Vietnamese summer rolls

Adapted from Rasa Malayasia

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (115g) rice noodles or rice vermicelli (or Maifun rice noodles)
  • 4 oz (115g) peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 leaves fresh lettuce, sliced
  • 6 sheets Vietnamese rice paper
  • 2 oz (56g) carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick strips

Thai peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground peanuts
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add some water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook per the package instructions, stirring occasionally (10 minutes approximately). Drain and rise under cold water, set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the Peanut Sauce together in a small bowl. Whisk it to mix well. Transfer to a dip bowl and garnish with the peanuts.
  3. In another small pot, bring some water to boil. Cook the shrimp for about 1 minute, or until the shrimp are completely cooked. Drain, let cool, and slice in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  4. Divide the vermicelli, shrimp, lettuce and carrot into 6 equal portions.
  5. To assemble the summer rolls, dip one sheet of the rice paper in a big bowl of water. Shake off the excess water and quickly transfer it to a clean, dry and flat working surface, for example, kitchen countertop or a chopping board.
  6. Place the rice noodles on the bottom part of the rice paper.
  7. Add the sliced lettuce and carrots.
  8. Place 3 shrimp halves on top.
  9. Fold the bottom side of rice paper over the filling securely, then fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over the filing. Make sure the filling is secured tightly.
  10. Continue to roll the summer roll over, until fully wrapped. Repeat the same until everything is used up!
  11. Cut the Summer Rolls diagonally in the middle into halves, place them on a platter, and serve immediately with the Peanut Sauce.

We made the hoisin version of the peanut sauce, but I kind of missed a little Thai peanut sauce flavor! I know, fusion. Jesse’s sister made them really well (see photos).

~Jessica

Murgh makhani (Indian butter chicken)

Adapted from Little Spice Jar and Urvashi Pitre

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (we used tomatoes on the vine)
  • 5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
  • 4 ounces butter, cut into cubes, or ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup yogurt (original: full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and yogurt. Whisk until smooth, adjust seasonings to preference. Add the chicken and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes and ideally for 12-24 hours, covered in the refrigerator. We marinated overnight.
  2. Heat the ghee (we used butter) in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent and start to sweat, about 5-7 minutes — don’t allow the onions to brown! Add ginger and garlic paste and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add the crushed tomatoes along with the chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and continue to cook for 5 minutes, if the mixture starts bubbling rapidly, add about ¼ cup of water and continue to cook.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken (discard any excess marinade) and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring as required to brown all sides.
  4. Add the butter chicken sauce to the pot and heat everything through. Once it starts to bubble, add the cream (we used whole plain yogurt) and garam masala. When the sauce regains a simmer, add the crushed fenugreek leaves (we didn’t have! Darn COVID-19 pandemic). Serve over basmati rice or with naan.

(Hindi: मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) according to Wiki. “The subtle difference between Paneer Butter Masala and Shahi paneer is that more of whole spices are used in Paneer Butter Masala whereas Shahi paneer has a sweeter taste when compared to Paneer Butter Masala.” (Wiki) Pitre’s recipe was even featured in The New Yorker! Jesse cooked this really well, and even set timers and things. We did not have an Instant Pot.

~Jessica

Kaeng phet (aka Thai red curry)

Adapted from Damn Delicious and Recipe Tin Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola/peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch broccolini, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. In a large rice cooker, cook rice. Set aside.
  2. Heat canola oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken, onion to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in red curry paste and garlic, ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Stir in broccolini until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat; stir in green onions, cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve immediately with rice.

Kaeng phet literally means spicy curry, but it is known as “red curry” in the West (Wiki). This is a class Thai dish: red curry. The paste I picked up at the local grocery packs a real punch! Apparently Panang curry differs in that it’s sweeter rather than spicier, creamier, and contains peanuts. I would like to try to make Phanaeng curry (possibly refers to the Malaysian island state of Penang) next time. I used green bell pepper instead of the broccolini, subbed mushrooms for the chicken, and added diced turnip because I had it. Unfortunately did not have cilantro or lime on hand, of course, but did have scallions! Somehow missed the garlic, but did add garlic powder (not remotely the same, I know). Spicy, but I can eat it with more rice to balance that out.

~Jessica

Coconut curry chicken

Adapted from Woks of Life and Tyler Florence and Damn Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee (I used butter)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons Curry Powder (I used Garam masala)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 to 3 dried red chiles (I used red pepper flakes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400mL can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cups chicken stock (I used soup greens cooked in water; included parsnip, turnip, dill, parsley, carrot, onion, celery, leek)
  • 4 bone-in organic chicken thighs
  • handful of string beans
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lemon, juiced (I subbed with 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar)

Directions:

  1. Heat the Ghee (butter) in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the diced onions, grated ginger, and smashed garlic and cook slowly until the onions are very soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. While waiting, I diced some red potato to add in. Add the curry powder and chili flakes and give it a good stir; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock (water) and bring it back to a simmer; cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chicken, cilantro, and half the lemon juice; continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. I added some slices of green bell pepper and a handful of string beans here (seemed more apropos then sugar snap peas).
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves.

I halved this recipe. My puopuo (mother’s mother) gets canned goods at the local senior citizen community center in Jackson Heights, so what better way to make this. I like to take the canned beans she gives me and make rice and beans in the rice cooker. This time I just cooked plain jasmine rice, after 2 rinses. Next coconut curry I make, I’d like to try the Penang (Thai) red curry. I wanted to add peanuts, but couldn’t find any raw ones at Fine Fare, so I stirred in a bit of peanut butter (Thanks puopuo!) instead.

Merry Christmas Eve,
~Jessica

Green berry smoothie

IMG_20180708_222343-COLLAGE.jpg

Adapted from Diethood

Ingredients:
FOR THE BERRIES-MIXTURE
1-1/2 cups halved strawberries
1 banana
1/2- cup plain yogurt (I used Lifeway pomegranate kefir)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
FOR THE GREENS-MIXTURE
2 cups torn kale leaves , packed (I used baby spinach)
1 green apple , quartered (optional)
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic whole milk)
1/4 cup coconut/soy milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice

Directions:
Freeze strawberries and 1 banana for 20 minutes. During that time, blend the kale, 1 banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until smooth and creamy. Divide into four portions and freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, blend frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until creamy and smooth. Pour strawberry smoothie over kale and serve immediately.

Summertime means looking for cold, fresh, in-season recipes. This hits all the right spots for breakfast and a sweet treat. Plus, spinach has iron for us anemics!

~Jessica

 

Brinjal masala

Indian Eggplant coconut curry, aka Vaingan (Hindi: वैंगण)
Adapted from LMU München Serves 4

butter
2 large aubergines
4 onions
2 big pinches of coriander powder
2 little pinches of mustard seeds
a pinch of Chili powder (if desired)
2 little pinches of turmeric
1 can (220 g) of coconut milk

Slice the onions. Add the ground coriander, half of the mustard seeds, turmeric, and chili powder with a little oil to the onions; mix and crush well with your fingers. Peel the eggplant and cube it. Heat the butter in a saucepan and roast the other half of the mustard seeds. Then sauté the onion mixture for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir. After 2 minutes, add half a cup of water and half the can of coconut milk (I also threw in some paprika because I had no chili powder), bring to a boil, and cook until the eggplants are very soft. Season with salt and pepper (I also added a bit of organic vegetable broth). Add the rest of the coconut milk to the basmati rice and serve.

Raita (Yoghurt dip)
A cup of yogurt with a little salt, pepper and stir in half a teaspoon of cumin powder (Depending on your preference, you can add tomato, cucumber, mint, or onion to the raita. To do so, just dice the vegetables small and mix.)

~Jessica