Friday, August 26, 2011

Tandoori Chicken additional information

If you do not have a grill, broil chicken until brown, then roast in oven at 350 degrees until done. Remember to check internal temp of chicken, should be 165.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Kabobs with Jasmine Rice

Place desired amount of rice on a plate and a skewer of chicken on top. You can spoon some dipping sauce directly on chicken or use for dipping.

For marinade:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek 2% works nicely if you want less fat)
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 red pepper, cut into 6 pices
1 green pepper, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 white onion, cut into thirds and separate into six pieces 
1/2 zucchini, sliced into 6 equal chunks
2 whole skinless chicken breasts (cut into 3 equal chunks)
2 wooden or metal skewers 

For dipping sauce:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 small bunch mint (leaves only
1/2 cucumber (shredded and dried on paper towel)
1 garlic clove (smashed and minced finely)
1/8 -1/4 cup coconut milk or plain milk to loosen if needed
Pinch of salt
small food processor or blender

For rice:
1 cup jasmine rice
chicken broth (instead of water)
2 pats of butter
1/2 half white onion small dice (use the other half from the marinade)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of frozen peas or fresh (blanched)
1/4 cup slivered almonds 
1/4 cup currants 

In a small saute pan, over medium-high heat, toast the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, garam marsala, paprika, cardamom, and ginger until brown and toasty looking. This will take 2-3 minutes.

Add the toasted herbs, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and salt to the yogurt and mix thoroughly. In a bowl, toss and coat chicken and cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. If you don't have that much time, 3-4 hours will work but the flavors will not be as intense.

While chicken is marinating, you will have time to cut up red and green peppers, zucchini, and the onion. After chicken is done marinating, alternate vegetables and chunks of chicken on the skewers (if you are using wooden skewers soak them in water for several hours beforehand so they don't burn on the grill).

Preheat your grill to around 375 degrees and make sure you have sprayed the grill first so the chicken doesn't stick. I like to spray each side of skewers before I place on grill as well (I prefer Grapeseed spray but any kind of cooking spray will do). Grill chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Remember part of cooking is learning how to gage doneness so check center of chicken after 3-4 min. You can use a digital thermometer, I find they work best. If the heat seems too high you can lower it so the vegetables don't burn. You may have to spray the sides again in order to ensure that nothing sticks. 

In a pot large enough for rice, saute the diced onion and a pinch of salt in the butter until translucent over med-low heat. Lower heat if necessary. This should take about five minutes. They will cook more as the rice cooks. Add chicken stock instead of water and follow the directions on box. Meanwhile, defrost peas and immerse in boiling water right before adding to cooked rice. In a small saute pan, dry toast (meaning no fat is necessary) the almonds over med-high heat by shaking pan until they are a golden brown.

When rice is done add the peas, toasted almonds and currants. Correct the seasonings with salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. You really do not need much salt depending on the broth you use unless you prefer more salt.

While rice is cooking, make your dipping sauce. In a processor or blender, blend together the yogurt, garlic, mint leaves and coconut or milk. When loose enough to pour but not too loose, transfer to a bowl and add shredded cucumber.  Stir to combine and enjoy. If you do not have a blender or processor, finely chop mint and add to other ingredients.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pasta Margarita

It would be nice to pair this simple pasta recipe with sauteed broccoli rabe (blanch broccoli rabe first for a couple of minutes, dry on paper towels and saute in olive oil and sliced garlic -- tutorial upon request), or a simple green salad, a nice piece of crusty bread with olive oil and a glass of wine. This can also be made with gluten-free pasta. Enjoy!

4 oz spaghetti
2 cans crushed tomatoes in puree (I prefer San Marzano)
1 fresh Mozzarella ball (cut up into half-inch cubes, use as much as you want)
2 oz tomato paste
1 grated medium-sized carrot
4 sprigs thyme (leaves removed)
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large bay leaf
6 or more fresh basil leaves (julienned)
1 large onion (diced)
6 large garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp
Grated parmesan reggiano or asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add onions, minced garlic and red pepper flakes (you can add more red pepper if you want sauce spicier). Reduce to medium heat and add a generous pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate and continue cooking stirring every few minutes until the onions are translucent. This should take about 7 or 8 minutes. Lower the heat if you have to, as you do not want color.

Next, add the grated carrot and tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute. Then add the thyme, basil, oregano and bay leaf. Slowly pour in tomatoes and gently stir to incorporate. Bring up to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally. After the sauce is done, you can correct the seasonings by adding salt and freshly ground black pepper.

As sauce is simmering, fill a stock pot with water (don't forget to salt your water!). A few minutes before sauce is done, bring up water to boil and add the spaghetti and cook according to directions on box. I like mine al dente, you might like yours softer. 

Put the cooked pasta in a bowl, ladle sauce on top, add diced mozzarella and toss to coat. Divide among two bowls and garnish with the julienned basil and grated parmesan reggiano or asiago. Drizzle each serving with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.