Photo Galleries

Cookbook Review - The Indian Slow Cooker

Apr 30 2011

We've been neglecting the blog for several weeks, but have remained busy in the kitchen. The next few posts will include our own recipes. First, however, I would like to feature a cookbook I've become obsessed with.

I had been to an Indian buffet restaurant a few times growing up in Minnesota, but when I moved to London after finishing college, I really began to appreciate this cuisine. Between the restaurants and frozen dinners available at grocery stores, I believe I ate curry or biryani two to three times a week. During my years in Chicago, I frequently found myself visiting the restaurants on Devon Avenue.

Despite my love of Indian food, I've always felt overwhelmed by the idea of cooking it at home. The recipes I came across seemed to call for so many spices and take a lot of time and attention. All that changed back in February, when we picked up a copy of Anupy Singla's The Indian Slow Cooker. The concept is simple and brilliant – using a crock pot to cook Indian food. This approach requires some preparation, but as the food cooks in the crock pot, you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen.

Currently, we live near Jackson Heights, Queens, a melting pot of a neighborhood that includes a vibrant Indian community. This means not only great restaurants, but also well-stocked grocery stores where Indian food and spices are inexspensive and readily available. Patel Brothers (which has locations in many states) is where I stock up on garam masala, turmeric, cardamom, and other spices.

Our Sundays have turned into Indian food days. First we made both Drew's favorite - Chicken Tikka Masala - and my favorite - Aloo Gobi. We then made another favorite of mine, Lamb Biryani. I will definitely make all three of these recipes again. We've also been trying new dishes I have not had before, including Saucy Punjabi Potatoes (Rase Wale Aloo) and Curried Kidney Beans (Rajmah). The recipe for homemade roti is simple enough to create a fresh batch after work while warming up the weekend's leftovers. The photo gallery below features the variety of dishes that you can easily achieve.

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Food Photo Gallery November 2010

Nov 25 2010

Despite being an exhausting time of year, we've managed to stay busy in the kitchen. You can see our latest efforts in the gallery below. Dishes include Smoky Kale with Kidney Beans (recipe coming soon), a Breakfast Sandwich with Egg, Pepper Bacon and Cheese, Breaded Pork Chops, Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter, Pumpkin Mousse and, of course, a Thanksgiving feast with Port Wine Glazed Duck, Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Cranberries. Happy Holidays and Happy Eating. Click on the images to view expanded, full-size renderings and captions.

This Week in Food Photo Gallery

Nov 7 2010

Below are photos of what we've been making and enjoying in our own kitchen this week including cookies, soup, short ribs and a beautiful button of goat's milk cheese from the farmer's market. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our Root Vegetable Soup recipe on the home page. As always, happy eating.

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2010 Canning Season Wrap Up

Oct 11 2010

It is amazing how an afternoon conversation with a co-worker can sometimes open up a whole new world. I had never given serious thought to canning in the past. Although occasionally I thought it would be fun to make pickles, the fear of bacteria and the amount of time and energy I thought canning would take kept me from taking the leap. This past August I was talking about making refrigerator pickles, and a co-worker told me about Food in Jars. I made Marisa's Garlic Dill Pickles recipe, but the first time around, I just stored them in the refrigerator. However, the result was so delicious that all I could think of was how amazing these pickles would be in the dark, cold days of winter. The next week, I jumped head first into boiling-water bath canning. I have kept busy with recipes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Put 'em Up!, and Food in Jars. As I discovered canning late in the season, I've also bookmarked a slew of recipes to try next year featuring produce that is ripe early in the season, especially strawberries and other berries.

There has definitely been a learning curve here. My first attempt at jam, this Plum Jam recipe, didn't set. It hit the right temperature, but I must not have boiled it long enough to properly thicken the jam. At any rate, I learned that if I just call the end product syrup instead of jam, it tastes just as delicious, especially mixed with yogurt and homemade granola.

Despite my late start this season, I've managed to preserve:

5 pints Applesauce

4 half pints Apple Butter

3 pints Apple Jelly

4 pints Garlic Dill Pickles

2 pints Sweet Pickled Cherries

3 half pints Tomato Jam

4 half pints Pickled Beets with Cumin and Cloves

4 pints Pickled Green Tomatoes

9 half pints Plum Syrup

Thanks to everyone in the canning community including the National Center for Food Preservation, authors, and all the online bloggers out there who provide inspiration and education!

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