Tag Archives: indian food

Touring exotic places… from the kitchen

This week, John did a lot of the cooking as I was sick and/or working. So, I didn’t get the full benefit of all this food, but in the first three days of the week, John cooked up a culinary tour!
First up was my favorite Chinese restaurant staple: Chicken with Broccoli. John’s the stir-fry king in our household, so I couldn’t be happier to come home to a hot plate of this take out dinner made yummier, healthier and (can it be?) faster than delivery. In our neck of the woods (and farms), decent Chinese food is just not available, so we have come to rely on John’s prowess with sauces. While there is no exact recipe, there is a procedure and ingredients list. We had it with some nice brown rice (definitely not something that’s available in our area from take out places!) Just a warning, when you don’t buy the instant brown rice, it does take a while to cook, so you’ll want to get that going first.

Chicken and Broccoli ala Johnny

For the rice:

I used Texmati Brown Rice

Follow instructions on package, but i usually use a 3:1 water to rice ratio for this one. I also added a few items to amplify the flavor of otherwise plain rice.

  • Rice 1 cup
  • Water 2 cups
  • Chicken stock 1 cup
  • Soy Sauce     1/4 cup
  • Salt  1/2 tsp
  • Orange peel 3 pcs
  • Fresh grated ginger 1 Tbsp

Combine all items in a sauce pan. Bring to boil, then reduce to light simmer for about 30-40 minutes, covered.

Prepare the sauce:

  • Orange pineapple juice       1 cup
  • Rice vinegar         2 Tbsp
  • soy sauce       2 Tbsp
  • honey            2 Tbsp
  • ground ginger  1 tsp
  • fresh ginger        1 Tbsp
  • sesame seed        1/4 cup
  • xanthan gum       1/2 tsp
  • Veg oil               2 Tbsp

Combine all in a Tupperware quick shake, and shake, or use an immersion blender in a container to blend together. The xanthan gum will help emulsify everything, though it can be simply combined without it. Reserve.

In a microwave safe bowl, steam about six cups of broccoli with about 1/4 cup of water, a tsp. salt, cover loosely with plastic wrap for about three minutes. Remove plastic and reserve.

Heat a skillet to medium heat, add vegetable oil. Slice one chicken breast per two people thin, toss with seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Sear in hot pan. Add sauce to combine, then broccoli. Simmer about five minutes and you’re done! Serve over rice.

The second night was Mexican, and it was delicious! John got the inspiration from Rick Bayless on a local channel. So, on Tuesday I was treated to Warm Chorizo Spinach Salad. It was delicious and it seemed pretty easy (keep in mind, I had nothing to do with it!)

Wednesday’s dinner, which I have yet to sample (being under the weather) was Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup (really more of a stew) that he’s been wanting to make for so long he doesn’t remember where the recipe came from. What I can tell you is that it looked and smelled delicious.

  • Red split lentils, soaked      1 cup
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Olive oil      2 tsp
  • Finely chopped garlic clove
  • Curry powder      1 tbs
  • Sweet potatoes, cubed      500 grams
  • Vegetable bouillon powder    2 tsp
  • Miso      2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander


Put lentils in a pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Skim , turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook for a few more minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the saute mix to the lentils with the bouillon and cooked for 5 minutes until potatoes are cooked through.

We didn’t have miso or coriander, so we left them out and it was still delicious!


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Butter Chicken

There is nothing to distract from a bad day like cooking. Cooking forces me to focus on a given task and, unless I want to eat bad food hours later, I don’t tend to stray. Well, with the exception of a Facebook update on the meal, that is.
John and I had the sort of day where you spend hours trying to get in touch with the insurance company, help desk, doctor’s office, mortgage company, etc. only to find out that you are really, really screwed.
Since John is currently between jobs, we were really counting an my adjunct work to get us through the Spring. I found out today that I am going to have two classes instead of four. If you don’t know what an adjunct is, the technical definition is a part time college instructor. The reality is, adjuncts are the bitches of whatever department they belong to. We do the same amount of work (minus meetings), don’t get an office, and get paid 1/4th of a full time instructor’s salary. Why do we do it? We love it and we love our students. And we hope that, one day, someone higher up will notice us and we will be full time. There are exceptions; there are adjuncts who have retired from full time teaching and do it part time because they want to, and I’m sure there are others, but for most of us, we would be more than happy to set up in an office in our department.

It hasn’t been a good day. Our daughter basically cried from sun up to bed time. So, I decided to try out a new recipe, courtesy of Recipezaar and Fairy Nuff:


It’s simmering right now and I might have burnt the cauliflower that I added to the recipe (had to cook it today or throw it out) because I was writing here, but I think it’s going to be good. I picked up a giant pack of Naan from Costco that doesn’t look too bad, so I’ll heat that up and slather it with butter as an accompaniment. While we eat dinner, we will forget the bullshit that we’ve had to endure today. Our bellies will be full and so will our hearts. Our minds will hopefully be blissfully empty. We might even laugh. Right now, I can’t ask for more than that.

Some notes on the recipe: I left the sugar out, used diced tomato + water instead of puree, and added salt and black pepper and at the last minute or two, frozen peas, the magic ingredient to most saucy dishes.

You want to see it? Sure! Here are some photos:


Filed under Family, Food, Recipe