Cooking frenzy...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday night is usually cooking night, but I felt like I was in the kitchen most of the day today. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the salmon tacos I made at lunch, but man, were they yummy! One of my besties was here and after the fact, she revealed to me that she didn't particularly like salmon, but she really enjoyed what I made for her. Hooray! Let me know if you want me to post that recipe. estimated cost: $12, but it fed 4 adults with leftover salmon for a salad and another meal.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the food.

Bianca's Palak Paneer
1 bag spinach
1 pkg paneer
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 c heavy cream
hot madras curry powder
cumin seed
ground coriander

estimated cost: $5

Thaw your frozen spinach in the microwave. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic. Afterwards, add tomato paste and stir together. I usually add a few of my cumin seeds with the onion and garlic. Add your spinach and about 1/2 - 1 c of water. Let simmer for a bit and begin to add your spices. This time I kinda spilled the tumeric so it's extra yellow! LOL. While it simmers together, brown your paneer in a bit of oil. After it is sufficiently browned, add to the the palak. Mix together and add cream and any remaining spices. Sometimes, if I'm feeling sassy, I add a bit of red pepper for some kick! That's it!

This is how paneer comes. I picked it up today at my Indian grocery store only to discover that they are going out of business and the last day they are open is on the 22nd!!! Eeek!! I was very upset, however, EVERYTHING in th entire store is 20% off. They had Indian music on sale 2 for a $1 with an extra 20% off. I nearly bought some just because it was such a good deal. Anyway, when you chop the paneer, it can be a little tough. Also, it leaves this chalky residue on your hands. I don't know why. Can anyone tell me?

If you look close, you can see the bits of white on my fingers.

OMG...that looks delish. I may have to sneak a few more bites from the leftovers!

Ta-daaaaa!! Here is the finished product. Again, a little on the yellow side because of my tumeric mishap, but it's all good. It was still very delicious!

Chicken with Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, and Broccoli Rabe Served on a bed of Vermicelli
1lb Chicken
1 head of Broccoli Rabe
1 pkg of Mushrooms
1/4 pkg of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 pkg Vermicelli

Brown chicken, blanch broccoli rabe, saute mushrooms. Throw all cooked ingredients in the pan and add tomatoes. Toss around for a few minutes on low heat. Cook verimicelli according to package.

Estimated cost: $6, including the cost of 1/2 a bottle of vino and my asparagus screw up. (Chicken tenders and tomatoes were on ridiculous sale at Neighborhood Market!)

Sauteeing the mushrooms in butter. It was at this point that we realized we probably needed some more food ingredients since we remembered we were out of eggs. These mushrooms represent less than half a package, but we were going to work with what we had.
This is the broccoli rabe settling in for a quick stem bath. See how happy it is?
Time to cool down in an ice bath. Part of the blanching process. No, your eyes don't deceive you! That is asparagus. Unfortunately, I killed the asparagus, which was the original green ingredient in this dish, but I had to toss it out. Folks, this is what happens when you try to cook 4 dishes at once. On top of what I photographed, I was also making wild rice and boiling carrots for Mari's food for the week. On a positive note, however, I came up with a new simile: Tossed out like soggy, overcooked asparagus. Feel free to use it! You know you like it!
Alrighty, all the ingredients were begging me to dance together in the pan, so I finally agreed. Here they are getting jiggy with it in the warm oil. Awww...look how bright and colorful that is.

Voila, finished product. Yum! Healthy too! Of course, we complimented our meal with a $7 bottle of Jacob's Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Each only having one glass, and we'll have the other glass for the next meal. Doin' it like the Italians because red wine makes the heart happy.


And what about Mari? Her meals this week:
Chicken and Carrots with Wild Rice
Blueberry, Banana, and Pear with Oatmeal

She tasted both and gave a resounding approval demanding more. Ultimately, I had to satiate her with her own chicken tender and some pumpernickel bread. She seemed to really enjoy them both! Oh, and she finished her dinner off with a bit of pear bites too! Isn't she cute in her little apron. Since she was helping me, I figured she needed to wear one too!


Jeev said...

Excellent! I think you have found your niche! Please post the Salmon Taco recipe. Sounds yummy. Anyway please consult with me before you try anymore Indian dishes :). We can't have you cooking better Indian dishes than I can.

Tracey said...

WOW that food looks yummy!! Great Job!

chae said...

Hey, I was there! I just saw the post! Sweet!

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