October 17th, 2010

Korma Curry Variations

While living in the UK, I developed a taste for curry. It's a nice fast lunch or dinner, filling and tasty. Well, it was in the UK, at least, where you could buy some tasty-enough curries in jars. You'd cook up the fillings, and then stir in the sauce. Pour it over some rice, and bob's your uncle. However, I've noticed a dearth of good curries in the areas I currently live, be it in a restaurant or a jar. So I threw together this recipe to fill the craving. Of course, it's a lot more work at first than the stuff in the jars was, but it works very well as something you can prepare beforehand and then eat over the course of a week. It's also tastier than the stuff in the jars.

Since it is an approximate recipe, there aren't any measurements. It's also not exact, as I list all the little variations I use sometimes. The result is that it's a very flexible recipe. I will justify this absolute laziness and inexactness by claiming that it is how my great-grandmother wrote down most of her recipes, and therefore I am simply being old-fashioned instead of simply being inclined to toss in a bit of this and a bit of that until it tastes right, and never writing down how much I have put in.
Collapse )

Mushroom Pasta

This dish is fairly easy to make, but can seem quite sophisticated. It is also a good thing to serve for dinner if you've got a lot of people coming over, and not the time or resources to go for a full fancy meal. It's also vegetarian, so it's good for a crowd. I will admit to shamelessly stealing this recipe from a restaurant in st andrews and adapting it to suit me. Of course, the recipe-stealing was all guesswork on my part, so maybe I can get away with "inspired by"?  Anyway, here it is. The secret is a *ton* of ground black pepper.

Collapse )

Chicken Salad

This makes a really tasty wrap or sandwich.
  • Can of chicken. Or boiled chicken breast, cut up, if you want to avoid the canned stuff. It's cheaper, too.
  • Some mayo (or your favorite substitute. Or walnut oil.)
  • celery
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper.
  • Walnuts (not crushed, but they probably should be halved at the very least)
Chop up the onion, celery, a bit of the bell pepper (this must be done very finely), and put it in a bowl with the mayo. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and a handful of cranberries. Stir. THen you are ready to make a sandwich or a wrap or whatever you want. Mmm.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This stuff was pretty tasty, unlike my first attempt with a different recipe, which was a disaster. After that catastrophe, I shied away from such recipes. But I had some wonderful tortilla soup somewhere, and decided to try again. And I found this recipe, which was also much easier than the first. And when I decided to make it the other day, I realized I had all the ingredients already! I didn't have to go buy anything. That was nice. I even had my own chicken stock that I'd made from the left overs of a roast chicken dinner. It was a nice touch. But an unnecessary one, so don't worry about that.

Eventually I'll get around to posting my roast chicken dinner recipes, and a little thing on making chicken stock. It's a simple thing, and you can find directions for it practically in any cookbook ever, but I hate when sites reference something without telling you how it's made. Or at least, how I make it. And so I will....but later. Anyway, on to the soup!
Collapse )

Chocolate Cake- low elevation version (aka the better version, IMO)

I love this cake to pieces, but can't cook it where I live (elevation: 7000 feet.) It's based on  a cake I had a lot in restaurants in the UK called "Fudge Cake," and the 'frosting' is a reflection of that. The main point of it is to use it to frost the cake, and then let it cool enough to let the (well, chocolate sauce) harden into a firm chocolate paste. Now, this sounds a bit silly, but the reason you want to cool it down is so that you can heat it back up. Seriously. This cake was always served hot, with the sauce pooling and seeping into the cake. It's marvelous, marvelous stuff, which is why I went to the trouble of trying to approximate it. As I mention down in the recipe, you can eat it cold, or you can just eat it immediately by pouring it over slices of cake. Cold is no fun and kind of goes against the whole entire point of not using a traditional frosting. Eating it immediately is appealing, but that's even more messy and also means it pretty much has to be eaten all at once, because there's no way to really frost it and save it after you've cut it up. (Well, you can, but it will never be as nice as if you did it properly in the first place).

The cream-cheese frosting is tasty and unusual. I've included it because the fudge one is a little more work, a lot more messy, and etc. So I've stolen the cream-cheese frosting from my friend Claire. It works surprisingly well with the chocolate cake.
Collapse )

Miso Gravy

This is a fantastic vegan gravy. Miso is the sort of thing that sometimes inspires skepticism, but it would be misplaced in this case. My roommate Claire made this for our big thanksgiving party in 2006, and it had to be very carefully rationed and hoarded. It was that good. It's also very easy to make.
  • 3 T. oil
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 T. miso (paste, in a jar, the brown-ish kind)
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • nutmeg
  • black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • a bunch of sliced mushrooms (any kind and amount you like, shiitake or chestnut
  • mushrooms work well)

Fry onion in oil.  Add mushrooms.  Add flour and roast.  Whisk in
broth and soy sauce.  Add spices to taste and simmer 5 minutes.


I've been on a crepes kick recently. They're super easy, and very tasty.

Collapse )


My personal favorite is nutella, then topping the rolled up crepe with whipped cream and strawberries.

But there's another recipe I've been using a lot, which is:

Tasty bacon, mushroom, and spinach filling
Collapse )