Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner 2015

Our Thanksgiving Meal
Friday, November 27, 2015 




Side Dishes

Dinner Rolls


Sausage Stuffing

Sausage Stuffing
I usually make stuffing with just onions, carrots and celery, but this Thanksgiving I added crumbled sausage. It dramatically boosted the flavour up several notches. No need for butter, since the stuffing was cooked in the drippings from the crumbled sausage. To make your own Stove Top stuffing follow this recipe.

Steamed Balsamic Asparagus Topped with Crumbled Bacon

Asparagus with Crumbled Bacon
Tender asparagus spears, steamed and tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette and garnished with crumbled bacon taste wonderful! Somewhere on the worldwide web I read (and tried) a tip that bacon strips baked between two cookie sheets prevents a mess caused by spattering and keeps the bacon from curling. It worked exactly as promised. I baked the strips of bacon in a 350*F oven for 20 minutes until browned and crisp, then crumbled them.

Baked Baby Potatoes

Baked Baby Potatoes
These little red and yellow potatoes are so delicious baked in their jackets. They were a hit at our Thanksgiving table this year. The yellow potatoes were tossed with olive oil, dried onion bits and dried rosemary and the red potatoes were tossed with olive oil, dried garlic and dried rosemary before roasting. They're added to the baking pan during the last half hour of baking the turkey, so it's one way of heating them up just before dinner.

Microwaving them for 5 minutes in the microwave oven before baking ensures the potatoes are fully cooked. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kid-Friendly Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken
Another successful kid-friendly dinner made its way to the dinner table the other day, when GrandBoy #1 spent the evening with us. 

The Chicken
I used a chicken filling similar to the one I use in Lettuce Wraps.

The Ingredients
The wraps are usually made with minced chicken stir-fried with hoisin and oyster sauce, but since I was catering to a child, the seasonings were toned down somewhat. In place of hoisin sauce (which I didn't have) I used duck sauce and replaced the oyster sauce with plain soya sauce. Not sure if the GrandBoy liked mushrooms so I decided to use frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn and beans) instead.

Needless to say, these moo shu rolls were a big hit with big and small alike!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chicken and Spinach in Coconut Gravy

Chicken & Spinach in Coconut Gravy
Saag Meat is a popular Indian dish, saag being spinach cooked with any kind of meat and a lot of spices. Baby spinach goes very well with chicken and so does coconut milk. Combining these 3 flavours produced a delicious main course for dinner tonight. Keeping the dried red chilies whole provides full flavour of the chilies without adding a lot of heat. In spite of keeping the spices down to a minimum, this chicken dish tasted wholesome, peppery and creamy.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Patla Maacher Jhol - Fish in a Light Sauce

Patla Maacher Jhol
Yesterday, I caught sight of wild-caught Alaskan rockfish for the first time at our local supermarket. It's a meaty fish that requires minimum cooking, similar to cod and halibut. It has no fishy smell and very little flavour of its own and just soaked up all the flavour from the spices I used in this curry.

Patla in Bengali means thin or watery and jhol is gravy. This method of cooking fish produces a curry in which the fish floats in a watery gravy that has minimum amounts of spices and is suitable for a patient who is recovering from an illness such as the flu.

For people who don't like or are allergic to coconut milk, evaporated milk makes a great substitute. To reduce the amount of spicy heat for Hubby, I leftthe green chilies whole and mashed them into my food because I love the heat of green chilies. You can slice the green chilies to make the curry more spicy, if you prefer.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Green Lentils & Carrot Stew

Green Lentil & Carrot Stew

Green & Red Lentils

Green lentils are whole red lentils whose outer skin have been left intact. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K and are particularly rich in dietary fibre, lean protein, folate and iron.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken

Indo-Chinese Chili Chicken
Boneless & skinless chicken thighs, I find, are more moist than chicken breasts and we purchase them in 6 lb. (approx. 3 kg.) packages from our membership club/supermarket.  After washing them and patting dry, they are cut into bite-sized pieces, mixed well with 
4 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. ginger paste
2 Tbsp. garlic paste
2 Tbsp. Kashmiri mirch or paprika
salt to taste
and packed into 4 (1 quart) Ziploc bags. They are then pressed flat and marinated in the freezer until needed. The marinade ingredients are suitable for Indian or Asian styles of cooking. An individual bag can be refrigerated overnight to thaw or, if time is short, placed in a sinkful of tap water for half an hour. The Ziploc bag keeps the water from entering the inside of the bag.

Chili Chicken is a spicy dish that is a crowd-pleasing favourite in Chinese restaurants in India. These Indo-Chinese restaurants are now flourishing overseas and in Toronto, Canada, in particular. Here I provide my take on this popular chicken preparation which I relish any day of the week.