Monthly Archive: January 2012

Jan 29

Chicken Tikka Masala with Homemade Naan

Chicken Tikka Masala with Homemade Naan

Chicken Tikka Masala is in the top 5 of my favorite dishes of all time.

If you’ve never taken the plunge into eating Indian food, this is your chance.
I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. This is the perfect dish to introduce you to Indian cuisine, so I suggest you give it a shot!

I have made this chicken tikka masala recipe I’m about to share countless times. However, I have never attempted to make naan. Naan is like an Indian-style flatbread that is served with most Indian dishes. When we used to live in Kansas City, I could just pop over to the grocery store to pick some up, but since the small town we now live in is far from carrying naan I decided to make some of my own. The recipe I used called for yogurt, but since I ran out, I used cottage cheese. I’m sure it would create a different consistency with yogurt, but the cottage cheese didn’t disappoint.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Homemade NaanChicken Tikka Masala with Homemade Naan

Naan

2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
2.5-3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I used cottage cheese)
1 large egg

STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Stir to dissolve then let sit for a few minutes or until it is frothy on top. At that point, stir in the oil, yogurt (or cottage cheese) and egg until evenly combined.

STEP 2: In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the salt. Next, add the bowl of wet ingredients to the flour/salt mixture and stir until well combined. Continue adding flour a half cup at a time until you can no longer stir it with a spoon (about 1 to 1.5 cups later).

STEP 3: At that point, turn the ball of dough out onto a well floured counter top. Knead the ball of dough for about 3 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. I ended up using about 3 cups of flour total. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky.

STEP 4: Loosely cover the dough and let it rise until double in size (about 45 minutes). After it rises, gently flatten the dough and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball by stretching the dough back under itself until the top is smooth and round.

Step 5: Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Working with one ball at a time, roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick or approximately 6 inches in diameter. Place the rolled out dough onto the hot skillet and cook until the under side is golden brown and large bubbles have formed on the surface (see photos below). Flip the dough and cook the other side until golden brown as well. Serve plain or brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with herbs! We added melted butter and garlic to some, as well as melted cheese to others.

TIPS: For the most bubbles, don’t roll out the ball of dough until just before it is ready to be placed in the skillet. I experimented with different skillet temperatures and found that a medium heat produces the most bubbles in the dough and does not burn the surface.

Chicken Tikka Masala
1 cup yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Rice
Jasmine rice is generally used for Indian food, but since I like to use what I have in the pantry, I went with regular white rice. I boiled it and then added steamed peas for an extra Indian flair.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala with Homemade Naan

Jan 26

Chicken Fried Steak

This recipe is courtesy of Pioneer Woman, where nearly 90% of my recipes are born.

Eric and I had never made chicken fried steak

before this date night.

And I’ll tell ya what…it won’t be the last time.

It was sooo delicious!

 

First we dipped the cube steaks in an egg/water mixture.

Then into this flour mixture, complete with seasoning salt,

cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and garlic powder

  Chicken Fried Steak

 Then we dipped them BACK into the egg mixture, and again in the flour mixture.

That’s right, twice in each.

It makes it extra crispy, just believe me.

 

And then pop them into the already hot oil

Chicken Fried Steak

 Listen to them simmer

Chicken Fried Steak

 Let them dry on paper towels to get all of the extra grease off

Chicken Fried Steak

 And this is where the magic happened.

Eric made the best gravy from the drippings.

Just add flour, milk and lots of salt and pepper until it’s the right consistency

Chicken Fried Steak

 

And dig in!

Chicken Fried Steak 

Pioneer Woman’s Recipe

  • 3 pounds Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That’s Been Extra Tenderized)
  • 1-1/2 cup Whole Milk, Plus Up To 2 Cups For Gravy
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • Seasoned Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
  • LOTS Of Black Pepper. Lots.
  • Canola Oil, For Frying
  • Salt And Pepper, For Both Meat And Gravy

Preparation Instructions

Begin with an assembly line of dishes for the meat: milk mixed with egg in one; flour mixed with spices in one; meat in one; then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.

Work one piece of meat at a time. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then dip in the milk/egg mixture. Next, place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour. Turn to coat thoroughly. Place the meat back into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Place back in the flour and turn to coat.

(So: wet mixture/dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture.) Place breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with remaining meat.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it’s sufficiently hot. Cook meat, three pieces at a time, until edges start to look golden brown; around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes each side.

Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat until all meat is cooked.

GRAVY:

After all meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow grease to heat up.

Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix flour with grease, creating a golden-brown paste. Keep cooking until it reaches a deep golden brown color. If paste seems more oily than pasty, sprinkle in another tablespoon of flour and whisk.

Whisking constantly, pour in milk. Cook to thicken the gravy. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Add salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until gravy is smooth and thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned.

Jan 24

Bathroom Project: Early Lessons

This is my first post ever so you will have bear with me as I stumble through this.

To start my first post off, I figured why not start with the biggest project that I’ve undertaken to date.  We are putting a bathroom into our downstairs utility room and I’ve decided that I want to do it all (with the support from friends and family) myself.  I take pride in the fact that I can do things like this, have a wife that allows me to take saws, drills, and power anything to the house,  and it saves us so much money!!!  So lets jump right in, which is my motto for all DIY things, and get the pictures rolling.

This our before picture… I think before and after pics are pretty neat

Bathroom Project: Early Lessons&

Bathroom Project: Early LessonsOutside of the fact that we really wanted a bathroom for guest I think you can see why we wanted to do something with this room.

Before we started this very large project Kelli’s Parents came up to Sidney and we all took a trip Sterling, CO to go to Home Depot.  3 hours later the 4 of us were able to get out of Home Depot with a great start to all the supplies we needed.  A few of the big things were: All the framing lumber, a new vanity, toilet, one-piece fiberglass shower, and all the PEX plumbing that was needed.

A great friend of mine, who is also renovating his house, once told me that its not the project you are planning for that should make you worry, its the little projects that you CAN’T plan for that are the pains.  So far I’ve had two of those….

The 1st one was the shower stall… It is a one piece unit that gave us fits.  Here are the pictures to prove it.

Bathroom Project: Early LessonsDoor Frame = 30 inches; Shower = 32 inches; which means frame is coming off…JOY!

Bathroom Project: Early LessonsBathroom Project: Early LessonsIt’s going to be a squeeze through the 2nd frame as well.  Then down the stairs we go.

Bathroom Project: Early LessonsThe 2nd unplanned event(I’m sure not the last) was the main water valve coming from the street to the house.  My friend Brandon and I went to start this project by turning off the water.  When I did, the valve leaked so I turned it off.  When I turned it off it leaked even more…I knew Brandon and I were in for a long evening

Bathroom Project: Early LessonsI’m working on the before pictures but here is the after.

Thats going to be end of my very first post ever.  I will be sure to keep everyone updated on how the bathroom project is coming along.

Also, lesson to take away from the pictures above:  Be very flexible with your plan and timeline…

Jan 22

Dreaming of a Patio Party

I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee and a dog on my lap, listening to the blowing snow outside (it’s a blizzard I tell ya)…and just dreaming of summertime and our gently used, brand new patio out back.
With that, I thought it’d be appropriate to re-post (from my previous blog) this little segment about the making of our patio. I was hoping it might transport me, for just a moment, into the bliss that is warm weather….

_____________________________________________________________________________
(posted 10-2-11)

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Are you ready for a picture-filled post?

We now have the long-awaited PATIO in our backyard!

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

 The trailer-load of sand

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

 The toughest part was getting the sand to be level and smooth

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

 The bulk of the work was done in only one weekend by Eric and I.

He was able to do the prep work the week before, which made it easy when the weekend got here.

 

And we had our first patio guests!

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Dreaming of a Patio Party

 

 What’s better at a patio party than sangria?

Hmmm, I think nothing.

Dreaming of a Patio Party

Older posts «