Monthly Archives: July 2009

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Love you!


Murgh Jalfrezi Pilau

A simple, inexpensive, healing curried chicken with rice..

Murgh Jalfrezi Pilau
Murgh Jalfrezi Pilau

Pastured chicken thighs, peppers, onions, tomatoes, ginger, cardamom, coriander, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, chili pepper, turmeric, sea salt, black pepper and saffron.

Toast whole spices in a dry skillet over medium-low until fragrant, perhaps 5 minutes.

Add ghee, pastured butter or coconut oil to the pan and sauté chicken until brown on both sides.  Add vegetables and a little filtered water or chicken stock and remaining spices, cover and simmer until fork-tender (about 30 minutes).  Brighten with fresh cilantro and a little lemon juice just before serving.

Meanwhile, cook basmati rice in filtered water and/or coconut water and/or chicken stock with curry leaves (optional) until most of the liquid is absorbed, add saffron threads (optional) and seedless raisins, cover two minutes until raisins are plump.

Serve garnished with a dollop of yoghurt or Crème fraîche for a cooling contrast to the spicy curry.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet

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Fresh Fava, French Carrot and Arugula Salad, Mustard Crème fraîche

Lightly steamed fresh fava beans, French carrots and peppery arugula tossed in extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar and dressed with homemade mustard crème fraîche..

Fava, French Carrot and Arugula Salad

String and split fava bean pods and remove the beans. Split small round French carrots.

Steam the beans and carrots together in a bamboo or wire steamer until just barely done, perhaps 2 minutes.  Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process; we want the vegetables to be tender, yet cooked as little as possible to preserve the color and nutrients.

Meanwhile, make a simple vinaigrette of high quality extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and slivered shallot.

Drain the vegetables and toss with arugula micro-greens and vinaigrette.  Season with black salt and coarsely ground pepper and dress with a teaspoon of homemade lacto-fermented mustard combined with a tablespoon of homemade crème fraîche (Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream, but thicker and slightly more sweet than sour.  Mix together 3 parts fresh heavy cream and 1 part buttermilk or plain yoghurt. Cover and allow to stand on the counter overnight before refrigerating).

Serve with toasted crusty bread if you like..

The Dinner Garden

Tip of the hat to Kristen @ Food Renegade for suggesting this story

“For several years, Holly Hirshberg’s family had grown fruit and vegetables in a home garden during the summer months. She had enjoyed fresh tomato sandwiches, vine ripened cucumbers, red and yellow bell peppers, fresh herbs, like basil, thyme, and rosemary, potatoes, and watermelon. The fresh produce was a nice summer treat each year. Then in 2008, in the midst of a crumbling economy, the idea struck her that she could easily expand her garden to grow more produce, which she could donate to the food bank. That idea quickly grew into a plan where families and communities could weather the tough times and reduce or eliminate their reliance on food banks by growing produce themselves. Much like the Victory Gardens of the First and Second World Wars, these gardens would allow people to stretch their food budgets and enhance their nutritional intake. Individuals and families could have greater food security and take a direct part in that effort…”

San Antonio's Dinner Garden is committed to ending hunger

The Dinner Garden provides seeds, gardening supplies, and gardening advice free of charge to all people in the United States of America. The intent is to assist those in need in establishing food security for their families. The long term goal is that people will plant home, neighborhood, and container gardens and use the vegetables they grow for food and income.

The Dinner Garden
P.O. Box 700686
San Antonio, TX 78270-0686

This post is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival

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Southwest Grilled Pork Ribeye with Fried Nixtamal

Tender, pastured pork rib-eyes marinated in annatto oil, garlic and mild Adobo seasoning served with nixtamal fried in butter with green onions, yellow tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and fresh jalapeños..


Soak nixtamal (traditional, lime-slaked dried maize) overnight in cool, filtered water.  Boil slowly in a heavy pot of fresh water until just tender, about 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, marinate pork in annatto oil, fresh garlic, Mexican oregano and adobo-style seasoning for at least 2 hours.

Fry nixtamal, whole cumin and pumpkin seeds in pastured butter until browned.  Add green onions, peppers, tomatoes, sea salt, cracked pepper and just a pinch of coarse, non-refined sugar and sauté quickly until the tomatoes give up most of their liquid, perhaps 5 minutes.  Toss with chopped cilantro just before serving.

Meanwhile, grill the pork rib-eyes until medium-done and nicely marked, but still plump and juicy.  Hit everything with a modest squeeze of fresh lime and serve hot from the pan.

To make annatto oil, toast achiote seeds in a hot, dry skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add good olive oil and infuse over low heat for about 20 minutes. Strain the resulting annatto oil and store indefinitely in a cool, dark place.

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Punjabi Gobi with Onion and Garlic Naan

Gobi is a dry curry of cauliflower, tomatoes, ginger, onions and toasted spices.  Naan is an  oven-baked flatbread commonly served in South Asia..

Punjabi Gobi with Onion and Garlic Naan

For the naan (adapted from Anjum Anand)

3 oz organic all-purpose flour
1 oz organic whole wheat flour
1 tsp non-refined sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
2 oz organic plain yoghurt
2 oz filtered water
3 cloves garlic
2 green onions

Sift the dry ingredients together in a glass bowl.  Combine with yoghurt and water and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours to break down some of the phytic acid.

Roll dough into a ball, set in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes, adding very small quantities of flour or water as may be needed to achieve a soft, flexible dough.

Roll the dough out into 1/4 inch thick ovals and cook on a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven until brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

For the Gobi

Core, trim and wash cauliflower (1/2 head per 2 servings) and split into individual florets.  Steam until partially cooked, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Chop 1 plum tomato, 1 small yellow tomato, 1/2 yellow onion, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 or 2 green chilies and a handful of fresh cilantro.

Gather 1 tablespoon each turmeric and chopped curry leaves, 1 teaspoon each of cumin seed, methi and paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, nigella, ajwain and sea salt.  These spices are commonly available in Indian food markets or by mail order.  Don’t worry about it if you don’t have this exact combination.

Toast the whole spices in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, onions and peppers and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.

Add cilantro and 1 tablespoon ghee.  Toss to combine and serve with hot naan.

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