Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Getting out of the rut

I think I am in a rut.  Winter has been soooo long, and summer  still seems very far away--we are stuck in the middle of two seasons, and I feel like I'm cooking the same few things  all the time.

Time for a change, time for something new, time to spice things up!

Every time I feel like I need an infusion of a few new recipes to change things up, learn something new or add a new flavour, I have the same plan of attack--so far it has worked really well!

I pick up 3-4 copies of my favourite food magazine at the library (this time it was Vegetarian Times, other times it has been Taste of Home, Canadian Living, Kraft Cooking...).  I pick out 5-7 new recipes that are appealing to my tastebuds and make a shopping list of everything I will need that I don't already have in the pantry.  I cook one of the new recipes each day, and we rate them as a family--
*never again,
*maybe with a few changes,
*yes ma'am!,
*can we have it again tomorrow, and the next day and the next day?

It has been a good way to get out of a rut, and a good way to learn a few things--we have found some of our family favourites this never know, you might too!

Here is a new one, I haven't tried it yet, as I still have to go the grocery store this week--thinking of having it Friday for supper!

Aloo Gogi Mattar ( Potato, Cauliflower and Pea Curry)
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 large onions, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch- 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil  ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium hot green chili pepper, minced 
  • 3tbsp good quality curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent. Then add the minced garlic, chunks of ginger and chili pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2.  Add curry powder and salt. Stir well.
  3. Immediately add potato to pan. Stir until coated in oil and spices. Turn heat down to medium and sauté potato for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add stock, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes.
  5. Add the cauliflower florets and lemon juice. Stir well. Replace lid, simmer for about 10 minutes. If the ingredients are sticking to the pan, you can add a bit more stock or 1/4 cup of water at this point.
  6. Add peas, stir, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  7. Turn off heat. Add half of the fresh cilantro, and mix thoroughly. Replace the lid, then allow to rest for 10 minutes before adjusting salt to taste and serving dish over rice. Garnish with remaining fresh cilantro.

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