Butter Chicken

I’m told this dish originated in India, but I’m not sure of its region. No matter really because it’s so good when you make it you’ll say it came straight from heaven! I love the simplicity of an exotically spiced stew and it’s a recipe that you can whip up with confidence.

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 Butter Chicken

4-6 Boneless skinless, Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 cup (one stick) Butter
1 14oz can Light Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
2 cloves finely chopped Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Ginger
Cilantro to garnish.

Chop the onion, garlic and grate the ginger then set aside.
Cut each chicken thigh into approximately three strips each.
Heat a heavy stew pot with a lid over medium-high then add the olive oil and chicken thighs then season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown.
Add in the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until onions are softened and translucent.
Turn the heat to a simmer then add the tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Stir until well combined. Add the stick of butter. (it’s a seriously giddy moment when you add, wantonly, a whole stick of butter to the pot) 
Add the garam masala, chili powder, and curry powder.
Stir then cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
If you’d like the sauce thicker, turn the heat up and boil uncovered for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Garnish with Cilantro and serve over Jasmine or Basmati Rice.

Print this recipe? butter-chicken

Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington is a special Christmas Eve tradition, a delicious treat looked forward to all year. It looks fancy because it is fancy. There are many steps but none of them too complex and I can tell you from experience that it can all be accomplished whilst completely faced.

Beef Wellington

1 3-5 lb. Whole Beef Tenderloin Roast (approx 5-6 inches long)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 pint container of whole White Cap or Brown Mushrooms.
2 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 cloves chopped Garlic
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
6-8 slices Prosciutto
2 tablespoons English or Dijon Mustard
1 sheet Puff Pastry (defrosted)
2 Egg Yolks

For the Duxelles:
Place the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Grind the mixture until the mushrooms are finely chopped.
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the mushroom mixture and saute until most of the moisture is gone leaving a creamy paste. Spread the duxelles out on a plate to cool and set aside.

For the Beef:
In the same saute pan you’ve used for the duxelles, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat and brown the tenderloin on all sides. Set aside.
Also, set aside the pan, with all those lovely brown bits, you’ve browned it in to make pan gravy later.

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Next, on a sheet of cling wrap layer the prosciutto so it is overlapping.
Spread the duxelles onto the prosciutto.
Lay the beef on next.
Spread the mustard over the beef.

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Layer the top with prosciutto and then wrap the cling around the meat encasing it all in a neat package.
Twist the ends of the cling film tight then place it into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle (approx 10x 12in) on a floured surface.
Retrieve your beef from the fridge and unwrap it from it cling film.
Lay the beef onto the center of the pastry.
Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg yolk.
Fold the pastry over the beef to encase it.
Turn it over so the folds are underneath and set it onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Brush the outside of the pastry in the egg yolk and make pretty score marks into the dough.(I go for a swirly pattern)


Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the temp measured with a meat thermometer in the middle of the beef is at 125-130F.
Rest the Wellington for 10-15 minutes before carving into thick slices.

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Serves 4-6 depending on how thick you slice it.

For the Pan Gravy:
Beef drippings from browning your tenderloin.
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Flour
1& 1/2 cup Beef Stock
Set the pan on a high burner.
Add butter and whisk with pan drippings.
Add flour and whisk until well combined.
Add beef stock and whisk until smooth and thickened.
Serve over Beef Wellington.

Peaceful Cuisine

Japanese chef Ryoya Takashima has a great YouTube Channel called Peaceful Cuisine. I’ve been enjoying it lately and using it to wind down. Ryoya’s presence is very mellow and his imagery is simple and, well, peaceful. The (no music) versions of the videos have a subtle ASMR quality that’s very relaxing. You can also learn some fantastic vegan recipes.

Turkey Chili

Hi, American readers! Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? Lots of leftovers? Good!
When you’ve had all the turkey, cranberry, and mashed potato sandwiches you can stand, (what? you’ve never had mashed potato on your sandwich?) try this turkey chili it’s excellent for using up the rest of your leftovers! (for international readers bookmark this for Christmas!)

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Turkey Chili
For the Spice mixture:
2 teaspoons each: Chili Powder, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano.
2 tablespoons Flour.
Mix all ingredients well and set aside.

For the Chili:
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup diced Onion
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
2 cloves minced Garlic
1 can Black Beans
1 can Diced Tomatoes (with juice)
3 tablespoons Salsa
2 cups frozen Corn
4-6 cups shredded Leftover Turkey
1 quart Turkey Stock
2 cups Water
Salt & Pepper

In a large stew pot add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add the onion, cilantro, and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes.)
Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the onion mixture.
Then add the tomatoes with the juice, the salsa, and corn.
Next, add the spice mixture. Mix well until all ingredients are well coated.
Add the turkey and mix well.
Add the stock and water and stir to combine everything. Bring to a low boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the chili is thickened and piping hot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper.

Serve with cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and tortilla chips crumbled over the top.

Grilled Pizza

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I thought this was going to be hard. I’d always made pizza in my oven and it was good but not “ZOMG! this is the best!” I was a little intimidated to try on the grill, what if it stuck? Well, I needn’t have worried! It works wonderfully and now my homemade pizza is indeed, ZOMG!

Basic Pizza Dough

1 & 1/2 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1 1/4 cups Very Warm Water (about 110F)
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Salt

Add the sugar to the warm water, then add the yeast. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until bubbly and smells like beer.

Add the flour and salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture.
Turn the mixer to medium speed and pour in the yeast/oil mixture.
Mix until the  dough forms into a ball and is smooth and elastic (about 7-10 minutes).

Form dough into a ball and set in a well-oiled bowl in a warm spot to rise covered with a moist towel for 60 minutes. Makes 2 large pizzas or 4 small.

For Grilled Pizza

Heat your grill to high (500F) and give it a good scrub with your wire brush thingy.
Prepare the pizza dough. Roll out into 4 thin crusts and let rest for about 5 minutes.
Slather each on both sides with plenty of olive oil.

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Place the crusts on the grill two at a time.
Grill on one side for 2-3 minutes with lid closed. Flip and grill for 1-2 minutes on the other side.

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Remove the now par-cooked crusts from the grill and slather on the sauce and toppings. (TIP: Place the cheese out to warm up a little so it will melt easier. we found that it’s harder to get that melty loveliness on the grill.)
Place the pizzas back on the grill for 2 or so minutes.

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Watch them so they don’t burn on the bottom.

Slice and enjoy! Exclaim , “ZOMG!” with mouths full of the best homemade pizza!

Birthday Breakfast Bars

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For Kell’s birthday this year I made up a batch of these and sent them along with some other goodies for his birthday, they were a big hit.

Birthday Breakfast Bars

Preheat Oven to 250F

Grease and line with parchment paper a 9×13 inch baking tin and set aside.

1 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 ½ cups Rolled Oats (not instant)

1 cup Shredded Coconut

1 cup Dried Cranberries

1 cup Roasted Peanuts

½ cup Dried Apricots (chopped)

1 cup Pitted Dates (chopped)

Or any other dried fruit or nuts you’d like.

Mix together the oats and dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl making sure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the oats.

In a microwave safe container heat the sweetened condensed milk in the microwave on high for 1 to 1 & ½ minutes.

Add the sweetened condensed milk to the oats mixture and mix well. Scrape the mixture into the baking tin and press into an even layer.

Bake for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Print this recipe? Happy Birthday Breakfast Bars

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Hey there Wishers!
I hope the holidays were joyus and your New Year’s hangover wasn’t too bad!
I’d like to take this opportunity before we start in on our annual re-cap to thank you all for the continued support in 2015.
So many new subscribers and lovely comments and emails, you’re a wonderful bunch!
Thank you!

In January we discovered Chateau de Guandes and followed it’s ambitious owners as they patiently nursed the old Dame back to her former glory.
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By September the Waters Family welcomed their first guests when a wedding was held on the grounds.
They are proceeding by leaps and bounds and I intend on checking in on them through 2016.

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This spring we branched out a bit and experimented with a few recipes with delicious results.
Pork Lion Piccata
fruit compote

We also met Slinkachu and Kirra Jamison our in the feature Art is Everywhere.
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Last summer we met the wonderful illustrator Maori Sakai,
tumblr_noe6ftV1O11u3eaqvo1_500Grilled veggies, Grilled Veg and made our own shower scrub.lavender 2

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We thought Fall would never come, but when temps finally dipped into baking weather we jumped right in with Banana Crunch Muffins.IMG_2173
And had fun with Fall fashion, c600x441
And finally in December we made some delicious make ahead dishes to share at holiday gatherings!
Pear & Pom salad

Shrooms & rice

In the year ahead we’ll make more lovely things to eat, explore new ideas in art and fashion and meet inspiring people doing incredible things from all over the world.
Happy New Year friends, may 2016 be a remarkable one!