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Day 10 of 28 days of Vegetarian Food

This has been an interesting experience. I have learned several things; I cannot rely on just my memory for things like past menus Typing recipes is not my thing I need to plan our meals in advance and not wait until I am ravished by hunger to cook On my last report I ended with Wednesday.Thursday,we ate out, we ran around doing errands of some sort and by 1:30 I was hungry. Since I realized this while we were passing Platos Rotos new sign that said Comida Chilango, we ate there. In case you don’t know, Yucatecos call people from Mexico City, chilangos. The old sign used to say comida Mexicana, which I understood to mean food from Mexico not Yucatan, but maybe this new one is clearer( or more tongue in cheek)? I had nopales rellenos and Husband had calabasitas rellenos. Mine was a cactus paddle split and filled with a slice of panela cheese, breaded and fried. Husbands ...

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Garam Masala

Garam masala is a seasoning blend used in Indian cooking. I have seen many different recipes for it. I have always been able to buy it already premixed until I moved here. so here are three very similar recipes. The first one yields 3 tablespoons the second one, a huge quantity like 24 ounces and the last is somewhere between the other two Garam Masala #1 1 tablespoon cardamon seeds1 inch stick of cinnamon1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds1 teaspoon whole cloves1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns1/3 of a whole nutmeg Combine the spices in a blender or coffee/spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Garam Masala #2 8 oz coriander seeds2 oz cinnamon4 oz peppercorns1 teaspoon ground nutmeg4 oz cumin seeds2 oz cloves4 oz large cardamon Roast the coriander and cumin seeds separately. Peel the cardamons. Grind all the spices and store in an airtight container. Garam Masala #3 2 tablespoons cumin seeds8 cloves2 tablespoons cardamon seeds1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds5 ...

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Day 5 of 28 days of Vegetarian Food

I started on my month of Vegetarian Cooking on Monday.My plan is to have good healthy vegetarian food that I can combine with a minimum of effort. I am concentrating on Indian food because it’s some of my favorite foods. Most of the ingredients are available here and since it’s a hot climate the food is suitable for eating here. Monday, I made dal, red chutney and pineapple chutney. Tuesday, I made Saag Panir and another chutney, this one of ripe tomatoes. Wednesday, I made naan, a pilau with nuts and fruits and a green mango chutney. Wednesday, we were joined for lunch by la muchacha (she loved the pineapple chutney) and our friend who I will call da Wiz. Da Wiz was over to help us with our car woes. So I reheated the dal and added more spinach to the saag panir, I put all the chutneys on the table too. Lunch was a sucess. Thursday, I added ...

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Saag Panir

This recipe originally came from Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East, Vegetarian Cooking, which I use a lot. I have done some minor changes. If you decide to buy your very own copy please us my Amazon link, I get a little money that way. Thanks! Saag Panir 1 inch cube of fresh ginger,peeled and chopped6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped1 fresh hot green chili, sliced roughly (I use a whole jalapeno,seeded and deveined)1/4 cup of water500 grams of queso Panela cut into 1 inch cubes1 1/4 teaspoon salt divided into 1 teaspoon and a 1/4 teaspoon.1/4 teaspoon garam masala (link to recipe if you can’t buy it already prepared)1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper6 tablespoons vegetable oil2 packages of chopped spinach thawed1/4 cup media crema Heat the oil in a large wide sauté pan over a medium flame. Put the cheese cubes in the oil and brown them on all sides. Remove the panela with a slotted spoon and place on a ...

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Crockpot bread update

I have been making further experiments with the crockpot as bread oven. I made some sourdough oatmeal bread yesterday. Here are my findings. I got the best results when I put the bread in a mold (since my crockpot is round, I used a spring form pan as my mold) that I placed on a trivet. I also put a small quantity of water in the pot, around a quarter cup. Since I wanted the steam, I kept the pot lid tightly on. Even though several sites recommend rising in the crock with the machine on low or warm, I wanted a slower rise so did it the conventional way. If I was using a regular bread recipe I might try that method. I found that the bread was cooked with in 4 hours on high. I tested it by thumping (a hollow thump means cooked). I need to set a separate timer, my crockpot goes automatically to the warm ...

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Bread baked in the crockpot

We don’t have a real oven. When we moved here I couldn’t imagine baking in 100 degree heat, then we were in a rental and unsure if we would be permanently staying in Mérida. When we were remodeling our kitchen we decided to put in a wall oven instead of buying a whole new range since we were happy with our Bosch stove top. At that time, I could not find a decent built in oven for less than $10,000 mxp, which was a great deal more than a entire top of the line stove would have been. Our compromise was to buy a tabletop convection oven, big enough to bake one loaf of bread or 6 muffins at one time.As my last post explained, I have been reading a blog about crockpotting, and the Crockpot Lady actually baked in her crockpot. What intrigued me is that she advocated keeping the lid ajar so the steam can escape.My friend had ...

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Lemon Chicken

There is this new blog that I am reading called A Year of Crockpotting. The blogger made a resolution to use her crockpot every day for a year. The Crockpot Lady doesn’t pull punches, she tells you how the recipe worked out and I loved the recipe were she repeatedly told her readers not to make the dish! She has some non-food items on her blog. What’s hard for me is that she uses condiments that aren’t available here. What’s great is when I wrote a comment asking what sort of chipolte to use, even though the recipe was from Superbowl Sunday (Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings) she answered me right away. I still haven’t bought any allitas but just wait, I am making these and having friends over for botanas and beer.Husband’s doctor told us to eat chicken instead of pork. Neither of us are great poultry fans but I bought boneless skinless chicken breasts at Megabalcones (I think ...

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Enchilada sauce

Enchilada Sauce 4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled 4 medium dried chiles guajillo, stemmed, seeds and deveined 6 medium dried chiles anchos , stemmed, seeds and deveined 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 cups any poultry broth (plus extra if needed) 1 teaspoon salt Sugar, a big pinch if needed Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat, lay the garlic on one side to roast. Tear the chiles into flat pieces and a few at a time, press them against the hot surface with metal spatula, flip them over and press again., you’ll hear them crackle and see them blister and change colour. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, weight down with a plate to keep them submerged, and soak for at least an hour, preferably 2 or 3. Turn the garlic frequently for 15 minutes or so, until blackened a little and soft within. Remove, cool,peel and place in a blender jar. ...

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Balloon bread or Pooris

I wanted to make Pooris today. I meant to make them, but I wasn’t paying attention. Because of the humidity and insects here, we put all our dry staples in screw top jars as soon as the package is opened. I have more prudent friends who store things like flour in their 2nd refrigerator or who at least put those things in the deep freeze for a week or so to kill any insect eggs. My method is to not buy in bulk unless I can’t help it and to be vigilant about using up stuff. Since I can generally tell what is what just by looking at it, I don’t label the jars. Today it worked against me, or maybe I should say it made me invent a new recipe!The pooris recipe calls for fine-ground semolina, which I remembered buying at Baraudi’s Middle eastern deli and import. I forgot that the last time I cleaned out the pantry I ...

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