On a recent trip back to NY, my sister gave us a huge supply of spices from the Park Slope Coop. So many that I decided upon returning to Beijing to try to make a home made Masala.
I’ve tried Chicken Masala before in the past but here’s a recipe that I got from BBC that is done all from scratch. Pretty easy overall, and the flavors and amazing. You don’t have to use a rotisserie, you can just bake as the original recipe describes but it’s a little more fun if your oven has this function and you also get a much more even and juicier meat as a result of the rotisserie.
Chicken Masala Ingredients
For the marinade
6 cardamom pods
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground fenugreek
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1-2 tsp hot chilli powder (the more you use, the spicier the dish)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp flaked sea salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
Whole free range chicken
Masala Spices Preparation method
To make the marinade, split the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Put the cardamom seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan and discard the husks. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, cloves and black peppercorns and place the pan over a medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly until the spices are lightly toasted – you know they’re ready when you can smell the spicy aroma.
Tip the toasted spices into a pestle and mortar, or an electric spice grinder, and pound to a fine powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the fenugreek, turmeric, paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon and salt.
Add the garlic, ginger and yoghurt, then mix well and leave to stand while you prepare the chicken.
Place the chicken in a small bowl and marinate with your hands for several minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F and set up the rotisserie (or just bake). Bake till internal temp of chicken reaches 180F (about 1 hour)
I’ve been baking my own sourdough bread for over a year now. White sourdough is probably one of the most satisfying and easy artisanal breads to make as the white sourdough is pretty forgiving and the fermentation and proofing times are reasonable. Recently, I’ve decided it’s time to move on to more complex sourdough breads with darker and more challenging flours. A few weeks ago, I serendipitously came across a used copy of Nancy Silverton’s Breads From La Brea Bakery at the PS Bookstore here in Dumbo Brooklyn. Admission: I first tried the Normandy Rye sourdough bread recipe but this recipe calls for a 3 day starter that needs to be fed 3 times a day! So as others were bringing their kids and pets to work, I was bringing my sourdough starter with me to work for 3 days and feeding it in my cubicle. As luck would have it, on the 3rd day I shattered my sourdough starter jar on the subway ride home. I got a few ugly looks in the subway with the pungent sour smell of sourdough starter emanating from my bag !!!
Anyways until I get around to buying another giant 3 Qt glass jar to house the rye sourdough starter, I’ve been making Nancy’s recipe of Walnut Sourdough bread and I’m very very happy with this bread. The Sourdough Walnut bread recipe is so good that I may not go back to baking white sourdough ever again! The walnut sourdough crust is a rich dark brown color with a thick crunch and full nutty flavor. The interior is a light soft brown (and purple color if you leave it out too long) from the mix of rye and wheat flours with an intense sourdough taste while the caramelized toasted walnuts make for an incredible sweet finish. Honestly this is the best artisanal sourdough bread I’ve made (so far).
Complex Sourdough bread? Yes
The Walnut Bread contains white unbleached, rye and wheat flours so the texture and taste of the bread is more tough and rich than the regular white sourdough. The good news is that you can use the same live yeast starter as the White sourdough bread in the walnut sourdough bread recipe and don’t have to convert its diet over multiple days like you would with a Rye sourdough. But because it contains a low amount of white flour, there is less gluten in the bread which can cause a mess if you happen to over proof. Nancy’s secret to the recipe is to start off with pre-ferment 20 hour sponge / levain to get the traditional sourdough taste before you start the fermentation and proofing. Also there’s supposedly a chemical reaction in the sourdough recipe that occurs with the walnuts that causes the dough to turn a purplish color if left out too long so using the sponge is a great option. Finally because of the rye and wheat flours in the walnut bread sourdough recipe you won’t be able to hand knead this dough.
With that let’s start with the fun equipment you’ll need for the Walnut Sourdough Bread
Equipment for Sourdough Walnut Bread Recipe
Hand mixer with dough hooks (sorry you can’t hand knead this one)
Several large mixing bowls
Large Dutch Oven with lid
Weight Measure (optional)
Summary: Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe
Preparation time: 30 hour(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
What are you going to BBQ for the fourth of July this year? I’ve blogged about a lot of BBQ recipes in the past and while you can go the safe and easy route of a BBQ / Oven Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, the big challenge and bolder flavors (in my opinion) will come from barbequing your own piece of beef brisket.
The challenge of BBQ Brisket is that it takes a long time (7-14 hours) and if you remove the brisket off the BBQ too soon, you’ll end up with a pretty tough piece of meat. Like Pork Shoulder, it’s all about the slow low heat of the BBQ grill or oven. Why? Because the brisket is a very tough muscle at the front of the chest and is used to stabilize the cow as it stands and while it is moving.
It’s going to take a long long time to break down the tough muscle fibers in the brisket to become the tender succulent piece of smoky bbq. But it’s well worth it of course. Get a bucket of beers and gather your friends around the BBQ, and have a great time as you smoke and bbq your brisket this 4th of July.
Summary: 4th Of July BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe
Preparation time: 45 minute(s)
Cooking time: 11 hour(s) 40 minute(s)
If you like thick sauces with intense flavors (who doesn’t), then this Chicken and Okra recipe is for you! Because it’s flour based, it does take some time to cook in however – you start by making a roux which takes about 1.5 hours. But believe me it’s well worth it for the thick chicken stock flavors to blend in. Serve over rice.
Summary: Modified off of a Food and Wine Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 40 minute(s)
Last week I embarked on another Spring Liver Cleanse Diet and currently at day 10 of 21. It’s been going quite well this time around thanks to stocking up plenty from a trip to Costco and Fairway. The trick to the Spring Liver Cleanse really is get as much variety of vegetables and fruits otherwise you’ll suffer from boredom. Most of the old favorite liver cleanse recipes such as Roasted Red Beets, Garlic Roasted Asparagus and Peppers, Roasted Butternut Squash, and a couple recipes from Sarma Melngailis’s Living Raw Foods have done the trick but I decided this time around to branch out to some Asian inspired dishes such as this Three Lentil Dal Recipe that I modified from a Food and Wine recipe. I just got some beautifully colored lentils from Sahadi’s Brooklyn and had to put them to great use.
Summary: Cumin Turmeric Spicy Dhal Lentil Soup
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet (other): Low calorie, High protein
Meal type: supper
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern
If you live in a city that has a lot of street vendors, you’re probably pretty familiar with street pretzels. These are ‘ok’ in my opinion – usually too dry and too chewy. Here in NY the latest addition to bread bakeries are pretzels. They are served warm and you can dip the pretzels in mustard or butter. What a difference! But have you tried to make your own?
A couple years ago I tried to make some homemade bagels but they were an utter disappointment – soggy and too breadlike. What I didn’t know back then was the finishing secret: LYE. Yep, good old sodium hydroxide. It’s pretty dangerous yes but with precautions, there’s nothing to worry about and your pretzels will be amazing. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. You can buy it online at www.essentialdepot.com or if you are in NY, you can pick up a bottle at the Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg.
|German Style Pretzels Recipe||
For the full German experience, eat pretzels with sweet mustard, butter, and a side of weisswurst and of course some beer. Enjoy!
Pork and Chinese Leek Flavored Dumplings Recipe
Happy Lunar New Year. Here’s a super simple step by step recipe on how to make your own homemade Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi)
Chinese dumplings are mostly a traditional Northern China dish. In Beijing it’s quite common to order a plate of Jiaozi in place of rice with your meal. Jiaozi can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chinese dumplings are traditionally served steamed in a bamboo basket and dipped with a mixture of soy sauce and white vinegar or boiled with soup (as shown in photo below), or pan fried. The heart of the Chinese Dumpling is the stuffing of course and every family has their own recipe. Feel free to experiment on your own for the choice of meats, vegetables, etc. I’ve eaten all kinds of varieties of jiaozi that include lamb, beef, tofu, mushrooms, chicken, pork, and even fish dumplings.
one packet of round Chinese dumpling skins (be sure it is Chinese Dumpling skins and not Wonton skins. Wonton skins are thicker)
1.5 lbs mix of lean and fatty ground pork (the fat gives great flavor but too much will cause your Chinese dumplings to leak out during cooking so try to get a mixture of both lean and fatty pork)
4-5 cups of chopped Chinese Leeks (can also use regular leeks but will need to slice thinly)
1 cup of chopped Napa cabbage
3 tbsp of corn starch
2 tbsp of salt or soy sauce.
Mix up your lean and fatty ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Chop Chinese Leeks and Napa Cabbage to about 1/4 inch pieces and mix in with the meat. Add 3 tbsp of corn starch, salt and ground pepper to the mix. Stir until well mixed. Since the leeks will soften and reduce in size during cooking, you’ll want a higher proportion of leeks in this mixture. Add more if necessary.
There’s a whole art to folding these Chinese dumplings and here’s your chance to create your own style. The following is just a recommendation on how to fold your Chinese dumpling jiaozi. I’ve met some handy veterans that can stuff and roll these Chinese dumpling jiaozi with one hand!
First fill the Chinese dumpling wrapper with about a teaspoon of stuffing, then taking your index finger brush a small amount of warm water just on the far edge of the wrapper opposite of you. Gently fold the Chinese dumpling wrapper over with your fingers and seal to finish. To make a fancy edge, you can double fold over and then press to the wet edge of the Chinese dumpling wrapper. (See photo).
As I mentioned before Chinese Dumplings are very versatile in Northern Chinese cooking. You can simply steam your jiaozi or boil them with noodles. Chinese dumplings are also great pan fried like potstickers.
Chinese Dumpling Jiaozi Soup:
Add a quart of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add your Jiaozi into the boiling water. When the Chinese Dumplings float they’re ready. Drain and set aside. (at this point you can pan fry them if you want to go that route – they can be eaten with soy sauce/white vinegar mixutre or hot sauce). To make a Chiense Dumpling soup, boil a few quarts of chicken or vegetable stock. Add Napa cabbage, mushrooms. Then mix in your Chinese dumplings. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, raw chopped scallions. Enjoy!
Here’s a hearty meal that will pair nicely with any of the 3 German Hardcore Liquors I recently blogged about. Sorry Vegans. Sorry Vegetarians. (Maybe you don’t want to scroll down and see the photos below). Ok venison is pretty easy to get these days, but fresh deer liver is probably a little more of a stretch.
So while I was out in Germany in December I was fortunate that my girlfriend’s step father had a great hunting week and shot two deer and a one wild boar. He says the deer liver has a lot of vitamin D and is great for the long dark winter months when sunlight is scarce (the human body produces vitamin D when exposed to rays of ultraviolet B). When cooked thoroughly, liver develops the taste of a meaty steak although with a grainy texture. I’ve had plenty of venison but never deer liver, but figured I would try it and blog it all for you all. Besides, Robert Di Nero and Christopher Walken were awesome in the 1978 classic The Deer Hunter. Fresh Deer Liver, Onions, and Mash Recipe Ingredients: Deer Liver, potatoes, onions, butter, flour, apple sauce (optional). Salt and Pepper. Fill a large pot about ¾ with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop at high temp. Add peeled potatoes. Meanwhile take the fresh liver and slice it thinly about ½ inch in thickness and sprinkle both sides with fresh sea salt and pepper. Set aside and slice the peeled onions and fry over medium low heat with plenty of butter. Stir frequently but allow onions to carmelize then remove them from the frying pan but don’t clean the pan. Using a fork or tongs, coat each liver slice individually with flour. Add ample amounts of butter to the pan, turn up to medium high and fry the liver slices. Some blood will ooze out of the liver, but that’s normal. Fry for about 5 mins on each side till the consistency is solid like piece of steak (unless you like it mushy and bloody).
Remove from pan. Take the potatoes and mash, add in butter, salt and milk. With the remaining butter in the frying pan from the deer liver, slowly add a mixture of water and flour to thicken. You can add wine or bourbon to richen the sauce. Serve and enjoy!
Happy 2011 New Years!! Have a good holiday and New Year’s? I spent my holidays up in Northern Germany this year with my girlfriend’s family and was introduced to some really interesting German holiday traditions for Christmas and New Year’s. First off is Feurerzangenbowle, a fun way to share a strong warm, mulled wine on a cold winter’s night. Maybe you’ve heard of Glühwein (a spicy hot cider wine), also a German Christmas Holiday drink and although Feurerzangenbowle is similar in some respects, Feurerzangenbowle is just as much about the execution and preparation of the drink as the drink itself. The direct translation of Feurerzangenbowle is fire tong punch which is pretty obvious once you see how this is done.
2 bottles of red wine
3-4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
High alcohol content rum (50% or higher so it’s flammable)
Large solid block of sugar (they sell them as cones called Zukerhut in Germany) or can be substituted with sugar cubes.
Combine wine, juices and spices and heat in a large pot (a fondue pot works great). Place a tong or some sort of metal device to hold the chunk of sugar over the bowl (in medieval times, it’s said they used swords to hold the sugar). Add rum to the sugar and allow to soak in for a few minutes, then turn the lights off, strike up a match and light up the rum soaked sugar. Allow the sugar to burn and melt into the wine. Take a ladle to mix the wine, and add more rum to taste (and keep the fire going). Immediately serve in large mugs and enjoy your Feuerzangenbowle! Frohe Weihnachten und Gutes Neues Jahr!]]>
Ok, I’m back after a 1 month hiatus. Work has been crazy and then last week I was out in LA for Thanksgiving and my sister’s wedding. (lots of good blogging material of course). Let’s start off with an awesome recipe from Tasting Table that is similar to the amazing smoked trout salad at Jack the Horse Tavern Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. It’s a rather simple salad but delivers complex flavors and textures. One bite reveals the warm soft boiled fingerling potatoes vs. cold crunchy celery, sweet spicy raisins vs. salty smoked trout. I slightly modified the recipe from the Tasting Table version and so should you since it’s really all a matter of taste. For example the Tasting Table recipe calls for cooling the potatoes, but I prefer serving the potatoes warm like they do at Jack The Horse.
6 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 roasted red beet cut in thin slices
⅓ cup golden raisins
⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
6 celery ribs, thinly sliced on the bias, leaves reserved (can reduce if you don’t want too much crunch in the salad)
1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
½ cup of arugula or mixed baby greens
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound skinless smoked trout, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mustard
Boil the potatoes and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the greens, parsley, raisins, pepper flakes and slices of beets. Toss in the smoked trout and potatoes. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and drizzle over the salad. Salt and pepper to taste.]]>