Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hindustani Chicken

Inspiration comes from the strangest places...  I was craving Indian food, which I call Hindustani, because once upon a time I was speaking to a group of my trainees and telling them that cigarettes were cheaper on the Indian reservations... and I looked around me at the 8 Indian nationals I was speaking to, and said, so do you call yourselves Indians?  And I was told that they used the term Hindustani.  

I wanted curry chicken, found a mediocre recipe on the internet and have made some adjustments.  First of all I need to buy plain yogurt on a regular basis.  I used half and half (the recipe called for cream) and some sour cream. But yogurt is what is needed. Also the recipe called for to much cinnamon, so I reduced that, and did not have enough curry flavor, so I increased that.  And here is my first Hindustani recipe:   

2 lbs Chicken Breast, cut into bite size chunks
1 package chopped spinach cooked and drained
1 14-16 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed.
1 C plain yogurt (was half and half/cream)
14 - 16 oz tomato sauce.
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 TBS Butter (Ghee if available)
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp ginger powder - need to find paste or fresh equivalent 
1 tsp paprika (reduced)
1 tsp curry powder (increased)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper - this creates a mild base add more to heat (reduced).
1/2 tsp tumeric (increased)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (reduced)

Sautee the onions in butter over med-low heat until translucent. Add garlic, cook another 1-2 minutes.
Mix all of the spices together in a small bowl.  Toss the chicken in the spices. Move the onions and garlic to the side of the pan, increase the heat to medium and sear the chicken on all sides.
Once the chicken is seared, add the tomato sauce (and fresh or tube ginger) and chick peas.  Reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the yogurt/dairy and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with Naan bread and/or Basmati rice.  
Add 1/4 tsp tumeric per C of rice for a golden color. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Noodles, Dumplings, Spaetzle und Knoedel

I haven't made any of these yet, but I remember the first time Rich showed me how to crack an egg in a cup of flour and roll it into home  made noodles.  I was amazed.  Was that all there was to it?  Apparently so.

These are a few recipes I am putting on file for future reference...

Apparently Dumplings have baking soda... or you can use Bisquick.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk or water
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; add liquid and mix to make a batter that can be dropped from a spoon. Drop onto boiling stew, being careful there is plenty of liquid. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size of dumplings.

Noodles1 Egg, 1 C flour and 1 pinch salt

Mix all ingredients. Roll thin with flour, then roll like a jelly roll. Cut into 1/2 inch strips. Let dry.
Drop into hot chicken broth. Boil for 15 minutes.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash white pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 quarts chicken broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • In a bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Add eggs and milk; stir to mix well (batter will be thick). In a Dutch oven or large kettle, bring chicken broth to a boil. 
  • I think they are supposed to be squeezed through a collander with large holes... which I lack.
  • Drop batter by 1/2 teaspoonfuls into boiling liquid. Boil until spaetzle rise to the surface; remove to ice water. Drain well. In a skillet, heat spaetzle in butter until lightly browned. Serve with schnitzel and gravy or with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 2 servings.

And then there's Knoedel, leftover bread, formed into balls and cooked:
  • 6 oz. day-old bread (3 rolls)
  • 1/3 - 2/3 c. milk (75 ml)
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. onion, minced
  • 2 T. parsley, minced or 1 T. dried
  • 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 egg
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (1/4 tsp. ground)


Making Semmelknödel

Cut or tear the rolls into small bits. Pour 1/3 cup milk over the bread and let it sit 5 minutes. Test it and see if it needs more milk. The bread should be softened but not dripping wet. Add enough milk to achieve this consistency.
Sauté the onion, parsley and marjoram in one or two teaspoons of butter.
Stir the egg and nutmeg with the bread crumbs, then add the onions and mix. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, then mix again briefly, taste and add more spices if necessary. The dough should be firm, with pieces of the crust still visible.
With wet hands, form 4 Knödel (round dumplings) and cook 15 - 20 minutes in simmering water. Do not let the water boil. You can make Knödel in any size, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Note: The amount of milk you need depends on how dry the bread or rolls are and how big they are. Normal sized rolls weigh about 2 ounces.
If the dough is too wet to hold together, add some bread crumbs, either from the package, or day-old.