Wednesday, February 23, 2011

butter paneer masala

i have been on a HUGE indian kick as of late and thankfully mike has become quite the enthusiast. (sweet!)

the last time i stopped at the indian store i snagged a big bag of green chilis and a couple packages of paneer so i'd be ready when the mood struck.

tonight it struck. butter paneer masala!

the spices.

dhania (coriander powder), garam masala and red chili powder.

ginger, garlic and cilantro paste.

rough chop your ginger, garlic and cilantro. use your mortar and pestle and make a paste. sometimes i use my mini food processor but that was in the basement and i didn't feel like going down there. plus the mortar and pestle makes it chunkier and thicker. and better. (i think so anyways).

green chilis.

mmm. i found that gnarly one on the left in the very bottom of the crisper. probably past its prime but meh - i chopped it up anyways.


paneer is so awesome. so, so delicious. it is probably one of my top ten favorite foods. YUM! i need to start making my own....

i started the onions and chilis in a little oil in a hot pan. these cooked until they were nice and brown.

notice that rice? i have always struggled with rice. it seems so easy but i have continuously fucked it up. until i finally figured it out!!

so my old method was boil the water, add the rice, simmer. this is all wrong.

now i always rinse my rice first. i don't know what this does but two bags of basmati from the indian store and ATK suggest rinsing. and now my rice is finally perfect so i rinse.

i add the water and the rice to a pot and bring it to a boil. then reduce the heat, cover it and let it simmer until the water evaporates - like 8-10 minutes.

then remove the pan from the heat and let it sit (don't touch! keep it covered!) for another 15 minutes or so. perfect!

ok, so back to the onions and chilis. here is where i added my spices and i let this cook for just a minute or two.

then i added a couple blops of tomato paste and cooked it for another minute before adding about 1/2 cup of milk and a few tablespoons of water. i covered the pan and let that cook for about 5 minutes.

then i added some heavy cream (this is americanized butter paneer masala - i'm not going to front) and simmered it for just a few more minutes so the paneer would be heated through. and i finished it with some fresh cilantro.

mmm! and look at that naan! i wish i could tell you that i made this but i didn't. the indian store sells it frozen and you just bake it for like 5 minutes. they also sell little containers of coriander and mint chutney (again, i KNOW i can make this myself but quick week night dining = frozen naan and cups of pre-made chutney).

this was really, really good. delicious!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

pot pie (kinda)

remember those steak sandwiches? well there was a ton of meat leftover so i decided to make a pot pie. except - i was too lazy to make a pie crust so i opted for a biscuit top instead.

i just made my standard buttermilk biscuit recipe. easy.

but i'd also need some gravy. and since i had no meat drippings i'd need to investigate. i went with the america's test kitchen all purpose gravy. (i got their complete cookbook for christmas a couple of years ago - LOVE it!!)

anyways, the gravy was super easy and while that was simmering/reducing i sauteed some veggies for the pie - carrots, onions, celery, parsnips and turnips - in a little butter. once those were nice and soft i stirred in the cubed beef
just to warm it up.

i stirred in the gravy and then poured it all into my big dutch oven. i topped it with the biscuit and baked it in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or so.

look at this beauty! (and check out that extra gravy for drizzling. mmm!)

i garnished with a bit of fresh basil (from our sweet aero garden) and i drizzled on a bit of the extra gravy. i decided to wash this down with a nice cold glass of milk.

aren't my new salt & pepper shakers cool? thanks lydia!