Indian delights: Green bean poriyal

October 27, 2013

Green Bean Poriyal

If you haven’t caught wind of the theme, this week it’s definitely all about the Indian food as we lead up to Diwali. Earlier this week I shared my all-time favorite Indian recipe, bhindi masala (spiced okra in English). Today, I’m sharing another vegetable dish, green bean poriyal. You may remember, I’m not a big fan of green beans. A couple of years back my local nursery gave me a couple of free green bean plants, and I decided to make a green bean bhaji, which really turned me on to green beans for the first time in …well, ever. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m still growing green beans, and I decided I needed to find a different way to prepare them. So I tried poriyal, which I’ve had at my mother-in-law’s house and really loved. So long as you have some help stringing your beans (something I hate to do), this recipe is really quick and easy. It doesn’t require you to hang around too long sauteing vegetables and doesn’t really have much to chop, other than the beans. (more…)

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Indian delights: Bhindi masala

October 24, 2013

Bhindi Masala

As a kid, the only time I had tried okra was in gumbo, where I admitted it was needed as a thickener but refused to ever actually eat the stuff upon tasting it, and once fried, which I also wasn’t a fan of. So one can imagine when my now husband brought home takeout Indian food, I certainly wasn’t chomping at the bit to try the bhindi masala he picked up for himself. However, I decided to, and it was this dish that made me like okra. Strike that, it made me LOVE okra. The recipe couldn’t be simpler, so I encourage you to give it a try while there’s still okra to be had! (more…)

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Sunday Suppers: Sweet and sour red cabbage with bockwurst

October 13, 2013

Bockwurst, red cabbage, and cuvee blanc

It always seems around this time of year I get a strong craving for Germanic foods. Cabbage, rich sausages, tart wines, sweet, sweet lager. While Oktoberfest is primarily celebrated in September in Germany, October is the perfect timing in California to start enjoying all of these treats. The weather cools down where mornings and evenings actually feel like crisp, fall days, and even the mid-day is a bit cooler. Last week I fed my craving first at our local Austrian restaurant, Naschmarkt, with kraut rouladen, or stuffed cabbage rolls. The next day when I strolled through the produce section of my local market, I saw the most beautiful heads of red cabbage – small, perfect, compact leaves, in a brilliant purple-ish-red – and I knew my craving hadn’t quite went away yet. (more…)

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Sufferin’ succotash!

October 4, 2013

Roasted chicken with succotash

A few month’s ago, while in Carmel, I had what might be the best roasted chicken I had ever had out on the town at Hog’s Breath Pub. Maybe it was just because my husband and I were enjoying a weekend away together, maybe it was the wine, but either way, I couldn’t get the perfectly crisp skin, flakes of salt, and fresh vegetable succotash out of my head. So of course, I decided to recreate the meal at home.

Of course, I didn’t actually know what constituted a succotash. I assumed corn, because every succotash I had ever seen had corn. Making this meal was a little on the fly, as I noticed the grocery store had a large bunch of fresh corn in. So I wandered through the produce section, picking up some okra and zucchini, because it looked good. Only later did I learn that succotash also includes lima beans, by definition. So we’ll call this Courtney’s sort-of-succotash, sans beans, but you won’t miss them.

For the chicken recipe, I decided to try Thomas Keller’s simple roast chicken. (more…)

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Pineapple Fried Rice

July 12, 2013

Pineapple fried rice

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a tropical kick, so I’ve had more than my fair share of pineapple hanging out in my fridge. As I grew tired of enjoying the sweet flavors, I happened to have a bit of leftover rice hanging out in there too, and I decided to try my hand at pineapple fried rice. A hint of sweet, a lot of savory, and just the right amount of salty with the ham and soy sauce makes this recipe tick all the right boxes for me. (more…)

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