Saturday, January 22, 2011

I heart Indian Food!

A while ago I found a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala, one of my favorite dishes to get at Indian restaurants. It was definitely up there as the next thing I wanted to make as soon as we had chicken on hand.
A couple of days ago I got pretty pumped when I realized we had chicken and all the ingredients on hand to make it! I followed the recipe exactly except I used diced tomatoes instead of crushed (thought the recipe called for diced! woops) only 2 tablespoons or oil in the sauce, and milk instead of heavy cream. I think that since I used diced tomatoes instead of crushed and just milk instead of cream the sauce turned out a little watery and didn't quite turn out like the chicken tikka masala I'm used to. Even if this wasn't chicken tikka masala, it was darn tasty! Everything was so full of flavor! I didn't take that many pictures, but you can see some great pictures at this link.
I served the chicken along with my absolute most favorite green bean recipe ever. Green Bean Masala. We had double the amount of green beans so I just doubled the recipe, and trust me you're going to want leftovers.
Here's the recipe- 
Green Bean Masala
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil (I used 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (I used 1/2 cup light coconut milk)
  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1)Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish. (I've found that I like to just toast the almonds in the oil but keep them in the pan when adding the onion and spices)  
2)Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes.
3)Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes. (mine usually take a lot longer to cook, but it all depends on the size you cut your green beans.)4)Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. If desired, serve accompanied by plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.  
The super spicy, coconutty sauce that goes with these green beans is out of this world. If I could choose one thing to eat the rest of my life it would be these green beans and this sauce. And don't leave out the almonds! They make the dish. You can see some great pictures at this link or the original recipe's link.
I think I might use the leftover coconut milk to make more of this sauce so I can dip veggies into it!
 I served the chicken and green beans with instant brown rice-
Both of these recipes yield super spicy, bursting with flavor foods; I was in major need of a tissue after eating this meal!
Have you ever heard of a plumello?
It's a super thick skinned citrus fruit that is similar to grapefruit but less bitter. They are super big when you see them in the grocery store, but once you peel them they are half their original size! The skin/pith has got to be more than half an inch thick.
I peeled one this morning and just wanted to show y'all how much of it is just the skin.
You kind of have to attack it with a knife if you want to have any chance of getting to the inside, but its worth the effort!

After my breakfast I got to work on, you guess it, more bread. I was inspired to use this whole wheat nut and seed loaf when I saw it on Allie's blog. She's been a bread baking machine just like me. I swear, once you get hit with the bread bug you can't stop! She said it was her favorite bread she has made yet, and it had great reviews on the KAF website, so I had to give it a try! The only changes I made was use almonds instead of walnuts because we didn't have any walnuts on hand. I poured the 3 tablespoons of oil required from the recipe into a small saucepan and toasted the almonds in the oil to give them extra flavor. Just make sure you cool the almond/oil mixture before you add it to your yeast mixture! It didn't occur to me that a loaf of bread that requires 4 cups of flour might be a little too big for my small loaf pan until the bread nearly exploded out of the pan. I had left the bread to rise as I went grocery shopping and Costco shopping. It said to let rise for 2 hours, so I figured I had time. I came home right at the 2 hour mark and checked on my loaf. WOW I thought it was going to burst any second! I carefully removed it from the oven where it had been rising and took a picture.
It's hard to tell just how much this guy has risen until you compare it to this picture back from when I made my other sandwich loaf.
And I thought that was big! Look at the difference!
After 40 minutes in the oven the bread was ready for another photo shoot.
I brushed it with an egg wash to give it a nice shine. I didn't want to put the egg wash on pre-oven because I thought the bread might deflate.
The residual heat from the bread cooks the egg anyways, so there's no need to worry about raw eggs.
Outta the pan!
This guy is HUGE! Next time I make it, I will 3/4 the recipe so it doesn't get so lop-sided and crazy. I was so excited to cut into this one!
Awh, it so cute and abnormal :D
Ah, much better (after a couple of slices were taken).
This bread was perfectly fluffy and I loved the sweetness. I can't wait till I can make this again, but with less dough so it doesn't overflow! This officially trumps my other favorite sandwich bread as my new fave!! It will definitely be my go-to bread recipe for now on. The great thing is that you can switch up the add-ins. Instead of 1/2 cup of walnuts and sunflower seeds you could do 1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup 7-grain hot cereal..experiment! 
Just take a look of this fluff-
Spread with homemade peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut butter.
I've convinced my dad to make his famous Santa Fe french toast out of this loaf tomorrow for breakfast. He takes huge slices of bread, pan fries them, then bakes them. I've also convinced him to try making it healthier by using whole wheat bread (instead of his homemade white bread) and milk (instead of half and half). He's always up for trying healthier methods so he was all game! Gotta love that (:
Get excited!

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