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: (chopping)
Well, I took a few days off from cooking dinner. Sometimes I am just too overwhelmed to manage anything at all - those are pizza call-in nights or nights I send my husband to the store for "junk food night". And sometimes we end up going to someone's house or going out to dinner or something like that.

Tonight's dinner is one of the very easiest things I make. It's been a while, and my son has been driving me crazy asking for it. Really, truly, I promise to take more pictures soon!

Shepherd's Pie

Make this when you don't have a lot of time or energy for standing in the kitchen.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • homemade mashed potatoes or 3 pouches of instant roasted garlic mashed potatoes, prepared according to package directions

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or lamb

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen "seasoning blend" vegetables or equivalent amount of diced onion, celery, and bell pepper

  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 beef bouillon cube

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


Directions

Start potatoes and garlic cooking if you're making homemade mashed potatoes for the top.

Brown meat (in a little oil if it needs it - depends on how lean it is) in large heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and seasoning blend and continue cooking a few minutes. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes, bouillon cube, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F and finish making your mashed potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and vegetable mixture to casserole dish. Heat the remaining liquid to a high simmer again. Stir cornstarch into a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Whisk into simmering liquid and continue cooking, whisking, until thickened. Add a small amount of this sauce to the casserole dish - too much liquid will run over the sides while it's baking. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the beef mixture, smoothing top. Sprinkle with cheese. I recommend putting your casserole dish on a baking sheet to catch any runover. Bake 30 minutes.

Let stand 10-15 minutes after removing from oven before serving.
thesoupfairy: (garlic)
Oops, I forgot the pictures again! Hope you guys can be patient with my process here! We went to our son's mother's house this evening to celebrate her birthday with her, and I almost forgot to post anything at all.

This is a favorite - it makes everybody happy when I make it.

Maka's Mealoaf

I use this same mixture for my meatballs, too! It's delicious. (Decrease the baking time if you're making meatballs - the length will depend on the size of the meatballs; just check them often.)

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5-10 minutes
Bake: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced

  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground round

  • 1 pound ground lamb or pork

  • 1-1/2 cups oats

  • 1/3 cup catsup

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 4-1/2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 cup catsup


Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté celery, onion, and garlic in hot oil.

Combine all ingredients except last 1/2 cup catsup. If the mixture isn't quite thick and sticky enough, add some more oats or some fine breadcrumbs. Shape into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan.

Bake for 45 minutes. Spread last 1/2 cup catsup on top of loaf and return to oven for 15 minutes more.

Remove to platter, let stand 10 minutes before slicing.




Maka's Mashed Potatoes

These are my basic mashed potatoes. I make them often.

Prep: 15 minutes (or more, depending on how fast you peel potatoes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds potatoes, preferably the golden ones

  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled but left whole

  • 1 stick butter

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk

  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Optional:

  • sour cream

  • chives

  • cooked crumbled bacon

  • grated cheese




Directions


Peel the potatoes or just scrub them, as your family prefers. Dice and drop into a bowl of cold water as you go. Peel garlic cloves but leave them whole.

Bring a large pot filled three-fourths full of water to a rolling boil. Drain cold water from potatoes and add them carefully to the pot with a slotted spoon. Don't burn yourself!! Add the garlic cloves.

Stir occasionally until boiling hard again, then reduce heat to medium and boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Be sure to stir now and then. Drain potatoes and set aside.

Heat butter and cream in empty pot until butter is melted and cream is hot - but do not let it boil or the cream will curdle.

Mash potatoes, adding seasonings, optional additions, and cream mixture, a little at a time, until smooth and fluffy.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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