Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:
Part I
2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1/4 c yogurt
3 tsp minced ginger
3 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 cumin powder
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 TBS lemon juice
4 TBS vegetable oil
melted butter

Part II
5 oz. tomato paste
10 oz. tomate puree
2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp green chilies
1 TBS red chili powder
2 tsp cloves
8 green cardamom pods
salt
3 TBS butter
2/3 c cream
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp ginger, julienned
honey

Directions:
1. Whisk all of the ingredients in Part I together in a large bowl. A breast, cut into 2″ cubes. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator to 350 degrees F. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes, basting with butter and excess marinade and bake for another 2 minutes.

2. While doing this, make the sauce in Part II. Deseed and chop green chilies, tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and a little water. Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cardamoms, and salt. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce. Bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Add honey, fenugreek and ginger juliennes, and finally the chickens.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:
3 cups burgundy wine
2 TBS brandy
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
2 lb cubed beef chuck roast
4 TBS olive oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10.5 oz beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS butter
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced

Directions:
1. For marinade: in a large bowl, combine the wine, cognac, onions, carrots, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and salt. Mix well and add the cubed beef. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
3. For Bourguignon: Strain the meat from the vegetables and marinade; reserver marinade. Dry meat with paper towels. Heat 2 TBS of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and saute for 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a separate medium bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Pour a cup of marinade into the skillet and deglaze the skillet then return this liquid to the reserved marinade.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the onion and carrot from the marinade, along with the additional onion that you’ve chopped, and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with meat, again using a slotted spoon, and return skillet to the heat. Add the flour to the skillet, combining with the oil and stir until well mixed and brown, about 2 minutes.
6. Now add the tomato paste, garlic, beef broth, reserved marinade and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and whisk to remove any flour lumps. Add this to the meat and vegetable mixture. Place entire mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.
7. Bake at 300 degrees F for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. About 15 minutes before meat is done baking, melt butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. When meat is done, add the mushrooms to the meat mixture, stir well and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Butter Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red chiles, like Anaheim, or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • cup chicken stock, low-sodium or homemade
  • 1 ½ cups cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
  • ½ bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

Beef Stew

Ingredients:
3 lbs boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 c dry red wine
2 c beef broth
1 1/2 lb red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
1/4 c soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 c frozen peas
1/4 c minced fresh parsley

Directions:
1/ Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat  TBS oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of beef on all sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to bowl.
2. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, Stir in tomato paste and thyme and took until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps, and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots, soy sauce, bay leaves, browned beef with any accumulated juices, and remaining beef.
3. Cook for 25 minutes: Lock lid in place and bring pot to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as indicator signals that pot has reached high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. Naturally release pressure: Remove pot from heat and let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. Discard bay leaves. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew. Stir in peas and let stand for 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 TBS vegetable oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 onion, chopped fine
2 TBS tomato paste
2 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1 garlic clove, minced
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/4 c dry red wine
6 c beef broth
1 lb red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 TBS minced fresh parsley

Directions:
1/ Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 TBS oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of meat on all sides, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl. Repeat with 2 tsp oil and remaining beef.
2. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, thyme, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps, and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and beef with any accumulated juices.
3. Cook for 15 minutes: Lock lid in place and bring pot to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as indicator signals that pot has reached high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. Naturally release pressure: Remove pot from heat and let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick-release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. Discard bay leaves. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of soup. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Variation:
Omit potatoes. After discarding bay leaves in step 5, stir in 1/2 cup pearl barley and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, then continue as directed.

Chicken Tikka Masala

INGREDIENTS:
Chicken:
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp salt
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 c yogurt
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger

Masala Sauce:
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 jalapenos
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs garam masala
28 oz crushed tomatoes
3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 c heavy cream
1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp turmeric

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl.Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Add the crushed garlic and ginger.Rub it on the chicken and drizzle the olive oil. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight (or several hours).Take the chicken out from the fridge and add the yoghurt. Make sure it coats the chicken well. Let marinate for another 1-2 hours. In the meantime, get all the ingredients for the masala ready.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, turmeric, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It is at this point that you may adjust the seasoning and add more spice if you like it spicier. Stir in cream and return to simmer.Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, grill chicken on medium heat. Make sure you coat the chicken well with the yoghurt. Also, make sure you oil the grill …as the chicken can easily stick. You can also do the chicken in the oven using the broiler. Just adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, and serve over rice.

Tips:

If your sauce is too thick, thin it out with some more cream or milk or chicken stock before serving.

You can also grill the chicken first and keep it warm… then proceed to make the sauce…

Mercimek (Turkish Lentil Soup)

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup (about 8 ounces) red lentils, picked through and rinsed
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Lemon wedges and chopped mint for serving (optional)

Directions:
In a large pot, combine lentils, broth, onion, carrot, garlic, tomato paste, cumin and cayenne and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables and very tender and lentils begin to fall apart, about 25 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to quickly blend the soup until it is creamy but not completely puréed. Or, you can blend about half the soup in a blender, but use caution when blending hot liquids: blend only in small batches, hold the lid down firmly with a kitchen towel, and begin blending on low speed. Add salt and serve with lemon wedges and a garnish of mint if desired.