Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Meatloaf and Sweet Potato Purée.

Not your traditional meatloaf. White bread crumbs, minced carrot, celery, yellow onion, garlic, flat leaf parsley. Eggs, ground beef, ground pork. Ketchup or catsup if you prefer! Powdered mustard, salt, pepper, rosemary.

Mixed with my hands for about a minute then formed a free form loaf on parchment paper suspended on a cooling rack. The paper lets most of the fat run off. The free form loaf produces more tasty crust than using a loaf pan.

About thirty minutes into the hour cook time I sprinkled more fresh rosemary over the top.

For the taters, I baked 3 sweet potatoes and let them cool. The peel pretty much falls off. Into a pan with a little milk, heavy cream or butter and whipped them up a little. That's it for them, very simple. They taste like candy they're so sweet.

Have a good week everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Aloo Mattar Paneer

Potato, Peas and Cheese, a great spicy meal on a cold snowy evening!
I stopped at The Oven on the way home and picked up some samosas and bread to go with tonite's dinner. Indian food is delicious!

Clockwise: cilantro, garlic, habanero chili, peas, potato, onion and tomato. Ginger in the middle.
Cut some paneer into cubes and lightly fry it till golden.
Blend garlic, onion and ginger till it's smooth. Do the same with some cilantro and the tomato. Cook the onion mix in some hot oil till it starts to brown, then add the tomato mix, coriander, cumin, turmeric and paprika. I took Steve's advice and got a bunch of fresh spices from Open Harvest a while back.
Cook this mixture a couple minutes and then add fresh peas, a large diced potato and the cheese. For extra zip, I added the whole habanero that I cut in half. No seeds! I grew a bunch of these little fireballs in 2008 and they are hotter than hell. Cover with 3 cups of water and simmer for a half hour.
Just enough zing from the habanero to clear my sinuses!

Say Cheese!

I've always liked the paneer cheese in Indian food. And after watching Mr. T make some from scratch, I decided to finally jump in. I read up on the process and decided to make two batches. One with lemon juice for the acid and the other with vinegar. They both taste about the same to me.

I brought each half gallon of whole organic milk to 200 degrees while stirring to prevent scorching. I added the acids and gently stirred to get the curds to seperate. I took the pots off the heat and let them sit for ten minutes or so till the separation of curds and whey seemed complete. I drained the whey but saved it to make roti later. If you don't mind the taste, the whey is good for you to drink as well. And you can use it as the curdling agent in your next batch.

I tied up the cheese cloth and let the paneer drain for another 10 minutes. Then I put the cheese ball between two dinner plates and set a heavy pot on top. The flavor is very mild but when added to a dish it absorbs the flavors of the dish and is really good.
Try it, you'll like it!

Winter Is Back

Yesterday was so nice I grilled beer brats from Karpisek's for me and the rest of my department at work.

Didn't do any outdoor cooking today!