Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things you MUST try.....

Toby and Fender Cuddling....
has nothing to do with this blog....just thought it was too cute not to share


So....I really try to keep cooking blogs to a minimum. I only want to share recipes/cooking things when I feel like I am doing a total disservice by not sharing.

Yesterday the show was canceled and everyone was urged to stay inside since the air quality was not that great outside. So...what do I do when I am chillin' inside? Cook!!

I had read a few recipes that I really wanted to try and this was the perfect opportunity.

First off...I love Indian Food. I really got turned onto in a few years ago when my boss at Chrysler was Indian. He told me and my friends about this place near my house and my life was never the same. When me and my friend Lorelei were first introduced to this place I think we literally went there a few times a week. It was a bit ridiculous.

In a friends blog entry the other day she posted a recipe for my favorite Indian dish...Chicken Tikka Masala. It looked delish and I knew I had to try and make it. I was a little intimidated...I mean how could anything come close to my favorite Inidan spot. I have to admit...I was very impressed with myself. It tasted just like it came from the restaurant. It is definietly going on the "cook again" list (see recipe below).

Next up ... dessert. As I have previously mentioned I love the food network. One of the people I always watch is Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa. On one of the message boards I visit some of the ladies had all been discussing how amazing one of her brownie recipes were. Several people noted that they were the best brownies they had ever had. I knew I had to give it a try.

Um...I cannot even describe these brownies in words to you. They are truely some of the best brownies I have ever had. They are super chocolately and a pure taste of chocolate heaven. If you like chocolate you must make these and make them soon! You will never be the same again.

Here are some pics and recipes for you....

Chicken Tikka Masala
from Good Eats n' Sweet Treats
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspon garam masala
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

2 tablespoon butter
4 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I used about 1/4)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1.5 cups heavy cream (For a lighter option Jaime used: 12oz can fat free evaporated milk + 1/4 cup cream; or 2 cups fat free evaporated milk)
1 tomato, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients: yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, salt and garam masala. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour (or longer...).

Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, garam masala and salt. Stir in tomato sauce, diced/chopped tomatoes and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Outragous Brownies
from The Barefoot Contessa

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour, divided- 1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces (I deleted the walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and bitter chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.


Anonymous said...

I am glad that you found something constructive to do while the West Coast was burning......
The doggies look cuter that hell.. enjoy yourself my dear, you will never have an adventure like this again...

Just Another Small Town Girl said...

Toby looks adorable!!!!! And that brownie recipe sounds fab-I think it may be on my "must cook" list soon =)

Christy said...

Cute babies!
I may have to try this Chicken Tikka Masala dish---one of my favorite Indian dishes! Did you make your own Naan?

MrsPresley said...

your photos look great! i am so glad you enjoyed this dish... it's my favorite indian dish too and i was so happy when i was finally able to make it at home!