Massaman Curry

Cinnamon stick optional

Cinnamon stick optional

This curry is more in line with Indian food than Thai due to the sweetness of the sauce and the use of potato. Regardless it is very tasty.

Authentically this is made with cheap beef cubes, but chicken thighs work very well also. Use roasted unsalted peanuts with the shells and paper skins removed. Massaman curry paste can be found in any decent Asian or Indian food market. I like the Maesri line of curry pastes.

Massaman Curry

  • 4  chicken thighs or 1 lb stew beef cut into medium sized bites
  • 2 14oz cans coconut milk (not low fat)
  • 3 tbsp Massaman curry paste
  •  2 lbs potatoes skinned and cut into medium dice
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime

Scoop thick cream from the top of coconut milk and set aside. Pour remaining milk into a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a low simmer, add meat and cook partially covered for 30-40 minutes stirring often. In another pan heat coconut cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add curry paste and continue to simmer until sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes more. Pour curry paste into pan with meat. Add everything else but the peanuts and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more over very low heat. Add peanuts and cook another 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Posted in Beef, Chicken, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Summer Sips

That is a nice looking peach

The Peach Bourbon Fizz meets our summer drink criteria perfectly

Summer is just around the corner for many of you. It arrived for us about to weeks ago, which is pretty late for these parts. What makes a good summer drink? Well it helps to have lots of fruit and words like fizz or smash in the title. And bourbon. Bourbon can make you forget it’s summer if you drink enough of it. Or at least make summer more tolerable. (We’d like to enter into evidence the blackberry mint julep.)

Blackberry Thyme Martini (see also blackberry gin and tonics, blackberry spritzers)

It is summer now

It is summer now

Rosemary lemonade (also check out lemonade with mint and honey, mint limeade and Lynchburg lemonade)

spirits117

Blueberry Bramble (also check out our midnight martinis)

Stone cold baby

Stone cold baby

White Sangria

spirits106

Fig Manhattans

I need to plant a fig tree

I need to plant a fig tree

Watermelon and Wine Spritzers (Also try watermelon limeade, watermelon mimosas, watermelon coolers or watermelon margaritas)

We remembered to take the picture first this time

We remembered to take the picture first this time

The Smokey Peach (see also peach margaritas, peach daiquiris with mint, bellinis)

It's like an adult slurpee

It’s like an adult slurpee

And summer just wouldn’t be summer without a nice glass of tea.

Bourbon Iced Teas

Such an ad for country time

Such an ad for country time

 

Posted in Food, Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vichyssoise

The cream is the secret

The cream is the secret

This is a fairly simple soup to make, but it does require a couple hours to chill so plan ahead.

Vichyssoise

  • 2 lbs potatoes skinned and diced small
  • 4 large leeks cleaned and finely sliced, about 6 cups
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6-8 garlic scapes chopped fine
  • Salt/pepper

Combine potatoes, leeks, broth and wine in a large stock pot and cook at a low simmer until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes. Using an immersion blender or food mill process until smooth. Pass soup through a fine mesh sieve, then return to pot and add 1 cup cream and scapes and season with salt and pepper. Bring back to a simmer and cook 10 minutes then remove from heat and chill. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the soup to prevent skin from forming. Beat remaining cream until thick but peaks do not form. Stir a tbsp of cream into each bowl of soup.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Recipes, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Pork Chops with Cherries

Nice colors

Nice colors

The scapes have finally arrived and this is a great way to use them. The sauce cooks very fast and the end result is fancy and tasty.

If there are no scapes then a combination of green onions and garlic will work but not nearly as well.

Pork Chops with a Cherry Sauce

  • 4 pork loin chops 1 1/2″ thick
  • 6 leaves basil cut into thin ribbons
  • 6-8 garlic scapes chopped into small rings
  • 1/4 lb cherries hulled and quartered
  • 2 oz sambuca
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt/pepper

Season the pork chops with salt, peppers and nutmeg on both sides and let stand for 15 minutes. In a frying pan large enough to hold all the meat in one layer melt half the butter over medium high heat. Cook pork on both sides until almost done, about 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate and add remaining butter. Turn heat down to medium low and saute the scapes until soft. Add cherries and basil and deglaze pan with juice as the cherries saute. Cook until everything begins to brown then add sambuca. Mix well then return pork and any juices back to pan. Warm meat in sauce as it to thickens. Serve immediately.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Garden, Italian, Pork, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

In Our Kitchen: Rain Delays

Fairly good harvest

Fairly good harvest

Everything has been way behind schedule due to all the rain. Normally we would have already made the pickles and strawberry jam for the next year, but at this point the garlic scapes have just arrived and the arugula is finally done. With the garlic still in the garden, I have had to get creative with where I planted the okra and butternut squash so who knows if they will survive to grow fruit. Speaking of harvesting arugula I wonder what to do with all of it.

Hmmmm where is the cheese

Hmmmm where is the cheese

Since the basil is going great and I still have some garlic left from last year it is time to make the next years supply of pesto. But first it is important to have a healthy breakfast.

There are a few different kinds of protein there

There are a few different kinds of protein there

and finish with some fruit.

There is fruit in there

There is fruit in there

For those who are wondering how much pesto came out of a crop of basil and arugula the answer is…

33 tbsp

33 tbsp

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

Posted in Food, Garden, How to, Italian, Rants | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Chicken Saltimbocca

That looks like a map of Italy

That looks like a map of Italy

We saw this dish made all sorts of ways. Some folks browned the prosciutto, some fried up the sage leaves or rolled up the chicken. Lots were heavy on the sauce. We kept things fairly simple. This recipe made the most of our bumper crop of sage. The pounded out breasts with a nice salad and some sides are plenty for a meal for four.

Chicken Saltimbocca

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 8-10 large sage leaves (enough to cover one side of each breast)
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 2 large slices prosciutto
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup semolina flour
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Skin, debone and butterfly each breast then pound them out to about a quarter inch thickness. Dust each with salt and pepper. In a cast-iron skillet heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, dip each breast into the egg, then the flour to coat. Cook the chicken three minutes on each side then transfer to a greased ovenproof dish large enough to hold both breasts. (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the breasts. Top each breast with sage leaves — enough to cover the surface. Place a piece of prosciutto on top of each breast. Bake in the oven at 350 until the chicken is done, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and top with mozzarella. Return to oven until the cheese is melted.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Marinated Mushrooms

A little bit of spice goes a long way

A little bit of spice goes a long way

We always have mushrooms in our refrigerator. Sometimes we buy too many and this is a great way to use them up before they go bad. Plus making your own marinated mushrooms is way cheaper than buying them from the deli.

Marinated Mushrooms

  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves mince garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped green onion (about one small)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Bring about two quarts of water to a boil. As the water is coming to heat, wash the mushrooms and cut in quarters or halves depending on the size. Drop mushrooms into boiling water and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for five minutes. Drain and cool the mushrooms. In a large bowl mix remaining ingredients together, adding the oil last and whisking to incorporate. Stir in mushrooms. Refrigerate overnight. Serve on an antipasto platter or salad.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Italian, Recipes, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments