Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tandoori Chicken Bites and Bollywood Night!

This past weekend I had a group of lovely ladies over for a Bollywood Night. I made some amazing Indian food and we watched one of my favorite Bollywood movies. It was a great night and I look forward to doing it again! One of the big hits of the night was my Tandoori Chicken Bites. I adopted this recipe from Aarti Sequeria's Tandoori Chicken recipe I found on Food Network's website, which, of course, I modified to my liking…because I just can't help myself! I hope you enjoy this as much as my friends and I did!

Oh, and I should mention, leftovers of this are so fun to play with! I'm planning on making a tandoori chicken panini with this later this week! If I remember to take a picture, I'll post it here later.

5 Cloves
1-2 Dried Red Chiles (if you can't find these, then use 1/2-1 tsp. Cayenne Powder)
2 Green Cardamom, husks discarded, seeds retained
1 Black Cardamom, husk discarded, seeds retained
1 tsp. Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp. Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1 c. Whole Fat Plain Yogurt
1/4 c. Sunflower Oil
2 Tb Lime Juice
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/4 tsp. Ground Turmeric
8 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 inch Ginger, peeled and grated
2 lb Thin Sliced Chicken Breast, cubed into bite-sized pieces

To make the marinade, toast the cloves, whole chiles, both types of cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and fenugreek seeds in a skillet until fragrant, about 3 minutes, shaking the pan. Then, pour the spices into a spice grinder and grind until you get a fine powder.

In large bowl, whisk together the spice mixture with the yogurt, oil, lime juice, salt, ground cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, garlic, and ginger until well combined. Adjust salt as desired.

Add the chicken to the marinade, and toss to coat. Marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge, and at most overnight.

When you're ready to cook, line a baking sheet with foil, and turn your broiler on. Place the chicken on the baking sheet, making sure each one is just lightly coated with the marinade and not touching each other. Cook the chicken under the broiler until done, about 5-6 minutes.


You will not see a deep red/pink color in this spice mix because I do not like to add red food dye to my recipes. So it may look a bit different than what you may see at a restaurant, but the taste is spectacular! However, if you follow Aarti Sequeria's recipe, and use Guajilo Chiles, you will get a better color. I just forgot to look for dry chiles when I was at the supermarket.

Also, when broiling bite-sized pieces, the chicken will not blacken like most tandoori chicken. If you try to blacken it, the little pieces will overcook and dry-out.

If you would like a more traditional, blackened style, then use whole pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Prick the thighs before marinating. To cook, first broil the pieces on a foiled baking sheet until blackened, 5-7 minutes. Then decrease the heat to 350 F, and cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 160 F, another 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sesame-Free Hummus

There are a lot of homemade hummus recipes out there, and they are mostly the same...and pretty darned good. But most all of them include tahini...that rich, beautiful sesame paste which I love but my little man is allergic to. Up until now, hummus was just off his list of safe foods and he always wanted to try some whenever I was having any. I finally decided to start testing my own recipes for hummus without tahini. After a couple batches, I finally ended up with one that has a texture and flavor we like.

1 can Garbanzo Beans, drained, reserving 1/2 c. liquid
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
Combine beans, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Process, slowly drizzling in the reserved garbanzo liquid, until desired texture is achieved.

It's that simple! The results are amazing! One of our favorite ways to serve hummus is on toasted mini pita breads, topped with onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. And I like to sneak a couple slices of jalapenos on mine…just for kicks!