Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekly Menu #13 - Nathan

Special theme: AROUND THE WORLD!

Bombay Sliders with Garlic Curry Sauce

The were great. The sauce was fantastic. Since we didn't have any ground turkey on hand, we used beef. I'd make these again and again.

yield: Makes 4 servings

1 cup mayonnaise, divided
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted
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Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.

Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).

Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.

Slow Cooker Mexican Breakfast Casserole
serves 8, easily.

The Ingredients.
corn tortillas (7-8)
8 eggs
2 cups fat free milk
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (7-ounce) can green chiles, drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tiny onion, diced
1 cup corn (fresh, or frozen would totally work)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

The Directions.

I used a 4 quart round slow cooker. Butter or Pam the inside of your stoneware. Put a layer of corn tortillas on the bottom---you may have to tear some to make them fit nicely.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine all of the other ingredients, and whisk together. Pour about 1/2 of the mixture into the slow cooker, on top of the tortillas. Put in another layer of tortillas, and top with the remaining egg/milk/cheese/other stuff mixture. Top with another layer of corn tortillas.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. If your cooker seals well (my 4-quart has a plastic lid, and a lot of condensation builds up), uncover 15-20 minutes before serving and cook on high to release condensation and to firm up the top a bit. You know your breakfast is done when the eggs are fully cooked and the edges have begun to brown and the cheese gets a bit crispy on the sides.

If you have sausage or other meat you'd like to add, go for it, but take out the salt, and season to taste at the table.

Day 3:
Okok, I know it sounds time intensive; however the following 2 are recipes from our International cookbook. The authors of the book have a tasting panel in which they find the best versions of different international recipes. They had lots to say about spinach pie, and really recommend following their directions relatively precisely. That being said...here we go :)

"This is probably one of the best recipes we've had for our family recipes. The dill is what makes it taste so good, do not substitute. L"

serves 6-8
Make sure the phyllo is fully thawed before use; don't thaw it in the microwave, but let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for 4-5 hours.

4 cups Feta cheese, crumbled into fine pieces
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1/3 cup minced fresh dill leaves
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 (10oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Phyllo layers:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb (14x9inch) phyllo, thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. For the filling: Mix the feta, ricotta, eggs, scallions, dill, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the spinach until uniform. (The filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24hrs.)
2. For the phyllo layers: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 13x9inch baking dish liberally with oil. Lay 1 phyllo sheet in the bottom of the prepared dish, and brush thoroughly with oil. Repeat with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil. Spread half of the spinach mixture evenly into the dish. Cover with 4 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil.
3. Spread the remaining spinach mixture evenly into the dish. Cover with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil and sprinkling each with about 1 Tbs. of Parmesan. Lay the final sheet of phyllo over the top and brush with oil (do not sprinkle the final layer with Parmesan).
4. Working from the center outward, use the palms of your hands to compress the layers and press out any air pockets. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the pie into serving squares but do not cut through more the top 3 sheets of phyllo. Bake until the phyllo is golden and crisp, 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I really, really wanted to love this soup. It has all the right ingredients. But there was something missing. It was too light for an entree and there wasn't enough "mouth feel".

There was one great technique in this recipe. The method of cutting the chicken very thin and dropping it into the soup at the end. It made for very tender, moist pieces of chicken.

serves 4 as a main course

1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 stalks lemon grass, bottom 5 inches only, trimmed and sliced thin
3 large shallots, chopped coarse
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
3 Tbs. fish sauce
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14oz.) cans coconut milk
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2lb. white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias into 1/8inch thick pieces
3 Tbs. lime juice
2 tsp. Thai red curry paste

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 fresh Thai, serrano, or jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, chiles sliced thin
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add the lemon grass, shallots, chopped cilantro sprigs, and 1 Tbs. of the fish sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened but not browned, 2-5 minutes.
2. Stir in the chicken broth and 1 can of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids in the strainer.
3. Return the strained soup to a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining can of coconut milk and the sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1-3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.
4. Whisk the lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 Tbs. fish sauce together, then stir into the soup. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with the cilantro leaves, chiles, and scallions. Serve with the lime wedges.

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