Saturday, December 3, 2011

Curry Snob

It's official: I've become a curry snob.

I looked at the ingredients for this slow cooker recipe and was a bit askance. Not only was the spice mixture not cooked separately, it used primarily curry powder. ... then I realized that I was wrinkling my nose and felt ashamed of myself. But this wasn't meant to be a superb authentic meal, just something quick I could dash down between a rehearsal and an open house / Christmas parade. (Which was a great deal of fun, by the way!)

Similarly, I didn't have time to prep rice from scratch, so I just used instant rice.

Final verdict (curried chicken): This is fine for what it is, but nothing exceptional Nothing worth keeping. The best part, far and away, was the smell that lingered in the house.

The bread was even simpler, though measuring tablespoons of dry spices is a bit tricky. It was also durable: it ended up being held outside through the entire parade before it got into a house and consumed. I'm beginning to love bread machine use, though I notice the proportion of some recipes is a bit small, resulting in a normal size two thirds of a loaf with a bizarre muffin-shaped protrusion at the bottom.

Final verdict (rosemary bread): Very good, savory, spicy-flavorful ... just on the verge of being overwhelming without going over. Was a bit heavy and a little wet in a few patches - I suspect architecture era. (In that breads require you to put it in all the liquids, then the flour, then other dry ingredients, and finally the yeast - which absolutely cannot get wet initially.)

Menu Plan: Weekend of 12/3

I can't believe it: here last week was one of the biggest cooking holidays of the year, and not a peep out of me. Too busy with family and the multitude of dishes for the big meal. Old stand-bys like proper mashed potatoes - coarse, chunky, skins-on, thank you very much - and sage sausage stuffing ... which frankly, I could eat a whole bowl of and not miss the rest of the meal. New experiments like a hearty corn pudding that was really half cornbread, but very tasty nonetheless. Adventures in bread-machining.

My father's birthday was also over this stretch, and I made Nigella Lawson's Torta Alla Gianduja, a decadent hazelnut cake. Because my mom isn't overly fond of bittersweet chocolate, I went half-and-half with semi-sweet ... which turned out to be just the right balance of rich and sweet. Addictive. Highly recommended. (Also if you make it here in the states, you end up with almost an entire container of Nutella, because it needs an ounce more than our packages contain ... so that is never bad.)

Speaking of adventures in bread-machining, this weekend:

Rosemary Bread - unknown recipe card
Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken With Ginger and Yogurt

Slow cooking occurs because I will once more be herding harpers this weekend.