Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Indian Food and Bruschetta

Okay, I have seriously been stock piling a LOT of meals that Jord and I have been enjoying lately and I need to post them! So... this is the first of what I'm sure will be several posts. I'll try to combine as many as I can into one post to save on space. ;)

Shortly after returning from DC I was SO in the mood to get cooking and create meals Jord and I have never had before so where did I turn? With it being summer, my favorite season, I took out one of my all-time favorite cook books, "Our Best Bites: Seasons" and turned to the summer section... the mother lode of goodness! I got daring and started with an Indian dish they have in there and it was delicious! If you're not an Indian food fan then you can skip this and go on to the next meal idea. :)

The chicken is called "Grilled Tandoori Style Chicken" and uses a marinade, which is nice because you can make that the night before and throw the chicken in with it and all you have to do is cook the chicken the next day. We don't have a grill yet, so I cooked the chicken in the oven... which, I'll admit, was not as good of a result as I was hoping for. So if you have a grill, use that! Also, it took FOREVER to cook in the oven so I'd definitely recommend the grill for that reason too. I don't have a pic of the chicken... it's on Jord's phone, but the cookbook has a stellar picture... our chicken didn't turn out looking quite like that. Ours still had quite a bit of marinade on it because I caked it on the chicken before putting it on the oven fearing that if I didn't, there wouldn't be much flavor. I was wrong! You can scrape the marinade off of the chicken before grilling it (it's a thick marinade) and the chicken will still taste great. Leaving it as a thick layer on the chicken made the taste VERY strong.

Next, I used our rice cooker to cook the rice, instead of cooking it on the stove like the OBB gals suggest and it turned out just as delicious and was a lot less work. I love rice cookers. :)

Then I attempted the naan flat bread and I have to say... the rice and the naan were my favorite!! I was so excited that the naan turned out! And with the rice, chicken, and naan we had a complete Indian meal! And the cool thing is that none of it is super curry tasting (which I like curry... but in measured doses) so it was a milder Indian meal but still SOOOOO good! All of these recipes are in the OBB: Seasons cook book in the summer section. It definitely was a more time-intensive meal so I wouldn't make it all of the time, but it was so worth it. If you're an Indian food lover... try at least the rice and naan sometime!

Next, I was looking for a summer meal that would be simple and use summer veggies and I got an idea while watching "Julie and Julia" with Jord right after getting back from DC. (I promise I'm NOT obsessed with Julia Child! Well... not THAT obsessed. I was on a Julia Child kick after seeing her kitchen on display in DC, and Jord hadn't seen the movie or known much about Julia Child at all so we sat down and watched it together. Best part? He totally liked it and was into it! Boo ya!) Anyway, at the beginning of the movie, Julie makes a bruschetta for her and her husband and it looked AMAZING! So the following week I decided I wanted to make bruschetta and where did there just happen to be a recipe for it? You guessed it: Our Best Bites: Seasons! Those OBB gals sure come in to save the day all the time!

So again, the recipe is in the Seasons cook book in the summer section... and it turned out DIVINE. I would use a little less purple onions next time. I'm not a huge fan of the EVERLASTING flavor that raw purple onions leave and trust me, these one left an after taste for that whole night and even the next morning when I woke up I was still tasting onions! But don't let that downplay how delicious and refreshing the meal was! Worth it, definitely.

I used french bread instead of baguette because I wanted bigger pieces since this was going to be the main part of our meal, not a side or appetizer (and I wanted the leftover french bread for french toast the next morning!). I also followed their suggestion of adding cheese before the tomato mixture. So after brushing the bread with olive oil and dusting it will garlic powder (instead of slicing a garlic clove and rubbing it on the bread... we were in a hurry) and toasting the bread in the oven for a few minutes,  I topped each slice with shredded mozzarella cheese that we had leftover from a pizza we made earlier in the week and put it back in the oven and let the cheese melt. Then i pulled it out and topped it with the tomato mixture. I also used fresh basil and that really made a difference. If ANY of you need/would like fresh basil PLEASE text me and let me know because Jord and I have two basil plants that are doing really well and getting big but we don't eat it fast enough and don't want to waste any!

Then once the bread is topped with tomato mix... scarf! Seriously, these were good and a very refreshing summer meal! Yes, you have to use the oven, but not for very long and it's deliciously worth it. As our tomatoes really start growing in our garden we'll be having this a lot I think...


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