced potatoes). they're pretty addictive, if you are like me and could live solely on potatoes...forever. Last pic is of gus, who has permanently taken up residence below the flair's cooktop. Wifeshow and I were wondering what he is going to do with himself once the remodel starts. He loves it under there, primo spot for snarfs.
getting sidetracked here...Back to the cookbook, actually cookbooks in general. I really have been trying to utilize the ones that I have more completely. I know that a lot of people (self included) fall into the trap of buying cookbooks and never use them even to half of their potential. So, this week, take some time and pick out at least two recipes you have always wanted to try. It will add so much to your kitchen skills and give you more ideas to play off of. The finished product may not look like the picture, may be different than you had planned, but you will have learned something and perhaps can tweak it to fit your tastes. I try to do this at least twice a week, you'll be amazed at how fast you learn to cook new things and how much more interesting it will make your cooking seem. Totally interested to hear what you guys are going to try out, let me know!
Other stuff: Picked up some black mustard seeds at a shop on 25th and O street the other day. It's an eastern market that has ridiculously low prices on spices (even better than OH!). Also, We went to a halloween party as zoolander and hansel. Will let amy post those pics if she wants. Had a great time, ate some eyeballs, partied with devils, cowboys, indians (pun intended) gomez, pirates, and gypsies. In other words, a typical saturday night for the dish. oh yeah, I made some killer chocolate mousse, and piped it into phyllo dough cups, but forgot to take a picture:( recipe is here.)
Also, nonfoods, sort of: Finished the shining. Thank goodness for resolutions. I don't think I could have made it through that book without one. got so scared at one point that I slept on the couch with the dog ( i read before I go to bed during the day). Definitely a halloween-worthy read. Bakery boss is going on vacation so it's up to marth, the nabster, and I to run things. Sounds scary, think we can handle it though. not really looking forward to working all by myself on wednesdays, though. just have to suck it up...
Dish's Aloo (great as a side or all alone served with chapatis or papadum)
2 russet potates, peeled
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic minced
I red chile, small dice
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
small handful of cilantro, separated into minced stalks and leaves
5 threads saffron
1tsp, smashed coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp coriander powder)
salt and peps
med. heat, add a couple of glugs of olive oil in a medium size pot and add the mustard seeds. they will start to pop, then add your onion, garlic, and chile, stirring frequently. add the rest of the spices and the minced cilantro stalks, and a little salt and pepper. Saute until the onions start to get some color. Then add your potatoes, and make sure that they are coated with the spices. Add approx half cup of water and stir potatoes every 30 seconds to a minute, until the water evaporates. do not cover pot! do this process multiple times until the potatoes are done to your liking. when you reach this stage, instead of adding one last 1/2 cup of water, add a little olive oil (or ghee if you have it), and lightly fry the potatoes, until you see the bottom of the pan starting to go brown. add the cilantro leaves, and more salt and pepper to taste. kill the heat, let sit for one more minute and then scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and stir to incorporate. (this should give you some nice crunchy bits, in with the soft potatoes) Garnish with natural plain yogurt and papadum.
DISH recommends:Shun Pairing knife/peeler, and all clad 14 inch non-stick skillet. sweet holy moses! That is one sharp pairing knife. Totally impressed with shun knives now. can't believe that something came from the factory that sharp. blade has a nook in it that is perfect for peeling things. while some would say the size of the pan is overkill, I am totally excited about it! my first position in a restaurant was saute so it's something that I am totally fond of and something that has a lot of good memories. Can do like a billion chicken breasts or whatever in this thing. these were both b-day gifts, great ones...