Quickie Dinner and a Movie

December 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm (Good Eats & Drinks) (, , )

It’s officially the holidays.  Making up lists and checking them twice.  I give presents for naughty, rather than nice.  But that’s not a surprise it it?

It’s a busy time of year, and when it gets busy I get lazy on preparing my own food…it’s sooooo much easier to grab something on the go or order take-out.  But, since I am trying to eat healthily this week I made a super-quick dinner that included salmon and broccoli rabe.  Doesn’t get much healthier, right?  And I need something quick because I had a movie date at 8:15 to see Rachel Getting Married (which by the way is EXTREMELY dark and filled me with anxiety…in a good movie kind of way…highly recommended!)

For Salmon:  Mix together mayo, Dijon mustard, dashes hot pepper sauce, chopped garlic, chopped chives, and chopped tarragon.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Place salmon in a baking dish skin down and cover with mayo mixture.  Drizzle with a little honey.  Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes.

For Broccoli Rabe:  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add broccoli rabe to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and then cool.  While cooling, in a skillet melt butter, then add 2 cloves chopped garlic and a handful of chopped walnuts.  Cook over medium high heat until butter is browned.  Add broccoli rabe to skillet and cook for and additional 5-8 minutes. 

Serve salmon and broccoli together.  Winner, winner deliciously quick dinner!

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Winner, Winner Indian Chicken Korma Dinner

November 12, 2008 at 7:49 am (Good Eats & Drinks, Napa Valley) (, )

I was cold.  I was tired from a 10-hour work day.  I wanted a home-cooked meal.  Requirements – it needed to be fast and tasty.  Lucky for me I had a recipe stashed away just for an evening like this from my friends at loulies.com Quick Indian Chicken Korma.  It only took me an hour and 20 minutes, and this included a much needed stop at Sunshine Market.  Pretty quick for a store stop and braising a stew.  And, it really was delicious!

Warning:  This recipe calls for a random assortment of spices that might not be in everyone’s pantry/spice cupboard.  Since I cook a lot of Indian, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, etc. I already had these ready to go!  If you don’t have these spices in the pantry and are on a budget be aware…this could be an expensive dish to throw together!

For those of you who want a little history:
Braising (korma)is an important technique in Moghul cooking, the process of braising is very similar to the Western method, with one difference – the braising liquid used in korma is much thicker (it includes yogurt, cream and/or fruit and nut butters).  It yields a rich, velvety sauce that heavily coats the meats and vegetables.  Serve with basmati rice.

Quick Indian Chicken Korma
Serves 6

1 1/2″ pieced fresh ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 medium onion
1 t ground cardamom
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1 large can of tomatoes, chopped
3 # skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t kosher salt
6 T heavy whipping cream

1.  Chop ginger and garlic into chunks.  Add to a blender with 1/4 C water and blend to a smooth paste.
2.  Heat oil in a large frying pan on high heat.  When it is very hot add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds.  Stir a couple of times and add onion.  Cook until onion softens.  Add garlic and ginger paste from blender, and then add ground cardamom, coriander, and cumin. 
3.  Add tomatoes, and chicken, salt and cayenne pepper.  Give a stir and then add 1 1/2 C water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, turn the heat to medium and let cook for about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Remove the cover and add cream.  Cook on high heat for another 5-8 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

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