Creamy Mushroom & Pea Curry (Vegan)

This is a really light/fresh tasting curry that doesn't require hours of cooking or a pressure cooker- very tasty over basmati rice.

1. Prep Ahead:
  • Food process 3 gloves garlic & 1 TB grated ginger. Dump into a little pile on cutting board to reserve.
  • Food process 1 small white/yellow onion until in chunks with 3-4 dried red chilies (I used a combination of dundicut and regular Mexican-food-aisle chilies)
  • Quarter or slice 2 C mushrooms
  • Open cans for pureed tomatoes & coconut milk
2. Heat 1-2TB olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tea cumin seeds and cook until they brown a little.
3. Add the garlic & ginger paste, saute until starting to turn golden.
4. Add chopped onion & chilies, stir and cook until golden. Then remove pan from heat and let rest 1-2 minutes.

5. Scoop fried onion mix into food processor and grind until smooth.
6. Add more oil to the pan and sprinkle a 1/4 tea more cumin seeds. Let cook 1-2 minutes. then add back the ground fried onion mix and stir.
7. Add 3/4 tea garam masala, 1/4 tea cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg, stir.
8. Add mushroom, stir. Cook covered 2 minutes.

9. Add 1 C pureed tomatoes, 1/2 C rice milk, 2-4 TB lite coconut milk, 1 C frozen peas, 1/4 tea salt, 1/2 tea brown sugar and 1/4 amchur or dried mango powder. Stir, and cook covered for 10 minutes.
10. Serve over basmati rice.


Asparagus & Shrimp Risotto

This is a really good early spring recipe, and the shrimp and asparagus pair well. I adapted my recipe from here:http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1873423

You'll need a bit of broth- I used some homemade chicken broth I had leftover from a Costco chicken.

Set up 5 or so cups of broth (or add water if you don't have enough) on the back burner and bring it up to simmering. Basically, you just want to keep it warm for using in the rice.

Heat 1 TB olive oil and 2 TB butter in a large pan. Meanwhile, mince 1/2 a white onion and 3 cloves garlic. Add the garlic & onion and cook until translucent.

Add 1.25 C arborio rice and stir to coat. Don't burn your rice while toasting like I did :P, so watch it closely.

Pour 1/3 C dry white wine and 1 TB lemon juice into the pan carefully, deglaze pan and stir. Once the wine has evaporated, add a scoop of the hot broth and 1/4 tea salt and stir, cover.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Check the covered rice every couple minutes and add scoops of broth as it absorbs the previous additions. Meanwhile, clean and chop asparagus, peel shrimp.

At the 15 minute timer mark, add about 1 C chopped asparagus and 1-2 C peeled shrimp and stir. Cover pan and let cook 4-6 minutes until shrimp is pink/cooked.

Now add garnishes:
2-4 TB grated hard cheese (parmesan) 1 TB chopped parsley salt & pepper to taste

Serve with extra cheese and parsley.


Chicken Broth (Pressure Cooker)

I'm totally hooked on the Costco Rotisserie chickens- and what better way to make my $5 chicken stretch but to make broth! I've never actually made broth the old fashioned way-- I like using the pressure cooker since it is faster, and I have a hunch that the flavor is more concentrated. The nice thing about making broth is you can use up all of those leftover veggie bits like celery tops.

Stick in pressure cooker:
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
5-6 black peppercorns
2-4 bay leaves
Chicken bones and whatever's left in the rotisserie chicken container
sprigs parsley (optional)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4-5 C water

Start heating the filled pressure cooker over medium/high heat with the cover and bobble top on (I have an old school pressure cooker). Cook for 20 minutes, then pull off heat and let it drop in pressure (slow release method). When you open it, strain out the spices, veggie and chicken chunks. I usually stick the broth in the fridge so it is ready to use later, but you could also freeze it in mini portions in a silicone muffin pan.