Saturday, August 31, 2013

Burmese Eggplant Skin Cooked with Dried Anchovies

I concocted this dish one day when my husband brought home 4 huge eggplants from the market. I decided on 3 different preparations of eggplant, a salad, stir-fried eggplant & potatoes with lots of onions & tomatoes, and begun bhaja or pan-fried eggplant. In a hurry to get the cooking done, I thought the stir-fried dish would cook faster if I peeled the 2 eggplants, but I didn't want to throw the peels away and came up with this delicious dish. The peels were full of texture and so tasty when cooked with the anchovies.

Stir-Fried Spinach with Potatoes & Eggplant

Chicken Keema Mattar - Ground Chicken with Peas and Potatoes

There are so many ways to prepare keema curry, but this one is really delicious because of the addition of Shan Pulao/Biryani mix, which is available in Indian grocery stores throughout the United States & Canada.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Shukto - Bitter Melon with a Melange of Vegetables in Mustard & Poppy Seed Sauce

Ilish Maacher Jhaal - Hilsa Cooked in Mustard & White Poppy Seed Sauce

Ilish, or Hilsa as it is known in English, is a Bengali delicasy. 

The spawning habits of this fish reminds me of the salmon runs in Alaska. In the city where I live in Michigan, USA, Bangladeshi & South Indian grocery stores stock flash frozen Hilsa. In Bengal, India, this fish is always eaten fresh, never frozen. 

Hilsa is notorious for its bones, so it definitely is an acquired taste. My Father would soak this fish overnight, bones and all, in vinegar and salt and roast it the next day in the oven. The resulting aroma and melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness is something I will never forget. The vinegar works overnight to melt the bones, so every part of the fish is edible.

This preparation with a mustard/poppy seed sauce is the typical way this fish is cooked in the Bengali kitchen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homemade Ghee or Clarified Butter

8 oz. Ghee

Each little bottle of ghee that I buy from the local Indian grocery store lasts about a month because I use it only for garnishing. The 8 oz. bottle costs $5.00 or thereabouts which is not too bad a price. However, several friends have said they make their own ghee at home, so I thought I'd experiment with it since I had used up the last bottle and didn't want to waste time going to the store.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Today being Thursday, is GrandBoy’s day. GrandBoy #2 who is 5 years old, will be visiting us and preparing something appealing for him is a big concern. I thought of individual chicken pot pies, but the thought of fiddling with puff pastry and individual bowls of stuff was pretty daunting. Here is the result of simplifying the entire process – a casserole of chicken pot pie ingredients topped with cracker crumbs.  Hope he likes it!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Burmese Roasted Eggplant Salad - Khayan Thee Pope Thoke

Burmese Begoon Pora
For all you eggplant lovers out there, here is a quick and easy hand-mixed salad, ideal for a hot summer day. It is perfect served as part of a Burmese meal with Basmati rice or as a starter with pita triangles.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Burmese Fried Peanuts - Myay Bae Kyaw

Myay Bae Kyaw
(Pronunciation: MmmYay Bare Jaw)
Here is a vegan/vegetarian snack that is very quick & easy to prepare and is always a hit with guests. We’re fortunate that deep fried onions & garlic are available at the local Oriental grocery store. I also used already roasted, unsalted peanuts, white sesame seeds & chili flakes so it took me just a couple of minutes to toss everything together in a bowl and serve.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Orange Cranberry Amish Friendship Bread

Orange Cranberry Bread
Each cup of starter batter makes 2 loaves of friendship bread. One loaf is wrapped and ready for presenting to the family across the street and the other loaf was shared with friends who dropped by for coffee & dessert this evening.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chicken Curry with Potatoes in an Onion and Tomato Gravy

Chicken Do Piaza
Can you believe chicken with just a few ingredients can be so delectable? The main ingredients in this dish are chicken, potatoes, onion and tomato paste. I like using boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this dish, but use your choice of chicken pieces. Bone-in chicken thighs & legs work well too. 'Do Piaza' means 'onion two ways' which refers to the puréed onions used in the beginning of the cooking process and the fried onions that are added at the end as a garnish. If time is an issue, instead of blanching the onion and blending with ginger and garlic, the onion could be finely diced and the ginger & garlic grated, then mixed together with the tomato paste.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Beefy Shanghai Noodles

Thursdays are GrandBoys' Day. Today Reid, GrandBoy #3, will be spending the evening with us and we'll be having these noodles, accompanied by chicken & vegetable dumplings. Well (huge sigh!), he wanted no part of it, so we went to The Friar's Kitchen & Bakery where he had Mac 'n Cheese!!!

Thin slices of beef tenderloin marinated in soy and hoisin sauces, stir-fried with green beans, soy beans, red pepper and water chestnuts & tossed with thick, fresh egg noodles.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato And Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

The inspiration piece at the link above is a healthy recipe. I made a few changes to pump up the flavour with the addition of fajita chicken strips and red pepper flakes. My recipe is much simpler and more straightforward because I've made use of several pre-cooked, ready-made products such as fajita chicken strips and diced potatoes which cut down the baking time by more than half. Before I added the sour cream to the casserole, it looked kind of dry. The outcome of this entire experiment could not have been more successful. It is delicious!