Friday, May 21, 2010

Indian Summer Part 1~ Chicken Tikka Masala

In the summer, the Santa Monica pier hosts a glorious concert evening every Thursday. We pack up some good food, vino and hop on our bikes to go lay a blanket down in the sand and listen to the music drift down from the pier while we enjoy the company of great friends and share all the yummy food everyone brings.
With Memorial Day weekend comin' right up, our Thursdays at the pier will be starting again soon. Of all the goodness we brought last summer- this was by far the most, um....well, detailed dish I made, but I think it was also the best- and surprisingly a fabulous picnic item!! I made the the tikka masala, some saffron rice and aslo made homemade naan, which will be the Parts 2 & 3 of my Indian Summer posting, coming asap....

I adapted this recipe from All Recipes and found it very easy to make and delicious, it was everything I wanted it to be~

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup 2% Fage Greek yogurt
1 T lemon juice (fresh)
4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T fresh grated ginger
Freshly ground black pepper & Kosher salt or freshly ground sea salt to taste (about a tsp salt, 2 tsp pepper)
Long bamboo skewers for grilling (soak them in water for 30 minutes to an hour before putting the chicken on them)

 1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
2 1/2 tsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
a handful chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper & Kosher salt or freshly ground sea salt (coupla pinches) to taste

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, cayenne, salt, pepper, & ginger. Stir it the chicken, coating completely- cover and refridgerate 1 hour.
PReheat your grill to high heat. Skewer the marinated chicken pieces and grilll about 5-7 minutes per side, until cooked completely through.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sautee a minute or two. Season the garlic and jalapeno with the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, 20-25 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer in sauce about 10 minutes.
Serve on a large platter, sprinkle with cilantro- for picnic mode, let cool then transfer to a tuperware and transport to picnic with the cilantro in a little ziplock bag.

Our picnic was a 7 mile bike ride away and it was a cool evening picnic- I'm not so much suggesting this as a take on a giant long like to an all-day-in-the-sun picnic.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Pasta with Artichokes, Broccli and Cream Sauce

This was an accidental recipe, you know; when you use whatchoo got, throw it together and bada-bing, there's dinner!
Actually, I set out with a goal of making some homemade pasta (we pretty much always have flour & egg so pasta is an easy use-whatchoo-got recipe around here with the KitchenAid mixer pasta attachment!). Then, I rounded up what ever veggies we had and figured I'd make a prima verde, and have a glorious healthy dinner. Then... at some point, not sure when....I busted out the heavy whipping cream and thick curls of parmesan cheese and started saucing it up before I realized I'd cream-sauced our healthy dinner.
Oh well, sometimes you need to just worry about yumminess and be over everything else, and use-whatchoo-got and I had heavy whipping cream that would only be useful for a few more days!

This made enough for Sunday and Monday night;
We had the pasta with just the veggies and sauce Sunday...and on Monday I grilled a chicken breast chopped it up and tossed the pasta in the skillet with the cooked, chopped chicken and tossed/sauteed together until heated through (about 7 minutes) with a little bit of olive oil and a bit more chopped garlic.

2 c flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 T water

1 15oz can of artichoke hearts
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups broccoli (we had baby broccoli)
1-2 cups grated aged Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

On a clean works surface, make a little mountain with the flour and then press in the top with the back of a 1/4 cup measuring cup, to make a volcano- pour the egg into the volcano and gently toss together with fingers to incorporate. Either continue kneading by hand for 10 minutes or transfer incorporated ingredients into the bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough attachment and mix on medium for10 minutes, adding the water at about 7 minutes...turn it out onto the work surface and knead into a ball. Divide into 1/4ths and let rest for 15 minutes before rolling out.
Using stand mixer with pasta roller attachments, or manual pasta roller- set to thickest setting, 1, and roll through 1 x. fold in half, roll through again, then move the thickness to 2, roll through once, fold in half, roll again, and move to 3, repeat the same as with 2, moving the thickness to 4 then to 5. Lay sheets on wax paper lightly dusted with flour until all are rolled out.
Then place the spaghetti attachment and run each sheet through cutting the noodles.
Lay the noodles out to dry, or hang them on pasta drying rack.

Drain a can of artichoke hearts and cut them into 1/4ths. Chop up about 2 cups baby broccoli. Heat water in a 2 quart sauce pot and blanch the broccoli, cook it for about 5 minutes tops- drain & set aside
In another sauce pot combine 3 tablespoons butter, 5-6 cloves chopped garlic, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper, add a big handful of freshly grated, aged, Parmesan cheese- heat on medium until it comes to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens. Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pot and boil the spaghetti for about 6 minutes or until tender.
In a large bowl combine drained pasta, artichoke hearts, broccoli, 3 cloves chopped garlic, a pinch of sea salt, cracked pepper and toss with the sauce...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pillsbury Webconference with Sandra Lee

On an early Tuesday morning recently- I had my first web-conference, ohhh modern technology!
This is a pretty cool way to share info and have discussions with people all over the world. I was contacted by my friends at Pillsbury and asked to be part of this conference, hosted by the Food Network's Sandra Lee, all about Sunday morning and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.
Sandra shared step-by-step instructions on several yummy cinnamon roll makeovers.

Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Taste-of-the-Islands Breakfast Roll

Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

And also cinnamon roll French Toast  

It was super techy and really fun to participate it!!

Pilsburry sent me some gift certificates for FREE CINNAMON ROLLS!!!

That's not all, they sent me gift certificates for YOU too!!! I have 8 certificates for ONE FREE CAN of any 8count Pillsbury Sweet Rolls to give away so stay tuned, GIVEAWAY post comin' soon!! Stay tuned for the  info on how to win comin later this week!!