May 112014
 

Towering tangy English muffins

I adore a good English muffin. And like all things bread, they are infinitely better when made at home. The good news here is that they are ridiculously easy to make. This came as especially good news to my Dad, who adores these little disks of nooks and crannies. Since I discovered they he loves them so much, they’ve become A Thing, something we can make together. You see, he doesn’t ask for much (I’m way more demanding when it comes to “Hey Dad! Make me that delicious thing you make! And this! And that! PUT IT ALL ON THE GRILL!”), so I’m thrilled to have something in my back pocket that I can make when we’re together and I know he’ll genuinely appreciate it and love it (though I have to admit that the making of English muffins often gets usurped by our shared quest for the perfect nacho and guac).

Towering tangy English muffins

I first dipped my toes into the English muffin pond back in my BBAC days and it was pretty apparent to me then that these were something special, something fun, and (I know I already mentioned it before, but it bears repeating) so easy. Griddle-bread is something special and fun — kind of like a mating between the processes for tortillas and sandwich breads. And they are an ideal vehicle for so many things that are good to put in your mouth that I have a hard time resisting them.

Towering tangy English muffins

One of the best things about home-made English muffins is the sheer scale of these things. These suckers are tall. Whether it’s because you can give them a long time to cook and set their internal structure before flipping them (that perhaps a factory-bakery can’t) or the fact that you don’t have to be stingy with the dough (the way a factory-bakery would), I can’t say. Just think about all the jam you could pile on to a split muffin! All the clotted cream! (Which, by the way, I’ve never had, but that does sound scrumptious.) All the almond-butter and bananas! All the poached eggs! (And yes, of course, Hollandaise and bacon too.) People, these are English muffins as you’ve never had them before. So please, if you are an English muffin-phile, go forth and remedy that situation!

Towering tangy English muffins

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May 192008
 

If you’ve yet to foray into the world of Indian cuisine, chicken tikka masala is a good guide for first-timers. There are many aspects of it that are familiar and comfortable to a Western palate (like chicken and rice) but with a decidedly Eastern bent. And by Eastern bent, I mean wonderfully aromatic and fragrant rice, and a richly spiced, yet not spicy, warm sauce for the chicken. It’s a small wonder that this is the most popular Indian dish in the world, even if it’s not, well, strictly authentic Indian.

A handwritten recipe
Nikon D50

Another fantastic thing about chicken tikka masala is that it requires no special equipment. It would be nice to have a tandoor, but a broiler make an acceptable stand-in. Now if only I could find a good tandoor substitute when making naan… But that’s another story of a less successful foray. For now, stick with the chicken tikka masala and really start using some spices in your cooking!

Chicken tikka masala served atop fragrant basmati rice
Nikon D50

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Jan 302008
 

There are some days at work that are just way too hectic for me to break away for a bit, drive home, and prepare a delicious meal.

Luckily, I have this recipe, and I can make a delicious, healthy meal at work.

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who’s occasionally too busy to get the much needed lunch respite, so in honor of all of us eat-at-our-deskers, I present this, a throughly modern, healthy, and delicious version of the typical American baked potato.

Rosemary and cumin: the major flavor players
Nikon D50

If you’re like me, that previously mentioned russet potato (a starchy root whose super-nutritious skins are largely discarded), piled high with butter (artery clogger #1), cheese (A.C. #2), sour cream (A.C. #3), bacon (A.C. #4) and chives (woah, an innocuous one managed to get in there) is pretty unappealing. Try this take instead: a yam (not candied, but left in its pure fiber- and vitamin-rich form), piled with tangy plain yogurt (pretty healthy, especially when compared to sour cream), cumin (a wonderful spice), and rosemary (another fantastic flavor). See, the beauty of this lunch is that not only is it as easy and quick to prepare as the four-fold artery clogger, it’s much more flavorful because you use herbs and spices and not lots of animal fat on a root veggie that already has plenty of flavor on its own. (Quick note: yes, that is a jar of ground cumin – I buy most of my spices whole but I go through cumin so fast that I don’t take issue with buying it ground. I do keep whole cumin on hand, but for a quick, easy recipe like this it’s just easier to take the shortcut.)

And I must admit it: I’m a sucker for the yogurt, cumin, and rosemary blend. I first ran across it in middle eastern lamb spread I make around Easter and for some reason it just works with the yam. And really, with fresh, flavorful ingredients like this, what’s not to love? Unless, of course, you count the glares of envy that your Lean Cuisine-reheating office-mates will be shooting you when they smell the lunch you’re walking around with.

Healthy, delicious, and ready to eat in minutes
Nikon D50

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