Daily Archives: 05.06.2011

Friday Food Round-Up

This week, we really got back into the swing of things in the kitchen.  At which point, I realized that it had been an entire month since we had last made Indian food.

I don’t want to say it, but seriously?  Once I realized that the entire middle of April had been devoured by holidays, the first thought that crossed my mind was Time Flies.

Yipes.

Beer Braised Turkey over Polenta with Fresh Corn from How to Cook Everything

Kittens, I finally did it!  When the urge to cook polenta struck, I cracked open How to Cook Everything.  In an act of serendipity, as I was looking up the recipe, there were instructions on how to include fresh corn (you know, from that corn-freezing jag I went on last August) in the final product.

Joy-joy-joy.

Since the race was so miserable and bitter-cold, I knew that dinner had to be Soothing in the Highest Degree.  And anything that allowed me to use some of our newly butchered turkey and a dutch oven got bumped to the top of the list.

The baked potato?  Was totally unnecessary, but was there because I craved it.  I cooked it as per the recommendations of Jenny in bon appetit and roasted those suckers straight on the rack (stuck with a fork, of course) at 450 for 50 minutes.  Perfection.

Braised-Baked-Stirred.  Amen.

Tomato Curry with Coconut Rice from Nigella Kitchen

My verdict is in.  If you’re looking for an easy way to start cooking Indian food in your kitchen, this recipe should be your starter.  It’s a fast one to cook and the only “interesting” spice you need to include is Tumeric.  So it’s affordable if you’re ready to dabble.  And, you could add chicken or chickpeas if you wanted, just for fun.

Our modifications: We used 3/4 t of cayenne instead of 1 t, but would definitely recommend using 1/2 t in the future.  Instead of spending our evening halving cherry tomatoes (while I’m sure these add an excellent flavor…we’ll attempt it once the Gregor tomatoes come in), we used two cans of diced tomatoes.  Since we don’t have English Mustard (I only JUST Googled what that was all about), we used Dijon.  We added two, thinly sliced green bell peppers to the onion base.

A (Mostly) Related Side Story: So, for the coconut rice, you need coconut milk.  Which is just peachy.  They only sell the reduced-fat version at Trader Joe’s, which in my book is a non-issue.  Bless Marcus’ heart, when he went grocery shopping on Saturday (he usually ends up getting sent off to do this alone when I have a Bridal Shower) he went looking for it in the refrigerated case, next to the regular milk.  This, is one of the many reasons why I love him.

Insofar as the actual final rice product was concerned, the salt and lime juice did more for the rice than the coconut milk and scallions.  But the coconut milk did give the rice a really different (enjoyable) texture compared to what usually comes out of the steamer.  You can take or leave this part, as far as I’m concerned.

African Drumsticks from Nigella Kitchen

Yet another sign that The End Times Are Upon Us: Marcus suggested that we make this dish with brown rice and enjoyed a meat dish that involved fruit.

I know, I know.  Start stocking your shelters now.

After our Blue Nile experience on Saturday, I’m not entirely sure as to what, specifically, makes this chicken “African.”  But it was delicious, so I guess the name is entirely irrelevant.

Our modifications: We used chicken thighs instead of drumsticks.  We grilled instead of baking.  I omitted the onion from the marinade (I didn’t think that would translate well to the grill) and used orange marmalade instead of apricot jam…because that’s just what we had on-hand.

If you’re looking for an extremely savory way to start adding fruits to your meat dishes, this would be a good place to start.

Have you had any grocery store snafus?

Do you regularly grill/bake meat with fruit?

Truth be told, I’ve never attempted anything of this order outside of the standard November combination of turkey and cranberry or the lovely Fall combination of brats with apples and onions.

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