Aloo Gobi

On July 16, 2017, in Food, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I don’t make enough Indian food at home. Perhaps, it’s because we have some excellent Indian restaurants around Los Angeles.  One of my favorites is Mint Leaf in Altadena.  They make great Indian food that reminds me of place that started my love for Indian food back when we lived in Michigan, Priya in Troy, Michigan.

Now back to my kitchen.

Indian food isn’t a difficult cuisine for the home cook. Sure it uses a couple handfuls of spice jars every time, but if you’re like me you have a hundred spice jars and can pretty much make anything without a long list of spice jars for that one-off recipe.

A favorite dish has become Aloo Gobi. It’s a vegan dish made with potatoes and cauliflower. It’s fairly simple and only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  Add some rice and you have an easy, exotic vegan dish in no time at all. I ran across a recipe on Pinterest from the blog Edible Garden.  I had to adjust some things as the cooking time was way off and the flavors need some adjustment.  You can find the source recipe here.

Aloo Gobi
Serves 4

1/2 head or 2 cups chopped cauliflower
4 medium potatoes, large dice
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp ginger, diced
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2-3/4 tsp red chili powder, adj for taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garma masala
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

Heat pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and place onions, garlic and ginger in pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Cook without burning and then add diced potatoes and chopped cauliflower to the pan.  Stir pan and add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat potatoes and cauliflower. Add some salt to taste. Cover and heat stirring every few minutes so the items do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.  Cook covered for about 10 minutes.

Add the spices and tomato paste to the pan and coat all the items to combine.  Cover the pan again and stir every 3 minutes and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Try a potato to check for doneness. When ready, add the chopped cilantro to the pan to coat and serve immediately over rice.

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Curried Cauliflower Wraps

On September 28, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’m always on the lookout for an easy, quick and delicious vegan recipe and this one caught my attention a couple months ago when I found it on Pinterest.  It only takes about 20-30 minutes start to finish.  The only thing that takes some time is roasting the cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes, but that is pretty easy and definitely the first thing you should do.

There’s a lot of flavor with the lemon and oil dressing and the curry coating on the cauliflower.  I found some excellent pita wrap bread at Trader Joe’s that you can eat in the oven at the last 5 minutes of roasting.

Assembly is easy and prep is super simple.  They also made great leftovers for lunch the next day served cold. I’m definitely adding this to my frequent recipes list.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [Curried Cauliflower Wrap at Naturally Ella]

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Chicken Curry SousVide

On December 8, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’ve made quite a few recipes using my Sous Vide Supreme. The thing I really like most about it how I can cook meat to a perfect doneness by leaving it in the water bath all day while I go out enjoy whatever else needs to get done.

Today I prepared a couple bone-in chicken breasts with some Jamaican yellow curry powder and placed them in the Sous Vide at 175 degrees before leaving the house.  We spent the early part of the day at a coworker’s house. She and her husband do a yearly help a family out during the holidays. This year it was a mother with four kids and coincidently two of the kids were twin 7 year olds. So it was great shopping with our twin boys Saturday to find something for the twin girls and the rest of the family.

Meanwhile at home the chicken cooked for a good 5 hours before we arrived back after wrapping gifts and getting some other Christmas shopping done.

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This recipe is pretty simple and you can keep it really simple  by cooking the chicken and serving it with rice and vegetables. The chicken came out ready to serve done, but I wanted to make more of a curry soup.

Chicken Curry
Serves 4

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned removed
4 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small onion, half moon slices
4 large brown mushrooms, rough chop
1/2 head cauliflower, rough chop
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4″ rounds
3 cups chicken stock

Cook the chicken in the SousVide Supreme for 4-5 hours at 175 degrees. Seal the chicken in the vacuum sealer first and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of curry powder. Drop into water bath and cook.

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Remove the chicken when done. It will easily separate from the bone and then rough chop.  Meanwhile heat the peanut oil in a pan with the onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then add the cauliflower, carrot and chicken also add the rest of the curry powder.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the soy sauce and chicken stock.  Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes to combine adding the mushrooms in the last minute.

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Serve in a bowl with a small bowl of Jasmine or brown rice on the side.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest

On October 16, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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As a kid I would only eat cauliflower if it was drenched in Cheez Whiz. I don’t think I’ve had Cheez Whiz since the 1980s and doubtful I’ll ever have it again. Fortunately, I’ve come to like cauliflower without gobs of processed cheese that’s why it’s great to find a recipe that brings the vegetable to my plate.

This dish is quite simple.  It’s flavor is fairly muted with the few ingredients.  Use some high quality Parmigiano-Reggiano to help boost the flavor or a Romano cheese if you want more flavor without the nuttiness of the Reggiano cheese. Either option works and feel free to add some more olive oil to each dish after serving.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest
Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 red onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
¼ cup salt-pack capers, rinsed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb dried orecchiette pasta
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss together cauliflower, onion, capers and 2 tablespoons of oil in an oven safe casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes stirring halfway through, until cauliflower is tender and brown.

Meanwhile boil some water for the pasta. Add pasta and cook according to instructions. Toss hot pasta with remaining olive oil, the parsley and lemon zest. Add cauliflower mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

 

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Vegetable Korma

On February 15, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a vegetarian/vegan kick lately. My wife Stephanie decided to give it an extra boost for my birthday by getting me “Appetite for Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It’s a brilliant book.

Here is one of the recipes from the book. It’s called 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma and was an interpretation from one of the author’s favorite restaurants in New York City – Madras. Sounds like I have a new restaurant to checkout when I head back to New York in late March.

 
Full Recipe: 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma.

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Lentil and Cauliflower Curry Stacks

On February 8, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The flavors in this dish make up for its lack of beauty in presentation. The yellow curry with cinnamon really brings the dish to life.
If you don’t want to use Pappadums (a crisp Indian flatbread), you can also use the lentil mixture to fill a piecrust with for a vegetarian Indian Pie. Or you could make pastry stuff turnovers with the mixture too.

Lastly, if you want to make this dish Vegan, substitute the butter with a product like Earth’s Balance.

Lentil and Cauliflower Curry Stacks
Serves 4

2 Tbl butter (or Earths Balance for a vegan version)
1 medium onion, sliced thin in to quarter moons
1 1/2 Tbls yellow curry paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cremini mushrooms, thinly chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils
1 (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 head of fresh cauliflower, cut into small florets
oil for deep-frying
8 small Pappadums

Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic and mushrooms cooking all for 2 minutes until mushrooms are soft.

Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, lentils and cinnamon and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for 40 minutes until lentils become tender. Add the cauliflower in the last 10 minutes and cover. If the curry is too wet after 40 minutes, cook longer uncovered until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove cinnamon sticks.

About 5 minutes before the lentil mixture is done, heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Drop Pappadums, one at a time, into oil. They will quickly puff up so act quick and flip using tongs to straighten out the Pappadum. Each one takes about 4 seconds on each side. Remove and pat both sides with a paper towel.

Assemble by putting one Pappadum on a plate and spoon lentil mixture into it. Place another Pappadum on top and add some more lentil mixture. Serve.

 

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