Japanese Chicken Curry

Curry Powder:
1 tbsp coriander seed
1/2 tbsp cumin seed
1/2 tbsp fenugreek seed
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon or 1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 tbsp of ground turmeric
1 blade of mace
chili powder to taste

Toast whole spices in microwave and then grind everything together.

2 lbs of chicken thighs
2 medium onions, diced
8 oz carrot in 1 in pieces
1 lb of potatoes in 1 in pieces
8 oz of frozen peas
half an apple grated
2 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 c flour
1 quart of chicken or dashi stock

Heat oven to 425 F.  Spread flour in thin layer in a skillet.  Toast for 45 minutes, shaking occasionally or until deep brown.  Turn oven to down to 325 F.

Brown chicken thighs on skin side in dutch oven and then cut into 2 in chunks.  Brown onions in same pot and then add ginger and curry powder and stir frequently for 30 seconds to a minute.  Add stock, apple, potatoes and carrots along with salt and bring to a simmer.   Place in oven for 30 minutes uncovered.  Add chicken to pot and return to oven for 45 minutes.  Put pot on stovetop and add flour and simmer until thickened.  Stir in peas and adjust seasoning.


Chicken Devil Curry

Spice Paste

15 dried puya or kashmiri chillies ground
2 tsp mild paprika or kochukaru
20g peeled ginger, roughly chopped
20g peeled galangal, roughly chopped
100g shallots, roughly chopped
20g garlic, roughly chopped
25g candle nuts, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts or peanuts (optional)
1 tbsp freshly ground coriander seeds
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
2 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tbsp of brown/black mustard seeds
2 tbsp of tomato paste
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped

Process everything in food processor.

2 lbs of dark chicken meat in 2 in chuncks
1 onion or equivalent shallots, diced
20g garlic and ginger, thinly sliced
1 lb of potatoes, cut into stew chunks
8 oz of green cabbage sliced into squares
3 c of chicken stock
6 tbsp of vinegar
2 tbsp of tamarind water
2 tbsp of sugar
3 tbsp of light soy
1 tbsp of dark soy

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Fry onion, garlic and ginger until softened.  Add spice paste and fry for about 5 minutes.  Add stock, sugar and soy sauce and bring to a simmer.  Add cabbage and potatoes and transfer to oven for 30 minutes uncovered.  Add chicken, vinegar and tamarind and return to oven for 45 minutes.  Season with additional sugar or soy sauce.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Korma

2 lbs of chicken thighs
1 onion sliced
1 onion quartered
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon or 2 2 inch cinnamon sticks
6 green cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods (or more green cardamom)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 blades of mace
1 star anise
4 Puya or Kashmiri chiles or equivalent chile powder
1/8 tsp of baking soda
1/2 to 3/4 c of coconut milk
1 c of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 c of raisins
1/2 c of almonds or cashews

Grind all spices except the cardamom and cinnamon if whole. Combine onion quarters, ginger, garlic, nuts and spices in food processor and process into paste.  Add water as necessary.

Fry sliced onion with baking soda until deeply caramelized, adding water to prevent burning.  Add onion paste and fry until most moisture is gone.  Add chicken stock, coconut milk, raisins and bay leaves and season to taste.  Cook under pressure for 20 minutes before quick releasing.

Nyonya Pong Teh

1 onion diced
8-10 gloves of garlic sliced thin
2 tbsp of minced ginger
1/3 cup of yellow beans or Korean doenjang
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
3 tbsp of palm sugar or brown sugar
3 cups of chicken stock
1/4 c of shaoxing wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 lbs of chicken thighs or pork shoulder cut into 2 inch chunks
1 lb of potatoes in large chunks
6 dried and reconstituted or fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Saute onion, garlic, ginger and whole spices in dutch oven until onions are soft.  Add stock, wine, soy sauce, sugar and yellow beans and bring to a simmer.  Add potatoes and mushrooms put in oven uncovered for 30 minutes.  Add chicken pieces and return to oven for about 45 minutes.  Season with additional sugar, soy sauce or oyster sauce.

If using pork shoulder, after bringing stock to simmer add pork and put in oven for 45 minutes before adding potatoes and mushroom and returning for another hour and 15 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Sri Lankan Pork Curry

Curry Mix
2 tbsp whole coriander seed
1 tbsp whole cumin seed
1 tbsp whole fennel seed
1 tbsp whole black pepper
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder (like kochukaru)
15 g dried Puya chilies
6 green cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp brown/black mustard seed

Toast spices and grind everything you wouldn’t want to find in your curry.

Pork Curry
2 lbs of pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 inch of ginger root, minced
2 lemongrass stalks, prepared
1 tbsp of tamarind pulp
2 tbsp of rice vinegar
14 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 c of canned coconut milk
lime and cilantro for serving

Saute onion, garlic and ginger until softened and translucent.  Add spices and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.  Then add coconut milk, tomatoes, lemongrass, tamarind pulp and vinegar.  Sesaon to taste with salt and scrape the bottom and bring to a simmer before adding pork chunks.  Seal pressure cooker and bring to pressure before cooking under pressure for 30 minutes, then 15 minutes of natural release before quick releasing remaining pressure.  Reduce as needed and check seasoning for additional sugar or lime juice.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Tart

Peanut Tart Crust (Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated cookie recipe)

3 oz of roasted unsalted peanuts
3/8 cup (1.9 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2.3 oz) creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 egg yolk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Pulse peanuts in food processor until finely chopped, about 8 pulses and then dump into bowl with flour.   In the food processor process the sugar for several minutes or until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg yolk and milk and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated.  Press or roll into tart or pie pan and dock tart with fork before freezing for 30 minutes.  Fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, remove weights and bake until entire crust is dark brown and crispy.


Peanut Butter Mousse and Jam Filling (PB Mousse from Rose Beranbaum)

7 tablespoons (4 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup (4.6 oz) peanut butter
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (6 oz) heavy cream, softly whipped

In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.

Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level.  Refrigerate the tart for an hour.

1 cup (10 oz) of raspberry or strawberry jam
4 tsp of lime or lemon juice or to taste
1/8 tsp of salt

Whisk all ingredients together to loosen the jam up.  Spread over firmed peanut butter mousse filling.


Sour Orange Cheesecake with Orange Curd and Gingersnap Crust

After a failed attempt at a lime cream pie and the lingering memories of Cook’s Country Sour Orange Pie, I wanted to do something orange again.  I also had some really terrible cheesecake from a supermarket that spurred me to try my hand.  I don’t normally make cheesecakes or remember them fondly.  However, I need to decide if that is because most places can’t make a cheesecake worth eating or if it’s generally not my style.  I don’t really like cream cheese and I don’t really like crumb crusts because they aren’t crisp like a pie or tart crust and thus provide no textural contrast.  So cheesecake has its work cut for it.

Here I am stealing a page from Cook’s Illustrated’s lemon cheesecake and trying a technique where I literally just bake a cookie as the crust.  Considering that tart shells are almost identical to shortbread cookies, I think this will work out.  Fingers crossed.

Gingersnap Cookie Crust
6.25oz all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4.375 oz dark brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 large egg yolk

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  Brown butter in large saucepan, remove from heat and whisk in spices .  Let cool for 2 minutes then whisk in brown sugar, molasses and fresh ginger.  Finally whisk in egg yolk.  Dump in dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Prepare a 9-in springform pan and pat cookie dough into bottom of pan.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour while you preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  When ready to proceed, bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until cookie is set and edges are darkening.  Remove from oven and turn oven down to 250.

Sour Orange Filling
10.5 oz sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp orange zest
6 tbsp orange juice concentrate
6 tbsp lemon juice
1½ pounds cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a food processor, process zest and sugar until zest is very fine.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese on low speed until broken up and slightly softened, about 5 seconds. With mixer running, add 7 oz of sugar/zest mixture in slow, steady stream; increase speed to medium and continue to beat until mixture is creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in eggs, two at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl well after each addition. Add lemon juice and OJ concentrate and salt and mix until just incorporated, about 5 seconds. Give filling final stir by hand.

Pour into crust, cover tightly with foil and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, remove foil and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes until center is 150 degrees and edges are set and the cake has a faint jiggle.  Cool completely on wire rack before transferring to fridge for 2 hours.

Sour Orange Curd
3.5 oz sugar/zest mixture from filling
3 tbsp orange juice concentrate
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs and 1 yolk
3 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients except butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat whisking frequently until mixture reaches 170 degrees.  Whisk in butter.  Let cool before spreading on top of refrigerated cake.  Return cake to fridge for 2 hours before serving.