Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marsala Beef

I made a curry dish earlier this month for another challenge I take part in.  I was so intrigued by the recipes I had found for curry dishes that involved using curry leaf.  Unfortunately, small towns don't carry curry leaves.  During a recent trip, I visited some ethnic markets and found my curry leaves! So for the monthly challenge, I am revisiting curry recipes! This was yummy, but I had to adapt the recipe a bit because I was unable to find coconut oil.  What I did worked out great, but next time I would change the type of chili pepper I used to one with a bit more kick to it.

Marsala Beef With Ginger and Curry Leaf
adapted recipe from
3 bay leaves
1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick 
5 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves  (recipe called for 4 but I am not a huge clove fan)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
10 whole black peppercorns
2 pounds cross rib roast, cubed
3 cups chopped onion, divided
2 pasilla peppers,chopped
1 (1 1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated
6 cloves garlic,chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
4 fresh curry leaves
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. To make the masala powder: Grind the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder until mixture is a fine powder. I used a coffee grinder that I set aside for grinding spices only.
2. Place the beef cubes, masala powder, 2 cups chopped onion, green chiles, grated fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric in a large, heavy pot. Add water to cover (about 1 cup) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until beef is cooked through. Add salt. Stir and continue to simmer about 10 minutes or until mixture is almost dry, but do not allow it to burn (add a bit more water, if necessary). Set aside.
3.  Over a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; cook until they begin to pop. Immediately add remaining 1 cup chopped onion and stir over medium heat until onions soften and begin to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add curry leaves and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Add coconut butter ( used the butter found at the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk)
4.Stir in the beef mixture and black pepper,. Cook until heated through. Top with lemon juice just before serving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Recipeas

Thanks to the heat, my CSA share has dropped off dramatically. I am really not all that upset by it. It is nice to have a break, and to not have tomato guts all over my kitchen. Not only that, but I can make whatever I want, without having to include peppers, eggplant, or tomatoes in every recipe. FREEDOM!!! Finally got to make a few more recipes from my copy of Peas and Thank You. These are, well, Americanize Ethic, but I'll go ahead and count them.


The first one was Thai Veggie Burgers. I am having trouble finding a link to the recipe, but no worries, I was actually kind of disappointed in this recipe. I think there were two faults in this. It suggested using veganase as a condiment. Really, it needed a kick ass peanut dressing. Also, it calls for broccoli slaw. I have this thing about broccoli. I like it, but I don't like it in stuff. To me broccoli overwhelms the taste of any other ingredients, and I felt the same here. The good thing about this recipe was the texture. Michelle posted a similar burger but it was more old fashioned savory. If you are looking for a veggie burger this is a good one. Unfortuately, her "husband approved burgers" were consumed by my husband apparently when he was having a bad digestive day and he blamed it on those burgers. No way. They were great!


Next thing was Chipolte Lime Tacos. You marinade tempeh and then cook. I really liked this one. Tempeh is my new thing! You grate the tempeh and then marinade it. YUM!



The kids love the choices of what to top their tacos with. Well, it is usually cheese.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is AWESOME!! Not too many ingredients and not too time intensive, but delicious!! I have never really worked with fillo dough before so that was a bonus! I found a well reviewed recipe HERE!!

This is the honey, sugar, and water that you simmer and pour on after to make it all gooey:)

You have to cut it before you cook it because the flaky fillo dough is soooo delicate.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Club! Might be a stretch...

I read an article on msnbc about how book clubs are less about books these days and more about the wine. Well, that might be true, but we have food too. Another problem that I have is that I have so much produce from my CSA I can afford to make anything that does not have a)tomatoes, b)peppers, or c)eggplant. So I made hummus. Plain old hummus. However, I read a recipe from peas and thank you where your peel the chickpeas before you make your hummus. Ridiculous, right? Never going to happen. Yeah, totally peeled my chickpeas. Took me 15 minutes.


Made it my usual fashion of 1 can chickpeas (peeled), 1 garlic clove (also peeled), 1/2 lemon juiced, some dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. That is greek, right?


Also made stuffed jalapenos. I used a cooking light recipe that I have been eyeing for awhile. These were very tasty! I had scrapped out the seeds and membranes pretty well and they really weren't very hot until you got to close to the stem. Mexican-like?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

So, I was on vacation...

I was on vacation last week and didn't get around to posting a new challenge. Sorry! Wanna do ethnic foods?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Late submissions- watermelon feta salad, sugared figs, and fig jam.

After a busy month and weeks of travel, we settled back into trying to work our way through our CSA share.
I made this watermelon-feta-mint salad. I enjoyed one serving, but then remembered I don't really like watermelon. The recipe called for red wine vinegar. I think I may have preferred balsalmic vinegar.
Our favorite part of summer is blueberry picking. We all love blueberries so much, we've eaten these 8 pounds before I had a chance to make anything with them.

We also came home with a nice stock of figs. Since figs only last a day after picking, I had to think fast.
First, I made sugared figs. You boil the figs for a minute, dip them in sugar and place them on the dehydrator for a few hours.
Remove them when they resemble prunes. Delicious.
The remaining figs were quartered, mixed with a quarter cup of sugar and refrigerated overnight. The sugar helps draw out the figs' juice. I slow-cooked the figs for a few hours.
Then blended it all into a delicious low-sugar jam.
I spent today "putting up" more veggies. I froze squash and peppers, made sauce out of tomatoes and dehydrated more tomatoes. I used my bread maker to make pizza dough and topped it with some of my sauce, the roasted tomatoes, peppers and feta cheese.
I used the remainder of the dough to make monkey bread. I rolled dough balls in cinnamon and sugar. It will make a great breakfast treat.

I substituted whole wheat flour for half the flour in my dough recipe. Generally, it's against my principals to try to make certain foods healthier. For example, pizza, fast food, ice cream, and cheese. My theory is that I eat healthy most of the time so that I can enjoy my favorite unhealthy foods in their true forms- not that dry, cardboard fat-free cheese they sell.

The whole wheat pizza crust was surprisingly good. It didn't compare with my favorite pizza joints, but two pieces did fill me up.