Monthly Archives: May 2013

Curry Chicken and Rice


A long time ago, in a country far away, a little girl tasted this dish for the first time and loved it.

Sorry, couldn’t resist this.   But, it’s true.

Many years ago my older sister had a neighbor who taught her how to make this dish, and I’m sure many others as well, but this is the one my sister taught my mother to make.   And it turned out to be one of those dishes that was surprisingly portable in the era before crock pots, and one that we all liked.   I remember having this at a picnic once, the pot had been wrapped in a quilt and placed in the trunk of the car.   When we got to our picnic spot, it was still hot and yummy.   Nowadays, we’d stick it in a crock pot and bring it along, but there weren’t such niceties 30 + years ago.

In the intervening years my sisters have gone on to make many other Indian dishes, but I’ve stuck with this particular one.   It’s the one I make when I’m going to be alone for a few days, it’s my go-to curry dish, and one that one of my dogs absolutely loved.  Yes, she did, and the hotter the better.   And how do I know this?  Well, one night many years ago, I was all alone and made up some Curry for dinner.    My dog came over and was sniffing at me, and pointedly not begging.   So I let her have a taste.  I already knew she loved Chile Verde (and I only gave her a bite or two) and she liked spicy food.   So I gave her a taste of the chicken, thinking gee, she’ll spit it out and then I can eat the rest of this in peace.   No such luck, Mauli ate her bite of chicken, and then begged for more.  So we ate Curry Chicken and Rice together.  Luckily there were no after effects, other than I had to share.  From then on, every time I made it, she and I would eat our curry together.  She passed away this spring at the age of 15 1/2, which I consider a venerable age for a large dog.

I brought this to a potluck awhile back, and it all got eaten.   It’s really easy, only a few ingredients and it tastes wonderful.    You can make it as hot as you like or as mild.   Personally, I’m all for hot, but you know that, if you’ve read any of this blog before.     I usually only make Curry Chicken and Rice when I’m alone, mainly cause I’m the only one in the household who eats it.

For the Curry Chicken and Rice you need onions, chicken, curry powder, some ghee if you have it, or just some olive oil and butter.

Start by cutting the onions in half, and then slicing them again.  I like them cut like this, but you can also make them into rings.

 

Set aside for a few minutes until you can have a chance to wipe your eyes and stop the tears.   (Just kidding).

Put a heavy pot on the stove and place some butter and olive oil into it.   The olive oil will keep the butter from burning at a higher temp.   If you have some ghee made, you can skip the olive oil, if you like.   Ghee is clarified butter, and can withstand a higher heat than regular butter can.   It’s the milk solids in the butter that turn brown and can become bitter and taste burnt.
Dump the sliced onions in the pot, and cook until just translucent or a little beyond.  I do like a bit that bit of caramelization and the sweetness that the onions produce.

Add the chicken pieces and brown them a little.  You do want them to have a nice brown on them, but don’t want them too dark.     Add about a tablespoon of curry powder, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground salt and stir together.   At this point I put a lid on the pot, and let it cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour.   Check the chicken, and taste a little of the onion, at this point you can add more curry powder and correct the seasonings.    I usually add more curry powder and salt here.   The chicken should be nice and tender now.   The onion will have cooked down to the point that you may not really see it, but it adds a wonderful sweetness which offsets the curry.

Measure out your rice, add it to the pot with enough water to cook it, taking into account that there is some liquid already in the pot.   Cover it and let it cook for another 20 minutes or so.   Take the lid off, give it a stir and if there is still some liquid, leave the lid off for a few minutes, and let it cook off.   Go ahead and taste again at this point, sometimes you need a little more salt and curry, OK, so I always add more curry.  Stir it at this point, if some of the chicken has stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Serve and enjoy.

Curry Chicken and Rice.

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces,  or package of chicken already cut up.
3-4  onions, cut into slices (I like onions and wouldn’t use less than 2 in this recipe)
butter or ghee and olive oil for browning
1 cup uncooked rice (I like Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, it holds up well).
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
Curry powder to taste, start with a teaspoon and work up.
Salt to taste.

Heat olive oil and butter and place the sliced onions in the pan, stir until the onion starts to cook a little, add the chicken, and brown it.   Turn down the heat, place a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.
Add rice and enough water to cook the rice.   Cover the pot, let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

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Chicken Jalapeno Rollups


 

 

I attend a weekly get together with a lovely group of ladies and we talk, and nosh and generally enjoy ourselves.   One of the things we do each week is bring a little something to nibble on.  This could be as simple as chips and dip, although Hummus in various forms are always a big hit.  But I wanted to try this recipe and TA DA, I had the perfect venue for it.     So I made a double batch, thinking that I could share it later on, but there were very few leftovers.   Someone called them downright more’ish and I think they were right.

I  this recipe from No Reason Needed, and got lost in her blog, really, I went from one recipe to another before I found this recipe to make.

Chicken Jalapeno Rollups 

 

She does have a bunch more recipes that I want to check out.   And when I do, I’ll tell you all about them.

 

First off, I think this is the first time I’ve ever purchased Pillsbury Crescent roll dough.  Really, it is.  I prefer to make my stuff from scratch.  Well, with the exception of beans, never have gotten the hang of cooking beans without that little hard center.

 

So here it is.   I had some leftover cooked chicken breast in the freezer from making some Pepper Jack Enchilada’s earlier in the week, and decided that they would be perfect for this.  And I always have Jalapeno’s on hand, either frozen or ‘en escabeche’, just cause you never know when you’ll need some.   Wait a minute, I had all this stuff in my fridge and freezer with the exception of the Crescent dough, cool, I was prepared.

 

Chicken Jalapeno Rollups

 

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (very important, trust me on this)

1/2 cup chopped, cooked chicken

2-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno’s  (from a jar)(I also added in two or three pieces of the pickled carrot that came with my jalapeno’s en escabeche)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped green onions (I used two onions)

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough

 

Mix together all the ingredients other than the dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then unroll the dough, and pinch together the serrations a little.  I found this was a lot easier to roll out when I actually separated the pieces a little.   You can see where I cut it.

 

Divide the filling into two equal parts, then divide again, if doubling the recipe like I did.  Just makes it a little easier to get even amounts of filling onto the dough.

 Look at the little bits of carrot in there, don’t they look pretty?   Sorry, couldn’t resist a closeup of the filling on the dough.

Spread out the filling a little and then roll them up, lengthwise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I did not get a picture of the next process, but I cut each log in half and then in half again, and finally in half again.   This gave me 16 pieces from each of the two pieces of dough that were in the can.  Which if you count them, means you get 32 pieces from each recipe.

Ready to bake.   I love to use parchment paper for baking things like this, so much easier to clean up later on.    And the next time I make these, I will actually refrigerate the logs for a little while to firm up the filling a little, I think it would make it easier to cut and eliminate the slightly drunken look that these unbaked bits of goodies got.    Just saying…

 

And before I forget, you need to bake these in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.   Never hurts to pull one out a little early and taste test either, I mean you do want to make sure they’re done, doncha?

 

 

 

 

I will make something like this again, but you know I was thinking, some nice smoked salmon, a little cream cheese, some dill, might make for a very tasty bite.

 

And you know if I make them that way, you’ll hear about it.

Tuna Melt


The first time I ever met a Tuna Melt, I was a grownup.   I was in a restaurant and ordered this, to me at least, exotic dish called a Tuna Melt.    The other person I was with was shocked, she hated Tuna Melts, her mom used to make her eat Tuna Salad sandwiches, Tuna Noodle Casserole, and Tuna Melts.    I had a passing acquaintance with Tuna Noodle Casserole, but had never tried a Tuna Melt.    And when it was brought to me, I found out it was just a fancied up Tuna Salad with cheese on top and broiled.  I seem to remember it was served on an English muffin, and it was tasty.      I would order them from time to time in restaurants, but never made them for myself.   Why?  I have no idea, cause I do like Tuna and will open a can of it, add a little mayo and just eat it with crackers.

Well, today I was really hungry and happened to spot a can of Tuna sitting in the pantry looking dejected  and decided to make myself a Tuna Salad Sandwich.   So I drained the tuna, flopped it into a bowl, added some sweet relish, a little mayo and tasted it.  And it was missing something.  So I chopped up  half of a Vidalia onion, added that, tasted it again, and still something was missing.   So I zapped a couple of eggs in the Microwave and hard cooked them. (I was lazy and didn’t feel like boiling them, but this does work well)

Cooled them, chopped them up and added the eggs to the Tuna Salad, tasted them again, added more relish and decided it was great.   But I didn’t have a great bread to eat with it, however….

I did have some leftover Hamburger Buns, so I decided a Tuna Melt was in my near future.

I heaped the tuna mixture on the each half of a bun,

then topped them with some shredded Colby Jack Cheese

and broiled them until the cheese was all melty and slightly browned.

And they were good.

Tuna Melt             Serves 2  or makes two lunches.

1 can Tuna, packed in water
2 teaspoons or so, sweet pickle relish
1/2 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 hard cooked eggs
2 teaspoons Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
2 Hamburger Buns

Mix all together and divide among two whole hamburger buns, (4 halves) and top with a couple tablespoons shredded cheese and place under broiler just til the cheese melts.  Serve with a nice cold glass of milk.

Just in case you were wondering if all I was going to post about this month were Mexican inspired recipes…  Of course you could probably add some chopped jalapeno’s to this as well?

Salsa, the quick and easy way.


I know I’m coming a little late to the party, it was Cinco de Mayo this  past Sunday. Yikes where did the time go?    Doesn’t matter, cause this Salsa can be made any time of year and enjoyed.

I  want to share this  recipe for salsa.   This is just  so darn easy, quick and can be made from the pantry, well, mostly from the pantry.  Just need fresh green onions, cilantro and lime juice, but the rest is from the pantry – really, it is.

I love these Jalepeno’s en Escabeche.   I eat the carrots first though, even if they burn my tongue a little.  I always have a can of them in the cupboard or in the fridge or, well, I have them handy.

Take one or two cans of whole tomatoes,  either cut them up or better yet, squish the tomatoes a little to break them up, place in bowl, and set aside. (if you squish the tomatoes to break them up, make sure your hands are clean first).     Open a large can of green chiles, the 7 oz. can works great, then add a few pickled jalapeño slices, minced, (or even a small can of jalapeno’s),  depending on the heat level you want.    Finally add a bunch of green onions, chopped.  Stir together and add about a teaspoon of salt.  I know, I never tell you to add salt, but for this, you need it.   Although you could start with a half teaspoon and work your way up.    Taste it first and see what you think.   Add the juice of a fresh squeezed lime and some chopped Cilantro.  About a 1/4- 1/2 cup.      Place the salsa in a bowl, and put in the fridge for about an hour or so.   Serve with some fresh tortilla chips and a nice cold beer or a margarita.  Oh and if there are leftovers, be aware it can become very spicy.  But it’s all good.

I actually made this for a Cinco de Mayo Party that friends threw and I have to say that even with the amount of great food available, most of the salsa got eaten.  But I had a little bit left and I dumped spooned some of it onto a nicely fried egg and it was so good.

Huevos Rancheros


Picture this, a lovely egg, fried over easy snuggled into some Ranchero sauce and served under a sprinkle of cheese and sauce on top of a flour tortilla.   You cut into the egg, and the yolk does something magical with the sauce and cheese, and makes your mouth happy as you taste it.  Well, it makes my mouth SING!!!!, of course that’s usually cause I’m made the sauce to my taste and it is GOOD!   This has gotta be my absolute favourite breakfast/brunch/dinner ever.     And yes if serving as a brunch you can serve it with a drink.   I like Bloody Maria’s with this, but serve whatever you like.   Coffee or tea work well with this too.

I’m a big believer in multipurpose meals.   Or 2 fer’s if you like.     And when I can make something that can be served more than one way, I do it.   Like my Chile Verde.   We love it, and it always seems there’s just a little left over after a meal (I plan it that way, but don’t tell anyone), and since we’re fans of Mexican food, it just makes sense to me to use that bit of leftover Verde to make Huevos Rancheros.    Translated, it means Ranchers Eggs.    A typical large mid morning meal on a rural Mexican farm.

This is not your traditional recipe, but then again, I’ve had so many variations that I don’t think there is a standard way of making this.   You make it to your taste.  Period.  Although the traditional way is to serve this on a crisply fried corn tortilla with a tomato-chili sauce on top.   But the first time I had this dish, it was on a flour tortilla and served with an extra tortilla for ‘sopping’ up the sauce.  So, that’s the way I make it.

Start with a cup or so of Chile Verde, add a matching amount of your favourite Salsa, heat together til hot, set aside for a couple of minutes while you prepare the egg and tortilla(s).

Make your egg however you like, fried, poached or scrambled, this is all about you, and how you like your egg.   Warm a flour tortilla up, then place a spoonful of your newly made sauce on top, spread it out just a little.   Place your egg(s) on top and spoon some more sauce on top of that.  I like mine topped with a sprinkle of cheese and some finely diced onions.    Serve with a couple of warmed and buttered tortillas and enjoy.

This is a great brunch meal, can be served to many guests, so long as the eggs are cooked to order or just served scrambled.   I once made this for a breakfast and served over 20 people, cooking their eggs to order as they stood in line.  Many people came up to me later on and wanted the recipe for the sauce.   This was pre-blog days, so I had to hurry up and write it all down.   And then make copies and hand them out.

As I said before this is a great quickie meal, and tasty, very tasty.