If it’s Tuesday, that means it’s Indian buffet night at my favorite local Indian restaurant. And until my children learn to appreciate the cuisine (or I find a babysitter), I’m left with little choice other than to learn to make it on my own. Sure, I could order take-out but it’s great to have a handful of easy Indian recipes I can go to at a moment’s notice. Last week Dara made a slow cooker chicken vindaloo that sounded delicious and I thought I’d give it a try.
The recipe can be found at Chaos in My Kitchen and as Dara said, it is very quick to throw together. I stayed true to the recipe with two exceptions: I cut the salt back to 1 tsp. and I omitted the green beans. Drew loved it and I enjoyed it as well, though I would have preferred a little more heat. In the future I’d probably dice a chili pepper, too. It’s probably not authentic but I think that would add the flavor that seem “missing” for me.
We both really enjoyed the consistency of the sauce and I think it’s because I used crushed tomatoes rather than sauce or freshly chopped tomatoes. It was thick and yummy over rice. This recipe is a keeper!
Wow, it’s really been a long time since I posted any recipes! Trust me, I’ve been cooking. I just haven’t been great about documenting everything. Well, there’s no time like the present to remedy that, right? Right! I wanted to share a recipe I threw together on Good Friday. Now, crab cakes are one of th ose things I just can’t be bothered to make. Both Shop Rite and Hannaford have great seafood sections in the store and offer store-made crab cakes for as little as $1.25 each. When you take into consideration the cost of the ingredients and the time putting them together, for me this is a no-brainer.
It was just Drew and I for dinner that night (the boys were at my parents’ already) and I wanted something quick and easy. Along with the crab cakes I made a package of saffron rice and warmed up a stir-fry vegetable mix of broccoli, corn, and red peppers. I mixed the rice and vegetables together and served the crab cakes over them. But what made the dish so good was the sauce. I can’t wait to make it again!
Spicy Jalapeño Ranch Sauce
1 jalapeño pepper (seeded if you don’t like the heat)
1 handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup ranch dressing
Combine first three ingredients in your food processor and pulse until pepper is chopped. Scrape down the sides and add the ranch dressing (add more or less if you want, this measurement is a guesstimate) and process until the sauce is smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Serve with crab cakes.
Yield: 2-3 servings
We opened up the bottle of Magnolia from Duplin Winery that we bought last summer in N. Carolina. It was a very sweet wine and kind of mead-y. It’s not something I’d rush to have again because of my preference for drier whites, but if you like your vino on the sweet side, I bet this would be up your alley.
I’ve been making the same mac & cheese recipe for about seven years now. I originally found it in an issue of Everyday Food magazine, but over the years I’ve tweaked it just a bit to stretch it further and make it just a tad healthier (though admittedly, not much). My seven-year old had four helpings of this the other night. Four. My four-year-old had to be coerced even though it contains everything he likes: pasta, cream cheese, and cheddar. For this recipe I prefer to use small shells instead of elbow macaroni. I like the way the sauce gets into the opening of the shell pasta.
Gather your ingredients:
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
1 1/4 C. low-fat milk (I use 1%; I have not tested this with skim)
8 oz. (one package) neufchâtel cheese
2 cups grated white cheddar
8 oz. uncooked shell pasta (about half a box)
1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 13 x 9 dish. In a small bowl, toss the melted butter with breadcrumbs. Set aside. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
In a large non-stick stock pot, bring milk to a boil over medium heat. (Keep your eye on it, or it will bubble over and make a big mess; trust me.) Reduce heat to med-low; add neufchatel cheese, cut into cubes. Stir until melted. Gradually add cheddar and stir slowly until it has melted
Add cooked pasta to the melted cheese.
Add salt and pepper and stir it all together. The mac & cheese is delicious like this if you prefer it extra-creamy, but if you want to bake it, pour it into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Because of my schedule during the day, I’ll often make it up to this point in the morning, put it in the fridge, then finish it in the oven later (just let it come to room temperature first).
When you’re ready, bake the mac & cheese in a 450 degree oven until it starts to bubble (about 10 minutes). Take it out of the oven and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top, then bake it for an additional 10 minutes.
Typically I serve this as a main dish along with a salad that has been dressed with a vinaigrette, but naturally it makes a great side dish, too.
I’m not a big fan of pork chops or pork roasts, but this week Stop & Shop had center cut pork loin roasts on sale and for whatever reason I picked one up. I brought it home and then realized that I had to do something with this roast. I looked around for inspiration and decided to do something with rosemary, garlic, and white wine. The result was an incredibly flavorful roast (with a delicious gravy) that surprised both Drew and myself. Better yet — even the boys ate it! Noah took a little coaxing and I allowed him to dip it in ketchup, but he eventually ate his whole slice. I served it with rice, sweet & sour red cabbage and homemade applesauce. I will be making this again, without a doubt.
2-lb. center cut pork loin roast (not pork tenderloin)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add just enough olive oil to make a paste. Set aside. Place your pork in a roasting pan and cut three slits along the top. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then stuff a bit of the rosemary-garlic mixture into each of the slits. Spread the rest of the mixture over the top of the roast. Add the wine to the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake until the internal temperature of the roast is 160 degrees F (approx. 1.5 hours). Remove the roast to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil.
To make the gravy, pour the pan drippings into a sauce pan. Scrape any bits of tasty goodness that are stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan. Add one cup of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn to medium and sprinkle on some Wondra, whisking constantly to thicken. Add a little more Wondra (remembering to whisk, otherwise you’ll get clumps of flour) until the gravy is your desired thickness. Strain through a mesh sieve and then pour into a gravy separator (whatever it’s called) to separate the grease from the gravy. Serve and enjoy!
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
1 1/4 C. whole milk
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. (4 C.) grated white cheddar
8 oz. elbow macaroni
1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper
1) Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 13 x 9 dish. In a small bowl, toss melted butter with breadcrumbs and 1/4 c. cheddar.
2) In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package; drain.
3) In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low; add cream cheese, cut into cubes, stir until melted (abt. 2 min). Gradually stir in remaining cheddar until melted (abt. 5 min.) Add cooked pasta, salt and pepper; toss to combine.
4) Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake until bubbling, 10 min. Remove from oven; sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until golden, 10 min. more.
From Everyday Food, May/June 2003
4 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins, 2 packages with 2 tenderloins in each package
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, cracked
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves stripped and finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a very sharp thin knife.
Place tender loins on a nonstick cookie sheet with a rim. Coat tenderloins in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat. Drizzle tenderloins with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat. Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of cracked garlic cloves into meat. Combine steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper with rosemary and thyme and rub meat with blend. Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.
Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve.
1 lb bow tie pasta
1 (1-lb) bunch broccoli rabe, tough ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 – 1 lb. mixed hot and sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbps crushed red pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
Grated parmasan or romano cheese for garnish
1. In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to pkg directions, adding broccoli rabe 3 min. before pasta is finished cooking. When pasta is firm but tender and broccoli rabe is tender, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and rabe in colander, shaking to remove excess water; return to pot.
2. While pasta and broccoli rabe are cooking, in large skillet over med-high heat, cook sausage, breaking up clumps with wooden spoon, until sausage is browned (about 5 min.). Add garlic and crushed red pepper; saute for 1 more min. or until fragrant.
3. Add sausage, reserved 1/2 cup cooking water, the olive oil, salt and pepper to pasta mixture in pot. Toss to coat pasta evenly. Serve with grated cheese on the side.
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
2-3 dashes Tabasco
1/4 c olive oil
1 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmasan (I prefer Romano) cheese
1/2 lb penne, cooked and drained
In a skillet, cook garlic, red pepper flakes, and hot pepper sauce in oil
and butter for 2-3 min. Add asparagus, salt and pepper; saute until
asparacus is crisp-tender, abt. 8-10 min. Add Parmesan cheese; mix well.
Pour over hot pasta and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 teaspoons minced green onion
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 slices smoked bacon
1. Split each breast horizontally, making a pocket and leaving one edge intact. Set aside.
2. Combine cream cheese, green onion, tarragon, and black pepper. Spoon 1/4 cheese mixture into the pocket of each breast. Wrap each with 2 slices bacon and secure with wooden picks.
3. Cook over medium heat on the grill or under the broiler, about 10 minutes per side, or until bacon is crisp and chicken tests done.
2 pounds chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
A splash milk
2 cups corn flakes
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons grill seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Place flour in a large shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour. Beat eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Combine cereal, bread crumbs, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning and vegetable oil in food processor. Transfer breading to a shallow dish. Place a nonstick baking sheet near chicken breading station. In batches, take flour coated chicken and coat in eggs then in breading and place on nonstick cookie sheet. When all the chicken has been coated, transfer to oven and bake 15 minutes, until evenly brown and cooked through.