Quick and Easy Fish Tacos

Breaded tilapia fillets (I buy Costco ones, heat it up in conventional/toaster oven and cut to small pieces to add to tacos)

Tortillas (fajita size) – I prefer corn tortillas, heated on a pan.

For the cabbage slaw:

3 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 red onion, finely chopped (skip if you don’t like onion taste)
1 cup carrot, shredded
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp chopped jalapenos/green chili (more if you want spicy)
1/2 cup tartar sauce.
1/4 cup honey
Juice from 1/2 lime

Heat the cabbage in a microwave for couple of minutes (2-3 mts) for it to just warm up a bit. Raw cabbage won’t agree with my tummy, and this is a way for it to be cooked little bit, still maintaining most of the crispiness.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, and all the ingredients for the slaw above.

To assemble the tacos, place couple of pieces of fish on each tortilla and top with the slaw. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro leaves, and/or chopped green chili/jalapeno Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Priti’s Awesome Kali Chicken

Ingredients for marinating chicken

1. Whole cut up chicken (1 chicken) cleaned, washed and drained (you can also wash with vinegar, before washing with water, to make it smell better)
2. Yogurt – Half Cup
3. Make a paste with Garlic (10 cloves), Green chili (3-4), black pepper (10-15), Black Jeera (1/2 tsp)
(You can make this paste and store in fridge for couple of days)
4. Ground black pepper – 1 tsp
5. Ground White pepper – 1 tsp
6. Red whole pepper – 2 or 3
7. Oil – 1 tsp (Olive, Canola, Vegetable oil etc is fine)
8. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
9. Salt – as needed

Marinate washed and drained Chicken with ingredients above and leave it for an hour. (Sometimes I don’t get this much time, and I just do 15 mts, and still tastes good)

Heat some ghee (about 2 tbsp) in a pan and shallow fry the chicken. You can mix and turn in between for it to cook evenly. Take it out when it starts to brown. I usually see this as the chicken getting almost cooked, and getting firm.. so that it will stay nice and tasty when added to the gravy.

Ingredients for Gravy

Fennel Seeds – 20
Bay leaves – 4 one inch pieces
Cinnamon stick – 4-5 one inch sticks
Chopped yellow onion – 2 cups
Chopped tomatoes – 1 big tomato
Red chili powder – 1 tsp (reduce if you think it is getting more spicy)
Honey – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Heat a pan with little oil. Put fennel seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks let it be fry.
Then sauté chopped onions till it is slightly brown
Add chopped tomatoes and saute/fry again until it forms a nice sautéed mixture.
Add some salt for this mixture only.
Add red chili powder, Coriander powder and sauté for some more time.
Add prepared chicken to it, and mix well and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender.
Make a nut paste with milk (I used an equal mix of almond (10), walnut(10) and pistachio(10). You can just use cashews if that is easier).
Add the nut paste to chicken.
Stir 2-3 minutes for it to mix well.
Add water for gravy for the consistency you like. I like it little thick like butter chicken etc.
Garnish with 1 tsp honey & gram masala.

Goes well with Ghee rice, Pulav, Chapathi, Nan etc.

Bok Choy and Beef Stir Fry in an Orange Sauce

INGREDIENTS
2 pound flank steak, trimmed
2 medium sized navel Oranges (Original recipe called for 4-6 Pixie tangerines or clementines for every pund of Steak)
2 pound bok choy
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms (I didn’t use this as we have allergies)
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons rice vinegar ( I used 2 tspn of white wine vinegar as I had only that)
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
7 teaspoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
8 large cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, chopped, whites and greens divided
1 Fresno or serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced (I use Jalapeno as I had only that)

PREPARATION
Cut steak in thirds along the grain. Freeze 15 minutes to firm slightly; thinly slice crosswise.

Sliver zest from an Orange to get 1 tablespoon and set aside. To make zest slivers, peel wide strips of the skin from citrus fruit with a vegetable peeler, leaving the white pith behind. Cut the strips into long, thin slivers.
Squeeze enough of the fruit to get 1/2 cup juice. Cut bok choy stems into 1-inch pieces and the leaves into 2-inch pieces. Discard mushroom stems; thinly slice caps.

Whisk the juice, oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and pepper in a small bowl. Place next to the stove.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom carbon-steel wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 2 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef in one layer; cook, without stirring, for 1 minute. Then toss until the beef is no longer pink on the outside, couple of minutes more. Transfer to a plate. If there is more beef, do this in batches.

Add 2 teaspoons oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the bok choy stems and mushrooms; stir-fry until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 3 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves; stir-fry until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bok choy and mushrooms to the plate with the beef.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, ginger, garlic, scallion whites and chile to the pan and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the reserved sauce and heat until bubbling. Return the beef, vegetables and any accumulated liquid to the pan; gently stir until heated through, about 1 minute more. Stir in scallion greens and the reserved zest.

Priti’s Yummy Chilli Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloin – 3 pounds
  • Veggies for the Sauce:
    • Celery Chopped – 2-3 Sticks
    • Green  and Red Pepper chopped – 1 cup
    • Chopped Jalapeno – 2-3
  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce (canned is OK too) – .5 cup
    • vinegar -1tspn
    • Maggi masala chili sauce – 2tbspn,
    • Ketchup – 2tbspn
    • Miracle Manchurian Mix from Indian Store – 1 tbspn
    • MSG – 2-3 pinches
    • Red chilli pwdr – to your taste
    • Chicken Broth – just enough to make the sauce to your desired consistency.
Note: Some ingredients are listed in the directions, and not in the ingredients list above. Also, add spices/chilli for your desired taste.  MSG is optional, but helps with the taste. This dish can also be made with Cauliflower or fish(tilapia).

Directions:

Wash chicken and get all the water out with a paper towel.  Use a meat mallet and tenderize chicken, and cut into small pieces. Keep aside.

Marinate chicken for 0.5 – 3hrs or overnight in a ziploc bag with: ginger-garlic paste, green chili sauce (or green chili), soy sauce, korean hot sauce, red chili powder, Kashmiri Chili (for color), black pepper, Corn flour (3 tbsp), wheat flour (1 tbsp), Korean pancake mix (1 tbsp – Optional), MSG, Vinegar – 1tsp, and Salt.

Fry the marinated chicken in Canola/Vegetable Oil, and keep it aside. You can freeze this for later use as well.

Saute 1 med sized onion chopped fine in canola or vegetable oil till it is light brown.  Add 2 tbsp of Chopped Ginger/Garlic, and saute for a minute. Add  1 cup of Chopped green onion and saute again for a minute. Add all veggies listed above for sauce. Saute it for couple of minutes until the veggies softens. Add all ingredients listed in the sauce section above and let it boil for few minutes to get it all blend well. Mix 1 tspn of corn starch with water, and add to the sauce (helps to thicken sauce).  Add Fried chicken to the sauce and blend it well for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with sesame oil and cilantro (Optional).

Enjoy with rice, fried rice, chapati or nan…..

Chateaubriand – Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 beef tenderloin trimmed/peeled – approx. 4-5 lb
    •   ( I like the one from Costco, and it costs less than regular stores. If you are buying non-trimmed version, trim it before using. There are several you tube videos showing this)
  • Basting Oil with herbs in it (I used Wegman’s basting oil) – 4 tbsp
  • Garlic 6pods – cut in half
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8 shallots, cut lengthwise into two or four pieces

For Sauce

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • Brown Gravy mix – 2 -3 tsp
  • Water – as needed
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon (1 tablespoon fresh) – Optional

Clean & Wipe meat. If tenderloin is long, cut it into two pieces. I like to keep between 6-8inches. Some people argue that you should not wash meat with water, and should just wipe it out with a paper towel. Use your judgement on this… 🙂

Tie it up with butcher’s twine, so that it holds together while pan searing and cooking. http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/11/06/why-do-you-tie-a-roast/

Just before cooking, sprinkle and coat meat with  Cracked pepper and Kosher salt generously. Don’t do this in advance as meat will get soggy.

Pan Sear meat in Basting Oil, shallots and garlic on all sides as shown in video starting at 5mts. Just to get it brown and sealed. If you have more pieces of tenderloin, use a separate dish for each. Save this pan for later for making sauce. It help with all the juices from the meat.

Heat oven to 400F. Take a dish for roasting meat, put couple of pieces of butter in it, and put it in the oven, so that to will be hot when you add meat to it. Don’t leave it for too long as butter will start getting burnt. I usually put this in the oven few minutes before pan searing will finish. Also, if you have more pieces of tenderloin, take multiple dishes.. so that you won’t overcrowd it.

Transfer meat to the dish(s) in the oven and let it roast at 400F. Cook until an instant-read thermometer registers temperature according to your doneness preference. See list below.

When it is done take it out of the oven and cover the beef in the foil that lines the dish and let it  rest it for 8-10 minutes.

Make sauce:

While the beef roasts, heat up the skillet with juice, shallots and garlic, we used for pan searing over medium heat. If you used multiple skillets, transfer juices to a single one.  Add 1 cup of wine and let it boil stirring often, to reduce to half  over medium-high heat. Add the beef broth or water, brown gravy mix, and reduce the heat to low. Stir and make sure it gets to a desired consistency. If it is too thin or thick, add wine/broth or grave mix to change it your desired consistency. Unwrap the tenderloin and stir any accumulated juices into the sauce. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  (Note: You can add chopped Rosemary or Tarragon to this while boiling. I haven’t tried these herbs yet)

Serving: Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

Note: Will take pictures next time i make it, and attach here.

Meat cooking temperatures

Rare:  120-130 °F (50-55 °C) Internal appearance very red; very moist with warm juices. Approximate cooking and resting time: 20-25 min./lb. plus 8-10 min. resting

Medium-rare: 130-140 °F (55-60 °C) Internal appearance lighter red; very moist with warm juices. Approximate cooking and resting time: 25-30 min./lb.. plus 8-10 min. resting

Medium (with a touch of pink): 140-150 °F (60-65 °C) Internal appearance pink red color; moist with clear pink juice. Approximate cooking and resting time: 30-35 min./lb. plus 8-10 min. resting

Well-done: 150-165 °F (65-75 °C) Internal appearance no pink or red, slightly moist with clear juices

Watched multiple you tube videos on this to understand the recipe. I usually watch/read multiple recipes available when I want to try a new dish, and then use those ideas, to come up with a version that our family will like. Adding the one I liked most here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeO0tdKBAag 

Simple Pulissery (Yogurt/Curd Curry)

Ingredients:

  1. Thick Yougurt (Curd) – 4 cups
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Fenugreek Powder – 1/8 tsp (Half of turmeric)
  5. Green Chilli – 1-2 (to your taste)
  6. Cumin seeds (powdered) –  1/4 tsp
  7. Fenugreek Seeds  – 10
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Curry Leaf – 5-6
  10. Dry red chilli (Dried Cayenne Pepper) – 2  (cut in 2-3 pieces)
photo (11)

“Homemade Yogurt preferred.

If that is not available, buy pre-made from Indian store”

Preparation:

In a blender, mix/grind ingredients 1-6.

Heat up a pot, turn the flame to medium-high. Add 2-3 tsp of oil. Add fenugreek seeds. When it is golden, add mustard.  When mustard splutters, add dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves.

Switch off the stove, and take the pot out of the stove for some time  for it to cool down. (If you add yogurt mix  immediately when the pot is hot, the curd will start separating.)

Add yogurt mix from step 1 to the pot, bring it to the stove and switch on the stove in low heat. At this point, stay with the pot, and make sure the curd mixture just gets warm. Mix it in between so that it gets heated evenly. Switch it off when it is lukewarm, and keep it away from stove or any source of high heat. High heat can change the consistency of  curry. So, be careful as mentioned in this step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roast Beef in a CrockPot

One 3-pound beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium size Poatato
3 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
5 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine
1.5 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbl spoon dried chives pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 Sprig Rosemary
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped

Sprinkle the roast all over with salt and  pepper to your taste. Sprinkle/Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roast to the skillet and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the roast to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker, along with the carrots, celery, onions and garlic.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, chives, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thickens slightly, about 4 minutes.

Pour the gravy into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The roast and vegetables should be tender.

Remove the roast from crockpot and let rest for a few minutes. Discard any herb stems and strain the vegetables, reserving the gravy. Toss the vegetables with half the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir the remaining parsley into the gravy and season with salt and pepper. Slice the roast against the grain. Serve the meat and vegetables on a platter, moistening them with some of the gravy; serve the remaining gravy on the side.

Caribbean Coconut curried Grouper

grouper Grouper (filet preferred) – 2 pounds (Cut into medium size pieces… I usually cut into 2 X 3 inch pieces)
Red Bell pepper – 1/2 (cut into 2 inch long narrow strips)
Green Bell pepper – 1/2 (cut into 2 inch long narrow strips)
(You can just use just one kind of bell pepper too if you dont have the other)
Onion – 1 (large)
Garlic chopped – 3 large cloves
Ginger chopped – 1/2 tspn
Tomato – 1 (Slice into long pieces)
Green chilly – 4 (I used thai hot pepper)
Thyme fresh – 3 sprigs
Curry powder – 3 tbsp (add more if needed after tasting curry)
Water – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Coconut milk – 1/2 can (from 14.5 oz can) (Also add more if needed after tasting)

Saute ginger, garlic, onion, green chilly. When it gets soft add bell pepper and saute for some more time.
Add the Curry powder, thyme and Salt and saute for some more time.
Add water and let it boil. Once it boils Add grouper pieces and allow it to cook. Water should be just enough to the level of fish (not too much, as we will add coconut milk later). Allow the fish to cook in low-medium flame. Add more curry powder if needed after tasting. Add the tomato slices to it. Once fish is cooked well (about 20 mts), add coconut milk. Shake the pan little bit so that the coconut milk and everything gets mixed well. Add more salt if needed. Allow it to cook for 10-15 more minutes.

Caribbean Peas and Rice

photo (1)

1 can kidney beans with its liquid (Usually has about 0.5 cup of liquid in it, we will use this for cooking)
1/2 can coconut milk (14.5 oz can)
1.5 cup rice
Water – 2 cups (as coconut milk and beans liquid will add up to 1 cup)

Ground all spice (from 5-6 seeds, optional)
garlic – 2 cloves
Yellow or white Onion (medium) – 1
1 scotch bonnet pepper (whole, do not chop up. Optional)

Thyme – 2-3 fresh sprigs

Salt – to taste

Combine all of the above in a rice cooker and cook (You can do this on stove top too). Remove thyme sprigs and bonnet pepper before serving.

Kerala Fish roast

Ingredients
Fish – 1 pound (approx 1/2 kg)
(Thick flesh fish like King fish, Salmon etc are good for this recipe)

For marinating fish:-
Chilli Pwdr — 2 tsp or as reqd
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric pwdr – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – from 1/4 lime
(Mix all this together and if needed add little water to make a nice paste to marinate fish.)

For roast:
Onion – (Yellow or red) – 3 nos
Tomatoes (Roma preferred) – 4 nos
Chilli pwdr – 1/2 tsp or as reqd
Turmeric pwdr – 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies – 4 nos
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – 2 stems
Oil – As reqd for frying and sauteing

Preparation:
1)Clean and cut fish into 1 inch pieces.
2)Marinate it for atleast 30 mins outside or in refrigerator for 3 – 5 hrs.
3)Fry fish in oil. Keep it aside.
4)Saute minced ginger in 6 or 7 tbsp oil.
:- You can use remaining oil from frying fish. But don`t use that, if it is burnt/black etc. Also you can use the same pan used for frying fish.
5)Add more or reduce oil depending on your health restrictions.
6)Add onions to it.
7)When it is soft and golden yellow, add 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and saute again.
8)Add tomatoes, green chillly pieces and curry leaves and saute that until it turns to a nice roast mixture.
9)Add fried fish to it and mix slowly so that it won`t break.
:- If it looks dry and if you want, you can add more oil.
10)Mix everything well and cover it.
11)Cover and cook on low heat for some more time for 15 – 20 mins.
12)Mix in between and make sure it is not getting burnt and not sticking to the bottom of the pan so that the flavor of different ingrediants will blend together.
ENJOY!!!

Note: This is good with Chappathi, appam, rice etc.