Friday, March 19, 2010

Spicy Guinness Mustard

To drink or to cook? In this case I got to do both, since I only made a half recipe (1+1/2 cups of mustard seeds is a lot!) and had half a can of leftover Guinness to drink. Only after buying a jar of yellow mustard seeds did I notice that this recipe called for brown mustard seeds. So I rummaged through my cupboard and actually found some brown ones. But even combining all the yellow and brown seeds, I still came up with only 3/4 of a cup. I don't know how much the final taste was affected by using half yellow seeds, but it certainly came out quite hot! Apparently the flavor will mellow as it ages, however. Like the ketchup I made a few weeks ago, this is from Saveur. Between the two I now I have a lot of condiments on hand. I guess I'll just have to step up my accompanying meats consumption for the next couple months!

12 ounces Guinness Extra Stout
1+1/2 cups brown mustard seeds
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and flavors meld. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until seeds are coarsely ground and mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a jar and cover. Refrigerate for up to 6 months.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Curried Chicken Turnovers

For some reason I think of this as a spring recipe--though it's hard to believe spring is really here! Don't skip the dipping sauce; it goes perfectly with the savory filling. Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled & minced
4+1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon flour, plus more for dusting
1+1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4+1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt, lemon juice
4 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cucumber Dipping Sauce (see below)

Rub chicken breasts with salt & pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. (The original recipe calls for simmering the breasts in salted water for approximately 12 minutes. I thought baking would be better than poaching, though actually I have no idea!) Let chicken cool, then shred with a fork into 2-inch pieces or smaller.

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onion, garlic & ginger over medium to medium-high heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in curry powder, cumin and flower; cook one minute. Whisk in stock and bring to a boil. Stir in yogurt, tomato paste and applesauce. Boil one minute, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Stir in peas and chicken and let thicken a bit, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream and season with salt & lemon juice (I'd start with about a teaspoon each). Let mixture cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 squares. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto each square, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush edges with egg wash and fold over edges to a make a triangle. Press edges to seal. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce. (Unbaked turnovers can be frozen, wrapped in plastic and foil for one month; thaw before baking.)

Cucumber Dipping Sauce
(this is very similar to a Tzatziki sauce, but without dill or mint)
8 ounces English cucumber, peeled
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Finely dice cucumber (which I prefer), or grate. Press between paper towels or a dish towel to remove as much water as possible. Combine with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I've been wanting to try this Saveur recipe for a while, but when I opened the fridge and discovered that my ketchup had expired last year (!), I decided NOW was the time. This is spicier and hotter than commercial ketchup, which I like. I would definitely make this again, although what to do with all this ketchup? (I'm actually more of a mustard person!)

4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon whole allspice
2 pounds tomatoes, rough chopped (I used a combination of whole canned tomatoes and large cherry tomatoes, since big tomatoes are not in season)
1+1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (orig. recipe called for 5 tablespoons)
1 onion, chopped
1 anaheim chile, chopped (I could only find a poblano)
3 cloves garlic, crushed (orig. recipe called for 1 clove)

Wrap cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, pepper flakes and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle and put in a 4-quart saucepan. [FYI, a lot of my celery seeds fell out of the cheesecloth so I just added them to the pot as is.] Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions and chiles are very soft, about 4 minutes. You may need to turn down the heat and/or stir more often if it looks like it's starting to scorch.

Remove spice bundle and puree sauce in a blender until smooth. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer back into saucepan. [This takes forever, and I ended up adding about 1/3 of the solids back in because there's quite a lot left over and I couldn't bear to throw it all out. So mine is not super smooth, but I'm fine with that.] Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Add more salt, sugar or vinegar, if you like. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Bubbling away... (sorry about the flash!)