Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice)

Looking for a new Indian dish to make at home? Try this Kadhi Chawal recipe, a very popular yogurt curry in India, served with rice and chickpea fritters.

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who suggested a really awesome foreign film from India called The Lunchbox! Indian cooking is not new to me but I found a jewel of a recipe that I have never tasted before, called Kadhi Chawal, or Yogurt Curry with Rice.

Kadhi Chawal Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Lebanese Shish Taouk: now this is an amazing recipe

Who could resist beautifully grilled cubes of chicken – known as Lebanese Shish Taouk – that are marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, tomato puree, loads of garlic and exotic spices.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. Get your luggage ready as we are exploring Lebanon this month.

Lebanese Shish Taouk

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Layered Jello Yogurt Cake

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Culinary Adventures with Camilla. She picked Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 and/or 2. I only had time to see 1.

For this challenge I decided to use a recipe I had ‘in waiting’ for a bit because it fit perfectly. I know this is going to sounds weird…but it is with Jello! And it was actually not bad at all. So go ahead and make this Layered Jello Yogurt Cake without fear for a family dinner or close friends!

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Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

SRC: Yogurt Cheesecake with Nectarines for FFM2

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time.

I discovered a real fun new blog, Inquiring Chef, written by Jess. She is temporarily living in Bangkok with her husband. There are quite a few food bloggers set up for a bit in Asia. I have to admit I am jealous, would love to experience that. Jess has moved around quite a bit in her life and has traveled quite a lot. It took some time but she works in Bangkok too and has a closer connection really living with the locals. Did I mention how jealous I am lol? This blog started in Thailand so you will find tons of Thai recipe. So up my alley. But oddly enough I did not choose an ethnic recipe.

I settled on this Yogurt Cheesecake dessert recipe, my contribution to my 2nd annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon which took place this past weekend. Cake: nothing to warm up or prepare. I made a full cake recipe instead of small cakes. And I had a chance to test this ‘mock’ cheesecake on a group. There is NO CHEESE in this cheesecake. I will steal a sentence from her post: “This was one of those recipes that I had to make myself in order to believe that it was even possible”, I concur.  Would my guests bite or say something was off?

I served the desserts and those who tried my ‘cheesecake’ all complimented me, some saying it was better than most cheesecakes because it was light and not heavy. It was a success. Once the cake gone I announced the TRUTH: there was no cheese. they were all in disbelief and several people asked me for the recipe. This is a keeper for sure: tastes like a favorite but much lighter calorie wise.

Ξ Yogurt Cheesecake with Nectarines Ξ

Ingredients

for the crust:
1 stick cold butter, cut into small chunks
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. cold water

for cheesecake:
2 cups whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt (not non-fat)
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1-2 peaches, thinly sliced and 1 T honey, for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Cut in the butter and blend in with your fingers until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add egg yolk and cold water. Mix until dough comes together to form a shaggy ball (dough may be dry). Cover in plastic wrap and let chill for half an hour. Preheat oven to 375.

Roll out dough to same diameter as the pan. Place dough circle at the bottom of the pan. Place tin foil on top of the dough circle and cover with dried beans or rice to weigh down. Bake for 15 minutes then take off rice/bean/tin foil and prick all over crust with a fork. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden.

In the mean time, in a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla. Blend until smooth then add cornstarch and pinch of salt and blend again.

Pour filling into hot crust, lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for 35 minutes. When the cheesecake is done, it will still be jiggly in the center but will have a “done” look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Let cool then chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge before releasing springform. Arrange the sliced fruit over top of the cooled cheesecake. Melt the honey in a small sauce pot then drizzle on as well.

Back to the 2nd annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon, boy did we have a blast. I learned a lot from my 1st year and there were a lot of changes this year. I played for 4 films instead of 6. I did not invite the whole planet. I did not try to raise funds (a stress) for a charity event. This year it was about fun. And we had a lot of fun.

We numbered 19 people in total this year. The price of entry was a dish for the potluck. Yep 19 people crammed in my living room in front of the TV. The first film started at 1:30pm and the last one ended around 11:30pm. It was an open invite so people came and went as they wished but the biggest crowd is always around the dinner time movie where I pick a block buster.

Here are the movies we saw, with my little comment in red:

Waitress – Jenna is a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep south. She bakes phenomenal pies at Joe’s diner, listens to old Joe’s wisdom, tolerates her sour boss Cal, is friends with Dawn and Becky (her fellow waitresses), and finds a mutual attraction with the new doctor in town. Cute, quirky, adorable, funny, PIE, PIE, PIE – a MUST.

The God of Cookery – A martial arts Food Film!  The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled he sets out to reclaim his title. Cantonese with English subtitles. The most absurd, full of nonsense, movie I have ever seen in my life, plan to say WTF over and over again, very entertaining.

Julie and Julia
Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book. It’s Julia, un chef-d’oeuvre!

Big Night – A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business. My least favorite even if a good movie. Depressing. Scene shots though are fantastic, especially kitchen at the end.



5 Star Makeover: Apples With Beet Hummus and Mint Yogurt Sauce

OK you caught me, I lied! In my last post I said the next thing I would publish would be the raclette dinner party but, oops, I did not realize it was 5 Star Makeover time. So here is my February entry with BEETS as the theme. Raclette coming up next post!

Beets are such an underused vegetable. I actually really like them but I never buy beets. A lot of people fear them. Because of the color? Because of the earthy taste the older ones may have? Actually a fresh beet is quite sweet. One type of beet, the sugar beet, is processed into refined sugar and the sugar produced represents 10% of the Canadian sugar market. For this challenge I really wanted to play up the sweet factor and make the deep red/purple color shine.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

Ξ Apples With Beet Hummus and Mint Yogurt Sauce Ξ

My creation was inspired by this staking recipe on a raw food recipes site…this is not a raw recipe though as the beets are cooked. My stack composition is with yellow apples, a Beet Hummus posted by Elise on Simply Recipes and a Mint Yogurt Sauce  recipe. I removed all savory elements from the original recipes and I added sweet flavors. I really enjoyed this unique dish and its refreshing taste. I just don’t know if I would serve it as appetizer or as a dessert???

Cooking Beets: cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, and peel once they have been cooked and cooled. In my opinion boiling is the worst way and roasting is the best. To roast, wrap them in aluminum foil and put on a baking tray in the oven.  Cook them for 30-60 minutes on 400F, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Then there is the lazy way: place whole in a dish, pierce the skin and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook on high for 9 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cooling and peeling. Tip for hand stains: Clean any beet juice from your hands with a little lemon juice and soap.

Beet Hummus Recipe

  • 1/2 pound cooked beets, cubed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp brow sugar
  • 1/3 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired. Chill and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • dash of sea salt

Make the mint yogurt sauce by blending the mint, cilantro, mango, lime juice, yogurt, honey and salt until smooth.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

Assembly

Slice 2 yellow apples about 1/8 in and brush with lime juice. Begin with one slice of apple. Top with 2 teaspoons of beet hummus. Top with another slice of apple. Top that with 2 more teaspoons of beet hummus and then a third slice of apple. Place a generous spoonful of mint yogurt sauce on the plate for each stack. Place the stacks on top. Place a small spoonful of the mint yogurt sauce on top of the third apple. Garnish with chopped mint and serve. Makes 6 portions.

The Yogurt, she is going Greek

OK now read the title of the post again but with the accent of the father in the movie My Greek Wedding!

Is it me or everyone is doing Greek yogurt right now? I have no complaints about it, I love the stuff, but it is the IN THANG in yogurtland. The newest company to come out with their version of Greek yogurt is Danone. Yes the same one where I recently visited the production plant and had a preview taste testing.

I received a sample pack from Danone to try out their Greek yogurt. And I have to say, like all their other products, I like it a lot. I was just amazed by the extraordinary texture of Oikos Greek yogurt. I found it uniformly thick compared to other brands. I loved the really rich and creamy texture in my mouth.

Danone uses only three ingredients (milk, cream and an active culture) and requires three times more milk than a regular yogurt to make Oikos. Traditional Greek straining methods combined with modern technology are the secret to the luscious consistency. And at approximately 90-100 calorie and 1.5 grams of fat (3% of daily recommendation) per 100 gr serving (average of all Oikos products)  the waistline will love it too.

Now for the kitchen test run. I wanted to do something quick to turn my boring bean salad lunch into a flavorful meal. First I thought of tzatziki but why not stray into something a bit more exotic: cumin and mint!

oikos yogurt

Ξ Cumin Mint Yogurt Sauce Ξ

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mint, fresh chopped (3/4 tsp dry)
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • dash of sea salt

Whisk all ingredients together and chill for a couple of hour so the flavors can develop. It is wonderful with vegetables, crudites, beans, seafood, meats or as a spread on bread.

I also received two dessert Oikos Greek yogurt versions: honey or blueberry and the bottom. The blueberry was very but the honey gave me a WOW factor, big time. It is so good and the honey is just fantastic. That one could be addictive. Also available in stores are strawberry and vanilla, and a plain organic version.

Thursday’s Thingamajig: Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker

When I was a kid we had in the basement a yogurt machine. It remained in the box always. As far as I know it was never ever taken out or used. And for me it was a mystery magical machine. It stuck with me and when I saw this yogurt maker it brought back feelings of the unknown and marvel:

Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker – 7 × 6 oz

Prepare all-natural, thick and creamy yogurt with this electric yogurt maker. Making yogurt at home allows you to control the sweetness, ingredients, fat content, and thickness of the yogurt. Make up to 7 different flavors at one time. A clear lid allows for monitoring of the cooking process, and a built-in timer with auto shut-off turns off the machine when the yogurt is done (6 – 10 hours, depending on the thickness desired). Includes seven resealable 6-ounce glass jars which can be used to provide airtight storage in the refrigerator.

Product Features

  • Care: Glass jars are dishwasher safe
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Capacity: 42 ounces/1.2 litres
  • Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.2 x 24.1 cm ; 1.9 Kg