Tag Archives: Penzey’s Spices

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Chicken Tikka Masala #3
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There are many meals that I want to “master” or perfect. Chicken Tikka Masala is one of those. I’ve had a few that would unquestionably show up on my death row last meal menu. I just love all the things going on in a good one. It’s like a complicated Indian inspired pasta sauce. Burts of tart, tang, smoke and of course that beautiful slow heat make it irresistible to me.

For those who claim that they don’t like Indian food or “curry”, this dish can actually be 100% absent of actual curry. Mine has some but not that much. You should try it if you have never had it.

My last attempt at it was largely from Aarti’s recipe (foodnetwork) and it was really good but I can’t help to search on ways to improve or at least put my twist on the dish. So this time I pulled about four recipes that were highly rated. I highlighted ingredients that were absent from the other recipes and also circled the ones that were the same. My strategy was to create a base of ingredients and techniques that were consistent and then add to them unique ones from the other ones.

This turned out super. The use of lemon really really punched up the tang and gave it a brightness. Also the brine and broil on the chicken was most excellent. Most definitely will that be included in my technique going forward.

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
Add chicken thighs if your people like them
1 large onion (diced)
1 bunch of cilantro
6 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
4-6 Roma tomatoes
2 tbs of fresh ground ginger
2-4 serrano pepper
3 tbs of ghee
1 cup of heavy cream
1 28oz can of Tomato sauce or puree
2 tbs of tomato paste (optional)

Spices
4 tbs of Cumin
4 tbs of Paprika
2 tbs of ground coriander
3 tsp of tumeric
3 tsp of ground curry powder (optional)
1-3 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of Kosher Salt

Brine

2 cups of plain full fat greek yogurt
Spices mixed and toasted (above) set aside 4 tbs for sauce
6-8 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs of mashed fresh ginger
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
Juice of 5-6 lemons
1/2 cup of water

Directions:
1. Make your spice mix and create your brine in a large zip-locked bag. Trim and cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bag and let it marinate for at least 3hrs. Better over night.
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2. When ready make the dish, preheat your oven on broil. Line a sheet pan with foil. Remove your chicken from the marinade and pat it dry as you can. Place it on the sheet pan along with your Roma Tomatoes, Serranos and broil until there is a char. I first put my pan on a lower rack (10mins) , removed any liquid, and put it up on the top rack and watched it until there were some charred ends. When done remove and set aside until time to add to your sauce.

3. Sauce. While my chicken was cooking, I started on the sauce by melting my ghee in a large pot (medium heat) and cooking my onions. I minced the ginger and garlic into a paste and added it for a minute or so. Now I added the remaining four tbs of the spice mix to “bloom”. Stir for about a minute. Now add your tomato sauce/puree and turn it to low and let it simmer and reduce for 30mins. I then added the roasted serranos and rough chopped Roma tomatoes and about 1/2 a bunch of rough chopped cilantro. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.

4. Now remove from the stove and let it cool a bit. CAREFULLY pour into a blender. I have a variable speed blender and I turned it on the lowest setting with no lid. If you lid the mixture and blend while it’s hot you will have a mess on our hands not to mention some burns. I was able to slowly blend this mixture until smooth.
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5. Pour the mixture back into the pot on the stove and warm it up to eating temperature. Add your chicken. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Now stir in your cup of heavy cream. Taste. At this point you can add extra spices, juice of one lemon, and/or tomato paste to finish it off. I did the lemon and tomato paste. Serve with Naan bread and over rice with some fresh cilantro.
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Texas Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Toast

Texas Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Toast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Texas Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Toast
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I have mentioned this before, but I was blessed to grow up in a house where my Mom would make a legit breakfast for us every day. Eggs, a meat and some type of toast was on frequent rotation. The toast is what changed… It was plain with jam, broiled with cheese and lastly the cinnamon sugar butter also broiled.

The butter spots would show up in four spots where she used a pat of butter. Then a sugar and cinnamon mixture spread atop the buttered bread that would caramelize into a crispy top. Since it was broiled the underbelly of the bread stays kitten soft. The butter cinnamon sugar and bread just harmonize like the Beatles.

For my Texas Burger I used Texas Toast. I had a bunch of it leftover so after a few tuna fish sandwiches I was down to a few extra pieces. I thought “cinnamon” toast was a perfect Saturday breakfast paired with some proper scrambled eggs. Since Jill likes Vanilla and I had some seldom used Penzey Spice’s “vanilla sugar” I played around with the cinnamon sugar mixture. I used about half and half sugar to vanilla sugar. My mix is on the maroon side because I go heavier on the cinnamon vs the sugar.

The other trick is to melt your butter so it soaks into the bread a bit before topping it with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Broil for about 4-6 minutes until it is bubbly, crackly shelled.

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Easy Steaks

Seared London Broil with Penzey’s Spices

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Once I saw the meat options on the 21 Day Body Makeover and noticed I could have grass fed red meat once a week, I knew I needed to pull the trigger on that option Day 1 because it usually is the worst. I picked up a couple of grass fed london broil (not the best cut) but the grass fed options were limited Sunday. Seasoned lightly, seared and made a sauce recommend in the 21day recipes.

Ingredients:
Grass fed Beef (6oz)
Penzey’s 4/S Seasoning
Penzey’s Black Pepper
1.5 tbs of Organic Butter
1 tbs of Brandy

Directions:
Season your steak and let it come to room temperature. In a skillet on medium high sear both sides for about 4 minutes on each side. Turn off heat or go to low and add your butter and brandy (careful if gas burner it will ignite) Then put the cast iron skillet into a 375 degree oven and let it finish to your “doneness”.

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