30 April 2010

Some Samosas

I came across this idea to make quick samosas in some magazine where they tell you to use pre-made pie crust, box mashed potatoes, frozen peas, and curry powder. Well. Hmmmmm . . . I could at least make my own pie crust.

David was going to play soccer. I invited Michelle. She brought peas. She looked up a recipe for baked samosas. She made the filling. Apparently, this post should be on a blog SHE writes.

I did help put them together. I supplied other ingredients and the oven. I made green tofu curry. Okay, that sounds really gross. The tofu was NOT green. The curry paste was.

It was a delicious meal (thanks to Michelle!). I'm sorry you're going away--it would be fun to cook together again.

To the rest of you: invite a friend over and make these samosas. SO GOOD! I made a garlicky, minty yogurt sauce to go with them. Mmmmmmm . . . just thinking about them makes me want to make more.

22 April 2010


It's actually spelled "mole", but I didn't want you to think I was cooking a small backyard varmit. No, this is the Mexican "mole" (pronounced "mole-ay"), a delicious chili-chocolate sauce served over chicken and rice.

Making mole had been on my want-to-do list for over a year by the time all the conditions were right to do it. I had been afraid of mole from the time (many, many moons ago) my older sister had ordered it at a restaurant and hated it. But my tolerance for many foods has changed as an adult--I like hardboiled eggs and brussels sprouts now, for instance--so a year ago, I braved the old mole memory and ordered it for my birthday dinner.

And I liked it.

And I wanted to make it.

I thought about it for a while. A few months later I looked up recipes. And balked. With a list of about 20 ingredients, I was seriously dissuaded. I tried a search for "simple mole". But the list of five ingredients (consisting of chili powder and cocoa powder) was even less appealing. I put it off. I fell back on my old excuses that I just never got down to that store that had the things I needed. My desire waned.

But one day, I was at that store. And I had just looked up a recipe again to see what kind of chili's I needed. And I bought two packages of chili's. When I got home, I stashed them in an upper cupboard. I still didn't have chicken or Mexican chocolate, or a slice of stale bread. Desire waned.

I bought baker's chocolate.

Desire waned.

I looked at recipes again. I chose one and copied it into my notes.

Desire waned.

Then one auspicious day, my sister-in-law planned a potluck. I offered to host. Another sister-in-law called to ask about what I was planning to make. I hesitated. I wavered. And then I plunged. "I think I'll make mole" I casually replied.

Now I was locked in. I even had a sign of confirmation that this was meant to be--a loaf of bread came my way and never got re-claimed by its rightful owners. There was my slice. I went to the local grocer and picked up chicken pieces.

Unfortunately--the day of--I only had about an hour to make the sauce. "Unfortunate" because the method calls for toasting most of the ingredients separately before dumping everything together to simmer and bubble into the delicious sauce. I wished I had two more hands, but I flew around the kitchen with determination. Never mind that I was missing two ingredients. I would simply have to do without.

An hour later, I left my husband with instructions to check the chicken after an hour and turn the heat off under the sauce, give it a stir, and cover it when the timer went off.

And that was that. I had made mole.

And it was good.

And now I want to make it again. But better.

The End.

13 April 2010

Fish No. 3: Curry

Mmmmm . . . there's just something so satisfying about rustic mashed potatoes and fish! Especially if you put butter and cream cheese in those potatoes! Don't bother peeling them--I love the extra texture and ease. Last night I did the fish curry-style. I don't really have a curry recipe, I just get out the spices I want and start throwing them in like my friend from Bangladesh showed me. Curry powder? What's that? If I had to write it down, though . . .

Anita's Fish Curry
(4 servings)

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion
few cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. (more or less) of:

a smidgen (more or less) of:
cayenne pepper
2 cups canned or fresh diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
4 fish fillets

Instructions: Heat olive oil. Dice onion and add to oil, sauteing a few minutes. Crush garlic cloves and add to oil. Start throwing on spices. Stir and saute a few more minutes. Dump in tomatoes, crushing if they are whole. Simmer 5 minutes or so and add salt and pepper to taste. Place fish fillets in simmering mixture. Cover and cook until fish are white through and flake easily (I added mine frozen so it took about 15 minutes).

07 April 2010

Buckwheat Pasta

Remember that other day when I bombed out on blueberry muffins and promised to go redeem myself by making some fresh pasta? Well I did. I was going to just follow the recipe found here on my blog but realized I didn't have whole wheat flour. Instead of making plain old white pasta, I added some buckwheat. It was a little strange, but still fresh and yummy with a homemade sauce.

The sauce was modified from a recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen. The original calls for stewing a hunk of butter, an onion, and your canned tomatoes for an hour before removing the onion and serving the sauce. It's actually a lot tastier than it sounds. All that buttah!

I added some basil cubes from the freezer, fresh-ground black pepper, and left the onion chunks in it. So good! The great thing about making this pasta--if you roll it out by hand--is that once you get the hang of it you can whip it out like nobody's business! Sure the pasta is thicker than you'd get with a machine, but who's complaining when you're making it fresh?!? With friends on the way to pick me up, I found out I could go from ingredients in the cupboards and fridge to steaming, cooked pasta in my bowl in about 20 minutes.

roll it out with a generous dusting of flour so you
can fold it on itself to cut--I like using a pizza cutter

all that flour does make the water foam when it's
cooking--so keep an eye on it! only takes about 3 minutes

mmmmmm . . .