Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recipe #274: Crab Canapés

This was supposed to be for a party, but Mother Nature had other ideas, so it became dinner at home.  I was skeptical about the fake crab, but it was delicious.  I'd try it with real crab too, to see if there's a difference, but it's great as-is.  The cucumber complements it perfectly, but little toasts are probably good too.  I'm not the biggest fan of parsley, but I definitely wouldn't leave it out here.  Fresh and yummy.


3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 package (8oz) imitation crabmeat
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 green onions, sliced
1-2 cucumbers, sliced
Fresh parsley for garnish (I used curly because it divides nicely and is "compact" for these little things)


Combine cream cheese, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl and mix well.

Stir in crabmeat, bell pepper and green onions; cover.  Chil about an hour or more until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture onto each cucumber slice and garnish with parsley.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Recipe #273: Singapore Mai Fun

It's been awhile since I've posted, but work travel makes meal planning difficult!  In between work trips, I'm able to squeeze in this new recipe from, which I adapted a little.  Next time, I think I would use all shrimp and no chicken simply because the shrimp created a nice difference in texture where the chicken sort of blended in, and I would also use two eggs.


1 (6 ounce) package skinny rice noodles (py mai fun)  (I used an 8oz package)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
cooking spray
1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger  (The store didn't have fresh, so I used 1 tsp ground)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 -5 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I used 8 more oz of shrimp, you could also use cubed tofu)  (I used almost a full pound)
1 tablespoon curry powder
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup sliced green onion (1-inch slices)
1/2 lb snow peas, sliced thinly
1/2 lb mung bean sprouts


Cook rice noodles according to package directions, leaving out any fat or salt that may be called for.

Combine broth, soy sauce, sugar and salt, and stir together till sugar dissolves.

Heat large nonstick skillet over med-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray.

Add 1 tsp oil.

Add egg; stir-fry 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly.

Remove from pan, and set aside.

Wipe down pan with cloth or paper towel.

Heat remaining oil (about 2 tsp) in pan over med-high heat.

Brown chicken thoroughly.

Add bell pepper, ginger, red pepper, and garlic; stir-fry 15 seconds.

Add snow peas, bean sprouts, curry, and shrimp; stir fry two or three minutes, until shrimp is nearly done.

Stir in egg, noodles and broth mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Sprinkle with green onions.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Recipe #272: Chicken Makhani

This goes with #271, perfectly!  This is from, with my changes in red.  Crazy delicious!!!  I bet the house will still smell this good tomorrow morning... hearty, a little spicy, fun to make.


1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (I couldn't find this, so I used 1/2tbs powdered ginger and 1/2tbs garlic powder)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent.

Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf.

Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in half-and-half and yogurt.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne.

Stir in about 1/3 of the sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced and chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Pour the rest of the sauce into the chicken. (Instead, I put the chicken mixture back into the first pot- there was much more room.)

Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce.

Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Recipe #271: Naan (Indian flatbread)

I made this!  *giddy!*  With minimal flour messes!  The recipe calls for a cast iron skillet, which I don't have, so I used the griddle insert for my stove (for the first time!) and adjusted the times to make sure the bubbles formed by cooking the first side were blackened during the cooking of the second side.  Don't skip the butter and sea salt- SO delicious!  Perfect for swabbing up sauces (stay tuned for the next post, which was pair with this).  This is from, with my notes in red.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds), optional (I skipped this since it wasn't authentic)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional (I skipped this because it wasn't authentic)
Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F). Let it sit on your counter until it's frothy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.

Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add the kalonji and fennel seeds, if using, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn't enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 2 to 4 hours.


When you're ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky-this is good! Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.

Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. It should be 8 to 9-inches long, 4-inches wide at its widest point and about 1/4-inch thick. Once you've formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough's own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough. (If you're making the gluten-free version, you'll have better luck pressing the dough out with your fingertips, than rolling.)

Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it's nearly smoking. Make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.

Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.

After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don't worry - that's typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

Recipe #270: Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Orzo Soup)

Happy 4th birthday to my blog!  Here's the first of three new recipes for the day to celebrate!

I found this one in a cookbook my grandma gave me- The Oprah Magazine Cookbook.  I was really surprised at how filling this soup was.  I loved the lemon flavor and the little extra the orzo adds to it.  It would make 2 large bowls or 4 small bowls of soup.  I served it with little olive bread loaves I found at Heinen's.


1 quart chicken broth (I used unsalted)
1/2 cup orzo
2 large eggs
Juice from one large lemon
1tsp lemon zest
Sea salt and white pepper
Chopped dill, to taste


In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add orzo; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, or until orzo is al dente.

In a bowl, beat eggs until thick.  Whisk in lemon juice and zest.  Gradually add 1/2 cup hot broth from the sauce pan, whisking constantly.  Do this twice more.

Pour mixture back into the saucepan and reheat, stirring constantly, until egg cooks and soup thickens slightly.  Do not boil, or eggs will curdle.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with dill.  Serve hot or cold.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Recipe #269: Fondue De Poulet À La Crème (Child)

Ok, I admit it, this is NOT the prettiest picture.  The chicken looks pink, but it's not really.  I was too excited to eat it to get the photo right.  This recipe is from page 262 of volume I... I bought some onions and a chicken and decided that was plenty enough to see what Julia could inspire, and I chose this recipe.  Make it with rice for a side- the sauce with the rice and chicken is the perfect combination of textures and flavors.  Thick and creamy, and the curry and onion flavors are perfect!!

Here's my picture (and yes, the sauce was still a little bit lumpy, but I didn't want to dilute it with more cream, which was an option):

I was going to find a picture on Google that looks better than mine, and I found out that actually, it's not photogenic regardless of who makes it!  So  you just have to trust me that this is FANTASTIC!