A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chicken with Indian spices and pasta

   Rice is the more typical accompaniment for this sort of thing in India, but noodles aren’t unheard of on the Asian subcontinent. Besides, there’s no law prohibiting this combination.
   I was apparently feeling energetic, so I made the pasta. If you utilize a food processor, as I did, that part could hardly be easier. If you have a manual roller-type pasta press, producing flat pasta is also easy. If you don’t, you can use a rolling pin to achieve the desired thinness. (Don’t look too closely; I made it too thick.) For a pasta recipe, consult any Italian pasta cookbook, or failing that, the web. Look for recipes for all-purpose flour and egg. For visual effect and for a bit of flavor, I added 3 tablespoons of good paprika and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to 2 cups of flour. If you don’t want to make your own, just purchase flat lasagna (not “oven ready”), and add the paprika and tomato paste to the chicken mixture.
   Dark chicken meat is better than breast meat for this recipe, because it has more flavor. If you can’t find already ground dark chicken, buy boneless thighs and trim some but not all of the fat before mincing it in the processor.
Ground chicken dark meat, 1 lb
Green jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and chopped (unless you like heat)
Red jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and chopped (same here)
Shallot, minced
Ginger, 1 Tbs, minced
Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Almonds, raw, 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil, 2 Tbs (Mustard oil if you have it)
Nigella, 1 Tbs (AKA kalonji or onion seed; omit if you can’t or don’t want to get it.)
Spinach, 6-8 oz
Saffron, 1/4 tsp
Plain yoghurt, 10 oz or so
Paprika, 3 Tbs (See above)
Tomato paste, 2 Tbs (See above)
Flat, lasagna-type pasta
Remove 2 or 3 Tbs of the yoghurt and set aside. Crumble the saffron in a small bowl with a tablespoon of warm water and set aside.
Combine the meat and the next six ingredients in a food processor and combine. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet, add the contents of the processor plus the nigella, and cook until the meat is done. Add the spinach and cover to allow it to reduce in volume. Mix into the chicken. Just prior to serving, add the reserved 2 or 3 tablespoons of yoghurt. 
Place one sheet of the lasagna on a plate and spread some of the chicken mixture atop. 

Place a second sheet on top of this. Drop some of the saffron yoghurt on top of this and add some cilantro. Repeat for additional servings. 

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