Sunday, September 28, 2008

Curried Potatoes, Beach Birthday Getaways, Caramelized Onions, Cooking Show Wannabees

How does Sunday night always seem to arrive so quickly? This weekend was action packed, so action packed that all I can do is give a quick overview of the highlights.

First, there were curried potatoes on Saturday morning, inspired by my friend Nathan's father's recipe. I've been dreaming about these potatoes ever since I tried them at a party at Nathan's place last summer, and on Saturday I finally made them before spontaneously piling the sweetheart, the dogs, some sandwiches and a few cold beverages into the car to head to Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands for a little unplanned relaxing in the sunshine.

Sometimes it's good to head to a beautiful place when things are in flux, or when you really feel you ought to be doing something more productive. Sometimes it's good to realize that the most productive thing you can do is to take a time out and enjoy this beautiful earth with someone you love. And of course, it's essential to take your four-legged furry friends, especially when it happens to be the birthday of a certain dog you've loved for the last 12 years! Sometimes the most important thing to do is to just dig your toes into the sand and be grateful, and so that's just what we did.

Sunday's highlights were, and are:

1. The caramelized onions that are still slowly browning away on my stove as I type, nearly 3 hours from when I started them. I've been obsessed with making the perfect caramelized onions ever since I enjoyed some amazing ones at Cafe Biere last week, and after pouring over all my cookbooks, I've learned that a long, slow cooking process is key. And I'm happy to report that if you walked into our house right now, you'd be completely intoxicated by the aroma of these onions. I can't wait to enjoy them throughout the week!

2. Lastly, but not leastly, today I did a trial run today of my ten-minute film segment showing me making my roasted garlic chipotle hummus for the KTEH Cooks...with Garlic contest. And oh, my, my, did I ever learn a few things! It's funny - I have long dreamed of having my own cooking show. But as soon as I found myself in front of the camera with all my little bowls of ingredients, what would happen but that I would clam up and feel like a complete DORK???? It's what I like to call Red Light Syndrome when I am in the recording studio. I can sing perfectly when we're warming up and getting the levels just right, when it just feels like practicing. But as soon as the red "RECORDING" light goes on, I start choking like a frog. Yes, I'm going to have to find a way to overcome that. Suffice it to say that I'll probably do several tapings, and that we'll be eating a LOT of hummus around here this week! It's a good thing that my hummus recipe is SO DAMN GOOD!

Speaking of things that are so damn good, here is the recipe for curried potatoes. I adapted Mr. Moy's recipe in order to use what I had on hand. Mainly, I was lacking fenugreek, but by all means, use it if you've got it! I also added a little yellow curry powder to the mix. I hope you will enjoy these potatoes as much as we did!


First, parboil about a pound of potatoes. (I used organic potatoes that I picked up from the farmer's market this week. I'm not sure what kind they were, but they were medium size, with a skin lighter than that of russets. I left the skin on because the potatoes were organic, and because that's where many of the nutrients like to hang out, so I didn't want to miss out!)

Once cool, quarter and dice the potatoes and set aside.

Dice a medium sized onion and set aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet on the stove and once shimmering, add about a half teaspoon of cumin seeds and a half teaspoon of poppyseeds (and add a half a teaspoon fenugreek if you've got it!). Stir for a few minutes and then add the onions and continue to stir over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown,

Next, add the potatoes, plus about a half teaspoon each of yellow curry powder and red chili powder, plus a light sprinkling of crushed red pepper, if you happen to like it on the spicy side.

Turn up the heat and stir occasionally, long enough so that the potatoes have time to brown a bit. This could take a good 20 minutes or so, depending on your stove.

Now add a little salt, a couple of cloves of crushed or minced garlic, and if you'd like, some chopped cilantro. Cook for a few more minutes.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, or a bit of ketchup, or not. Enjoy alone or with someone you love, and in any case, give thanks and enjoy.

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