Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quick & Easy Indian Inspired Meals

Winter is finally working its way out and we often find ourselves "in between seasons" when it comes to dinner ideas during this time of year.  We have spent the winter nights warming our bellies with soups, stews and comfort foods and are starting to crave the fresh foods that spring and summer bring.  Since we haven't quite turned the corner into spring and are getting tired of our typical winter meals, we like to use this time of year to get a little creative in the kitchen with meals that will still warm you from the inside out, but won't leave you feeling weighted down like comfort foods can sometimes do.

The aromatic spices used in Indian cooking are unique compared to those we typically find in American cuisine and they always intrigue us.  Garam Masala, cumin, curry and turmeric are a few staples in Indian cuisine and they help to create a robust, flavorful meal.  With busy schedules and limited time to cook meals during the weeknights we often look for quick, easy, flavorful shortcuts - such as these new Indian inspired simmering sauces.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4-6
Creamy in consistency, light in color but uniquely bold in flavor, Tikka Masala takes taste buds in new directions by delivering layers of interesting spice combinations that open worlds of flavorful possibilities. Aromatic and delicious. Tikka Masala is a wonderfully robust recipe that is enjoyed worldwide.


Ingredients
  • 1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Tikka Masala Simmering Sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt (low-fat yogurt can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Chicken or Vegetable stock if needed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Directions
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons Tikka Masala Sauce and yogurt in a medium-size bowl.  Add chicken and stir to coat.  Cover and refrigerate.  Allow to marinate 1-2 hours.
  2. Place chicken on a greased foil lined rimmed baking sheet.  Position oven rack 6 inches away from the heating element, heat broiler.  Broil chicken until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.  There will be some charred spots on the chicken.  Flip chicken breasts halfway through cooking.  Cut cooked chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Pour Tikka Masala Sauce into a saute pan.  Add chicken and juices and simmer over medium-low heat for 15-30 minutes.  Add chicken or vegetable stock to thin sauce if needed.
  4. Serve over rice garnished with cilantro

Butter Chicken
Serves 4-6
Sometimes known as Murgh Makhani in Indian restaurants, our Butter Chicken recipe features a rich, creamy sauce made with tomatoes, ethnic spices and simple ingredients like onion, butter and peppers.


Ingredients
Directions
  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy straight sided saute pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers, but does not smoke.  Add chicken in small batches and saute until they are a rich golden brown on all sides.  Set chicken aside and continue with remaining chicken.  When all batches are done, drain any remaining fat.
  3. Return chicken to pan and add Butter Chicken Sauce.  Simmer 10-15 minutes until hot.  Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Also try our Coconut Curry Simmering Sauce!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Salt... what's the difference?

When it comes to salt there are just so many choices these days! What are the differences between table, kosher and sea salts? When should you use them?



As one of our five basic tastes, it enhances the flavor of our food. It's also a nutrient that our body can't live without. But salt is still salt, right? All salt is sodium chloride, but it can differ in texture, size and mineral content. Salt occurs naturally either from rock deposits or evaporated seawater.

Table salt: 

"Common salt" is small, uniformly cube shaped crystals. This salt dissolves easily making it universally useful. It has additives to make it free flowing and sometimes is iodized which can have a chemical aftertaste. Iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for our thyroid to function properly. If you prefer to not buy iodized salt, cranberries, organic yogurt and potatoes are also rich in iodine.

Kosher salt:

These coarse salt grains are formed by raking during the evaporation process. The shape of the crystal makes it easy to sprinkle on foods. It sticks nicely to meat, making it a "go to" salt for many cooks. 
Not only is most kosher salt certified kosher by a rabbi or authorized organization, it is also named after the process of "koshering meat." Koshering is the process by which the blood is removed from the flesh of meat and fowl before it is prepared for eating. Salt is sprinkled on raw meat, drawing blood out of the meat and then the salt and blood are rinsed off. 
Kosher salt has as much sodium by weight as table salt, but because kosher salt has larger crystals it has less sodium by volume. If a recipe calls for kosher salt and you want to substitute table salt, use half as much table salt. Rule of thumb: 1 teaspoon of kosher salt = 1/2 teaspoon table salt.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater. This takes a long time, and therefore sea salt is quite expensive. The crystals are irregularly shaped and vary greatly in color. The minerals in the sea water impart a unique flavor. Sea salt, because of its expense, is better used to finish off a dish rather than using it in coking or baking.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's almost time for the sweetest day of the year... Valentine's Day! Here are some great treat ideas for all the sweeties in your life. They also package well for school (or work!) parties. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies 

 


Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat together the butter and Stonewall Kitchen Creamy Peanut Butter or Chunky Peanut Butter until fluffy.
  3. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar until smooth.
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and sift into the peanut butter mixture. Mix until uniform and smooth.
  6. Pull pieces of dough and roll between your hands to form 1-inch balls.
  7. Place cookie balls on a greased cookie sheet two inches apart. Make an indentation on each ball with your thumb or spoon, fill the indentation with approximately 1/4 tsp. Stonewall Kitchen Strawberry Jam. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Cool on wire rack.


Raspberry Jam Brownies

 


Ingredients:


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter.
  3. Whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stir flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture.
  5. Pour 3/4 of the batter into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Spread with Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam. Swirl remaining batter over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and chocolate chips.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Cherry Berry Tarts

 


Ingredients:

24 mini premade phyllo tart shells
4 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream
4 tablespoons Stonewall Kitchen Cherry Berry Jam (or your favorite!)
1/4 cup sweetened whipped cream, garnish
Mint leaves, garnish
Orange zest, garnish

Directions:

  1. Remove mini phyllo tarts from freezer.
  2. In the bowl of a free stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer and bowl) mix the Mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, sugar and milk or cream on medium speed several minutes until combined and light and fluffy.
  3. Spoon or pipe using a pastry bag fitted with a star attachment, the cheese mixture into each tart filling each 2/3's full.
  4. Top each tart with about 1/2 teaspoon Cherry Berry Jam.
  5. Garnish each tart with a small dollop of sweetened whipped cream topped with a mint leaf or orange zest.


Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars

 


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Dulce de Leche Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8x8-inch pan.
  2. Combine the oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and melted butter. Mix until uniform. Reserve 1 cup of this mix and press the remainder into the prepared pan.
  3. Combine the Stonewall Kitchen Dulce de Leche and 1 tbsp. of flour. Spread mixture over the oatmeal crust.
  4. Combine the reserved oat mixture, pecans, white chocolate chunks, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread over layer of Dulce de Leche.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Product of the Month - Sea Salt Caramel Sauce!

Caramel lovers rejoice... our February product of the month is Sea Salt Caramel Sauce! This delectably smooth, richly sweet sauce has just the right amount of salt to take your desserts to a whole new level. Pour this sauce over ice cream, dip fresh cut fruit into it or slather it over pound cake. It's an unbelievable treat that you'll crave after every meal. And best of all? It's 10% off the entire month of February.

Need an idea for your newly purchased Sea Salt Caramel Sauce? Why not try this Brownie Trifle? The layers of chocolate brownie, smooth whipped cream and silky chocolate pudding pair perfectly with the buttery taste of caramel. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Brownie Trifle - Serves 12






Ingredients: 


Directions:

  1. Make brownies according to box instructions. Allow to cool completely. Cut brownies into 1-inch squares.
  2. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Whisk in sugar and vanilla.
  3. Layer ingredients in a 12 cup trifle bowl in this order; half of the brownies, half of the chocolate pudding, and half of the sweetened whipped cream. Heat the Sea Salt Caramel Sauce for 30-60 seconds in the microwave so it is pourable, but not hot. Drizzle Sea Salt Caramel Sauce over whipped cream. Repeat layering using remaining ingredients. Top trifle with chocolate curls. Chill until ready to serve. Can be made 2 hours ahead of time. 
  4. Tip: Chocolate curls can be made by running a vegetable peeler along the flat side of a semisweet chocolate bar. This technique works best if the chocolate bar is room temperature.