thesoupfairy: (spices)
My kitchen smells SO good right now, y'all. Seriously. I took one shortcut on this one: I used my bread machine for the mixing, kneading, and first rise on the naan. Remember that the naan is going to take a while, so start it early in the day.

Lamb Biryani with Peas

Deliciously spiced, tender ground lamb with brown basmati rice and crisp green peas.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: about 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated

  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

  • 1-1/2 lb ground lamb

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Directions

Begin by cooking your rice. Place the rice in a colander with small enough holes that the rice won't fall through. Wash and rinse the rice several (3-4) times - this will ensure that it doesn't stick together. Put rice into a bowl and cover with 2-1/2 cups water. Let soak 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Bring 3-1/2 cups water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil and stir in the rice. Immediately lower the heat to a very low simmer, cover the pot with the lid, and set your timer for 25 minutes. Do not uncover the pot at all during the cooking time!! At the end of 25 minutes, remove pot from heat but leave the cover in place. Let rest for 10 minutes.

While rice is cooking, heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeños; cook another 3 minutes. Add lamb and sauté over high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up meat.

Stir in spices and salt with 1-1/2 cups water. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and lemon juice. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered.



Raita

This cooling yogurt-based condiment is excellent served on the side with spicy Indian dishes.

Prep: 3 minutes
Chill: at least 2 hours
Yield: 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, diced finely

  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


Directions

Place diced cucumber in large mixing bowl. Beat yogurt with a fork until smooth, then stir in cucumbers. Add salt and cumin, stir to mix well. Cover and chill before serving.


Cilantro-Onion Naan

This is my super-simple bread machine version of naan. Don't yell at me - I know it's not traditional, but it's delicious and easy, so there! ;)

Prep: 2 minutes
In Machine: 1 hour 10 minutes (your machine might vary!)
2nd Rise: 30 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 naan

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp dry active yeast

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp ghee, melted (if you don't know anything about ghee, see below!)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro


Directions

Put all ingredients into your bread machine in the order recommended in your user's manual. (I have a Hitachi HB-C103; mine starts with the water, then flour, then yeast, then other ingredients.)

Remove dough from machine after first rise finishes. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal-sized pieces, roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil a baking sheet. Roll out each dough ball to 1/4" thick and place on baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes, turning twice, brushing with melted ghee before turning each time. Naan should be golden brown and puffy.

If you'd like, you can turn on the broiler and briefly toast your naan under it, turning once.

GHEE!! Ghee is clarified butter. You can buy it at the store, or you can do it yourself. Place butter (as many sticks as you like) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat on medium-low. When all the butter is melted, keep the heat on low and let the butter boil. What is happening here is the water is being evaporated out of the butter. A white foam will form on top of the melted butter. You can blow gently on the cooking butter to move the foam out of the way so you can see the color of the liquid. About the time that it stops boiling, the liquid should be a light amber color. Remove from heat immediately or it will burn! Let stand 30 minutes, then line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour through into a sterilized jar (or several, depending on how much you made and the size of your jars!). Ghee will keep in the fridge for several months.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Dulce De Leche was a last-minute addition born of my apparent NEED for it tonight. In fact, I very may well keep its creation all to myself and sneak in after everyone goes to bed, eating it directly from the can with a spoon :) If so, I will make it up to my family by making them a Quadruple Milk Cake later this week!

Magical Mystery Bread

Magical Mystery Bread


This is my most beloved and requested bread... as well as my easiest! Start off with this bread with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and no extras. After a while, switch it up a bit. Use less sugar and add some savory herbs. Throw in some oats or other grain. Experiment - it's pretty tough to go wrong with this one.

Prep: <5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • A little butter for the pan

  • 3 cups self-rising flour

  • 12 ounces dark beer

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

  • herbs, seasonings, some grated cheese, etc. if you like


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease the entire inner surface of a standard-sized loaf pan with butter. (I keep the wrappers from my sticks of butter in a baggie in my fridge and just use the wrappers to grease pans with.)

Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon to mix them just enough to have the entire bowlful of dough equally moistened. Scrape dough all together in a ball and then turn dough into the loaf pan. Use your spoon or your hands (Warning! It's very sticky dough!) to press it evenly into the pan.

Moisten your fingers and palms with warm water and smooth the top of the loaf.

Place in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out of pan and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.




Fabulously Quick and Easy French Onion Soup

The first French Onion Soup recipe I ever made took about nine hours to prepare! This one is much, much quicker, but you and whoever you're feeding will love it just as much. We usually use sourdough or French bread for the crouton on the top, but tonight I'm using the Magical Mystery Bread for the first time. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes or so
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 1 stick of butter (or an equal amount of olive oil if you're vegan

  • 6 yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly

  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 6 cups stock (beef if you like, or vegetarian if you prefer)

  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • sliced bread, about half an inch thick

  • Sliced cheese for melting on top (Provolone, Gruyere, Swiss, Mozzarella)


Directions

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add garlic about half-way through the onion cooking period.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup


Once the onions have cooked down, add the broth and sherry. Simmer for half an hour, then season with salt and pepper.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup


While the soup cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the sliced bread on a baking sheet until it starts to turn golden, turning to toast both sides. Turn on the broiler and top each slice of toast with 1 or 2 slices of cheese (or an equivalent amount of grated cheese). Broil until cheese is bubbling and browning.

Float one of these crouton on the top of each serving of soup.

French Onion Soup



Dulce De Leche

Seriously amazing creamy caramel sauce. Some folks will tell you this is unsafe to make without piercing the top of the can, that your can will explode. The truth is that it's quite safe so long as you keep the level of the water well above the top of the can. Keep checking the water level throughout the cooking time and keep it at least an inch above the can.

Cook: 2 to 3-1/2 hours

Ingredients
  • one can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand is fine, but i've not found one, even the store brand, that wasn't just as fabulous)


Directions

Remove the label from the can and place it in a large cooking pot. Add water to well higher than 1 inch above the top of the can. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling, adding water as needed to keep the level up.

Dulce De Leche


Boil two hours if you want a creamy sauce and 3-1/2 hours if you want a thick puddinglike consistency.

Allow can to cool slightly, then remove lid carefully. Serve over ice cream, as a dip for fresh fruit, and anywhere caramel seems like it would be tasty.

(A photo of the finished caramel will be up when it's done!)
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

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