Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Coconut Curried Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Homemade Naan

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An exciting dish with vibrant colors and spicy flavors, this coconut curried chicken is ready in half the time of conventional slow cooker dishes. Redolent with the flavors of fresh ginger and lemongrass, the aromas emanating from the slow cooker permeate the house. Later, when the curry has finished its time in the slow cooker, the fragrant Jasmine rice bouquet fills the kitchen with an Oriental atmosphere. Freshly baked naan, the dough easily prepared in a bread machine, is perfect for sopping up the velvety sauce.

The ingredients for the coconut curried chicken can be found in most supermarkets with an international food section and Oriental grocery stores. Fresh lemongrass is sometimes difficult to find, but the grated zest of a lemon is a good substitute. If  using for this dish, I would add it at the end of the cooking time. Thai green curry paste is also found in many large supermarkets as well as Oriental grocery stores

Coconut Curried Chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 can unsweetened lite coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves stripped and lower section cut into 3-4-inch pieces, split and slightly crushed, or the grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1-2 dried hot peppers, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (add, mixed with cold water at the end of the cooking time)
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Brown chicken thighs in the hot oil, turning after 5 minutes and browning an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add green curry paste and coconut milk to pan, stirring to completely amalgamate paste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  1. Layer onion, garlic, bell pepper and lemongrass in a 1-1/2-2-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle vegetables with ginger, dried hot pepper or red pepper flakes, and salt. Place chicken thighs on top.
  2. Pour the coconut and curry paste mixture over the top of the chicken. Cover and cook chicken until tender on high for 1-1/-2 hours, or on low heat for 3 hours. Add frozen peas, cook 10-15 minutes until peas are cooked At the end of the cooking time, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and stir into the curry. Serve over jasmine rice with naan as an accompaniment. Recipe heavily adapted from Cuisine at Home Slow Cooker Menus.

Jasmine Rice

  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • thinly sliced green onion
  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add jasmine rice, stir, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Before serving, stir in sliced green onion.

Naan-Bread Machine

  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Topping-2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Add all ingredients except butter and sesame seeds in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the dough cycle according to manufacturer's directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. When the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly floured surface. Cover with bread machine pan  and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 8 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into an 8-by-4-inch oval. Lightly cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter. Brush the tops of each naan with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. On a baking sheet, place 4 naan and bake 7-10 minutes, or until golden. Lightly brush with water, stack and cover, or eat as soon as they are cool enough to handle.
  5. Repeat with remaining 4 naan. Recipe adapted from The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever-Ethnic Breads.
Washing Up After the Meal

This is my entry to The Soup Kitchen theme for September-wet curries, created and hosted by Deb of  The Spanish Wok.

This is also my entry to Black and White Wednesday #51, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and this week, hosted by Cindy of Cindy Star Blog.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lemongrass Gin and Tonic with Homemade Lemongrass Simple Syrup

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This past Saturday, a visit to the Forsyth Park farmers' market yielded a surprise! Not only did I find just dug turnips with greens still attached (still trying to like them), shiny green jalapeños, and thick spring onions, but also, a nice bunch of lemongrass. Since then, I've been racking my brain to find a suitable recipe that I could whip up fast with ingredients on hand. When I found a recipe for a lemongrass simple syrup, I had half the battle won. Thinking back to last week when my friends from England visited, we had enjoyed our usual G&T's every afternoon. How would a lemongrass gin and tonic taste? Actually, the finished product was superb gin and tonic with just a hint of lemony ginger overtones.

Lemongrass Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves stripped, green part only, sliced
1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water  and sliced lemongrass. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook 2-3 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Pour into a fine strainer, discard lemongrass and let syrup cool. If desired, add lemongrass stalks cut to fit in a 1 cup capacity jar and pour syrup over. Refrigerate. Use within a week.

Lemongrass Gin and Tonic
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 5 ounces tonic water
  • 1/2 ounce lemongrass simple syrup
  1. Mix gin, tonic water and lemongrass syrup. Add several ice cubes to a drink glass and pour gin mixture over ice cubes. Garnish with a lemongrass stalk or a slice of lemon or lime. Makes one drink.

This is my entry to  BWW #50, hosted by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least OnceBlack and White Wednesday-A Culinary Gallery is the brainchild of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.  I'm beginning to only think of food in a monochrome sense now, so I'm definitely hooked! Susan's inaugural post here and host line-up here.
Shadow of Lemongrass in Hand

Lemongrass Stalks in Sepia

Lemongrass G&T in Sepia

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Sally Lunn, A Festive Colonial Georgia Bread and Photos from the Colonial Faire and Muster, Wormsloe State Historic Site

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Religion played a great part in the history of this slightly sweet yeast bread called Sally Lunn. Many French protestants fled France during the late 1600's when Louis XIV banned practice of any religion except Roman Catholicism. Some historians uphold the idea that the name Sally Lunn was the English translation of the French word "soleil et lune"(sun-meaning the golden crust of the  bread and moon for the white interior of the bread) while some say that a French pastry cook whose real name was Solange Luyon (Sally Lunn) sold the breads in the streets of Bath England where there was a large population of French refugees.  Source

The English carried the Sally Lunn bread across the ocean where it was very popular in the American Colonial South as well as being touted as a favorite of George Washington and was known as "Washington's Breakfast Bread".  The bread varies in shape; sometimes a loaf, sometimes a bun; its texture similar to a brioche, but has less butter and fewer eggs. Toasted and slathered with butter and jam, the Sally Lunn is a perfect tea-time or breakfast bread. I made this in a 9-inch loaf pan, plus two small loaf pans, but you can make it in a 10-cup Bundt pan or two 8-inch loaf pans, if desired.

Sally Lunn
(Bread Machine Version)

  • 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) bread machine yeast 
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  1. Add ingredients to the pan of your bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. I usually add the wet ingredients first, followed by the dry ingredients. Process on the dough cycle. When the cycle has completed, remove dough to a lightly floured surface, punch down and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Lightly grease prepared pan or pans and place dough in pans. Let rise 30-45 minutes, or until nearly doubled.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for the Bundt pan and 375 degrees for the loaf pans. Bake 30 to 45 minutes depending upon the size of your pan. The bread should be golden brown on top and register 190-200 degrees when an instant read thermometer is placed in the side of the bread. Original recipe here.

Below are photos from Wormsloe State Historic Site-Colonial Faire and Muster, held February 4-5, 2012.

This is my entry to Black and White Wednesday #48, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this week by Anusha of Tomato Blues.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.