Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

I've said it before, I am not a baker.  I dream of being a good baker.  I strive to be a confident baker.  But there are times when I feel like something didn't go quite right.  I certainly felt that way with these scones.  This is my second attempt at making these blueberry scones.  The last batch (well I didn't post them) so you can imagine they were not that great.  So why am I posting these?  Well, they may not be "scone of the year worthy", but they tasted pretty darn good.  I'm also putting a SOS out there for all my baker friends to give me some tips on perfecting these scones.   I adapted this recipe from a Food Network recipe by Tyler Florence.  I did change a few things (probably the reason why they were not Food Network worthy) so I'm wondering if my changes made the difference.

Here are my ingredients:
He said use 2 cups all purpose flour- I exchanged it with 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
2 Tbs of sugar ( I put two Tbs of confectioners sugar- no biggy right?)
5 Tbs cold butter (I used a healthy margarine instead)
1 cup cream ( I used fat free haf and half instead)
1 cup blueberries

Now I did follow the directions.  Sift all the dry ingredients.  Done.

I mixed the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it formed a coarse texture.  Everything was going as I thought so far.

I created a well in the flour mixture, added 1 cup of milk and mixed the ingredients (but didn't over mix).  Okay after I mixed things he says it makes a batter and that it did.  Then he says empty the dough onto a flat surface and cut the scone shapes.  When did it turn from a batter into a dough?  That's where I started to panic.  I was ready to add more flour (the mistake I made last time).  So I told myself to take a deep breath and just add the blueberries.

Next I floured a surface and dumped the batter/dough to form the scones.  So, I said a little prayer dusted flour on the board and patted the top with some flour too so it wasn't a sticky mess.  Then I  gently formed a flat (too flat in my opinion) rectangle.  Then cut the "scone" shapes but the dough felt a little "fragile" to say the least.

I placed my oddly shaped scones (don't laugh) on a sprayed baking sheet and brushed them with some more half and half.  I put them into the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees and hoped for the best.

I was not happy with the color of the scones, but they had a pretty flaky texture.  They tasted pretty good with some butter, but I decide to follow through with the recipe and glaze the scones.   So I halfheartedly made the glaze (juice of half a lemon and 1/2 a cup of confectioners sugar) and took my pictures.   So here sit my sad little scones.  They do not look like the perky scones I have seen in other recipes.  So tell me, what did I do wrong?

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

My young son loves shrimp fried rice.  I had leftover brown rice and asked him what we should do with it.  He immediately requested fried rice.  He was over the moon when I said that I had shrimp in the freezer to go with it.  He wanted everyone that visits my blog to know that he helped me prepare this fun dish.

Note:  This rice is perfect for leftover rice.  I had brown rice, but white jasmine or basmati  rice is great too.  You will need to cook the rice and allow it to be cool/cold before using it for fried rice.  If the rice is warm/hot before you make the fried rice the rice will become mushy when you stir fry it. 

1lb shrimp (any size) cleaned 
1 medium onion chopped
1 carrot chopped (or frozen)
1/2 cup of frozen cooked peas
2-3 garlic cloves grated
1 inch of fresh ginger grated
1 bunch scallions chopped
4-5 whole eggs
5 cups of cold/cool rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp of hoisin sauce
3 Tbs of margarine
2-3 Tbs of canola oil

In a large wok add 1Tbs of margarine and 1 Tbs of canola oil.  Once heated add 4-5 whole eggs and scramble.  Once egg sets, remove from wok and set aside until later.   Wipe out wok if necessary before proceeding.

Heat 2 Tbs of margarine and 1 Tbs of canola oil in the wok.  Once heated add the vegetables (except for some of the green scallion tops for garnishing) and the ginger/garlic.  Fry for a few minutes.

Optional:  if you want to spice up your fried rice you can add some dried chili flakes after the vegetables. 

Add your defrosted or fresh shrimp here.  I used some cleaned (shelled and deveined) small size shrimp.  You can use any size you want and keep them large or chop them to bite size pieces.  But it is necessary to clean the shrimp before stir frying them.

Cook the shrimp until they start to turn pink.  Once the shrimp start to cook, add the soy sauce and hoisin sauce to the wok.  Mix well.
Now add your rice and frozen peas.  Stir fry well and mix everything together.

Add the cooked egg back into the wok and mix it with the rice.

Serves 4-6 people.  Garnish with some green scallion tops.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Curried Black-Eyed Peas


It is said that eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day brings a person prosperity.  Well I love these lovely nutritious legumes and I know my "windfall" will come someday.   I curried these peas so they a bursting with flavor.  Enjoy them with any style of rice or Indian style flat bread.

2 cans of black-eyed peas (rinsed well)
4-5 cloves of garlic grated
2 inches grated fresh ginger
2 serrano/jalapeno chilies sliced (seeded if  you want to reduce the heat)
2 bay leaves
1 cup of tomatoes diced.  (You can used any style fresh tomato or even can tomatoes)
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp garam masala
1 piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
10-15 curry leaves
Salt (to taste)
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup of water
squirt of lime juice (optional)

In a large pan heat  around 1 Tbs of canola oil on medium high heat.  Once oil is hot add the cumin and mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, curry and bay leaves.   Allow to fry for 30-45 seconds.  

Then add your onions and green chilies.  Fry for another minute.

Now add your tomatoes, garlic and ginger.   
Fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Then add your dry spices and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

Next add your black-eyed peas and salt to taste.  Then add 1/2 a cup of water and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Stir occasionally and gently smash some of the peas and fresh tomatoes to thicken the gravy.  

Add the ½ cup of coconut milk to the pan and stir well.  Cook for another minute. Turn off the stove and add a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 tsp) for a little freshness.  You can also stir in some fresh cilantro or parsley to give it some more fresh flavor. 

Serves 4-6 people.  Serve with Rice or Flat bread and enjoy.

Copyright: All content, photos and text are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission

Monday, June 27, 2011

Masala Pancakes

My kids and husband love American style pancakes with maple syrup.  But if you gave me a choice of eating a sweet breakfast or a savory breakfast, I would pick the savory breakfast every time.   So I decided to make a pancake that was tailored to my taste.  This savory pancake packs a spicy punch and can be eaten at any time of the day.

2 cups of flour (see note)
2 eggs
2 cups cool water (see note)
1 cup milk (any fat level)
salt to taste (see note)
1 medium onion diced
2 serrano/jalapeno chilies diced
1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp mustard seed
10-20 curry leaves torn
1 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric

Flour-  you can use all purpose flour, Indian Whole Wheat flour that is used for chapati making, or even Bisquick if you like.  It all depends on your taste.  I used the Indian Whole Wheat flour.
Salt-  You will need to salt the dish to taste.  I suggest after you make your batter you make a mini pancake and taste for salt then adjust accordingly.
Water- You can add the 2 cups of water for a thicker style pancake.  If you want a lighter more "crepe" like pancake add a little more water (about 1/2 a cup).  You can play around with the thickness and texture by adjusting the water.  

To Make the Batter:
Mix the flour of your choice, salt, water, milk and eggs well.  Set the Pancake batter aside until later.

To Make the Masala: 
Heat a pan with 1Tbs of canola oil on medium heat.  Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves first.  Allow the seeds to fry and become fragrant for a 45seconds.

Then add your onions, chilies, garlic, ginger and salt. Fry for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions begin to brown.

Then add your dry spices of chilies, turmeric and gram masala.  Fry for another 1 minute.  Turn stove off and allow masala mixture to cool down.

Making the Masala Pancakes:
Add the masala mixture to the pancake batter and mix well.

Heat a non-stick griddle on medium heat.  Add a drop of canola oil and smear it on the griddle.  Use a ladle and add 1-2 spoonfuls of the masala batter and use the back of the ladle to even the pancake out.

Note: Oil the griddle between each pancake.

Allow the pancake to cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes and flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Set aside and continue making as many pancakes as you like with the batter.  You can store the leftover batter in an airtight container for 3-5 days.  This batch should make you about 10-12 large pancakes.

Enjoy the pancakes with any curries or even plain with some butter.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake (No Bake)

I made this creamy chocolate cheesecake for a casual luncheon I had a few days ago.  This light dessert was a perfect way to end our meal.  It only took me 5 minutes to put together so I'm ready to break down and make it again because it was that good.   

1 prepared graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust
1 brick cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 tub of cool whip topping
1 cup of chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
sugar- optional (I did not use any sugar)
2-3 Tbs of milk

First melt your chocolate with the milk.  You can do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals.  Once the milk and chocolate melt together to make a creamy chocolate sauce set aside.  Then cream your cream cheese brick and add your melted chocolate (Note:  if you want this very sweet you can cream your sugar with the cream cheese during this step).  Blend well with an electric mixer.  Finally fold in your cool whip topping.  Fill your pie shell with your chocolate cheesecake mixture and for some added texture and garnish top with some extra chocolate chips.   Allow to chill in the fridge overnight.  Slice and Serve.  Enjoy.


Copyright: All content, photos and text are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blueberry-Lemon Ice Tea


Summer vacation is in full swing and my kids and I decided that we needed to make something  fun to drink.  Who wants plain ice tea when you can jazz things up with blueberries that are full of antioxidants and brain-boosting vitamins.  

2 cups of frozen blueberries
5 cups of water
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons worth)
1/2 cup up to a 1 cup of sugar or sugar substitute (depending on how sweet you like it)
plenty of ice

Bring frozen blueberries, 1 cup of water and 1/2 a cup of lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan. Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat.
Pour the blueberry mixture through a wire-mess strainer and use a spoon to squeeze out the juice.  Discard the blueberry solids that do not go through the mesh.
 In the same saucepan that you made boiled the blueberries, heat 4 cups of water.  Once boiling, turn off the stove and add 4 teabags.  Allow tea to steep for several minutes and then remove the teabags.  Pour tea into pitcher with the blueberry mixture.  Add a lot of ice.  Allow to chill and serve with ice.  Enjoy.
Recipe Adapted from Southern Living Magazine.

Text Only Printable Recipe: 
Blueberry-Lemon Ice Tea

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk

I love the flavor of Thai coconut flavored soups. They are so rich and savory that it makes think I'm having something I shouldn't be having.  But you don't have to feel guilty with this soup because the the main ingredient is one of the most nutritious vegetables around... the lovely sweet potato.  You can eat this soup as a wonderful starter to any Asian themed meal or make it a meal  by pairing it up with some bread or salad.  Anyway you eat it, it's will be a satisfying meal for your taste-buds.

4 large sweet potatoes (around 2lbs) cut into chunks
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 green chiles (seeded and sliced)
2-3 stalks of celery sliced
1 medium onion chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
1 tsp of curry powder (I used an American curry powder by McCormick)
red chili flakes to taste
1/4 cup of fish sauce (or vegetarian version of fish sauce available in Asian Markets)
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
4 cups of water
juice of one lime
lemon grass stalk (cleaned and bruised)
Thai Bird Chilies and Scallions for garnish

In a large soup pot, add 1 Tbs of olive oil.  Add the celery, onion and green chiles.  Cook for 2 minutes.

 Then add the ginger, garlic and lemon grass.   Saute for another minute. 
Add your sweet potatoes and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Then add your dry spices and cook for another minute.  Add the stock of your choice (chicken or vegetable), water and fish sauce or vegetarian equivalent.  Simmer for 30 minutes on medium high heat until all vegetables are very tender.

Then use either a hand immersion blender or a regular blender to make the soup smooth.  Add a can of coconut milk and simmer for another few minutes.  Check for the seasoning of salt in the dish here.  If you need more salt, add more fish sauce or salt as needed.  Turn stove off then add the juice of one lime or to taste.

Garnish with sliced scallions.  Enjoy.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.