What do you do to cure your inspiration blues?
I usually turn to books and baking, but even those haven't been working lately. What is it about summer that just makes you feel sloth-like and brainless? I haven't even been able to make it through two chapters of a book if it's not some mindless chick lit. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you know what I mean.
So here I am. Slightly embarrassed by how neglectful I've been of my little blog. I love my blog. It brings me joy, even if no one reads it. And it's become something I look forward to doing. Well, it was something I looked forward to doing. At this point in my summer, I'm way more interested in going to the lake, dining alfresco with my girlfriends, sitting in coffee shops, pool parties, play dates with my niece and nephew, watching Lost DVD's with boyfriend, and pretty much doing anything and everything other than look at a computer. I guess that's a good thing though. Computers, and the Internet specifically, tend to be life-suckers and time-wasters so I guess I should be thankful for the much needed breaks.
Anyway, I did manage to make an awesome dinner for my family last week. They're always giving me a hard time about cooking for boyfriend and never for them, so I thought I'd go all out and make one of their favorite meals a-la-Annie. It's my version of a recipe I found in Real Simple a couple of years ago. Like most recipes, I started out following it exactly, but have since altered a few things here and there to make it mine. It's called Southern Indian Chicken Curry, but I usually just call it Chicken Curry with Peaches. And if you think you're not a curry fan, try this anyway. There's actually not any curry in it, just a blend of spices that is probably curry-ish. Boyfriend isn't big on curry or spice (weird, I know) but he is a fan of this dish. Of course he claims to like everything I make so maybe he's just being nice....
Southern Indian Chicken Curry. Or Chicken Curry with Peaches. Or just Chicken Curry. Or "That Curry stuff Annie makes." It's been called that a time or two.
4-5 Tbls. corn oil (I usually use olive oil or Smart Balance oil, because that's what I have on hand.)
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2-3 small jalapenos (depending on how much spice you like), seeded and finely diced
2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size), finely chopped
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced or finely chopped
4-5 Tbls. lemon juice, from the juice of 2 large lemons
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. + 1-2 dashes cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. + 1-2 dashes coriander
1/2 tsp. + 1-2 dashes ground cumin
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 ripe yellow peaches roughly chopped, OR 1 bag frozen peaches
1/2 - 1/3 c. canned unsweetened coconut milk (you can find this in the Indian/Asian food aisle, or near the drink mixers) NOTE: don't get low-fat or fat-free. The consistency is just not the same.
I learned from experience that the best thing to do is to prep all ingredients first. So thinly slice those onions and set aside. Seed and finely chop the jalapenos, garlic and ginger and set aside together. Cut up the chicken; set aside. Chop the peaches, or just open the frozen bag. You'll save TONS of time by doing this all before hand, and you won't be as frazzled later. Being frazzled while cooking is not awesome.
Next, head 2 T. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions to skillet and saute for 5 minutes, then add the jalapenos, garlic, ginger and 4 T. lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from skillet and transfer to plate.
Add 2 more T. oil to skillet and raise heat to medium-high. Add the chicken and stir-fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes. If it takes longer, don't fret. Just cook it until it's lightly browned. Add the spices and stir fry for about 2 more minutes. Add the peaches, onion mixture, and a 1/2 c. water and simmer for about 8 mins. I usually lower the heat at this point to about medium, but that's just me.
Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 2 more minutes. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed. It should be thick and creamy, but not soupy. Add more lemon juice if needed.
Serve with hot rice and pita bread. I also like to serve with a dollop of plain yogurt, it helps cut the heat in case it's a bit spicy.
(sorry my pics sort of suck...but my family was watching me take photos and it was making me nervous!)
This is a seriously delicious meal, so please try it today!
grace....in the little things.
1. Having a (free!) personal trainer for a step-dad. He's whipping me into shape!
2. Getting to enjoy a traditional Indian wedding, and wear a traditional outfit! I'll post pics sometime.
3. Rainy days in July.
4. Getting paid to make cupcakes.
5. Red Pin bowling with my family.