Friday, February 18, 2011

Lentil Curry

This dish looks mostly unimpressive, but it is a new staple in my "Indian Night" menu. It is so good, so filling, and could easily be made as a main dish, or to compliment another. The blend of spices and texture is perfect, Kyah even loves it! This recipe makes quite a bit, probably enough to serve 8 as a main dish. But, the leftovers reheat really well so I always make the entire thing! This is my version of a recipe I found at my favorite online recipe site, Great served with naan or rice.

Lentil Curry

3 cups red lentils
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomatoes, or 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup curry paste
2 Tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (1 teaspoon keeps it pretty mild, add a little more for more spice)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs very clear, put the lentils in a pot with water to cover and simmer covered until lentils tender, adding more water as necessary.
2. While the lentils are cooking, saute the onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
3. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Then, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a medium-high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. 
4. Stir in the tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low, allowing the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready. 
5. When the lentils are tender, drain out most of the water and mix in the curry base. Stir in cilantro. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Herbed Turkey Breast

We love Costco's deli cut herbed turkey breast. I wouldn't say this recipe is a replica, but it follows the same principle, and it's delish! I made it for dinner, so we cut it thicker - but the leftovers are sliced thin for sandwiches, or cubed for pot pie! I made a little extra of the herb mix - and added it to the dinner rolls I made for dinner.

Herbed Turkey Breast

4 pound turkey breast, completely defrosted (just adjust the other ingredients according to how big your turkey breast is)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup loosely packed chives
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed rosemary
1/4 cup loosely packed thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine herbs, and chop until almost minced. Stir in olive oil.
3. Pour broth into the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the turkey on top, and rub half of the herb mixture onto the top side. Bake for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.
4. Turn the turkey over and rub the rest of the herb mixture on top. Continue to bake, basting every 15 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165-degrees.
5. When the turkey is cooked though, take out of the oven and cover with foil. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting to allow juices to redistribute.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Russian Black Bread

I have seriously been trying to find the "right" recipe for black bread for a few years now. I have never tried the real deal myself, so it was so hard to hunt down a good recipe. I finally found one that was close, and after many revisions by my taste-tester/super cute husband - I think we finally got it right! I have made it both in the bread maker and the oven - they both taste the same, but hand-shaped definitely looks better!

Russian Black Bread

1 ¼ cups warm water
2 Tablespoons dark molasses
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 ½ cups dark rye flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup wheat bran
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder

Optional: You can put the seeds in whole, or I usually grind them in my spice grinder to get the flavor, but not have the chunky seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seed
½ teaspoon fennel seed

1. Mix molasses in water, and sprinkle yeast on top. Proof for 5-10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the flours together. 
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients to the yeast mixture, using only as much of the flour mixture as needed. Knead until dough comes together and is firm and smooth. The dough will be very sticky and dense!
4. Let rise, covered in a well greased bowl for about 1 hour. 
5. Punch down dough and shape into either a loaf pan, or into a round or loaf on a cookie sheet. Cover, and let rise about 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
6. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Bake for 30-60 minutes, depending on loaf size. Bread in a loaf pan will take the longest to cook. The bread will be done when it starts to brown on both top and bottom.

You can also make this recipe in your bread maker. Add the ingredients in the order listed. Use a 2-lb, whole wheat setting and a dark crust. It is such a dense bread that it will need the dark setting to cook all the way!

Friday, February 4, 2011


This is one of my favorite breads to have with pasta. It's also makes great sandwiches! You can add thinly sliced tomato and onion to the top before baking for a little more flavor and texture (and it will look gorgeous too!).


1 cup warm water
1 pinch sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Italian blend cheese (mozzarella & Parmesan)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: thinly sliced tomato and/or red onion

1. Proof yeast in warm water and sugar. When yeast becomes bubbly, add the rest of the dough ingredients and knead until smooth.
2. Allow to rise in a greased bowl for about 45 minutes, or until doubled.
3. Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Punch down dough, and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Place on cookie sheet.
4. Brush or drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste on top. Add thinly sliced tomato and red onion, if desired.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheeses have browned. (This bread does not need a second rising)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemongrass Tilapia

Vahe and I love fish, and when summer comes around - he usually goes at least once a week. However, my fish-cooking-variety is lacking, so I like to try new recipes and ways to cook fish. This one is definitely a keeper! I love love love lemongrass, and, as usual, it adds a great flavor in this dish. Yum!

PS - If you are not familiar with lemongrass, you don't want to actually eat the stalks, unless you have minced them for a recipe (which you also could do for this one). They give great flavor and work well as a garnish - but not really that great to eat.

Lemongrass Tilapia

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-3 inch pieces and smashed
2 Tablespoons minced ginger root
2 Tablesboons soy sauce
1-pound tilapia fillets (usually about 4 fillets)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 lime
cilantro to garnish

1. In a deep saute pan, combine stock, lemongrass, ginger and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Place the tilapia fillets in the pan and cook until fish is done, about 3-4 minutes each side.
3. When the fish has almost cooked through, top each fillet with shredded carrots, and cover the pan until finished cooking, about 1-2 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with a squirt of lime.

Thai Mint-Mango Rice

This rice could be a dessert if you wanted it to be. It is SO good, with just the right amount of sweetness to compliment savory dishes. I have this thing where I can not cook rice without a rice cooker. No matter what I do it turns out crunchy, or mushy- usually both. So, my directions use a rice cooker. Although, I'm sure it would be just as good made on the stove-top. That is, as long as I don't make it. :)

Thai Mint-Mango Rice

2 cups jasmine rice
1 (12-ounce) can coconut milk, light or regular
 2 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon minced ginger root
pinch of salt
1 mango, diced
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 lime

1. Combine rice, coconut milk, water, ginger and salt in the rice cooker. Set to white rice.
2. When the rice is done, stir in diced mango and mint leaves. Garnish with sliced almonds and a squirt of lime juice before serving.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Challah is a sweet egg bread, sometimes called Easter bread. It is so good to eat with sandwiches, or even just plain. This recipe makes a huge loaf - but it will go very fast!


3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
2 eggs + 1 yolk (save the extra egg white for an egg wash)
3 Tablespoons softened butter
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 egg white
2 teaspoons water

1. Mix sugar into milk in a large bowl, and sprinkle yeast on top to proof.
2. Once the yeast is foamy in about 5-10 minutes add the rest of the ingredients (using only as much flour as needed), and knead until smooth.
3. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
4. Punch down dough and shape into loaf on a greased or lightly-floured surface. I like to make 4 long ropes, about 25-inches long, and braid them together. You could also braid with 3 or even 5, make other shapes, or just a plain loaf. Either way, it will still taste great!
5. Cover, and let rise until doubled. (Up to three hours!)
6. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Just before baking, brush on a egg wash using the leftover egg white, mixed with 2 teaspoons of water.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

You can also make this bread in your bread machine. Just be sure to use a sweet bread cycle so that it doesn't over-rise. Just layer the ingredients in order of the recipe!


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