Thursday, January 22, 2009


As an Idaho Girl by nature, I can appreciate the classic Sunday dinners I enjoyed every week of my young girl life: mashed potatoes, roast, glazed carrots, gravy, and green salad. Simple. Beautiful.


Maybe it's the infiltration of asian and indian restaurants that dot the land. Maybe I'm trying to force culture through food. And maybe, just maybe, I'm trying to lure The Mister of the House away from the office and his 12+ hour workdays....

....because today I made a quadruple batch of his favorite dish Chicken Tikka Masala.

Sorry people, time to invest in some spices!

I just had to dot my fingers with the many flavors that made up this dish: cinnamon, cumin, ginger, paprika, red cayenne pepper, and black pepper. How pretty is that?

, cut 3 breasts into tiny bite-size pieces and throw them in with this marinade for at least an hour:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBL lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBL minced fresh ginger
* cut this down, or out if you want it more mild. Try it!** 2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 tsp salt

Now the recipe told me to skewer them and grill them. Where do they think I live, India? It's winter here, which is why I just threw them on my George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine. You could probably throw them in the skillet. Who cares? Just cook it about 5 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. Then set your chicken aside.
Now time for the sauce. More spices!

In a large skillet, throw in this first, saute 1 minute:
1 TBL butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped*
** make sure you deseed this puppy unless you want to get an involuntary nosebleed during dinner

Into this buttery delight, throw in these spices:
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
more salt, to taste
coat the garlic and peppers real good

Now here's the saucy addition:
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

add grilled chicken and simmer 10 more minutes.

Can you feel the love? The spice?

I can.

If I hadn't been so excited, I would have remembered to garnish it with cilantro. But doesn't it look per-ty on my batik tablecloth?

This sauce goes a looong way, it's so full of flavor. Cook up a big batch of fragrant rice, add some sides of neutralizing foods like: broccoli, fruity milky smoothie, or if you're lucky...naan bread.

5 minutes later...

What can I do with all this spice?

I just love planting a kiss into the soft skin of my offspring. Here Vanilla Wafer is getting attacked in that sweet spot: little behind the ear, little above the neck. Don't you just love that cute little shoulder cringe?


Wade and Marilyn said...

I need to learn to cook from my daughters. We still do love a roast beef dinner. I'm going to try your recipe; however, I don't know if I want to buy all those spices.

Monica said...

Sounds like a great recipe. Did your kids like it, too? Mom, considering that you haven't even purchased flour, much less any spices, I think you'd better wait til you return home to try this one.

Wendy said...

Did it work? Did you get your DH home at a decent hour? Good for you for trying something new. Have a great day.

Lee Family said...

I'm so impressed. and I'm so impressed that your kids like it. I am definitely going to try it.

And mama . . . I still love the roast beef dinner too. especially the love and the sugar that come when you do the cooking. mmmmmmmm.

Wendy said...

Big hair??? You got it. I was the big hair queen. And I am secretly a butt rocker. Well it's not really a secret, but you have never been able to see that side of me. Someday, I promise!!!

Raydar Love said...

dude! i'm all over that! thanks! nex, t time make a mango lassi to go with it. frozen mangoes, milk & a little sugar (i think). super yummy, super indian & super neutralizing.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Wendy, you ask if it worked in bringing The Mister home early...sortof, but not really. He came home so I could work in the office. He left for more stuff before I got home, then was home really really late. So no! Dangit! He didn't come home to get some spicy love and stuff and stuff!

Mango lassi= yes, good idea. that is good stuff.

My kids actually do eat this stuff. And I actually still do like my mom's Sunday dinner, but we all need to mix it up a bit sometimes don't you think?

Bridget said...

I love the comforts of farm food, and the simple pleasures of a good meal! Fresh is always amazing and I love to cook, so I am trying this one tonight (I even have all the spices already!!) And I have a great recipe for Naan if you ever want it.