Apr 14, 2011

Indian Fried Rice

Mr. G and I have been taking an Indian cooking class for the last two months or so and the class has finally ended. It was such a wonderful class. We had a group of wonderful students all with a passion for good food and our teacher was great!! I highly recommend it. If you live in Hawaii, the class we took is from the Kaimuki Community School of Adults.

There are so many recipes that I love from the class, but I decided to share this with you. It's called Indian fried rice, a simple rice dish packed with soo much flavor. It's so easy to make and the result is fabulous!! Here's the recipe.

Indian Fried Rice
from Vasantha at Kaimuki Community School for Adults

2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
4 cloves
2" cinnamon stick
5-6 cardamoms
15 curry leaves, sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp chopped mint leaves, chopped finely
3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup sliced onions
1 tbsp coriander powder
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 tsp garam masala

1. Wash rice and add enough water to cook rice. Keep aside in a rice cooker, soaking for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil and ghee over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Add cumin and caraway seeds and let them splutter.

3. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, curry leaves and bay leaves to the oil and fry until fragrant, a few seconds.

4. Add mint leaves, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, and onions and fry for a minute. Now add coriander powder and chopped cilantro leaves.

5. Add the seasoning to the rice and mix well. Add salt to taste. Cook in your rice cooker and you're all set.

Apr 7, 2011

Tinga taco

What is Tinga? Before coming across this recipe, I have never heard of it before. What I found is tinga is Mexican shredded pork. After the pork is cooked, it's quickly simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. I found this recipe from Cooks Illustrated March 2010 issue. I bought a piece of pork butt and was trying to decide between the tinga recipe or the carnitas recipe. In the end I decided to get out of my comfort zone and try the tinga.

Good thing comes to those who open their minds. We were awarded with yummy tinga tacos. The meat is so tender from cooking it for so long. It's cooked in a tomato chipotle sauce giving the pork a spicy kick! Overall a very yummy taco.  The recipe suggests you serve it with tostadas, but I am terrified of deep frying. So we made tacos instead. We added sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. The recipe suggests adding queso fresco, and diced avocado. I think avocado would be a great addition. The next time I make this, I would add a little bit of liquid smoke for a more smoky taste. Here's the recipe.

On a side note, if you live in Hawaii and need fresh herbs, don't go further than R. Field (the gourmet section) at Foodland. These herbs come from the Nalo farms right here in Hawaii and they're so cheap!! I got a bag of thyme (waaaay more than I'll ever need) for this recipe for only 70 cents!!! The ones from the mainland ran for about $3!!! Buy local, it helps the people of Hawaii and Mother Earth!!

from Cooks Illustrated March 2010

2 lbs boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium onions, 1 quartered and 1 chopped fine
5 medium garlic cloves, 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tsp)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Table salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp ground chipotle powder
2 bay leaves

1. For the Tinga: Bring pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 6 cups of water to simmer in large saucepan over medium high heat, skimming off any foam that rise to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook until pork is tender, 75 to 90 minutes. Drain pork, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard onion, garlic and thyme. Return pork to saucepan and, using potato masher, mash until shredded into rough 1/2 inch pieces; set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in 12 inch non stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shredded pork, chopped onion, and oregano; cook, stirring often, until pork is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, chipotle powder, reserved pork cooking liquid, and bay leaves; simmer until almost all liquid is evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste.

4. To serve, spoon small amount of shredded pork onto center of each corn tortilla and serve.

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