Butter Chicken & Rice: Indian cuisine made easy for the Irish-English Canadian

A counter and stove-top are littered with the fixings for an easy-made Indian-inspired dinner: butter chicken in a slow cooker, saffron water in a Pyrex dish, rice & raisins set aside in a container, olive oil, store-bought naan bread, etc.My husband and I were introduced to Indian cuisine many years ago and still love it. Although I cannot handle anything too spicy, due to a set of very sensitive tastebuds, I find myself going back again and again for one favourite: butter chicken.

Lately, we’ve had some difficulty getting our favourite Indian restaurant to make our butter chicken orders mild. Maybe they got a new chef, but at some point, whenever we ordered butter chicken, if we did not stress “not spicy” or “very mild”, we would get it delivered in one flavour: “too damned spicy for my palette”. (Insert pouty-sad-face here.)

As a result, I started whipping it up at  home. Sadly, I have not been brave enough to do so from scratch. I cheat!  Continue reading

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Microwave as cooking tool, not just reheating tool

Tupperware SmartSteamerSo I’ve thought for quite some time now that my microwave was little more than a device to reheat leftovers, to thaw items from the freezer and to make popcorn. I’ve felt this way for many, many years. I’ve tried cooking in it and haven’t liked how certain foods have turned out (largely due to texture-based issues such as chicken seeming rubbery, etc.). However, a friend of mine has recently clued me into the fact that my microwave can be used for so much more and has likely been one of the lesser-used tools in my kitchen arsenal, going largely neglected for years.

I was complaining that whenever I cook rice to the instructions either on the stove-top or in my rice-cooker, I always end up with crispy, overcooked rice layering the bottom of my rice dish. It doesn’t seem to matter how much water or butter I add, nor does it seem to matter how long I cook the rice for or at what temperature. I mentioned I was almost ready to give up on rice altogether which would be such a loss, since it’s such a versatile food.

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Lazy-man’s omellette for one

Square-shaped omellette for one with tomato slices and a fork resting on the side of the plateI recently picked up a few new frying pans from our local Wal-Mart (my hubby works there, so please no flaming me for shopping at the Evil Corporation (TM)!). One of them was a little mini square non-stick pan:

At first, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to use it for, but it was cute and I thought I could at least use it for making grilled cheese sandwiches without wasting a larger pan. Well, next thing I knew, it was my new egg and omellette pan!

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