Saturday, February 13, 2010

i love carbs

You know what else I love? Sun light before dinner! Hooray for Winter slowly disappearing! I can finally take some decent pictures of dinner again, it's a miracle!

I guess I've had quite a kitchen day today. Today I was complaining to Blake that I haven't tried a new recipe (other than bread) in a really long time, and I was getting sick of our usuals. To which of course he way-too-kindly responded that he'd never get sick of them. Probably untrue, but it sure is nice to have someone appreciate dinner every single night. Well, I was perusing some of my favorite food blogs, like I always do when I'm bored, and came across this and thought I'd better try it. I didn't use the olive oil since she mentions that authentic cacio e pepe is simple pasta, pasta water, Pecorino Romano cheese, and freshly ground pepper. I did use the butter, though. Butter makes everything better:) And I'm still pregnant and grumpy about it, so I deserve some butter!

Anyway, I think this is going to make it's way into our usual rotation. But maybe next time I'll serve it with some veggies and some kind of delicious protein so I don't feel like I'm totally overloaded on carbs ... as you can imagine I am today.
And p.s. if you've never visited smitten kitchen before, you ought to. She's totally one of my food blogger idols. The true definition of a foodie. She puts me to shame.

just another bread

Yup! Another bread from that book. This is the crusty white sandwich bread, and it might be my new favorite because it's SO simple! And it crackles when you pull it out of the oven! And after baking 2 loaves of brioche and 2 loaves of this crusty white bread (I've been in a carb crazy mood ... that and I'm hoping I'll be gone for a couple of days while my cute friend Deanna comes to visit and watch my girl for me, so I wanted our kitchen to be prepared for her), my house smells amazing! I love bread.

"qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

Apparently that's a quote from Marie Anoinette saying "Let them have brioche".

I've been so into baking these days, thanks to my Christmas gift from my in-laws, and I finally ventured out of the standard boule recipe and made brioche this morning. And it was heaven. There was a huge crack down the middle that I'm planning on working on, but other than that, it was PERFECT! And so simple! Who knew such a rich, decadent bread could be so easy? Seriously, people, you need to go out and get this book!

If you've never had brioche, go out to a fancy bakery and buy some. And then come home and try to recreate it with this recipe. You won't be disappointed. These people are geniuses!
I know it looks like a lemon pound cake or something in this picture, but the flavors are so much more complex than that! And it's not cakey. Ahhhh, brioche! I just want to squeal knowing I can have brioche almost whenever I want now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

last minute

I have to admit, I may have been a little ahead of myself last weekend because I was hoping this baby would be born by now ... which means I didn't do a whole lot of grocery shopping. Just the minimal stuff here and there, and then I figured we'd be eating out of our freezer (which is really well stocked) and people from church (bless their souls!) would be feeding us most dinners. But, alas, she's not born yet, and I've been scraping by with the minimal ingredients we have. I'm too stubborn to go out and get more stuff, so I've had to improvise a lot. Well, tonight was no different. Except somehow I had a lot of ingredients for one of my favorites, my mom's Butter Chicken curry. Of course I was missing a lot of stuff, too, so I had to make it up as I went, and I was actually really pleased. I added a ton of heat in hopes that I'll go into labor;) And these measurements are just approximations because I threw stuff in. So make adjustments as you like.

My last minute Tikka Masala, or Butter Chicken Curry
Serves 6
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can coconut milk (my uses heavy cream, which is delicious, too)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 bay leaves
1.5 t cayenne pepper (give or take, depending on how hot you want it)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 t paprika
1 T cumin
1 T curry powder
2 t fenugreek seeds
1 t ground coriander
1 T fresh grated ginger
3~5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2~4 T butter (or more, if you're feeling extra heavy. mmmm)

rice, to serve
  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, season lightly with salt, and stir until softened. Add bay leaves, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, curry powder, fenugreek, coriander, ginger, and garlic. Stir until onions are evenly coated and the spices become very fragrant.
  2. Add chicken and tomatoes. Let simmer on medium with lid on until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Add coconut milk, and let simmer until slightly thickened. Serve over rice or with naan. (which I think I'm going to attempt soon-ish. Just you wait!)
*fresh cilantro is a great addition to this, too. I love the color is adds, and of course the amazing flavor! You can also add toasted nuts such as cashews or sliced almonds, and even some toasted coconut would be great. Have fun experimenting!