Friday, February 24, 2012

Peanut Salad Dressing

I forgot to take a photo of the salad before we ate,
however, we used the dressing as a dip as well.
A short while ago was National Peanut Butter Day.

While my son decided to have a fluffernutter sandwich for dinner (that's marshmallow fluff and peanut butter for the un-initiated), we decided to use the peanut butter elsewhere in our meal.

I prepared a salad with shredded carrot, snow peas, a few other vegetables and some sort of dried/puffed noodles and whipped together a salad dressing loosely based on one I saw at Our Best Bites. The original recipe was Thai, however, we omitted the Siracha sauce, cilantro (we didn't have any) and swapped out the lime for lemon among other changes. I still would like to try the original recipe as I imagine it tastes excellent as well.

There was quite a bit of dressing in the end, and it was pretty thick, so we ended up adding extra water compared to the original recipe, and, after using it for salad on a second day, we used the dressing as a dip for vegetables. It was excellent.

Peanut Salad Dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp garlic puree
1 tbsp ginger puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
  1. Place all ingredients except water in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Slowly add water as required to reach the desired consistency.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Ginger Chicken

It's time again for The Secret Recipe Club (SRC), and we have a new host: Suzanne from The Bugs on my Windshield. Because SRC's reveal date is Monday, there won't be a Friday recipe this week.

This month, I've been assigned Robin from Penny Pinching Provisions who, like me, would rather make tasty, affordable meals from scratch, than buy prepared processed food. There were lots of tasty-looking recipes to review and an easy-to-scan index of recipes to search through. (Thank you, Robin!).

Since we had a dinner with friends coming up, and I tend to use friends as guinea pigs for recipes, as well as family, I decided to make a double-batch of Robin's Ginger Chicken recipe, and add a little bit of Chinese cooking wine to the recipe as well.

Ginger Chicken

1 tbsp oil
1 kilo chicken, diced
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup ginger, chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp coriander
  1. In a deep pan, heat oil on medium-high and brown chicken on all sides. Set chicken aside.
  2. Quickly de-glaze the pan with the cooking wine. Add broth, onion, ginger, soy sauce, molasses, garlic powder, mustard and coriander. Increase temperature to high, and let mixture boil and reduce (stirring occasionally) until onions and garlic are soft (20 minutes).
  3. Add the chicken to the mixture, and reduce to medium, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Baked Aloo Kofta Curry (Baked Potato Ball Curry)

Back in January I got an email from one of my favourite Indian food bloggers - Niya. She remembered a comment I made nearly a year ago about wanting to make a potato-ball curry that didn't involve deep-frying. Well, Niya came through and created one! As soon as I saw Niya's Baked Aloo Kofta Curry, I knew I had to make it. Immediately. For dinner that very evening. With a few variations, I mostly doubled the recipe, and it tasted amazing. We took the leftovers to our neighbours who devoured it (and sent us some of their ribs as a thank-you).

Thank you so much, Niya!

Baked Aloo Kofta Curry (Baked Potato Ball Curry)

1 lb (500g) potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp onions, finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp (rounded) coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. For the koftas:
    Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients for the kofta.
  4. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and space evenly on parchment (should be 20-25 balls).
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy, then set aside.
  6. For the curry:
    Combine chili powder, cayenne, coriander, salt and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. In a deep pan, heat oil on medium-high and fry onions until translucent and browning.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add ginger and garlic. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes
  9. Add the spice and water mixture, stirring for two minutes.
  10. Add tomato paste and remaining water, stir and cover.
  11. Let simmer for 10-12 minutes and then remove from heat.
  12. Add sour cream and mix gently.
  13. Arrange koftas in a flat oven-proof dish with a lid and pour curry on top. Garnish with cilantro.
  14. Allow the curry to stand for at least one hour before serving (you can reheat in the oven) to allow the flavours to mingle.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just before the new year, I asked Jacob what his favourite cookie was. To my surprise, he told me it was the peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie I used to make him, (and later Meredith made for him) based on the Cookies for Rookies recipe from Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski.

When Jacob asked why Meredith's cookies turned out better than mine, Meredith pointed out to him that she knew the difference between baking soda and baking powder. Whoops!

We haven't made that recipe in years, so Meredith decided to make a batch for Jacob for a New Year's Day get-together.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and prepare two cookie sheets (greased, or using parchment paper).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream together the brown sugar, margarine, peanut butter, and buttermilk. 
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using a fork, flatten cookies to between 1/2 and 1/4 inch thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  6. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.
Makes approximately 30 cookies.

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