Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

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Entries in gluten free (2)

Tuesday
Jul212015

Coastal Coconut and Tamarind Fish Curry

I looooooove Indian food. If you’ve ever read this blog, you *may* have also gathered that I loooooooove cookbooks. Finding a good Indian cookbook is always a special thrill.

Finding one where I can make the dishes in less than an hour is amazing. Especially if the recipes are mind-numbingly delicious. 

You’re welcome in advance, because Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya is that book.

I initially made a few dishes from this book at home when I received a review copy back in the fall. We were both excited by the depth of flavor and complex combinations of ingredients in the things I made. I tried taking pictures of the completed dishes so I could put them in the blog, but it was December. Between the light and my lack of photography skills, the results looked like something you peel off your car tires after a road trip.  I meant to try again right away, but life happened: We bought a new house, packed up the old one, moved, went on an amazing vacation to Europe with our BFFs, and I started a new job.  Pretty much all of the major life events a couple goes through other than a divorce or death (so he’d better watch himself…I’m just sayin’).

This week I went back to Spices and Seasons and made my favorite dish for lunch on Sunday. I bought some halibut and threw together Rinku’s Coastal Coconut and Tamarind Fish Curry. It incorporates some of my favorite things about indian cuisine:  Curry Leaves, Black mustard seeds, caramelized onions, tamarind and a lot of chiles. From start to finish, it took about a half hour. Of that, the active prep time was about 10 minutes. Just as I finished taking a couple of photos of the finished dish, David came downstairs with a fake pouty face and whiny voice to ask, “Is there anything to eat”?  Why yes…yes there is….Who’s the best husband EVER!?!?! 

You’re going to love this dish if you like Indian food. If the spices are too intense for you, you can either reduce the chiles or MAN UP!!! 

It’s delicious.

The flavors are very well harmonized.

And you shouldn’t be such a wuss.

Some notes on modifications…I needed to add more than the half cup of water at the beginning of the simmer both times I made this dish. I used more like a cup. Also, I used halibut for the fish because I just find it to be the perfect texture for curries.

Let me know if you give this one a try, and also check Rinku’s other recipes. I’ve linked her book below and you can also find some on her blog at: http://www.spicechronicles.com.

Coastal Coconut and Tamarind Fish Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

10 to 15 curry leaves

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced, fresh ginger

1 ½ tablespoons cumin-coriander powder (toast equal parts cumin seeds and whole coriander seeds in a pan until toasty and fragrant—about a minute—and then blitz in a coffee grinder)

2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder

1 tsp red cayenne pepper powder

2 Tablespoons tamarind paste (not concentrate)

½ cup coconut cream

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 ½ pounds white fish fillets (such as tilapia, perch, or halibut), cut into 2 or 3 pieces each

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and when the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves and onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the ginger, cumin-coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and cayenne pepper powder and stir well for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tamarind paste and ½ cup of water and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15 minutes ,until the flavors have mixed and the mixture is thick and a deep shade of red.

Stir in the coconut cream, salt, and another ½ cup water and bring to a simmer.

Add the fish and simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked through.

Stir in the cilantro and serve with hot steamed rice.

On a 1-5 Scale:

Content: 4

Photography: 3.5

Ease of Understanding / Use: 4

Overall: 4

Sunday
Jul292012

Summer Chilled Corn Soup with Pequin Chiles and Lemon Oil

We keep getting our hopes up for Summer in Seattle. A few days of 80+ degrees, followed by a few days of eternal cloud cover. Unseasonably muggy and meh weather = grumpy summer mood swings. Don't get me wrong--I love Seattle and I love that we get seasons here--I just wish summer was a bit more...summery. If you don't live in Seattle, you're probably sweltering in the heat wave nailing the rest of the country. Ok, ok...I get it. You win.

If it's hot and you're too sticky, sweaty and can't seem to dredge up some ambition to move off that chair, here's just the thing for you. What says hot summer days like corn? Add some citrusy olive oil, a little bit of chile kick and giiiiiiirl, you've got yerself some summer lovin'. 

This recipe is really simple. There aren't a million ingredients, there's no instruction set beginning with, "Day 1: Do this", and it's even vegetarian and gluten free. I know--BORING, right? Wrong. This recipe is inspired by a "Fire and Ice" recipe contest put out there by my friends at Marx Foods. They sent a variety of chile samples to contest participants with the simple instructions to create a cold dish with a fiery component brought on by the chiles. I love corn soup, and I think the chiles give it just a little more oomph.  From the varieties they sent, I chose to use the Pequin Chiles based upon the tasting notes included in te package, indicating flavors of citrus and sweetness. You can modify this recipe to your heat tolerance. Using about a quarter cup of the little dried pequins there's a nice burn in the back of your throat. I found it to be about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, but we are spice pigs...tailor it to what you like. 

The olive oil I used for this is my favorite lemon-infused olive oil made by Temecula Olive Oil company in California. Their lemon oil is called D'Luscious Lemon. I've had some lemon olive oils that taste like you're huffing your mom's Pledge. Fortunately, this isn't like that at all. This oil is very subtle, and it makes a nice counter to the heat and sweetness of the soup.

Happy Summer, everyone...and if you manage to peel yourself out of that chair and make this soup, let me know what you think.

By the way, you can vote for this recipe here.

Chilled Corn Soup with Pequin Chiles and Lemon Olive Oil

Serves 8
 
8 ears corn, shucked
4 cups whole milk + 1/2 - 1 cup for thinning after refrigeration (see note)
1/4 cup Pequin Chiles
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon olive oil for garnish (see note)
1-2 Tbsp fresh chives
 
Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and set aside. Put the cobs in a large stockpot and add the milk and chiles. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced by two-thirds, about 20 minutes. Remove the cobs and the chiles and discard. Add the corn kernels and cream and simmer until the kernels are tender, about 5 minutes.   
 
In batches, transfer the corn mixture to a blender and puree. Strain through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until chilled, 4 to 6 hours.
Note: Depending on the starchiness of the corn, the soup may chill quite solid and require a bit more milk to thin back into a soupy consistency. Using a whisk, add milk to your chilled soup to achieve the consistency you like. Ideally, this soup comes out slightly thick like a bisque.
 
Divide among 8 small bowls and drizzle a liberal amount of lemon olive oil over each serving. Sprinkle with chives and serve.