misshepeshu: (NOM)
Several minutes ago:

Candy: That was a nice little dinner. Thanks for cooking with me, Ben.

Ben: You're welcome.

(pause)

Ben: You know, I like how for us, "little dinner" involves four courses.

Candy: And two and a half hours of cooking.

Ben has been sick for the last week, and I caught le crud from him. I've been exhausted, sleepy and full of coughing and phlegming for the past three days. I was going to have chicken soup and bread for dinner tonight, but Ben started talking about making dal, and then I started craving lamb curry, and before we knew it, we were in the kitchen, wantonly chopping vegetables and throwing spices around with wild abandon.

This happens more often than you'd think.

Or maybe about as often as you'd think, depending on how well you know the both of us and what freaks we are about food. I was a bit shaky on my feet and headachey by the time we were done, but it was absolutely worth it.

Ben made dal and chard with potatoes and Indian spices, while I made lamb curry. I threw it together out of nowhere, putting the flavors together in my head and adjusting the spices as I went. I'm good at impromptu French and impromptu Italian, but I've never tried my hand at impromptu Indian before--not from scratch, anyway. I'm inordinately proud of how well it turned, and I'm recording it here before I forget everything I've put in it.

So, here it is: Candy's Awesome Lamb That Tastes Like Some Kind of Indian Thing, Almost As If She Knew What She Was Doing

Please note that all quantities for spices are approximate. Start conservative, and taste as you go.

2 lbs. boneless lamb meat (we used leg meat), cut into hearty chunks
1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4" wide strips
8 (or more) cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 stick cinnamon, bashed briefly so it's in large pieces
1/2 teaspoon whole mace, finely chopped
5.6 oz. can coconut milk (it's the itty-bitty single serving size one)
1/4 cup curry powder (I get the brand with the rooster on the package, the all-purpose type for "meat"--if you get the kind specifically for red meat, it'd probably taste darker, so you might not need to add as much cumin)
2-3 tablespoons cumin powder
1-2 tablespoons turmeric powder
2-3 pinches coriander powder (fresh cilantro would be great for this dish, so use that instead or in addition to if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 serrano pepper, finely diced, more if you like more heat
1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt to taste (you'll need a surprisingly large amount of it)

1. Heat large cast iron skillet on medium-high. Add peanut oil, then throw in the garlic, shallot, cinnamon and mace. Fry until mixture is very fragrant and garlic is barely starting to brown.

2. Throw in the lamb and brown. Add coconut milk, half the curry powder and half of all of the different spices, including the serrano pepper.

3. Allow to simmer for a while, then taste. Add more spices and curry powder as necessary.

4. Add onion. Cook until onions are just starting to wilt.

5. Add tomatoes and salt.

6. Taste again and adjust spices as necessary. Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes more
(basically, until you can't stand the smell and temptation any more).

Dinner was awesome, and the best part? We have leftovers. Aw yeah.
misshepeshu: (NOM)
And lo, my love for kale is almost freakish; I will stick kale into almost anything. It about rivals my love of celery. (It's also kind of weird, given that I'm not the biggest fan of green leafy vegetables in general.) Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] benefitz made the Best Kale Ever the other night, and I'm posting the recipe here before either of us forgets what he put in it.

1 large bunch curly kale
Several cloves garlic, chopped
Thinly-sliced shallots
A splash of dark chicken stock
Liberal sprinkling pepper flakes
Olive oil

Instructions: Heat olive oil in large skillet. Throw in garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant. Add kale and chicken stock, cook until kale is slightly wilted. Add pepper flakes. Eat. Go "Holy crap, this is really, really good kale." Like, a lot.

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December 2013

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