Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Onion Ring Burger with Yogurt Sriracha Sauce

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I received a lovely surprise as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program recently when they sent me an apron, pot-holder and a coupon to try Alexia Foods.  I was excited heading to the frozen section of my grocery store to find an Alexia brand product to try out. I looked over all the tempting choices when I saw them.... onion rings.   I love onion rings, but I only order them if I go to restaurants because most frozen onion rings are just not that good (most don't even have real onions).  These Alexia brand onion rings are fantastic.   Alexia onion rings are made with real Spanish onions, seasoning and panko bread crumbs then frozen for our convenience.  They only took a few minutes in the oven and I was thrilled that I finally had restaurant quality real onion rings at home.  I decided to put them on top of my burger and dress them with my homemade yogurt sriracha sauce. I also ate them as my side dish because when you meet a good onion ring you don't want to just have one. :)  The kicker is my son who dislikes onions in his food with a passion ate some of these onion rings and said they were really good. Say what?  These Alexia Onion Rings scored big in our family so when you find a winner you stick to it. 


Note: this quick masala spiced chicken burger is the burger I used in my onion ring burger. You can use any ground meat you prefer and season it as you wish because topping it with the onion rings is best part.



 Ingredients for my burger:
Step 1: prepare Alexia onion rings per package instructions
For Spicy burger
1lb of ground chicken or turkey
1Tbs of hamburger seasoning
1Tbs of parsley flakes
red chili flakes to taste
1/2 Tbs of garam masala
salt and black and pepper taste

Ingredients for Spicy Yogurt Sriracha Sauce:
1/2 cup of plain low-fat yogurt
2-3 Tbs of sriracha sauce (to taste)
2 Tbs of ketchup
1-2 tsp of  vinegar (to taste)
2Tbs of pickle relish(to taste)
salt and black pepper to taste
Mix well. Makes enough for 4 burgers and dipping the onion rings

Directions: 
Mix all the burger ingredients (except onion rings) and make 4 large burger patties. Then fry burgers on both sides until cooked through. 

Serve on toasted hamburger bun with onion rings and sriracha sauce.  Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes if you desire.  Enjoy.





Disclosure: I received a coupon from Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program courtesy of Alexia Foods.  I was not paid to write this post.  The opinions stated in this post are my own. Thank you.



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mango Tango Sauce

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Ingredients:
1 cup pureed mango pulp (see note)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
juice of half a lime
1-2 green chilies (see note)
2tsp of ginger/garlic paste or 1 tsp each
some honey (to taste)
salt to taste

Notes regarding the Mango:  
You take the flesh of a fresh mango and put into a food processor to blend into a puree or used a can of pureed mango pulp available in most Indian Stores.

Notes regarding the chili:  You can use jalapeno, serrano, Thai bird chili or even habanero chili depending how what heat level you like.  If you want to just get the flavor and tone down the heat, take the seeds and ribs out of the chile.  I used 2 Thai bird chiles.

 Directions:
 Put all ingredients in a saucepan and gently simmer on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until it thickens a bit. Taste for seasoning. Serve at room temperature.  Enjoy.




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pina Colada Punch

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A tropical a drink is not only for hot summer days... it's for any day that you want to bring some sunshine into your life.  This Pina Colada Punch does exactly that with the refreshing taste of pineapple and the creamy coconut.  I made this punch non-alcoholic since I was making it for both children and adults. Of course you can add rum if you like for an adult only crowd. Life should always be a party, enjoy a fruity drink and do the conga.

Visit my post Gilligan' Island Themed Castaway Party for more tropical ideas. :)

Ingredients:
1 (20oz) can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice (see note)
1 (46oz) can of dole pineapple juice chilled
1 (8oz)can of cream of coconut (available in the Hispanic Foods Aisle)
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
1 liter bottle of lemon/lime soda
rum to taste (optional)

Recipe adapted from  allrecipes.com

Note:  I recommend taking the can of pineapple and it's juice and put it into a jell-o mold then freeze it. Take it out of the mold by warming up the sides and place the frozen pineapple ring into the punch bowl to keep the punch cold without watering it down with ice cubes.  As it melts chunks of pineapple will float in the punch to enjoy.




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gilligan's Island Themed Castaway Party

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The Foodbuzz 24x24 Food Event showcases 24 food blogger parties during a 24-hour period. I was thrilled to be featured this month!
Growing up one of my favorite shows to watch after school was Gilligan’s Island.  When my friends and I were talking about what we would eat if we were stuck on a tropical island, I thought back to all the fun food the 7 castaways ate on Gilligan’s Island.  Gilligan always enjoyed an array of banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, tropical drinks, seafood and salads.  So I thought it would make a fun evening to dine like castaways and have a tropical evening in the middle of winter.



Our party included not only my cheesy theme song, a wonderful island style menu, but re-runs of the show to watch and Gilligan's Island Trivia . Everyone also had to answer the following question: What would you bring as your luxury item if you were stuck on a desert island?  Feel free to participate in the Trivia questions shown below. Also leave your luxury item answer in the comments.  My guests had fun with this question and we had  answers like: Ipods, coloring books with crayons, Kindles with 1000 books downloaded, crate of wine, a lot of matches, Tom Hanks to do his Castaway thing or at least some winners from Survivor, a fully stocked RV and the best one is a helicopter to get the heck off the island.  :)



Now onto the  Food, here is The Castaways Menu:
Gilligan's Isle Coconut Water
Sherwood Schwartz’s Spicy Pineapple Salsa
The Skipper’s Coconut Shrimp
Mrs. Lovey Howell's Fish in Banana Leaf
Ginger’s Spicy Plantain Mofongo
Mr. Howell’s Fruit Salad
Gilligan’s Banana Cream Pie
Mary Ann’s Coconut Cream Pie
The Professor’s Pina Colada Punch


These recipes are inspired by the 60's TV show.  Of course like the magic of TV, seasoning and some necessary items were used (I did want the food to taste good after all). :)
 Gilligan's Island Show Facts:
Dates Aired:  September 26, 1964 - September 4, 1967 
Cast:
Gilligan:  Bob Denver
The Skipper: Alan Hale Jr.
Thurston Howell:  Jim Bakus
Lovey Howell: Natalie Schafer
Ginger Grant: Tina Louise
The Professor: Russell Johnson
Mary Ann: Dawn Wells 
Created by: Sherwood Schwartz


 Gilligan's Island Plot:  
A two man crew (Gilligan and The Skipper) of a small charter boat called the S.S. Minnow set sail out of Hawaii with 5 passengers (A millionaire and his wife, a movie star, the Professor and Mary Ann) for a 3 hour cruise.  They hit a tropical storm and end up shipwrecked on a desert island.  Three seasons of escapades ensue with Gilligan and his fellow castaways trying to live on the island and trying very hard to get off the remote island.  The show represents the 1960's comedy at it's best and silliest. The show has highly syndicated during the 1970's and 1980's and followed by several reunion TV movies.  Even modern day shows have done their own spins and "dream sequences" in reference to this show. Today Gilligan's Island is considered to be iconic pop culture TV.

Gilligan's Island Trivia
1. What is Gilligan's first name on the show?
2. What was "The Skipper's" first and last name on the show?
3. What was "The professor's" first and last name on the show?
4. What was Mary Ann's last name on the show?
5. True or False? The original theme song listed all the castaways.
6. What state was Mary Ann from on the mainland?
7. True or False?  Raquel Welch auditioned for the part of Mary Ann.
8. What was "The Professors" real job on the mainland?
9. What is the name of the big game hunter who tried to hunt Gilligan?
10. Who made sure the theme song of the show got changed so Mary Ann and "The Professor" were added?
11. True or False?  Kurt Russell guest starred on the show.
12. True or False?  The show originally taped in black and white and then later in color.
13. Who was more popular, Mary Ann or Ginger by audiences?  
14. Who was the only castaway actor to earn residuals (and made millions) once the show became syndicated?
15. Which actress won the Miss Nevada Beauty Pageant?
16. Who is the only castaway that had his own hut on the show? 
17. Who wrote the theme song of the show?
18. What did the castaways use as cups?
19. What was "Loveys" (Mrs. Howell) real name on the show?

Now scroll down for the answers and remember to answer what your luxury item would if you were on a desert island in the comments?



Answers to the Trivia:
1. What is Gilligan's first name on the show? Willy
2. What was "The Skipper's" real name on the show? Jonas Grumby
3.  What was "The professor's" real name on the show? Roy Hinkley
4.  What was Mary Ann's last name on the show? Summers
5. True or False? The original theme song listed all the castaways. False
6.What state was MaryAnn from on the mainland? Kansas
7.  True or False?  Raquel Welch auditioned for the part of Mary Ann. True
8.  What was "The Professors" real job on the mainland? High School Science Teacher
9 What is the name of the big game hunter who tried to hunt Gilligan? Jonathan Kincaid
10.  Who made sure the theme song of the show got changed so Mary Ann and "The Professor" were added? Bob Denver-Gilligan
11.  True or False?  Kurt Russell guest starred on the show.  True
12. True or False?  The show originally taped in black and white and then later in color.  True
13.  Who was more popular, Mary Ann or Ginger by audiences?   Mary Ann 
14.  Who was the only castaway actor to earn residuals once the show became syndicated?  Mary Ann- Dawn Wells
15. Which actress won the Miss Nevada Beauty Pageant?  Dawn Wells 
16.  Who is the only castaway that has his own hut? The Professor
17. Who wrote the theme song of the show? Sherwood Schwartz 
18. What did the castaways use as cups?  coconuts  
19. What was "Loveys" (Mrs. Howell) real name on the show? Eunice


Hope you had a great time at our Gilligan's Island Theme Party.  :)

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Garlic and Oil Pasta (Aglio Et Olio) with Asparagus

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The first time I heard about Aglio Et Olio was when Rachael Ray was telling everyone that it was her all time favorite style pasta dish.  Then I later saw Giadia De Laurentiis making it.  So if two pretty famous cooks/chefs could love this dish... it was worth exploring. I bought the tin of anchovies and set out to make the pasta. They were both right, I loved it.  Even my kids ate it... Yes... anchovies and all.  Rachael Ray always tells people to give anchovies a chance in pasta dishes because it literally melts away into the olive oil and it makes this fragrant and nutty sauce.   She is right folks.   I decided to go for it with my own spin and add asparagus and some grape tomatoes. It was still just as good and you can change it up by adding broccoli, peas, zucchini or bell peppers etc.... The oil, anchovies and garlic proves to be a wonderful canvas that you can make into several different masterpieces.

 Ingredients:
1lb of pasta cooked in salt water until al dente
1 (2oz) tin of anchovies in olive oil
1/3 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
1lb of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces and partially steamed
1 pint of grape tomatoes or a large tomato diced
1 bunch of scallions sliced (whites and green separated)
1 small handful of fresh parsley chopped
1-2 Tbs of fresh garlic minced well  (about 5-6 large cloves)
1 tsp of red chili flakes
Salt and pepper as needed


Directions:
Step 1: cook your pasta and partially steam your asparagus.
Step 2:  In a large pan on medium low heat add the extra virgin olive oil and the entire tin of anchovy fillets(I do not use the oil in the tin).  When the anchovies start to dissolve into the oil add your minced garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the partially steamed asparagus next and increase the heat to medium.  Saute the asparagus for a minute.  Then add your grape tomatoes and whites of the scallions. Cook for another minute or two. 




Finally add your cooked pasta and parsley then toss with all the other ingredients. Salt if necessary (but the anchovies will provide plenty of salt). Serve immediately.  Garnish with the greens of the scallions.  Enjoy.




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Yogurt Avocado Dip

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Ingredients to make the Avocado dip:
2 small ripe avocados
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 tsp of ground cumin powder
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 small onion chopped
2 jalapeno chilies (seeded for less heat, keep seeds in for more heat)
salt to taste



Directions: 

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.







 Serve with chips, veggies or my Fiesta Egg Rolls. Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lemon, Garlic and Cumin Chicken

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I love dishes like this that take only a few minutes of prep and most of the real work is done by the marinade in the fridge. This Lemon, Garlic and Cumin Chicken gets all it's bold flavor through the marinade and is finished off by simply frying (or grilling) it.  This dish goes well with any Mediterranean meal. You can also cut this up and place it on a Greek style salad, inside pitas and the list goes on. So next time you have some chicken on hand, let the spices do the work and take all the credit.


Ingredients:
4-5 large chicken breast
4-6 cloves of grated garlic
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
Juice of 1 lemon



Directions:
Marinate the chicken in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
 








Before cooking, allow the chicken to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to come up to room temperature. Then heat up a large skillet (nonstick or cast iron) with some canola oil and place your chicken to fry.  Do no move the chicken for 4-6 minutes or until it allows you to pick it up without sticking to the pan. Fry both sides until the chicken is cooked through.   Serves 4.  Serve with rice or vegetables. Enjoy



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cauliflower Mellun (Sri Lankan Curry)

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When we came to the United States back in the early 70's there were so many kinds of fruits and vegetables my mother missed cooking from Sri Lanka.  My mother is a wonderful cook and she learned to adapt to the vegetables in this country and made them taste very much like dishes from back home.  This Cauliflower Mellun is one of her creations that really takes me back to my childhood.  The flavors are comforting and bright. We eat this dish as part of a rice and curry meal and it's really a star of the meal in my eyes. Since these recipes all live in my mother's head, I am so happy to have it written down and documented it now so more people can enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1 large head of cauliflower
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 (1inch piece) of cinnamon
10-12 curry leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
2-5 whole dried chilies broken in half



Mellun Paste:
1/2 cup of dessicated coconut
1-2 green chilies
15-17 curry leaves
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of fennel seeds
2 Tbs of water



 
Directions:
 
Wash the cauliflower and break in to very small florets and dice the stem pieces very small.  In a pan steam your cauliflower with the turmeric and salt. I used about 2-3 Tbs of water to help the steaming process. Add more water as necessary) Once the cauliflower is tender remove from pan.



 Now make the mellun paste by first using a spice grinder to powder the fennel seeds and black mustard seeds.  You can also do this in a mortar and pestle.

Then transfer the powdered seeds to a food process and grind it with the dessicated coconut, green chilies, curry leaves, cloves of garlic and 2 Tbs of water.  When the dry paste is formed set aside until later.



                                                  
 
 Next add 1 Tbs of canola oil to the pan and fry the chopped onions, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, broken dried chilies and curry leaves.



When the onions are softened add the steamed cauliflower and the mellun paste to the pan.  Mix all the three parts together well and taste for salt and seasoning. Fry for a few more minutes and then your dish is done.  Serve as part of a rice and curry meal.  Serves 6.  Enjoy.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.