Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm being lazy, here's a recipe

I'm giving my brain a vacation and refusing to do anything that requires more than ten minutes of thought. I haven't been able to sleep for more than a few hours at a time for about a week and I think my brain is overwrought.

I haven't been able to de-stress from having to teach my class. People tried to tell me it would go so much better than I thought, it wouldn't be as bad as I was making it out to be, my nerves would calm down after a few minutes, blah, blah, blah. Well, it was awful. No, it didn't bomb, it wasn't a disaster. But it was so uncomfortable and felt so unnatural and I hated it! And my nerves STILL haven't calmed down! I am so glad it's over, but I cannot stop running through all the material (especially the words to my song) over and over in my head! I thought I was going to come home, crash into bed and sleep like a baby last night. But no, it took me almost 3 hours to fall asleep and I kept waking up singing my song! And then I couldn't sleep all day today either, with phrases of the song tramping through my brain!

Tonight I'm going to be doing some drinking before I go to bed. That usually helps. But in the meantime I'm turning my brain off as much as possible. So, tonight's post is going to consist of things I can just look at and copy. How about a recipe? Would that suffice? I hope so cause that's what you're getting!

This is The Viking's favorite meatless meal and one of the few I will eat:

Indian-Style Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas, and Chickpeas

From America’s Test Kitchen

This curry is moderately spicy when made with one chile. For more heat, use an additional half chile. For a mild curry, remove the chile’s ribs and seeds before mincing. Onions can be pulsed in a food processor. You can substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon for the garam masala. Serve with Basmati rice, yogurt and chutney, if desired.

Serves 4-6 as a main course

-2 T curry powder (sweet or mild)

-1 ½ t garam masala (an Indian spice blend, see note above)

-¼ c vegetable oil

-2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 c)

-12 oz Red Bliss potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)(I've used white and yellow potatoes and have peeled them first with no noticeable change)

-3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 T)

-1 T finely grated fresh ginger (I often substitute ground ginger)

-1 to 1 ½ serrano chiles, ribs, seeds, and flesh minced (see note above)(these are hard for me to find so I use a jalapeno which seems to work fine)

-1 T tomato paste (I've used ketchup in a pinch)

-½ medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored & cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 c)

-1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, pulsed in food processor (some brands sell petite diced tomatoes and I use these without processing)

-1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-Table salt

-8 oz frozen peas (about 1 ½ c)

-¼ c heavy cream or coconut milk

Here's how I've learned to do it quickly:

1. Start rice, however you prefer to cook it. See, I have to make sure I write this part down first. I can't tell you how many times I've dished this up only to discover I'd forgotten to make rice.

2. Rinse and core cauliflower and cut into 1-inch florets. Set aside.

3. Scrub or peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Throw into a medium bowl. Chop onions and throw into bowl with potatoes. Set aside.

4. Combine curry powder and garam masala in small bowl and set aside.

5. Toast curry powder and garam masala in small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer spices from skillet back into small bowl and set aside.

6. Heat 3 T oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and potatoes are golden brown on edges, about 10 minutes (reducing heat to medium if onions darken too quickly).

7. While onions and potatoes are cooking, mince garlic and pepper, grate ginger (if using fresh), and place all three in another small bowl. Set aside. Open chickpeas, rinse them and set them aside to drain.

8. Once potatoes and onions are done, reduce heat to medium. Clear center of pan and add remaining T oil, garlic, ginger, chile and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until spices coat florets, about 2 minutes longer.

9. Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 t salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in peas and cream or coconut milk; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve immediately, passing condiments separately.

Right, then. I have the kitchen to finish and a bedtime story to read.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I have had that song running through my head for the past few days too. I'm sure it's driving Kate nuts because I've been singing it too.