Jack is Cooking Saag Paneer

Well Hello Internet!
Another dish i have been making quite a bit recently is Saag Paneer.  This is an Indian dish most commonly made with spinach, but can also be made with a variety of other Greens.   I have experimented with many of these greens, but have to say that my favorite is to make it with a mixture of Kale, and Spinach.
Here is what you will need:
1 Bunch of spinach – (at least 250-300 grams)  cut up into large pieces
1 bunch of Kale – (250-300 grams)  – cut up into medium sized pieces
150 Grams Paneer (Indian Cheese) cut into 1 inch cubes –  This will not really work with any other type of cheese, except maybe fresh Queso Blanco
2 tbspns Oil
1 tbspn Ghee
1/4 tspn cumin seeds
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic (grated)
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 inch Fresh Ginger – Grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp Garam Masala
100 ml milk (OPTION:  when i first started making this i used Heavy Cream.  but i don’t always have it (and its very rich), so sometimes i will use milk, or Almond Milk)
So this dish is very easy once you get the hang of it, but it requires very good Mis-en-Place.  which means have everything ready and organized before you start cooking as it all happens very fast, and there are lots of spices!  it helps if you use some ramekins, or some other little bowls.
Here is how to best organize yourself:
1. In one bowl, put the cumin and mustard seeds, along with the grated garlic.
Mustard Seeds (L) & Cumin Seeds (R)
2.  In a second bowl, put the coriander powder, the ground ginger, and the nutmeg.

3.  In a third bowl, put the sugar, the salt, and the grated FRESH ginger.
ok so that’s enough organizing.  
now for the cooking.  First! heat up the ghee in a pan, and add the paneer to it.  fry the paneer until it is nicely browned on all sides.  it can burn quickly so don’t let that happen.  once its finished cooking, strain it and put it aside in a bowl.  sprinkle the Garam Masala over the paneer while it is nice and hot.
Garam Masala

Second!  with the leftover ghee that should still be in the pan from the paneer, cook the spinach and the kale, until it is just wilted.  this will not take very long.  put all of this into a colander and let it sit.

Now is time to cook the spices.  and where all our organizing comes into play.

put the 2 tbspns of oil into the pan and heat it up.  throw the first bowl in (the cumin and mustard seeds, with the garlic)  cook it for about 10 seconds, or until the seeds start sputtering.  Then!  throw the Second bowl in – the ground coriander, ginger and nutmeg.  and cook that for about 10 seconds also.  you will have a spice goop that is very hot now.

quickly throw the cooked greens back into the spices, and toss around until the spices are even spread around.  cook this for about 2 or 3 minutes.   Then add the cooked Paneer, along with the Third bowl – with the sugar, the salt, and the FRESH ginger.  cook all this for about 2 or 3 minutes, and Finally add in the milk (or Cream, or Almond milk, whichever route you choose to go)  cook for a further 2 minutes, and then its done!

Serve it with some rice, and if you want you can serve it with some other curry!  (soon i will put up more curries, as i’ve been on a bit of a Currinary adventure recently…..  (get it curry + culinary)  😉

YUM!

Jack is Cooking Some Kind of Beef Noodles (take II)

Well Hello Internet!

its been a long time.  almost a year since my last post!  don’t worry i’ve still been eating cooking a lot!  but i’ve mainly been playing with old recipes and so didn’t think i should post the same thing twice.  but since i’ve got this here website i figured i should probably start posting on it again!

So One dish that was really awesome that i made a while ago, (and took a picture of!) was this awesome beef noodle soup dish that i found in a magazine (Saveur).  I didn’t exactly make what the recipe in the magazine said, i made my own thing out of it.

So here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb of beef – doesn’t matter what cut, but its nice if it has bones in it.  i used a T-Bone steak, (which i am sorry to say had been in my freezer for too long, and had gotten a bit of Freezer burn on it.  it wouldn’t have been good as a plain steak, but was perfect for this soup)

GROUP A
1/4 cup sake
2 teaspoons mixed pepper corns
2 cloves of garlic (smashed)
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
1 pod star anise
1/2 onion
2 dried red chillies
a bunch of ginger (like 2 inches)

GROUP B
1 teaspoon vinegar,
1  teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

GROUP C
fresh spinach
fresh egg noodles – the really thin kind!
a green onion
sesame seeds

So First, cut up the steak into random sized chunks, and throw all the meat and the bones into a pot of water.  bring this to a boil, and then drain the water.  take the beef and the bones and put it back in the pot with everything from the list in Group A.  cover this with water, and bring it back to a boil.  let it simmer for about an hour.

Then! after one hour, remove the beef from this stock and set it aside on a cutting board.  strain the liquid  so that you have a nice broth, and discard all the onions and ginger pieces, and whatever else may have been in the stock.  Cut the Beef into nice bite sized pieces.  you can now get rid of the bones, as their delicious goodness has been transferred into the stock.

Add everything from GROUP B (the soy sauce etc.) into the broth, and add the newly bite sized beef back into the broth.

In a separate pot, cook the noodles for their specified cooking time.  if they are fresh that will only be 2 minutes or so.  remove the noodles, and place them in the serving bowls.  SAVE THE WATER!
then cook (BLANCHE!) the spinach in the water.  remove the spinach from the water and put it into the bowls with the noodles.

Then take a Ladle, and ladle the nice broth over the noodles and spinach, making sure to get the good beef stuff into the bowls too.  garnish it with some Green Onions, and Sesame Seeds, and you have a Delicious Beef Noodle Soup Dish!

Heres what it looked like, PLUS the original picture from the magazine.

mmm mmm delicious!

P.S.   the original recipe which i adapted this from can be found here:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hong-Shao-Niu-Rou-Mian-Taiwanese-Beef-Noodle-Soup

Jack is Cooking Quiche

Well Hello Internet!

Over the weekend to practice for my quiche endeavors i made one at home.  in fact tonight i have made another quiche!  this one is better than both the ones i made before!  the first one i made was lacking a certain technique we learned in the class.  the one we made in the class was ok, but was a little plain, and the quality of the cheese was not superb.  but the one tonight combined the best of both!  im on a quiche roll!

anyways quiches are pretty easy to make, and they sure are delicious!

you can make them with pretty much anything but the basics for a quiche lorraine are

eggs
milk
salt
pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
cream
bacon
and gruyere cheese

and of course a crust

i have been making my own pastry crust, but that’s a whole other post.  so to keep things simple i reccoment just buying a frozen pastry crust.  and make sure its not a desert pastry crust because those tend to be sweeter.  if it is not cooked yet bake the crust first.  until it is a little golden.  (a clever trick here is to line the crust with parchment paper and fill the crust with rice, or beans.  this stops the bottom of the crust from bubbling up and breaking!!)

for this quiche that i made i went a little fancier, and i used this:

2 eggs
100 ml of heavy cream
100 ml of milk
salt
pepper
paprika
50 grams of pancetta
leeks
spinach
30 grams of goat cheese
60 grams of gruyere cheese

so first! blind b
cook the bacon and the leeks and the spinach.  after they are cooked set them aside.  grate the gruyere cheese finely.  and slice up the goat cheese.  hold all this on the side

in a bowl, whisk the eggs.  add in the milk and the cream, and whisk them all together.  add the salt and pepper, and paprika, and if you have a little nutmeg put a sprinkling of nutmeg in.  don’t put all that much salt in because the pancetta and the gruyere are naturally salty.  this is the custard

then take your pastry crust, and crumble the goat cheese evenly in it. then sprinkle the gruyere cheese over this.  on top of this spread out the cooked bacon spinach and leeks.

next!  take the custard and using a strainer (if you have one, its not totally essential) slowly pour the custard over the all the other ingredients, careful not to let it spill over the sides of the crust.

then bake it for 25 minutes at 275° or 350° or until the custard is set.  you can tell its set because a knife will come out cleanly, yet it will still be slightly jiggly if you shake it.  like jello!

personally i like it a little brown on the top so i stuck it under the broiler for 1 minute after just to give it a nice browning on top.

and ta-da!  quiche!:

Jack is Cooking Buffalo Wings with Spinach in Cheese Sauce




these are the best wings ever.

you will need
1 – 1&1/2 lb chicken wings
1/3 cup butter (or garlic butter)
1/2 cup Hot Sauce (i like Franks)
salt and pepper

for spinach

1 pack frozen spinach
2 tbspn flour
2 tbspn butter
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
s + P