Pressure Cooker Beef Masala Curry (Whole 30)

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Guys, I am in trouble.  Not a little bit of trouble, but a big heaping boat load of trouble.  I don’t know what to do about it.  There is a new little store about a block from my apartment that has a ton of  Hull brown drip dishware for sale.  I don’t know if you remember, last year I got a big box of Pfaltzgraff and Hull brown drip dishware for helping a friend move. I absolutely love it.  It is gorgeous and I want more of it.  Yesterday, I  bought a small pitcher, 3 oval plates, a butter dish, and a divided casserole.  My problem is how am I going to stay out of this store and away from this awful temptation when I have to walk past it every single time I go anywhere outside my apartment building? Help me.

Beef Masala Curry

Adapted from I don’t remember where

1 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4  big onion, chopped

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced

½ cup tomato sauce

2 TBS  cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp  garam masala

1/4  tsp cumin

1/4  tsp coriander

1/4  tsp cayenne pepper

1/4  tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp lemon zest

11/2 tsp  olive oil

½ cup  stock

Preheat your pressure cooker on the saute function and add the oil.  When the oil is hot,  brown the beef.  Add the remaining ingredients,except the cilantro.  Lock the lid and bring to high pressure.  Cook 35 minutes and release pressure naturally.  Serve and garnish with cilantro.

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Chicken Curry Hot Plate (Whole 30)

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I got a really good deal on boneless, skinless, chicken breasts at Hornbachers on Saturday so this week is going to be chicken week on A Solitary Feast.

Let’s start chicken week with an idea I stole from Melissa Joulawan’s Well Fed Cookbook.  Melissa’s idea is brilliant in it’s simplicity so brilliant it hurts.   Her idea is called a hot plate.  She cooks up a couple of kinds of protien at the beginning of the week then uses the basic formula of  3 – 6 oz of protien + 2 cups vegetables + seasoning + good fat to get meals on the table during the week in 15 minutes or so.  Like I said, the idea is so brilliant it hurts.  Melissa then gives over 40 different hot plate ideas to try.

The problem is I am not much of a meal prepper so I am probably not going to have pre cooked proteins laying around.  I love the idea so much, though, I have been playing around with it to see if I could make them totally from scratch and still keep the prep and cooking time to 20 minutes or less.  The good new is you can.  I will be posting more of my hot plate recipes as  I go along.   I used my homemade Madras Curry powder.  You can find the recipe here.  You could use any curry powder you have if you don’t want to make your own.

Chicken Curry Hot Plate

adapted from Well Fed Cookbook

1 6 – 8 oz  boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 small onion, diced

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 – 2 tsp curry powder

a big handful of fresh spinach

1 tsp olive oil

salt, to taste

In a 12″ skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add  the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the chicken, tomatoes, curry powder and salt.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, 10 minutes.  Add the spinach and cover until the spinach is wilted.  

Pork with Spinach and Cream

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Since I made my Red Curry with  Chicken and Vegetables last month I have been kind of obsessed with trying as many recipes for Indian food as I can, especially curry recipes. Not the Americanized versions of Indian food, but authentic Indian food.  Well, as authentic  as Indian food can get in the middle of North Dakota.

I went to the main branch of the Fargo Public Library to see if I could find a few Indian cookbooks to try before I buy one for myself.  I found Raghavan Iyers 660 Curries cookbook.  I was impressed with it because, unlike the others I looked at, he included recipes for all the spice blends he used in the book. If you follow me, you know I love making spice blends.  There are also many recipes that don’t require spice blends at all.  The variety of curry recipes in this book covers is amazing. The are appetizer curries, seafood curries, vegetarian curries, meat curries and so on.

The problem with this cookbook is not all the information you need is presented in the recipe so make sure you read the head notes, any notes at the end of the recipe and all the information in the side bars.    The recipes still work if you don’t but you can miss information on ingredient substitutions and cooking techniques if you don’t.

I decided to try this recipe first because I had a pork chop that needed to be used up and access to all the ingredients for the spice blend. It was really good. It wasn’t too spicy.  Just be really careful not to over cook the pork.

Pork with Spinach and Cream

Ingredients

1 1/4 lb pork, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

4 TBS cream ( I used half and half)

2 TBS garlic paste

2 tsp coriander scented untoasted blend

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 TBS canola oil

1/2 cup tomato sauce

8 oz fresh spinach, rinsed and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

Combine the pork, half and half, garlic paste, spice blend and salt.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours to let the flavors mingle.

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seed and cook until they are fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds.  Add the pork including the marinade.  Cook, stirring occasionally  until the pork is light brown and the spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce into the marinade.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and some oil starts to separate on the surface, 12 to 15 minutes.

Put all the spinach on top of the curry.  Cover the skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes then stir the spinach into the curry.  Continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until the pork is fork tender, 8 to 10 minutes. 

 

 

Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables

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One of the best things about being a blogger is all the awesome people you met through the comments section of your blog and other people’s blogs. I have met so many kind, supportive people who really have an appreciation of what I am trying to do here. My followers and all the people who have commented on A Solitary Feast have given me confidence to keep doing what I am doing and built me up in my non blogging life too.

One of the not best things about blogging, is the occasional person who feels they have to tear you down for whatever reason. I don’t get these kind of comments very often and long ago decided not to feed the bullshit by approving the nasty comments. However, I feel the need to address one persistent troll who calls my food redneck  and swill among other nasty things.

Dear nasty person,

I am sorry you don’t like the recipes I post on my blog. However, I don’t post my recipes for you. I post them for me. The recipes aren’t a reflection of what you like to eat they are a reflection of what I like to eat. They are a reflection of the foods I grew up eating and some of the food traditions of the region I grew up in and still live in. If you don’t like the recipes I post you are more than welcome to stop visiting me and go visit any of the billion and one other food/recipe blogs on the internet.

You say I don’t post your nasty, petty little comments because I can’t take criticism. I take constructive criticism just fine.  I have made many adjustments to my recipes based on what people I trust have said about them.  My blog is happy, positive place. I don’t post your comments because they are cruel and mean spirited to me and the people who follow and read my blog. You have been reported to the Word Press authorities.  Sincerely,  Me.

Now with that bit of stuff over and done with those of you who actually come to A Solitary Feast because you actually like the recipes I post here can move on to the recipe for today.   One of the hardest things to do when adapting recipes for one or two is finding ingredients in sizes that don’t leave a lot of leftovers.  You can skirt the issue by making a lot of ingredients, like spice blends, sauces and things like taco seasoning yourself, in small amounts. However, some things just aren’t the same when you make them yourself so I am always on the lookout for small size ingredients.

On one of my many visits to Natural Grocers during my vacation, I found small (5.46 ounce, about 2/3 cup) cans of coconut milk.  I was so excited!!!  I have several recipes in my to try file that take coconut milk but I have never tried them.  Once I reduced the recipe, it used so little coconut milk I would end up wasting almost a whole can of coconut milk.

The first recipe I decided to try was from the back of the can of coconut milk.  It was a recipe for Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables. I have never tried making any kind of Indian food before because I can’t handle a lot of  spicy hot in my food.   I thought, wrongly, that all Indian food would be too hot for me.  I didn’t stray to far from the recipe for this one.  I looked up what vegetables would traditionally be used in a curry and used carrots and onions because that was what I had on hand .  Although I liked the recipe as it was written, the next time I make it I will play around with different  spices and vegetables.

Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients

2/3 cup coconut milk

1 TBS Red Curry paste

1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

8 oz cooked chicken

1/2 cup assorted cut up vegetables

1 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS fresh Thai basil, optional

Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the curry paste and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and vegetables.  Cook 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp tender.  Stir in the fish sauce and basil, if using.