tikka. sometimes chicken tikka, sometimes not.

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Serves 2

The sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance; gently reheat the sauce before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Two (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/2 cup plain yogurt (use whole-milk)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh ginger

One (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 small serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt (use whole-milk)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Combine the garam masala, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then coat the chicken thoroughly with the spices, pressing to help them adhere. Place the chicken on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make the sauce
1. Process the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until pureed, about 15 seconds. Heat the oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the processed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the yogurt and cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to be 6 inches from the broiler element, and heat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack. Using tongs, dip the chicken into the yogurt mixture so that it is thickly coated and arrange on the prepared wire rack; discard any excess yogurt mixture. Broil the chicken until the exterior is lightly charred in spots and the thickest part of the breasts registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Stir the chicken pieces into the warm sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in the cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.

Make the sauce, per the directions above. Then add the veggies: 1-2 peeled and cubed russet potatoes, 1-2c frozen peas, and 1/4-1/2 a head of green cabbage, sliced into long, thin green strips (if there is room in your pot, which there was not in mine, cauliflower and/or chickpeas would also be delicious, and the latter has the added benefit of adding a little protein to the meal). Put your lid on the pot and simmer until you can easily stick a fork in the potatoes. then add your yogurt and serve!

If you are having an indian-themed meal, this pairs awfully nicely with Aine’s samosas and gulab jamon for dessert. Pro tip: even better when you get to eat said Indian-themed meal with the entire wecookanddrinktogether crew.


Tomato Mac and Cheese

March 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

Serves 8 to 10, prepared in 13 x 9 baking dish.

recipe from CC, April 2010


1 lb elbow mac and cheese*

28oz can petite diced tomatoes

6 tblsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp cayenne

4 cups half-and half

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*Barilla is the suggested pasta, and it’s ok to use something other than the traditional elbows if you have an aversion to them for some reason.

The plan:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare macaroni

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil over high heat. Stir in 1 tbl salt and macaroni and cook until just al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot.

2. Pour diced tomatoes and juices over pasta in pot and stir to coat. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare Sauce

1. While preparing noodles, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Stir in flour and cayenne and cook until golden, about 1 minute.

2. Slowly whisk in half-and-half and broth until smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

3. Off heat, whisk in cheeses, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper until cheeses melt.

4. Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to combine.

Bake and finish

1. Spread mixture into 13 by 9 baking dish set on a baking sheet.

2. Bake until top begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving (or it will be soupy).

Tater tot hot dish!

March 18, 2010 § 3 Comments

This is Nick’s creation with a little addition here and there due to Mike’s need for a fresh ingredient or two.

Recipe upcoming

The Great Cassoulet Experiment

March 7, 2010 § 6 Comments

French Cassoulet

(White bean and pork casserole with duck confit)

I purchased pre-made duck confit for this recipe thanks to Clancy’s meat (where I was fortunate enough to buy all of the meat products). The original recipe calls for you to make your own confit at the same time as the “bean stew.” I’ve just shown the recipe as I’ve used it, but feel free to make your own if you dare.

From ATK 2009

Table salt
1 pound dried cannellini beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
2 medium celery ribs
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1 pound fresh garlic sausage*
1/4 pound salt pork , rinsed of excess salt**
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound pork shoulder , cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion , chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots , peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
4 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
Ground black pepper


legs duck confit, skin removed, meat pulled from bone in large pieces***

large slices high-quality white sandwich bread , torn into rough pieces****

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
*I found a great garlic sausage, but irish bangers or the easier to find brats can be used successfully

**I used a hunk of pancetta as a easy to find substitute

***As I said above I used prepared confit

****I was surprised using fresh (not dried) slices of bread worked. I used the ATK recommended Pep Farms hearty white.


  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 3 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature, 8 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.*****
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Using kitchen twine, tie together celery, bay leaf, and thyme, and set aside. Place sausage and salt pork in medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by 1 inch; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Transfer sausages to cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Remove salt pork from water; set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Add sausage pieces and brown on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to medium bowl.
  5. Add pork shoulder and brown on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  7. Return sausage to Dutch oven; add white wine, using wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook until slightly reduced, about 30 seconds.
  8. Stir in diced tomatoes, celery bundle, and reserved salt pork.
  9. Stir in broth and beans, pressing beans into even layer. If any beans are completely exposed, add up to 1 cup water to submerge (beans may still break surface of liquid). Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are tender, about 1½ hours.
  10. Remove stew from oven and increase temperature to 350 degrees.
  11. Remove celery bundle and salt pork from bean stew and discard (or dice salt pork and return to stew as I did). Using large spoon or ladle, skim fat from surface of stew and discard. Adjust seasoning of stew with salt and pepper. Add duck meat and stir gently to combine. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile, pulse bread and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in food processor until crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, eight to ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl, add parsley, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread-crumb mixture evenly over casserole; bake, covered, 15 minutes. Remove lid and bake 15 minutes longer.
  14. Sprinkle remaining bread-crumb mixture over top of casserole and bake until topping is golden brown and beans are bubbling around edges of pot, about 30 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

*****It was totally worth it to brine the beans overnight, and it worked really well. I highly recommend it. Alternatively a “quick brine” can be done by placing the salt, water and beans in a dutch oven and getting the water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour. Then drain and rinse as directed in the recipe. Honestly, this sounds like more work, but do as you will. I think canned beans may turn to complete mush in the recipe, so although super easy I think it’s a bad idea.

Then serve and eat it up!

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Swedish meatballs: The MN comfort food

February 9, 2010 § 1 Comment

It’s not pretty, but sure is good. And no, your mom’s recipe isn’t better. I call this the “healthy” version because I have been choosing to serve it with SB mashed potatoes (i.e. cauliflower).




Swedish Meatballs
from CI, Jan 2009

1 large egg
1/4 c heavy cream
*1 large slice hearty sandwich bread, crusts removed and bread torn into 1-inch pieces
8 oz ground pork
1 small onion, grated on large holes of a grater
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 oz 85% lean ground beef
**1 1/4 c vegetable oil

1 1/2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
***2 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
****2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

For the meatballs*****:
Whisk egg and cream together in a medium bowl. Stir in bread and set aside. Meanwhile,in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pork, onion, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using moistened hands, form a generous tablespoon of meat mixture into 1-inch round meatballs. Repeat with remaining mixture to form 25-30 meatballs.

Heat oil in a straight-sided sauce pan over medium-high heat until oil registers 350 degrees. Add meatballs in a single layer and fry, flipping once halfway through cooking. Fry until lightly browned all over and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer browned meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate.

For the sauce:
Pour off and discard the oil in the pan, leaving any browned bits behind. Return pan to
medium-high heat and add butter. When foaming subsides, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is light brown. Slowly whisk in the broth, scraping pan to loosen brown bits. Add brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 1/4 c, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and return to simmer.

Add meatballs to sauce and simmer, turning occasionally until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

*1 slice of bread equals about 1/3 – 1/2 panko, which is what I generally have used since I don’t often have bread on hand

**I’ve used this much, I’ve used much less. I think it works well either way. Neither way do they come out tasting at all greasy.

***If you like your swedish meatballs with more of a sweetness, as I’m told people do, add 2 tsp to the meatballs with the rest of the dry ingredients, and add 1 Tbs to the sauce.

****I’ve never added this and don’t feel the need to, although the acidity might be nice. Nick just thinks its a bad idea.

*****I’m not so fancy-pants that I have a kitchen-aid, yet. I just use my hands and they’re fine. Probably not as light and fluffy as they would be otherwise though. I also never get this many meatballs out of a double batch; this recipe is a single batch. Double makes about 24 for me. I guess I like them big.

See SB Mashed Cauliflower for my choice of what to serve the meatballs with. Roasted brussel sprouts would also be a good addition I think.

Mikey’s meatloaf

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is not meatloaf. It’s heaven. And we thank Flay for this.

* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large zucchini, finely diced
* 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
* 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
* 1 onion
* 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves,

* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1/2 pound ground veal (**all proper meatloaf includes veal)
* 1 pound ground beef chuck

* 1 cup panko
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan
* 1 cup ketchup, divided
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar, and the cooled vegetables and mix until just combined.

Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

pork tenderloin

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

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