Asian, Indian, Savory, Stew

Coconut Pork Curry

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This is an amazing recipe!! Originally written in 2010, in Food and Wine magazine, I did not have the means to make the recipe till 2016.  I had bookmarked the recipe for 5 years and was waiting to have a kitchen of my own to make it. In 2016, my mother came to visit during the summer, and this was the perfect meal to make for her!  Unlike, my father, she grew up eating pork, so she really appreciated it.  I was intrigued by this recipe, it looked like a cross between an Indian and Thai dish.  Anyway, I made it and it was super hit!  In fact, my mother said that it tasted like a “curry” her mother used to make–what a compliment and what a food memory!  You can find the original recipe here.  I would strongly recommend following the recipe, word for word!  With that said, during the current pandemic,  I did not find pork shoulder, so I had to (with great trepidation) substitute with pork tenderloin.  Thankfully, after cooking for four hours, the meat did become soft and fork-tender.  I also never cook this in a slow-cooker; I love making it in my large dutch oven.  I also add a good amount of additional spices, mostly because it suits our palette.  Here is my tweaked version.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon of ground coriander

1/2 tablespoon of chili powder

1/2 tablespoon of sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/2 tsp of garam masala at the end

a bunch of chopped cilantro and sliced scallions, for stirring into the curry at the very end.

Method:

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Brown the pork in batched and set aside.

Once the pork is done, add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and turmeric and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and the onion is softened about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and coconut milk and scrape the bottom of the pan, lifting all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.

Return the pork to the pot, add the stock, cover, and cook on medium-high for 4 hours.

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At the 2 hour mark, I like to taste and the stew and adjust for salt and heat, mostly the heat—our household like a spicy stew.  Notice how the light creamy color is turning into a rich, dark stew–yum!

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Towards the end of the cooking process, add a bunch of chopped cilantro and scallions to the stew, stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes and remove from heat.

 

Serve with steamed rice or, our favorite, naan

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Mexican, Poultry, Savory, Soups, Stew

Chicken Chili

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Last Christmas my in-laws gave us an Instant Pot and it has been a game-changer! To be able to make a “slow-cooked” meal in 1 hour was mind-blowing and the best part is that it actually tastes like it has been cooking all day!!  So far, I have made chicken stew and beef chili with my Instant Pot and they both came out great.  I promise to share those recipes sometime in the future.  Today, I will show you how I made Chicken Chili.  I used to make this on a regular basis when I was in school but stopped making it since my husband prefers beef chili.  You can find the older version of the recipe here.  This time around, I use ground chicken (which is often on sale) instead of pulled chicken,  and store-bought Salsa Verde as a shortcut.  It is a hearty, yet light meal that is perfect for Spring.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken

2 medium onions, chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped

1 tbsp of minced garlic

2 tsp of chili powder

2 tsp of cumin

1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of chicken stock

1/3 cup of jarred Salsa Verde

1 can of cannellini beans

Salt and Pepper to taste ( this depends on how much salt your stock and salsa have)

Ingredients:

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Set you Instant Pot to the saute setting and heat oil in the pot.  While the oil heats up, chop the onions and peppers.

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Once the oil is heated add chicken, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder to the pot.  stir frequently to break up the chicken into small granules.

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Saute till peppers and onions are soft and fragrant, and the chicken is pale brown.  Make sure you scrap the bottom of the pot frequently to lift up the crispy brown bits–that is all flavor.

 

Finally, add the beans, broth, and salsa and stir for 1-2 minutes to incorporate all the ingredients.  I used chicken bullion so I had to wait for about 3-5 minutes for all the ingredients to marry together.  You can do this after you “cancel” the saute setting.  Once everything is mixed, taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

 

Set you Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” on “high” and cook for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, let the steam escape naturally or if you are impatient like I am, you can use a towel to spin the steam release valve–do this carefully !! Steam burns are the worst!

At this point, the chili is ready.  You can adjust for salt and pepper again.  I added a little more chili powder (because we like it spicy) and left the lid off on the “keep warm” setting.  It allows for some of the liquid to evaporate, making for a thicker chili.

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Serve piping hot with the usual fixings.  We had it with chips and pickled jalapenos!

Dinner, Meat, Moroccan, Stew

Beef and Sweet Potato Harissa

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As the Beatles said “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  For this recipe, my “friend” was store bought Harissa Simmer sauce.  I keep reading about Harissa in magazines and have always wanted to try it.  However, this past weekend, I was in the mood for something delicious and fast.  So, I used the simmer sauce.  But I did doctor it up.  It turned out delicious! I mean, really delicious! MIND-BLOWING DELICIOUS!  Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1.5lbs stew beef

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 large red onion, diced into large chunks

1 tomato, diced

1 can of red kidney beans

1 packet of Harissa simmer sauce ( I used Saffron Road)

2 tsp of cinnamon

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

2 tbsp of chopped scallions

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

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Method:

Brown the meat in oil and set aside.

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Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, salt pepper and cinnamon and cook till vegetables soften.

Add the meat, beans and pour in the sauce.  I filled the pouch with water to rinse off every last bit of the sauce and poured it into the pot.

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Simmer on medium high heat for 30 40 mins, till meat and vegetables and fork tender. Add scallions at the very end and take off heat.

Serve hot with polenta or couscous.

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Comfort food, Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chicken Sausage Stew

This is a light stew for those cool rainy summer nights.  I used store bought chicken sausages along with mushrooms and roasted red peppers for some depth of flavor.  

saute mushrooms till golden brown.    

add sliced roasted red peppers ( from a jar), 1 bunch of chopped of scallions, a few springs to thyme, 2 tsp of minced garlic and 1tsp of red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes to marry the ingredients.  

Add water or chicken stock just enough to cover all the vegetables.  I also added a pinch of saffron for an exotic flare.  You can most certainly omit it.  

Add the cooked, sliced sausage and simmer till the stew thickens to desired thickness.  Serve warm with garlic bread !  Polenta would be a great gluten-free option for a side with this stew.  I would also consider making the stew with shrimp instead of  chicken.  Eggplant and butternut squash would be a great vegetarian alternative.

Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Meat, Stew

Beef Short Ribs

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Hello readers ! It has been quite a while since I have posted.  The last few months have been a whirlwind with the holidays and my travel back home to India.  It took me a while to settle back into the pace pf things and I realized that I had stopped cooking for myself and had reverted back to the old habit of eating caned soup and vending machine granola bars ! The very thing I wanted to avoid and which is why I started writing this blog !!!!!!  Anyway ! I am back and here with our Valentine’s Day meal ! Nothing says love like a big bowl of rich beef stew !  Thank you Ina Garten for the recipe !

Ingredients

6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups beef stock
Directions

Season short ribs with salt and pepper and fry in a large Dutch oven till  golden brown and set aside.

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In the remaining oil add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.IMG_0568

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Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

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Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comfort food, Soups, Stew

Winter Minestrone

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 can of peas and carrots

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2-3 Tbsp thyme, rosemary and sage

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice

4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of Swiss chard.

 

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, peas, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Meanwhile, in an oven preheated to 375F, roast 1 acorn squash

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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, the bay leaf, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and Swiss chard and roasted, cubed squash. Continue to cook till the chard wilts and soup comes to desired consistency.

Serve hot with crusty, buttery bread !

 

Classics, Comfort food, Fish & Seafood, Meat, Poultry, Savory, Stew

Gumbo

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy andouille (or smoked) sausage, sliced
8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 skinless/boneless chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
• Salt
• Pepper
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
8oz of frozen mixed peppers                                                                                                             2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, heaping, tomato paste
16 oz bag of frozen, sliced okra.
1 (28 oz) can organic diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock, hot
½ pound peeled and cleaned, medium size shrimp (cooked)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

-Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil; once the oil is hot, add the sliced sausage in, and allow it to caramelize and brown for a few minutes; once well browned, remove the sausage from the pot, and set it aside for a moment; next, add the chicken pieces into the pot along with a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to brown in the oil/sausage drippings for about 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken pieces from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add in the diced celery, onion and bell pepper, and caramelize it for about 2-3 minutes in the oil, then add in the bay leaves, the Creole seasoning, the cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and stir to combine; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the “raw” tomato flavor; next, add in the sliced okra, the diced tomatoes with juice, the hot chicken stock, and the browned sausage and chicken, and stir to combine

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allow the stew to simmer gently on low/medium-low, uncovered, for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, add in the shrimp (you can season it with a sprinkle of salt/pepper if you wish), and simmer for only 2 minutes more as to not overcook the shrimp; finish by stirring in the chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve over rice.

 

Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chilli

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Need a new idea for using up leftover squash from all those holiday meals?  Try this chilli, a meatless meal that will leave even the biggest meat eaters satisfied.  Spicy an belly-warming, a sure hit !

Ingredients:

2tbsp of olive oil

1lb of chopped butternut squash

2 tsp of minced garlic

1 medium onions diced

1, 14 oz can of black beans, risned

2 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tbsp. of cumin

1/2 of 1 7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo

3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 tbsp of dried oregano

2tbsp of honey and 2tbsp of lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pot and cook onions, garlic, tomato paste, peppers and cumin till onions wilt and soften.

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Add beans and squash and sauté till softened.

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Add chicken stock and dried oregano.

Simmer on medium low heat till the stew thickens-about 20-30mins.

Adjust seasoning and then stir in lime juice and honey–this will cut the heat of the peppers.

Serve hot with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado slices.

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Dinner, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Poultry, Stew

Chicken Tagine

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A delicious Moroccan dish which is perfect on a cold day.  Traditionally cooked in a Tagine and made with lamb, the dish has evolved and now can be made with chicken and a variety of dried fruits and spices.  I read a bunch of recipes and picked the best parts and came up with my own concoction.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, 1 inch of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic- chopped together.

3 lbs of chicken cubed

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 1/2tsp of coriander seeds

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 ground ginger

1/2 turmeric

1/2 cup of chopped dates and apricots

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 tbsp of parsley

1tbsp of olive oil

2 cups or more (enough to cover the pot) water

1 pinch of saffron threads

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and all the spices till fragrant.

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Add the chicken and keep sautéing till the chicken is almost cooked through

Cover with water and add the saffron

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Simmer on medium low heat till water reduces

Add the dried fruits, nuts and parsley and continue simmer till the sauce comes together and is thick in consistency.

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Serve hot with couscous.

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Classics, Comfort food, French, Meat, Stew

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

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This past weekend I wanted to inaugurate my new caste iron dutch oven and my very own copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”  I followed the recipe exactly so here is the link to it.  By far the best beef stew I have ever had or made !  Enjoy !

http://knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/cooking/BoeufBourguignon.pdf

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Towel dry the cubes of beef, otherwise they will never brown.

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sauté the vegetables.

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Add the wine and bay leaf and let is cook away in the oven !