HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Vikram Vij. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vikram Vij. Show all posts

Monday, February 7, 2011

Simple Grilled Lamb Chops and Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala


      The great challenge of home cooking is finding ways to bring new life to everyday family favorites.  At our house, this is a true mission since every meal is a candidate for this blog. We are constantly on the lookout for ways of making meals that are new and different.   One of the easiest ways of doing this is changing up the sides that go with, for instance, grilled lamb chops.
      Lamb chops are a staple at our house.  We buy trimmed loin lamb chops for an amazingly good price at Costco .  The last time I looked at our butcher’s,  1 lb. of them were the same price as the entire 10 pack that I’d bought there !  We divvy them up, use our Seal a Meal, then freeze them and pull them out and defrost them in the fridge.  They do not seem worse for wear and they are very juicy with the distinctive rich flavor that makes lamb so deliciously different from any other meat.  I marinate them in Worcestershire sauce then grill them under the broiler for 6 minutes a side. Perfection!  But last fall I was reading the New York Times Sunday magazine when I discovered a great accompaniment that really makes the simply grilled lamb chop a whole other dinner.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lamb and Tomato Curry and Indian Asparagus


Above: The ingredients of a great curry even look beautiful.   

 Indian curries are a favorite of mine.  While the Indians eat them to keep cool in their hot climate, I eat them to keep warm in ours—especially with this winter’s record-breaking low temperatures.  This particular curry was the brainchild of one of my favorite Indian cooks, Vij Vikram whose recipe for Short Ribs in Red wine and Cinnamon has already appeared here.  This time, Vij turns up the heat quite a bit but you can control it easily by reducing the cayenne pepper count if you must.  I find that Basmati rice goes a long way to putting out any fires. 
    I paired this with a recipe for Asparagus that was invented by an Indian vegetarian cook named Manjula Jain.  Manjula came to this country in the late 60s.  And like Vij, she has adapted a North American ingredient to an Indian palate.  Asparagus is not unknown in India but it is rare and usually confined to the south of India.  Manjula is from the north.  I admire both of these cooks so much for taking something locally grown and making it taste so exotic.  You can visit www.manjulaskitchen.com and see the extent of her vegetarian recipes.  I can’t vouch for them all, but the one for asparagus is a definite keeper.




Thursday, January 7, 2010

Short Ribs in a Cinnamon and Red Wine Sauce: An East Indian take on a North American Classic




If you’ve had any luck in life, you’ve had the good fortune to visit Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s a city that’s got it all. They say you can sail and ski on the same day. Surrounded by water and a little over an hour from the slopes at Whistler, that sounds highly possible. Yes, it has that Pacific Northwest climate with a few more rainy days than I’d find ideal, but it’s blessedly warmer than the rest of Canada in winter and temperate all summer. And Vancouver is a foodie’s delight. In fact, Mimi Sheraton thinks the best Asian cuisine in North America is found there. I’d add that the best South Asian food in Vancouver is served at Vij’s, Vikram Vij’s no reservation restaurant at 1480 West 11th Street in the South Granville area of the city. And I wouldn’t be alone. The New York Times called Vij’s “Easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.”