Friday, February 19, 2010

Jalapeno Burgers with Cilantro Mayonnaise

As you might have guessed from the recent batch of posts that include heat laden dishes, I LOVE spicy food, and lately I've been craving it. The Jambalaya and the Chicken Curry were hot, but not quite spicy enough to satisfy my need for heat. Thus, I decided to add some jalapenos to the mix, in the form of a burger. They turned out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself!

Jalapeno Burgers

1 lb Laura's lean ground beef
3 Tbsp pickled jalapeno peppers, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp worcestershire
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 toasted buns
Cilantro mayonnaise (recipe below)

In a medium bowl combine ground beef, jalapenos, garlic, cajun seasoning, and worcestershire. Form mixture into 4 patties.

Cook 4 to 5 minutes each side on a grill or in a grill pan over medium heat.

Serve on toasted buns with cilantro mayonnaise.

Cilantro Mayonnaise

1/4 C mayonnaise
3 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1 small clove chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients, and, if desired, cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Indian Chicken Curry

The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection For Today's Home Cook
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground tumeric
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 C unsalted cashews
1 lg yellow onion
2 small tomatoes
2 Tbsp clarified butter or canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp seeded and minced green jalapeno chile
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1/2 C coconut milk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Toast and grind the coriander and cumin seeds. In a bowl, stir together the toasted seeds, turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, the cayenne pepper, and oil until well mixed.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add to the bowl with the spice paste and stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Toast the cashews and then chop coarsley. Set aside.

Thinly slice the onion. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and remove the seeds, then chop the flesh. In a saute pan over high heat, heat the clarified butter or canola oil. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chile, bay leaves, and star anise and continue to saute until the onion is light golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken and saute just until the meat turns opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and 1/2 tsp salt and bring to gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

Transfer to a warmed bowl, garnish with the cashews and cilantro, and serve at once.

Serving tip: Offer basmati rice to accompany the chicken and its curry sauce.