Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Love New Gadgets!

 Hello again!

My sister in-law got us this amazing Le Creuset Dutch Oven for our wedding, and I was so, so excited to use it, I just didn't know what for. I spent quite some time looking online for recipes specifically for my new gadget, but alas, I couldn't find anything that sounded tasty.

Then I started thinking about food we like to eat out, and stuff we haven't had in a while. A bell went off. Indian food!! There's a great place in Ft. Lauderdale called Royal India that we just love, but hate how far away it is. My wonderful husband loves their tandoori chicken and rice, while I am in love with their lamb curry and naan bread. On several occasions, I have literally licked the bowl of lamb curry clean with pieces of naan bread. It's that good.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.

While I know I'll never cook as well as the folks at Royal India do, I was craving their food nonetheless. I peeked into my cupboards and in my fridge, and then just started whipping things together. I'm actually kind of proud of the end result, and look forward to tweaking this recip in the future so that it's more authentic. Possibly incorporate different meats and add-ons.

Mehgan's Curried Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes -

-2tsbp olive oil
-1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 to 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
-1 small white onion, diced
-1/2 bag of baby carrots, cut into thirds
-1 can of chicken broth
-1 bay leaf
-3 to 4 cloves of garlic
-1/2 cup plain yogurt
-1tbsp tomato paste
-1tbsp curry powder
-1tsp chili powder
-1tsp ground cumin
-1tsp garam masala
-1tsp salt
-1/2tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions: In a blender, place the 1/2 can of the chicken broth (reserve the rest for later), bay leaf, garlic, yogurt, tomato paste, curry powder, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pulse until blended well, then set aside. Warm a large skillet or dutch oven over low to medium heat, adding the olive oil, potatoes, onion, carrots and the other 1/2 can of chicken broth. Cook with the lid on until the potatoes and carrots begin to get soft. Once they're nearly fork-tender, add the chicken and blended curry sauce. Replace the lid, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about a half hour. If it looks a little too watery, let cook down with the lid off for an additional twenty minutes or so. Serve over jasmine or basmati rice, with naan bread as an added bonus.

My thoughts: I was fresh out of jasmine rice, so I decided to make my curry with couscous. My husband calls it "ghetto rice" haha, but he still likes it, and probably prefers it over rice anyway. I love the different spices in this dish, and everything combines really well. I think next time, I'll add some peas, just to get in more veggies, and possibly double the recipe since the leftovers didn't last very long in our house!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Not For The Lactose Intolerant!

Welcome to my 100th blog post! Wow, I can't believe it's been that many. When I started this sad little blog four years ago (almost exactly!) I had no idea the ups and downs I would go through. But, through it all, I've remained an avid fan of cooking and baking. It's still as therapeutic for me now as it was the day I decided to sign up for Blogger. I considered starting a new one after my divorce, but no...I'm too stubborn, and I didn't want to lose all those beautiful recipes. Maybe one day I'll get around to making a new one, but I like this little blog of mine. It somehow seems like home to me.

Now enough of all that sentimental crap! Let's get on to the recipe, shall we?

This recipe is something I just threw together one night I knew what ingredients I had, I just hoped they'd taste well together lol. Being that I'm lactose intolerant, I can't have many dairy things, but when I went to make this, I basically just said "F--- it, I'm hungry, and I want some cheese". It's not entirely from scratch, but that's ok. When you've had a long day, this recipe will be there for you.

Mehgan's Cheesy Mexican Casserole -

-1box of Zatarain's Black Beans & Rice mix (you'll need 2 3/4 cups water & 2tbsp butter or margarine for this)
-1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
-4oz. Velveeta
-1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1tbsp lime juice
-1tbsp chili powder
-1tsp cumin
-1tsp paprika
-1tsp cayenne powder
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions: In a 2-quart saucepan, cook rice as directed on the box. While that's cooking, preheat oven to 350F. Cut chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, then cube the Velveeta. Place in bowl, along with the tomatoes, sour cream, lime juice and spices. Once the rice mix is done, mix into the chicken mixture and combine well. Place contents of bowl into baking dish (I used the lovely Le Creuset baking dish that my sister in-law got us for our wedding), top with the cheddar cheese, and then bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to broil mine the last couple minutes of cooking, so that the cheese gets all browned and bubbly, but be careful doing this - it burns fast. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Top with cilantro if you want to be all fancy-like. :)
My thoughts: Another hit! And it's so, so easy. The ingredients are stuff that I almost always have on-hand that go great in other dishes as well, but just so happen to work amazingly in this meal. I'm sure it's not the healthiest thing on the planet, but it could be worse. Just make sure to take your Lactaid if you're lactose intolerant like me!