Thursday, September 23, 2010

Curry Coconut Chicken

Yes, fellow InterWeb users, I'm totally on a curry kick. LOVE curry - though I've only used the yellow curry. one of these days I'll have to branch out into red and green curry, but until then, I'll stick with this. Today's recipe comes from, pretty much my standard go-to. Brean concurs that this was fabulous, despite my original apprehension and proceeded to eat two giant bowls. Coconut and chicken just don't exactly go together in my book! But today, they definitely do.


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.
  3. Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Followed the first part of the recipe to the T - sautéed the onion and garlic in the oil/curry and added the chicken. Cut the chicken up until cubes and salted and peppered "to taste" (which doesn't make any sense as the chicken is raw and you can't "taste" it!). I only had unsweetened coconut, so I added 4 Tablespoons of sugar to compensate for that. I also did not have stewed tomatoes, or tomato paste, and as I don't actually LIKE stewed tomatoes, I didn't see the need to remedy this fact. So I used 16 ounces of Tomato and Basil spaghetti sauce, which was quite satisfactory. I taste tested at this point, and it wasn't quite salty enough for my taste, so I added some garlic salt "to taste". Simmered it UNCOVERED for about 40 minutes and served it over white rice. It was AMAZING!!! I think covering it while simmering will prevent the sauce from thickening at all, and having it thicker is a plus. Definitely a keeper, though I will agree with a reviewer that the whole house smells like curry. Good thing I like curry! :D

Monday, September 13, 2010

Curry Wild Rice Soup

To the recipe that started it all! When I first made this recipe a couple of months ago, it got me thinking about keeping track of new recipes and changes that I would have made to them, hence this blog. Anywho, back to the recipe. This is another special, best served with fresh homemade bread. It's great for dipping!


  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chervil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until golden brown; add mushrooms and celery. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low; stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Gradually add broth; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add cooked rice, half and half, sherry, salt, white pepper, curry powder, dry mustard, paprika and chervil. Simmer until heated through. Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

Changes: Well, as previously stated, I hate mushrooms, so left them out. I also don't have sherry, parsley, or chervil on hand and no desire to buy them. But other than that... ;P I started out with 2 boxes of Rice Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice mix, and cook as directed on the box. I diced both the celery and onion, and increased both by about half of what was called for to compensate for the lack of mushrooms. As per one of the reviews, I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth - not sure whether it makes it better or not as I've never used the vegetable stock, but I think it's good. Once I got to the spice adding portion, things get fun! :) Last time I made it, it wasn't strong enough with curry for me, so I doubled the curry (and then added a smidgen more for good measure) and also doubled the salt. everything else I kept as called for. It turned out AWESOME! It's almost better the second day after it's had a chance to thicken, or if you have some time before serving you can let it sit for like 10 minutes or so. The thing that surprised me about this recipe is how long it takes to make! It says 55 minutes, and it really does take about that long! Definitely worth it though - it'll be a great soup for cold winter days!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chicken Lettuce wraps

Dr. Who night! A fabulous time of culinary creation. And this month's theme - Asian! Now this past weeks earlier attempt at Asian food involved stir frying chicken/rainbow salad mix (which if you've never heard of it - SERIOUSLY awesome! It's a mix of cabbage/broccoli/carrots sliced really thing, like coleslaw. SO great for any Asian dishes) and rice noodles with peanut sauce. Now, when I was thinking peanut sauce, I was thinking peanut sauce I've had in the past, which is more like a sweet peanut buttery kind of thing that Thai restaurants usually serve with spring rolls. However, apparently there are spicy peanut sauces, and this was one of them. Brean thought it was awesome and ate like three bowls. I may add pressed coconut to it next time and see if that helps take the kick out, or a different brand of peanut sauce completely. But that is beside the point...
This Dr. Who asian endeavor was an attempt at P.F. Chang's famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps (which are really awesome if you've never been there - it was one of my 3 birthday dinners! ;P). Found the following recipe on and away I went.




Special Sauce

Stir Fry Sauce


Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
  1. 1Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
  2. 2Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
  3. 3Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
  4. 4Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
  5. 5Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  6. 6Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  7. 7Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  8. 8Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  9. 9Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  10. 10As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  11. 11Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  12. 12When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  13. 13With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  14. 14Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  15. 15Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".
  16. 16Top with"Special Sauce".

Let's see first changes: I really really hate mushrooms. So that ingredient was out - but as it was going to be like three cups of my recipe (I changed the servings to 8) I had to find another filler. Enter broccoli slaw! A fabulous mixture of cabbage/carrots/broccoli all sliced, ready for cooking. I love it when they make it easy on me! :p Mixed my "special" sauce ahead of time and pretty much followed that to the T, though I did leave out the hot mustard and chili paste, as I figured people could add it to their own as needed. Hmm, what else...boiled the chicken the night before instead of sauteing it - either way would work I think, and then diced it up. The next day diced the water chestnuts and onions, plus the broccoli slaw (just for consistency). At that point, I added everything together in the fry pan with oil and sauteed for about 4 minutes. Changes for next time: I think I would use a wok and measure the oil (yes, I know, should have done that) as there almost didn't seem like enough. The sauce was really good, but I think I would add the hot mustard and maybe a little bit of chili paste, provided I could find a non-chunky version. I think that's it. It seemed to be a hit with the fam, and the nice thing is you can tailor it to your audience either by switching up ingredients or sauces to their liking. Definitely a keeper around here, and I love the fact that you can dice everything up, put it in a bowl, and it will only take you a couple of minutes to throw everything together when people arrive. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hazelnut Toffee Scones

Ok, so I decided to experiment - aren't you proud?! I took the scone recipe as posted previously, and figured, it seems like a pretty basic scone recipe, so I can probably change in to whatever scones I want! Attempt #1 was not as successful, though still edible. So, basic scone recipe, just disregard the lemon portion of things. I used brown sugar instead of white sugar, added some hazelnut syrup (about 1/4 cup+), and about 1/3 of a bag of toffee bits. Once I rolled it out and cut it in to wedges, I brushed caramel sauce on top and baked it for the correct time. Several issues: This batch turned out dry and fairly floury on the outside. I think I kneaded it too much and in too much flour. The caramel topping was good, but a bit sticky. The scone itself was good, but not sweet enough, and pretty dense.
So, back for attempt #2 - SO much better! I used white sugar on this one instead of the previously used brown sugar and increased it from the specified amount, probably about 1/4 cup. I added more toffee bits, around 1/2 of the bag (this came from dumping a bunch in, looking at it, deciding it wasn't enough, and then dumping more in! :D) I added about 1/4 cup of hazelnut syrup, and increased the milk by a couple of tablespoons due to the increase in volume from the toffee. I only kneaded it like twice in a small amount of flour and decided against using caramel on the top. They came out awesome! Good consistency and just the right amount of sweetness. Thanks to E. and A. for being my guinea pigs for both batches and giving great feedback. :D