Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala and Delicious Rice!

25 03 2011

There is a new Indian restaurant in town, and as I’ve never had Indian food, I peeked out of my shell a bit to go try it out.  As you might guess, I am now addicted to chicken tikka masala, and to an even greater extent, naan.  My attempts at naan recipes failed, much like most of my attempts at making bread that contains yeast, but I heavily modified some recipes to make chicken tikka masala, that I feel is fairly successful.

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lb. chicken (I used boneless chicken thighs)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. lime juice concentrate
  • Seasoning  (yep, dried in a bottle from the grocery store)
    • Curry powder (or its ingredients: coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper, and ginger)
    • Powdered ginger
    • Powdered garlic
    • Minced onion
    • Paprika
    • Old Bay Seasoning (which doesn’t list its full list, but notes that it includes red and black pepper)

*Chicken, tomato sauce, and cream are the only ingredients common to most of the recipes I found.  Most said 8 0z. each of tomato sauce and cream for 1.5 lb of chicken; that was too dry for overnight in the crockpot, so about halfway through I added the remaining cream.  I plan to try this with 12 oz. each instead.

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken into small pieces (on the order of 1-inch cubes), removing excess fat, skin, and bones if necessary.  Set aside.
  2. Pour tomato sauce into crockpot.
  3. Add seasonings until the sauce smells delicious, but  no longer smells like canned ravioli.  Be sure to stir them in before checking by smell.
  4. Mix cream into the sauce.
  5. Repeat smell check, and add seasoning if necessary.  (If you like it spicy, now’s the time to get a quick taste–dairy tends to block spice)
  6. Add lime.
  7. Mix chicken into the sauce, stirring well to ensure that all the pieces are separated.
  8. Cook on low for about 8 hours.

Note: Unlike most of my crockpot recipes, which are water-based, this is made with cream.  This can cause some nastiness in your crockpot when it’s all done, so if yours doesn’t have a removable inside part, make sure you’ll have the time to clean it soon after cooking.

Most recipes also call for marinating the chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, and seasoning, and then not adding any citrus to the sauce.  I made this at about 11 p.m., so I didn’t really want to stay up to wait for the chicken to juicify.  It probably would have helped, though.

 

NomsyLee says it tastes like lobster bisque, but with chicken.  I can’t really comment on that, as I didn’t even know what bisque was (but somehow knew how to spell it?).  It doesn’t match the Indian place, but I think it’s just as good.

 

So what’s all this about delicious rice, you ask?  Well, I tend to be pretty bad at cooking rice.  Shameful, I know.  I use the same long-grain white rice that we use at home, but somehow always manage to either burn it or not cook it enough.  No more!  I have found an effective way to make plain white rice delicious!

It’s pretty simple, and I provide you with the full explanation of how, exactly, it happened:

  1. Heat water (about twice the volume of water as volume of rice, err on the side of less water) until it’s nearly boiling.
  2. Add rice.
  3. Stir the rice, then cover and reduce heat to somewhere around 3-4 (I think that’s the equivalent of medium-low).
  4. Forget about the rice.  Get on internet.
  5. Half an hour later, get bored, go into the kitchen, discover rice.
  6. Turn off heat and move to cold burner or pad.
  7. Remove lid to check and make sure nothing’s burnt.  Sniff.  Realize that not only is it not burnt, but it smells surprisingly good.
  8. Wander off again.
  9. 10+ minutes later, rediscover rice.  The rice in the middle will have finished fluffing from the steam, and the rice on top and bottom won’t be soggy from sitting in water.  It also won’t be all stuck together in a big block.

That’s all I’ve got right now!





Long time no… something!

13 07 2010

Update on Knitting: Picked up my red scarf (not much farther on it), started a new hat.

Update on Stitch Markers: I haven’t forgotten!  I just moved into a new place, though, so they’re… well, still in a box.  *wince*  As soon as I get the boxes unpacked, I’ll send the finished ones and finish making the rest. I’ll send an email before I mail them to make sure that addresses are still correct. Sorry again for these delays 😦

Update on Food: Oh man, I need to make this into a cooking blog.  Seriously.  Having my own apartment with a fairly large kitchen is REALLY NICE.  Especially since I have no roommates for the summer.  I have lucked out big time.  I made chocolate meringue pie (chocolate pudding made with yolks, meringue topping made with whites, all of it baked so it’s safe), meringue cookies (I was experimenting with eggs, okay?), curried rice (I think it would be right to say “curry” but I feel that it’s something I DID to the rice, so… curried.), successful chicken&rice (previous attempt was a disaster 😦 ), hamburgers without burning them and filling the apt with smoke (a friend of mine did that… to MY apt–I spent all night cleaning it), cookies, steak quesadillas (the trick is to use lime and ginger.  Seriously, try it sometime, along with the standard garlic, onion, and pepper.), annnd oh man I can’t even think of what else.  I got some soy sauce and am going to attempt to make a beef equivalent of ginger pork (my fave that is no longer sold at a Japanese restaurant that, unfortunately, went all-sushi).

Update on life in general

Okay, let’s see… I moved out of the dorm I was in since last summer (the one I moved into at the end of the summer, not the one I was in when I started this blog), into an off-campus apartment.  It is pretty nice.  Fresh paint, very secure.   Fairly new, but not expensive.  It actually works out to almost exactly the same price as the “equivalent” on-campus housing, but with 2 bathrooms and air conditioning that can actually be controlled beyond “HOT” or “COLD.”  I consider those things pretty important.

I took a course last term, and decided that to save myself from being idle (or something? I like feeling productive), I would take another course this term, while I knew for certain that a professor I didn’t like was NOT teaching it.  So far, so good.  *thumbs up*  I managed 108% on the test, which was yesterday.  For once, I don’t mind that there was no partial credit–I knew as soon as I hit “submit” that I had an A+.

To explain the “hitting submit” bit, I should point out that ALL ECE courses are online during the summer.  Sometimes this bugs me (no chance to talk to the prof, except by phone or by requesting an on-campus meeting–the latter is what I’ve been doing), and other times I like love it (I can keep whatever hours I want, as long as I learn the material, turn in the homework, and make it to the test).  And yes, that means that I’ve spent most of this summer nocturnal.  I think it works out pretty well… I can’t tell if it’s getting hotter out each year, or if I’m just getting worse and worse at handling the heat.  I need to start keeping track of temperatures so I can compare.

To be honest, I don’t have much to say :/  But I wanted to post, because it’s been so long since I’ve done anything on this blog.

I’m adding a link to the blogroll, and here’s a picture of my latest project:

That’s right: A full-size Frog Hat!





MMMMMMMashed Potatoes.

7 03 2010

Today I didn’t feel well, and decided that mashed potatoes would fix everything.

I WAS RIGHT.  NomsyLee went and got some beef for stewing while I made mashed potatoes, so we had beef stew (the kind that’s just beef + gravy) and mashed potatoes.  For the first time ever, I managed to make mostly unlumpy gravy, but the meat’s not the important part (for once).

I actually messed up the mashed potatoes, but they were really good!  So here’s what I did

1) Boil water.  Add a bunch of onion powder, pepper, and garlic salt while waiting on it to boil.  Peel, wash, and chop up potatoes.

2) Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes (which for these tiny potatoes was probably too long).

3) Drain potatoes.

So far so good!

4) Add a packet of Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss cheese.  (I actually normally do it this way–makes ’em creamier.)

5) Add milk.

6) Accidentally add too much milk.

7) (Optional) Sigh.  Shrug.

8) Add butter.

9) Get out mixer.

10) (Optional) grumble about how far it is from the plug to the pot.

11) Mash those potatoes!

12) Decide they’re too soggy.  Add another pack of cheese.  Mix it in well.

13) Taste it.. and realize that it’s DELICIOUS.

No, I don’t really measure when I make potatoes.  Or anything, for that matter.  It usually turns out better that way, except for bread and hot chocolate.





Recipe post!

8 02 2010

Went to a crazy food party at a friend’s place recently.

They had pizza.  This pizza was homemade (I helped!).

So, here is a rough reckoning of the recipe, modified to my taste and kitchen inventory:

  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan (optional, imho; I haven’t been using it)
  • Pizza-crust-in-a-can (Walmart has it, it’s near the biscuits-in-cans, and kind of tastes similar)
  • tomatoes (1.5-2 is plenty, unless you REALLY like tomato)
  • onion, garlic (fresh is optional; I use minced onion and garlic powder. Fresh onion and no garlic was on the party version.)

Roll out pizza crust as instructed on can; if you’re adding veggies beyond just the tomatoes, you’ll want to prebake it for about 4 minutes.  Thinly slice the tomatoes, and follow suit for any extra veggies.  Pile on crust as thick as you like.  Sprinkle lots of each kind of cheese (may want to mix them first?) on the pizza.  Put in oven for however long it will take the crust to cook (~15 minutes on the kind I used).  Remove from oven, let cool, eat!

Most reading this probably already know I’m not big on veggies… but this is pretty good!  I like the tomatoes REALLY thin and spread out, so there’s no sudden CRUNCH in my mooshy goodness.

PS it’s hard to cut thin slices with a santoku.  That’s the only non-serrated Kitchen Knife I have 😦  Lost my old paring knife.





Hello, World.

21 01 2010

I took a break from forums, blogs, and “real-life” hobbies over the break.  I spent most of my time playing with code and playing D&D Online… But now the semester has (about a week past..) begun, and real life happens.  Hello.

Knitting… I (finally!) ran out of yarn on that red scarf I’ve been working on, and now have an estimate of how much it’ll take.  I need two more skeins.  Maybe I’ll have it ready for next winter… I really needed it a few times.  It’s been pretty cold out!

Crochet… Haven’t since I got hooked on knitting (pun slightly intended, for the reverse-osity).

Baking!  I am learning to make bread.  I had flour, milk, and eggs, and I thought, “Hey, that’s bread, right?”  Not exactly, it turns out.  That’s pancakes, crepes, or blini.  At least now I know where they got the translation “blini = pancake” from… the similarity ends at the ingredient list.  They are similar to crepes.

But that’s not the important part!  The important part is that I discovered a recipe for tortillas (so a half gallon of milk went to waste, but at least I used eggs for other purposes)!  Delicious!  Roommate already knew how to make corn tortillas, but… not so big on those myself.

So tortillas!  Delicious.  Then I got some yeast… the dry kind, in packets, from the store.  I keep having to reassure myself.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry.

So I made yeast rolls!  Well, the internet called them French Bread Rolls, but… French bread is delicious.  These were not.  They looked right, smelled right, but they taste… green.  I know, synesthesia doesn’t solve anything, but that’s the only description I have for it.  I know there was too much yeast, but it’s hard to measure out of those little packets.  Luckily, NomsyLee, roomie, and roomie’s boyfriend like them.  So there’s only one left.  If it’s not eaten by late tonight, it’s going in the bin–these rolls (according to The Internets) only last a few days.


I’m sure a few of you are wondering where your packages are.  I have 3 sets ready–decided to make 6 per set, with a couple of several sizes.  My jewelry pliers have gone AWOL, though, so production has been put on an unexpected extended hiatus.  I’ve got a few ideas of where they might be hiding, but so far searches have resulted in nothing 😦


I seem to have run out of things to say.  Hmm.





Hallo there!

3 09 2009

I’m still alive!  Really 🙂

Life has gotten quite busy.  Classes have started, and even though it looks on paper like I’ve nothing going on, the fact that I’ve done about 3 problems on the homework that’s due a week from now is a sign that I’m WAY behind.

I’ve just “baked” one of those 5 minute chocolate mug cakes and am waiting for it to cool so I can devour it.  Modified slightly–I used butter instead of oil, a little more vanilla, and only nuked it for 2 minutes, 30 seconds 3 minutes; I just went over and found that it was undercooked.  Hopefully, it will be more edible than the last try… the top was too dense to eat! 😦

(Just took a bite mmmm that is wonderful.  Tastes like REAL cake!)

So I said I’d post pictures of the spinning… I haven’t worked on it since my roommate moved in (aside from showing her that I have a spindle and yes, that is yarn on it, and here’s how it’s done…).

This is the best picture I’ve managed to get of it… the lighting’s not great in here, and my camera is not happy… That is to say, I need to get batteries.

Slightly random… I thought batteries used to be sort of / kind of  / almost cheap?  Because I think that $7 for 4 AA batteries is RIDICULOUS.  Gonna go to a real store and see if they’re any cheaper.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a red scarf (Ravelry|Pattern) for when it gets cold outside, a skirt of my own design (Ravelry), and I’ve recently finished a hat (Ravelry|Pattern) for my roommate.

Anywho, I’m swiftly running out of things to say and the time to go to lab approaches.  So here are some pictures:

On the left is the bottom of the skirt, i.e. the hem.  It’s about all I’ve done, but I think it’s lovely so far… But that opinion is a bit biased.  You know.  Toward myself.

And to your right is a hat.  This hat was made by me for my roommate, and turned out very different from the pattern.  I blame it on my inability to count.

And for your edumacation… Hmm…  As I need to hurry and finish eating so I can go to lab, I’ll leave you with a link to a book (that is partially online, courtesy of Google and the authors).  The thing that I need to read in this is about springs and dashpots (mainly the dashpots).  It was brought up in class as though the professor assumed all of us Electrical Engineering students knew what a dashpot is already… so I’m looking it up.  In short, a mechanical system can be modelled using electrical circuits… A dashpot is equated to a capacitor, and a spring is equated to an inductor.  (Wikipedia links)  At least, I think that’s how it works; now I can’t find anything on these pages to verify this 😦





The duel continues… with Sausage Balls!

13 08 2009

Well, my dear friend Tobey responded to my response to her Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe with a Tuna Dip!  Well, that’s just cutting it too close with the styles… So now it’s time for my family’s New Year favorite: Sausage Balls!

Quite easy to make, these are.

  • 1 lb each hot and mild sausage (or modify ratio to taste)
  • 3-4 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 c. Bisquick

Mash up the sausage, cheese, and bisquick into a dough.  (Just use your [CLEAN] hands.)  Then roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter (smaller is typically better, within reason).  Place on cookie sheet and bake at about 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes.  Let cool enough to not burn your fingers, then devour.  Extras can be stored in the fridge or freezer, depending on how soon you plan to eat them.