Monthly Archives: April 2009

Rustic Lentil Soup and My Ginger Paste

You will never have lentils any other way after you try this recipe. Trust me! This recipe is the top Turkish soup recipe, try it and you will find out why. This is a very filling dish so make some nice warm bread with some tea and relax to an amazing authentic bowl of Turkish lentils.

1
cup red lentils
1
medium onion, finely chopped
1-2
garlic cloves, finely chopped
4
tablespoons butter
3
cups water
1
chicken bouillon cube
4
tablespoons tomato paste
1
teaspoon cumin
1/2
teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt
and pepper, to taste

1.     Wash lentils until water runs clear and is no
longer cloudy.
2.      In a
2-quart saucepan on medium heat, sauté onion with butter for 1 minute, add
garlic sauté until golden. Add lentils and 1 cup water, stir.
3.      Put
the lid on half way and cook for 5 minutes. The lentils will absorb the water
quickly, so check often. Add chicken cube, remaining water, tomato paste,
cumin, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes with the
lid half way on over medium heat.

Yields: 4 servings

I love cooking with fresh ginger. But ginger goes bad so fast before you ever get a chance to use it all. So a great way to save some time and money is make a ginger paste and freeze it, all you have to do is pop it out when you need it and wow you have fresh already done ginger. You can also do this with herbs and garlic, I do.

Just chop your ginger up and add it into a food processor or blender with a bit of water, you want a smooth puree. Place the tray in a plastic freezer bag. When you need some for a recipe simply pop a piece out and there you go.

Hot Cross Buns


Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns

This rhyme has been in my head for a week, I am going crazy. I guess its better than the usual “Dora the explorer” or “Shes a little princess” song that I have stuck in my head. Ahh life as I mother you have to love it.

I have always wanted to make hot cross buns since I was a kid and read this rhyme, something just seemed really cool about them. Why else would they make that rhyme? Do you remember the movie Heidi? That was my favorite growing up. I always wanted to eat bread and cheese so I could pretend to be her when I was playing. Maybe I was just a weird kid, lol. Anyway, I finally made my buns. They were so cute and fun, everyone at my husbands work loved them.

4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup raisins
1 beaten egg white
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a pan heat and stir milk, butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to dry mixture. Add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in and as much remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-1/2 hours).

3. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions. Shape portions into smooth balls. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise until nearly double (45 to 60 minutes).

4. Using a sharp knife, make a crisscross slash across top of each bun. In small bowl combine beaten egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Brush mixture of egg white and water over rolls. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. For icing, in a mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or juice. Stir in additional milk or juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is of drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing into slashes atop each bun. Serve warm.
Yields: 20

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

So do you all remember the pickled lemon and garlic that I made? If not go here and check them out. I took a picture of them the other night, this is a month of sitting. Only another month left, I am excited.

Butter Chicken


I have not been in the cooking mood that I usually am. I truly think it is due to the lack of space in my kitchen. However, we may be moving here soon so I am excited. Anyway back to my point (I know I had one). I have never really used my crock pot much due to the fact when I was pregnant I bought one of those frozen crock meals, well it was the most horrid thing we have ever ate. Therefore, my husband just thought that is how all crock food tasted. It came to me that I have a crock pot and that it’s pretty easy from what I hear, I was sure I could make my husband a crock pot believer. So as you see I have been using it every night for the past few nights and I continue to. The food I have made so far has been nothing less of amazing and so easy. And guess what? He believes!

This butter chicken OH MY GOSH you all. I was so impressed with myself that I could not even believe I made this. It was as if someone snuck it in from an Indian restaurant. The chicken was so soft it was actually shredding.

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small green chili
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup Half and Half or heavy whipping cream

1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add oil, butter, chicken, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, paprika, ginger, onions, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom and salt, mix well. Cook until chicken is lightly white. (Do not fully cook you only want to brown).

2. Add skillet mixture into crock-pot. Add chicken stock, vinegar and tomato paste. Remove top from chili and add to crock-pot whole. 15 minutes before recipe is done add yogurt and cream, mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for hour hours.

Yields: 4 servings