Showing posts tagged with: food
This is what Penzeys Spices says about Indian food on their website:
“Many people who eat curry for the first time in an Indian restaurant find it difficult to understand why curry is so popular. They are a bit overwhelmed by trying a dish that is new to them but spiced for a person who already knows and loves the flavor of Indian food.”
Clearly, they are dealing with a lot of people from Naperville whose husbands always wrinkle their faces in a hesitant manner when their adventuresome wives suggest getting Indian food for dinner. Ahhh, target markets. But really, it’s true - Indian food can be a little overwhelming, not only in restaurants, but for the home cook. I always feel a little weird when I’m making curries - like, do I add turmeric in addition TO the curry powder if the curry powder already has turmeric in it? What does turmeric even taste like? It tastes like yellow to me. Do I really have to buy a coffee grinder just for my spices? And if I toast the spices after I’ve sweated the onions, are they not getting the full toasty flavor?
Compounded with the fact that my curries are usually a spicy but bland mess of fatty coconut milk and stale curry powder from the bulk bin, I can usually say that I prefer to leave Indian cooking to the experts.
Except for one balmy Santa Cruz night in July. That night, I decided just to “wing it,” as many people do when they are at a loss for dinner and they have canned products, leftover rotisserie chicken, and an amalgam of Indian spices at their disposal.
And a tiny crock. Don’t forget the tiny crock.
The tiny crock is maybe part of the reason why this tasted so good. But really- this was light, flavorful, and nutty.
read below for tips
Here are some tips since I can’t provide you with a bonafide recipe:
- Sweat your onions for 10-12 min but don’t brown them
- Rub the skins off the chickpeas (it rubs the skin off the chickpeas or else it gets the chickpea skins in the mouthfeel 7th circle of hell again/lotion)
- If you’re using this swanky Penzeys spice, overdo it on the curry powder. This stuff is reeeeal mild. But taste it along the way - let things simmer for 5 minutes and then increase the powder if you need it.
- You know what, this Penzeys spice is mild, so sautee 1-2 seeded/de-ribbed jalapenos or toss in some red pepper flakes.
- Add a 14-oz can of whole tomatoes and smush them with your fingers or cut them with a scissors, in the pan
- Add some chicken broth
- Add the rotisserie chicken in the last 2-3 minutes, otherwise it’ll get tough
- Toast your cashews! Put them on your rice! Put them on your dog! It’s just you in your house, girlfriend. You and the Comcast cable guy and your boyfriend, talkin’ modems.
- Cilantro, always
- Save some for your sister for when she gets back in the country
And, if you’ve made it this far: some very exciting news for Faux Pasta, as we just got our 1,000th follower a week ago. This is so awesome, and unanticipated. Thank you for reading our posts and sharing them with your friends.
On our last day in Croatia, Paulina and I didn’t think to plan our eats before we took the bus to the airport, three hours early. “Eh,” we thought. “We’ll just grab something there.” Never have more ominous words been spoken. Dramatic. Besides, what were we going to do? Grab another massive roll from the Konzum supermarket with some more cold cuts from the omnipresent deli counter?
As much as we loved salami sandwiches and keeping portion prices under $2.00 a serving, we had eaten this meal every day for 10 days already.
We ate it for lunch that day.
Even the night before, when we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out at a place called “Wines and Snack,” we ended up ordering… you guessed it… a cold cuts plate. With a giant, cut-up roll.
The following day, we flew out of Split after taking the rocky 6 AM morning ferry from Korcula. One of us got very nauseous and almost lost her breakfast of Light ‘n Crisp Wasa Crackers topped with cream cheese and orange marmalade. There was a big difference between the movements of a car ferry and the movements of a high speed catamaran.
We shared this quaint ‘n pleasant ride with 300 other passengers:
A little cramped, but cultural differences, etc.
I’m not sure why I am reviewing an airport restaurant (the only restaurant at the airport, Restaurant Ikar), but I took pictures! Is this not the ethos of the inexperienced food blogger? Buuuuuttttt I toook piccccctures.
We lingered languidly luxuriously all lalala over the menu for what seemed like a quarter of an hour before we decided that our money would be best spent on a large plate of spaghetti bolognese for 30 Kuna, two different slices of tarts (20 Kuna each), and two different kinds of cherry liqueurs (16 Kuna each). “They’re local,” I told my sister, most importantly. “Local booze. That’s why it’s cheaper.” Okay, whatever, dork. Just pick something.
Our plate of pasta arrived mere moments after the ticket hit the kitchen, a glorious rendition of Barilla and what appeared to be jarred meat sauce with water poured in to streeeetttch the ole sauce trick.
We were so excited to be out at a restaurant, even the restaurant at the airport, that we just cleared the hell up out of that plate.
We washed it all down (what a terrible euphemism) with the previously mentioned cherry liqueurs, and two hours later, we went through security.
You can imagine our surprise when we walked through the metal detectors and saw a row of shops and restaurants stretched out before us, our soft, astonished steps parting a sea of obvious tourist-driven civilization. Oh dear God. Despite my most delusional fantasies, Croatia was not exactly the undiscovered last frontier of Europe, especially not at the airport. We were not breaking new ground as American tourists. We were not going to get a Croatian Authenticity Badge for eating at the only restaurant at the airport.
But we were going to get entire rows to ourselves on EasyJet, which was pretty awesome, even just for a two hour flight.