Monday, September 15, 2014

Curried Chicken Roti

Ever since we got back from our cruise, I have been dying to try to recreate this dish.  I have to admit, this is not exactly what we had, but it comes pretty darn close.  

I always get intimidated when it comes to making any type of bread.  Working with flour has never come natural to me.  I think it is just the fear of getting flour in every nook of our kitchen that scares the bejesus out of me.  Plus, I always manage to get flour all over myself.  In my hair.  On my clothes.  In my nose.  On my toes.  Sorry... my rhyming mind just got carried away.  

Back to this roti.  I suppose you can just use tortillas.  They would work great. But the roti here is paper thin and I'm really glad I took the extra step to make them for this dish,  They made it feel more authentic and magically transported me back to Saint Kitts.  

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4-1/3 cup of water (or milk)
more flour to roll

Add flours and salt to bowl and mix with fingers to combine.  Add oil and 1/4 cup of water.  Mix with fingers and add just enough water until a ball of dough forms.  Knead for 5 minutes until dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Cover with wet dish towel and let sit for 20 minutes.

Dust counter with flour.  Portion off a small ball of dough, slightly smaller than a golf ball.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a disc until it is about the thickness of a piece of paper.  Keep flouring the surface and moving/flipping the dough so it does not stick.

Preheat a skillet over high heat.  Place the rolled out roti on pan and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.  Remove from pan and transfer to a plate to cool.  Roti should  be pliable and able to be folded.  If they are stiff, then cook them for a shorter amount of time.

For more detailed instructions and a video on how to make roti, click here. In this video, she stacks the roti and cooks two at a time.  For me, I found it to be easier to simply cook one roti at  a time.  

Curried Chicken
1 small potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup leafy greens ( I used spinach and arugula but parsley or cilantro would work nice as well)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces of jack cheese, shredded

Peel potato and cut into small cubes. You want them to be small so the potato will cook all the way through.  Place coconut oil in large skillet and melt over medium high heat.  Add diced potatoes and cook until brown and soft.  Remove from pan and let cool.

Dice onions, mince garlic and grate ginger.  Add to skillet and saute for 4 minutes until soft.  Chop up chicken breasts until  meat is very fine; almost like the consistency of ground chicken.   Add chicken to onion mixture as well as the curry, tumeric, coriander, salt and pepper.  Stir in pan and cook until chicken is cooked all of the way through.  Add greens and potatoes and cook until greens are wilted.

Place a handful of shredded cheese on half of the roti.  Top with warm chicken mixture and fold roti in half and then in half again to form a wedge. I like to leave a little space in between the filling where I fold, to ensure the roti does not tear.   Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Banana Cupcakes with Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream



Sorry for text shouting but I want you all to be as excited about this recipe as I am! 

Last weekend, Matt and I were craving something sweet and I had some bananas that were on their last breath.  I went on a quest to find something to lend them to that didn't include banana bread. So this is how I spent my wild and crazy Saturday night.  Baking banana cupcakes and topping them with the most delightful frosting known to man.  

And you know what, I am so glad that I did because they were awesome

Apologies for not having my usual progress pictures.  I tried to get some shots in, but since these were made at night and I am the worst at low-lighting photos, I gave up and just decided to share the end result which I photographed the next day.  

The recipe made about a dozen cupcakes and I boldly mentioned that we would probably have to give the leftovers to neighbors or bring them into work.  But after that first bite, we weren't sharing these with anyone.  We finished them all.  By Monday.  Shhhh...don't tell anyone.  

I think I only had three... or four.  Which means that my husband easily took down 8 or 9 cupcakes in less than two days.  And I hope that shows you how good they are because he only likes chocolate desserts.  

I guess you could say we went bananas for these cupcakes {pun absolutely intended}!  

Banana Cupcakes
1 ½  cups cake flour { I used half white and half whole wheat but all-purpose will work just fine}
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 bananas, mashed
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice and whisk together.  Set aside. 

Crack eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.  Be sure not to get any yolk in the white or they will not beat properly.  

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Remove from mixing bowl and place in another bowl for later.  To the mixing bowl, add the sugar, butter and egg yolks.  Beat for about 3 minutes until light and creamy.  Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  

Fold in the egg whites, being careful not to deflate them.  Next, gradually fold in the dry ingredients until batter is formed.   

Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter into lined cupcake tins.  Bake for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven and completely cool before frosting.  

Whipped Brown Sugar Buttercream
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups milk
1 ½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups salted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt

In a small sauce pan, add flour, milk and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Turn on heat and continuously mix over medium heat until a thick paste forms.  It will take about 3-5 minutes.  Do not walk away and keep whisking to ensure a smooth mixture.  Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and let cook completely, whisking every few minutes to let heat escape.  

 Add butter to mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip until butter is smooth, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add in the brown sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Finally add salt and beat the mixture for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. 

Once flour  mixture has completely cooled, add to the sugar/butter mixture and beat until smooth.  You want the buttercream to be completely smooth, free of any sugar granules.  Keep beating for about 4-6 minutes until you get a light, smooth and fluffy consistency.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with banana slices (if eating right away), banana chips or sprinkles of brown sugar or walnuts.  

recipes adapted from emma the joy and i heart eating  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cheesy Bacon Corn and Chili Flatbread + Chipotle Aioli

I keep seeing pumpkin recipes popping up everywhere.  Don't get me wrong, Fall is my absolute FAVORITE season of the year, but I'm just not there yet.  Maybe that is because we were pushing 90+ degree weather down here this past week.  Until I can wear my boots and sweaters, it's still summer to me!  

Good news though... we found our local farmer's market around here and I am in love.  Howe Meadow will always be my favorite, but unfortunately we don't have the time to drive 350 miles to get there each Saturday.

The Arlington Farmer's Market was exactly what I needed and it is even better that we can walk to it from our place!  They have a variety of local vendors selling fresh meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits and flowers.  And these fresh ingredients inspired this flatbread.  

The flavor combinations that we have going on here are obscenely tasty.  It is like the bacon, corn, tomatoes, chilis, scallions, cheese and chipotle sauce were just meant to be together.  Forever. And as long as Summer keeps sending me these delicious and fresh ingredients, I'm going to keep using them!    

Cheesy Bacon Corn and Chili Flatbread
1 ball of pizza dough (recipe here)
6-8 slices of cooked bacon
1 ear of roasted corn 
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced chili peppers (I used aji dulce but fresno, jalapeno or habanero would be great) 
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, 
fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced

To cook the bacon, place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Put pan in oven and then turn the oven on to 375 degrees.  Set timer to 15 minutes.  Let oven preheat with bacon in it and check on it once the 15 minutes is up.  Depending on the thickness of the bacon, you may have to add some more time.  Mine took another 5 minutes for a total cooking time of 20 minutes.  

Once bacon is done, reduce heat in oven to 350 degrees and place ear of corn in oven, husk and all.  Set another timer for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool and then shuck the corn.  For further instructions on this method, click here.  

Increase heat in oven to 425 degrees.

Prep all of the ingredients.  Slice the corn off of the cob.  Chop the tomatoes and peppers.  Melt the butter and to it, add the olive oil and minced garlic.  

Roll out the pizza dough and pace it on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a Silpat.  Brush it with the garlic-butter.  Tear off pieces of the fresh mozzarella and scatter it over the dough.  Grate fresh parmesan over the top.  Next comes the bacon, corn, tomatoes and  chili peppers.  

Place pizza in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.  Once it comes out of the oven, garnish with the chopped scallions and drizzle the Chipotle Aioli over the top.  Slice, serve and enjoy! 

Chipotle Aioli 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or you can just use a 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce)

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.  You want it to be the consistency of a thick cream.  If needed, add more heavy cream. Take a spoon and drizzle over flatbread once it comes out of the oven.   

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