Tag Archives: butter chicken

Food and Frivolity, 2013 in Photos and Recipes

30 Dec

It was rare for me to conceptualize my life in arbitrary segments of time (i.e. Jan-December, 2013) before I started blogging, but there’s something nice about documenting time in this way. It feels organized. It feels official.

Although I already sorta knew it to be true, writing this post has made me realize what a fun year it has been. Which is a lucky thing, is it not?

I’ve chosen to share some of my favourite recipes of each month (note: there was a rather large summertime gap in posting (May-September) but as you will see I was clearly busy travelling and carousing).

Besides, it’s been quite some time since I’ve injected some “mostly” into Food, Mostly.

So this is my 2013 roundup. These are my highlights. A virtual time capsule on my tiny corner of the internet. Let’s begin.

January

In the middle of a frigid Canadian January, I turned 27. I got an amazing gift that day, a gorgeous Cannon G15 camera from Scott, which I believe has helped the blog photography tremendously (see below photo- post new camera. Terrible! Although I’m still no expert).

January birthdays are a bit bittersweet. There are no fun birthday BBQs or camping trips, inevitably, there is always a snow storm. However, having a birthday at this time does make the month a little brighter and breaks up the winter tedium a bit! At least for me. Suckers.

This recipe for potato leek soup surprised me at how tasty it turned out to be. I remember that this was my first time cooking with leeks. I bought them mistakenly thinking they were anise. Ha. Anyway, the  result was awesome.

food-427

February

February stands out only a little. There was a huge snow storm that cancelled classes.  I did a sugar-free, gluten and dairy free cleanse. And instead of studying I made these black bean, walnut and mushroom burgers. This recipe is  hands down my most popular in terms of hits and searches.

There are a whole lotta people out there cooking veggie burgers at home, apparently.20131230-190344.jpg

20131230-191011.jpgI enjoyed watching this neighbourly act transpire spontaneously. I wasn’t much help, I guess.

March

Hmmm….looks like I didn’t post anything in March! Must have been consumed with essays. We were also getting ready to move. Next.

April 

This dish was apparently made in March(that’s the old kitchen!), but posted in April. It was a recipe created by a friend of mine, who makes excellent Indian food. In 2013, I have followed suit in experimenting with Indian cooking. I think curries are my favourite thing to make now. Here is the recipe that started it all: Erin’s Chana Masala.

20131230-191053.jpgMay

 May was a doozy! Here’s when I took a long summer’s nap from blogging (tsk tsk). It was a busy month. My cousin Mark got married in Arlington, TX. We went down for the wedding and took a side trip to Austin and San Antonio. There was a lot of eating, drinking, exploring and shenanigans.

Absolutely loved Austin. I’d like to go back again sometime for a music festival or two. The food, notably the Mexican, Tex-Mex and BBQ was outstanding and seemingly endless.

Here’s my little bro at his first baseball game. Red Sox versus Rangers. Rangers won!

20131230-191707.jpg

Scott, giving JFK the business

20131230-193135.jpg

Contemplating getting tattooed over margaritas (always wise). Did we or didn’t we?? Hmm…

20131230-191246.jpg

Favourite thing we ate in Austin, the enchiladas verdes gratinadas from El Naranjo, 85 Rainey Street. This resto started as a food truck that became super popular. God, I love me some tomatillo salsa! Cute backyard patio in a cool neighbourhood, where all the old historic bungalows have been turned into bars and restaurants. Kinda reminds me of Markham Street in Toronto. But way better.

20131230-191219.jpg

Here we are off Rainey Street at G’RajMahal (great name), an outdoor Indian restaurant in a converted garage slash tent compound (91 Red River) . I believe the kitchen is actually a food truck. We were joined by our local tour guide, April. I have no recollection of what we ate, just that it was awesome and we were stuffed and we brought our own booze. Then we went to a bar that had $5 beer/ tequila shot combos. Hence the nervous faces in the middle lower photo.

20131230-201523.jpg

If May wasn’t exciting enough, Scott turned 30, and our friends Mike and Brittany visited from California/Utah. We spent a week hanging out in Toronto, and had a big backyard birthday party. Because it was Brittany’s first time North of the border, we brought them to Montreal too. I didn’t take a lot of pics in Montreal for some reason(too drunk?) . We rented an awesome Air B n’ B apartment in Le Plateau, and spent every night chilling on the back patio enjoying  beverages purchased from the local dépanneur. A novelty which never ceases to amaze visiting Ontarians.

20131230-193252.jpg

Here they are humouring an aggressive street performer. This was eventually abandoned because after about twenty minutes,  nothing much was happening, except for this manic man running around making racist jokes in a French Canadian accent. Au revoir.

20131230-193226.jpg

It was so nice to spend time with these two. We were sad to say “farewell”.

June. 

The highlight of June was Field-trip, an outdoor festival at Fort York put on by Arts and Crafts. The highlights were hometown bands, Timber Timbre, Feist and Broken Social Scene, who played one of my all time favourite albums You Forgot It In People front to back. It was an awesome day.

20131231-180509.jpg

20131231-180704.jpg

July

We drove to The Windy City for Pitchfork Music Festival. I fell in love with Chicago. Musical highlights included Joanna Newsom, Bjork, MIA, Killer Mike, Blood Orange and Phosphorescent. Also getting caught after the show one night in one of the most epic rainstorms was memorable (in a good way). Drenched. I must admit, Pitchfork puts on an awesome festival. Good sound, good crowd flow, decent food, and it is the perfect size (way more chilled out than Bonnaroo). Only downside is no in-and-out privileges, which would have been ideal. I’m dying to go back to Chicago.

20131230-192717.jpg Frickin’ love that bean thing!

20131230-202109.jpg

20131230-202207.jpg

20131230-191806.jpg

20131230-190906.jpg

20131230-192138.jpg
Must also include this kale taco salad that had spicy peanuts and cranberries in it from Antique Taco, (1360 N Milwaukee Ave). We returned two days in a row just for this ridiculousness!

20131230-191911.jpg

Also in July, my beautiful friend Grace had her baby shower. Here she is about to burst. Soon her baby, River, would join us in this world.

20131230-191648.jpg

August

August was rather uneventful. Although I did host a clothing swap, which has become one of my absolute favourite things. The thrilling thing is you never know what you’re going to get. Some winners! Some duds! Some wildcards! All for free! I’ve found some of my favourite items this way.

20131230-192202.jpg
I should have taken more photos of the food. These gals didn’t skimp. We had quite the feast.

September
September was my triumphant return to blogging! These Bourbon-Miso pork chops shoved themselves into the limelight. Delightful. I made them twice, the second time for my mum on the eve of our quick four-day trip to the beautiful Isla Mujeres, Mexico. We stayed in the Privilige Aluxes Isla Mujeres, a stunning resort. The island itself is tiny, only 7 kilometers long. We, along with other silly tourists,  drove around on golf carts. It was fun.

20130928-013341.jpg20131230-201449.jpg

Another September highlight was the labour day weekend we spent at Scott’s grandparents chalet at Beaver Valley with Mike and Kiara. Fun and games, is what it was. And wine.

20131230-192401.jpg20131230-192311.jpg

October

October was a productive month in the kitchen. I think my favourite post was this Persian Eggplant Stew. It renewed my faith in eggplant.

November
Was my best ever month on Food, Mostly. My average daily views doubled that of my previous best month (January, 2012). Exciting!

My favourite part of November was cooking this Indian feast for friends that helped us move way back in April. It was labour intensive, but I think really elevated my skill in cooking Indian food. I’ve included my recipe for chicken Vindaloo.

We had Scott’s family over a few weeks later, and I replicated and tweaked some of the recipes I used. With practice the cooking was more effortless and the result was, dare I say, even tastier?

20131230-190504.jpg

20131230-190429.jpg

20131230-190702.jpg20131121-131706.jpg

December

It was cold and icy, but Christmas was toasty and warm.

My favourite December recipe was hands down this vegan “Butter-Chicken” with fried tofu. So easy and so delicious. I’ll definitely be making more of this in the new year.

20131230-193542.jpg

Upon reflection, I’ve been very “in the moment” this year. Maybe too much so. I don’t think I really realized how good 2013 was until right now. Good friends, good family, good food, good fortune.

What more could a girl ask for?

Thank you for reading. I hope you continue to follow along and share my posts! It makes my day!

Happy New Year Y’all!

xo

M

photo 1

Advertisements

Vegan “Butter Chicken” with Fried Tofu

3 Dec

20131203-002107.jpg

I realize that my blog has been rather meat-centric lately. Although I’ve had some vegetarian posts here and there,  it has been awhile since I’ve shared any vegan dishes.

I’m certain come January when I’ve had my fill of Christmas-y cheese puffs, sausage rolls and pâté that I will concentrate on super healthy, veggie-filled recipes again.  That’s the plan. 

So, this one is for you in mind, vegans. And for me, a little head start on 2014.

20131203-002122.jpg

To continue on with my Indian kick, I present you with…

Vegan “Butter Chicken” with Fried Tofu 

  • 1 fresh green chili (I used jalapeno)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 heaping tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat is best)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying spices and tofu)
  • dash liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • Salt (to taste)
  1. Cut tofu into thick slices and press between paper towels to remove moisture for about 20 minutes, while preparing the sauce. Top with something heavy, like a cookbook.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan at medium-high heat melt coconut oil and add 1 tablespoon garam masala. When it begins to puff and bubble, add garlic, ginger, chopped green chili and tomato.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining spices and cook another few minutes until well mixed and fragrant.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, and then tomato puree. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add coconut milk, sugar and liquid smoke.
  5. Using a hand blender, blend sauce so that it is creamy and smooth, and all the spices are incorporated. Simmer until liquid has reduced about 1/4 (25 minutes or so). Add fenugreek leaves.
  6. Meanwhile, in separate pan, fry tofu slices in hot oil with salt until browned and a bit crispy.
  7. Remove from oil and chop into smaller bite sized pieces. Add to sauce.
  8. Serve curry with basmati or naan, top with fresh cilantro or more dried fenugreek leaves.
  9. Enjoy!

As for you meat eaters, fear not. This recipe is a real spicy, rich, hearty winner!

The sauce makes a great base, that would be good with almost anything; chicken (duh), chickpeas, tempeh or even pineapple. This recipe is pretty quick and easy as far as curries go. It smells amazing while it’s cooking and makes a pretty decent yield.

On a side note, in terms of views, November has high and above exceeded October (my previous best)  on Food, Mostly. It is super exciting to see the blog growing, slowly and steadily. I really appreciate all the sharing and comments from you guys. I love the engagement (that’s the whole point!), so if you like what you read, I encourage you to keep writing and sharing. It makes my day!

A sincerest,  “Thank You”

Maddie

An Indian Feast and a Recipe for Chicken Vindaloo

21 Nov

On Sunday I cooked an Indian dinner for seven, as a long overdue “thank you” to our friends that helped us move way back in April. (Long. Overdue).

This may have been the most elaborate meal I’ve made to date.

I tried to find authentic recipes. I made palak paneer, eggplant bhartha, butter chicken (my mum’s recipe!),chicken vindaloo, sweet potato chutney, salad, rice, and a tangy lemon cardamom tart for dessert (to be featured in a future post). My favourite (as in, the only one I wouldn’t tweak at all) is the one I want to share with you today.

The chicken vindaloo was the winner! (Sorry mum, I didn’t use the heavy cream in the butter chicken after all. Sometimes mothers really do know best)

20131121-124156.jpg
This is what 10 hours in the kitchen looks like!

20131121-131445.jpg

But make no mistake, cooking for lovely people is one of my favourite ways to pass the time, and the day flew by.

20131121-131623.jpg

20131121-131706.jpg

20131121-131730.jpg

20131121-131818.jpg

20131121-135444.jpg

20131121-131655.jpg

Chicken Vindaloo

Spicy, tangy, delicious.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 onions)
  • 2 tbls fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tabls paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used rice)
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbl tamarind paste
  • 1 tbl tomato paste

For Chicken Marinade: 

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbl fresh ginger
  • 1 tbl garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 healthy glugs olive oil
  1. In bowl or ziplock bag, marinate chopped chicken in yogurt mixture for at least an hour (3-4 is probably perfect, I did 5)
  2. Once ready to begin cooking, preheat oven to 400
  3. In hot pan fry onions until browned. Then add garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  4. Meanwhile, assemble spice mixture in small bowl.
  5. Once oven is hot, cook chicken in the marinade for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  6. Add spices to onion mixture and cook a few minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  7. Add tamarind and tomato paste, as well as water.
  8. Using hand held blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth.
  9. Add vinegar and honey.
  10. Once chicken is cooked, transfer (along with cooked marinade) into the sauce
  11. Cook uncovered over a low simmer until sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and cilantro. Serve over basmati rice with naan.

This dinner was a huge success. I was so worried about not making enough food, but turns out I was way off. Today is Thursday and there is still a ton of leftovers in the fridge! (Although the vindaloo was the first to be polished off and half the lemon curd ended up spilled on the floor. Oops!)

I will definitely try out the butter chicken again and refine the other recipes as well.

Indian is my favourite cuisine. It is really fun to make, and especially EAT.

I’m hungry.

What’s your favourite Indian dish? 

Immy May

UK Lifestyle Blog

The Illusive Femme

inside my colourful mind

Crafty little Coco

DIY, Gluten-free Recipes and Life on Oahu

the vegan delicious

Vegan Recipes + Real Food

Maryseeo

Food|Beauty|Health|Travel|Everyday Adventures

Curated Style

Toronto life in style and fashion

eatprayjade

eating and traveling in pursuit of la dolce vita

%d bloggers like this: