Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Madras

I have been looking at this recipe of my Grandmother's for a while. Let's face it, I love a good curry. And while I realize that most of the dishes I serve are probably more influenced by the British and are not always authentic Indian, they are delicious. This recipe called for fresh green apples. I saw some brilliant Granny Smith apples in the market today, and I knew that the time had come to give Grandma's Chicken Madras a try.

Chicken Madras
1 lb skinless boneless white meat chicken, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium green apples, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Saute chicken chunks in oil until just cooked through and remove from skillet. Saute onions and apples, sprinkle with curry powder and flour. Stir and cook for two minutes and then add broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Add more broth as needed if curry becomes too dry. Serve over steamed rice.

Grandma Harvey's original recipe calls for a 3 lb boiler/fryer cut up and seasoned with salt and pepper and browned in 1/4 cup of butter instead of canola oil. For my somewhat healthier version above I also used low-sodium fat free chicken broth, stone-ground whole wheat flour and brown rice. The curry powder I used was Sun Madras Curry powder which already contains salt. I found that it was salty enough to properly season everything and just needed a few grinds of black pepper.

Madras Curry on Foodista

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas

My house is full of snackers. Somebody is always running in and out of the kitchen with some form of snack item. Yet, aside from my homemade salsa and an accompanying bag of tortilla chips - there are no typical junkfood snacks in the house. We have apples and cheese, lot of nuts and old fashioned non-microwave popcorn galore as well as the most sought-after snack in the kitchen - the fresh raspberry. Apparently somebody bought me some raspberries the other day. I never saw any of them. So this little crunchy bean is our newest snack item. It's spicy and hot and is crunchy like a nut, yet packed with nutrition. And it's easy and cheap to make.

Crunchy Spicy Chickpeas
2 14.5-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drain and rinse chickpeas well. Allow most of the moisture to dry off (I twirled them in my salad spinner) and put into a large bowl. Add oil and seasonings and toss in the bowl until all chickpeas are well coated. Spread chickpeas on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake in the oven for approximately 45-50 minutes. Shake sheet pan around about every 15-20 minutes while cooking to allow the peas to brown evenly. Allow to cool thoroughly and enjoy!

Chickpeas on Foodista

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Greek Salad

Last week I took a vacation to the beautiful state of Virginia to see all sorts of places. Our first two nights were spent in Charlottesville. One evening after a long day of sightseeing we went to the local shopping plaza in search of something yummy to snack on. We happened upon Mykonos Cafe and dined on a delicious Greek salad and cucumbers dipped in hummus. It was a yummy meze treat. And I am hooked. My mouth waters at the thought of crispy greens and cucumbers tossed with feta. Oh my! I couldn't help trying my own version.

Greek Salad
Fresh crisp Romaine lettuce or any variety of greens
English cucumbers diced
Kalamata olives
Red onions, sliced
Fresh grape tomatoes
Feta cheese packed in brine

Combine the greens, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions with some of the Greek dressing (recipe below) and toss to coat all of the veggies. Serve with crumbled feta and a quick grind of pepper.

Greek Dressing
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Turkish oregano

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake thoroughly. Allow the dressing to sit at least a day before using.

Greek Salad on Foodista