Monthly Archives: July 2011

They’re not s’mores. They’re samosas.

I believe that if you’re going to fail, you may as well fail big, so for my first official post here I decided to try making some Indian cuisine. After scouring the Internet for traditional recipes that a) had less than 20 ingredients and b) included at least one word I understood in the title, I decided on ChristyJ’s Bombay Chicken and Rice recipe over at allrecipes.com.

Christy writes that in this dish, “Chicken parts are brushed with a butter and curry mixture and baked in a mixture of rice, seasonings and dried fruit.”

Don’t be fooled by this. A more accurate description is:

“A mixture of butter and curry is slopped all over the counter and possibly onto a few pieces of chicken because your hands will be otherwise engaged in double-fisting Captain Morgan and Diet Cokes to ease the pain of spending what you make in an hour on a few tablespoons of curry powder. This will be baked in a mixture of rice and seasonings, but not for about half an hour after it should be, because someone (CHRISTY) doesn’t mention until the very end of the recipe that you need to cover the dish in aluminum foil while baking it. You become frantic when you find you don’t have any, and realize you are now too drunk to drive to the store and get some. You are forced to call a friend to bring you some of theirs. At this point you can only drink more to cope with being such a loser that someone is actually driving across town to deliver you a piece of tin foil because you’re drunk. You may as well allegedly steal a necklace and fire up the crack pipe* because you are the Lindsay Lohan of cooking.”

You may want to consider Prozac as a side dish if you’re going to follow my method.

Surprisingly, even with our foil shenanigans, this stuff turned out awesome. I’ll provide you with our version of the recipe – we tweaked it a bit after reading some of the comments, the general gist of which was “THE DRIED FRUIT TASTES LIKE ASS.”

Here’s what you need (this is for approximately six servings):
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (FUN FACT: Before this, I did not know you could cook rice in the oven. Dave came close to actually checking me for a pulse when I said this out loud.)
1/2 cup chopped onion (If you like onion, double this and put in about a cup – it was so delicious that we wished we had added more.)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
3 lbs chicken, cut into pieces (Christy recommends taking apart a whole chicken, but I’m lazy and used those breast pieces they sell pre-cut for stir fry and it was awesome. Stop trying so hard, Christy.)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons curry powder (As noted above, we had been enjoying some cocktails and accidentally read Christy’s directions to add four TEASPOONS of curry powder as four TABLESPOONS. After going in for the fourth tablespoon and scraping the bottom of the container, we realized that this was an awful lot of curry, so we kept it at three and it was just right. If you love curry, try our method, and if you prefer a more subtle taste, perhaps go with Christy on this one and add four teaspoons.)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
A couple handfuls of cashews (This was my idea and it was delicious)
ALUMINUM FOIL

Directions:
In a 9×13-inch backing pan, mix the rice, onion sugar and salt.

Rice

Dave blowing my mind that rice can be cooked in a baking dish

Pour in water. Arrange chicken parts over the rice mixture.

In a small bowl, mix butter, curry powder and paprika. Brush butter mixture over chicken pieces. It should wind up looking something like this:

It looks better once it's cooked. In the meantime, have another drink!

Cover pan tightly with ALUMINUM FOIL.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until chicken juices run clear and rice is tender.

Told you it would look better after baking.

(If you’re a dork like me who keeps a food diary, this has around 520 calories and 21.6 grams of fat per serving.)

You really should try making this – it’s delicious and almost tasted better as leftovers the next day (we stuffed the leftovers into pitas, which was super tasty).

*ALLEGEDLY

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Welcome to Heather Homefaker

This blog is dedicated to those of us who love to look at (and eat) awesome things but lack the ability to make them ourselves. I’m always getting these great do-it-yourself ideas from design blogs and food magazines – Spray-painted clothespin mirror frame! Curried eggplant with rice! Papier-maché taxidermy! And hours later I find myself picking freshly-laid cat turds off the clothespins I set outside to dry and shamefully hiding my sack of eggplants behind the Velveeta Shells and Cheese display I’ve raided after unsuccessfully searching for saffron for the better part of an hour. (If you’re wondering, I STILL do not know where to find it. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of Narnia-like situation going on where I have to throw myself at the back of the baking aisle shelf to open up the portal to the world of exotic spices, where Aslan will appear and lead me on a journey to the ingredients for Indian rice.) As for the newsprint taxidermy, I may as well try and build a fully functioning time machine out of the Sunday comics.

I was recently sent to the store for the fixings for sweet potato fries and came back with a couple of yams. Not because I thought they would taste better than sweet potatoes, but because I thought they were the same as sweet potatoes. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal if I wasn’t cooking the meal with Dave, whose kitchen intensity could only be rivaled by, say, Gordon Ramsey with a raging case of hemorrhoids being forced to sit on a hot grill and watch a KFC chef fry up a double down in grease scraped off the floor. And only then if the entire scene was shot by Michael Bay, only with more yelling and explosions. (I jest. Dave is an excellent cook and somehow restrains himself from punching me when I do bonehead things like scratch the bottom of his pans with forks.)

Anyway, when I had to admit that at the age of 27 I did not know what a sweet potato looks like, I realized that mayhap I should make an effort to become a bit more domesticated. Not in the sense of “barefoot in the kitchen with dinner laid out on the table every night,” but in the sense of “being able to use the stove without the help of a professional and/or wizardry.” Maybe even being able to complete a do-it-yourself craft project that I can display without people assuming it was made by a blind refugee and purchased for charity.

I plan to tackle these projects and post them here so that, when I inevitably fail, we can all have something to laugh about.