Monday, August 29, 2011

Easy Eggplant Curry

Pin It Now!

IMG_6780_edited

 

I love Curry. But for the longest time I thought you boiled it in a big stew pot and that was the only way that it was done. My mom didn’t have any curry dishes in her rotation, which didn’t bother me too much because a lot of things she did make were really delicious, such as her scallop potatoes.. which I must blog about soon, and her farine pie.. that I will be blogging about as well.  When I visited a few households I would always see a big ole pot of curry chicken. This led me to believe that that was the only way to curry anything.

As I began to crave the taste for curry more and more I wanted to learn how to make it for myself. I tried a few different ways and it was just so so to me. I even tried those premix curry paste cubes sold in the grocery store.  Don’t get me wrong.. those are good and so quick and tasty. But I wanted to know how to do it from scratch!

My mother in law was visiting and took me to a Caribbean store on the other side of Atlanta. I picked up some soy, some coconut candy, a box of Sorrel Ginger tea for the hubby and some graham marsala. She pointed out to me the curry powder she uses for her dishes. Her curry dishes are delicious and full of flavor. I long to make curry as good as she does.  I had to start somewhere, so I picked up the brand she showed me which was Lalah’s.

Its simple to use and you can make a curry paste out of it if you don’t want to use it dry. The amount of the ingredients depend on the recipe you are using.. but in some case I eyeball it. I love curry and a little goes a long way but I always tend to use more then needed.

The most important thing about curry is sautéing the mix prior to adding your meat. That 1 minute of browning the fragrant spice in the frying pan makes a huge difference.  In making the eggplant curry, I heated my butter in the pan and added sliced onions. I fried the onions until they were light brown in color and then added 2 tbsp of curry. I also like to add graham marsala with my curry but this is not at all necessary. I bought it and wanted an excuse to use it! I stirred it for about a minute…until I smelled the flavors and the curry mixture turned a light brown. Don't over cook it and keep and eye on it as it browns quickly! Then I added my chopped eggplant and sautéed for a few minutes. I added some water, just enough to get the consistency that I wanted for the sauce. Remember this will thicken as it cooks. I let the Eggplant Curry stew for about 20 minutes.. on low heat until it was ready to eat!

You can eat alone, or over roti or naan bread.  I like it with peas and rice, or red beans and rice or just plain white rice.

At this time this is my curry method of choice. But I will be trying a ton of recipes of the Lalah's website. I am getting more confident with making it and can’t wait to try different meats and vegetables! By far this is the best curry seasoning I have had.  A pound container last a long time and the price is right for $4.70.

Feel free to let me know how you do your curry and what you like to add it with!

 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Salmon in a can.

Pin It Now!

For a long time I only made lentil burgers. The reason is being new at whole “hubby is a pescatarian” thing I wasn’t comfortable or knowledgeable about making any other burger but beef or lentils.

Now with portabella burgers, chickpea burgers, and veggie burgers being very popular I decided to jump out of the lentil box.

I make a great Codfish Cake and enjoy it being placed in between a Hot Cross Bun never realizing that it is a version of a fish burger because the word “cake” is embedded in my brain.

So then comes the salmon burger. It sounded interesting enough because we love salmon. Salmon in a can not so much. But was I willing to try that? Okay, yeah….why not.  It is Friday and cooking in this house on a Friday night is a little bit unheard of. So canned salmon it is. Opening the canned salmon didn’t make me go running to the nearest pizza or Chinese restaurant…our usual boring first choices for a Friday night. It kept me interested enough to see what it would be like seasoned and fried. Frying has to make all things taste good. Right? And anything called burgers usually do.. like lentils. :)

IMG_6800

Lemon makes things taste great too. Three things such as frying and lemon and fish… a recipe for tempting my tummy.  And it did. This Lemon Salmon Burger was every bit of yummy. The basil, parsley and onion addition helped the burger to pop and it really makes you forget you got the salmon out of a can.

I served the burgers with brown rice and sautéed spinach. A very healthy clean meal. But I am sure these burgers would taste just as good between a bun and slathered with sauce.

You can find the recipe here at  Allrecipes.com and do try the sauce that is posted with the recipe. I did and it was perfect!

 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brown Sugar Cupcakes for Josie

Pin It Now!

 

Delicious moist Brown Sugar cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream swirled on top and a sweet raspberry for decor along with sugar flowers and dragees. This makes for an elegant delicate subtle treat that can pack a light sweet punch even at a virtual baby shower. Yes.. a virtual baby shower.

Brown Sugar bear1

Anybody who knows me has heard me mention the name Josie. My friend Josie has a great blog called Pink Parsley. I have referred many a friend in Bermuda to her blog.  Some of whom have emailed me pictures of the recipes they have made. Pink Parsley’s blog is full of yummy goodness.  I heart the name.. I heart her blog… her recipes… and I totally heart Josie.

Behind that blog lies a quiet Josie..who always smiles and listens and offers advice only when the time is necessary. I met Josie before blogging. We have kids the same age and used to meet at a local coffee house to chat about life as stay at home moms and anything else.  At our kids’ last play date she told me she was expecting again and I was thrilled! Her 3 year old daughter is so precious and now I can’t wait to meet the newest addition!

When Josie started her blog I was inspired and extremely happy to have a friend who could create such delicious dishes and be so gracious to share the recipes. And the best thing is she loves Mexican food. My absolute fav!! Another thing Josie loves is cupcakes. So when Annie of Annie's Eats asked me to participate in Josie’s Virtual Baby Shower, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Josie loves baking cupcakes.. and she does them well.

RECIPE

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

source: Your Home Based Mom from Martha Steward Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 cups sifted all- purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F.

Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale fluffy. This should take approx 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk and beating until combined after each.

Divide the batter evenly among lined cups.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean.

 

Raspberry Buttercream Recipe:

adapted from: allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 cup shortening

1 cup butter

8 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tsp  vanilla extract

6 ounces heavy whipping cream

2 ounces of Seedless Raspberry Preserves

 

Directions:

Cream shortening until fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and blend until incorporated.

Continue adding sugar continue creaming until well blended. (I would taste after 6 cups to test if sweet enough. 8 cups of sugar can sometimes be too sweet for me. And remember the raspberries will make it sweeter.)

Add salt, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream and blend on low speed until moistened.

Add Seedless Raspberry Preserves. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

IMG_6906

Brown Sugar bear2

 

The food blogging community is an awesome one. They are very giving like a tightly knit community. A neighborhood of foodies except we only see each other online. We wave and communicate through the windows in our homes via the desktop or laptop.  Despite that, we know each other as well as we can. Some of our foodie neighbors we dream of meeting in real life, and some of them we actual do! Its a blessing when you have a local friend that is one of them and a great blogger at that. Make sure you see the rest of our virtual baby shower guest and their shower yummies by visiting our hostess’ blog Annie's Eats and our mommy of honor Josie at Pink Parsley.

I have been doing more cakes then anything else, as you can tell by my blog if you have been following me. Click on the Cake tab to the right and you can tell fondant and me are friends. Ironically enough Josie was one out of a few people including Michelle of Cook Au Vin, who encouraged me to decorate cakes for others.  I felt it only fitting to make a little gumpaste shaggy teddy bear because of that. Josie, the little gumpaste blue bear is yours…but the deal is you must come by and visit with little baby in order to get it. :)

bluesugarbear

The tutorial for this shaggy gumpaste bear can be found here on You Tube! I absolutely love Michelle Cake Designs. Her work is very inspirational!

Josie… enjoy today as we all unite even more through your virtual baby shower. You are very much deserving and I congratulate you on your new bundle of joy. Now come get your blue sugar bear!