Toronto is in the middle of a deep freeze. At -10°C, my brief 20 minute walk to work is physically painful. It takes a while before I can talk to my colleagues, my face tight and immobile. Like visiting the dentist, the whole thing is numb. I'm not complaining, necessarily, I mean, after nearly 30 years in this climate, I'm fairly accustomed to the whole winter thing.
After a busy holiday of visiting and eating and traveling about the province, Jeff and I have been enjoying our quiet nights-in. Movies, TiVo'd episodes of The People's Court (for reals) and lots of home cooking.
I'm on a kick. Get it while it's hot.
The cold and snowy weather today got me craving something warm and spicy. A coworker was eating the fragrantly-amazing chana masala she made last night. That fit the bill, and I had her transcribing the recipe immediately.
It looks like a lot of ingredients and steps, but it's really easy. And talk about leftovers!
Delish. Spicy. Warms you to the bones. Next up: Homemade cheese crackers!
Honey and Jam's Hannah posted a great and simple recipe for Spicy Cheese Crackers today. I've been noticing homemade cracker recipes lately and decided today was the day! They are fantastic - Couldn't be easier or more tasty. How great to make them into sticks or straws for a cocktail party! I'm excited to buy cookie cutters in adorable shapes. After making them just this once, I feel obsessed! Try it for yourself one of these cold winter nights.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of coriander (omitted due to Jeff's disdain towards)
2 teaspoons of cumin
Half teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water
2 large cans of chick peas
1 tablespoon amchoor powder (couldn't find, omitted)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala (couldn't find, omitted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 hot green chili pepper, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 potatoes, chopped and steamed
4 carrots, cut into rounds
1 cup of frozen peas
Half cup of cream
1) Heat oil in a large pot, sauté onions and garlic for a bit.
2) Turn down a little and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and turmeric.
3) Stir, add tomatoes. Add chick peas and a cup of water.
4) Add the amchoor powder and garam masala, paprika, salt and lemon juice.
5) Cover and let it simmer away for 10 minutes or so.
6) Add the steamed potatoes and carrots, frozen peas, whatever vegetables you might like.
7) Add a half cup of cream.
8) Add the minced green chili pepper and the ginger.
9) Cook until the chickpeas are perfect. Serve over rice with some naan.
Hannah's Spicy Cheese Crackers
1 1/2 cups of extra sharp cheddar
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon of half-and-half
1) Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
2) In a food processor combine cheese, butter, flour, salt, red pepper and paprika and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.
3) Add the cream and pulse until it forms a ball. About 10 seconds.
4) Roll out your dough on a floured surface and cut into any shape.
5) On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake for 10 - 14 minutes (mine took 11), let rest on the pan for a couple of minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.
(You can also roll the dough into a log, refrigerate for an hour or two, then slice into rustic, misshapen slivers like Hannah did. Lovely!)