Tag Archives: Winter

The Perfectly Grilled Citrus Chicken

The Perfectly Grilled Citrus ChicakenI am on a citrus kick! I know that it is December but I still love to get my grill going.

Ingredients
4 pounds bone-in chicken (I like leg portions)
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

Directions
Combine together the ingredients and marinate overnight in a food safe plastic bag with minimal air in the bag.

Turn the grill on to high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place the chicken on the grill and lower the heat to low.

Turn after 15 minutes. Allow to cook for an additional 25-35 minutes until fully cooked. The juices will run clear and the center fully cooked. Remove from the heat and serve.

Oven Directions
Combine together the ingredients and marinate overnight in a food safe plastic bag with minimal air in the bag.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and bake the chicken for 45 minutes then flip and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until fully cooked.

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Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcakes

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream CupcakesI love the flavor browned butter brings to these cupcakes. Browned butter is something that has such an earthy delicious smell that reminds me of my mother making ghee. The browned butter adds a caramel-esque flavor to these cupcakes that is undeniably delicious.

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcake Ingredients
1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk (whole works best but feel free to use whatever you have on hand)

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar

Browned Butter Vanilla Cream Cupcake Directions
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter on medium heat and continue to cook the butter until it begins to brown. Be very careful because it will burn very quickly. This should take 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally. Once the bubbles cease to form, the color will change and at this point, you can remove the butter from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture for the frosting.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.)

In a medium bowl, using a hand held mixer, beat the eggs until they have doubled in size and are light in color. Slowly, add the sugar into the egg mixture and beat.

Incorporate the browned butter and vanilla into the egg mixture and beat.

Alternate between adding the dry mixture and milk into th egg mixture. Start and end with the milk.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way to ensure you are leaving room for the batter to rise.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-24 minutes. An indicator that the cupcakes are done is a toothpick that comes out of the center clean or the center bounces back when you lightly touch it.
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Directions
Mix together the browned butter, butter and cream cheese until it is light and fluffy.

Blend in the powdered sugar.

Top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and serve.

Raspberry Nectar

Raspberry NectarWhen throwing a party, I like to make fruity drinks that everyone (well, everyone over the age of 21) can enjoy. This is my go to recipe for my friends and family.

Ingredients
3 pints raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups vodka
1 cup Chambord (raspberry liquor)
3 quarts raspberry juice

1/4 cup lime juice

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and mix together, you will have to do this in several batches. Allow it to chill the refrigerator up to 4 hours before the party. Serve over ice.

This recipe yields drinks for 20 people.

Almond Joy Muffins

Almond Joy MuffinsWho doesn’t love the delicious nutty and chocolaty flavors found in the famous Almond Joy? I decided to turn my candy inspiration into a muffin. this recipe makes 2 dozen delicious treats.

Ingredients
1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a two 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until it is very fluffy and opaque. Beat the eggs in, one at a time.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Mix the dry ingredients and the coconut milk in batches starting and ending with the milk. Mix the ingredients together between the additions and scrape the side of the bowl to ensure everything has been incorporated properly.

Add the vanilla, chocolate chips, almond slivers and coconut flakes. Mix thoroughly.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool on before removing from the pan.

Naan- Homemade Indian Flat Bread

Naan- Homemade Indian Flat BreadI love naan with everything, a version of this traditional flat bread is served in every Indian house. This version has a bit of a kick to it with minced garlic and onion incorporated into the dough. The naan in this picture just came out of the oven, the bread will flatten very quickly so don’t expect the final product to look like this. This recipe yields 12 pieces of naan.

Ingredients
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 packet dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
11/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon onion, minced
1/4 cup melted butter or ghee

Directions:
Allow the yeast to bloom or activate in the warn water.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir in the yogurt, garlic, onion and yest mixture. Mix the ingredients together until it is well incorporated.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface until you reach an elastic state and the dough is soft to the touch.

Form the dough into a large ball and place in an oiled bowl, covered with a moist towel. Allow the dough to rest in a dark and warm spot and rise for an hour.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.

Heat griddle or pan to medium-high heat and also turn your broiler on and place a clean rack at the top spot in the oven.

Roll each piece of dough out to 10 inches diameter and the thickness should not exceed 1/4 inch. You will cook each piece immediately after rolling so do not roll them all out at once.

Add butter or ghee to the pan and cook on each side for 2 minutes until it is golden brown. The bread will puff up and pieces of the bread will brown.

It will puff up in places or all over, and there will be some blackish-brown spots on the bottom.

Transfer each piece of bread to the top each with a pair of long thongs and allow it to cook for a minute or two until the entire piece of naan has puffed up and looks like a balloon.

Remove the naan from the oven and brush with melted butter or ghee.

Complete this process with the remaining dough.

If you are not serving the naan right away, wrap it up and refrigerate. When reheating, brush with a little water to keep the bread moist and pliable.

Slow Cooker South Indian Lamb Curry

Many people are fearful of making Indian food, with the complex spice profile, they are intimated and think that it requires complicated procedures. Nothing can be South Indian Lamb Curry, Indian Carrot Saladsimpler than this recipe. You chop everything up and throw it into one pot.

You are probably wondering what South Indian style means. As far as you are concerned, India is one country and they use tons of spices regardless of where you are from. True and not true, all at once.

I was born in South India (Southside!!), where the weather is very very hot and the monsoon season hits. We prefer spicy foods, coconut in everything and creamy foods. South India is filled with vegetarians and thanks to that, I was brought up loving vegetables. I couldn’t have asked for a better culinary childhood. Northerners also eat flavorful foods but it is not as spicy. Each region of India is known for different things. There is even a region that adds sugar to everything, even savory recipes. That will be saved for another day, back to my delicious recipe from my motherland.

TIP: It is an Indian tradition to cook your spices first to release their full potential. We usually cook the spices in ghee (clarified butter) and the spices are added at the beginning of cooking to infuse every ingredient with flavor. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter (feel free to use regular butter)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions in ¼ inch wedges
2.5 lbs of lamb meat, cubed into 1 inch portions
2 tablespoons coriander seeds or powder
2 tablespoons cumin seeds or powder
2 teaspoons fennel seeds or powder
6 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 bay leaves
6 whole dried red chili peppers
8 curry leaves
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garlic powder or fresh garlic paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 can of coconut milk (make sure there are no additional additives or sugars)
½ cup coconut flurries(shredded coconut), unsweetened

Directions
Brown the lamb for the best flavor. If you don’t have the time, skip this step.

Place all of the ingredients in the crock pot and allow it cook on high for 6 hours. Add water or chicken/beef broth to the top of the food to ensure it does not burn.

Remove the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and bay leaves before serving. Serve over jasmine rice or with naan. Yeah, it really is that easy!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew

My family loves soups and stews because they are easy to make, require minimum cleanup and we can make tons of it at a time. My Vegetable Stew is my dad’s favorite and he requests it several times throughout the year. He is really cute! He works weekends all over the country and packs food for the weekend because he is a vegetarian and the options at hospitals are limited. I am always excited to make this for my dad and it makes me smile when he tells my mom that she should get this recipe from me. Isn’t that the main reason why we love to cook? To feed our loved ones and show them how much we truly care. It is so rewarding to see his smile.Vegetable Stew

Makes 6 large servings

Ingredients
Soak 1/2lb beans and lentils overnight in water with ½ tablespoon of salt
4 tablespoons oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
6 tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
4 sun dried tomatoes, diced (omit if desired)
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 bay leaves
½ tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of dried basil
½ tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth

Garnish/Toppings (feel free to omit or use a combination of the following)
Sour Cream
Chopped Onions or green onions
Cheddar Cheese

Directions
Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and place on medium for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Serve with any or all of the suggested toppings.

TIP: Pre-soak bean, shake off the excess water and freeze them for up to three weeks. This allows me to make dinners in a hurry without having to use canned beans.