Menu of the Week July 6th: Garlic!

Where does the time go?  How did I have more time in winter than now to blog when the only thing that has changed is the amount of daylight (and a growing garden).  The garden is care free now, at least until  the weeds are about a foot tall, then I might pull them.  We did some heavy paper and mulching in the garden bed, so the weeds have been holding back pretty nicely.  Just have to water and wait, wait and wait for harvest.  It was a cool spring and has been a cool summer with the exception of one week.  I love it cooler, but the growing stuff in my yard doesn’t.

Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s gluten free menu swap and the ingredient is garlic.  She is already harvesting a multitude of produce from her garden, including garlic.  All we have are herbs, greens (which I haven’t harvested as the CSA is keeping me well stocked in greens) and broc rabe, which went to seed in a day, maybe two, so we didn’t get to eat it, but I am saving the seeds.  Every dish I have listed below has garlic in it, and some like the marsala dosa have garlic scapes too.  We did get some fresh baby garlic from our CSA last week which has been really nice to use.  Strawberries are finally in season here in mid Michigan and I eat them as is, rarely altering them from their normal state.  I love strawberries.  I have some from my cousin’s farm in the fridge right now.

Monday: Southern Indian night with marsala dosa’s (spicy potatoes in a rice/lentil sourdough crepe) and a Kori Ajadina that Eby is whipping up as I type.

Tuesday:  Grilled stuffed flank steak pinwheels from Cook’s Illustrated.  Sides will be derived from the CSA, maybe salad, maybe greens, depends on what I end up with as we can choose from a variety pack.

Wednesday: lunch – packing a sandwich with an Against the Grain Gourmet bagel (so delish!).
my GF bagelwich with MI strawberries

Dinner: Spanish style tortilla with our eggs, potatoes, chorizo, herbs and scallions, green salad on the side, all based on another Cook’s Illustrated recipe this week.

Thursday: Chinese Stir fried Chicken and shrimp (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby) with snow peas and grilled bok choy (snow peas and boy choy are on the CSA list this week)

Friday: Avgolemono Soup with dill (using our eggs), grilled Greek seasoned halibut or cod (whatever the store has that is wild and fresh), chopped Greek salad and rice pilaf with mint.

Sat or Sunday: Pork chops grilled with grilled chile rellenos and ancho sauce from this month’s Bon Appetit.  The pork and potatoes are local.  Chiles, we have 2 months to go before they are ripe.

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