Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saag Paneer

Ok, this is Saag Paneer only in the literal sense: saag (greens) and paneer (cheese) in one dish.
I was on Commercial Drive this morning and came home with greens, tomatoes, chili peppers and some premade roti paratha. I sat myself down and proceeded to research potential dishes. I was inspired by this post on Quick Indian Cooking, and educated (and inspired) by this post on Monsoon Spice. I decided I wasn't ready to try the authentic version of these recipes - I was missing ingredients here and there, so I jumped into concocting in my kitchen. I didn't think I would puree the greens, the thought made me a little queasy, but I did and the result was delicious.

Linda's (Not Quite) Saag Paneer

1 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 chili peppers, chopped
1 tsp garlic pureed
1 tsp ginger, pureed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp round coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
2 bunches kale, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lb paneer (tofu would work okay, but wouldn't be the same)
turmeric and salt for dusting.

Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in cooking fat of your choice (I used a little grapeseed oil - ghee would be more authentic). Soft and sweet is the desired result. Add spices and peppers, cook for  a minute or two, then stir in tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, wash and  remove the stems from the kale. Finely chop it, then stir in to the simmering pot. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, longer if you want a creamier result -  I like a little texture to my veggies. Pulse in food processor with mint and cilantro. Return to pot.
I cut the paneer in thin triangles, dusted it with a little salt and turmeric and then quickly seared it both sides. Once the paneer is seared, pop it into the greens curry and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Adjust consistency as desired (I needed to add a little water to mine).

Serve with paratha or rice or whatever you like! My non-vegetarian husband actually loved this dish.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Roasted New Potato Salad

The sun is shining, and although the temperatures are cool, I am in full summer mode. So when trying to decide on a side for dinner tonight, potato salad popped into my brain. This potato salad can be served warm or cold and has a generous amount of vegetables in it. I usually wing it on the amounts but I was diligent today and weighed everything as I went.

Roasted New Potato Salad

500g nugget potatoes, cut bite-sized
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
90g green beans, blanched
70g pitted kalamata olives, rough chopped
30 ml apple cider vinegar
60ml olive oil
15ml dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss potatoes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes.
Chop your herbs - I used parsley, oregano and chives from my garden. Combine all. May be served warm or chilled.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The best zucchini I ever ate...

Granted, I have always nurtured a strong dislike for zucchini, so saying this recipe is "the best zucchini I ever ate" smacks of damning with faint praise. I promise you, this is REALLY good. I found the recipe on Epicurious, so in keeping with tradition, an *Epicurious Review is necessary....

"This recipe is really tasty. I added pine nuts and remove the green onion from the recipe. Also, I made my own ricotta recipe. And didn't use any of the measurements in the recipe."

In all seriousness, no recipe is required here. Slice zucchini super thin with a mandolin (I prefer the cheap Japanese Benriner).  Lay out the zucchini slices. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Finely chiffonade some basil and sprinkle over top. I then popped it in the fridge and let it marinate for an hour. Finish with Pine nuts and ricotta scattered evenly over the top.

I do have a recipe for the ricotta. It is the one my coworker, a fabulous Greek lady, gave me.

Fresh Ricotta

1l milk
1 tbsp vinegar

Gently bring milk to a boil. Stir in vinegar, simmer for a couple minutes, then remove from heat. Strain through a cheesecloth.

Best served fresh out of the strainer!

 *An Epicurious Review is one that reviews the recipe, but has so many modifications that the original recipe is lost. Millions of examples of this can be found on