Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread


 A toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese is such a happy breakfast for me.  I know it's a lot of carbs, but once in a while I like to buy a big bagel and just savor it. My favorite cream cheese on a savory bagel is vegetable cream cheese.  I'm frugal so I don't like to pay for the pre-made version that usually costs twice as much as the regular cream cheese for a smaller tub.  It takes almost no time (if you have a food processor) to make your own version of vegetable cream cheese. I made mine extra spicy by using an anahiem pepper instead of a green bell pepper.   I loved the spicy kick I got from the pepper and all the fresh flavor from the vegetables and so did my little daughter.  We have both picked out our bagels for breakfast tomorrow so we can enjoy this yummy vegetable cream cheese again. 
 
 Ingredients:
8oz package of plain cream cheese (low fat is fine)
1 small carrot peeled
1 celery stalk
1Tbs of fresh dill (optional)
1 stalk of scallions
1/2 green bell pepper (or spicy pepper like an Anaheim-seeded)
1/2 tsp of granulated garlic
salt to taste





Directions:
Coarsely chop carrots, scallions, celery, dill and pepper.  Put into food processor and plus a few times until it's at a fine diced.   Then add the cream cheese, granulated garlic and sprinkle of salt and process until smooth and well
incorporated. Serve with bagels.  Enjoy.


 My Daughter's Turn.....
  My daughter was watching me work on my recipe and she decided she wanted to help make her own version (with her play food).  She asked for her recipe to be put on the blog so I happily obliged. I actually had to stop working on my recipe to just simply watch her "pretend" to have a cooking show and describe everything she was doing.  Who knows... I may have the next Rachael Ray on my hands! :)

 PS....She wanted everyone to know that this is kids play food so it's just for playing and not really eating. 



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, May 29, 2012

Meatball and Potato Curry

 My obsession with meatballs has been well documented here on Curry and Comfort.  I have eaten versions of them all over the world and one of my favorite ways is spicy in a curry.  You can eat this curry with rice, bread, roti, naan....and much much more.  My kids loved this curry because it had two things the also love: meatballs and potatoes. We ate it with rice, lentils and a cucumber salad. I must be passing my love for meatballs to the next generation because meatball love was definitely in the air.....

Ingredients:
For the Meatballs:
1lb of ground meat (I used pork, but you can do beef, chicken, lamb, turkey of veggie substitute)
1Tbs of ginger garlic paste (or 1/2 Tbs each separately grated )
1 egg
1slice of bread soften with some milk
1 tsp of Garam Masala powder
salt and black pepper
red chili flakes to taste

 For Curry:
4-5 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed in 1inch pieces
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
2 sweet red chilies sliced  (you can substitute more bell pepper for this)
1-2 serrano or jalapeno chilies sliced (seeded if you desire less heat)
12-15 curry leaves
1 1inch piece of cinnamon
1 tsp of fennugreek seeds
red chili powder (or cayenne) to taste
1Tbs grated ginger
1Tbs grated garlic
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1-2 Tbs of curry powder
1 large tomato diced
2-3  cups of water
1/2 cup of milk

 Directions:

Mix meatball mixture and make desired size meatballs. Heat 1 Tbs of canola oil in wok and fry meatballs until browned and cooked through.  Remove meatballs from pan and reserve until later.
Next add onions, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, potatoes, chilies, peppers, fennugreek seeds and some salt and saute for a few minutes.  Then add garlic, ginger, red chili powder, turmeric and curry powder. Saute for another  minute.
Finally add chopped fresh tomato and saute for a few minutes with all ingredients.  Add water to boil potatoes. The water will become your gravy use as needed.  If you use too much  water your gravy will not have any flavor.

 Once the potatoes are almost fork tender add the meatballs back into the curry and allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Then add the milk and simmer for another few minutes. Taste for seasoning.  If you need add more curry powder, salt and chili powder. Eat with rice and other curries, fried rice, noodles, roti, naan or bread. 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, May 28, 2012

Bacon Chicken Cheeseburger

 Happy Memorial Day Everyone! Since today is the kickoff of burger and hot dog grilling season I wanted to start with a big juicy burger post.  I gave up eating red meat three years ago so I mostly eat chicken burgers these days.  The texture of ground chicken is very loose so it really must be done in a skillet and it works out great for me since I don't own an outdoor grill.  I made these burgers juicy with grated onion and then melted American cheese and topped it with  bacon to give it the extra "wow" factor.  I actually put ranch dressing as my condiment of choice for my burger and it was fantastic. Of course my kids are traditionalist and wanted ketchup. My husband ate his without any ketchup or dressing... he thought they were seasoned just perfectly and didn't need anything else.  I was happy the burgers were a big hit and I've already been requested to make them again.  This is fine with me since it took less than 20 minutes to get dinner done. We ate it with some fresh corn on the cob and had a fantastic meal.  So next time you think Bacon Cheeseburger... think chicken!

Ingredients:
1lb ground chicken
2 Tbs  grated white onion
1 tsp poultry seasoning
seasoning salt to taste (I used Lawry's)
lots of black pepper
1/2 tsp of granulated garlic powder or 1 large clove of garlic grated
red chili flakes to taste
2-3 tsp of Dijon mustard 
1 egg

Condiments and Bun:
Burger  Buns ( I like soft white burger buns)
slice of American Cheese or your favorite melting cheese
crispy bacon slices (bake in oven for perfect results)
Tomatoes Sliced (remember to add a little salt and pepper to season them)
Lettuce
Onions Sliced
Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Ranch Dressing



Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together.  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat.  Coat it with a little oil if needed.  I recommend a nonstick pan.  Form burger patties (the mixture will be loose so apply a little oil to your hand so it doesn't stick.  Place them on the skillet and cook on both sides until brown and cooked through fully.   Add a slice of cheese on each burger and melt.  Place in buns with your condiments and bacon.  Enjoy.


To do the bacon:
The easiest way to make bacon is to bake it in the oven.  You will get perfectly crispy bacon and you don't have to do anything but let it bake.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  You will need a baking tray and some cooling racks placed on top of it or you can use your broiler pan that is slotted with a drip pan.  Lay your bacon across the cooling racks.  Place them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked.  The bacon will be crispy, perfectly straight and all the oil will have dripped to the lower tray.  I love this method. 

 


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, May 27, 2012

Grilled Pineapple with Balsamic Drizzle

It's Memorial Day Weekend here in the US and this is the time of year that officially kickoffs grilling season.  So I had to get my "grill-on".  I have never grilled fruit before in my life.  I have seen it being done a lot on TV cooking shows so I figured with the next pineapple I got hold of I must give it a try.  Then I thought grilled pineapple needs a sauce and I remembered Rachael Ray's Balsamic Drizzle.  I whipped both these in less than 20 minutes and I was in grilled pineapple heaven.  I never realized how sweet and savory the balsamic drizzle truly is... I even dipped fresh strawberries into it and it was blissful. I love that I stepped out of my comfort zone this Memorial Day Weekend and tried both these new dishes... it truly paid off.


Ingredients:
1 fresh pineapple peeled and cored. Sliced into rings.
1-2 Tbs of butter

Balsamic Drizzle
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs of brown sugar

Directions:
Clean and prep your pineapple.  Now I don't have an outdoor grill anymore so I did these on a grill pan. I melted my butter right into my pan and grilled the pineapple.  If you are doing it on an outdoor grill, melted the butter and baste your pineapple as you get your grill marks.  This should only take a few minutes.

To make the Balsamic Drizzle: In a saucepan simmer the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until it is thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Drizzle over grilled pineapple or serve with any fresh strawberries. 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.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Strawberry Brownie Trifle

I think trifles are simply wonderful and always make such a impressive dessert.   I also love that they are really easy to put together and you can make them in so many different ways.   I made this trifle with one of my go to ingredients COOL WHIP Whipped Topping.  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program I was given the opportunity to make a dessert to showcase COOL WHIP.  The COOL WHIP Whipped Topping was a perfect way to make the custard layer of the dessert light and delicious. I layered it with brownies and fresh cut strawberries and my family and friends loved the combination of flavor.  I will definitely count this as one of my favorite and easiest trifles of all time. 

Ingredients:
2 (8oz) Tubs of regular or lite COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 large (5.1oz) box of JELL-O Vanilla Pudding (or two small boxes 3.4oz)
1 box of box brownie mix (prepared to cake like instructions not fudgy)
2lbs of strawberries sliced (leave some whole for garnish on top)
1/4 cup of chocolate chips melted in microwave to drizzle on top (optional)

Directions:
Step 1:  Bake box brownies or favorite scratch brownies to cake like consistency (not fudgy).  Allow brownies to cool and cut into squares. 

Step 2: Prepare JELL-O pudding per package instructions.  Then fold in 1 1/2 tubs of COOL WHIP Whipped Topping to the prepared JELL-O to make the custard layer.


 Slice strawberries.


Step 3:  Layer a trifle bowl with the cut brownies squares. Then follow with half of the custard mixture.  Next layer with half of the sliced strawberries and repeat with the brownies, custard and strawberries. Finish with a layer of plain COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and the whole strawberries to garnish. Drizzle with melted chocolate or chocolate syrup if you like.





 What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms


As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.


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, May 25, 2012

Sausage Gravy on Toast with Eggs

I am not a fan of most breakfast dishes with the exception of spicy and savory dishes. Whenever I go to a diner or restaurant that specializes in breakfast, I quickly scan the menu for biscuits and sausage gravy.  Now that is one dish that makes me really happy.  Ask me the last time I was at a restaurant to eat breakfast... maybe a decade ago. LOL!  Yes... it's true.  I have mentioned before since I cook a lot we don't go out to eat much and if we do it's for lunch or dinner meals.  So, I have not had biscuits and sausage gravy in a long time. I decided to tackle this dish at home and I cannot believe why I haven't tried it before  This dish is as easy as 1,2,3!  I must admit I did not want to tackle making my own biscuits so I decided thick sliced toasted bread would be a good substitute. My family and I devoured this meal.  We actually ate it for lunch since that's the time of the day I made the dish to take my pictures.  So technically I have yet to make this for breakfast, but since most diners serve breakfast for 24 hours... it's good anytime of the day.




Ingredients:
1lb of mild or hot sausage ( I used Johnsonville brand)
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1 Tbs of Worcestershire sauce
red chili flakes to taste
2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
salt and a lot of black pepper to taste

Note: If you are not a fan of pork sausage, try substituting ground chicken, turkey or beef.  Just add more poultry seasoning and some fennel seed to give it that sausage flavor.


Directions:

In a large saute pan, brown sausage with onions and bell pepper.   Then add black pepper, poultry seasoning, nutmeg, red chili flakes.

Then add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Finally add the milk and bring to a simmer.  Allow gravy to thicken.  Taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning as needed.   In a separate pan fix eggs as you like and toast bread.  Serve Sausage Gravy over toast.  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, May 24, 2012

Lime Ginger Mint Popsicles



 A few days ago I made lime ginger mint cooler and it was a big hit with the family.  My son requested me to make another batch so we could make popsicles out of it.  I can't argue with a great idea so I happily fulfilled his request.  These popsicles were fantastic and so refreshing. Now that the hot weather is officially here, we are looking forward to making many more popsicles and this one was a perfect flavor for our first batch.



 Ingredients:
1 cup of fresh lime juice
1 batch of  Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup: (see recipe below)
4 cups of water
1/2 tsp lime zest

Notes:  I added one batch of the simple syrup for a sweet/tart flavored cooler.  You can add more simple syrup to tailor it to your taste. 



Directions:
Make the Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup and allow it to cool.  Squeeze lime juice.  Add water, lime juice and as much simple syrup as you wish to make sweet.  Put lime ginger mint drink into popsicle mold and freeze until set. Enjoy.


  Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup:



 To make 1 batch:
Boil 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 inch of sliced ginger.  Bring to a boil for 2-3.  Turn stove off and add 4-5 mint leaves.  Allow to steep and cool.








 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, May 23, 2012

Fruit Salad with Lime Ginger Mint Syrup

I love guilt-free food and fruits salads fall under that category for me.  Whenever we have a family party the dessert table is always a highlight. It's nice to offer one light option like fruit salad for those that may have "over indulged" during the main meal.  You can make this fruit salad to your taste like adding grapes, kiwi, bananas etc...  I decided to use only pineapple, strawberries and blackberries. The ingredient that made this simple fruit salad special was the lime-ginger-mint simple syrup.  The lime-ginger-mint simple syrup took this from just fruit to a fabulous salad.

Ingredients:
1 pineapple cleaned, cored and diced
1-2lbs of strawberries hulled and sliced

Note: other fruit of your choice: kiwi, bananas, grapes, apples, pears, oranges slices, etc...

Juice of 1/2 lime or one lime (to taste)
1/2 cup ginger-mint simple syrup (recipe below)


 Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup:



 To make 1 batch:
Boil 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1 inch of sliced ginger.  Bring to a boil for 2-3.  Turn stove off and add 4-5 mint leaves.  Allow to steep and cool. Strain liquid before using.






Directions:
Prepare all fruit by cleaning and dicing them into bite size pieces.  Prepare lime-ginger-mint syrup and allow to cool. Combine all ingredients together.  Serve at room temperature or chill. 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.