Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Colors of Winter


It was the spice blend in this chicken curry that colored and flavored an otherwise ordinary dish of chicken, eggplant and green beans. I combined a dry spice blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander and mustard with a red curry paste and mixed into the fresh fennel, eggplant, peppers, ginger, onion and garlic base.

The vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. The chicken completes the protein. The "whole grain" corn grits add texture and fiber. Together the one plate meal fed the two of us each 1 dinner and 2 lunches. 

Curried Chicken

(Serves 6)

Dry Spice Blend
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon mustard
Saute vegetables in olive oil for 5-7 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup fresh fennel bulb, diced
1/3 cup sweet red peppers, seeded and diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2/3 cup eggplant, peeled and diced
Stir in:
2 teaspoon garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
Dry spice blend
Add chicken and cook 3 minutes per side.
8 ounce chicken tenders
Remove chicken from pan and slice in smaller pieces.
To pan, add sauce ingredients.
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Add green beans.
1 cup cooked green beans
Return chicken to pan.
Stir in Miso. Boiling water destroys the live probiotic bacteria. Stir only till mixed.
Turmeric, garlic and ginger are among those that reduce inflammation.
Serve over cooked and hot grain. I served our dinner over whole grain corn grits. Not all grits are whole grain-check label for those words. For the leftover lunches, we served over cooked brown rice (leftover from another meal).

Whole Grain Corn Grits

(Serves 2)

Combine grits and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover. Lower heat to simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.
1/2 cup whole grain corn grits
1 1/2 cups water



Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Warm and Frugal Wintery Menu


Fresh baked bread and a thick bean bowl built an enjoyable dinner from ingredients found in winters' kitchen. I started with dried beans and canned tomatoes from the cupboard and added seasonal greens and citrus fruit from the refrigerator. (Our local grocery store featured a "buy one get one free" on ruby red grapefruit this week).

Here are the recipes:

Pressure Cooked Bean Curry

(Serves 3-4)

Soak beans overnight in water.
1/2 cup dry white beans
1 cup water

Heat olive oil in pressure cooker.
Add and saute onion, garlic and sweet pepper for 1-2 minutes.  
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon onion, diced
2 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup sweet pepper, diced

Add curry paste and mix into softened vegetables for about 30 seconds.
1 tablespoon red curry paste (can substitute 1 teaspoon curry powder)
Turn off brown or saute function of cooker.
Add beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.
Tighten lid and pressure lock. Cook for 30 minutes. Allow cooker to set for 10 minutes before releasing pressure. 
White beans, drained and rinsed
2 cup canned tomatoes, no added salt (I mixed crushed and diced)
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (mine is made with a bouillon cube)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir in fresh spinach and heat for 1-2 minutes to wilt leaves.
1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
The bread recipe is from Pantry Mama. It combines sourdough discard with commercial yeast to leaven the bread.

 Sandwich Bread

(1 8-9 inch loaf)

Remove sourdough starter from refrigerator and allow to sit overnight.
Place the following discard in mixing bowl.
Feed the original starter and store. 
91 grams sourdough discard
Using standing mixer with paddle blade in place, add water and flours to sourdough discard. Mix for about 30 seconds to form a shaggy dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
275 grams water
225 grams whole wheat flour
225 grams all purpose flour
In mixing bowl with dough hook in place, add yeast, sugar, buttery spread and salt. Beat on low speed for about 6 minutes.
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
22 grams sugar
66 grams buttery spread
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place dough in a bowl greased with olive oil spray. Cover and allow to rise until double. (My kitchen is not quite 70 F and this took about 1 1/2 hours)
Shape dough into 8-9 inch loaf pan. (Mine is baked in a Pullman pan) 
Cover and allow to rise until double. (This took 2 hours in my kitchen and the dough did not reach the top of the pan.)
Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.
We grated some aged cheddar onto our soup to serve.




Saturday, January 9, 2021

From Winter's Kitchen


Many of the ingredients in this dinner came from the cool basement where root vegetables and fall fruits are stored. There I've pumpkin, winter squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, apples and pears.

Other ingredients are in the kitchen cupboards including dried fruit, nuts and flours. I often use any I have on hand for specific listings in recipes.

I always have yogurt, milk and eggs in the refrigerator and fresh ginger in the freezer.

Topping it off is an assortment of fragrant spices- cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon. 

The Pumpkin Soup was inspired by a recipe in Bon Appetit.  The Sourdough Snacking Cake is from the November/December issue of Fine Cooking Magazine.

Pumpkin Soup

(Serves 6)

Half pumpkin. Remove seeds and pulp. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Cool, peel and cut pumpkin in chunks.
1 medium pumpkin
Mix seeds with syrup, oil and spice. Roast in 350 F oven for approximately 15 minutes. Check often to prevent burning.
Seeds from pumpkin
3 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon berbere spice
Cool and grind in spice mill.
Heat oil in saucepan. Saute garlic and peppers until soft.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic clove, minced
4 mini sweet peppers, seeded and diced
 Add curry paste and stir.
1 tablespoon red curry paste
Add stock, milk and pumpkin. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
4 cups diced, cooked pumpkin
Carefully place 1/2 of soup in blender. Cover top with a towel and puree. Repeat with remaining 1/2. Reheat soup for a few minutes.
Serve with ground nuts. 

Sourdough Snacking Cake

(Serves 8)

Combine dry ingredients.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger
 Add to dry ingredients.
1 cup assorted nuts and dried fruit (Mine has almonds, apricots and dates), ground in food processor
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
In a separate bowl, beat eggs into sourdough discard. Add oil, yogurt, vanilla and brown sugar, beating by hand until mixed.
1/2 cup sourdough discard (mine is a whole rye starter)
2 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoon brown sugar 

Mix dry ingredients into liquid in thirds, stirring only until mixed.
Pour batter into 7 inch springform pan, greased with olive oil spray (bottom lined with parchment). Bake at 350 F. for about 35 minutes, until pick inserted into center comes our clean.
Place on cooling rack. Run a spatula around cake to remove side of springform pan.
This meal has a nice assortment of protein, fruit, vegetables and grains.