Ground Beef Curry

Ground Beef Curry
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Ray
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This was quick and easy to prepare, and tasted great! Next time I will add an extra Cardamom pod and a few extra cloves though
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. med. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. Garam marsala
  • 2″ stick of cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion – diced
  • 2 med. sized sweet potatoes – diced
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper – diced
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can consomme
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Brown beef and drain fat
  2. Add olive oil, curry powder, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and heat for a minute
  3. Add onion, sweet potato and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to turn golden.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and consomme. Stir and scrape bottom of pan.
  5. Reduce heat, add frozen peas and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or so.
Notes
Serve over freshly cooked basmati rice

a new fridge!

A few months back, our fridge packed it in – fortunately we had a second fridge and figured that we could get by just using the one fridge. Well, after a few weeks, we decided that one fridge was not enough.
So the research began, and after some shopping around, we decided that we would up the budget a bit and had a new Samsung fridge delivered.  Was able to get a next day delivery, so that evening, I ran a new water line into the kitchen to supply the fridge water & ice dispenser.
All was good until I realized that the fridge was not going to fit through the front door (or any other door) of our older house.
Front view of Samsung fridgeSo the fridge was delivered to the garage – and the next day, after removing all the doors and door fronts from the fridge, and the screen & main doors from the house, the fridge was in the house! Great! Until another Homer moment…. the entrance into the kitchen was too narrow as well!
So, out comes the reciprocating saw, so quick work of the entrance and the fridge was finally in place.  It fit perfectly into space where the old one was – but this new one has way more space – almost 26 cu.ft. in a 30″ opening.
A little more work than anticipated, but  well worth it!  Love the space and functionality that the new fridge gives us.

Mushroom and Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Mushroom and Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Ray
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
Tasty, quick, and affordable
Ingredients
  • 1/2 white onion – chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. fresh white mushrooms – chooped fine
  • 1 yellow pepper – chopped fine
  • 1 granny smith apple – cored and chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin – ground fine
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. perpper
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 pork tenderloins
Instructions
  1. Slice temderloins length-wise, without slicing through
  2. Lay flat open, cover with plastic wrap, and pound so that tenderloins are approx. 1/4″ thick
  3. Mix brown sugar, salt and pepper in small bowl
  4. Spread mixture evenly on both sides of tenderloin
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet, and fry onion until translucent
  6. Add cumin, cinnamon, sage and thyme, yellow pepper, apple and mushrooms
  7. Reduce heat and cook til apple is soft
  8. Preheat oven to 400*F
  9. Divide and spread stuffing evenly across length of each tenderloin
  10. Roll up, and tie together.
  11. Add a little more olive oil to skillet, and turn heat up
  12. Sear each tenderloin evenly on all sides
  13. Remove from skillet and place into 9×13 baking dish and place into oven.
  14. When internal temperature reaches 145*F – 150*F, remove from oven (about 40-45 minutes)
  15. Place tenderloins onto carving board, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes

 

Turkey Chipotle Pasta

Felt
like pasta tonight, and had a boneless skinless turkey breast on hand –
so this is what I came up with. Was very tasty – and will definitely
make again – although I think I’ll use a little less chipotle pepper
next time to appease the kids!

Turkey Chipotle Pasta

Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Ray
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 a large white onion (quartered and sliced)
  • 1/2 pound of turkey breast (cut into 1/2″ cubes)
  • few sprigs of thyme, some savory leaves, sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 red pepper – cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 small chipotle pepper – cut into fine pieces
  • large can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 8-9 basil leaves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup celantro – chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat up saute pan, add vegetable oil. Once oil is heated up, add onions and turkey.
  2. Put garlic, thyme, savory, rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper into mortar and grind into a well mixed paste.
  3. Once
    turkey is almost cooked through, and the onions are just starting to
    turn brown, add the herb/garlic paste saute pan and stir in thoroughly.
  4. Add red pepper, and chipotle pepper.
  5. Let fry together for a couple minutes, then add can of diced tomatoes and stir.
  6. Once mixture comes to a slow simmer, add sliced basil leaves, stir, and then add sour cream, stirring thoroughly.
  7. Let sauce simmer and thicken. I added a 1/2 tbsp cornstarch stirred into some water to thicken a little more.
  8. Serve over freshly cooked fettucini, and add some fresh grated Parmesan.

The Search for Coffee Nirvana – Part Two

espressoThe internet can be a bad thing.  In trying to get the best coffee possible, I think that the next step is getting an espresso machine.  I’ve had espresso machines before – the smaller consumer steam machines – and was satisfied – but they shots were never even close to the those that I’ve been served at various coffee shops. Research on the various coffee forums and websites seems to suggest that what I need to look at are professional consumer, or smaller commercial-grade machines.  There are a lot of machines to choose from, and the price range is pretty broad.
Over and over again, recommendations stressed the importance of a grinder as well – making the research task even more daunting.
A very popular entry level espresso machine that is often recommended is the Rancilio Silvia.  Then I read about the brew group heads – specifically the E61 – with its reliability and temperature stability.  The more I read, the more I was sold on getting a machine with the E61 brew group.  I also decided it might be best to list out what sort of features I wanted to try and narrow down my choices.  Here’s my list:

  • E-61 brew group
  • ability to produce consistent shots – 2 or 3 in a row
  • aesthetically pleasing to look at (yes, very subjective!)
  • easy to use and adjust
  • good steam wand
  • hot water dispenser
  • ability to plumb in (but could be used without being plumbed in)

Some other features that helped narrow my selection were things like cool-touch steam wands, size of the warming tray (basically, the top of the machine where cups can be stored and warmed up), drip tray size, and local product/service availability.
Andreja Premium espresso machineThe espresso machine I ended up going with was the Andreja Premium.  I was able to get it from a local supplier (Caffetech).
The grinder I chose was the La Cimbali Jr., also purchased from Caffetech.  My criteria for a grinder was consistency of grind, stepless grind adjustment, size and appearance, and durability.  The La Cimbali Jr. has a large 64mm conical burr, and grinds fast – a double shot takes about 10 seconds.  The machine is pretty quiet, and looks great!  I don’t see myself ever needing to replace it.  One modification I did make to the grinder was removing the front tamper – as it just blocked visibility of seeing how much coffee was going into the portafilter – and I have a Reg Barber tamper that I use instead.  I did have one of those Espro tampers that clicked when you were applying 30lbs of pressure – it was great when first learning, but after a while, it became unnecessary, so I sold it.La Cimbali Jr. coffee grinder
In hindsight, I would probably have eliminated the ability to use without being plumbed in.  The convenience of having a machine that you don’t have to keep refilling a reservoir is  huge to me.  In fact, it was less than a month after getting my machine when I started getting things together to plumb it in.  The reservoir refilling got old real fast!  The other criteria I would have added would be for a relatively quiet machine. The Andreja Premium is kind of noisy.  The next model up from Quick Mill is the Vetrano – which has a quiet rotary pump instead of the noisy vibe pump used in the Andreja.