Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quick Curry

I'm slowly learning how to use my slow cooker. This recipe was awesome, and I could even do this one during the week because it was so easy to put together, and takes about 7 to 8 hours in the slow cooker. Perfect timing!

What you need:
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (I cheated and bought a jar)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped (I used red onion, because my friend said they are healthier)
2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper
Scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Whisk together the garlic, curry powder, cumin, ginger, tomato paste and 3/4 cup water in the slow cooker. Stir in the chopped onion. Place the chicken on top of the mixture. Cover the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and a 1/4 of a teaspoon black pepper.

Cover and cook on the low setting on the slow cooker for 7 to 8 hours. I turned the chicken midway through, but that probably wasn't required. Just before serving, stir in the greek yogurt, and an additional half teaspoon salt.

And that is it. Really. Super easy. Super delicious. Serve over long grain rice and garnish with scallions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Easy and Elegant Dinner Party Dessert

God I love aliteration, don't you? But enough about my great title. Let's talk about the dessert!

The hands down best dinner party desserts are the ones you can make a day in advance. That way you don't need to use your oven for your dessert while you're also trying to use it to make your dinner. And it won't screw up your timeline, or require any effort while you're having post dinner conversation with your guests.

I've found that, generally, custards and cremes and things of that nature are pretty great dinner party desserts. Not only can they be made in advance, they actually demand that you make them in advance so that they have enough time to set.

The type of dessert I'm talking about here is the kind offered in fancy shmancy restaurants. So you're thinking, "uh oh! must be complicated!" right? Wrong! Panna cotta is surprisingly simple. And, as it turns out, so is pot de creme!

This recipe will help you put together adorable and delicious Bailey's Pot de Creme. Not your normal chocolate pot de creme, which means you won't compete with fancy restaurants where your dinner guests may have experienced pot de creme. Great plan, right? And the active time on this is only about 30 minutes. The dessert must be made with at least 4 hours of fridge time, but can be made with 24 hours of fridge time. So easy. So delicious. Giant win for you!

Ingredients: (This is to serve 8. I cut it in half)
1.5 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup Bailey's liquer
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
Pinch of Salt

1. Mix together the heavy cream and the whole milk in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and let stand.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt.

3. Whisk in the warm cream/milk mixture.

4. Mix in the Bailey's.

5. Strain the mixture into a 4 cup measuring cup.

6. Pour into pots de creme or small ramekins.

7. Place ramekins in a deep baking dish. Fill baking dish with hot water, up to a 1/2 inch below the rim of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with foil. I recommend doing all of this on the stove top over your oven, because moving the baking dish is kind of scary!

8. Place the hot water bath in the oven. Bake at 325 for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until the center of the pot de creme is just set.

9. Let the dishes cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

And its that easy! How could this dessert not be delicious? It's almost entirely fat, sugar, and alcohol!