Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fenugreek Curry Lamb Popsicles - Caity

I remember the first time I tasted these lamb popsicles. I must have eaten at least a whole rack to myself. I asked for these lamb popsicles for about 5 years on my birthday and Brendan continues to ask for this, not just for his birthday, but several times a year. My mom first tried this recipe when she was given the "Vij's" cookbook by Barb Cochrane, a Canadian friend who highly recommended the lamb popsicles, and it instantly became a favorite.

Vij's is an Indian restaurant in Vancouver, Canada and it is well-known worldwide as having some of the best Indian food. This summer, Erin and I drove to Vancouver and we decided going to Vij's was one of the biggest "have to's" of the trip. We knew the restaurant was incredibly popular and would be very crowded so we got there at 5:00 right when the restaurant opens. We were told it would be about an hour wait so we grabbed a seat in the bar and were served all sorts of delicious Indian treats for free while we waited. 

Dinner was fabulous and Vij (the owner and author of the cookbook) greets every table and spent time talking to Erin about her experience in India searching for 2 Vagabonds merchandise. I ordered a ghee-marinated chicken (I can feel my salivary glands kicking in just thinking about it) and we both ate ourselves sick. If you're ever in Vancouver, you have to go! 

This recipe is fairly simple to make and mostly requires mixing ingredients together. The most flavorful ingredient of this curry is called Fenugreek. There are several parts of the Fenugreek plant that are sold as spices and this particular recipe calls for dried Fenugreek leaves which can be a little more tricky to find. If you live in Portland, please ask me for some because I bought a box is big enough, that it will last me my entire lifetime. And if you live in Salt Lake City, ask my mom.  Otherwise, look in an Indian market for dried Fenugreek leaves, also called kasoori methi.

Serves 6

One year ago: Egyptian Kosheri

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chicken Pizzaiola - Cathy

I learned this very easy, very delicious recipe many years ago from Andrea Caselli: a restaurateur from Italy and handyman at the time who helped to build our beautiful kitchen.  He was also kind enough to teach us some of his recipes that are deceptively simple in the number of ingredients and ease of preparation, but not in their flavor!  

This chicken recipe is so, so good with the flavors of chicken, tomatoes and olive oil merging with a hint of mellow garlic and a few bright notes from the capers. There is a temptation to say, "Well, I think this needs some parsley at the end, or some fresh basil, or some olives (okay olives maybe, but only if you don't like capers...)", because it seems so simple--plain, really.  But honestly, try it this way at least once with some really good quality ingredients and you'll see that sometimes less is what you need to let the flavors of your food shine through.

Makes 4-6 servings.

One year ago: Egyptian Kosheri
Two years ago: Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo  

what you'll need:

2 14-oz. cans chopped tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp. good quality olive oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs (skin optional)
 salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 oz. capers
1 cup beef broth 
(the world will not end I'm sure, if you use
chicken broth or even just water)