Monday, March 9, 2009

Kima ….. BloggerAid Cookbook Project!

The following picture is a recipe I have submitted to BloggerAid. BloggerAid plans to publish a cookbook, the proceeds from the cookbook will go to School Meals (a program of the World Food Programme). Please visit their website Here for more info about this project.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

After much heated debate….

I have posted the following pork chop recipe from “My recipes” website not because it was a tasty success but because it was not well received. I’d like to say that in my house this is a rare case ;-) However I have also included this dish because I really liked the ingredient list and am confident when properly combined would produce a fantastic meal. I did however make some minor substitutions because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. Instead of grated fresh ginger I used tea masala and instead of 1/3 cup orange juice I used Welch’s orange mango juice. Disclaimer: I am confident these minor substitutions had no adverse effect on the dish and isn’t the reason it did not fair well. I swear!

As I tried to follow the directions half way through I sensed something was wrong. My onions weren’t caramelizing (and I would like to note here I have never caramelized onions before). Instead what I got was a thick, stiff sauce. Looking back I should have just used it as a marinade for the chops. Instead I tried to stick it out and follow the instructions. I also added a few peanuts becuase I thought it would enhance the nuttiness of the peanut butter. The flavor in my opinion was fabulous. It was everything I love about Thai food sweet & tangy. However I would make some adjustments if I were to give this another go ‘round:
1) forget caramelizing the onions (at least until I can learn how to) just cut the onions thin
and fry in oil until crispy. At the end I would use them as a garnish.

2) use the sauce instead as a marinade for the pork chops (or chicken, beef) and then bake
or grill.

3) ditch the peanuts

And if anyone can offer advice on caramelizing I’d accept.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So this dish comes courtesy of my mother-in-law. It is oxtails. What you’ll need:
Oxtails, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 medium onion (chopped), ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, fresh garlic (1-2 cloves minced), 1 tsp lemon juice. The key to great oxtails is making sure you cook them until they are tender and falling off the bone. The meat should essentially melt in your mouth!

Start by boiling the oxtails (how many is up to you; you’ll need to adjust your seasoning accordingly). There was about 8-10 pieces of oxtails in the picture above, so if you are preparing around the same number I would use about 2 ½ -4 cups of water. The reason I give such a range is, as I am sure you’ve noticed, cup sizes vary from one manufacturer to the next. There should not be too much water in the pot but enough really to just cover the oxtails. You’ll need to boil this down till the water is pretty much gone. I would cook on medium-high for about 45-1hr; again this really depends on the oxtails themselves. Periodically monitor the pot and poke the tails with a fork to check them for softness. You want to add the lemon juice while they boil.

Note: If you notice that the water has gone before the oxtails have become soft then simply add more water until they become soft enough. Remember the oxtails should be effortless to eat/chew.

Next because oxtails have fat, after the water is gone there should be some oil from the meat remaining in the pot (add more oil if necessary). Throw in the chopped onions and fry. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder and stir. Add the tomato paste (dilute with water) and add about another 1 cup of water. Let this simmer on medium for another 15 mins. The sauce is not thick and there really isn’t a lot of it in the pot. If you find that you have too much water or your sauce is too thick you can do a couple things to rectify this: 1) throw out some of the water (the sauce is just really to coat the oxtails) 2) if too thick dilute with more water until desired consistency.
You can eat this with practically anything you like. I recommend rice, that’s always nice.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paneer & Spinach

Forgive me for it’s been a week since my last post ……..but I have been busy in the kitchen. The other night I made Shai Paneer and Coconut Spinach. If my facts are straight I believe Shai paneer hails from the Northern Indian region known as Punjab. One of my favorite dishes to order at Indian restaurants. Coconut spinach, the way I have prepared it, is popular in East Africa. Both these dishes are fairly simple to make. I’ll start with the paneer.

First you’ll need to purchase paneer which I forgot to mention above is cheese. You’ll be able to find this at most Indian grocery stores. I used the Nanak brand; it comes in a white block which resembles firm tofu. You’ll then need to cut the paneer into bite size cubes. Note do not make these cubes to small because you don’t want the cheese to crumble before it’s done. Use a large red onion chopped finely; fry the onion in some vegetable oil until brown. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and then add the cubes of paneer.

Fry altogether until the paneer is a light golden color. Remove just paneer from pan so not to over cook. Start preparing the sauce. I used a ready-made chili and cumin paste (again you can find this at any Indian grocery store) if you decide to use this kind of paste be aware it usually comes in varying hotness (e.g. mild, really hot). Mix the paste, onions and garlic in the pan then add about 1/3 cup tomato paste (mixed with a little water to dilute) after you add the paste you’ll want to add about another 1 cup to 1 ½ cup of water (because tomato paste will thicken the sauce).

Add salt, pepper, and curry powder and 2 cloves to taste. Now because I don’t usually measure portions (I taste and eye-ball as I go) I am not sure enough to give definite measurements. My excuse is I blame this on the fact that I learned mainly from watching my mother and grandmother and they never measured therefore, I never learned. My advice is to taste the food as you go along to make sure you haven’t added too much of anything (salt, pepper, spices etc.) start with small quantities and add as needed. You’ll know what tastes good! My sauce was a little tart b/c of the lemon in the ready made cumin-chili paste. So I added about a Tbs of brown sugar to remedy the tartness.

This sauce should cook until it is nice and thick (not too thick see picture for reference). Once sauce is a nice thick consistency, add the cooked paneer and about ½ cup coconut milk (traditionally I think cream is used, so you can use this if you don’t have the coconut) simmer on low for about 20 mins or until the paneer is nice and soft and melts in your mouth! Voilà

Coconut Spinach
Take 1 package frozen collared greens and 1 package frozen spinach place in a medium size pot and add 2-3 cups water. This will need to cook until the greens and spinach have considerably shrunk. Once the greens have shrunk add salt or beef stock (I prefer this), pepper, coconut milk (about ½ cup). Let this simmer on low until the spinach looks creamy then you’re done.

As you can see from the picture I put all this over plain white rice. In addition, there is fried goat meat and kidney beans, those recipes I will give at a later date.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Belated VDay Cup Cakes

Currently I am trying to stick to my diet of not eating too much junk, sweets, salt or food in general. However seeing how it was Valentine’s Day this weekend I have been craving Cupcakes and there is no better occasion to eat them than V Day. These are red velvet cakes with white raspberry icing. If anyone has ever seen the show “Semi-Homemade” on the Food Network I love it because that’s exactly what these cakes are. Normally I would whip these babies up from scratch but I didn’t have a lot of time or patience rather so I decided to whip out Ms. Betty Crocker instead. I decided to add a little color to the store bought icing to give these cakes some individuality. They are delicious!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

So this morning my wonderful husband made breakfast! You gotta love it! On the menu…..Fajita Beef Strips, Fried egg and Sautéed Mushrooms with Bell Peppers. I have provided pics for you to savor.

It is quite a simple dish to prepare. You’ll need the following ingredients to begin. Note: I am a firm believer that you don’t need to stick to a recipe 100% and that you may substitute whatever you like for something that you don’t. Although if you’re not that familiar or knowledgeable about particular spices or audacious enough in the kitchen then you might want to stick with the ingredients mentioned.

Bell pepper --- any color would suffice but orange and yellow (even red) give the dish a beautiful color.

Baby portabella mushrooms --- sliced thin, because mushrooms shrink when cooked you’ll need an entire carton.

Buffalo Wing sauce --- I know this might raise an eyebrow but once poured over the sautéed mushrooms and bell peppers (about 2 Tbs) it provides a nice tangy flavor.

Beef --- the best kind of cut to use for a dish such as this would probably be Rib-Eye (that’s what we used and it was very tender). Cut the beef into long bite size pieces, think about fajita’s you order at your favorite restaurant…. just like that! Add salt, pepper to taste.

Eggs --- 2 fried eggs (or whatever style you prefer) add about a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Olive Oil --- a staple product in our house. Use this to sauté the mushrooms and bell peppers as well as fry the beef strips and eggs. Use sparingly as needed.

Enjoy!!!! My contribution to this fabulous meal.…… Strawberry Mimosas

To Make:
2 parts (or 3… hey it’s the weekend) Champagne and 2 parts strawberry juice ( I used Welch's) Cheers!

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Here

I am new to the blog scene but this is my attempt to connect with those who

1. love food
2. at least like to cook
3. love to eat !!! ;-)
4. are interested in learning about different foods and flavors

I hope to be welcomed to the blogging arena.
Creative Commons License
This work by Exotic Lady is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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