Sunday, November 14, 2010

1-Flower Bookmark Launch and a New Kitchen Creation: Chicken Tikka Masala

Well, I hope everyone has remembered to enter the GIVEAWAY for a four-pack of bookmarks of your choice!  Instructions to enter are HERE.  Only one more week to enter and win!

Last weekend at the holiday bazaar, I caught up with my friend Michele, who I haven't really seen much of in awhile.  It was really fun!  I have known her for several years- she was my son's kindergarten teacher, and being that she has a stepson the same age, we found that we had a lot in common and became friends when the boys were young.  My daughter also had her for kindergarten, but since Michele still has young kids, we don't see a lot of each other anymore.  I totally get it....when my kids were young (4-6) I barely had time to sleep and go to the bathroom!  Anyway, in addition to teaching, she also sells Avon, and had a great table at the holiday bazaar.  She got a couple of bookmarks from me, and asked for a custom one with blue dragonflies for a gift for another friend.  Well, I can do that, no problem!
I actually used sliver for the bodies, but the rest are  in lovely shades of dark and light blue.  You can't tell in the picture, but the paper I used has an iridescent finish.  I really like how it came out!

I finally have my 1-flower bookmarks listed in my Etsy shop, and will soon be adding a 3-bookmark bundle of these for one low price.  These will be great for stocking stuffers, gifts for teachers, coaches, daycare providers, or coworkers, all for one low price!  I listed most of them already, but still have a few to put up, and will get to those later in the week.
 Now, onto the latest Kitchen Creation.  As I have mentioned, I love to cook and really enjoy trying new recipes.  This recipe is from the cooking magazine I mentioned a couple of posts back, America's Test Kitchen Special Collector's Edition Best-Ever Recipes , which is a FANTASTIC cooking resource!  I have now made 5 recipes from this issue, and all have been outstanding!  This is the latest.  It is an Indian-inspired chicken dish that is wonderful served over rice with a veggie side.  I have found that it is at least as good as leftovers as it is cooked fresh.  I made a big batch yesterday so that I will have some this week to take to work for lunch.  That is, if my husband will leave me any!  Here is the info:


Chicken Tikka:

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced (about one cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, chile minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp garam masala
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. For the chicken: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so that the mixture adheres. Place chicken on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger; set aside.

2. For the sauce: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. While the sauce simmers, adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position (about 6 inches from the heating element)and heat the broiler. Using tongs, dip the chicken into the yogurt mixture (the chicken should be coated with a thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard the excess yogurt mixture. Broil the chicken until the thickest parts register 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer adn the exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into the warm sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.
My notes: I served this with rice, which did a good job soaking up the yummy sauce. I subbed half and half for the cream and probably just put in half a cup, rather than the 2/3 it called for.
Seriously, this is SO.GOOD.  It's spicy, but not necessarily hot- just a WHOLE lotta flavor!  Apparently, this is not a traditional Indian dish.  It's a fake Indian dish invented by Americans who really really like Indian-type food.  The fact that it is not authentic should not deter you from trying this, however.  Because it is REALLY REALLY good!

That's all for now!  I will be back next time with the winner of the drawing , and a few new items for the shop.  Have a great week everyone!

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