Friday, July 24, 2009

Grilled Naan

Do you know what Naan is? I knew, but had never tried it. But the other day I made Tikka Masala which is usually accompanied with Naan, a grilled Indian Bread.

Naan is a leavened, oven, baked Flatbread and is particularly popular in northern India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

I didn't bake it though, I grilled it on the grill. It was delicious, and easy. Give it a try, along with the Tikka Masala I posted, I think you might like it.

Ingredients and Method:

1 pkg yeast
1 cup water
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons minced garlic

In a bowl, mix the yeast, sugar with water (medium warm water). Let sit for 15 minutes to bubble up and "proof"

add milk, salt, and beaten egg. Mix in flour in one cup increments until the dough is sticky, and thick, and in a ball.

Remove from bowl onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes. Place into greased bowl covered with saran wrap and place in a warm place and let rise for one hour.

Remove from bowl back to floured board, punch down, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Knead a bit and shape into a ball. Roll out to rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cut into about 5 inch shapes of whatever type you want. Squares, rectangles, triangles, whatever. You can even pull out a baseball size ball of dough, and roll it in a circle. I prefer a variety of different shapes. Place the cut pieces on a platter and cover and let rise again for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare grill, melt butter and add garlic......This is what you will brush on the bread as it grills, so let it steep a bit.

Take the risen and sliced dough and head for the grill. I strongly suggest you take an ice cold bottle of beer, 'cause God know's grillin' can be hard work.

Make sure your grill is scraped and clean. You don't charred pieces of the steak from 3 weeks ago sticking to your Naan, trust me.

Lightly grease the grill and take the sliced dough pieces, shape them again how you want, and toss directly onto the grill over the heat. Brush the topside with the butter and garlic mixture.

Cook about 4 minutes until one side is done and charred in spots....don't be afraid to check often, it can burn and you don't want that. That's what the cold beer is for, stay out there and check your Naan.

When nicely grilled on one side, turn over and immediately brush the cooked side with the butter and garlic mixture.

When the second side is done, remove, and repeat for the rest of the Naan.

Enjoy! And from experience, I'll tell ya, leftover Naan is always good with anything, especially that cold beer!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tikka Masala

One of my favorite blogs, and one of the more popular, is the Pioneer Woman.

A friend of mine was coming up to visit for a weekend. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years and I wanted to prepare something different. She's an ardent follower of my blog, and used to come eat with me all the time when we worked together years ago. And this girl loves to eat. (And weighs about 100 pounds, dammit)

As I was reading the post on the Pioneer Woman, I came across a recipe for Tikka Masala. I'd never made it before, but reading and re-reading the ingredients it sounded delicious. So I decided to use that as a source for making it myself.

Absolutely fantastic. That's all I can say. This stuff ROCKS!

2 - 4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt. I use Greek yogurt made by Fage (pronounced fay-yeah)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 yellow or sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons garam masala spice mix
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 cup frozen peas, optional
Preparations and Method:
Season chicken with salt, pepper, ground coriander and cumin on both sides. Press seasonings into the chicken. Brush both sides liberally with the yogurt.
Place into grilling pan and broil in oven until chicken is done and yogurt slightly blackened. About 10 minutes per side. (Note I used rather thick breasts, and next time I think I'll use thinner ones, both for broiling convenience and time, and also I think smaller pieces in the finished Masala would be better)

In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, and saute diced onions until they become transluscent and soften. Peel, mince and add garlic to onions and continue to saute. Add about 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger. Add one tablespoon salt.
Meanwhile in a saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil, quickly add Turmeric, 1 tablespoon butter and rice, immediately turn to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and fluff with fork when ready to serve. (If you like, add a cup of frozen peas to the rice after you remove from heat. They will heat up and cook in the rice as it sits)

Add 3 tablespoons Garam Masala spice to the pan. Add can of tomatoes and stir. Add a tablespoon of sugar and let cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like a little more heat).
Chop broiled chicken into 1 inch pieces and add to pan. Add 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro.

Add 1/2 cups heavy cream and stir in.

Let cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, and serve immediately over cooked basmati rice and turmeric.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with Garlic grilled Naan bread on the side.

Lastly, this dish is so delicious, your dinner guests may break out into dance, you never know.