Archive for the ‘Lean Meat’ Category
I am trying out a week of dining on pizza alone. Interesting ideas are popping out of the oven e.g.,harissa sauce and marinated eggplant or roasted garlic and pan fried padrone peppers. One of the most remarkable ones at the dinner table this week has been a curried chicken pizza that uses my favorite chicken recipe, achari chicken.
Achari means pickled. Chicken is not pickled here, this name is derived from the spice mix common to Indian pickles. This is one of the simplest chicken recipes and yet the result is highly consistent and extremely flavorful.
We figured that getting barbecue flown from Texas to California would be significantly cheaper than flying us from California to Texas. Voted the best BBQ by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2008 and written about in New Yorker, Snow’s BBQ, has been on our radar for a little over an year. We decided to get their customer favorite slow cooked brisket.
The 5-6 lb brisket arrived perfectly frozen with heating instructions and a bottle of their sauce. The very first thing I did was to thaw it partially, divide the meat into meal size portions and wrap each portion separately to store. Top flight barbecue is so rare in the Bay Area that this treat needed careful planning to get the last bit of chewy, meaty enjoyment from it. For the first batch, I followed heating instructions to the letter. But then proceeded to use my own technique. First I brought the meat to room temperature, and trimmed the fatty bits at the edges. I froze these bits for a use that I will get to later. I brushed the meat liberally with the sauce and broiled it briefly until a light glistening crust formed. And voilà, it was ready to eat.
After eating Kathi rolls at Kasa, I was inspired to make this quintessential Calcutta street food at home. When you take on such a formidable challenge, you know you are not going to win. There is nothing I can do in my California kitchen that will replicate the experience of eating outdoors at one of Calcutta’s busiest streets. Neither can I hope to replicate the rich interplay between textures and flavors that the street vendors have mastered. When my father’s generation talks about eating out during their college days, they often reminisce about these mouthwatering rolls!
So what can I hope to achieve? I can definitely beat Kasa. I can make mine with healthy, fresh, organic ingredients, mindful of the calories and the nutritional balance. I can bring my experience with modern techniques to traditional Indian cuisine to create something healthy while preserving the authenticity of tastes and flavors.
There are several key aspects to a perfect roll – the paratha, the kabab and the chutney. These ingredients need to come together in a timely manner. The container that wraps the kababs, paratha, should be chewy and flaky. The filling itself, kabab, should be charred and juicy. The condiment, chutney, should create a taste explosion in your mouth.
Ismail Merchant’s Passionate Meals: The New Indian Cuisine for Fearless Cooks and Adventurous Eaters. Includes recipes to please all tastes – fish, shellfish, chicken, lamb, beef, rice, lentils, vegetables, desserts…
- A great introductory cookbook – authentic and sophisticated tastes with a handful of ingredients – for anyone who want to cook Indian
- Each dish is presented with serving suggestions; Sample menus at the end for entertaining
- The cookbook was clearly written with US audience in mind, so the measures are US friendly and the ingredients are not hard to source