Saturday, March 31, 2012

Colossal Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 
I figure if you add something healthy into something a little decadent it all balances out. Well, that's just what I tried to do with these colossal Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I added plenty of oatmeal into each cookie so I felt less guilty enjoying one.  One of these giant cookies is all you need because they are completely satisfying.  I especially loved the tender, moist texture of these giant cookies and they were definitely delicious.   I can't wait to experiment with more oatmeal and cake mix.



Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 canola oil
2/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups old fashioned dry oats
12oz bag of mini chocolate chips

 Directions:
Use an electric mixer to combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and milk.  Then use a wooden spoon to fold in the dry oats and chocolate chips.  To make these cookies colossal size I used an ice cream scoop to help measure them out.   Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are brown and the tops are golden.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet to set up.  Makes 18 colossal sized cookies.



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, March 30, 2012

Aloha (Hawaiian Style) Burgers

We recently had a family movie night with my mother, sister and her kids. We watched a great family movie called the Dolphin Tale.  I highly recommended it to anyone with kids because it's a heartwarming true story of a dolphin named Winter. Of course, dinner was also a big part of the evening. I decided to go back into my own recipe archives here on the blog to get some inspiration. I saw my Aloha Meatloaf and I knew my sister would enjoy it, but meatloaf was too "sit down" for our movie night.  I wanted sandwich kinds of food so I decided to alter my Aloha meatloaf into Aloha Burgers.  They came together easily and we even pan fried some hotdogs with the Aloha Sauce.  It was a great night and with great food and a lot of laughs.

 
Ingredients:
Meatloaf ingredients:
1lb lean ground pork
1lb lean ground chicken
1 (20oz) can of crushed pineapple drained well, reserve juice
seasoning salt to taste
2 slices of bread crumbled
2-3 Tbs of ketchup
1/4 cup of diced onion
2 green chilies diced small
black pepper to taste
I clove of grated garlic
1 Tbs of honey or brown sugar
1 egg
red chili flakes (to taste- optional)

Sauce/Glaze
Reserved pineapple juice from can
2 Tbs of brown sugar
1 Tbs of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of ketchup
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of sweet chili sauce (like mae ploy egg roll sauce)
2tsp of cornstarch

 Directions:Mix all the meat ingredients and form burger patties.  I made a dozen medium sized burgers with this mixture. Fry them in a frying pan with a little bit of canola oil. Flip over and brown both sides. Then lower the heat and baste each side with about a tablespoon of Aloha sauce, flip and baste the other side. The basting part is important because the great sauce will soak into the burger. Allow the basting to take a few minutes per side.  Serve in a bun with lettuce and onion if you like. I also put some mayo on my buns to toast them. 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, March 29, 2012

Asparagus Curry -Sri Lankan Style

 I am still enjoying the abundance of asparagus while it is in season.  I have paired asparagus with pasta, with eggs in a frittata and now it's time for the asparagus to meet curry.  This curry exceeded my expectations. I have never eaten curried asparagus, but I don't see why because it is simply delicious.  This dish paired wonderfully with a mild lentil curry and rice. I used coconut milk and made it vegan so I enjoyed a completely vegan lunch. I am not a vegetarian, but eating curry makes vegetarianism or veganism very easy.  Vegetables, Spices and Coconut milk... otherwise known as win, win, win! :)



Ingredients:  
1lb of fresh asparagus sliced
12-15 curry leaves
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies sliced (seeded for less heat)
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp of fennugreek seeds
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
Red chili powder (to taste)
1/2Tbs of curry powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp of vinegar (optional)
1cup of coconut milk (or cow's milk if you prefer)
1/4 cup of water



Heat 1 Tbs of canola oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Once heated, add the onions, chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick and fenugreek seeds.   Fry for a few minutes until onions become tender.
Next add your cumin and mustard seeds.  Fry for another few minutes.

Then add the asparagus and saute for 2 minutes.  Next and your dry spices and cook for 30-45 seconds.







Add the coconut milk and water.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the gravy has mostly been absorbed by the asparagus.  Taste for seasoning and serve. 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, March 28, 2012

Chicken a la King with Biscuit Toppers

In 1985 we got our first microwave and it opened up a whole new world of convenience food for me.  Microwave meals were pretty darn cool back then (well we didn't know better) and I loved these single serving Chicken a la King frozen meals my mother would buy for me to eat after school.  I would pop it into the microwave and simply pour the creamy chicken and vegetables over some buttered toast and it tasted beyond wonderful.   I have not had chicken a la King in decades but I recently thought about it and it gave me a major craving to taste that creamy chicken over toast again.  I created this one pot dish from stove to oven and it was way better than any of those frozen entrees from back in the day.  It was simply scrumptious and it came together so easily.  I poached my own chicken and made some stock while doing it, but you can easily make this with rotisserie chicken and some canned chicken broth. I did take help from the store with some store bought biscuits from Pillsbury and served it right out my caste iron skillet.  I scored another 10 fingers up (my kid's way of saying lots of thumbs up) and my husband tried really hard not to have 3rd helpings. I will definitely not wait decades to eat Chicken a la King again.  Actually, I've got it schedule for dinner again next week.


  Ingredients:
4-5 cups of shredded chicken from poached or rotisserie chicken
3-4 cups of chicken broth or poaching liquid (below)
2 Tbs butter or margarine
1 Tbs canola oil
1/4 cup of all purpose flour (or as needed)
1/2 cup of diced celery
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup of frozen peas. (You can also you mixed veg like I did)
1/2 cup of cream, half and half or whole milk
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 cloves of garlic grated
12-15 prepared biscuits like Pillsbury (or homemade)


 Directions:

To poach your own chicken you will need:

4-5 cups of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent
1 celery stalk coarsely chopped
1 carrot coarsely chopped
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
black pepper

Bring all the ingredients to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove chicken to cool and shred.  Reserve poaching liquid to use later.


In a oven safe skillet (like a caste iron pan) heat your butter and oil. Add  garlic and allow to fry for 30-45 seconds.  Then add chopped onions, celery, carrots, salt and dried thyme.
 Note: the broth will add salt to the dish so be conservative when you add salt here. 


Next add flour.  You need equal parts flour to fat here to make a roux.  Cook roux for a 2 minutes and then add chicken broth or poaching liquid to the pan. Stir well until gravy is smooth.  Allow gravy to simmer until it thickens. Note: If the gravy looks thin, add a little more flour by mixing flour with a little water in a separate bowl and adding it to the gravy. 

Next add milk or cream. Stir well. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and seasoning as needed here.  When the gravy is at the right taste and consistency, add the frozen peas and shredded chicken to the pan. Allow everything to gently simmer for 5 minutes.

When the creamed vegetables and chicken are cooked to your taste, turn off the stove and top with your favorite biscuits.  Place in the oven and bake until the biscuits are cooked through and browned. Serve hot. Enjoy.


Note: I suggest you place your skillet on a baking sheet so it is easy to move in and out of the oven and will catch any spills if the gravy decides to bubble in the oven.






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, March 26, 2012

Strawberry-Peach Tea Smoothie

Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) produces some of the best quality teas in the world. Although this country is small it is the 4th largest producer of tea worldwide.  I was given a chance to try the Aura brand of Ceylon Teas by Almar Teas.  Aura Teas come in a wonderful array of flavors from lemon, mint, strawberry, green and of course your traditional black tea.  I loved all the flavors and I was excited to try to make a recipe with the Strawberry tea.   I decided to pair this beautifully fragrant strawberry tea with peaches.  Now peaches are still not in season here in the US so I bought frozen peaches for my recipe.  The frozen peaches actually worked great because I used them as the ice cubes in my smoothie as well.  I blended this refreshing drink and enjoyed it knowing I was enjoying a smoothie that was full of antioxidants and health benefits.



Ingredients:
3 bags of Strawberry Aura Tea
2 cups of boiling water
1 cup of cool/ice water
2 cups of frozen sliced and skinned peaches
sweetener of your choice to taste (sugar, splenda, honey, or agave- I used agave)


 


Directions:

Boil 2 cups of tea and steep three tea bags for 3-5 minutes. Then add 1 cup of ice water to cool the tea down. Place tea, peaches and sweetener into blender. Blend until smooth. Makes 3-4 servings. Enjoy.

Disclosure: I received the Aura Ceylon Teas courtesy of  Almar Teas.  I was not compensated in any way for writing 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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thai Basil Shrimp (Salad)

Thai Basil dishes are one of my favorite go to dishes if I'm in the mood for some exotic Thai food.  I really was in the mood for this dish when I realized I did not have brown rice to accompany it.  Most stir fries style dishes are usually accompanied by rice so I had to take a look at what I could substitute for the rice and that's when I saw some beautiful salad fixings calling out to me.  I always say the Thai Basil sauce is incredible so why not test it out as a "salad dressing".  I prepared a salad of romaine lettuce, cucumber and red onions then topped it with the shrimp Thai basil stir fry and it was fantastic.  I also added some toasted sesame seeds for crunch and I fell in love with this idea of low carb stir fries meals.  Now I realize that rice is no longer a necessity.  Of course you can still eat your stir fry over rice if you like, but this is a wonderful low carb option and that I will definitely try again.


Ingredients: 
1lb cleaned shrimp
1 Tbs of grated garlic cloves
Thinly slice sweet peppers (or bell peppers)
2 large handfuls of Thai Basil (this is a must for the dish to get it's authentic flavor)
1 bunch of spring onions chopped.
red chili flakes and black pepper to taste

** you can also add other vegetables in the dish.  If you add a lot more vegetables you will need to adjust your sauce accordingly.
The sauce
Mix together
1/4 cup fish sauce
1Tbs of Soy Sauce
2Tbs of brown sugar. 
1/4 cup of water

Set aside until later.

Note:  Fish sauce is very authentic to Thai cooking so it is something you want in your pantry for a lot of your Asian recipes.


Directions:
 Heat a large wok with 1 Tbs of canola oil on high heat. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Then add the peppers, green chilies and green onions. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
**do not burn the garlic
Then add the shrimp and the Thai Basil leaves. Stir fry for another 1 minute.







Finally add the prepared sauce.  Stir fry and allow all the ingredients to cook through.  Serve with rice or over a salad like I did. 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.