Archive | August, 2011

Ahh…Curry!

27 Aug

So, when I lived in London, I missed Mexican food so much. When I first moved over there, you couldn’t even buy tortillas, and the only salsa you could buy was El Paso in a jar. Which, let’s face it, is NOT salsa.

Mmmm...curry. It just makes life worth living.

Now that I’m back in California, I miss what London does so well: Indian curry. I had the best place near me in Battersea that I used to order from all the time. All the time. How often? Let’s just say I received a Christmas card from them…

There’s an Indian restaurant a half a block from my house. I never go there because it is not authentic. The weird thing is that the owners also own Nina’s Anglo-Indian Grocery in El Toro, where the food is quite good. Weird. I think this one is trying to appeal to the American palate too much. But never mind.

The Husband loves it when I start toasting up the spices and making curry. He loves anything with a ton of garlic in it, like me, so curry always works for us. It can be a little labor intensive with all the prep and chopping, but once you’ve done that, it goes pretty quick.

You can use plain rice with this, but I’ll also include a recipe for a simple rice and a pilau rice. If you need any of the spices listed here, head to Nina’s or another ethnic grocery, where they’ll be much cheaper than buying the little jars at the store.

I’m starting you all off with a mild curry—for those of you who like it hot, throw more chili in there. And for those who don’t like spice, don’t omit the chilis I have here. Really, there will be no burning of the mouth. I promise.

For the vegetarians/vegans out there, just omit the chicken and add more mushrooms and maybe throw in some chickpeas. Some eggplant would be nice too. Continue reading

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The Dogs of Dinner

21 Aug

Every once in a while, and probably too often, The Husband and I will have what we call “dogs” for dinner.

Told you it wouldn't be long til we had Dogs again...!

This basically is a glorified hot dog, dressed up with a nice sausage, some grilled onions, soft buns and tasty mustard. Oh, and some homemade sweet potato fries on the side.

These are not "buns of steel". And nor are mine.

These dogs are great with any kind of sausage, although I cannot bring myself to eat a regular “hot dog”. Give me a tofu dog any day before a ballpark frank. Ew. That said, we usually use the Trader Joe’s Andouille sausages (luckily it has no relation to the true Cajun andouille sausage, except for the fact that it’s a little spicy), sometimes their fresh spicy Italian pork sausages that take a little more care to grill since they’re not pre-cooked, and I’ve even used the vegan Field Roast Grain sausages to great results.

I will also apologize for eating dinner before taking a photo! I’ll add one next time we have them, which won’t be too long. That’s probably why I can’t seem to lose those few pounds I keep whining about. Really, it’s pretty simple if I think about it…but they’re so danged delicious!

So, here’s your recipes. They serve two, as usual. Continue reading

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere…

14 Aug

OK, so we haven’t started drinking at noon on Sunday. Well, not THIS Sunday. But as our friends know, we are partial to a martini most nights of the week. So it’s time we feature one of The Husband’s fantastic martini creations.

Shaken, not stirred please.

Now, we like our martinis pretty basic. None of that Lemondrop, Cosmo fruity crap. Just give me my vodka, make it ice cold, and make it snappy.

There’s no better place to have a martini than at my house, as The Husband is the best bartender ever. Have you been to a bar where they keep Grey Goose, Pearl vodka and Hendrick’s gin in the freezer? Exactly. When you go to a bar, you end up getting a martini made from room-temp vodka. Ew. We have no kids, so whatever freezer space would be taken up with fish fingers and frozen veg is reserved for our alcohol.

I’m even going to share my special cocktail nuts recipe with you, not that it’s a big secret. Whole Foods gave me the idea, and they charge an arm and a leg (surprise!?) for them in the store when you can just make them yourselves for a lot less dinero. And they’re perfect with martinis.

Bottom’s up! Continue reading

The Sandwich, Part One

14 Aug

This is called The Sandwich, Part One because there are a few sarnies in our house called The Sandwich. This is, to be specific, The Sunday Breakfast Sandwich, and The Husband loves it. In fact, he was doing his “Happy Sandwich Dance” as he finished it this morning. It was a thing of beauty.

The Sandwich? You can't handle The Sandwich!

So, vegans, look away now. There’s no way I can make this sandwich vegan, as it features an egg as a centerpiece. Vegetarians can merely substitute the meat for some fake bacon and be on their merry way. I guess if you remove the egg, use fake bacon and use Vegenaise, you can have something similar. I will have to think of a delicious vegan breakfast sarnie. (BTW, “sarnie” is sandwich in Brit-speak.)

In our tiny kitchen, this is quite a production, but I’ve got it down to a science now. The Husband and I were discussing this morning that you can use prosciutto instead of the bacon, but it makes it a little salty if you use cheese. I use my mayo-salsa spread instead of cheese, so I don’t have that problem. Sally forth as you feel is most appropriate for you!

Here’s the recipe and process: Continue reading

The Spanish Days of Summer

6 Aug

This one’s in honor of Santa Barbara’s Spanish Fiesta Days, which began yesterday. And we had this last night…hmm, I wasn’t even thinking about that at the time! I guess the excitement of our trip up to Santa Barbara (we’re leaving in a few minutes!) put me in the mood.

Grilled corn and my $7 corn scraper from Sur la Table

So, viva España! Pork is rarely better than with some smoked paprika slathered on it. And, before you vegetarians and vegans turn away, I’m sure this marinade will be super delicious on tofu or seitan, and certainly grilled. Just make sure you marinate it for longer!

I love getting my mortar and pestle out—as a matter of fact, I love it so much that I hunted it down for our very dear friends C+E. Turns out it’s very easy to find at Williams Sonoma, even though I brought mine over from the UK after buying it from the delightful Lakeland Limited catalogue.

Ahhh...smoked paprika. If only we'd had some rioja!

Anyway, on to the recipe. It was delicious, if I do say so myself. And yes, you will need a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder. If you’re really fancy, you’ll have a special spice grinder, and if so, wooo, get you! Continue reading