Cilantro Chutney

by Anne Maxfield on May 12, 2016

FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrintGoogle+PinterestShare

Accidental Locavore Cilantro ChutneyCilantro, love it or hate it? If you hate it, you can skip this post (or just read to the end for the quality of the writing).

One of the first recipes of many recipes the Accidental Locavore wanted to try from Made in India was chicken with a cilantro chutney. First up – the chutney. This makes about a pint jar:

  • 4 ounces cilantro (a medium-sized bunch – see photo)
  • 2 ounces peanuts, unsalted and unroasted
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 serrano chiles, roughly chopped (seed and use more or less depending on your heat tolerance)

Accidental Locavore 4 Ounces CilantroWash and coarsely chop the cilantro, stems and leaves. Since you’re using the stems, make sure the cilantro is well washed. Add to a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until the mixture has a smooth consistency, like a pesto. Add some water if necessary to help the mixture blend. Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to your taste. Store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Fish in Banana LeafMy verdict: I didn’t have many peanuts so ended up with half peanuts and half pine nuts, but there was still a taste of peanuts. I’m sure you could probably use almost any nut. This was really good and went well with the chicken. With the leftovers, I continued my freezer cook-down and wrapped some cod in banana leaves for dinner, which looked cool and tasted great! The banana leaves are from my freezer but parchment paper or aluminum foil (as long as it’s not going in the microwave) would also be fine.

Accidental Locavore Made In IndiaIf you like Indian food, this is a great cookbook! I thank my friend Rob for introducing it to me. I’ve made several recipes from it, starting with the roasted cauliflower and have many more marked to try. So far, nothing is hard or complicated and my basmati rice is hugely improved! Look for more recipes from this great book.

{ 1 comment }

Fondue Chez Hubert

by Anne Maxfield on May 9, 2016

Accidental Locavore Fondue Fork and CheeseWhen was the last time you went to a fondue party? If you were around in the 70’s or maybe even the early 80’s it was almost de rigueur and everyone had a fondue pot. It died a sudden death shortly thereafter and wasn’t seen again until Artisanal made it chic when they opened.

The Accidental Locavore and Frank were invited for a fondue party at the home of one of our chef friends, who happens to hail from Alsace. Now, when you’re from Alsace, you take your fondue very seriously and Hubert was no exception. The invitations went out two months beforehand and when we arrived Chez Hubert, there were two giant tables put together to make seating for twelve. At each place was a bound folder “The Fondue Party” with the history of fondue, the evening’s recipes and wine pairings all in both German and English.

Accidental Locavore Fondue FolderAnd then there was Chef – Hubert, manning a flock of pots with masses of his special cheese blend, bottles of Pinot Gris and kirsh. While we tried not to nibble too much on pre-fondue cheese and other hors d’œuvres, glasses of Crémant d’Alsace were poured as we all watched Hubert going from pot to pot stirring, tasting, adding and tasting.

When everything was done to his satisfaction, three huge vessels were placed on the table along with baskets of various types of breads. If you think fondue is just gloppy cheese and soggy bread, you’ve never had it made by an obsessive Alsatian chef. Many miles were traveled in search of the right cheeses – a blend of Gruyere, Appenzeller and Emmental, perfect loaves of bread and complimentary bottles of wine (remember the pairing and tasting notes from the folders?).

Accidental Locavore Fondue Chez HubertWe were happily munching our way through hundreds of cubes of bread (2 cm by 2cm according to the recipe) and kilos of cheese, when Hubert switched into host mode and started pouring the wine selections. First up, an Alsatian Pinot Gris in small (almost) shot glasses. Then, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he whisked out a bottle of Kirsch (cherry eau de vie) from the freezer. Pouring shots for almost everyone, he proceeded to down his and insist everyone else did the same. After they finished the second bottle, they moved on to a bottle of Poire William. At this point almost everyone was fairly inebriated, the fondue pots were close to empty and we were all about to learn a very cool trick.

Accidental Locavore Scrambled Egg FondueHubert took the almost empty pots, beat a couple of eggs, added them to the pot, mixed them into the last of the fondue and handed Frank a spoon (possibly because a fork might have done damage in his state). After almost cleaning out the pot, he agreed to pass it around. The combination of scrambled eggs with the last of the fondue (including the browned bits) was incredible! Something to remember for the next fondue party.

Accidental Locavore Fondue DessertThere was dessert – a walnut tart. And with it? A couple of bottles of cognac, followed by two different bottles of Armagnac. Believe me when I say that I’m one of only a couple of people who even remembers what was served. The fondue was memorable and everyone had a great time (if they’re still not sure how the night ended)! Now we all have something to look forward to when the weather gets cold again.

{ 8 comments }

Lamb Curry With Spinach

by Anne Maxfield on May 5, 2016

Accidental Locavore Spinach in CurryOkay, by now you might be getting weary of yet another recipe from Made In India, but the Accidental Locavore is telling you, it’s one of the best cookbooks that’s crossed my path since David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. This time it’s a lamb stew/curry with baby spinach—perfect for spring! Serves 4.

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 3/4” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ¾ pounds lamb shoulder cut into 1 ¼” cubes
  • 1 14 ounce can plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound baby spinach

Accidental Locavore Lamb for CurryIn a large Dutch oven or casserole (that has a lid) over medium heat add the oil. When it’s hot add the onions and fry for 10-12 minutes until soft, golden and starting to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chili, cumin, coriander and the diced lamb and turn the heat to medium high. When the lamb pieces have browned all over, add the tomatoes, breaking them up, tomato paste and salt. Stir well. Add ¾ cup of water, stir and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 ¼ hours or until the meat is tender.

Remove the lid and add the spinach in bunches, cook until just wilted. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Lamb and Spinach CurryMy verdict: Another winner! Working my way through the freezer, there was a package of lamb stew meat from our CSA so we were all set. I actually made the stew a day ahead, warmed it up and added the spinach just before we ate. You’ll need a pretty big pot as the spinach takes up a lot of room, but it does cook down. Along with (my now perfect) basmati rice, this was a great meal. When no one was looking, I added some mango chutney to mine and it was even better. Instead of grating the ginger, I just chop it really finely in my mini-chopper – it’s so much faster than grating for 10 minutes…

 

{ 2 comments }

Shopping My Freezer: 8 Weeks and 23 Meals

by Anne Maxfield on May 2, 2016

Accidental Locavore Freezer InsideYou know that moment when you open the freezer and the last thing that was shoved into it drops on your foot. You howl in pain and vow to clean it out—pronto! That was the state of the Accidental Locavore’s freezer. As a challenge, I thought I’d see how long we could go eating what we already have, buying vegetables and perishables only.

The unofficial start was March 12th – with a grape leaf “pie” from Ottolenghi’s Nopi cookbook (delicious!) made with ground beef and a marrowbone from the freezer – and is still going on as we reach the end of April. We have eaten out several times, and I haven’t really counted the nights we ate leftovers, but so far it’s been over 20 meals created from what we had on hand.

Accidental Locavore Grapeleaf PieI have bought fish three times, some (extraordinarily tough) chicken thighs and a couple of pork tenderloins, but that’s it for the meat and seafood section of the market in eight weeks. Needless to say, our grocery bill was significantly lower too.

So what does a month of shopping the freezer look like?

  1. The aforementioned grape leaf pie
  2. Albondigas I made for Frank before I left for France and an avocado with dressing.
  3. Lunch of salad with feta (homemade), and leftover steak
  4. Indian chicken, basmati rice and roasted broccoli
  5. Guests for dinner of pulled pork and mac and cheese
  6. Pasta Puttanesca with Italian sausage (from the pig class)
  7. Moroccan lamb shanks with artichokes, butternut squash (from freezer), dried chickpeas (balance now in freezer) and couscous
  8. Leftover grape leaf pie
  9. Chicken with cilantro chutney
  10. Meringue cookies with chocolate from freezer, cornflakes from cupboard, egg whites from hollandaise sauceAccidental Locavore Freezer Door
  11. Broccoli soup with stock from freezer
  12. Lamb stew with spinach and basmati rice
  13. Lasagna, sauce and Italian sausage from freezer
  14. Pork roast with hoisin sauce
  15. Cod wrapped in banana leaves (from freezer) with cilantro chutney
  16. Amazing Tartine Bakery bread for toast
  17. Lamb-stuffed grapeleaves
  18. French onion soup
  19. Another batch of pasta Puttanesca with Italian sausage and a couple of meatballs
  20. Lasagna with the leftover Puttanesca
  21. Chocolate salted-caramel mousse with chocolate from the freezer (and some tuiles I whipped up
  22. Rao’s meatballs with ground beef we were going to make burgers from
  23. BBQ spare ribs

Accidental Locavore Sealded FoodMy verdict: Without my FoodSaver (sealer) almost all of this would have suffered from freezer burn–it is worth the money! All the pork, lamb and beef we got locally was either sealed or well wrapped in butcher paper. Even with all these great meals, the freezer is still pretty packed. We could/can go at least another month and let me tell you, shopping from my freezer is a whole lot easier than running out to the market every other day! Besides, I like the challenge of working with what I’ve got. How long do you think you could go shopping your freezer?

 

{ 6 comments }