What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cooking in More Ways Than One

It is not that I haven't been eating (that would be the day!). I have been
very busy and I am sorry it has been so long since I posted.

We are still under severe drought conditions. Yesterday was the first day in a long time that the temperatures were not in the 90's. It is hard to describe what it is like. Landscape plants and some trees in our woods are dead or dying. The garden is awful and we haven't even planted a fall garden because we do not know how to get it enough water. Needless to say, the summer garden wasn't terrific. A few things faired well, but not much. That doesn't mean we are not eating well.

So what have I been doing and what have we been eating? Over the last two weeks I have helped at the opening of two Entrée Vous' in NC, the first in Morrisville and the second in High Point. The North Carolina Entrée Vous' are a great group of people; even though we come from different places and different backgrounds, we all ended up doing the same thing at the same time and we share the journey with what has become a wonderful comradery and a helpful team spirit.

I have also still been catering and gotten into the networking 'thing'. When you live as rural as we do, it is a conscientious effort to get out to market this kitchen. Entrée Vous is a new concept so getting people in to try it is the first step and I have joined several networking groups to that end. It is very different that what I have done before and that makes life interesting. I am meeting new people and it's been great! As far as construction, it is now, finally, well underway. We hope to be open in late October.

As far as food, last night we had Spaghetti and Meatballs (of course the pasta was made from scratch, as were the meatballs and the marinara was from garden grown tomatoes.). We have been eating for several nights from a London Broil, one night marinades and grilled with green beans and potatoes, one morning for breakfast as a hash with over light eggs, then in an Indian dish, Rogan josh, a rich, red beef stew, quite aromatic and spicy served with Lobhia aur khumbi or black-eyed peas with mushroom, in our case pick-eyed purple hulls, one of the few things that did well this year from the garden. Both of the later recipes are from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. Below is the recipe for the beef. The only modification I made was in the cooking, I pressure cooked it to reduce the cooking time from one hour to 25 minutes. It was delicious served over rice.

Rogan Josh from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking

2 1" pieces ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2-2 cups water
10 T vegetable oil
2 lbs stewing beef cut into 1" cubes (can be made with lamb)
10 whole cardamon pods
2 bay leaves
1 1" stick cinnamon
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 t ground coriander seeds
2 t ground cumin seeds
2 t bright red paprika mixed with 1/4-1 t cayenne pepper
1 1/4 t salt
6 T plain yogurt
1/4 t garam masala
freshly ground black pepper

Put ginger, garlic and 4 T water in blender and blend until you have a smooth paste. Heat oil in wide pot over medium high heat. Brown meat in several batches and set aside. Add cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon to hot oil. Stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves take on color, just a few seconds. Add onions, stirring for about 5 minutes until they turn a medium brown color. Add ginger/garlic paste and stir for 30seconds. Add coriander, cumin, paprika-cayenne and salt. Stir 30 seconds. Add meat cubes and their juice. Stir 30 seconds. Add 1 T yogurt. Stir 30 seconds or until well blended. Add remaining yogurt, 1 T at a time, in the same way. Stir for another 3-4 minutes.Now add 1 1/3 cups water if you are cooking lamb and 2 cups if you are cooking beef. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 1 hr for lamb or 2 for beef or pressure cook 25 minutes for beef). Sprinkle with garam marsala and black pepper, mixing them in.

What else have we been eating: zucchini and pasta. It is really good.

And eggplant Parmesan my way! It's the best and you can make it too. The recipe is on the website!



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