We just got back from a much needed break at my in-laws farm in Virginia, this is where M grew up. We ate a lot of biscuits, had lunch with author Emily Nunn who wrote The Comfort Food Diaries (I strongly recommend, you should read this), pickled beets, fried chicken and casseroles.Read More
Hi Friends, I can’t believe we’re almost 12 days away from the release of my first cookbook, Season. How do I feel? Honestly, it is a mixture of eager anticipation and happiness and I cannot wait for you to hold a copy in your hands. And with that note, I have wonderful news to share with you! We’re giving away a copy of SEASON to FOUR lucky readers on Instagram.Read More
The Indian state of Gujarat is home to a large population of vegetarians and consequently, there are quite a few innovative ideas and techniques employed by the cooks of this region. Take for example, the inspiration behind this recipe comes from a dish called dhokla which is usually made from a mixture of chickpea flour and some other grain such as rice or wheat that's steamed to form a savory cake like structure. The taste on the other hand is usually mildly sweet and a little acidic and people use various kind of ingredients to add flavor to the batter.
While this recipe is dhokla-inspired, I'm hesitant to call it by it's traditional name, since I've changed things so much from the original concept. For one this version is baked and the seasonings are a little different, including the use of cornmeal and almond milk. You can either make this cake as one large 9 - inch cake or make little mini versions like I did. [see the note below at the end of the recipe on how to approach the mini cakes].
I've been itching to use my kueh pans that M brought back from Singapore on his last trip. If you don't have a mini cake pan or something similar, an ebleskiver pan would work great too. Otherwise, you can follow my instructions for making an "upside-down" type cake and cut that into wedges and serve. Once you add the liquid to the dry ingredients, mix and transfer it immediately to the pan and bake. The longer you wait, the less your cake will rise.
I've used Califia Farms plain unsweetened almond milk to create the batter of the cake because it gives a richer taste to the chickpea flour.
Serve this as a snack or at breakfast. It's wonderful by itself. Store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
savory chickpea flour cake with chipotle
makes one circular 9 inch cake
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
12 fresh curry leaves, chopped
2 serrano chile pepper, minced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 cup Califia plain unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
1 red Thai chile pepper, minced
For the garnish
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
1 red red Thai chile pepper optional
Place a wire rack at midlevel and preheat the oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9 - inch circular baking with a sheet of parchment paper cut to size and the coconut oil.
In a large bowl, dry whisk the chickpea flour, cornmeal, turmeric powder, chipotle, salt and baking powder. Then add 1 Tbsp of the curry leaves, serrano, cilantro leaves, maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, and almond milk and whisk until you get there any visible lumps of chickpea flour. The mixture should be smooth. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary.
Sprinkle the black mustard seeds and the remaining serrano pepper and the Thai chile over the prepared baking pan and then carefully pour the batter over the chiles and mustard. Cover the top of the pan with parchment paper and place it in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Unwrap the pan and discard the foil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. To release the chickpea cake from the pan, run a smooth knife along the edges and then flip the pan over a serving plate. Peel the parchment paper. Garnish with the chopped cilantro leaves and the Thai chile pepper. Serve warm or cool.
Note: If you want to make mini versions of this cake, you need to adjust the recipe a little.
- Spray your min-cake pan well with olive oil or vegetable oil. Then in a similar manner, sprinkle a few mustard seeds and chopped chiles and fill it with the batter to the brim. Bake the pan uncovered [no aluminum foil] for 10 to 12 minutes until they have risen and are cooked inthe middle. Remove from oven and flip over a plate and tap gently to release while they're hot. You need the steam to help push the cakes out.
- Instead of adding the coconut oil first, I prefer to drizzle the mini cakes with warm coconut oil and then garnish the cakes with fresh cilantro.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Califia Farms. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Visiting M's parent's on their little farm out in Virigina, is always a treat! It's quiet, the internet is slow so you're basically cut off from the world but in many ways it's a blessing. You get to disconnect from everything else that's going on and you're forced to relax. You get to appreciate everything you have in your life a little more and start to pay attention to things around you. In many ways it's the best gift we could give ourselves. A brief respite from our lives.
For some reason, it was apparently colder in CA than it was here on the East Coast, this Christmas. It's been raining like crazy, the fields were soaked in water and there were many moments that I almost slipped and broke my behind in the muck when I went to visit the mules and animals on the farm. M's mom loves her animals and raises goats that she milks herself to make goat milk soap. A couple of years ago, she taught me how to milk a goat, it's an interesting experience! I don't even know how to describe it. They now have two donkeys and they protect the goats from coyotes! I had no idea donkeys could scare coyotes off.
Christmas morning, I baked a batch of popovers from Bon Appetit Christmas issue and some cheddar biscuits with herbs. Basically, we've been eating constantly every day. There is no rest for the tummy when we go to visit family. I think it is the general theme of our family vacations for both of us as we don't visit that them often so our trip transforms into a daily request of all our favorite dishes that we've missed.
On one morning, I baked a kale and sausage bread pudding with M's mom. So here she is cooking with me in the kitchen and we're cooking a savory bread pudding (in many ways this is also a casserole).
I'm also giving away this gorgeous baking dish from Le Creuset! All you need to do is a leave a comment and tell me what you want to cook in it and I will pick a randomwinner! The contest is only open to legal US residents and ends on January 3rd 2016 at 12 pm. Have an amazing New Year friends!!!
Here are some kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dish;
- I added less salt than I normally would since the sausage I used was heavily seasoned. Adjust your salt amounts if you know that how the sausage will taste. I prefer to stick to the lower amount because you can always sprinkle a little salt later over the pudding when serving.
- Use whatever type of kale or bread you like. Mustard greens and chard leaves will also work well in this recipe.
kale and sausage bread pudding
yields: 2 servings
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat or rye bread country style, diced into 1" cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cooked Italian breakfast sausage (I used spicy pork)
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup packed kale leaves, torn (midrib discarded)
5 fresh sage leaves, julienned
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 375F. Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Mix the cubes pieces of bread along with the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Spread this out on the lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the bread is browned and crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
2. Take a medium-sized skillet and heat on medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage and cook until the sausage is completely cooked and lightly browned. Drain the fat and keep the sausage aside.
3. Lightly butter a 1 quart oval baking dish and keep aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Fold in the kale, sage, and sausage. Carefully fold in the toasted croutons. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, lightly wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Remove the cling film and bake the pudding for 30 to 35 minutes until the center is firm to touch. A knife should come out clean from the center of the bread pudding. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Le Creuset for sponsoring this giveaway. All opinions expressed are purely my own.
Moving is exciting but doing the work necessary to move is no fun. One would think that, now that we’re t minus 4 days away until the big move, I should have had a good game plan but to be honest I have made none. I’ve packed nothing and I keep dreading every moment of it! We’ve moved four chairs and two bar stools to the house (since the contractors will wrap up in a few days) and I almost forgot, a dog bed. I think my desire to move but not pack is motivated (or not motivated depending on which way you look at it) by the fact that were moving an hour or so away. All I want to do is snap my fingers and make this happen with magic!
However, there are other things that I’ve actually planned out , like my thanksgiving menu. This year, along with my favorite kitchen cookware company, Le Creuset, I've created a couple of special savory dishes for the holiday using their Heritage bakeware collection. These dishesare easy and can be prepared in advance to save time. You can refrigerate the dishes ahead of time by wrapping them up airtight with cling film and foil and then reheat them in the oven just before serving.
I flavored the spicy and hot pork and mushroom pie with a dash of garam masala and hot sauce (I used sriracha) then topped it off with a layer of mashed potatoes and parmesan for a delicious cheesy crust. For the apple and butternut squash casserole, the eggs were whisked with a little freshly ground nutmeg and parmesan (the leftovers are also great at breakfast) and that I then used the liquid to envelope the vegetables and apples. An added bonus, the aroma of parmesan sneaking out from your oven!
Note: This post was sponsored by Le Creuset but all opinions stated are my own.
I had a hard time finding thai chili peppers at almost every farmer's market or grocery store in my vicinity this year. Since they're pretty easy to grow, I sun dried a couple of peppers (from the one time I found them) and sowed them into a small pot. Some made it while some didn't but I'm now the proud dad to a few plants with tiny little white flowers that eventually morphed into tapering little green and red chilis. Some of which found their way into this chicken roast.
This roast also saved me a lot of time in the kitchen during an intensely busy week. It might take some time to prep (which I do over the weekend) but it's a tasty chicken to eat during the week.
Yogurt makes everything better and it flavors this chicken pretty darn good. There's a generous amount of turmeric and a few spices that might sound intimidating but it will be well worth it.
You might notice that I've kept the skin on this bird which is something I do less often because the skin is considered unclean in Indian cooking. But in a roast the skin helps to keep the chicken juicy and it will get crispy!
And before I forget, the winner of Food52's latest Baking cookbook is Sarah! She wants to make the Arnold Palmer cake which has been on my mind ever since I saw Christina Tossi make it on TV!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this chicken,
- Marinade the chicken overnight but if you're short on time, a 2 hour interval will do.
- Choose low-fat or full-fat yogurt, fat-free doesn't do as good a job.
- I use Le Creuset's 5 quart braiser to roast the chicken. The heavy base of the pan does great job evenly cooking the bird.
- While roasting the chicken and basting the liquid might start to dry out, you can add a little warm water to prevent it from drying. (I add warm water over cool water as the latter will increase the time required to cook the chicken).
- I've suggested two options below when it comes to serving the left over sauce in the braiser. You can serve it as is or blend it to get a smooth gravy like consistency.
- This recipe also works for a turkey, just adjust the amounts of the ingredients based on the weight of the bird.
turmeric and yogurt spiced oven roasted chicken (adapted from Indian cooking - Hamlyn)
yields: 4lbs chicken
1 1/2 cups full fat or low-fat yogurt
2 cups red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground
3 red thai chili peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
4 lb whole chicken with skin
2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil)
2 inch piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon garam masala
8 cloves, lightly crushed
8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1. Place the yogurt, 1 cup of the diced red onions, garlic, black pepper, chili peppers, turmeric and salt in a blender and pulse until completely smooth and combined. Keep this marinade aside until ready to use.
2. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan or glass bowl. Dab it dry with clean paper towels. Insert your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the chicken to create space between the two. Make a few deep cuts in the chicken using a sharp paring knife. Pour the marinade (from step 1) over the chicken and using your fingers coat the chicken completely with the marinade. Take care to rub the marinade between the skin and the flesh of the chicken. Cover the chicken in the roasting pan with cling film or transfer it to a large bowl or place it a turkey oven bag. Refrigerate this overnight, taking care to coat the chicken every few hours with the marinade (if you're using the oven bag, just shake the bag gently to recirculate the marinade, if you use a bowl or roasting pan, using a large spoon to spread the marinade).
3. After the chicken has marinaded for the appropriate time, place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 375F. Heat the ghee in a large braiser on medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and sauté until light pink and translucent. Then add the rest of the spices from the cinnamon to the ginger strips and cook for 1 minute with constant stirring. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the stove.
4. Place the chicken in the center of the pan. Pour the leftover marinade over the chicken. Place the pan in the oven, baste it with the liquid in the pan and cook for 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the leftover gravy that sits at the bottom of the braiser for at least 10 minutes before serving. You have two options here, you can serve the roast chicken as is with the gravy/sauce that's left behind in the pan, or alternatively, transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse to get a smooth gravy. Serve the roasted chicken with the sauce on the side. Garnish with the fresh lemon wedges and cilantro before serving.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Le Creuset for sponsoring this post, all opinions stated here are solely mine.