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Tag Archive for savory

::buy this:: Jalfrezi Simmer Sauce

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The first few months of pregnancy I was lucky enough to not get too sick. And really my cravings weren’t out of control. I like to think I was just really good at listening to my body. For the first few weeks I lived on pizza and curry take out. It was an expensive month. In my first few attempts to go to the grocery store, I wondered the prepared foods aisle and came across a curry simmer sauce I had not noticed before.

We have been crazy about the Chicken Korma from our favorite Indian place Tiffin. Eventually I will try to make some myself, but theirs is just so good. And driving to go get it makes it so easy. In the meantime, while my laziness is getting the best of me and the takeout bills are getting too high, I have been experimenting with anything Korma I can find in the grocery store. Let me just tell you right now, nothing has come close to Tiffin’s.

The Seeds of Change Korma sauce is a great starter curry. If you want to introduce someone to curry and their fears of it being too spicy or smelly or just gross in general… this may be the way to go. It is a sweet curry and very coconut-y. Not at all what I was looking for in my curry. For me it wasn’t the one. PTB still enjoyed it, but since we both have to eat, that may be a no-buy for us in the future.

Despite the unsucessful night with the Korma simmer sauce, I was willing to give Seeds of Change another chance. They had a Jalfrezi simmer sauce calling my name. With no promises to be sweet or mild this “Medium-Hot” sauce lived up to its description. Was it as good as making a jalfrezi dish from scratch… that could be arguable. It has been a while since I made jalfrezi. Was it beyond easy and so worth it? Yes.

When I poured the sauce into the pan, I was expecting a smooth liquidy sauce to come out. I was thinking, maybe next time I will pick up some peppers to throw in. Unnecessary. Peppers and Onions were in the sauce. It was incredible. My only recommendation would be to skip the sautéing the chicken first. Just let it cook in the sauce so it absorbs all the flavors.It oonly makes preparing this dish easier.

Now I need to find a store that carries their Madras and Tikka Masala simmer sauces and I will be set. Or I could just buy it on Amazon and have it shipped to me. Oh Amazon Prime, I adore you.

::savory soup:: Roasted Butternut Squash

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I like to think that the weather has officially changed. The few 90+ degree days we had last week have passed, and it hasn’t stopped raining in a few days. Oddly enough, except for the horrible drivers it seems to bring out, this is one of my favorite things about Fall. When things seem to really transition. Rain is no longer cooling you off and welcome. Everyone thinks it is dreary, and yes, it is a bit gray, but the air feels so clean and crisp. It is irresistible. I know sunny days with crisp air are right around the corner, so I will take the rain. Make those pumpkins grow!

Speaking of pumpkins… did you know that the butternut squash is referred to as the butternut pumpkin in New Zealand? Fun fact of the day 🙂 I don’t know that I was exposed to squash of any sort enough as a child. I was hesitant to eat anything that involved it except pumpkin pie. Oddly enough, I’m not that crazy about pumpkin pie as an adult. Now it is a different story. PTB may go crazy with the amount of squash-related recipes I have hopes for this fall.

This soup was perfect for a lazy night. There is so little work involved, but you do need to be around while the oven goes for almost an hour.

What You Need
Step One

~ 4 cups cubed butternut squash (my whole squash was 3lbs)
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
1″ piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt
Step Two
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (use veggie brother for a vegan soup)
Step Three
fresh chives
cracked black pepper

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Combine all step one ingredients in a foil lined baking dish. Roast for approximately 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. If you have an immersion blender, combine roasted veggies and stock in a large pan. Blend away until you have your desired consistency.

If you do not have an immersion blender, go buy one. Or, you can combine the veggies and stock in a blender in batches, and pour into a pan.

Cover and heat through over a medium heat. Serve topped with cracked pepper and chives.

Are you warm and cozy yet?

Serves: 4-6   Cost: ~$2/serving (4 servings)

::eating out:: Bobby’s Burger Palace

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After hearing a ton of chatter about the new burger shop in University City, I finally had the opportunity to check it out. To give you a quick summary:

– It was worth the hype.
– It may not have been worth spending $35 for two people.
– Looking at these pictures make me want to go again.

If you want more details, read on to see some thoughts and a collection of images that might make you want to check them out too.

First, let me start with the name. I really just want to call it Bobby’s Burger Place not Bobby’s Burger Palace. I do like the design though. It’s a burger 🙂 I have never been to any of Bobby Flay‘s restaurants before, but I did know that he was the Bobby involved in this venture, so I had high expectations going in.

The menus are fairly simple. There aren’t too many choices, but they all sound so good, that I still had a hard time deciding. This is not a traditional Bobby Flay-need a reservation-fancy pants-restuarant. This is decide your order while you wait in line-place an order-get a number similar to the system of Cosi.

Decor is retro and warm. You are surrounded by huge images of burger toppings. We chose to site at the bar rather than the long group tables.

Scattered throughout the tables are carousels of sauces. Traditional ketchup and mustard, chipotle ketchup, burger sauce (like a strong A1), and a jalapeno hot sauce. I think the chipotle ketchup was my favorite. The burger sauce was a bit strong for me, and the jalapeno hot sauce was good, but didn’t go with my meal.

We started with some milkshakes, and when I saw a picture of the onion rings on their website, how could I resist ordering those?! We went with dark chocolate and pistachio milkshakes. The dark chocolate was A-MAY-ZING. The pistachio was very good, but a bit overly sweet. We both agreed that we prefer the pistachio cardamom milkshake at the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. For the price, the shakes are certainly small, but they are filling. They are the kind of shakes though, that I would prefer be served with the food. I have a hard time resisting a shake before the meal comes and then i end up having very little left by the time I am eating. That makes me sad 🙁

I like to think that the fries and onion rings are enough for two people. I ended up bringing more than half the onion rings home. The fries come with BBP Fry Sauce. It is similar to the sour cream/ketchup/red pepper concoction served with bloomin’ onions/awesome blossoms/whatever you want to call them. I preferred the chipotle ketchup with the fires and the rings.

Finally!  The burgers! I ordered the Philadelphia Burger, medium-well. Yes, you can order your burger however you like it. And mine was perfectly medium well. Cooked all the way through, but still juicy. Perfect. I ordered my Philadelphia Burger with Provolone (you have the choice of Wiz as well). It was also topped with grilled onions and hot peppers. The best way I could describe it, is that it tastes like that glorious smell of food carts in Philadelphia. That smell that is so delicious, but you know the food is not that good. I am not a cheeseburger fan at all, but I want to eat this again.

PTB ordered the L.A. Burger. It was topped with avocado relish, tomato, cheddar, and watercress. It was so good. The avocado relish was not super relish-y. It was more of a guacamole with a bite. The tomato was perfectly ripe. I think my big issue with tomatoes on burgers typically is that they are nasty tomatoes. This was not the case. Despite my usual distaste for tomatoes, cheeseburgers, and cheddar, I would totally order this burger.

Last, I just wanted to talk about the onion rings a little bit more. I mean look at those things. Look at the perfect sea salt on them. They were amazing! My only complaint (which isn’t a complaint at all) is that I need someone to share them with. PTB does not eat onions. I can’t finish the whole serving at BBP. I brought them home, but they were fresh made, not some freezer variety. Why is that a bad thing? Because food that is fried right and fried fresh, is meant to be consumed right away. It is not meant to be stuck in the toaster oven and reheated. They didn’t do so well the second time around.

Bobby's Burger Palace on Urbanspoon

Right now, Bobby’s Burger Palace has five locations throughout the tri-state area. The University City location in Philadelphia is at 3925 Walnut Street. Check it out and let me know what you think. Now, I have to go figure out when I can go again.

::kitschy kitchen:: Not Just Plain Vanilla

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Last week I finally made the lavender cupcakes I have been dying to try. I don’t know why I was so excited about the idea of cooking with lavender. I had never thought of it as something edible, but it just sounded perfect. I found the Silver Cloud Estates Lavender Extract and I was on my way. Their extract is amazing. The flavor does not cook off or freeze away. This makes it perfect for baked treats or frozen delights (I can’t wait to have an ice cream maker!) Just opening the bottle is like filling your kitchen with a little bit of heaven. My favorite part of the cupcakes was that they were a huge hit, but no one knew quite what is what that they liked about them. Since it was such a different flavor, they couldn’t pick it out. The best was that it wasn’t overly obvious either. PTB was convinced the floral flavoring was from the purple icing. My sister-in-law thought the same thing, and thought the green ones tasted different 🙂

Anyway, enough about those cupcakes! Have I said enough to make you want to try them yet?

Today, I returned to Village Spices and sought out more fun extracts. I narrowed down the choices to almond, coconut, and rosewater (the company sells cardamom extract too! but the store did not have any). Eventually I will have them all of course 🙂 I just wish I could test them more easily. These 4 oz. bottles will last forever!

So today I bought the rosewater extract. I am envisioning a summer of Rosewater Lemonades and a variety of other new experiments. I am excited to make some cookies using the rosewater extract and some cardamom (PTB’s favorite spice). Rosewater is popular in Middle-Eastern cooking and in Europe for flavoring marzipan. I’m not sure why it isn’t a huge hit here. We seem addicted to vanilla extract. I’ll admit, I use vanilla in almost all my baking, but with my discovery of Silver Cloud Estates, that may be changing. For a simple recipe, just substitute the vanilla extract with any extract you like. Be creative, be daring, and share what you come up with.

If you have used rosewater extract before, and have suggestions, I am completely open to it. I can’t wait to get started! I just need to buy some lemons first 🙂

::savory supper:: Chicken with Prosciutto and Tomatoes

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With my love of pasta, it’s no surprise I have another sauce to add to my list. I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for Cooking Light ideas. I have been loving the new Cooking Through the Seasons book I got, but needed some other recipes as well.  And now, I have a package of prosciutto I need to cook my way through.

This meal ended up being the highlight of my week earlier in the month.  Everything kept highjacking my plans and prevented me from making dinner.  I had a menu planned, and kept having to shift everything.  This was the only home-cooked meal the entire week!  It completely through me off and I am just starting to get back on track.  Last week wasn’t much better, but at least I have some restaurant posts to write up because of it.

As (almost) always, a recipe that calls for thighs, I must immediately change to use breasts. Why not?  It is the taste we prefer. If you want to use thighs, use two for each of you.

What You Need:
Step One

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour
Step Two
2 tsp Olive oil
Step Three
1/2 cup dry white wine
Step Four
1 cup chopped, seeded & peeled tomato
Step Five
1 tsp lemon juice
2 slices of prosciutto
Step Six
Cheesy Polenta for Two

Pat the chicken dry and coat with sage, salt and pepper.  Dredge (see above) through the flour shaking off excess.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken on each side (~4 min), add the wine, and cover to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Since you have some time, this would e a good point to star the polenta and chop up your tomato and prosciutto.

Remove the chicken from pan once it is cooked through (should register 160F) and add tomato.  Allow to cook for 1 minute and then ad lemon juice and prosciutto.

Spoon sauce over chicken and polenta, and enjoy!

Serves: 2  Cost: $4/serving