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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cinnamon Honey Butter

This is my husbands favorite spread for freshly baked bread.  It´s easy and delicious!

Makes 3/4 cup

1/4 pound (110 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons good honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the butter, honey, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl with a fork or with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth.  Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Honey Oat Bread

This is a sweet, moist and pleasant tasting bread. It only requires 15 minutes to mix together and then goes straight in the oven.  We love it with homemade soups or flavored butters or jams!

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat milk

Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375° F (180° C).  Coat a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with oil.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan.  Tip pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats.

Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Using a fork and in a separate bowl, beat 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey until well blended. Stir in milk.  Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but do not overmix (excess mixing will cause the bread to be tough).  Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oats over the top. 

Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (It´s normal for the top to crack.)  Let stand in the pan on a wire rake for 15 minutes.  Turn out  on to the rack and let cool for about 45 minutes before cutting. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Korma

I love Indian food and have wanted to make it myself for many years.  The thought, however, of spending the whole day in the kitchen just didn´t appeal to me.  Then, I discovered you can make many wonderful Indian dishes that are tasty and in a short timeframe.  This recipe was my first success!

Serves 4-6

3 cloves garlic
1 inch (2.5cm) piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 oz (50g) almond flakes
1/4 pint (150ml) water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
4 whole cloves
1 inch (2.5cm) piece cinnamon stick
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
3 tablespoons cream
3 lbs (1.5 kilo) chicken pieces (legs, breast, thighs, etc.), skinned and cut into serving portions

Put garlic, ginger and almonds into a bowl of a food processor.  Turn on the food processor and pour six tablespoons of water through the funnel and blend to a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a wide pan over high heat.  When it´s very hot, add the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir for ten second.  (Be careful as the oil will probably pop when you add the spices.)

Add the onion and cook for several minutes, stirring, until medium-brown in color.  Reduce the heat to medium-high once the onions begin to brown.  Add the paste from the food processor and stir.  Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add the tomato puree and stir for a minute longer.  Add the salt, garam masala, cream and remaining water and stir together.  Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat them with the spice paste.

Bring to a simmer, cover, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn the chicken several times during cooking.

Serve with any Indian bread, chutneys, rice or vegetables.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Indian Rice

This is a very tasty side dish that goes with most Indian meals.  It´s delicate in flavor and not overpowering.

Serves 4-6

8 oz (250g) basmati rice
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
4 green cardamom pods
1 inch (2 1/2 cm) piece cinnamon bark
2 garlic cloved, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups water
chopped fresh chives (optional)

Put the rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water.  Drain and leave in a strainer set over a bowl.

Put the oil in a heavy based saucepan and set over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot and beginning to bubble, put in the cloves, bay leaf, cardamom pods and cinnamon.  Stir once or twice and put in the garlic.

As soon as te garlic turns medium brown put in the rice, turmeric and salt.  Stir gently for a minute.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Cover tightly, turn the heat down to very, very low and cook for 20 minutes.  Stir with a fork to separate the grains and serve garnished with chives, if desired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tabbouleh with Chicken

This recipe can be made with the chicken as a main course or without it for a salad or starter.  The flavors will improve as it sits.  Remember, fresh lemon juice is a must to get the best results.

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup bulgur wheat
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
Olive oil
Chicken breast, skinless and boneless (8 oz. or 250 grams)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and medium-diced
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

In a heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling water over the bulgur wheat.  Add the lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the bulgur to stand at room temperature for about an hour.

Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet and rub it with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 20-25 minutes, until just cooked.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Cut the chicken into medium dice and add to the bulgur wheat.  Add the chives, mint, cucumber, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Taste and add additional seasoning as desired.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Note: Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern dish generally served with pita wedges.