Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Spice Rack Challenge - Spicy Indian Chicken Curry

The March Spice Rack Challenge was cardamom.

For a household that has 34 different containers of spices plus several blends or seasoning mixes you wouldn't think that I would need to buy stuff for the spice rack challenge. But my cardamom was both powder and OLD so I hit Superstore for a new stock of pods. (By the way, if you're in Canada and use a lot of spices that are also commonly used in Asian cuisine, it's all about superstore...huge savings!!!!)

Ty and I love Indian food so it seemed a logical idea to make a curry of some sort and it was off to allrecipes where I found a recipe to use as a base.

6 chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste (I mixed up what I assume this is in my mini food chopper)
2 tbsp curry powder
2" piece cinnamon stick, broken up
8 whole cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
15 (I grabbed some) whole black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seed
red pepper flakes to taste

Toss the chicken, onion, oil, and garlic ginger paste into a pot and let cook on medium heat for 5ish minutes.

Meanwhile dump all lumpy spices into some cheesecloth and make a little bundle so you aren't chomping down on a seed every bite you eat. Add the bundle, the bay leaves, the curry powder, and the pepper flakes to the pot along with the coconut milk and some chicken broth.

Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Check seasoning (Here I actually added about a half tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 a chicken stock cube to amp up my flavour.)

(You've now added everything except the bell pepper)

After the 30 minutes has passed, toss in the bell pepper and cook 10 minutes more. The broth and milk should have thickened up into a nice sauce.

Serve with basmati race and/or naan bread.

Cheesy Garlic Mushroom Orzo with Italian Sausage and Mixed Greens

(Please forgive my horrible image quality here. I was in a hurry)

Standard chez hates Orzo
1 cup orzo
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Brown orzo lightly in butter over medium heat. Add chicken broth, cover, and reduce heat to low.
Cook covered for 15 minutes. When all liquid has been absorbed stir in basil and Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 healthy side portions.

**Add In**
1 1/2 cups diced button mushrooms that were sauteed in butter and 4 minced cloves of garlic.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dinner Tonight

Roast chicken, potatoes and apples...
Served with green salad...
Strawberries for dessert...