My family and I have recently gotten into eating Indian food. Highly recommended: Mount Everest off of Belair Road = AMAZING! Two of our favorite foods there are Chicken Tikka Masala (chicken marinated in yogurt and served in a creamy, tomatoey sauce) and Naan (a flatbread. I was a little worried to try these recipes for two reasons: 1 - I was afraid it wouldn't even come close to the restaurant's recipe and 2 - I didn't have much success the last time I tried to make bread. However, both turned out extremely well and my family loved it - as is witnessed by the fact that it was completely eaten right away (very rare for our small family).
Baked Tandoori Bread aka Naan (Julie Sahni)
1/2 cup yogurt
3/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/5 melted unsalted butter, plus additional melted butter for brushing
1 large egg
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
Vegetable oil, as needed
1) Whisk together the yogurt and water in a large bowl. Add the yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and egg and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and mix just until a dough forms (the dough will be very soft and sticky). Wipe your hands clean and oil them generously. Knead the dough in the bowl until smooth and satiny, oiling your fingers if necessary, about 10 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm place for 4 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
2) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
3) Punch down the dough first, then knead again for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll out each into a 5-inch round. Using your hands, stretch the round into a 5- to 7-inch oval. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and bake in the middle level of the oven for 4 1/2 minutes, or until they begin to puff and brown.
Remove and, if desired, grill the naans briefly, 15 to 20 seconds, to brown nicely. Brush them with additional melted butter.
The Naan was good, but it was more of a pita bread than what I remember Mt. Everest's tasting like. Still good, though. I'm going to work on finding a recipe that is more similar. I don't have any pictures of the Chicken Tikka Masala, because I kind of forgot. I used this recipe from allrecipes.com and it was delicious! I promise. So, try something new and use these recipes - neither was challenging at all and they had good flavor (which is sometimes lost in ethnic foods, I've found).
I am addicted to these little pretzels with Hershey's Kisses and M & M's. All you need are mini pretzels of any kind or shape, Hershey's Kisses, and M & M's. Though, I think you could use just about any candy combination. If you're like me, you'll eat them all if you aren't careful. So easy to make...
M & M Kisses Pretzels (TeamSugar)
* Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
* Depending on however many you want, lay out mini pretzels on baking sheet.
* Place one Hershey's Kiss on each pretzel.
* Place in oven. Remove after 5-6 minutes.
* Place an M&M over the Kisses and gently push down into the chocolate.
* Allow to cool down or place in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Apparently, I have been on quite the M&M kick, because I also made M&M Pancakes. Not for me, though - for Aidan (the 2 year old I babysit). I thought he would enjoy them, plus he always begs me for "'cakes" with "M um Ms." I make real pancakes - not the boxed kind. Personally, I am not a huge fan of box mixes for pancakes. That's most likely because my dad always made real ones when I was little and that's the taste I'm used to. It's really easy and totally worth it.
Buttermilk Pancakes (Better Homes & Gardens)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (though, I use whole wheat)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1) In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl use a fork to combine egg, buttermilk, and oil.
Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy).
2) For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, spreading batter if necessary. For dollar-size pancakes, use about 1 tablespoon batter. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry.
I add the M & Ms right after I pour the batter into the pan.
Serve warm.this recipe for Chicken with Cilantro-Peanut sauce hoping it would be similar to Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce. Not so, my friends. This was sweet and not at all what I was expecting. It was good, though. I did add like a cup of peanut butter instead of 2 tablespoons and I added lots of hot sauce. Oh well, at least it tasted good.
Well, we're past the halfway point - only 3 more recipes left. I made Saltine Cracker Toffee (aka "Bark" or whatever it is you want to call it). I love it - another easy recipe with no real baking.
Saltine Cracker Toffee (Cooks)
2 sticks butter
2 c. brown sugar
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
* Lay crackers side-by-side in 10" x 15" jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with edge).
* Bring butter and sugar to boil and continue boiling until soft ball stage.
* Pour toffee over crackers. Bake in 400 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
* Sprinkle chips over toffee/crackers and return to oven for 30 seconds to melt.
Cool to set and harden. Crack and enjoy!
I made dinner for my mom and dad last Monday and made Lemon-Mustard Chicken and Asparagus & Snow Pea Stir Fry. Healthy, healthy, healthy - a perfect beginning of spring meal. It was bright and colorful and easy, easy, easy. It probably took about 20 minutes total to make once I got it all together and started. In fact, it was over so quickly that I didn't even have time to take pictures of the whole process. Isn't it so pretty?
Last recipe... I promise, thanks for sticking through with this (if you made it to the end, that is). I baked again! I made Chocolate Chip cookies to send to Emily (hopefully they made it ok). I think it was a success (though, you may have to ask her for the final verdict). Yay! I still didn't really enjoy it, though - too much pressure...
Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies (Julia Williams)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (blended into a fine powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Mix all ingredients well, then add one 24-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, though, because that's what my family likes best) and 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (I didn't use any nuts at all, actually).
Drop 1" balls on ungreased cookie sheets, two inches apart, and bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Makes approximately 60 cookies.