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bottom drawer challenge results
I have not done proper groceries in about 3 weeks. Why? Challenge. Bottom drawer challenge. I want to eat what I already have,  so I have been buying only what I need for the challenge. I am loving it!

Last week, I looked into the fridge  and my heart sank. After making soup for three weeks I was out of everything, even onion… I had radishes and potatoes and little else. But then, a flash of genius. The heavens parted. Cherubs fluttered down holding gilded harps. I remembered a post on Pinterest about roasted radishes (here) and decided to go on an adventure.

I am not a lover of radishes, but as for many foods these days, I am teaching myself to like them. Here's the thing though, people. Roasting radishes turns them into a sweet juicy piece of heaven. I promise, this is worth trying.

Ingredients

  • a bag of radishes, rinsed and pared
  • an equal amount of small yellow potatoes, rinsed and pared
  • a splash of olive oil
  • fresh garlic, minced
  • herbs and spices to taste

Method

So this is what I did:
I put the radishes and potatoes in a bowl. 
Then I added the garlic and spices that I was in the mood for (in this case: caraway seeds, black peppercorn, a touch of cumin seeds and salt).
I mixed it all up with a splash of olive oil and then poured everything into a pyrex. 
The important part here is not to over crowd the pan so the radishes and potatoes can get that nice roasted colour and texture.
I roasted at 350 F for… well I can't say how long because I didn't check. I just used intuition: I roasted them until I could pierce them easily with a fork, and the colour was delightful.

In the future, I would serve this as a side dish with fowl.
Post by: Andi
 
 
A few weeks ago I caught myself telling a friend "I never bake chicken unless it is a whole chicken" and as the words were leaving my lips I wondered: but why not?
So I went out and bought skinless, boneless chicken breast at the halal butcher that I love (New Mid East, on Bank near Alta Vista, Ottawa ON) and came back home to make my ideal marinade. 

I wanted to have a spicy flavour-intense chicken that I could put in a salad or a sandwich or a pizza, with the knowledge that it could carry the entire meal. This chicken in a salad doesn't need much of a dressing: just a squeeze of  lemon and a sprinkle of salt is enough! 


Beware supertasters: this is a spicy marinade. Reduce quantities of Spicy paprika and/or Hot cayenne for a milder marinade.

It must have been a success because I have only made it twice and have already received requests for the marinade recipe, so here it is.

Ingredients

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  • 6 chicken breasts, cut into smaller strips
  • 2 teaspoons smoked spicy paprika
  • 2 teaspoons hot cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic gloves, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • splash of olive oil (to moisten)


Method

  1. Cut chicken breast into even strips. I made 2 to 3 strips with each of mine.
  2. In a large bowl, add spices to the chicken.
  3. Add minced or crushed garlic and salt.
  4. Splash olive oil, enough to moisten the spices but not so much that you have a pool of oil.
  5. Mix and rub spice mix with hands. Make sure all the chicken is coated and rubbed and that the garlic and salt is evenly distributed.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate at least an hour. I left mine out on the counter because I was using it within the hour and because I find that meat cooks better when it is room temperature.
  7. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes. Ovens do vary so it is preferable to go with intuition. You want your chicken thoroughly cooked by not overcooked. Am I being super obvious right now? Like I said, I don't have a habit of cooking chicken breast!
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Here is an example of a pizza I made with that chicken! 


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Mixed and marinating.


Post by: Andi
 
 
When my mother-in-law came to visit a few years ago, there was only ONE dish I wanted to learn how to make: Red Lentil Soup. This is a traditional soup so simple to make you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. This is also the perfect intro dish for anyone who doesn't love pulses or has never given them a real chance.

Cooking hack: For a purely vegetarian dish, substitute chicken broth/cubes for water, and salt to taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dried red lentils
  • 7 cups of chicken broth (or cubes in proportional amounts to 7 cups of water)
  • 1 medium-large onion, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • 2 table spoons of white rice, uncooked (I used basmati rice)
  • lemon to serve

Method

Post by: Andi
Wash lentils in cold water. Do this a few times until the water is relatively clear.

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Sauté minced onions until transparent. 
Add lentils and stir. 
Add broth (or water), bay leaves and bring to a boil. 
Add rice, stir and simmer partly covered on minimum until lentils and rice have almost completely dissolved, approximately 25 minutes. 
Stir occasionally while simmering to prevent sticking, as the soup will thicken.

The rice must be so over cooked that it is almost unnoticeable. Its purpose is to give the soup a creamy texture.

Serve with a spritz of fresh lemon.
 
 
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This is the recipe for everyone's favourite samosas.
And by everyone, I mean all of the authors of this blog.


Ingredients

1 package of eggroll or wonton wraps (square-shaped)
1 Medium onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 lb Ground beef 
Juice of half a lemon 
3/4 Cup Chopped Coriander
1 Beef Bouillon Cube
1 Tbsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
2 Tsp Cumin Powder

Method

In a frying pan pour some oil and sauté a chopped onion.
Add ground beef.
While beef begins to fry, add minced garlic.
Sauté until all pink from beef is gone.
Drain the beef in a strainer to remove excess fat.
Place beef back into frying pan and add all spices as well as the beef bouillon. 
Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, giving the spices a little time to cook.
Add chopped Coriander and the lemon juice.
Continue to fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the coriander has wilted.
Take pan off element and let the beef cool before filling the samosas.

Making the samosas:
Using either square-shaped wonton or eggroll wraps, dip your finger in some water and wipe two edges of the wrap so as to create a partly sealed triangle.
In the opening of the triangle, place some of the beef mixture, leaving some room to wipe water onto the remaining edges. Seal the wrap by pressing the edges together.
In a small frying pan heat some oil to  med-high and shallow fry samosas until it has a golden brown colour. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb oil.


Note:
You can prepare large amounts and freeze them in bags. To fry, no need to defrost - You can fry straight out of the freezer!
By: Courts
 
 
Since moving to London, I have become acquainted with a whole new kind of home cooking. To sum it up: lots of spice, lots of rice. This recipe is a slight adaptation of my mother-in-law's standard chicken curry. I have added a couple teaspoons of sugar to offset the tangy-ness of the tomatoes, and I have included a dried herb called kasoori methi, which you can find at your local Indian grocer. It adds a whole other dimension to this dish and gives it that truly authentic curry taste. You won't believe you made it at home!