Category Archives: indian

Quick weeknight meal: green coconut curry

Being unwell and a parent is like an uphill battle sometimes. You still have to get food on the table whether you feel like roses or crap. On my really down days, I’ve been known to order a pizza or three. But sometimes I can muster up the strength to make something healthy and tasty in a relatively short amount of time.

This green curry recipe is adapted from one I found in Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve made it three times in the past month and have added my own flair to it. The problem is, I don’t remember what that flair is, which is why I’m sharing it here.

It’s quick, flavorful and has vegetable(s) in it! A winner in my recipe book.

Quick meal: green coconut curry with tofu, chicken & peas | a tasty weeknight meal from Alaskaknitnat.com

Green coconut curry with tofu, chicken and peas

Serves 4

Marinade ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper

For the curry:

  • 6 chicken tenders (about a pound)
  • 1 brick of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can of coconut milk (found in the Asian cooking aisle)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 lime

Directions:

Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc. Add the chicken. I marinate the chicken tenders the night before when they are still frozen so they are thawed and marinated the next evening, but if you have time, marinate for an hour before cooking.

Start on the rice as you prepare the rest of the meal.

Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil to a large nonstick pan over high heat. When oil is hot add the tofu cubes and brown them on as many sides as you have patience for. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Cook the chicken in the same pan, browning on both sides. Set aside.

Pour out the remaining oil and wipe out pan with a paper towel. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce and sugar and whisk till combined. Add the frozen peas and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low until peas are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the curry sauce with the tofu.

Serve over jasmine rice with a squeeze of lime juice.

Harvesting Anchorage: Rose and rhubarb cookies (and a Rose Collins)

As part of my personal challenge to forage at least one edible plant a month this summer in Anchorage, I decided to revisit wild rose petals. Several years back I collected these perfectly pink petals and made a just-OK jelly out of them. Thing is, I don’t eat jelly. I’m not a toast and jam kind of gal, I guess.

This time I opted to make rose petal syrup. It was easy to prepare and resulted in a gorgeous pink concoction that tasted as good as roses smell.

Harvesting Anchorage: Wild Rose and Rhubarb Cookies | A recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com
You can find wild roses just about everywhere in Anchorage in June. This bush is on the on-ramp to the Seward Highway.

Harvesting Anchorage: Wild Rose and Rhubarb Cookies | A recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

The wild roses are in full bloom here in Anchorage and it’s hard not to find them. I picked petals on the side of the highway, on my street and in my back yard. They have been in bloom since the first week of June and will probably be around for another week before they fade, fall and begin to turn into rose hips (and that’s another foraging adventure!)

Rose Petal Syrup 

Harvesting Anchorage: Wild Rose and Rhubarb Cookies | A recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

To make one bottle of syrup I collected about 2 gently packed cups of petals. Be ready to encounter some caterpillars, bugs and spiders (I lost about a cup of petals when I spotted an arachnid creeping around my collecting jar).

Harvesting Anchorage: Wild Rose and Rhubarb Cookies | A recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

I followed this recipe from Nitha Kitchen to make the syrup.

Continue reading Harvesting Anchorage: Rose and rhubarb cookies (and a Rose Collins)

Homemade Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer, an Indian spinach dish with fresh cow cheese, is one of my favorite foreign dishes. It’s creamy and spiceful (as opposed to spicy) and it’s got my favorite food — cheese!

My friend Mat loves to cook. Sometimes he lets me eat his delicious meals. Tonight we made this traditional Indian dish and it was fantastic. The cheese is surprisingly easy to make. I’ll provide the recipe. I’ll have to ask Mat to give me his recipe for the saag, but from what I watched him add, it seems pretty similar to this recipe by Tyler Florence, although Mat omitted butter and regretted it. :o( So below is a conglomeration of both paneer recipes.

Homemade Paneer 
Saag Paneer with Basmati Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Paneer:
1 gallon of whole milk
3 Tbs. salt
juice of 1 lemon
up to 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
Cheesecloth

For the Saag:
2 tbs. butter
2 packages of frozen chopped spinach
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 cup cream
2 teaspoons garam masala, or curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt to taste
3 cups basmati rice

Directions:
Pour all of the milk into a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the salt. While the milk heats up, skim off any large amounts of foam (otherwise you won’t be able to tell if it starts boiling). Meanwhile, thaw out the spinach and squeeze out some of the liquid. Set aside. Place a large piece of cheesecloth in a colander.

When the milk starts coming to a simmer, turn down the heat and add the lemon, stirring constantly. If it doesn’t start to curdle in the next 30 seconds, add a swig of vinegar. Small curds should start developing rapidly. If the milk is still clear of curds, add another swig of vinegar. When you see lots of curds, it’s time to drain the milk into the cheesecloth. Let the liquid filter out and loosely gather up the edges of the cheesecloth so none of the curds escape. Do not squeeze the curds or the cheesecloth will stick to it and you won’t get as much cheese. Just let it rest for about 10 minutes. When it’s slightly cool, place the cheesecloth between two rimmed baking sheets and place a couple of cans of soup on top to weigh it down. Just leave it there till you’re ready to prepare the dish.

Prepare the rice according to the bag’s directions.

For the saag, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute a couple of minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and cook till onions are translucent. Sprinkle in the garam masala and cinnamon and cook about one minute. Add the spinach and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the cream. Give it a good stir and transfer to a blender. Blend till blended. Ha!

Cube up the cheese and add it to the pan, browning slightly on all sides. Return the saag to the pan. Serve over basmati rice.