Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

This is a easy stir fry dish that uses Orange Marmalade to give a sweet citrus flavor to your stir fry.

Slice 4-5 cups of your favorite stir fry vegetables.  I used carrots, green onions and celery.

Marinate 2lbs of boneless chicken breast (cut in one inch cubes) with 3 Tbs of soy sauce and 1 Tbs of cornstarch for 1-2  hours.

Note:  Marinate in fridge and take out of fridge 15-30 minutes prior cooking your stir fry. 

Make your orange sauce by mixing together:
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/3 chicken stock
1/4 soy sauce 
2 Tbs of oyster sauce

Set aside until later.

Grate or finely mince 4-5 garlic cloves and 3 Tbs of fresh ginger.

Heat 3 Tbs of canola oil in a wok and get it very hot.  Add marinated chicken breast and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add your minced ginger/garlic and red chili flakes to taste.  Stir Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add your slice veggies and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the sauce you made earlier and toss with veggies and meat.  Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are to your desired tenderness.

Serves 4-6 people.  Serve with rice and any other Asian condiments you like (ie.. red chili sambal, chow mein noodles, fish sauce, soy sauce).  Enjoy.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easy No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie

This is a quick no-bake version of Coconut Cream Pie.  Toasted coconut, creamy filling and a crunchy crust... it definitely is a keeper.

I decided to make my own cookie crust with Vanilla Wafers.  I put 3/4 of an 11oz box in a food processor and added 1/3 cup melted butter.  Once it was a "wet sand" texture, I pressed it into a pie plate. Then I baked it in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Note:  You can make this pie even easier by skipping this step and just buying a prepared graham cracker pie crust available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle.

The Filling:
1 package of vanilla pudding
1 and 1/2 cups of cold milk
1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of toasted coconut flakes.  **these coconut flakes are sweetened and available in the baking aisle.  Bake the coconut flakes at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Careful not to burn.

Mix all ingredients with a hand blender or in a food processor. I used my food processor since I used it to make the cookie crust earlier. 

Once the pie crust is cool, fill with the pie filling.

Cover pie filling with one regular size tub of cool whip topping.  Garnish the top with another 1/2 cup of toasted coconut.    Allow to chill in fridge for 6-8 hours or over night before serving.

Serves 8-10 people.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All content, photos and text are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pork Vindaloo


This dish is from the Goa on the Western Coast of  India where they eat a lot of meat dishes.  This is a tangy dish that compliments any rice and curry meal.

Dry roast the following ingredients on a low flame until fragrant:
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp brown mustard seed
2 pieces of cinnamon bark
6 cloves
10 black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods

Gather the following to make the Masala:
6 garlic cloves
2 inch piece of fresh ginger coarsely chopped
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider or white)
1 Tbs red chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs tomato paste
Grind all the dry spices that were roasted and the masala spices in a blender.  The vinegar should be plenty of liquid to get the  ingredients well pulverized.

Heat 3Tbs of oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Once heated add the Masala mix and allow to fry until aromatic. You will see the oil begin to separate from the masala.  This process will take about 2 minutes.

Adjust your heat on the stove if the masala is looking like it's burning. You don't want to burn the flavors.

Cut two pounds of pork into 1 inch cubes. 

Add your pork to the fried masala in the pan and toss well.  Add salt (to taste).    Cook for 5-6 minutes until the meat browns

Add 1 cup of hot water into the blender that you used grind your masala and get all that flavor from it then pour it into the pan and stir well.

Bring the dish to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until the pork is tender.  Taste for salt before serving.    Serves 6-8 people.  Serve with rice, lentils veggie curries and chutneys if you desire.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All content, photos and text are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shrimp Curry -Sri Lankan Style

 This aromatic and spicy dish makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  My mother gave me this recipe and my entire family loved it.  The dish is cooked without any oil so it is very figure friendly.

To start you will need the following ingredients:
1 medium onion sliced or chopped
1-2 chili peppers sliced.  I use fresno chili peppers here, but you can use jalapeno or serrano as well.
5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 inches of ginger finely chopped or grated
1 stalk of lemon grass (pounded a few times)-- the lemon grass is optional
handful of curry leaves
2 Tbs of lemon juice
1 Tbs of red chili powder -or to taste
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
1 2 inch stick of cinnamon
salt to taste
1/2 cup of water

 I used 1lb of shrimp for this recipe.  You can use frozen or fresh shrimp (do not use already cooked shrimp).  I used frozen shrimp that I defrosted under cold water.  My shrimp was cleaned with only the tails on.  I do think that the shrimp shells give a wonderful flavor to the gravy so if you don't mind cleaning your shrimp as you eat, the shells are good to have while you cook the dish.

Add all the ingredients to the pan and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.   You will see more liquid form in the pan from the shrimp.    

Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.  Stir occasionally.

Add half a can of coconut milk (about 7 oz).  Stir well.   Taste for salt here. 

Serves 4 people.  Eat with rice other curries.  Enjoy.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

I find comfort in a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold, rainy day. This Vietnamese Pho soup was just calling my name today.  I looked around and found Pho soups recipes to be a long drawn out process.  I just wanted my soup so I came up with a pretty easy version.

For the stock you will need:
1 cartoon of chicken broth (32 oz)
6 cups of water
1/3 cup fish sauce 
half lemon cut into two
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 inches of ginger (cut in large pieces and smashed a few times)
4-6 cloves of garlic cut into large pieces
1 serrano chili slit down the middle
1 medium onion (rough chop)
1 stalk of leeks cut into large pieces
1 stalk of lemon grass (use only the bottom inner part) cut and smashed a few times.

3 large skinless chicken breast on the bone. 

In a large soup pot put your chicken breast and stock ingredients to boil on a medium-high heat.  I cooked it for 50 minutes.  

Once the soup is ready. Turn it off and fish out the chicken breast.  Shred as much chicken as you want in the soup.

I had three large chicken breast and decided that two were fine.   I save the third piece (already deliciously flavored) for another meal.

I put a colander into another soup pot and drained the stock through to collect all "stock flavoring" ingredients.  These can be discarded now.

Prepare your favorite Asian soup noodles per the package instructions.  Keep the noodles separate from the soup.  You will add the cooked noodles into each soup bowl as you serve.

The accompaniments to the soup are very important.  This will further flavor your soup to your desired taste.  I have included:  Fresh Thai Basil, Fresh Mint leaves, Thai bird chilies thinly sliced and marinated in fish sauce, lemon or lime, Sambal Oelek Sauce - Fresh Ground Chili Paste, Green onions sliced. 

You can also include bean sprouts, Sriracha sauce etc...     Each person gets to customize their own soup and it becomes an interactive experience.

This soup will serve 6-8 people.  It is filling, nutritious, flavorful and interactive.  My whole family (even my kids) loved it.  Enjoy.    

Copyright: All content, photos and text, are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cinnamon-Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

My husband loves bread pudding.  So I came up with this ultra decadent recipe that will definitely make you feel like you have indulged in something sinful.   Use your desired bread for the bread pudding such as stale white bread, croissants, cinnamon raisin bread or even day old cinnamon rolls for this recipe.   If you decide to use my type of bread read the new few steps, otherwise skip down three more steps until you see the title "Making the bread pudding".

I first started by making cinnamon/brown sugar biscuit bites.
I used two cans of Pillsbury Grands biscuits
1/2 cup of melted butter/margarine and brown sugar mixed in a bowl
1/2 cup of white sugar and 1tsp of powdered cinnamon mixed in a bowl.

Cut each round biscuit into equal four pieces. Then in a ziploc bag or large bowl, toss the cut biscuits with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Pour the brown sugar/melted butter mixture on top of all the coated biscuits.  Spread the biscuit bites on a greased cookie sheet and bake until the biscuits are cooked through. About 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.   I did this a few days ahead before making the bread pudding.

*Stale bread(s) work best for bread pudding.

Making the Bread pudding: 

Butter a baking dish (9x13).  Rip apart your desired bread for the pudding and place on a even layer in the baking dish.

In a mixing bowl make your custard by beating together:
1 can condense milk
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Pour the custard over the bread in the baking dish.  Press your bread down and make sure most of it is is under the custard.  Allow the bread to soak some of the custard by letting it sit.  I allowed it to soak for about 15 minutes before baking. 

I decide to garnish my pudding with fresh diced apple.  I diced one large Fuji apple that I cored and peeled.  You can use raisins, any dried fruit, canned fruit (drained) or fresh fruit, nuts (etc) as well.  You can make the dish your own by adding what you like.  I have a son that does not like nuts and raisins. So apples were my best bet.   

Scatter diced apples (or desired toppings mentioned above) on top of bread pudding and allow some to get down into the custard.

Sprinkle bread pudding with a light dusting of cinnamon powder and dot bits of butter.

 Bake at 350 degrees for  of 45 to 1 hour  or until custard is set. 

The Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar (brown or white)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half and half
3-4 tbs butter 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

      Cook sugar and water in  pan until sugar turns brown (careful not to burn).  Add vanilla extract, butter and heavy cream or half and half.  Stir well and serve with pudding. 

       Serve bread pudding warm with warm caramel sauce.  Enjoy.  Serves 6-8 people