Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Indian Recipe

This dish is vegan. Unless you "contaminate" your food by using the same spoon to stir, when cooking multiple dishes. Otherwise, this is entirely meat-, dairy-, and egg-free.

This dish is also one of my favorite comfort foods. It's so good anytime, but I really love it on very hot days or very cold days.

Curried Garbanzo Beans

* medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan
* spoon
* knife and cutting board

* 1 onion, diced
* 1 Tbs minced garlic
* 1 Tbs minced ginger
* 1/2 tsp turmeric (I like a little more... adjust as you like)
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp Garam Masala
* 1/2 tsp chili powder, or to taste
* salt
* 1 can of garbanzo beans in liquid
* a handful of fresh, chopped cilantro for garnish

Prepare Curried Garbanzo Beans
Caramelize the diced onions; should take about 8-10 minutes.

Add all spices and cook to combine flavors for about a minute.

Add the can of beans with liquid. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes; you may want to add just a little more water (or broth of your choice) if the mixture becomes too dry. Uncover, cook a while longer, to absorb most of the moisture.

Serve hot with rice, garnished generously with chopped cilantro.


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This food is made of WIN.

We got two savoy cabbages in a recent bag from Farm Share, and this is my favorite use for that wonderful, leafy bundle of yumminess.

Indian Stuffed Cabbage

* skillet
* heat-proof bowl
* dutch oven
* 13x9" baking dish
* knife
* cutting board
* collander

* 2 onions, split use
* 5 Tbs cooking oil, split use
--> use an oil with a high smoke point.
* 3 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 can of minced jalapeno peppers
* approx. 3" fresh ginger, grated; split use
* 1# ground beef or lamb
* 1/4 tsp turmeric
* 2 tsp Garam Masala
* 1 or 2 savoy cabbages, depending on size
* 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes OR
1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes + peppers AND 1 can of tomato paste
* 2 Tbs lemon juice
* 2/3 C water
* sea salt and fresh ground pepper
* lemon or lime slices for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the Meat
Heat 2 Tbs of oil in the skillet, and caramelize one diced onion. Takes between 8 and 10 minutes. Add the garlic, can of chillies/jalapenos, 1"-worth of the grated ginger; cook for another minute or two to blend the flavors and move to the heat-proof bowl. Set aside.

Add the beef or lamb to the skillet. Brown. Add turmeric and Garam Masala; cook for at least a minute or two to blend, then add the onion mixture.

Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, making sure that any liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of your skillet. Set aside once it's done; in the meantime, prepare the savoy cabbage while the meat is cooking.

Prepare the Cabbage
Core the cabbage/s. Salt the water in the dutch oven and bring it to a boil. Put the ENTIRE CABBAGE/S in the boiling water. Boil for about 8 minutes, then remove to the collander to cool.

Once cool enough to handle, peel off the large, outer leaves of the cabbage. They need to be kept whole, so they can wrap up the meat and onion mixture. Once you reach the leaves too small to use as wrapper, shred those!

Prepare the Sauce
Heat the remaining 3 Tbs of oil in the dutch oven, and cook the second onion, diced, to just translucent.

Add the shredded inner leaves of the cabbage/s, tomato, remaining 2"-worth of grated ginger, 2 Tbs lemon juice, and water. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Bring this all to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Prepare the Cabbage Rolls
Spoon a little sauce into the bottom of the 9x13" baking dish.

Place a soup spoon-sized spoon of the meat and onion mixture onto the stalk-end of a cabbage leaf. Roll this end toward the tip of the cabbage leaf, tucking in the sides to make a neat package as you roll. Place the package in the sauced baking dish. Continue until you run out cabbage leaves. Leftover meat can be sprinkled over the cabbage rolls.

Cover the cabbage rolls with the sauce. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Serve hot with rice, garnishing the cabbage rolls with the citrus slices.


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Mmmm. Homemade Garam Masala.

It's ridiculous how easy it is to make this marvelous spice blend from India. Especially since the stuff that goes in it are spices I count as staples in my kitchen.

Tools needed:
* bowl
* a well-seasoned cast iron skillet
* mortar and pestle OR coffee grinder
* jar or zip close storage bag

* 4 tsp cardamon seeds
* 2 tsp whole cloves
* 4 tsp black peppercorns -- any other color will affect flavor
* 3 Tbs cumin seeds
* 3 Tbs coriander seeds
* 2 cinnamon sticks, roughly crushed

If your skillet is not well-seasoned, grease the cooking surface lightly with an oil with a high smoke point (I like safflower oil) or ghee.

Mix the spices in a bowl so they have even distribution when they're placed in the skillet. Heat the skillet while you're tossing the spices together; it doesn't have to be super hot. Toast the spices in the skillet on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Watch to make sure they don't scorch. Give the skillet a shake now and again, to keep the spices from sticking to your skillet.

Once the spices are browned, return them to the bowl to cool. They ought to be very aromatic at this point: your house will smell like a curry potpourri.

After the spices have cooled to room temperature, grind them finely in either a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. It's a good idea to do this in many increments of small quantities rather than all at once. Transfer each little batch to a glass jar or storage bag.

Keeps well in the freezer.


* in a wide variety of Indian and Pakistani dishes;
* add to canned chicken meat with mayonnaise, spread on bread with sliced tomato for a great sandwich;
* 1 1/2 Tbs + 4 oz. cream cheese + 4 oz. plain yogurt = YUM on a pita chip or cracker.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009



Spritz Cookies

These were for last night's Apollo Party. It's a mighty good thing I got a picture of them at home, because they didn't last long.

This was my 'period' contribution to a party that celebrated the accomplishments achieved between 1961 & 1975 by the Space Administration.

Footprints on the moon. That STILL thrills me!!!

No countdown necessary.

This is what it looks like when a converted amusement park ride leaves your driveway.

'Slow Driver': not a Rocket Car job desc

We were TEARING up the streets of Cleveland Heights!!

But really. It's the ROCKET CAR. The name alone insists that the ride be dizzyingly thrilling.

NASA Wife & Major Tom

The Apollo Party is costume-optional. The date range for the Apollo Era is 1961 (when JFK declared it) through 1975, so there were outfits ranging from pillbox hats and dress shirt & tie to hippie-dippy tie dye and love beads. Renae is an 'astronaut wife', as seen in the movie Apollo 13. Mike's flight suit (a souvenier of Huntsville, AL) has the name patch 'Major Tom'.

Seriously. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is one hot ride. The driver does NOT go slow -- not even in front of the Cleveland Heights cops. Awesome. My hair may need a week to recover!

More than mere transportation...

The view down Coventry


Rocket Car ride!!!!!