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Nash-Ville Nash-Ville, My Kinda Town

Nash-Ville Nash-Ville, My Kinda Town

Oh, the places you’ll go, the places you’ll see, the places you’ll eat ….put Nashville on your bucket list of cities to visit!  To add to my previous visit to Nashville!     SOME MIGHTY FINE BRISKET AT MARTINS in 12 South       […]

Will Blog for Food (Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook)

Will Blog for Food (Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook)

I received an e-mail from a publisher a couple of weeks ago. They had come across my blog and wanted to know if I would like to review a book they had coming out. Me? I was flattered (my aw-shucks, you really like me moment). […]

Cookiefinity-Triple Play (Triple Oatmeal Cookies from BraveTart)

Cookiefinity-Triple Play (Triple Oatmeal Cookies from BraveTart)

This month’s Food52 Baking Book Club features Stella Park’s BraveTart.  You may remember I previously blogged about her delicious Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies and the debacle of using the printed version in People magazine.  BIG MISTAKE. About a month ago, Omnivore Books hosted Ms.Parks, being a cookbook junkie, I jumped in my car and headed to the City to attend. Got my very own SIGNED copy, uh-huh, uh-huh..doing the happy dance.

Talented dessert chef, blogger, and author of Marbled, Swirled and Layered, Irvin Lin was on hand to moderate the conversation.  Which just proves there is a conspiracy going on as I was FORCED to buy not just one new cookbook but two. Now I have to find shelf-room for his book too. Aiyah!

After her talk, I waited patiently while one woman monopolized the Q&A session (sheesh-some people), they finally picked me and I blurted out “I’m the one who tweeted about processing the honey roasted nuts” and recounted the horrible editing job of her recipe in People magazine. I think of it as a cautionary public service tale for everyone.

And with her great southern drawl (she is from Kentucky) she said: “Oh I know, I hate when they edit recipes and get it wrong!”

I was vindicated.

The book is a reflection of her, warm, friendly and gracious.  BraveTart is a love tome to iconic American treats. The book works due to her attention to detail and thoroughness.  She has reworked recipes such as Oreos and Nutter Butters and transformed them into delicious homey treats while retaining the essence of the original dessert that you remember so well from childhood. With the first bite of her Triple Oatmeal Cookie, I was immediately transported back to my 12-year-old self, reaching into the familiar pink-purple bag of Mother’s Oatmeal Cookies.

Her Triple Oatmeal Cookies are delicious, chewy, toothy cookies. The cookies contain old-fashioned oatmeal, steel cut oats and oat flour, the triple whammy of Oatsville.  Cranberries and pecans are added and provide sweetness and crunch, a scrumptious cookie. Feel free to substitute different dried fruit. Interestingly enough Stella posted that raisins will cause or allow the cookies to spread more than cranberries so keep that in mind.  Dried cherries or diced apricots would be amazing also.  Chocolate chips would, of course, work well also.

I made the dough and followed the instructions to bake the cookies on a foil-lined sheet.  To my surprise, the cookie spread was more than expected.  The first batch was thin, almost like lace cookies. Channeling America’s Test Kitchen I baked subsequent batches on parchment and then on a Silpat.  Here are the results, everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words.

So, the cookies on the left were baked on Silpat, center- parchment, right-foil. An Ah-ha moment.  Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, “This cookie (right) is too thin, this one (left) is too thick, the center cookie is JUST RIGHT!” Note to self, bake these cookies on parchment.

In the end, they were all good, chewy, buttery, crispy edges and full of oat goodness. They were gobbled up.

Cookiefinity-Triple Play (Triple Oatmeal Cookies from BraveTart)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (not too soft)
  • ⅔ cup (5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (a bit less if you use Morton’s kosher salt, half the amount if it’s regular table salt) plus additional salt (if you wish) for sprinkling
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ cup (3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (2 ½ ounces) oat flour (alternatively, grind old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender)
  • 1 ⅔ cups (6 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) steel-cut oats
  • 1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dried cranberries or cherries, if you use raisins the cookies will spread a bit more

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add egg and continue beating until light and creamy.
  • Whisk together flour, oat flour and both oatmeal types. Stir in pecans and cranberries. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined. Batter will be stiff.
  • Arrange portions of dough (about 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons each) onto lined baking sheets. Flatten into disks and optionally sprinkle each with a bit of kosher salt.
  • Bake in preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown on edges but still pale in the middle.
  • Let cool on baking sheet a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
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Pictures from a cookbook groupie! When will I learn to hold my phone higher?

Lemon Cookie Very Pretty & The Cookie Is So Sweet (Blueberry-Lemon Shortbread)

Lemon Cookie Very Pretty & The Cookie Is So Sweet (Blueberry-Lemon Shortbread)

Blueberry-Lemon Shortbread from Miranda Couse’s  Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook is a winner.  These cookies remind me of my favorite scones which have dried blueberries and lemon zest in them. As soon as I spied the recipe I knew I had to try it. The cookies are made […]

A Tale of Two Cookbooks (Coffee Cheesecake Swirled Brownies)

A Tale of Two Cookbooks (Coffee Cheesecake Swirled Brownies)

For those familiar with Food52 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, I received two cookbooks this past week that made me feel like one of the judges for the tourney.  In a nutshell, The Piglet is like March Madness, sixteen cookbooks go head to head, winner goes […]

NOM-NOM-licious Chicken and Gravy

NOM-NOM-licious Chicken and Gravy

AN HOUR AND A HALF commute home from work left me cranky and hungry.  I slammed my stuff down on the kitchen table and headed to the fridge, yanked the door open and searched for something quick to make for dinner.  I found a whole chicken I had bought the day before and thought ugh, that will take a while…I WANT TO EAT NOW.  Lightbulb moment, I remembered I had saved an Instant Pot recipe for Chicken and Gravy from NOM NOM Paleo.  Quick and easy, the perfect solution for my dinner dilemma. Though not a strict Paleo diet follower, I do like the NOM NOM cookbook and blog and I have an affinity for the NOM NOM author (plus I love saying NOM NOM).  Like me, she is a pharmacist by trade, a fellow drug pusher-legit ones, lol.  There is a natural crossover between being a pharmacist and being a cook or baker.  Numbers, measurements, proportions, being a bit OCD- all part of both professions.

A few easy steps and dinner is on the table in 44 minutes and 37 seconds at most.  See, pharmaceutical precision.  While the chicken is cooking, make some rice or egg noodles to go along or if you want to keep this a paleo meal, make cauliflower rice or potatoes (Po-ta-toes! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish-that line pops in my head every time). The sauce is so yummy you will want something to soak up every drop.

The recipe calls for browning the chicken in your pressure cooker, taking it out and sautéing onions, garlic and a bit of tomato paste, putting the chicken back in the pot, on top of the onions, adding a bit of broth and setting the pot timer to 20 minutes cooking.  Yep, that’s it.

Saute onions and garlic until soft.

Add tomato paste and broth to pot. Place a wire rack on top to hold the chicken.  You can add a bit of herb for additional flavors such as a sprig of thyme, oregano or rosemary. Just to kick it up a bit.

After removing the chicken (and fresh herb sprigs), use a hand blender to puree the onion-garlic mixture which becomes the luscious gravy-yum yum. The original recipe calls for thickening the sauce but I didn’t bother.  I wanted to dig in!  So delicious!!!!!

Dinner is served and definitely elevated my mood, happy, happy, happy.

NOM-NOM-licious Chicken and Gravy

Ingredients

  • Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
  • 1 (4-pound) organic chicken (a bigger chicken won’t fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot)
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons kosher salt (if using table salt, cut amount to 1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced (or use 1 yellow, 1 red)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 T water

Instructions

  • Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper all over the chicken, inside and out. Tuck the wings behind the back.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil to the pressure cooker, press “Sauté” function on your electric pressure cooker.
  • When the fat is shimmering, sear the chicken breast-side down in the center of the pot for approximately 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Flip the bird breast-side up. Cook for another 5 minutes or until browned on the back. Don’t worry if the skin sticks and tears—the skin won’t be crispy when you’re done cooking anyway. You’re just browning the skin to deepen the flavor of the gravy.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and add the remaining tablespoon of ghee or oil to the pot. Once it is heated, toss in the chopped onions, 6 garlic cloves, and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the sauté function. Pour in ½ cup broth, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add steamer insert to the bottom of the pressure cooker, and lay the bird on top of it, breast-side up. Cover and pressure-cook on high for 20 minutes).
  • Turn off the electric pressure cooker, and immediately release the pressure manually. Open the lid and transfer the chicken to a plate or carving board. Tent the cooked bird with foil, and rest it for 10 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the contents of the insert to make a smooth gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • If you want to thicken the gravy, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Then, turn on the sauté function and bring the contents to a simmer. Stir in the arrowroot powder slurry and cook until thickened.
  • Carve the chicken and top with gravy. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  • Make sure to have a ginormous bowl of rice or buttered noodles to serve along side..just for the extra gravy!
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If You Bake It, They Will Come (Corn Cookies from Momofuku)

If You Bake It, They Will Come (Corn Cookies from Momofuku)

Two cookies have shown up in photos in previous posts that have never been given their just due, Christina Tosi’s Corn Cookies and Brown Butter Salted Rice Krispy Treats from Smitten Kitchen. After trying a couple of new cookie recipes that were not up to […]

So Eat It, Just Eat it (Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric and Lemon)

So Eat It, Just Eat it (Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric and Lemon)

When I was a kid there was a definite hit list of vegetables we absolutely hated.  My brother and I had all sorts of tricks to avoid eating them.  We would stuff our mouths full of peas, run to the bathroom and spit them out. […]

Good Morning Mr. Phoods (Cilantro Chutney Chicken Curry)

Good Morning Mr. Phoods (Cilantro Chutney Chicken Curry)

Good morning Mr. Phoods:

The dish you are about to take-on requires that you answer the following questions.  Your answers will determine whether you should proceed with this post or not.

Do you like cilantro?

What does cilantro taste like to you?

If you answered NO and it tastes like soap exit NOW by clicking on MII consolation 

If you answered yes and yumminess, I LOVE cilantro…your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be to run to the store for cilantro, boneless chicken, peanuts, garlic, and onions and make this dish. As usual, if you or any other MII fans (Made In India) should be caught while making this dish you will be required to….invite me over for dinner. If not, the secretary (again me) will disavow any knowledge of you.

Yes, Meera Sodha’s Cilantro Chutney Chicken from her book Made In India is that good.  It inspired me to create this homage to one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

Start by making the chutney.  It’s sweet from the brown sugar, aromatic from the cilantro and tangy from the lemon juice. The peanuts give it body.  If you have extra after making the chicken, spread it on some naan or crackers. Delicious. the chutney can be made in a blender.  If it seems too thick thin it with a bit of water.

This cilantro chicken curry is very user-friendly. Despite being a newbie at cooking Indian cuisine, this dish was not intimidating, it was in fact very “doable” and takes just minutes to prepare. Saute boneless chicken with onions and a paste made of peppers, garlic, and ginger.  Add the cilantro chutney and simmer until the chicken is tender. Top with the reserved onions that have been caramelized to a deep rich toasty brown. This dish is absolutely delightful.  Every bite is a flavor explosion.  Served on top of fragrant basmati rice and garnished with cilantro leaves, its a great one pot meal perfect for a weekday dinner.

Quick, easy…Mission Possible…completed.  Signing off.

 

Good Morning Mr. Phoods (Cilantro Chutney Chicken Curry)

Ingredients

    Cilanto Chutney Chicken Curry
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 fresh green chili, roughly chopped (seeded if you prefer less heat)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 3/4 x 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons cilantro chutney (recipe follows)
  • Cilantro Chutney
  • 4 ounces cilantro
  • 2 ounces peanuts, unsalted and unroasted
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 to 3 small fresh green chilis, roughly chopped (seeded if you prefer less heat)

Instructions

    Chicken Curry
  • Throw the ginger, garlic, and green chili into a mortar and pestle, along with a pinch of salt, and bash up to a coarse paste.
  • Put the oil into a wide-bottomed, lidded frying pan on a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until they are starting to turn golden. Transfer half of the onions to a bowl and put to one side.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and green chili paste and cook for around 3 minutes. Put the chicken pieces into the pan, sear them on all sides and add the chutney. Stir the chutney, pop the lid on, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for around 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • In the meantime, transfer the onions from the bowl into a small frying pan and continue to cook them on a medium heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, until they are dark brown, soft, and sweet, then take them off the heat.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) to the chicken little by little, until it tastes just right, then take it off the heat.
  • Scatter the caramelized onions over the top of the curry just before serving. Serve alongside some steaming hot basmati rice or a pile of hot, homemade chapatis.
  • Chutney recipe instructions:
  • To wash the cilantro, fill a bowl full of cold water and put the cilantro in it. Move the cilantro around in the water, then take it out and shake off the excess water.
  • Roughly chop the stems and leaves and put them in a blender. Add the peanuts, lemon juice, salt, sugar, turmeric, and 2 small chilis, and pulse them in the blender until the mixture has a smooth, almost pesto-like consistency. Add some water to help the mixture to blend if necessary. The result should be a smooth cilantro chutney which is equally sweet, fiery, and lemony. Add the remaining chili, or more lemon juice, salt, and sugar to balance it to your taste, then spoon it into your clean jar.
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