Indian


Last month was back in Frederick!! It was a pretty hot day, even though there were only four of us we made a nice afternoon meal. Since my favorite coworker Veena is Indian and J-dogg has a certain fondness for Indian, when I found this cookbook (Masala Farm) at the library it peaked my interest. After thumbing through the pages, I saw alot of awesome farm tidbits and realized it had a “eat local” vibe to it too, which I liked. So even though this protein wasn’t particularly local, I made a shrimp curry! with local corn! And it was very tasty.

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Maria made AWESOME deviled eggs, Alayne made a huge buttermilk ranch salad, Joanne made delicious quinoa cakes and I made the aforementioned shrimp curry. Maria was sweet and brought some local chocolate ice cream for dessert.

So to start off Alayne got busy on her salad. It had avocado, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, tomatoes and red onion. And she coated it all nicely with that from scratch buttermilk ranch dressing. And fun fact, I’ve been using that buttermilk to make myself pancakes over the past month. YUM.

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Here was Maria getting her deviled eggs ready.

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Lots of delicious ingredients went into this concoction, herbs, peppers, curry spices, etc. And this was her first time using a piping bag to fill these. Splendid job Maria!

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And voila – our appetizers. Deeeelish.

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Then we went back to the kitchen and got working on the curry and side dish. From what I could remember there was potato, quinoa, mushrooom and some spices and then it was all rolled in panko. Tasty little morsels!!

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I used some fresh corn, unfrozened good shrimp from Wegmans, lots of curry spices and (WATCH OUT) coconut milk! My coconut fears are slowing fading away. Especially since my coworker Virginia handed me a (unbeknownst to me) coconut oreo cream cookie and I liked it!

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It went well with the whole wheat roti I picked up from the Indian Store.

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And for our drinking entertainment, I made some lychee mimosa kind of drinks and fresh mint green tea from my backyard! Lovely afternoon and I’m so happy to have my buddies at my house.

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Coming up with a cookbook for Charm City Cookbook Club can be a challenge. Thankfully Joanne suggested we do Madhur Jaffrey. Jaffrey, in case you didn’t know, is an acclaimed Indian actress. And her Indian cookbooks have introduced the cuisine to millions.

What I like best about Jaffrey’s recipes is how straightforward they are and how much taste they pack. She isn’t about the fancy techniques for the sake of just doing them. P.S. She didn’t learn to cook until she was an adult. One of my favorite of her books is “Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India.” It’s a sweet story, and there are recipes, too.

So back to the samosas. Alayne found a good place for the dough to rest:
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And while we were waiting, we snacked on some spiced chickpeas.

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First up was Alayne, who faced my biggest cooking fear: frying. She made these delicate potato and pea stuffed samosas that were brightened with a little lemon. With Joanne’s expert help — and a little fry-o-lator (also Joanne’s) — Alayne made some really delicious, delicate fried, stuffed, dumplings. And here’s the bonus: Look: No grease fires!

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Next up was Elizabeth, who made soup and naan. Her butternut squash soup was spicy, sweet and delicious.
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And Elizabeth’s naan, though difficult to execute at first, came out well once she and Joanne got the hang of it.

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The main course was next. While Joanne and I got ourselves into the kitchen, Alayne, Elizabeth, and Mia decided it was time for manicures, with glitter nailpolish.

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Joanne made ground lamb with peas. It was tender and delicious, with a little heat. It tasted great.

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I made a shellfish curry with coconut milk. It had shrimp, scallop, and squid and was delicate and tasty. And really easy to make.

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So this was the first Cookbook Club since Renee moved to Houston. We miss her. It felt lonely with just five of us. We needed something sweet. So Julie made a yogurt and mango dessert that was sweet, fresh, and light.

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And there was an extra something special, too. Joanne’s birthday was in two days and Elizabeth made her pumpkin tarts in a gingersnap crust. After she blew out the candles, she was nice enough to share.

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Happy Birthday Joanne!

And thanks for a spicy, sweet October evening.

Well hello there blogosphere! It’s been a while and my absence whenever it comes along is usually due to work being crazy. I feel like work is always getting crazy at some point during the month. Keep your fingers crossed that something that stopped working earlier this week is back and going full speed by early next sometime this week! So on that note, I will stop worrying about work and tell you about this food that we made a couple of weeks ago. Since we are having October cookbook club tonight scratch that it was Friday, boy am I a lazy blogger (Pioneer Woman Cookbook of course!) I thought I would finally force myself to sit down and write this post! Last month was hosted at my house and I chose Indian food. I have a bunch of wonderful Indian coworkers. One of them is Cynthia and she has made impromptu Indian rice dishes for us for lunch a couple of times over the past month. We loveeeee them, so I thought it would be nice to get her advice and cook some real Indian food! I also enlisted Roopa’s help to pick a cookbook and she told me that this author was great. I found Modern Spice at the Frederick library and so we went with that. When I initially looked at this cookbook I thought the recipes looked to simplistic for me (well you realize I do cook verrrry simply every night when I do cook for myself, but for cookbook club I like to pull out all the stops!) But as we started going, the recipes were not too simple, they were just right and they produced some amazing food.

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This is me stirring my crab masala sauce in my beautiful christmas present I bought for myself! Gosh I love that pot and gosh I love this dish!

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Here are three out of the five us in in cookbook club and boy do we have a good time when we are together. Check out my lovely kitchen in the evening light.. so beautiful!

And you know who else is so beautiful??? Colette Vie! I was holding her and Renee her sweet mommy snapped the shot. That child is perfect, just perfect.

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So click on down and see some more pictures of our Indian cooking that night!

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