Tag Archives: Cream

{ Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani }

Butter Chicken Plated

Indian food is notorious being rich, but in the wintertime I crave a hearty meal like butter chicken over basmati rice. The curry warms you from the inside and the meal sticks to your ribs for hours; it’s the epitome of comfort food. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many good Indian restaurants where I live in Bucks County (I can’t express how much I miss Bombay Darbar in Miami). And as a result, I have begun experimenting with Indian flavors in my kitchen at home. This week I decided to tackle a recipe for Butter Chicken (traditionally known as Murgh Makhani) that I found on Pinterest.

I followed the recipe (taken from www.ecurry.com) almost exactly, but I did have to modify some of the seasonings due to the limitations of my spice pantry. None-the-less, the recipe came out incredible, hitting all the flavorful notes of an authentic Indian supper.

I will warn you though that the dish is time consuming to prepare. The chicken needs to marinade twice, and ideally overnight in the second marinade, so plan ahead with this meal!! Other than that, the dish is relatively easy to prepare once you have all of your ingredients gathered. Like I said, I made some very minor modifications to the original recipe in order to make it more user-friendly for the average american spice pantry. I will definitely be making this dish again, using the exact recipe listed below:

{ Ingredients }

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breast –  rinsed, patted dry, and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive Oil for basting while grilling

For the Yogurt Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
  • 1/5 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic paste

For the Makhani Masala Sauce:

  • 2.5 inch fresh ginger, made into a paste
  • 8-10 closed of garlic, made into a paste
  • 2-4 jalapeños, slit
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2.5 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3.5 cups tomato puree
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsp almond paste* (see note!)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1.5 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream

**NOTE: Take a handful of almonds and soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain (reserving the liquid) and blend in a food processor with a 1/2 tsp of the reserved liquid.

{ Directions }

Cut the chicken into cubes.

Slicing Chicken

Apply the chili powder, lemon juice, and kosher salt to the chicken breasts and set aside for 20 minutes. This is the first marination.

Seasoned Spice Chicken

Combine the Greek yogurt, red chili powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, garam masala powder, and olive oil in a small bowl and mix well.

Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt Marinade2

Apply this marinade to the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight!

Chicken in Marinade

Put the chicken on skewers and cook on a grill or in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking process.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Add the black cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Sautee until the spices begin to sizzle and become fragrant, then add the ginger paste, garlic paste, and the jalapeno chilis. Cook for 5-8 minutes; the water in the garlic and ginger paste should reduce drastically.

Add the tomato puree, red chili powder, and kosher salt. Cook at a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. The puree will reduce to a thicker sauce and the oil will separate to the sides of the pan.

Add 2 cups of boiling water to the pan, then ass the almond paste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the sugar and fenugreek leaves.

Return the cooked chicken pieces to the pan. Stir well to combine so that the chicken is coated with the sauce. Cover ad simmer for 8-10 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garam masala and the heavy cream. Stir in the cream and simmer at a low heat for an additional 5 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and a splash of cream before serving.

Butter Chicken in Pan

I served my butter chicken over basmati rice, with a side of Garlic Naan (a recipe that I also got from www.ecurry.com).

Homemade Naan

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{ Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce }

If I were to make a list for the culinary wonder’s of the world, Panettone bread would certainly be somewhere near the top. A sweet bread, dotted with soft raisins and candied citrus fruit peels, Panettone is best-known for it’s uncanny ability to stay fresh over great lengths of time. I always receive at least one during the Christmas holidays, but usually I don’t around to eating it before anytime before Easter. I often joke that in the event of a nuclear apocalypse, only three things would survive: Twinkies, roaches, and few ribbon-wrapped panettone loaves. Hence, hell on Earth.

Although there is no hope for making Twinkies more palatable, panettone can actually be quite delicious when used in other recipes. It makes a great base for stuffing, a flavorful bread for French toast, and of course, a delicious bread pudding! The fruity flavors of the bread naturally infuse whatever dish you are making, so you don’t have to do as much work seasoning the food. I recently decided to try this bread pudding recipe from Giada de Laurentiis because I saw that it came with a warm Amaretto sauce drizzle. It sounded over the top on Food Network, and it certainly did not disappoint!

I used about 1 1/2 pounds of cubed panettone bread, and made two bread puddings from it. I also doubled the Giada’s recipe for the Amaretto drizzle because it sounded like the best part of the dessert, and I wanted to make sure that there was enough to soak up each bite. I will post the recipe with my modifications below, but you can also view the original by clicking HERE!

Now if only a doctor could put the secret ingredient from Twinkies and panettone into my moisturizer, it might help extend the shelf-life of my face!

{ Ingredients }

For the Bread Pudding:

  • 1 ½  pounds of panettone bread, crusts trimmed, and cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of whipping cream
  • 2 ½  cups of whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

For the Amaretto Sauce:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

{ To Make the Amaretto Sauce } Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl mix the amaretto and cornstarch to combine and then whisk the into the cream mixture.

Simmer over a medium-low heat until the sauce thickens (stirring constantly), for about 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm, if serving the same day.

NOTE: The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just warm over low heat before serving.

{ To Make the Bread Pudding } Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ baking sheet. Arrange the cubed panettone in the dish.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to combine.

Pour this custard mixture over the panettone cubes, using the back of a wooden spoon to press the cubes into the liquid. It is important that they are very well submerged. Allow the bread to soak for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the pudding puffs and it set in the center, about 45 minutes (depending on the size of the dish that you chose to use). Allow to cool slightly.

Spoon the bread pudding onto a plate and drizzle with warm amaretto sauce. Enjoy!

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{ Tres Leches Cupcakes }

Girl meets boy. Girl has crush. Boy is Spanish. How does she get him to like her?

Easy, she casts a love spell by baking him Tres Leches Cupcakes. Spanish people can’t seem to get enough of tres leches desserts, and boys can’t get enough of a woman that cooks! The combination….lethal.

This recipe is guaranteed to impress and even better it’s cheap to make, considering that most of the ingredients are pantry staples and canned goods. If you aren’t the best baker, don’t worry! These cupcakes are are almost impossible to screw up because they get bathed in a rich and creamy tres leeches mixture after they are baked. So even if you happen overcook them, you can reconstitute the moisture in the cake afterwards.

For those of you who are good at baking (and really like sweet stuff), feel free to make these in cuatro leches cupcakes by adding a bit of dulce de leche to the milk mixture. Or instead of using whipped cream as frosting, make a dulce de leche buttercream (there are tons of recipes you can find on the internet). I’m a simpleton so I stick to tres leches with whipped cream, but kudos to you experimenters!

And if you are really trying to impress–as I was–it is crucial that you make the whipped cream in front of your guest! Most people don’t understand just how easy it is to make, and they are blown away by another’s ability to transform liquid into a sugary, white, pillow of deliciousness. It cracks me up when people say, “oh my gosh, homemade whipped cream!?! Wow, you’re such a chef.” Of course, I don’t mention that the kitchen aid does all the work! And finally, dust your miniature cakes with a pinch of cinnamon and voila, you have an incredibly delicious, bite-sized, morsel of bliss!

Ohhh, and you may think you are drowning your cupcakes in the tres leches mixture….but keep pouring it on!!!! They are supposed to be very moist. The first time I made this recipe, I held back on the amount of tres leches mixture I used, and I they were too dry. I ended up taking the cupcakes out of the wrapper and soaking them in the tres leches mixture over night. I then spooned the pieces out of the bowl and ate it like soup. #diary of a fat girl.

{ Ingredients }

  • 6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Homemade Whipped Cream (see instructions below)
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting
{ To Make the Cupcakes } Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper-lines foil liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar, whisk until completely combined. Fold in melted butter with a flexible spatula. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
Immediately poke holes in the tops of cupcakes with a skewer.
Whisk together evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. With cupcakes still in tins, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used.
Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator). Bring to room temperature before serving.
To finish, dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes, and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.
{ To Make the Whipped Cream } In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar. Continue beating until still peaks form, but do not over beat or the mixture will become grainy.

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{ Roasted Butternut Squash Soup }

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Drizzle of Heavy Cream

The holidays are almost over, and it is time to start lightening up our diets. That means no more artichoke dips or mini hot dogs, or cookies in place of breakfast. No more substituting our required 8 glasses of water with egg nog and hot chocolate. And please, no more Costco frozen appetizers! It’s time to start eating lighter and healthier.

I know for a fact that almost everyone has made it their New Year’s resolution to loose weight, or at least start eating right (history tends to repeat itself)! But, we also all know that this is much easier said then done (again, history tends to repeat itself!). It is not surprising that so many people abandon their resolutions before the years end, considering just how challenging it is to find recipes that are healthy and yet still tasty. They do exist, but they are often tricky to find. Thankfully, this year you have my blog to help you locate them! This recipe for roasted butternut squash soup is hearty, full of flavor, and best of all, naturally low in calories!!  It will help you achieve your resolution without forcing you to sacrifice delicious food.

This soup tastes so hearty and feels so satisfying largely because of it’s creamy consistency. There isn’t a ton of milk or cream in it, but the pureed butternut squash is thick and gives the impression of a cream base. In fact, I oftentimes forgo even adding any milk or cream to the soup, and find that the texture is not compromised in the least bit (it also freezes better without the dairy). Flavor wise, the soup has a perfect balance of sweet and spicy with the heat coming from the ginger and cayenne pepper and the sweetness coming from the butternut squash. To add another dimension to the soup, I like to serve mine with croutons on top or a side of fontina cheese crostini; it adds some crunch and breaks up the monotony of the puree. Overall, this soup is fabulous, simple to make, and I highly recommend it!

{ Ingredients }

  • 2 butternut squash
  • 1 spanish onion
  • 2-4 leeks, depending on size (3 medium is ideal)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, depending on size
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 (32 oz) containers of chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • (optional) 1/4 cup heavy cream for finishing

{ To Make Soup }

Preheat oven to 350. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and rub with oil. Roast in oven on lined baking sheet for about 40-45 minutes, or until fork goes through squash easily.

Once squash is cooked, heat butter and oil in a large stock pot over medium flame. Once hot, saute onion, leek, garlic, and ginger. Season with salt, pepper, and add cayenne pepper. Add chicken stock.

Scoop out seeds from butternut squash and add the pulp into broth. Simmer on low for another 20-30 minutes, covered. Then with immersion blender or regular blender, puree soup. Return to pot and add milk, stirring. Bring to a low simmer for a minute or two. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in warm bowls with drizzle of cream, if desired.

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{ Tomato Basil Soup }

Tomato Basil Soup

(Adapted from Tyler Florence)
An all-liquid diet equates to hell for a serious foodie. It is even more miserable than I anticipated that it would be, if you can imagine that. For example, I went grocery shopping today and had to actually turn down free samples of food. I never turn down free things, let alone food! It was torture as these older women eagerly waved cubed of aged cheese and sliced salami on toothpicks at me. I had to say “no thank you,” but I was thinking “I want to be fed. I want your samples, I really do, but I just physically cannot eat!” My mom can see my frustration (she caught me reading her cookbooks as literature earlier today) and she decided to make me a nice hearty soup for dinner–tomato basil.
I can’t say that I helped, or even watched my mom make this soup because I was passed out from my pain killers, but it turned out great! She used fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary from our herb garden so the depth of flavor was intense and delicious. She then topped off the soup with some heavy cream and cracked black pepper, which balanced the acidity of the tomatoes perfectly. I ate this as a simple soup tonight, but I think it would also taste delicious over pasta as a faux vodka sauce (once I have teeth again, of course!). I will definitely be adding this to recipe to my own collection, hopefully you will enjoy it too!

{ Ingredients }

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of heirloom, cherry, wine, and plum)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 5 fresh sprigs of thym
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
{ To Make the Soup
Preheat the over the 450 degrees F.
Wash, core, and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic, and onions onto a baking tray. Tie up the rosemary and parsley with twin and add onto the tray. Drizzle with a 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove the roasted tomatoes, garlic, and onion from the onion and transfer to a large stock pot. Cut off the twin from herbs and add to the stock pot as well. Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutws or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves and add to stock pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken broth, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with drizzle of cream before serving.

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