Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala Take 2

I have been on a quest to make a really good Indian dish.  I love Indian food and have wanted to recreate the flavors that I love from restaurants. I posted a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala before and that was good, but I think this recipe was better.  I used chicken breasts instead of thighs, but I would recommend the thighs so that the chicken doesn't dry out.  I also chose to cook the chicken in the oven because I was feeling ultra lazy and didn't feel like skewering the chicken and grilling it.  I hope you give this a try!

Chicken Tikka Masala
from: Indian Simmer
For Chicken Tikka: 
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into cubes)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper1 1/2 tsp ginger, very finely chopped or in a paste

1 tsp garlic, minced1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup yogurt (any fat % is fine)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

For the tomato sauce:
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (pureed)
1 tbsp garlic paste (I used minced garlic)
1 tbsp ginger paste (again, I used minced)
1 tbsp onion powder (optional)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp powdered black pepper
1 tsp garam masala 
1 tsp powdered fennel seeds
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp chopped cilantro (for garnish)


For Chicken Tikka:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients into the mixture of yogurt and lemon juice to prepare a marinade.
  2. Add chicken pieces into the marinade.
  3. Mix everything well. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but as long as overnight.
  4. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers. 
  5. Grill the skewered chicken until done or pop it into the oven for 15-20 minutes at a temperature of 400 deg. F.

For the Masala:
  1. Pour oil in a thick bottom pan. Add ginger garlic paste.Turn on the heat and let the paste slowly cook as the oil heats up. This perfumes the oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add onion, coriander, fennel, black pepper powder and garam masala. Mix it all together.
  3. Add tomato puree and mix it very well with all the spices. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce starts reducing and the excess water evaporates. Stir occasionally scraping the bottom. 
  4. Add cooked chicken pieces along with the drippings if cooked in an oven and cream. Mix it all together and let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. 
  6. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve with naan, roti, or Rice Pulao (from Indian Simmer).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Profiteroles with Whipped Cream and Ganache

A friend of mine, Brittani, had a small get together this weekend where she fried up some fresh fish from the Gulf, made cabbage salad, and put me in charge of dessert.  

We had been gardening that day, so I wanted to make something fairly easy that looked kind of impressive.  I kept hearing that profiteroles (which are essentially the shells that make up cream puffs and eclairs, I believe) were easy.  Let me just tell you, these were very easy and the results are so impressive.  My husband told me that I was just showing off!  Fill them up with a little whipped cream or cut them in half and stuff with ice cream.  I made a chocolate ganache to go with them, too. Yum!

The chocolate was still wet and everyone had started eating already!



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs (I used 4 large eggs and they turned out well)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. 
  3. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 
  5. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. (You can use a gallon bag with a corner cut out like me!)
  7. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. 
  8. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) 
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. (I took mine out after the first 20 minutes and they were fine for the first batch) Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  1. Put your bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pour in the whipping cream and sugar and turn on mixer.  Beat cream until you get stiff peaks.  You don't want it to be too soft because it will turn your puffs into mush.
  3. To fill the cream puffs: put the whipped cream into a pastry bag or a gallon bag fitted with a small decorating tip.  Insert the tip into the slit you cut earlier, and squeeze gently until whipped cream starts to come out the sides a bit.
  4. You can also make a ganache and dip the puffs into this when you are done filling them with whipped cream.

No chocolate for Brittani's kitties!  Sorry, Zoe.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lemon Iced Cookies

I had the urge to bake again yesterday (but really, when do I not have this urge?) and I had bought way too many lemons for lemon bars that I made last Friday.  Feeling like I should probably share whatever I made with the lovely people I work with, I searched tastespotting and found some quick, easy cookies that called for lemon.  These cookies are cake-y and light and remind me of spring.  Even though citrus is a winter fruit, it still always reminds me of warm weather.  These were gone the same night I made them; I brought most of them to work and Max finished off the rest, so you know they must be good!

Lemon Iced Cookies
from: Do Better

for the cookies:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
for the icing:
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 T light corn syrup
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • 1 T water
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with milk on low speed. Mix until smooth.
  3. Scoop out batter onto a silpat lined baking sheet, about 6 to a sheet as they do spread. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11-13 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool two minutes on a tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  4. While the cookies are baking, mix the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and water. Once the cookies have cooled slightly, spread the icing over the cookies.