Cooking for Fun and Profit

Jennifer has been really really busy in preparing for her pharmacy certification and I have been missing the chances to cook for her. Here are some of the foods and recipes that we like to put together and really enjoy. I figured I would put them in once place and some people might benefit from our adventures:

  • Chicken Yakhni – Mild Chicken curry from the Kashmir region of India which is very cinnamony and fragrant, yet deliciously light for the discerning palate. Good with fragrant Basmati Rice.
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Butter Chicken – Jennifer’s favourite. This is a tomato laden, slightly rich dish which can be cooked to creamy perfection by the most novice cook. Perfect with a little pita bread.
  • Beef Biryani – A fragrant and often mild colored rice dish from the heart of India. This is a one pot dish that can be cooked very easily and is a complete meal in and of itself. Any kind of meat can be used (not limited to beef) and there are a myriad of spice packets available that make this dish a very easy one to put together. The secret of having a delicious biryani is to cook at relatively low heat for hours.
  • Swordfish steaks – This fish, though exotic, is very very non-fishy. The meat is flaky and yet moist, very flavorful and very easy to cook. Just make sure there are no dark meats hiding inside the steaks, heat up some butter and garlic peices in a pan and lightly brown on both sides. This is great with rice, any kind of bread and works well with slightly flavorful vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli. Make sure the meat is seared rather than baked to retain the soft flaky texture. Quick, easy and very delicious.
  • Chicken Tandoori – This is one of my favorite dishes. Invest in a nice clay pot that can be oven baked and a nice box of tandoori spices. Available at Meijer and other stores, the spices can be used as liberally or as delicately as you would like. Just marinate overnight in the refrigirator, put into the clay pot and bake at low heat for a long time. Again, the secret is the length of time the meat is cooked and the heat.

These are some of the recipes that we use almost everyday. I will try to provide links to the recipes as soon as I find some time this weekend. In the meantime, Google them and enjoy!

Jennifer is off to see the Wizard

I would like to wish Jennifer good luck and hope some of my well wishers will do the same. She is off to take the pharmacy certification tests this week. This is the culmination of six years worth of advanced chemistry and clinical pharmacology that Jennifer has had to endure. She is a very intelligent person who has had very little trouble in working hard on keeping up with and doing well in her college education.

She has been steadily increasing her study times in recent months and after this is over, we have made plans to take a day off and go to Put-In-Bay for fun and frolic. It should be fun.

I wish her all the best in her two days of trial and know that she will pass with flying colors (well, she doesnt need the flying colors to pass, but it wouldnt hurt).

I love you, honey!


Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is my office cubicle. 🙂

Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?

Following Lisa’s post on the same topic, I would like to go through my choices.

My favourite cities in the entire world (which I have visited and thus can express an opinion about) in no particular order:
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA
Seattle, WA
Paris, France
London, England
Wooster, OH
Calcutta, India

and strangely,
Toledo, OH

However, if you asked me which city I would like to live in if I had no other care in the world and could afford everything I wanted, I would want to live in a city with nice long beaches and lots of sunshine (warm, in other words). Crystal clear blue water, fast bikes and boats, exotic and abundant marine life, white sand, bright sun, dogs allowed on the beach, lots of room to fly my remote control airplanes and a broadband internet connection. There would, of course, have to be a working pharmacy and lots of cheap shopping there for Jennifer, and lots of foliage for my parents to enjoy taking care of. This reminds me of the “happy thoughts” of Happy Gilmore. Ahh, the dreams of a paradise. I feel better already!!!

So where would you live if you had the choice of going anywhere in the world? Did your daydream make the day a little brighter? If it did, like it did mine, pass the meme along.

Indian Ghee

I know that most Indians will know what I am talking about but most others will be a little lost. Ghee is clarified butter. It is used in all kinds of Indian cooking, especially in the sweet meats. It has a very distinctive flavor and is delicious with piping hot rice and a pinch of salt. It adds a nice aroma to most curry dishes and meat becomes more flavorful. It is one of the most sought after ingredients of a good Indian meal. Now that we have that established, where do we get it? Most Indian grocery stores will carry some form of ghee and so will some of the more inclusive department stores such as Meijer. However, ghee is traditionally very expensive. There are a couple of very simple ways to make it at home.

Method 1: Buy some unsalted butter. Unsalted is best because it prevents the flavor of salt from tainting the flavor of the ghee. Heat it in the microwave in a pot (microwave safe of course) till it melts. Let it sit for a few after it has melted. This will force the milk solids to settle to the bottom. Grab some cheese cloth and dampen it with some water. Then carefully strain the melted butter onto the cloth, making sure none of the milk solids are transferred. Get rid of the milk solids. Thats it.

Method 2: A more refined method is to actually boil the butter till the solids seperate and then perform the same straining as above. The dampening of the cloth will make sure less of the butter gets absorbed by the cloth.

Enjoy a nice aromatic and delicious (albeit somewhat unhealthy) meal with your ghee!