Ah yes! Life in the kitchen in one of the hottest July’s on record at The Captain’s Shack (The Shack). But so much fun to make and serve. Some of these dishes are “eye candy”, too. Some have recipes; Some don’t. (If you want a recipe, just let me know. I’ll see what I can do.) As with most photos on this blog, Left Click them and see them enlarged. Enjoy these photos and if you make any of the recipes, let us know how you liked them. Thanks and Cheers!
Such a great weekend again working in the kitchen. Warm enough outside to keep the kitchen door open. We can still find fresh, as such, asparagus but watch the prices. I saw prices vary here in Boise from $2.99 a pound for medium sized spears – which I bought – to $8.99 a pound for the skinny little spears, which I did not buy. It’s either $8.99 a pound for skinny little asparagus spears or my meds for this month. I chose my meds. (This is week #6 past open heart surgery for me. Go Team!) So with that introduction, here are some photos, and recipes, for our culinary endeavors for this past weekend. Enjoy!
I don’t have any photos for these recipes, but the plates were delicious. We made a chicken and then prepared a Chicken Curry Salad with some of the left-overs. (The rest are used in chicken stock!) But for the dressing we used this recipe, and it is superb! Chicken Curry Salad Dressing The curry dressing calls for a chutney. We don’t have any in the house. Don’t fret! Here is our own recipe for the Apricot and Cranberry Chutney.
Chutneys, by nature are, “Chutney (Hindi/ Nepali – “चटनी” also transliterated chatney or chatni, Sindhi: چٽڻي) is a side dish in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent that can vary from a tomato relish to a ground peanut garnish or a yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip…Major Grey’s Chutney is a type of sweet and spicy chutney popular in the United Kingdom and the United States. The recipe was reportedly created by a 19th-century British Army officer of the same name (likely apocryphal) who presumably lived in Colonial India. Its characteristic ingredients are mango, raisins, vinegar, lime juice, onion, tamarind extract, sweetening and spices. Several companies produce a Major Grey’s Chutney, in India, the UK and the US…The word “chutney” is derived from the Hindi word chatṭnī, meaning to lick. It is written differently in North and South Indian languages (Nepali: चटनी, Gujarati: ચટણી, Bengali: চাটনি, Marathi: चटणी, Punjabi: ਚਟਣੀ, Tamil: சட்டினி chaṭṭiṉi, காரத் துவையல் karathuvaiyal, Kannada: ಚಟ್ನಿ, Hindi: चटनी, Urdu: چٹنی, Sindhi: چٽڻي, Malayalam: ചട്ടിണി, chattin̩i, ചമ്മന്തി, Telugu: పచ్చడి). Pacchadi, as written in Telugu script, refers specifically to pickled fruits, whilst chutney refers to minced foods, usually made out of coconuts.
In India, “chutney” refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately. Several Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achār (Hindi: अचार) applies to pickles that often contain oil and are rarely sweet.” [Wikipedia]
Our chutney, is but one of many variations of chutney. Ours is not cooked. Think of chutney as jerk sauce or sofrito, “…Italian soffritto, the Spanish sofrito, from Portuguese-speaking nations refogado (braised onions, garlic and tomato), the German Suppengrün (leeks, carrots and celeriac), the Polish włoszczyzna (leeks, carrots, celery root and parsley root), the U.S. Cajun and Creole holy trinity (onions, celery and bell peppers), and the French duxelles (onions, shallots, and mushrooms, sauteed in butter). Or Cajun Trinity – they can all vary from kitchen to kitchen. Fun stuff!
We have been to Mai Thai several times, but this is the first time for the lunch buffet. They are located at 750 W Idaho Street, Boise. (208) 344-8424. Such a treat! They continue their outstanding cuisine. With just a small comment: The duck could have had more of the fat removed and the connective tissue trimmed. The vegetable tempura was good, but slightly soggy and cold. For those reasons, I can only rate this visit a 4-Star, out of 5-Star, meal. The ambiance is terrific. The Waite staff is very attentive and polite. The price, $11.95 for the buffet, is extremely reasonable for the amount of food that is available. Mai Thai is well worth the trip to go there. If you like Asian cuisine for lunch, this is the place to go. It is just a little more of a formal setting than most of the other Asian places in Boise. Give it a try. I have also listed Mai Thai on TripAdvisor. Here are some photos we took. Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged. Enjoy!!
And a super dinner it was! This is still my first pick for Indian food here in Boise. Easily rates 5-Stars out of 5. I spent a year in India, when I was 15, and I remember the smells of the fragrant spices. The Bombay Grill takes me back in time and brings back the enjoyable aromas and flavors of the spices and food. They do offer a full vegetarian menu, although we had chicken.
Then we went to see The Hundred-Foot Journey, a movie I highly recommend, especially if you like cooking. Basically, it tells a story of the clash between two cuisines, French and Indian. An Indian family buys a rundown restaurant across the street from a high end French restaurant. They remodel the building and open up their own restaurant. The movie mostly takes place in France. Here are some photos from the Bombay Grill, 928 W Main St, Boise, ID 83702, (208) 345-7888. I just wish their website was up and running. Enjoy!
And a great party it was! Great to see so many people there and to talk to them. Thanks Kat for opening your home to all of us. And the decorations, as in this tree where Robin and Tina are chatting, were marvelous. And the food that everyone shared was fabulous. And if you are in search of Heirloom seeds, here is a list of Heirloom Seed Suppliers. Enjoy the following photos and Left-Click any of them to see enlarged. And while you are at it, please rate this article above and Follow us on this blog – there is a place to do so in the sidebar. Cheers!
Robin and I like the cuisines of different cultures, as some of you may well know. The cooking traditions of Morocco or of the Mediterrean area, can produce some really wonderful dishes. But to do them, you probably would benefit by using the correct cooking utensil. In this case a tagine, as pictured here.
Tagine is named after the pot [an entree] is cooked in, a thick clay cone resting on a rounded base. While many tagines are ornamental – see the delicate ceramic ones [above], hand-painted carefully – the basic cooking version is unpainted and only occasionally glazed. Practical and durable (except if you drop it, of course), the dish is synonymous with Morocco for good reason: every roadside stall, tourist restaurant and cafe seems to have pots of the stuff simmering all day long. (legalnomads.com)
You can spend a lot of money on a tagine, or not. The ones pictured above, could be rather expensive. The one Robin and I have is an earthen color and can prepare a meal for 6. We bought it online and it was not expensive. A good source for information about Mediterrean cooking and tagines is Legal Nomads. Another good source on Facebook is the group Moroccan Cuisine. There are several articles, and tagine recipes, on this blog. One such article/recipe is Chicken Tagine and Mushrooms with Moroccan Green Olives. On this blog, search on the word tagine, and several articles will be found.
Basically, tagine cooking is defined as:
… By virtue of slow-cooking meat at low temperatures, effectively braising it until tender, a lower quality or tougher meat can be used. And the food cooks with minimum of additional liquid (water is added as it simmers), and no additional fat. The meat browns in the heated clay despite the slow simmer – the heat remains trapped inside the pot by the raised outer ridges on the base of the tagine. [legalnomads.com]
The method of cooking – via a tagine – is partially what makes this cooking style so unique. The other very important ingredient are the spices. Here are some that are used in tagine cooking, and in particular, foods from Morocco. Sweet paprika, good quantity of cumin, Moroccan saffron – if you can find it, turmeric, garlic, freshly chopped parsley, ground ginger, and salt and pepper. In the article, It’s Always Tagine O’Clock in Morocco, you will find more information on tagine cooking as well as recipes for Tagine of Beef, or Chicken or Mutton. Or, if you like shrimp or other shell fish, here is a good recipe for Tagine of Shrimp in Tomato Sauce.
Try this cuisine, you may find you like it. Think slow cooking and low heat. Sound familiar? And remember the tagine spices, and actually the ones I have listed are only a fraction of the spices use, but they are the basic ones. Enjoy!!
So this morning, while I was contemplating the Bronco victory in Virginia, Boise’s hot air balloons were taking off over Julia Davis Park in the center of town. There is also the question of What’s For Dinner? I asked Robin if she wanted chicken. She said yes with some curried rice. Her wish is my command!
Braised Chicken in White Wine and Pomegranate Molasses
Sauteed Leeks and Garlic in Orange Infused Olive Oil
Red and Green Tomatoes and Summer Squash
Serve all of this with a wonderful 2008 Casablanca Valley Chile Root:1 Chardonnay and you have a wonderful Saturday evening meal. Cheers and
Having spent a year in India, Rajasthan to be specific, there are certain elements of Indian food that still entice the senses. Sight being one and aroma being another and, in this case, word association with a given recipe. Never, ever had beef in India. It was probably goat or mutton – which is old lamb and not the same!
But this recipe just triggered some of those responses. So …… tonight this is what we are having. I have everything here to make this – I just pulled some ground lamb from the freezer. If you want a printable recipe, just Click Here. In the meantime, here is the recipe. Enjoy!! I have converted the metric weights and measures to pounds and ounces where necessary.
1 Tablespoon of oil
500g minced lamb (1½ lbs)
½ cup of water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1½ T curry powder
½ can of 400 ml (13.5oz) tinned tomatoes
1 large onion chopped (or equal quantity of Maharajah’s Fried Dehydrated Onion)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of stock powder – optional
½ cup of Frozen Peas
1 T Garam Masala
Small pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Heat oil (to medium heat) and fry onions (if using fresh onions) until golden brown.
Add minced garlic and ginger, fry for about 1 minute then add curry powder and fry for approx. 2 more minutes stirring constantly. Make sure that heat is not too high and curry powder fries (not burns).
Add minced meat and water. Stir until mince is separated.
Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt (and or stock powder), garam masala and dehydrated onions (if fresh are not used earlier).
Cook on low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Add frozen peas, warm through.
Serve with rice or bread.
This recipe makes very good filling for jaffles and is also delicious on toast.
Note: The appliance is known by various names around the world, including toasted sandwich maker or jaffle iron in Australia and South Africa, toastie maker or toastie pie maker in the United Kingdom. Breville, manufacturers of some of the earliest sandwich toasters, is sometimes used eponymously.
Typical toasted sandwiches are a grilled cheese sandwich, tuna melt, or patty melt. Toasted sandwiches are also known by various names. They are frequently called toasties in Britain, brevilles, jaffles in Australia (also brevilles in South Africa) or toasties in New Zealand. Jaffles are so named after the original jaffle iron (U.S. English: “pie iron”). Sandwich toasters are less common in the United States where grilled cheese sandwiches are more popular.
Sandwich toasters are notorious for being used relatively little, because of their specialised nature. A survey carried out in 2005 suggested that 45% of British adults owned but did not use sandwich toasters.