Posts Tagged ‘cooking’


Garam Masala, Curry and Curry Chickpea Stew

   Posted by: anj68    in Food, recipe, Uncategorized

This is the recipe that was featured on my Facebook fan page.

Garam Masala

Cinnamon sticks, broken into smaller pieces
Caradamom pods (green, black, or brown)
Ginger, dried and cracked
Coriander seeds
Techillacherry black peppercorns
Cumin seeds
Dried chili peppers (do not use powder)

Heat up a cast iron skillet so that it is quite hot and add the spices in order to dry roast them together. I recommend adding each spice a teaspoon at a time.  It will make more than you need, but you can save small quantities to use later.  Don’t over make the spice, as its potency will wear off over time.Curry Chickpea Stew

Once the chili peppers are brown, remove the spice mixture off of the heat and add them to the mortar and pestle to begin breaking the spices down for easier grinding.  Once broken down, you can continue grinding them in the mortar and pestle, or you may use a spice or coffee grinder to combine the spices into a finer blend.

Once ground up, the garam masala may be moved into a storage jar for future use.  Our side of the recipe below, garam masala may be added to fish, lamb, chicken, or beef, and may be used to accent saffron rice, orzo, or risotto.

Curry Spice Blend Recipe

Mustard seeds
Turmeric powder
Garam masala (see the above recipe or use store bought)
Garlic powder (course),
Ginger, dried and cracked (preferred)
Cumin seeds

Heat up a cast iron skillet so that it is quite hot and add the spices in a particular order (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT). I recommend adding each spice a teaspoon at a time.  It will make more than you need, but you can save small quantities to use later.  Don’t over make the spice, as its potency will wear off over time.  First, add the mustard seeds.  When they begin to pop, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ginger, and garlic.  It’s important to use dried garlic and ginger as it will minimize the scalding of the spices.

Once toasted, remove from the heat and grind together.  Once ground add a teaspoon of the garam masala and 2 teaspoons of the tumeric and stir together with a wooden spoon.  Your curry spice blend is complete.  

Curry Chickpea Stew
(follow the recipe as is)

1 tsp sea salt
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium red potatoes, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander, ground
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, dried and cracked (preferred) ground is also acceptable
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 medium carrots, julienne
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of water
Optional items: potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, yams, fresh chili peppers, etc.

In a cast iron pot, begin heating the oil. Avoid using an aluminum pan, when making this dish as the pot’s metal will detract from the flavors of this dish.

Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to begin popping.  Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, onions, any additional items (see the optional list above), potatoes, and the chickpeas and begin to stir the items lightly.  While cooking the chickpeas and vegetables, combine the whole spices in a separate bowl and blend together.

After cooking the vegetables and chickpeas for two minutes, slowly add the spice mixture to the pot and stir occasionally to mix everything together.  Cook for 4 more minutes and then increase the heat to a medium-high level.  Add the cup of water and continue to cook until the carrots and potatoes are soft.  Remove the pot from the heat and cover the stew. Let the vegetables and chickpeas absorb the flavors of the curry for 10 minutes,  Garnish with the green onions before serving.

Serves 2 main dishes, or four side dishes


Tags: , , ,


Deconstructed Lamb Stew

   Posted by: anj68    in Gluten Free, recipe

Those that have been following me on Facebook know that I am watching what I eat and increasing my exercise levels, in hopes to lose some excess weight.  I have been rather successful, but the hardest part is to eat in moderation.  I love good food and I enjoy it immensely.  I know that I don’t have to eat like a rabbit to lose  weight.  Below is one the recipes I developed this past weekend that was very delicious and I plan on making it again. 

1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 green onions, diced
1/2 lb ground lamb
1 cup of chopped Chinese pea pods
4 Brussels sprouts with the core removed and quartered
4 red potatoes, thinly sliced 
1/4 tsp of dried rosemary
1/8 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of granulated garlic
1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash Onion and Garlic

Makes 2 servings. Each serving has a protein, a starch, and two vegetables. Enjoy

Add one tsp of olive oil to a sauté pan. Mince one shallot and 2 green onions and begin to saute together.

After 2 minutes, crumble the 1/2 lb ground lamb into the pan and cook for two minutes. Add 1 cup of chopped Chinese pea pods, 4 Brussels sprouts and 4 thinly sliced red potatoes.

Continue to sauté for four more minutes. Add 1/4 tsp of dried rosemary, 1/8 tsp of fresh ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic. Continue to sauté until the lamb is fully cooked and potatoes are tender. Makes 2 servings.

Each serving has a protein, a starch, and two vegetables. Enjoy!

Tags: , , ,


Irish Soda Bread with Stew

   Posted by: anj68    in recipe, Uncategorized

This past weekend (September 29-30) was an Irish themed weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  We made several dishes including a Chicken with Whiskey Cream Sauce and Caramel Whiskey Carrots.

Irish stew with soda bread. Made September 29, 2012.

Irish Stew
1 lbs of lamb or beef stew meat
4 tbsp oil or butter (we used bacon fat for our demonstrations)
1/8 cup of flour (for a gluten free option, use potato flour)
1 sweet potato, 1” cubes
1 lbs red potatoes, 1” cubes
1/2 lbs of carrots, 1” pieces
1/2 lbs green beans (optional), halved
1/4 lbs onions or leeks, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp. Thyme
Kosher salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)Make sure the stew meat is cut up into 1” cubes. Preheat oil or butter in soup pot. As it heats, coat the meat with flour until browned. Once browned, add enough water to cover the meat, bring stew to simmer for 45 minutes.While cooking, cut up vegetables. After the meat has cooked for 45 minutes, add the vegetables, spices and herbs. Add more water if needed (should only cover the stew). Continue to cook until vegetables are fork tender. Stew should have a think consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stew rest off of heat for 15 minutes prior to serving. Serves 3 – 4 people.SODA BREAD
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Tags: , ,


Wood-Fired Pizzas

   Posted by: anj68    in Dairy Free, recipe, Vegetarian

This past weekend was the opening weekend for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  It was the Italian Carnivale themed weekend and we broke-in our new wood fired oven discussing the history of pizza and how it developed as well as demonstrated how to make pizza from scratch.  Many of those who attended the lectures requested the recipe for the pizza dough and I said I would comply.

Below is the recipe that my assistant Olaf provided.  It is very easy to do and use and made a very tasty pizza.  This is a pizza dough recipe that worked in our wood fired oven, but it is tailored for a standard oven.  Beneath this recipe is a pizza dough recipe ideal for wood fired ovens.

A pizza created by Alice the Cook and her assistants. August 18, 2012

Pizza dough (yields two 14” pizzas)
4 cups of flour (extra for rolling out)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
¼ cup oil (we used olive oil)
1 oz of yeast
½ cup warm water

Place the flour in a bowl and mix the water and yeast together in a separate cup.  Once done, add the sugar to the yeast water (this will feed the yeast).  Pour the yeasted water to the flour and begin to mix.  Add the oil and the salt to the dough.  The dough should be somewhat sticky, but not too much.  If it is very sticky, add more flour.  Knead the dough and prep it for rising.

To raise the dough, do not roll it into a ball. Press down on the dough and have the loose ends tucked under the dough and place the tucked side down.  You can place the dough in a bowl and set aside for a couple of hours at room temperature to rise.  After a couple of hours, separate the dough as needed (we made smaller 5-6” pizzas).  Use your hands to flatten out and place your desired toppings on the dough to cook.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,


Recipe for Romance

   Posted by: anj68    in Gluten Free, history, recipe

The tales of love and romance are not a modern one. The earliest tales of romantic work can be traced to the Acritic songs from the Byzantium Empire. These songs were introduced to the French and Italian knights during the occupation after the 4th crusade and influenced their songs and stories. Similar traditions existed in Northern Europe and were in the form of great epic sagas and took place in exotic locations, usually having mythological elements and dangerous quests.

The earliest medieval romances dealt heavily with themes from folklore, which diminished over time. During the early 13th century romances were increasingly written as prose.  As these romances gained popular favor, clerical critics of the late middle ages thought that romances were harmful worldly distractions from more religious or moral works.  By the 17th century, many secular readers would agree with the religious leaders, as they felt romantic stories were trite and childish.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: