Mulligatawny Recipe

MulligatawnyMulligatawny is a curry flavored soup that has its origins in India during the time of the British occupation. It is similar to rasam but it has a chicken as opposed to a tamarind base. The first time that I had ever heard this soup mentioned was on the famous "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld.

Translated from the Tamil language, mulligatawny means "pepper water." This recipe for mulligatawny includes three types of pepper and is about a 5 out of 10 on the heat/spice scale. In addition to the cilantro and lemon juice garnish, you may also want to add rice to this dish.

Recommended Equipment:
Large pot or Dutch oven
Food processor

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 carrot, finely diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 eggplant
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
32 oz. box chicken stock
3 large red skin potatoes, skinned and quartered
1 15 oz. can yellow corn, whole kernels
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tspn fresh ginger, diced
1/2 tspn ground cumin seeds
1 tspn cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tspn thyme
3/4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cardamom
pinch of ground coriander
pinch of cinnamon
lemon juice

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Cut the flesh of the eggplant from the skin and cut it into small cubes. Discard the skin.
  3. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and eggplant to the pot and cook until onions become clear and translucent.
  4. Add the white wine (I used Pinot Grigio) and the bay leaf to the pot and continue cooking at medium heat for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the 32oz. of chicken stock plus 2 cups of water.
  6. Place the 4 chipotle peppers in a food processor and pulse them 5 to 6 times until the peppers are ground into small pieces and have combined with the adobo sauce.
  7. Add the potatoes, corn, chipotle peppers, and tomato sauce to the pot.
  8. Add the ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme, sugar, curry, and coconut milk.
  9. Add a pinch each of turmeric, ground cardamom, ground coriander, and cinnamon.
  10. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  11. Serve hot and garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
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Mayan Chocolate Cake Recipe

This recipe for Mayan Chocolate Cake is an essential dessert recipe that will serve you well for years to come. Whenever I used to have to make a cake, I would buy a box of cake mix and a can of icing. However, after I started paying attention to the ingredients on those products I wanted to find an easier and healthier way to make them from scratch. I think you will find that this recipe is in fact pretty easy and the cake tastes better than the dry mix varieties that you find at the grocery store.

Mayan Chocolate Cake features cocoa which originated from the gulf coast region in Mexico. The cocoa, along with this chocolate icing recipe featuring Kahlua, give this cake a distinctive flavor only found south of the border.

Recommended Equipment:
stand mixer
2 9 x 2 round cake pans

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tspn pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (I used a standard Kitchen Aid stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Next, mix in the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until it is completely blended. Do not over mix.
  7. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the dry flour mix has combined.
  8. Grease 2 round pans with butter then dust them with flour.
  9. Pour 1/2 of the cake batter into each pan.
    chocolate cakes - prebake
  10. Place pans in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove them from the oven when you can insert a form into the top of the cake and it comes out dry.
  11. Let the cakes cool for 30 to 45 minutes.
    chocolate cakes cooling
  12. Cover the cakes with aluminum foil and place in freezer for 3 to 4 hours.
  13. Move the cakes to the refrigerator to thaw for at least 4 hours then remove from refrigerator.
  14. Place cake on a plate and apply frosting to the top of the cake.
  15. Place the second cake on top of the first. The frost the top and sides of the cake.

Arrogant Bastard Chili

Arrogant Bastard ChiliThis recipe won my wife's office chili cook-off a couple of years ago. It was a unanimous favorite and in a chili town like Cincinnati, that says something. The recipe calls for Arrogant Bastard Ale but if you can't get your hands on a case of this, Michelob Amber Bock works really well too.

2 pounds of ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
3 - 5 garlic cloves, diced
1 28oz. can of Joan of Arc spicy chili beans
1 14oz. can kidney beans
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14oz. can RoTel tomatoes with green chilies
1 46oz. can tomato juice (use 2/3 of can)
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot or Dutch Oven, brown the ground beef.
  2. Add the diced onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent in color.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 4 to 5 hours.
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Kirkwood

Related Recipe:
Spicy 3 Bean Chili
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Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I haven't made pizza in a long time so we decided to try Buffalo Chicken Pizza. It features all of the great flavors of buffalo wings but is still a somewhat healthy, balanced meal. You can prepare the crust in advance using an earlier recipe for Neapolitan Pizza Dough. This recipe uses 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. However, for this pizza I used 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour for an even better tasting (and healthier) crust.

The Buffalo chicken takes about 6 hours in a slow cooker, so you can make the pizza dough the night before and load up the slow cooker before work. When you arrive home, you can have these pizzas served up within 30 minutes.

Recommended Equipment:
Slow cooker

Neapolitan Pizza Dough
2 tbsp un-salted butter
3 chicken breasts
1 bottle of your favorite wing sauce. I used Kroger brand.
Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder.
Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1/2 red onion
blue cheese dressing
1 rib of celery, diced
mozzarella cheese, shredded

  1. Place the butter, chicken, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder, and 1/2 bottle of the wing sauce in the slow cooker. Cook on medium for 6 hours.
  2. Shred the chicken and add a little more of the wing sauce to the chicken, about 2 tbsp.
    Buffalo Chicken
  3. Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Next, use one of your Neapolitan pizza doughs and form a thin oval crust.
  5. Cover it with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Cover the cheese with a layer of the Buffalo chicken.
  7. Garnish with sliced red onions.
  8. Slide pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove pizza and garnish with diced celery and blue cheese dressing.
Related Recipes:
Neapolitan Pizza
Basil Pizzas
Chocolate Pizza
Chicago Style Pizza

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Haupia Recipe

Haupia Coconut PieI tried making haupia last Friday and it was awesome and I'm not even that crazy about coconut. If you're looking for a unique, easy dessert - give haupia a try. It didn't take alot of time to put it together and there were no prisoners by Saturday afternoon. I'm making it again this weekend for Easter.

Haupia is a type of Hawaiian coconut pudding. It was most likely brought to Hawaii from Guam around the time of the Second World War. Today, it is served at luaus and other parties and is very popular throughout the Islands.

Here is how you make it:
2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 cup of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, unsalted - coarsely chopped

Pie Filling:
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1-1/2 cups of milk
20 ounces of coconut milk
1-1/2 cups of water
3/8 cup of cornstarch
1-1/2 cups of sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coarsely chop macadamia nuts.
  3. Cut butter into pat sized pieces.
  4. Mix butter into flour with a wooden spoon, chopping butter into small pieces coated with flour.
  5. Add brown sugar and macadamia nuts to the flour and sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Dump mixture into a 9x9 or 9x13 baking pan. Pack the mixture down with your hands to cover the bottom of pan and up about an inch along the side of the pan.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Pie Filling:
  1. Mix the coconut milk, milk, and sugar together in a pot or saucepan.
  2. In a bowl mix together the water and corn starch.
  3. Bring coconut milk mixture to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Slowly stir in corn starch mixture into the coconut milk mixture and whisk it until it is well mixed and it has thickened.
  5. Microwave chocolate pieces for a minute or so in a bowl so the chocolate is just melting together.
  6. Separate the coconut mixture into two equal parts.
  7. Add the melted chocolate to one of the parts, mixing it thoroughly and pour evenly onto the pie crust.
  8. Gently spoon the other half of the haupia (coconut mixture) on top of the chocolate layer.
  9. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  10. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
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Pão de Queijo Recipe

Pão de Queijo is a popular breakfast item in Brasil. They are popular throughout the country and can be purchased in restaurants, road-side stands, and from vendors on the beach. This recipe uses tapioca flour which has finer grain than regular all-purpose flour and gives this bread a light texture. If you find it difficult to locate tapioca flour near you, you can use winter flour in order to achieve similar results.

4 tbsp canola oil
6 tbsp water
pinch of sea salt
1 and 2/3 cups tapioca flour
1 egg, beaten
6 tbsp plain yogurt. I use Greek Gods Yogurt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift tapioca flour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add oil, water, and sea salt to a saucepan over medium high heat. Heat this mixture until it begins to boil.
  4. Pour mixture from step #3 into the mixing bowl and mix with flour using a wooden spoon.
  5. Alow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes. Then add egg to the mixing bowl and mix it into the dough.
  6. Next, add the yogurt and Parmesan cheese to the bowl and mix these last two ingredients into the dough.
  7. Grease your hands with some canola or olive oil and then roll the dough into small balls. This recipe should yield between 12 and 15 balls.
  8. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet and place them in the oven and reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Serve hot.

Chimichurri Recipe

chimichurri steakChimichurri is an Argentinian specialty that can be used as a sauce, marinade, or both. It is said that the name "chimichurri" originated from an Irishman named Jimmy McCurry. McCurry was a soldier if fortune in Argentina during the 19th Century and apparently invented the sauce that is popular throughout Argentina today. His name was difficult for the locals to pronounce and it was corrupted into chimi-churri. The sauce was then named in his honor.

In this recipe, I used the chimichurri as a marinade only. If you would like to serve the steak with chimichurri sauce, you can simply double the amounts listed under ingredients and use only half of it as a marinade.

Recommended Equipment:
Cast iron skillet

2 New York strip sirloin steaks
3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tspn red pepper flakes
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tspn paprika
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper

  1. Mix all of the ingredients (except the steak) in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the steaks to the bowl containing the Chimichurri sauce. Be sure to cover both side of the steaks with the sauce. (You may want to turn the steaks in the sauce after a few hours so that both sides are evenly flavored).
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, light the grill. Place cast iron skillet on grill.
  5. When grill is hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle, put steaks on the grill.
  6. Cook steaks for about 8 to 9 minutes on one side.
  7. Flip steaks and cook for another 8 to 9 minutes.
    chimichurri steaks on grill
  8. Remove and let steaks rest for about 8 minutes. Do not cut into the steak to check how much it has cooked.
  9. Serve hot.
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Oyster Chicken Recipe

Oyster Chicken
If you love Chinese food but feel guilty whenever you eat it, try making this oyster chicken. It has big flavor and it's not that bad for you - no MSG here. It is also really versatile. You can add your favorite vegetables and the end result is a great dish that you can prepare in a about a half an hour. Serve the oyster chicken over steamed rice.

1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tspn sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 tspn sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tspn sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch

Other Ingredients:
1 pound chicken, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 cup medium grain rice
oil for frying
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 inch ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cashews, chopped

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl and mix so that the chicken is covered with the marinade. Put into the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the sauce.
  3. Prepare all of the vegetables that you plan to use.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet on high heat and add oil.
  5. When oil is hot, add garlic, green onion, and ginger. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add chicken and stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned. Then remove this mixture from the wok. If there is excess oil, try to leave it in the wok.
  7. Add oil to the wok and stir-fry the vegetables for 3-5 minutes on high heat.
  8. Return the chicken to the wok mixing it with the vegetables.
  9. Add the sauce to the chicken and vegetables.
  10. Serve hot over steamed rice.
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