Thursday, October 8, 2015

Variety is the spice of life


Maybe if I got tired of making the same things all the time I would post more.
Lentil soup is one of our favorites and I recently discovered the wonders of naan, but the Tandoori Chicken was a last-minute addition to dinner the other night and it was so good, I wish I had made the whole recipe instead of cutting it down and making just four chicken thighs.

Tandoori Chicken


1 chicken, about four pounds, cut into 8 pieces

2 cups plain Greek yogurt(use it because it is thicker than other yogurt)

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons fresh coarse ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

2 tablespoon Thai chili paste with garlic (optional, I didn't use it because I didn't have any)

4 tablespoons lemon juice


In a large staineless steel or glass (non-reactive) mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, spices, minced garlic, and chili paste if using and whisk until you have a smooth, thick marinade.
Put the chicken in the bowl and turn the pieces over and over until they are all well-coated with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the more tender and flavorful it will be.
After the chicken has marinated, line a large roasting pan with foil. Lay a rack over the pan so air can circulate under the roasting chicken, and pre-heat your oven to 425. Convection bake or convection roast cycle is recommended if your oven has the capability.
Place the chicken pieces skin side up on the rack so they are not touching. If there is any marinade left in the bowl, use a brush or spoon to make sure that each piece of chicken is completely coated in the marinade.
Roast for 30 minutes without opening the oven, then take the pan out of the oven and turn the chicken over and roast for an additional 15 minutes or until slightly charred on the second side.

Turn the chicken over one more time so the skin side is up. Turn the oven off and put the chicken back in the still-hot oven for 30 more minutes.



1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
 1 cup warm water 
1/4 cup white sugar 
3 tablespoons milk
 1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
 4 1/2 cups bread flour 
1/4 cup butter, melted

Using a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water in the mixer's bowl. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. 

Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on low speed, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise.

Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and inch off pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. 

Roll as many balls of dough as will fit on your grill without touching into thin oblongs.

Lightly oil grill. 

Place dough on the grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked sides  with butter, and turn over.

Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Curried Lentil Soup


1 pound lentils
3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 medium carrots, minced in a food processor (not pureed! just chopped finer than diced)
4 stalks celery, minced - see above
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
2 Tablespoons curry powder  - can omit if you don't like curry, but then it wouldn't be curried lentil soup :)
 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth


Mince the carrots and celery and set aside.
Mince the garlic, jalapeno and cilantro in the food processor and add to the carrots and celery.
Melt the butter, in a large stock pot.  Add the carrots, celery, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro and saute for 2 or 3 minutes or until fragrant.
Add the lentils and curry powder and stir , then add the chicken stock and red and green peppers.
Bring soup to a boil then immediately reduce the heat and cover and simmer for at least an hour or until the lentils are soft and tender.