Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread

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Alphabakes letter of the month is J! I love the Alphabakes challenge hosted monthly by either Ros or Caroline. It always gets me brainstorming of ingredients or recipes I can make in a way that I usually don’t. J wasn’t the hardest letter to use. I got stuck on jalapenos – and with that, I made cornbread with jalapenos in it!

What a delicious bread. The combination of the sweet cornbread, the bacon, and the peppers was perfect. I served it alongside some fried chicken (which I might be sharing in the next post.)

I am now incredibly full. And have a lot of cornbread leftover.

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Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread
(source)

Ingrdedients
8 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11/4 cups skim milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 jalapeno, deveined and seeded, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a pie tin with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pieces of bacon. Once they are crispy place them aside on a plate covered in paper towels.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir together until all the dry ingredients are mixed into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour into your baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Roasted Pepper Pesto (with no nuts)

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Though pestos traditionally have nuts (and usually pine nuts,) I forgot to buy nuts this week for this pesto. As a result, I had zero nuts in my house. I decided to make the pesto anyway, sans the nuts. This dish was delicious. The sauce was light with a slight kick to it (thanks peppers!)

To roast your peppers, heat your oven up to 500. Cut you peppers in half and seed them. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until the peppers are turning black. Remove them and put them in a ziplock. Let them cool off and then the skins will peel off nice and easy.

This dish was made specifically for the Pasta Please challenge from Tinned Tomatoes, hosted this month by simply.food.

pasta please

Roasted Pepper Pesto Sauce (with no nuts)

Ingredients
1 roasted jalapeno, with the ribs and seeds removed and with the skin removed
2 roasted poblano pepper, with the ribs and seeds removed and with the skin removed
2 garlic clove
1 cup cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

1. Process the peppers, garlic, and cilantro together in a food processor. Add the olive oil slowly and continue to process. Add cheese and pulse a few times until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse a few more times.

2. Serve over your favorite noodle.

* Besides Pasta Please, I’m sharing this recipe with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

Chicken with Spicy Onions

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This is a different curry than I’ve ever tasted before. It was pretty easy also.

This dish was made for two reasons (or three actually):

1. I like curry.
2. I watched the Food ‘n Flix movie of the month, Today’s Special. This month the movie is being sponsored by Kahakai Kitchen. Today’s Special is a movie about a trained French chef who takes over his family’s Indian restaurant, Tandoori Palace.
3. The random cookbook I grabbed off my shelf this month for Random Recipes was Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I got it on sale at Border’s (back when they existed) and use it quite frequently. I hadn’t made this dish before, it was the recipe I randomly opened the book to. It’s one I definitely would make again.

Since I watched Today’s Special and picked my random cookbook on the same day, it seemed to make sense to use the recipe for two different food round-ups since it was an Indian recipe and I was going to make Indian food for the movie.

This recipe called for a lot of onion. I love onions, so that was not a problem. The sauce was delicious. It wasn’t quite the same flavor of curry I usually have. It was slightly sweeter.

In other news, I realized I forgot to participate in Food ‘n Flix last month. That makes me sad.

Chicken with Spicy Onions
(from Best Ever Indian Cookbook)

Ingredients
2 chicken thighs, bone in
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, shredded
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp plain yogurt
2 1/2 tsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp cornstarch

Directions

1. Rub the chicken thighs with turmeric, chili powder, and salt. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and fry until both sides of the chicken are sealed. At this point you don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through. Remove and set on a plate.

2. In the remaining oil add 3/4 of the onions, most of the cilantro, half of the ginger, and half of the jalapeno. Fry until the onions are translucent.

3. Return the chicken to the skillet. Mix well and cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

4. In a small dish stir together the yogurt, cream, and cornstarch. Stir the yogurt mixture into the chicken.

5. Cook on low heat for several minutes. Add the remaining onions, jalapeno, ginger, and cilantro. Cook for several more minutes.

6. Serve over rice if you desire.

* serves 2
* Besides Random Recipes and Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

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I love butternut squash. I love soup. The combination of the two is the perfect blend.

Speaking of blends, I haven’t had a blender in a really long time after my last one broke. I haven’t had the money to replace it, so a lot of recipes that use a blender I avoid. I do have my food processor which could do the trick sometimes, but you can’t fill the food processor too high or it will overflow. I really need a blender for some things. I mean, making milkshakes in a food processor is tough.

I went to the Goodwill recently and I got some new (or I mean, old and used) clothes. I scanned the electronics section and they had a whole lot. I figured none of it would work though, due to past experience at Salvation Army with a food sealer.. thing. Anyway, there was a blender for $8. I tested it in one of the outlets and it spun, so I figured for $8 I didn’t have very much to lose. I got it home, washed it up really well, and used it to make this soup. And guess what? It works! $8 blender for the win!

This soup is perfect. I had it with some garlic bread that I had in the freezer. It was the perfect meal for a cold night. Apparently I forgot to add the water from the original recipe in, so my soup was definitely thicker than it would have been. While it may have made it last longer to have added the water, I liked the consistency a lot the way it was.

Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
(recipe from Sunset Magazine)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Add squash, chicken broth, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender.

2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Add the heavy cream. Serve hot.

* serves about 3
* Shared with Souper Sunday hosted by Kahakai Kitchen, Tuesdays at the Table, Delicious Dishes, Tasteful Tuesday Party, & Recipe Box   

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the mini muffin pan!

Meatballs from “A Homemade Life” and Mashed Jalapeno Sweet Potatoes

And now back to regular programming.

Despite not posting very often, I have in fact been cooking. Most of my blog time is taken up by school. I just keep having this school stuff to do instead of the fun blogging. This weekend I had the MPRE on Saturday. I’ve also been doing research on public defender’s personal morality versus professional ethics for one of my classes and I’m preparing for a suppression hearing I have on Tuesday (my first one yet! I have to cross-examine a police officer!)

So, needless to say, I’ve been busy as shit.

Back at the end of October I made these meatballs from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. They are made with the strangest mix of ingredients ever – raisins in meatballs? Who would ever think to do this?

Well, whoever it was is a genius.

I served these on top of mashed sweet potatoes with a jalapeno kick! The combination of the meatballs and the potatoes was great. I was intending to make meatball sandwiches with the leftovers the next day.. But there were not leftovers. :X

Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins
(all credit in the world to Molly Wizenberg and her book A Homemade Life. And the blog post of Molly’s.)

Ingredients
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, crushed
1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb ground turkey
4 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Combine the onion, cilantro, pine nuts, raisins, bread crumbs, egg, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the ground turkey, mixing with your hands. Knead the meat to include all the ingredients, mixing until just combined.

2. Roll the meat into 1-1/2 inch balls.

3. Warm 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add about half of the meatballs into the skillet. As they begin to brown, turn them gently and cook on all sides. Remove from skillet and add the rest of the meatballs and cook.

* serves 4

Mashed Jalapeno Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup butter substitute
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp cilantro, fresh

Directions

1. In a large pot boil water. Once boiling add the sweet potato and boil for about 20 minutes, or until soft.

2. Once the potatoes are done, drain. Add the butter, orange juice and cilantro. Mash  until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a baking dish and bake in an oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

* serves 4

* Shared with Sunday Funday

Basil Fried Rice

Matt loves fried rice, so I’m frequently trying out new varieties. This dish was delicious, with a touch of basil.

BasilFried Rice
(inspiration)

 Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and minced
1 inch ginger, minced
1/2 onion, diced
12 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dried basil

Directions

1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and ginger. Saute for a minute on high heat.

2. Add the onions and saute until slightly brown, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, and sugar. Continue to saute, several minutes.

4. Add the rice and mix well, making sure to coat the rice with the soy sauce and vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes.

5. Add the basil leaves and mix well.

* serves 2
* 466 calories per serving

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Eggplant Bharta and Peas

I’ve been the worst world traveler ever. I got sick last month and I totally fell off the cooking wagon completely, so my kitchen travels suffered. Out of this sick month though, I did only miss two of the meals I was supposed to cook (Brunei and Isle of Man). In the next two weeks I’ll be doubling up and making sure I get back on track. This was the one resolution this year that I really didn’t want to fail at, so my cold that turned to a sinus infection will not defeat me!

I’ll also be posting my most recent traveling dish on the usual Saturday. I just wanted to get back on track a little here.

So this dish is Pudina Chicken and Eggplant Bharta and Peas. As I’ve said many times, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. In facts, I actually have traveled to India.

It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The only bad thing is that I got a little spoiled by good Indian food, authentic spices, fresh and delicious bananas, and even the lack of meat. I’m a little hesitant at home to make vegetarian Indian dishes because I feel like I need to use paneer, but I have no idea where to get that locally.

I know this meal is hardly authentic with the Pudina Chicken. When I was in India I didn’t eat chicken at all – everything was vegetable based or paneer based. Maybe I should have made a veg dish. Now I’m kicking myself. The pudina was good, but the bharta was better and is the recipe I’m sharing.

On another note, I’m always looking for ways to prepare vegetables I don’t like. Eggplant is that vegetable in this. I loved this preparation.

Eggplant Bharta and Peas
(source)

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1/2 onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 lime
butter, as needed
oil, as needed
salt to taste

Directions

1.  Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and spread with butter. Place the eggplants sliced-side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants at 500 in the oven for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and puree.

3. When the eggplant is finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards. Discard the skin. Mash the eggplant until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook until slightly browned.

5. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Cook until warm, and then reduce temperature to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked.

6. Before serving squeeze in lime juice.

7. Serve over rice.

* serves 2

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Kidney Bean Curry

I bought this cookbook forever ago at Borders, when the store was still in existence, but for some reason the book got pushed somewhere and I never made anything out of it. I bought this book years ago, so I can’t believe it’s only now that I am getting around to making anything out of it. 

Indian food is hands down my favorite cuisine there is. I love trying new recipes, I love curries, I just love all the flavors that fill up every mouthful when I eat this delicious food. This is why I can’t believe I haven’t cooked out of this book. I am equally surprised I haven’t made anything out of this cookbook after trying the kidney bean curry. I usually make chicken curries of different variations. I have never made a bean curry (well, I have made chickpea curry).

I served this curry over rice. It would have been nice to have some naan as well.

Kidney Bean Curry

Ingredients
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 in piece fresh ginger root, grated
2 tbsp curry paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the cumin seeds for 2 minutes, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and ginger and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and stir them in with the cilantro. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, adding water if necessary.

* serves 4
* 208 calories per serving
* This recipe comes from the Best Ever Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljeka, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain, and Manisha Kanani.
* I am sharing this recipe with Cookbook Sundays at Couscous & Consciousness.

 

Chicken Biryani

If I could eat a particular cuisine of food forever, I would pick Indian in a heartbeat. Almost every time I see an Indian recipe I save it and try to make it later. I went to India several years ago and I can’t do the food justice. But I keep trying and trying.

But I know I’m never going to get it right because the ingredients here are just lacking. The flavors aren’t the same. I can’t get the same level of spiciness or the same flavor of spiciness.

Even the Indian restaurants around here just don’t have it right. There is one place I’ve been to in Sacramento that was better than most, but it’s still just not the same. I guess eating with utensils makes it not the same too, because eating the curries using only curry and your fingers is quite an experience itself. I don’t know how that’d go over though if I tried to eat like that in public.

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb chicken breast
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
1/3 cup raisins
14 oz chicken broth

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; saute 3 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno; saute 3 minutes.

2. Add ginger, garam masala, cumin, salt, and garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add tomato, rice, raisins, and broth, bringing to a boil.

3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, until rice is tender.

* serves 4
* 435 calories per serving