Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Carrot Cake

Variation on All's Carrot Cake, based on ingredients in my pantry/fridge and slight variation of method... Makes one 9X13 pan (about 20 pieces)

3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
3-4 large carrots, grated
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 to 2 cups crushed pineapple (I added 8 ounces, and up to 16 ounces with no problems)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9X13" pan.

In a bowl combine milk and vinegar.  Allow the milk to curdle (it will take just a minute).  Beat the eggs in a small bowl then add to milk mixture along with vanilla, oil and sugar.  Stir until just combined.  Add carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple.

In another bowl thoroughly mix together: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, raisins, dates.  When well combined, add to the milk mixture and stir until just combined. 

Transfer to 9X13 inch pan. 

Bake at 350 for about 60-70 minutes.

Frosting: Bring about 6 ounces of cream cheese to room temperature.  Beat until fluffy, then stir in about a 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or, to desired sweetness).  Spread over cooled carrot cake.

French Baguettes

Variation of All French Baguette recipe.  Makes 2 12-inch loaves.

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar.  Let stand 5 minutes.  

Stir in salt and add flour little by little until dough is firm enough to knead.  Knead for 5-10 minutes, adding flour as necessary - goal is for a soft dough.  Cover, leave in a warm place and let rise until doubled. (1 hour)

Lightly grease a cookie sheet.  Punch down the dough, divide into two portions.  Roll the dough into an oblong, then roll until a log shape.  Pinch the ends together to seal it.  Make a slits diagonally across the loaf with a knife.  Repeat with the second portion of dough.  Cover the loaves and allow to rise for about a half hour. Preheat oven to 375.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until loaves are golden brown.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chicken Kurma

2.5 lbs chicken thighs, chopped in small pieces
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon pure red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 small piece cinnamon stick
1 star anise seed
2 onions, finely chopped
4 roma tomatoes, pureed
2 green chiles, sliced lengthwise
1/2" piece ginger
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated coconut
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons cashews (raw)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)

Combine: chicken, turmeric, chili, garam masala, black pepper, salt and yogurt in bowl.  Set aside to marinate.

Heat oil in a large pot or pressure cooker.  Splutter the whole spices (cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise) for about 30 seconds, then add onions and green chiles. Saute until well cooked (golden brown in color).  Meanwhile, make a puree of the ginger and garlic, and add to onion mixture and saute for a couple minutes.  Add tomato puree and saute until well cooked and liquid evaporates.

Add to this the marinated chicken, cover and simmer until chicken is almost done. (If pressure cooking, 2 to 3 whistles.) 

Meanwhile, soak the cashews and poppy seeds in a little water.  Then combine with coconut and fennel seeds and puree.  When chicken is done, stir this into chicken mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.  Last, stir in coconut milk, bring to a boil, switch off heat and stir in cilantro. 

Serve with: rice, idli, parotta...