Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

sunday supper - back to Brick Road

I once heard that the best Indian food in the world could be found in London. So naturally eating Indian food was on my list of "must do" during our vacation. The opportunity presented itself on our last night in London. Taking a tip from the locals we headed to Brick Road to grab a bite at one of the more than 60 Indian restaurant's within a 3 block area. The atmosphere was a lively as the food was spicy. After being coaxed by every restaurateur we finally settled into a cool little spot that promised big flavor for a low price.
Vindaloo is one of our favorites and the Vindaloo in London was fantastic, rich, creamy and with a nice kick. Upon returning home I thought I would give this dish a shot. I missed the "creamy" element but the flavor was rich and deep and the kick was delicate (perfect for guests a little mild for my family.)

Hope you enjoy my trip down the brick road.
Lamb Vindaloo
  1. Heat oil in a large pan and brown the lamb. (5-10 min)
  2. Lift the lamb out of the pan and put the pieces in a large dish.
  3. Coat lamb with the vindaloo marinade, cover and set aside.

  4. Add onions to the oil in the pan and cook for 5-10 min or until golden brown.
  5. Return the lamb with the vindaloo marinade to the pan and cook over medium to low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the garam masala, bay leaves and dry chilies and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. If you want it "hot" add the optional black pepper, crushed dried chilies and chili powder at this time.
  9. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.


Vindaloo Marinade:

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • 3T malt vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 3 t ground coriander
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground cardamon
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper

Other ingredients:

  • 4-5 T corn oil
  • 1 lb cubed lamb
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 c vegetable stock
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chilies


  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 t crushed dried red chilies
  • 3 t chili powder

Serve with Mint and Yogurt Raita

  • 2/3 c plain yogurt
  • 1 T finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t garam masala
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Monday, September 1, 2008

sunday supper - Volax Salad

You would think after a week eating Greek Salad we would have had enough. This would be true of most of the salads we consumed but the salad in Volax was so good I had to try to make it at home.

What made the Volax Greek Salad so great was the inclusion of bread and Serano peppers. It could best be described as the world's largest piece of Bruschetta.

To start the process of recreating this masterpiece I decided to make a loaf of bread. Fortunately since I am suffering from jet lag and getting up at 4am, making bread for dinner was not a problem. Here is the bread before the first rise (this particular recipe did not require a starter but did demand 3 separate rising times.)

Once the bread was done the assembly of the salad was a snap.

  • Bread
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Feta Cheese
  • Serano Peppers (this was also a great addition to the Volax salad that we did not find on other Greek Salads.)
  • Italian Parsley
  • Red Onions

For dessert I decided to serve Watermellon with a Basalmic Reduction Sauce.

The sauce is a simple syrup of 1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar, 1/4 C sugar and 1/4 C water. It is important not to let the syrup thicken to much or you end up with Balsamic Taffy instead.

Unfortunately I purchased the small "individual" sized watermelons and they had no taste. But, I like the presentation and I think the elements may be worth trying to put this dish together again.

sunday supper - "when in Greece"

We just arrived home from a fantastic vacation in Greece. Our days were filled with various hikes around the islands of Tinos and Andros. Our nights were consumed by amazing traditional Greek meals served family style with our fellow travelers. It may sound cliche but they really do eat a lot of "Greek Salad" in Greece. And, no they don't just call it salad.

Last Sunday we experienced our first of what would be 7 nights of Greek Salad.

Capers, Parsley, Red Onion, Olives, Green Peppers, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Cheese, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.

When it comes right down to it, the Feta Cheese and the Tomato are the most important ingredients. The cheese we had was fantastic and the tomatoes were a color of red I had never seen before - deep and juicy red...

The other ingredient which was used at every meal was Eggplant. Our fellow European travelers got a huge kick out of the name we used for this purple vegetable. Not being a fan of Eggplant, I did not take any picture of the finished dishes, but here is a beautiful display from the farmer's market in Tinos.

Fortunately, it was not all Eggplant and salad. Each island offered a slightly different take on seafood. We ate Sardines that were 8 inches long and Fried Shrimp, Calamari and Octopus.

And of course, no vacation can be complete without a taste of local Bacon. We learned that what we call Bacon is called "Streaky Bacon" by the Brits and can be found in snack form in Greece.

I never thought I would say this but ... not all forms of Bacon are good. After one bite we agreed to take a picture of the bag and donate the contents to the birds.

We arrived home last night we were too tired to cook so I am making Sunday dinner tonight instead. More on that to come ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

sunday supper - hot august nights

Yesterday was perfect hot August weather. So in celebration of the rare phenomenon I decided to make a meal reminiscent of the kind my grandparents used to serve (with vegetables straight out of their garden.) I unfortunately do not have the space or the consistent warm weather to grow a huge garden so I made due with organic vegetables from the market. Here are the results:

Heirloom Tomatoes with basil, salt and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Corn on the cob cooked in it's husk on the grill with spicy chili butter.
The key to the corn is to soak it in the husk for 20 minutes, remove the silks, slather butter on the kernels and re wrap with the husk. - 16 min on the grill and you have sweet and spicy corn.

Ta da, here is the heirloom tomato salad, the corn w/ extra spicy butter and a lovely steak that was also marinated in balsamic vinaigrette.

Butter Recipe - (mix the spices to your taste level)

  • 1 cube of butter
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Worcester Sauce

Monday, August 11, 2008

Salt N Peppers ...

I just finished a terribly yummy brownie. Not newsworthy you say. Think again. This brownie, from Simply Divine, featured one of my two favorite spice accompaniments to Chocolate - Rock Salt.

Say what you will but in my mind all chocolate should either be accompanied by salt or peppers (Cayenne, Chile, Ancho - you name it they are all good.)

And, no I do not limit my love for these spices to just chocolate. In my book everything is better with Salt N Peppers. So, here we go, my adventure into food blogging with a Salt N Peppers flare.

I can't promise everything I share will be good, but everything will have spice.