Chicken in Green Masala Sauce, with Nut Pulao (also from the same cookbook, but no link available). Gradually I am becoming sold on Mridula Baljekar. These were both amazing recipes, and I'd be happy to make them again and again. (In fact, I have already made a pared-down version of the Nut Pulao again this week.) The sauce for the chicken, made from blended yogurt, ricotta, spring onions, coriander, mint, green chilis, garlic, ginger, and (surprisingly) green apple, was both easy and incredibly flavorful. Then the chicken was basically just cooked in the sauce, no weird parboiling necessary. The rice for the pulao was fried with onion, carrot, and garlic, and then cooked with vegetable broth and spices. Walnuts and cashews were added at the end. It was sweet and fragrant and delicious, although I felt it stood on its own so well that it did not need to be swamped in green masala sauce. In the future I'd make the chicken with plain white rice, and the pulao with something simpler. I'd make both for company, happily.
- Fried Okra with Onions, which we ate with hummus-and-za'atar toasts, cooked carrots, and apple slices. The okra (and onions) were greasy and not recommended. So far I have not had a lot of luck with the idea that shallow-frying (or deep-frying) okra will make it crispy. That said, frying with lots of hot oil has never been my forte.
- Batter-Fried Okra, which we ate with baked sweet potatoes from the farm, nut pulao #2, and fresh pineapple. This was the first okra recipe that my husband just plain refused to eat. He had been a good sport up until now. I did not find it inedible (at least the batter bits got crunchy, if the okra didn't), but also did not see the point of it. At all. I was also confused by Jaffrey referring to these as "fritters," when they seemed to be just bits of deep-fried okra. I will say, I had to use frozen okra for both of these recipes, and so was not able to slice it thinly lengthwise the way this recipe called for. I don't know if that would have made a major difference in the result.
Valerie's French Chocolate Cake, from Smitten Kitchen. I made this on Wednesday night, so that we could eat it while we watched the third presidential debate. The idea is to ward off evil influences per Lupin's wise advice. To this end, while I only made a single layer of this rather simple cake-- full of butter and chocolate but with a mere 1/3 c. flour-- I also made a great deal of chocolate whipped cream (who knew you could make chocolate whipped cream? A revelation) and dolloped it heavily on top of our plain bittersweet cake slices. The dementors certainly did their best, but we and Hillary Clinton prevailed. How was the cake? Fine. Nothing special. My kid, who had bizarrely decided to drink a double espresso at 5:30 that evening, was not able to fall asleep after the debate until 1 am, and so spent the next day shoveling slices of chocolate cake into their mouth to try and keep their energy up. So it served its medicinal purpose twice.
- Cauliflower with Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter, and Lime, served with marinated grilled tofu, plain quinoa, and cooked turnips. I like roasted cauliflower, as I like most roasted vegetables. Did I find roasted cauliflower to be markedly superior when dressed with pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, cilantro, and lime juice? Not really. Enough said. The turnips were better and I just cooked them with salt, pepper, and butter.