Monday, May 28, 2012

Curried Potato Salad

Curried Potato Salad
from the Bombay Brand Major Grey's Chutney insert
click to print

4 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
1/4 c parsley, finely chopped
1/4 c green onions, finely chopped
1/4 c red radishes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp celery seeds
salt, to taste
white pepper, ground, to taste
1 c mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Serve with Chutney Glazed Ribs.

Potato salad is freakishly easy to put together so it's key, absolutely essential I say, that the ingredients are complimentary, the ratios are right, the potatoes non-mealy, things not too crunchy but yet crunchy enough.

This potato salad turned out quite well. The curry was an interesting twist, one I've never had in potato salad. Or any salad, really. I'll admit that I didn't measure the mayonnaise and because the idea of eating a lot of it grosses me out didn't put enough in. The dryness was easily remedied by stirring some more mayo in later.

 It definitely went well with the ribs, offsetting the rib sweetness. I'll do this one again.

  • potatoes: $1.70
  • parsley: $0.89
  • green onions: $0.49
  • radishes: $0.49
  • mayo: $1.25
Total: $4.82 or $0.81 for each of five big servings.

Chutney Glazed Ribs

When I bought the mango chutney for the Baked Coconut Chicken recipe, I was glad to see other uses for it right there on the recipe card provided by the manufacturer. At least the chutney would have more than one use.

Chutney Glazed Ribs
adapted from the Bombay Brand Major Grey's Chutney recipe card
click to print

5 lbs pork sparerib slab
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Trim and separate sparerib slab into serving size portions.

The membrane was removed, the skirt trimmed off, the ends squared and the pieces were cut into sections.

Arrange in a single layer on a large, shallow baking sheet. Season meat with salt and pepper.  

Roast uncovered one hour.

The tops were browned but the bottoms looked a little anemic after that one hour. Flipping them halfway through would have helped with even color.

Meanwhile, prepare chutney mixture by combining chutney, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and paprika.

Discard drippings from baking sheet (or cheat by transferring ribs to another sheet). Baste ribs with chutney mixture.

Pieces transferred, browned sides basted, anemic sides basted.

Bake an additional 30 minutes or until ribs are tender and glazed, flipping halfway through.

Baked 15 minutes, flipped, and baked another 15 minutes.

Serve the ribs with some Curried Potato Salad, recipe coming up next.

These were just okay. I mean, the ribs tasted porky with some glaze on top. I see that doesn't exactly convey what I mean. What I mean is that the ribs I've made before were good because the seasonings, the flavorings, the pork enhancers, were cooked into the meat where the sweet, zingy flavoring was cooking onto this meat. Even when baking the ribs the first hour, I sort of had an idea of what I had was getting into just by the smell.

It was like taking a chicken breast, baking it, and then think that sprinkling some cheese on it is going to make it delectable. It won't. It will taste like a plain chicken breast with cheese on it. Seasonings and how you use them really make a tremendous difference in food. This wasn't tremendous, just kinda different. And they weren't very tender either, but maybe that's why the recipe says to bake..."until ribs are tender." I just went until they seemed glazed.

That said, I think the recipe has potential. The glaze is actually pretty good. It's just that the ribs need some jazzing during that first hour. How? I'm not quite sure about that yet. Any ideas?

FYI, my lack of tenderness might also have been contributed to the fact that I used 1.87 pounds more ribs than the recipe called for while using the quantity of glaze called for. Oh geez. I'm convinced I should try this again.

Total: $14.05 or $2.81 for each of 5 generous servings.

Trade Winds Celery Seeds

The potato salad recipe I'm going to try called for some celery seeds. Conscious of the fact that I'd need only a small container, I looked and looked, but could only find this behemoth at Smart & Final. By behemoth, I mean 7 ounces, as in nearly half a pound.

If you have any favorite recipes calling for celery seeds, let me know.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, these tiny, granular, itty-bitty things, "are used as a seasoning, having a taste similar to fennel." Click on the photo - they actually look like tiny fennel seeds.

And they are actually really pretty, aren't they? I had a sweater about this color once; I loved it and wore it all the time.

Trade Winds celery seeds, available at Smart & Final for $3.99/7 oz.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Food Plan and Grocery List, 052612

This week I'm doing those chutney ribs.

Smart & Final
  • celery seeds: $3.99
  • parsley: $0.89
  • radishes: $0.49
  • green onions: $0.49
  • lemon: $0.49
  • TOTAL: $6.35
Stater Bros:
  • Tostitos chips: $5/2 bags
  • spareribs: $10.51
  • TOTAL: $15.51

Grand Total: $21.86
Total for the year: $1012.44

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cost of Take-Out Lunch, Week Ending 052512

Monday: Mongolian BBQ on a coworker
Tuesday: leftover Mongolian BBQ
Wednesday: potluck at work
Thursday: Jack in the Box: $5.38
Friday: Taco Stop for 5: $32.99

Total: $38.37
Total for the year: $736.76

Blackberry Butter Cake

This recipe looked sort of nuts - a cheesecake topped cake. And then I realized it would be similar to that Craig's Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake, which made it a must try. Conveniently, this will use the remaining sour cream leftover from the Rhubarb-Cranberry Ginger Cream Cheese Bars. The original recipe called for raspberries but blackberries are in season too and they'd be a good substitute.

I bought a lot of blackberries for this cake but the majority languished in my refrigerator over the 6 days since purchase. After picking out the good ones had only enough to bake into the cake and none at all to use as topping.

Blackberry Butter Cake
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
2/3 c sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c fresh blackberries

2 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 325°F. Spray 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl at medium speed 3 to 4 minutes or until creamy and lightened in color.

Beat in 1 egg.

At low speed, beat in sour cream, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined.

Beat in flour mixture just until incorporated.

Spoon batter into pan.

Sprinkle with 3/4 cup blackberries, pressing gently into batter.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or just until top feels firm when lightly touched.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in large bowl at low speed until smooth.

Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla until combined.

Slowly pour topping over partially baked cake.

If you pour the cheesecake batter directly into the middle of the cake, the pressure will cause the uncooked cake middle to get out of the way and puff up toward the surface.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until edges look firm and center moves slightly when pan is tapped but doesn’t ripple as if liquid.

It looked wet in the wrinkle, but upon close examination, I thought to myself, "I'm not sure, maybe another minute in the oven. Eh, whatever, I'll eat it anyway" and decided it was done. Turns out, it really was.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with 2 cups raspberries before serving if you have them. (Cake can be made 1 day ahead.) Cover and store in refrigerator.

I really had my doubts as to how well this would turn out especially after seeing how brown the cake edges were before pouring the cheesecake topping over it. The cake turned out just fine, though I do think baking it a few minutes less than more is a good idea. The edges of the blackberry cake portion did turn out a little drier than I prefer.

Overall this was wildly fascinating to me and tasted really good -- it was like eating two desserts rolled into one. Next time, I'll make it a point to bake the blackberry cake portion for less time, 5-10 minutes less than this time so it's still quite uncooked, then quickly pour the cheesecake over it. This will achieve more of a blackberry-cake-cheesecake swirl effect driving home the 2-in-1 dessert. Like Craig's Cheesecake. And certainly, having the extra blackberries to sprinkle over the top would be ideal.

  • all-purpose flour: $0.23
  • unsalted butter, softened: $0.27
  • sugar: $0.18
  • eggs: $0.95
  • sour cream: $0.52
  • lemon: $0.23
  • vanilla extract: $0.14
  • 3/4 c fresh blackberries: $7.89
  • cream cheese: $1.87
  • powdered sugar: $0.21
Total: $12.49 or $1.56 for each of 8 servings.