Menu Plan Monday Oct 27th

It’s going to be a spicy week here at Fresh Ginger!  This week’s menu swap is hosted by Manda at Asparagus Thin and the ingredient is coconut, one of my favorite things.  Coconut is so versatile and pretty healthy too, in moderation of course.  Pop over to Manda’s blog to see what all the other bloggers are cooking up! Make sure you watch the Sesame Street video – did that bring back some memories.  Then go put the lime in the coconut and shake it all about – but add rum first…….

Monday: South West: Green chile Enchiladas with pork.  Trader Joe’s now has Hatch NM green chiles in the store – at my store they were logically hanging out over the frozen Mexican items.  I would ask where they might be hiding at a store near you as I never would have found them there without asking.

Tuesday:  Overnight for work: Gluten free meals requested at the Kettunen Center – fingers crossed.  Bring cheese and crackers in a cooler just in case.

Wednesday: Indian: South East Indian Crab curry with coconut milk – this one from the Jamie Oliver archives.

Thursday : Mexican: Red snapper ala Sayulita with cilantro and garlic. Whole red snappers dusted with corn starch and then sauteed until crispy, doused with a lime, cilantro, garlic sauce to make it sizzle.  I had this dish in Sayulita, Mexico a few years back and have wanted to replicate it for years.  But there was never whole fish in my store, that is, until the wrong order came in recently and they were sent whole snapper instead of filets.  Lucky me!  Maybe I will use the can of coconut water I have as the sauce base……

Since coconut is the ingredient this week, I will have to drink a pina colada as I just found a can of pineapple juice in the freezer – I always have coconut milk, coconut powder, shredded unsweetened coconut and dried coconut milk on hand.  I love coconut.

Friday: My family will be in town for a Michigan State University Football game, so we are going out to eat Friday night.  Maybe I will be nice and make some oatmeal, coconut chocolate chip cookies for them.

i’m out

Menu Swap Monday October 20th: Squash

Squash.  It has such a great sounding name and it can make a nice squish when you eat it.  Food that sounds like it is.  Kim of Gluten Free is Life is hosting this week’s swap.  I do have two pumpkins that I will attempt to carve this week in honor of squash and their lovely seeds.  It is really all about the seeds for me.  I do like butternut squash soup and some nicely roasted acorn squash.  I am squashless at the moment, with the exception of our pumpkins, so those will have to do.  I forgot to check the ingredient before we went grocery shopping yesterday. We have a heavily Italian country oriented menu this week due to Eby picking out some dishes and making his way through some more Italian cook books.  They all sounded good to me too.

Sunday: Hunters stew with rabbit and smashed potatoes.  It took me a while to get over the concept of rabbit, even though most of the world eats them if they have rabbits running around.  It was tasty.  Eby made it, but I had to cut it up for him.  If it hadn’t been for recent work events that gross me out worse, I might not have made it through.

Monday: Pork cutlets with prosciutto, parmeasan and Marsala wine with a pesto risotto

Tuesday: Rice and Cabbage soup with pancetta – the recipe looks better than the title, trust me.

Wednesday: Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach or stuffed porchetta style and roasted.

Thursday: On the road and back late: Ragu Bolonese with noodles.  I did a crock pot full of grass fed beef short ribs recently and froze the meat to use in a ragu.  It was already slow cooked so shouldn’t take much time to throw together along with a spinach salad.

Friday:  Chicken ala Diavola with potatoes chianti – this didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago and now we have chicken again from my brother.  Lots of smoked paprika and lemon zest in this dish!

Saturday: Grass fed burgers on the grill, tator tots with salad

Sunday:  Down to Eby’s parents for dinner.  Their first time cooking a gluten free meal and Eby has been coaching them 🙂

i’m out

Dosas and chana marsala

kittensoct8 498

Dosas are so tasty and as it turns out, easy to make, with proper training.  They are pronounced doughshas according to the Indian market guy. He has helped with pronouncing idli in the past, so I trust him.

Dosas are made easy with this handy product:

Dosa batter

Go find some now if you like Indian food!  My market carries it in the fridge and freezer section.  Much easier than making your own batter.  Dosas are a combination of rice and urad dal, soaked, fermented slightly and ground up into a fine, loose batter.  They are a form of sourdough and have that great sourdough tang.  The brand I bought has a bit of salt and ground fenugreek powder in it too.  I did add more fenugreek, some coriander powder and cracked black pepper, as I am a spice girl.  I haven’t met a spice I don’t like yet.

So, this is the 4th time I have attempted to make these.  The first time, I soaked rice and urad dal for days and ground them up, added water and just couldn’t get a fine paste.  The second time I found the batter in the store and poured it into a non stick skillet with a dash of oil and well, that really didn’t work.  The third time I grabbed the idli batter by mistake as the containers are identical and the ingredients too, different coarseness and liquid levels.  So, I learned my lesson.  This time, I asked.  How do I make dosas?

The answer:

Extremely hot cast iron or other flat top pan.  Heat it up really hot.  Scoop some batter out, pour it in the middle.  Use the soup ladle to spread the batter outward in circles (like those pro pizza sauce spreader people).  As soon as you are done swirling, drizzle little bits of ghee or oil of your choice around the edges of the dosa.  This sizzles nicely.  By the time you are done drizzling, the dosa crepe is already starting to brown, so immediately take a metal spatula and start skimming under the dosa edges to separate it from the pan.  Once you have it all lifted and in one piece (this might take two or 3 tries to get a whole one), place it on a plate and start over, keeping your cast iron hot the whole time.

making dosas

I even bought a special big, flat cast iron skillet with no sides or lip just so I could make these.  Not knowing to not use oil, they stuck horribly the first time I used it (when the non stick didn’t work).

dosas dosas

Once you have a nice pile of dosas, start loading them up with delicious fillings.  My favorite (because it is the only way I have tried it) is chick peas, potato (better from a whole boiled potato than a baked one), white onions, cilantro and a hearty raita with yogurt, cilantro, shredded cucumber and carrot, nigella seeds (black onion seeds), green onion, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle it with chana chaat spice (see pic) or use any Marsala spice and add salt if it doesn’t have salt in it.  The spice needs to be nice and salty.

chana chaat Raita

Roll it up and eat! Napkins will be needed.

dosa with chick peas and potato dosa with chick peas and potato

i’m out

Menu Swap Thursday, I missed Monday :Chocolate

First, I would like to mention that in honor of chocolate, Eby ( my boyfriend’s name, I am tired of typing BF and think Manda has the right idea) and I will be making bourbon chocolate truffles.

Now to the menu.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is temporarily taking over the Gluten Free Menu Swap as Natalie is feeling very under the weather with her pregnancy.  So, even though it is Thursday, go over to GFG and check out the other menus for inspiration and see what is growing still in Cheryl’s (to be envious) Southern Bell garden. This is what I have been cooking and plan to cook for the rest of the week:

Monday: Braised pork (the last piece from our pork share from the depths of the freezer) with potatoes in a tomato, rosemary, garlic sage broth and polenta with sage, shallots and pancetta, oh and broccoli.

Tuesday: Got back late – cocktail hour at my friends!  Mrs Leepers Cheeseburger Mac – gluten free and tasted just like my hamburger helper college days.  For emergencies, I would by this again!  But don’t tell anybody.  We did at least use grass fed beef.

Wednesday: Roasted 1/2 Tarragon Chicken on a bed of leeks with marjoram risotto.  The chicken was raised by my brother and was free range, organic and very good! Local leeks too.  I will try to post this creation when I get a chance.

Thursday: Grilled eggplant cannelloni stuffed with sausage and cheese sitting on a bed of fresh marinara – side of pasta is pending.

Friday:  Indian!  Oh I love me some Indian cooking.  Dosas with coconut chutney and saag paneer and the other dishes are yet to be determined.  Perhaps aloo pakora with a cilantro mint chutney and some raita.

i’m out