Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala {Winner!!}

Chicken Tikka Masala from Michelle:
(adapted from

1 cup plain yogurt
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp black pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 T fresh ginger (minced or grated on microplane)
1 tsp salt

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (or more, I have increased the amount of sauce from the original recipe, so depending on how you like your sauce to chicken ratio, you may want to do 4 breasts. I used tenders and left them whole and then cut them into pieces after grilling them).

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour or up to 8 hours. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade.

2 T butter
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 T ginger, freshly grated
1 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds and membranes to reduce heat)
1 green pepper cut into bite sized pieces, optional
2 1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 1/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cardamom
1 T Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek leaves) -- Available at Indian Markets
black pepper to taste
1 1/4 tsp salt
24 ounces tomato sauce
2 cups cream
Fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Add green pepper and saute until slightly softened. Season with cumin, paprika, cardamom and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and Kasuri Methi and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste at the end to adjust spices as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice (any rice will do, but Basmati is most authentic).

tres leches cupcakes.

Tres Leches Cupcakes from Beckie:

24 white cupcakes (recipe to follow)
8 oz evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pink whipping cream, divided
3-4 T Hershey's Caramel Syrup
Sliced fresh fruit (like strawberries, mangoes and kiwis)
Juice of 1 lime (optional)

Bake cupcakes in FOIL LINERS. This is extremely important because it helps contain the milk mixture. After cupcakes have cooled, use a bamboo skewer to poke several holes in each cupcake. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and 3/4 c of whipping cream. Use ladle to pour the milk mixture over each cupcake. There might be some runover. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, beat the remaining 1 1/4 cup whipping cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold in the caramel syrup and pipe or dollop the whipped cream on each of the cupcakes. If desired toss the sliced fruit with the lime juice and top the cupcakes with sliced fruit.

White Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines super moist is best)
1 cup all - purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 1/3 cups water
2 T vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want pure white cake)
1 tsp almond extract

Mix all dry ingredients with a whisk, then add wet ingredients. Beat for two minutes until fluffy. Fill paper liners 3/4 full and bake according to box directions. Makes 36 cupcakes.

All-Purpose Crepes.

All - Purpose Crepes from Lauren:

1 cup flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 "large" eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3 T melted butter, plus more for brushing on the pan

Mix all the ingredients smoothly in blender or food processor, or with a whisk. Refrigerate 10 minutes if you used instant flour, 30 minutes with all purpose flour. (A rest allows the flour particles to absorb the liquid, making for a more tender crepe). Heat a non-stick pan with a bottom diameter of 5 to 8 inches; brush lightly with butter. I use a napkin to "wipe" the butter around all sides of the pan, ensuring there is a nice sheen, but no big pools. Depending on your pan, you may need to "wipe" it with butter again after every four to six crepes. Pour about 3 T of batter into the pan and tilt pan in all directions to cover bottom evenly. Cook about one minute, or until lightly browned; turn and cook briefly on the other side.

Savory Filling: you can put whatever you want inside crepes, but keep in mind that less is usually more. Crepes are not meant to be eaten as hoagie sandwiches! My French roommate used to make me ham, swiss (gruyere, emmental, or Jarlsburg) and thinly sliced tomato with salt and pepper. Yum!

Sweet Filling: I love nutella and banana, but you can also do applesauce and cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and sugar or jam filled crepes.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup from Tosha:

3 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 T light brown sugar
1 T fish sauce
1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red curry paste
1 cup light coconut milk
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 T thinly sliced fresh basil
2 T fresh lime juice

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk; cook 2 minutes or until hot. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat; stir in onions, basil and juice just before serving.

Danish Ableskivers with Homemade Strawberry Syrup.

Danish Ableskiver (Pancake Balls) with Homemade Strawberry Syrup from Randi:

2 egg whites
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 T butter, melted
2 cups buttermilk

Beat the egg whites stiff. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, melted butter and buttermilk at one time and beat until smooth. Gently fold the egg whites last. Use a slotted pan. Butter each slot before adding batter. Fill wells 3/4 full with batter. When they get bubbles on top and dry at edges, turn them quickly. Continue cooking, turning until golden brown.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

1 pint strawberries
4 cups sugar

Wash and cut stems from strawberries. Blend in blender. The strawberries should come out to about 2 cups when well blended. Add 4 cups sugar and stir well. Let set for about 15 minutes for the sugar to dissolve. Warm up to serve.

Naan - from Madhur Jeffrey's Indian Cooking.

Naan Bread from Jenn:

Makes 6 large breads

2/3 cup hand hot milk
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 T vegetable oil
2/3 cup plain yogurt, beaten lightly
1 egg, lightly beaten

Put the milk in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of the sugar to the yeast. Stir to mix. Set aside for 15-20 minutes or until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is frothy.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 tsp sugar, the yeast mixture, the vegetable oil, yogurt and egg. Mix and form a ball of dough.

Empty the ball of dough onto a clean work surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until it is smooth and satiny. Form into a ball. Pour a small amount of oil into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free place for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled.

Preheat your oven to the highest temperature. Put the heaviest baking tray you own to heat in the oven. If you have a separate broiler, you can preheat that as well.

Punch down the dough and knead it again. Divide it into 6 equal balls. Keep five of them covered while you work with the sixth. Roll this ball into a tear shaped naan, about 10 inches in length and about 5 inches at its widest. Slap the naan onto the baking tray in the oven. Bake for 3 minutes. It should puff up. Now, place the try and naan under the broiler for about 30 seconds or until the top browns slightly. Wrap in a clean napkin. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve hot.

Massaman Curry.

Massaman Curry from Brittany:

1 can coconut milk
fish sauce
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
roasted cashews
Massaman curry paste (also spelled masman, available at asian grocery stores)
Jasmine Rice

Start cooking rice. Meanwhile, shake coconut milk. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk to sauté pan or wok. Add curry paste (2 TB = spicy, 1 1/4 TB = mild). Slice chicken and salt well. Heat milk/paste to high and when it's bubbling add the sliced chicken. Add 2 tsp fish sauce and 2 tsp sugar. Give the chicken 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Add the rest of the coconut milk, cashews, 1 tsp fish sauce and 1 tsp sugar. Cook a few more minutes to allow flavors to blend. (should have soupy consistency) Serve over rice.

Sweet Rice.

Sweet Rice from Kristen:

3/4 T vegetable oil
1/2 white onion, chopped to taste
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 1/3 cup white rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup white sugar

Put a little oil in the bottom of a large pan. Saute chopped onion until translucent. Add the chopped cilantro (no big stems) and saute for one minute. Add the cooking rice until it's light brown (careful not to burn it). Combine the chicken broth and sugar, letting sugar dissolve. Then stir into rice until combined and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook on low/med-low until rice is done, about 25-30 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Serves 6-8.

Double Tomato Bruschetta.

Double Tomato Bruschetta from Tamara:

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeds removed
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil to brush on baguette slices

Preheat oven on broiler setting. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Cut the baguette into 3/4 inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. (You might want to put a layer of foil on the baking sheet prior to the baguette slices). Brush a light layer of olive oil on each piece. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Tomatillo Chicken.

Tomatillo Chicken from Erin:

6 tomatillos
1 serrano pepper
1/2 small red onion
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime juiced
2-3 cloves garlic
2 T honey
Corn tortillas
Monterey jack cheese
rotisserie chicken

Cut tomatillos in half, cut top off of serrano, quarter onion, peel garlic. Place all vegetables on foil lined pan and broil for 5-7 minutes. Turn half way, browning both sides. Place in blender with lime juice, cilantro and honey. Mix with shredded chicken and fill tortillas.

Mexican Wontons.

Mexican Wontons from Shalee:

1 pkg regular sausage
2 small cans chopped olives
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
Wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 400. While oven is heating, cook and drain sausage, ranch, olives, and cheese together. Place wonton wrappers in a muffin tin and bake empty for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with above mixture. Return to oven for 5-8 minutes. You can also add jalapenos or diced green chilies. This mixture is also good baked in hollow jalepeno peppers.


Bruschette from Jocelyn:

Put the following ingredients into a food processor to chop up:
1 - 32 oz can whole tomatoes - drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves - chopped
4 T extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic (only put 2 in the food processor the others are used later)
Add salt and pepper to taste

Fresh mozzarella (it should come in a ball) - slice
1/4 inch thick baguettes sliced and lined up on a cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 375 and bake until brown about 3 minutes.
Slice remaining four garlic cloves and rub on the top of the slices when they come out of the oven. Put on the mozzarella slice and put back in oven for another couple of minutes to melt cheese. Put on the tomato mixture and they're ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Sopaipillas from Kelly:

2 cups All-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T shortening
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 count Canola Oil, for frying

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. Gradually add the water, stirring with a fork. The mixture will be a little crumbly. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until the dough is smooth. Divide the dough in half and let stand for 10 minutes. Roll one half of the dough into a rounded square to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into thirds vertically and horizontally to make 9 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Pour the oil to 1 inch deep in a small skillet and heat over medium heat. (The oil is hot if it bubbles when a bit of dough is dropped into it.) Stretch the dough squares slightly before dropping into the hot oil. Cook about 30 seconds on each side. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.