Trying something new…

January 16th, 2010

In keeping with my culinary new year’s resolutions, I tried my hand at making Chicken Tikka Masala… which is on the Omnivore’s 100 list… notice the new cute little link on the left hand side that will take you to my updated list so you can see my progress… another new thing I learned to do in my never ending quest to understand html code…

The Tikka Masala was a lot of fun to make… my apartment smelled deliciously of all the spices… it was easier than expected. I used the recipe from Saveur… I followed it almost perfectly except for the coriander and cumin seeds. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder instead… The dish turned out great and I’ve been consuming leftovers for most of my meals…

P.S. For another version, check out Joelen‘s… something about great minds…

It is only Tuesday…

October 27th, 2009

More than one person today has lamented that it is only Tuesday… stumbling around the law school building, groggy from lack of sleep, slurping coffee and groaning at the loads of work that await me… at least I am in good company… it has been a really rough semester. This morning I was hit with the shock that I have a little more than a month before exams…. yikes! Thankfully (or should I say unfortunately), I’ve been through the whole exam process twice now so I know what to expect… sort of… It is going to be a long month.

On top of this, I have not had much time to cook. I’ve been so busy… eating staples and be boring… A few weeks ago, M&J came over for dinner. I made Hazelnut Chicken with Butternut Squash- Sage Orzotto. Both a huge hit! Making a risotto with orzo is so easy that I definitely will do it again in the future. Recipes will be coming tomorrow… but for now Tuesday is almost over and I need my sleep…

ok, now I’m more rested… the recipes:

Hazelnut Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 egg, whisked with a fork
1 cup of hazelnuts, chopped in a food processor

1. Heat the oven to 400.
2. Dip the chicken in the egg and then the hazelnuts.
3. Bake for 30 min or until the chicken is cooked through.

Butternut Squash- Sage Orzotto

12 oz butternut squash, chopped, cooked and pureed (see Note)
2 cups orzo
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of white wine
4 cups of chicken broth (perhaps more depending on the absorption)
1/2 cup of parmesan, grated
4-5 sage leaves chopped

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Saute the garlic and shallots until the shallots are translucent.
2. Stir in the orzo and the white wine. Keep stirring until the white wine has been absorbed.
3. Then add the chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly until the pasta absorbs the chicken broth.
4. Continue until the orzo is tender.
5. Mix in the butternut squash, parmesan and sage leaves.

Note about Butternut Squash: I boiled the butternut squash until it was soft and then pureed it. It was still good but I believe roasting would be a much better idea.

Ginny and Juan’s Balsamic Showdown: Juan’s Creation

July 21st, 2009

I know you have been waiting for the revealing of Juan’s Balsamic Creation… without further delay… My boyfriend, Juan…

Our showdown came about a few weeks ago when I was visiting Ginny in Chicago. She was roasting garlic, and I casually mentioned my own technique. She looked at me quizzically and said that after over a year of dating, she had never known I could cook. “Drat!” I thought, “Now I’ll have to make her something!” No, I am kidding, of course. One of the drawbacks of a long distance relationship is that cooking is not something you discuss everyday, even if you’re dating a girl with a food blog. But since I lost our last round of mini-golf and I’m on the hook to cook a three course meal for her anyway, I figured we could give this showdown a shot.

I don’t consider myself a culinary expert by any means, but I realized fairly early in college that I was going to need to learn to cook if I was going to survive on items with actual vitamin and mineral contents. Over the years, I started making myself some foods that satisfied my requirements. Dinner must: (a) be healthy and tasted good, (b) use as few dishes as possible, and (c) make enough for several days’ worth of lunches for work over the week. I usually follow recipes pretty rigidly, but this time I decided to rig one up myself. The experience was certainly a new one. After getting some advice a few co-workers, I threw a tabouleh dish together:

- couscous
- ginny and juan’s awesome balsamic vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- kalmata olives
- parsley (from the garden, but frozen)
- chick peas
- black pepper

I used more oil than I expected (I tend to use very little) and also sprinkled in some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. I also tend to err on the side of too much parsley. It turned out very tasty though. In the picture, it’s served with some grilled chicken, which added a good balance of lean protein to the dish. And, of course, there was enough left over for several days worth of lunches at work. Best of all, it only used two dishes!

So, now you have seen both dishes: Ginny’s Fig- Balsamic Ricotta Cheesecake and Juan’s Balsamic Tabouleh. Please vote for your favorite by leaving a comment below.