Leftovers Pot Pie in Individual Ramekins

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is less a strict recipe than it is just a suggestion for using leftovers.  I used leftover Vegan Cauliflower, Kale & Chickpea Curry for the Slow Cooker but you can use any kind of leftover curry or stew.  I boiled up some cut up carrots & frozen peas & added them to my curry for color & because these vegetables are standard pot pie ingredients.

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I used a frozen pastry dough but – if you are feeling ambitious – you can make your own favorite pastry dough recipe or try the simple one I made HERE.

I used individual ramekins but, if you have enough leftover filling, you could make a full-sized pie.

Look how cute these guys are!

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I used an egg wash on the dough but, if you are vegan, you can blow that off or use a vegan alternative.  And with that – I present:

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Leftovers Pot Pie in Individual Ramekins

INGREDIENTS

Leftover curry or stew

Pie crust

Carrots & peas – cooked until tender (optional)

1 egg – whisked

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

If using ramekins, place them on your dough & cut circles around them about 3/4 inch bigger than the ramekins themselves.  Set the dough rounds aside.  Grease the ramekins with cooking spray or butter.  Place the extra dough scraps in the bottom of the ramekins.

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Bake these at 425 for ten minutes.  Remove from the oven & lower the temperature to 375.

If adding ingredients to your leftovers filing – do that now.

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Fill the ramekins with your leftovers & top with the dough rounds.  Press them closed around the ramekins & brush with the whisked egg.  Cut steam vents into the top of the dough.

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You could wrap & freeze these, at this point, if you wanted to.

Otherwise, place the ramekins on a cooking sheet & bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or so.  My oven is a little dodgy these days & so my temperature & baking times are hard to really get accurately.  Your pot pies might take a little more or a little less time – so check them.  If you are cooking them after freezing them – you might need another 15 minutes or so.  Either way – they are done when they look like this.  Let them set 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!!

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Saag Aloo or Kale, Spinach & Pan-Roasted Potato Curry (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Indian food is generally pretty easy to throw together – providing you have access to lots of hard-to-find spices & really love chopping things.  The only hard-to-find spice I included here is garam masala but it can be made easily from spices you likely have around.

Garam Masala

2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoon ground cumin
3 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Blend & store in an airtight container.

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I used a bit of dairy in this.  I wanted to add heavy cream or half & half but I had neither.  Instead, I added a mix of milk & Mexican crema.  You can use any of these – or their vegan counterparts.  I used ghee – which is butter with the fat removed so it can be used over high heat without burning.  If you cannot find it – you can make it – Ghee (clarified butter) – or just use olive oil.

You can use frozen spinach or blow off roasting the potatoes.  Indian food is very flavorful & pretty forgiving.

You can use fresh or jarred ginger.  I used this frozen version I found at the market.

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Saag Aloo or Kale, Spinach & Pan-Roasted Potato Curry (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 4 very heartily

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch kale – veins removed & coarsely chopped

3 packed cups fresh spinach (or two (10 oz) boxes frozen)

1 onion – chopped

6 small potatoes – boiled until tender

1 tsp cumin seeds (not ground)

1 TBS fresh ginger (I used 4 frozen cubes)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS turmeric

1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garam masala (recipe above – if you cannot find garam masala at your market)

1 cup tomato sauce

Ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

3/4 cup of dairy (or vegan alternative) – like heavy cream or half & half or (as I did) a blend of milk & Mexican crema

S&P to taste

1 extra cup fresh spinach (optional)

(Serve with steamed rice or naan)

Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or diced red pepper (for color)

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DIRECTIONS

Boil the potatoes until they fall off your fork when pierced.  Drain & rinse in cold water.  DRY THEM OFF & cube them.  If they are not dry – you will likely get splattered with hot oil.

Heat 1-2 TBS of the ghee or olive oil over med-high heat.  Toss the potatoes & cook until they are browned a bit.  Set aside.

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In the same pan, add more ghee or oil if you need to & saute the onions until they are soft.  Push them to the side of the pan & raise the heat to high.  Add the cumin seeds & cook until they begin to sizzle.  Blend the onions back in & add the garlic & ginger.  Saute one minute & then add the turmeric, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, crushed red pepper & tomato sauce.  Stir to combine.  I added two cups of water here.   I like a lot of sauce in my Indian dishes.  Cut the water for a drier result.  Add the greens.  When they are wilted and heated through, add the dairy (or non-dairy) you chose.  Heat it all through.  Just before serving, I added another cup of fresh spinach – just to add some brighter green.  Season with S&P. Once that is stirred in there good – serve this up over rice or with naan – or both – topped with some chopped cilantro and diced red pepper!

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Vegan Beef, Potato & Squash Curry with Gluten-Free Cauliflower “Rice”

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – before I get into this very easy recipe for Vegan Beef, Potato & Squash Curry with Gluten-Free Cauliflower “Rice” – let me begin my effort to prep the world for the upcoming release of my first novel – Bathing & the Single Girl.

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Is was inspired by my short film of the same name.  The trailer for that film can be seen HERE.  I will be releasing it as an E-book only (for now) and I hope to have it up for sale before Christmas.  It is a comic Hollywood mockumemoir about fading fame, excessive drinking, awkward sex and the horrors of dating (and bathing with) younger men.  I hope you will read it when it comes out!

Here is a quote from the book’s heroine:

“See?  I can be selfless.  As long as there is something in it for me.” – Ruby Fitzgerald

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OK, that said – let’s move onto this delightful recipe!  It is very easy & very customizable.  I used the vegetables I used here because I had them on hand.  You could sub out things you don’t like or do not have & use things like carrots or sweet potatoes or green beans or cauliflower.  Whatever.  You could also use real beef.  I made a special effort to only use really mainstream ingredients & skipped the typical Indian spices like garam masala and curry leaves – because I wanted everyone to be able to make this – even those without access to the more exotic ingredients.  Do not be intimidated by the length of the ingredient list.  If you have a spice rack, you probably already have at least half of the stuff listed.

I served this with the gluten-free (guilt free, too!) cauliflower faux rice but you could use any rice you like – especially the wonderfully aromatic & traditional basmati rice.   Because this is really just an Indian beef stew, it would also go nicely over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

The rice I made here used a bit of this stuff –

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which I buy at Super King for about $7.  You can buy it online.  You could use this or saffron threads threads or just a bit of turmeric to add color.

I also used coconut oil –

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and Trader Joe’s Beef-less strips.  If these are not available to you, use olive oil & and brand of faux beef you can find – or even a tofu or tempeh variety.  I used these little potatoes – but any potato will do.

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I used a butternut squash (half of one) and a red onion.  Sweet potato or brown onions all you have?  Use those!

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Vegan Beef, Potato & Squash Curry with Gluten-Free Cauliflower “Rice”

serves 4-6 easily

INGREDIENTS

For the cauliflower “rice”

1/2 large head cauliflower

1/2 onion – diced

1 TBS saffron liquid (or a few saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot water for a few minutes) – or 1-2 tsp turmeric (for color)

2 TBS olive oil

Salt to taste

For the Vegan Beef, Potato & Squash Curry

Coconut oil (or olive oil)

2 (8 oz) packages of Trader Joe’s Beef-less Strips (or similar quantity of other vegan meat – or real beef)

Cornstarch

1/2 lb potatoes – cubed

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1 onion – diced

1/2 butternut squash – peeled & cubed (or a few sweet potatoes or carrots)

1 cup peas

Coconut oil (or olive oil)

2 TBS Madras Curry

1 TBS ground cumin

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt (or more – to taste)

1 TBS ginger – minced

8 garlic cloves – chopped

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk (I used lite)

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

Paprika – as garnish

Fresh cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the Vegan Beef, Potato & Squash Curry

Toss the meat with a TBS or two of cornstarch until it is coated.

Heat 2-3 TBS coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large saute pan on high heat.  Sear the meat on all sides.  Set aside.

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Add another few TBS of oil to the pan & add the onion & jalapenos.  Saute over med–high for a few minutes or until soft.  Add the curry, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, salt, sugar, crushed red pepper, ginger & garlic and stir for about a minute.

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Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar & water & stir to blend.  Add the meat, potato & squash.

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Bring this to a boil & reduce to a simmer & let cook while you make the rice.

For the cauliflower “rice”

Using the grater blade of a food processor or just a regular grater – shred the cauliflower into a rice-like texture.

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Heat a few TBS of oil in a large saute pan & saute the onion until soft.

Add the cauliflower.  Add the saffron liquid or saffron threads & their steeping water or the turmeric and the salt.  Saute over med-high heat until tender – maybe 5-10 minutes.

Add the peas to the simmering beef curry & heat through.

Once the potato & squash are tender – serve your curry with the cauliflower rice & garnish them with the paprika & cilantro.  Eat way more than is decent or civilized because – what the fuck?  Why not?  This shit is vegan & gluten-free!  It is like eating air.  Really tasty air!

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Tandoori Cauliflower & Homemade Naan Tacos with Curry Yogurt Sauce & Cilantro-Mint Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – these guys are pretty delicious but I found them impossible to photograph in a way that made them look as good as they tasted.  Please forgive the loser imagery & trust that these taste FAR better than these photos might lead you to believe.

I attempted tandoori cauliflower once before & it was a total failure.  It was FAR too heavily spiced & undercooked & just the worst.  This recipe was a great success.  I even found myself eating the leftovers cold, right out of the container.  And avocado might seem an odd addition but I found it added a lovely & mellow creaminess – as did the curry sauce – so I recommend using both.

The naan I made was thicker than I would like but that was because my dough was too tacky (I should have kneaded more flour into it) & kept sticking to the rolling pin.  I used the recipe HERE in this youtube tutorial.

My other issue is that the pan got too hot & burned the naan a bit.  I think I needed to have used a non-stick pan.  That said, it was damned tasty & I used naan as hotdog buns for the next few days.  Still, store-bought naan (like they sell at Trader Joe’s) would be fine if the idea of making it is overwhelming.  And – if making the tandoori sauce sounds like a pain in the ass – use a store-bought brand of that, too!   Some of my photos show a little side of the cilantro-mint chutney and some jarred Trader Joe’s mango chutney.

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Homemade Naan

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

2 TBS melted butter

2 TBS yogurt

1 TBS minced garlic

1 tsp baking powder

Salt to taste

Water as needed (probably less than a cup)

Chopped cilantro – optional

DIRECTIONS (watch the video if the links are still good)

In a large bowl, blend the dry ingredients.  Add the butter, yogurt & cilantro & mix.  Then slowly add water until a dough forms.  Knead it fr several minutes, adding flour or water as needed until you have a soft dough that is no longer tacky.

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Wrap it in plastic wrap & let rest for 30 minutes or more.

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Break off golf ball-sized chunks & roll out (on a floured surface) to your desired size & thickness.

Heat a dry pan (a pan with a cover) until very hot.  Dampen a naan & drop damp side onto hot pan & dampen the other side.  Cover the pan & cook a minute or so or until it begins to bubble a bit.  Turn & cook the other side.

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There you have it!  But – watch her video for a clearer tutorial.

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Curry Yogurt Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

juice 1/2 lime

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 TBS mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

Blend well.

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Cilantro-Mint Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup cilantro

1 cup fresh mint

1 TBS minced ginger

2 scallions – chopped

2 garlic cloves

2 jalapenos (red is prettier but green will do) – seeded

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp honey (or sugar)

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DIRECTIONS

Puree in a food processor.  You can adjust the flavors here – if you feel it needs more mint or cilantro or honey or salt – or even more jalapeno.  I added some water to thin it out.

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Tandoori Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower – broken into small florets

1 cup yogurt

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1.2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 tsp ginger (fresh or jarred)

juice of 1/2 lemon

Red food coloring (optional) – just a drop or two

AS TACO GARNISH

Avocado – sliced (optional)

Red onion – sliced very thin

Cilantro – chopped

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Blend all the ingredients except the cauliflower (and not the avocado or red onion or extra cilantro).  When well blended – add the cauliflower & allow to marinate for an hour.  The red food coloring is totally unnecessary but it does give that distinctive color.  It gets EVERYWHERE – so be careful.

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Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes or until tender.  Little blackened edges are OK!

Now – simply assemble your tacos.  Naan topped with tandoori cauliflower & then red onion, avocado, some curry yogurt sauce & cilantro.  Serve with cilantro-mint chutney and/or mango chutney.

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Red Curry Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Thai Fried Cauliflower “Rice” (Low Carb, Gluten Free & Paleo)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This recipe is easy & guilt-free.  The “rice” is actually just grated cauliflower & the veggies can be customized to suit your tastes or to reflect whatever vegetables you have handy.  I know paleo is all the rage but I am not 100% clear on which vegetables are on the “no” list – but I am pretty sure this is paleo.  If NOT – please write me & tell me why, OK?

The key to this is a pre-made red curry.  I bought this little far at my local Gelson’s.

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Asian stores have little cans of them like these that I buy at Bangluck Market.

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If you can’t buy it made, I am sure there are recipes out there on Pinterest or Google that will show you how to make a red curry paste from curry powder.  Having to make the paste sort of eliminates the ease I am professing about this recipe, though, so keep that in mind.  Try to buy it already made.

That said, I must insist that you try cauliflower “rice” at least once.  In a stir fry, you can hardly tell it isn’t rice & it is so much better for you!

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Red Curry Grilled Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

Skewers (optional)

Shrimp (about a pound)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sriracha

1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)

3-4 TBS red curry paste

2 TBS rice vinegar

4 garlic cloves – minced

3 scallions – sliced (reserve some for garnish)

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DIRECTIONS

Soak skewers (if using) in water for at least 30 minutes to help keep them from burning).

Peel & clean the shrimp.

In a bowl, blend the oil, sriracha, lemon juice, curry paste, vinegar, garlic & scallions.  Reserve some to use as garnish later (maybe 1/3 cup) and then put the rest in a Ziplock bag or other container & add the shrimp & mix it all about.  Marinate the shrimp for at least an hour or as long as overnight.

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When ready to grill the shrimp, either on a grill or in a grill pan, skewer the shrimp (two skewers make it easier to flip the shrimp) & grill for about 2-3 minutes each side or until done.  Serve with the spicy Thai fried cauliflower “rice” (below) and drizzle with extra red curry sauce & garnish with scallion slices.

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Spicy Thai Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

INGREDIENTS (use or don’t use or substitute according to your taste)

1 medium head cauliflower

Olive oil

10 green beans – trimmed & chopped

4 jalapeno peppers (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 cup brocoli florets

2 carrots – chopped

1 bell pepper – chopped

1/2 red onion – diced

1 cup peas

4 mushrooms – cliced

2+ TBS red curry paste

2 TBS soy sauce

Eggs – to scramble into rice (optional)

Thai (or other) basil – chopped

Chopped peanuts and/or sliced scallions and/or sliced cucumber and/or lime wedges – as garnish

Sambal oelek, sriracha or chili garlic paste to add kick – if you desire.

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DIRECTIONS

With a hand grater or with the grating blade of your food processor – grate the cauliflower & set aside.

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Whisk the soy sauce & red curry paste together & set aside.

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Prepare your veggies.

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Heat some olive oil (1-2 TBS) in a wok or very large pan.  I threw all the veggies in at once.

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Once they were tender, I added the red curry & soy sauce mix.

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Then I added the cauliflower.

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After about 5 minutes, I created a well & added two egs & scrambled them in the well.  When nearly done, I mixed them into the rice & vegetables.  I then added chopped basil.

Serve with chopped peanuts or scallions and maybe a lime wedge & some sliced cucumber.  Serve with the red curry grilled shrimp.  I have no photo of them together as my phone battery died.  Sorry!  I can promise – this is one yummy disj – especially with copious amounts of sambal oelek dumped upon it!

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Red Kidney Bean Curry or Rajma

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I had a half bag of dry red kidney beans in my cabinet & spontaneously decided to soak them overnight.  It produced 8 cups of soaked beans so this is a large quantity style recipe.  It is simple & delicious & pretty healthy.   And can be vegan.  If you make this giant quantity – freeze some up for future use on a lazy night.  Serve with some fluffy basmati rice & you have an easy Indian dinner.

As an aside – I had my red food dye out for my failed Tandoori Cauliflower and added a few drops to my Rajma – to boost the color.

Please pardon this deluge of Indian recipes.  I recently watched an incredible documentary called Blood Brother & it just got me craving Indian food.  If you get an opportunity – you MUST see this film.  It is devastating & inspiring at the same time.

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Red Kidney Bean Curry or Rajma

INGREDIENTS

8 cups red kidney beans – AFTER pre-soaking or quick soaking (method below) – or canned beans, drained & rinsed

I 6oz can tomato paste

2 tomatoes – diced – divided into two portions

3 jalapeno peppers – seeded

3 serrano peppers – seeded

2 onions

10 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp garam masala

3 TBS ground coriander

2 TBS ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

3 TBS ginger paste

6 TBS ghee or olive oil

Cilantro – diced fir garnish

Paprika as garnish

Salt to taste

Red food coloring (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Soak your beans (probably about 5 cups dry) overnight or quick soak them.

Quick Soak

“Dried beans should be soaked in cold water overnight to ensure even cooking. But what if you didn’t plan ahead? Try this quick-soak method:

 Rinse beans in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot), cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be “soaked” and ready to cook.”

Puree ONE tomato & the tomato paste & 1 TBS water in a food processor.  Set aside.

Mince all the seeded peppers in the food processor with the ginger paste & the garlic.  Set aside.

Mince the onions in your food processor.

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Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onions & saute until they soften.

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Add the  minced garlic & ginger paste & pepper mix.  Saute a few minutes to blend then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin & turmeric.  Blend & then mix in the tomato paste blend.  Heat to just bubbling & reduce heat to low & saute, stirring often, for about 30 minutes.  Add the other diced tomato & the beans & 6 cups of water if using dried beans.  If using canned – start with two cups of water & see how that goes.  Add more if you need it – or cook it off if the curry is too thin.

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I simmered my beans for a good two hours, covered & on low heat.  This isn’t required with canned beans.  Check your beans for your desired done-ness.   Add water if they are too thick. Increase heat & cook off water if they are too thin.  Add salt to taste.  Add red food coloring, if using – and blend.  Serve with rice & chopped cilantro & a sprinkle of paprika.

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Potato Masala with Forbidden Black Rice (part 3 of a 3 curry meal)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is the third & final installment in my curry trilogy.  Please read the first one – my

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Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp

as it boasts both a great recipe and also a funny story about being here:

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The second curry is my

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Indian Yellow Curry Cauliflower with Coconut Milk

These three curries are all very simple & make a very pretty presentation when plated together.

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Potato Masala

INGREDIENTS

2 large potatoes (or 3 cups) – peeled & cut into chunks

1 large onion

2 medium tomatoes

1 cup peas

1 TBS red curry (or other curry powder)

2 tsp chili powder

4 garlic cloves

1 TBS prepared ginger paste (or chopped fresh ginger)

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 TBS garam masala (or make your own – recipe HERE)

6 dry curry leaves (or fresh) – optional (they can be hard to find)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro – plus more for garnish

olive oil

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Put the chopped potatoes in a pot with enough water just to cover them.  Boil until they are almost tender. Remove from heat and set aside – retaining the potato water.

In a food processor, mince the onions with the garlic cloves & ginger paste.  Set aside.  Then mince the tomatoes & set aside.

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Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the onions with the garlic & ginger and the curry leaves (if using) and fry over medium heat until the onions become a light golden color.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, red curry powder, & blend.  Add cumin & coriander, garam masala & saute until all the flavors have a chance to meld.

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Add the boiled potatoes & as much potato water as is needed to get the gravy to a consistency you like.  Add the peas.  Add tap water if you think you need it.  Add salt to taste.  Heat through.  Remove the dry curry leaves (if you can see them) as you would do with bay leaves.

Serve with rice & cilantro as garnish.

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Forbidden Black Rice

Just use two parts water to one part rice.  For example, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 cups rice & return to a boil.  Reduce heat, wrap a kitchen towel around the pot lid & cover the pan.  Be CAREFUL that your kitchen towel is nowhere near the flame.  You don’t HAVE to take this step but it is supposed to produce a fluffier rice.  Let the rice sit unmolested on lowest heat for about 45 minutes.  Check the texture.  If it isn’t soft enough yet, let it sit another 15 minutes.

Or just use a rice cooker.

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Indian Yellow Curry Cauliflower with Coconut Milk & Forbidden Black Rice (part 2 of a 3 curry meal)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is the second of three curry recipes I will be posting today.  The first is my Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp.  Be sure to read that blog post as it also outlines a pretty embarrassing experience here:

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Indian Yellow Curry Cauliflower with Coconut Milk

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower – cut into florets

6 tbs oil

2 TBS cumin seeds

Spice mix

2 TBS coriander seeds

2 TBS cumin seeds

Ginger, garlic & serrano paste

1 tsp salt

10 cloves garlic

2 inch hunk of fresh ginger – peeled & diced

2 serrano peppers – seeded

Sauce

1 onion – minced

1 cup peas

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 14oz cans (or about 4 cups) coconut milk (lite, if you prefer)

4 ripe tomatoes

1 cup yogurt (optional)

1 lime, juiced

4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cut your cauliflower into florets.  Set aside

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Dry roast (in a dry frying pan) the 2 TBS each cumin & coriander seeds.  They should become fragrant in a few minutes.  Definitely agitate the pan to avoid burning the spices.  When they are just browning, remove them & transfer to a mortar & pestle & grind them into a fine powder.  Set aside.

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In a food processor, puree the salt, garlic, ginger & serranos.  Set aside.

Puree the tomatoes in your food processor.  Set aside.

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Mince the onion in your food processor.  Set aside.

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In a LARGE saute pan, heat the 6 TBS of olive oil & toss the cauliflower florets n it with 1 TBS of the whole cumin seeds.  Stir occasionally & fry until the florets begin to brown in sections.  Remove from heat & set aside.

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In that same pan,  add a bit more oil & the other TBS of whole cumin seeds.  Once they start popping, add the minced onion.  Fry for about 10 minutes of until they just start to turn golden.

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Add the ginger, garlic & serrano paste & stir.  After a minute or two, add the dry, ground spice mix, coconut milk, tomatoes & cauliflower & peas & stir to combine. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until your cauliflower is tender.  Stir in the yogurt (if using), the juice of the lime and a cup of chopped cilantro.  Taste & add salt if you think it needs it.   Heat through & serve over rice with more cilantro as garnish.

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Forbidden Black Rice

Just use two parts water to one part rice.  For example, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 cups rice & return to a boil.  Reduce heat, wrap a kitchen towel around the pot lid & cover the pan.  Be CAREFUL that your kitchen towel is nowhere near the flame.  You don’t HAVE to take this step but it is supposed to produce a fluffier rice.  Let the rice sit unmolested on lowest heat for about 45 minutes.  Check the texture.  If it isn’t soft enough yet, let it sit another 15 minutes.

Or just use a rice cooker.

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Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp with Forbidden Black Rice & the GYN (part 1 of 3 a three curry meal)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

 

vromans front

vromans back

~

 

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I want to vent a little about going to the gynecologist.  Nobody enjoys going to the gyn.  Nobody.  Look at this Cronenberg contraption.

There is something embarrasing about the pot holders on the stirrups.  I don’t know why, especially as they should be the least of my worries as I am asked to “scoot down,” repeatedly, by my impatient doctor – asked to scoot down until I fear I am going to catch my socks on my earrings.  But for some reason, they bother me.

What bothers me more is the fucking paper modesty provisions.  And when I am paying a virtual stranger $220 to fondle my ovaries, manhandle my boobs with her icy hands & sneakily slip a finger up my ass, I’d like the courtesy of some cotton-made products to wrap myself in as she skulks out of the room & I slump, weeping in humiliation, onto the floor.  Look at that blue thing.  It is like a fucking matador vest.  How is a paper SHRUG supposed to make me feel like I am being provided any cover at all?  And the blanket for me to wrap around my fat ass as I sit waiting for this medical rape is also made of paper.  I was so nervous in there waiting for her that I began to sweat.  Yeah – sweat.  Which caused the paper blankie to begin to disintegrate & stick to me in patches – like toilet paper on shaving cuts.  I was so exposed & humiliated &  apparently not even worth the expense of a hospital gown – I felt the need to stage a minor protest and keep my socks on during the exam.

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Take THAT, Dr. Mengele!

Before the sweating commenced, I tried to make the best of my paper fashions & initiated a little modeling session.

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Don’t judge me for going there without make-up.  She doesn’t deserve the effort.   I get a cotton gown that reaches below my belly button during the ordeal – then we can talk.   Until then, she gets to see my every zit & crack & wrinkle on my face – as well as those on my vulva.

I sent a picture to my mother during my wait & she noted that my earrings matched my paper bippy top.  It inspired me to try to sex it up.

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As you can see – I failed.  There is only so far you can take a paper outfit.

Then the doctor came in and what did she say?   “Oh, look!  Your earrings match your top!”

She is lucky I didn’t try to force a silent-but-deadly out on her while she flipped around with the cranks on the stainless steel speculum.   You know, those things come in plastic, too.  Doesn’t plastic seem more humane?   Warmer?  Less noisy?  My paper garments felt even more ridiculous in a room with a woman armed with a metal penetration device.   I then wished  I hadn’t so meticulously wiped the exterior of my pee pee sample cup with the wet nap they provided.

Anyway – after the exam & the lecture about fucking calcium supplements & the third degree about potential symptoms of menopause – they fleeced me for the $220 I mentioned earlier & then added insult to injury by refusing to validate my parking.  $10 later, I sped from the scene of these crimes, secure in my garments of man-made fibers.

So – now to the curries.  I made three last night.  I will post each recipe individually.  They are all delicious & each is quite different from the others.

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For this recipe, I used a can of green curry paste that I bought at Bangluck Market.  They cost about .79 cents or something.  If you have no Asian market nearby, you can buy this stuff on Amazon – HERE.  This recipe is as easy as dumping everything into a pan & heating it – so I recommend these curry pastes very highly.

Black rice can also be purchased online – if you cannot find it locally.  Black rice is considered a superfood by some – as you can see HERE.

“Brown rice is good for you, but black rice is even better. That’s because the bran hull contains significantly higher amounts of vitamin E, which bolsters the immune system and protects cells from free radical damage. In fact, black rice contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries, according to a study from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.”

I made mine in a rice maker but it can be made stove top, as well.

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Forbidden Black Rice

Just use two parts water to one part rice.  For example, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 cups rice & return to a boil.  Reduce heat, wrap a kitchen towel around the pot lid & cover the pan.  Be CAREFUL that your kitchen towel is nowhere near the flame.  You don’t HAVE to take this step but it is supposed to produce a fluffier rice.  Let the rice sit unmolested on lowest heat for about 45 minutes.  Check the texture.  If it isn’t soft enough yet, let it sit another 15 minutes.

Or just use a rice cooker.

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Green Curry Coconut Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

1 4oz can green curry paste

1 14oz can coconut milk (lite or not – your call)

1 potato – peeled & cut into cubes

3 carrots – chopped

1 cup peas

1 lb shrimp – cleaned

1 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Cilantro for garnish

Lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Put everything in a pot & simmer until the vegetables are tender.  You can elect to put the shrimp in after the veggies are cooked to avoid overcooking the shrimp.

Serve with rice & garnish with chopped cilantro & lime wedges.

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Indian Spinach & Garbanzo Curry (Chana Saag) Pot Pie Cupcakes in Homemade Herbed Tart Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

I don’t have a lot to say about this except for the fact that it takes a few steps, each step is very simple & these are wonderfully delicious.  I am going to post a more traditional pot pie recipe next – but these are really a winner!  I also hope you will make the tart dough yourself rather than buying some.  It takes 5 minutes, makes a huge difference & will make you very proud.

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Indian Spinach & Garbanzo Curry (Chana Saag) Pot Pie Cupcakes in Homemade Herbed Tart Crust

Homemade Herbed Tart Crust Pastry

enough for 12 cupcakes AND extra to top a full-sized pot pie

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

12 TBS butter (salted, if possible) – CHILLED and cubed

2 eggs

1+ TBS fresh thyme (or diced fresh sage or fresh parsley or fresh oregano) OPTIONAL

water

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Mix the salt & flour together in your food processor (or in a bowl – as this dough could be made by hand – just not by me).

Pulse in the butter until it is incorporated into the dough.  Pulse in the fresh herbs.  Pulse in the two eggs.  Add water 1 TBS at a time until small lumps of dough form.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface.  I used a small bowl to cut out 24 circular disks.  I made them all the larger size required to line the bottoms of my cupcake pan.

Spray your cupcake tin with cooking spray and line each cup with pastry.

Refrigerate your pastry-lined tart pan for at least 30 minutes.

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Indian Spinach & Garbanzo Curry Pot Pie Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

13.4 oz Garbanzo Beans

4 packed cups (or more) chopped fresh spinach

3 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – pureed in a food processor (or chopped VERY fine)

2 inch cube fresh ginger – pureed in a food processor (or chopped VERY fine)

3 cloves garlic – pureed in a food processor (or chopped VERY fine)

1 tsp cumin

1 TBS curry powder

1 TBS tomato paste or puree

1/2 cup of half & half (or whipping cream)

2 tsp ground coriander

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES.

Puree the onions, garlic & ginger in a food processor or chop them VERY fine.

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Heat the oil in a large saute pan & heat the cumin & curry powder.  Add the onion-garlic-ginger & fry.

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Add spinach, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce/paste, coriander and S&P.  Mix well.  Add the half & half (or whipping cream).  Stir & heat over medium heat for about ten minutes until the spinach is very wilted.  You shouldn’t need it – but add a small quantity of water if it gets too dry.  Remove from heat.

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Take your chilled cupcake tin lined with the chilled tart dough out of the fridge.  Fill each tin with the curried spinach mix being sure to spoon extra curry sauce gravy into each cupcake.  Top with the remaining tart dough disks & pinch to seal the edges.  Pierce with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife.

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Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until pastry is a lovely golden brown.  These should life out of the pan very easily & can be served immediately.  They reheat at the same temperature in about 5-10 minutes.

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Vegan Chana Masala or Chick Pea & Spinach Curry

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

I am posting this easy & delightful dish after the eggplant dish in case folks might actually feel ambitious & want to make an Indian feast with more than one flavor.  Both dishes are vegan – by chance, not design.  I have never seen a non-vegan version – so, if you are a die hard carnivore – do not be thrown by the word.  Both of these dishes seem deceptively rich despite being very, very healthy.

 

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Chana Masala

INGREDIENTS

29 oz can chick peas (or an equivalent of fresh soaked-overnight beans – if you are really motivated)

2 medium tomatoes – quartered

16 oz fresh spinach – chopped

1 in cube fresh ginger – chopped OR 3 TBS jarred crushed ginger

3 serrano chiles – seeded & roughly chopped

6 TBS olive oil

3 tsp cumin SEEDS – not ground

3 garlic cloves

2 TBS ground coriander

2 tsp turmeric

1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

2 tsp salt

1 TBS garam masala (if you can’t find it – you can make it:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-garam-masala/

15 oz can diced tomatoes (or 3 more fresh ones – chopped)

DIRECTIONS

Drain & wash the chick peas.  In a blender or with an immersion mixer – puree the 2 medium tomatoes with the serranos and the ginger.

Heat the oil in a pan.  When hot – add the cumin SEEDS & beware the spitting & popping.  They hurt if they hit you. Add the garlic.  Saute for a minute then add the tomato puree and all the dry spices.  Cook this for about 5 minutes until the mixture reduces by 1/4 to 1/2.

Stir in the spinach – adding a little water if it is needed to properly steam the spinach down.  Cover & cook for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is completely wilted but still vibrant.  Add the chick peas & the canned tomatoes (or chopped fresh) & stir them in.  You can add water if there isn’t enough gravy – or cook it down if it is too wet.  Cook this for another 5 minutes or so – longer if using dried chick peas.  Test a chick pea for texture & if it tastes done to you – you are good to go.

Serve over basmati rice.

BASMATI RICE

INGREDIENTS

2 cups basmati rice – rinsed several times in a colander

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt

20 green cardamom pods (if you can get them)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a pan.  Once hot – add the cumin seeds & the cardamom pods – again being wary of their popping & spitting.  I used 20 cardamom pods because mine were a bit old.  You might want to use fewer if yours are fresh & really pungent.  After a minute – add the rice & stir until it is all covered in oil & the spices are well blended.  Add 4 cups of water (or whatever ratio of rice to water your package suggests) & bring to a boil.  Use less water for firmer rice.  Once boiling – reduce heat to low & simmer, covered, for however long the rice package instructs you.  Remove from heat.  Fluff with a fork.

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