Naan (Flatbread)

 

 

Naan1

Everyone has at least one food obsession- something that you can’t say no to no matter how full you are. For me, it’s bread. Soft, fluffy, and fresh from the oven. While trying to think of words to describe the satisfaction that comes with making this bread, I suddenly had a craving for it. Considering all the ingredients are kitchen staples, making a decision has never been so easy. As I type away now, there is a bowl of dough rising  in the corner that will soon become steaming fresh naan.

This flatbread is versatile because you can eat it bare in its simplicity or pair it with some tikka masala or other saucy dish to scoop up the flavors as pictured above. You can also add a spread on it like za’atar (oregano thyme spice blend) with some olive oil and toast it for a few minutes for a fulfilling breakfast or midday snack as shown below.

Naan

Naan

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Print

Chicken Tikka

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. You will see a thin layer of foam develop.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar together and set aside.
  3. Add the yogurt and olive oil to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork initially till most of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands for a minute or two forming it into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft. If you feel that it is too sticky, add flour as needed (I added about an extra 1/4 cup of flour).
  5. Lightly oil a medium sized bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Warm a large cast iron pan or a nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Dust a clean surface with flour and separate the dough into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece into an oval shape, taking care to dust the dough with flour so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
  7. Put the dough into the dry heated skillet and cook until you see the top bubble up, which should take a few minutes. Flip the dough and cook the other side for another minute or two until you see the browned spots.
  8. Remove the naan from the pan and brush generously with the melted butter on both sides. Place the naan in a towel lined basket or dish to keep it warm.

Adapted from OnceUponAChef

 

Step By Step Photos

Naan

Yeast mixed in with the warm water and sugar, notice how it is starting to foam up

Naan

Dough ready to rise in an oiled bowl

Naan

After dough is done rising, cut it up into 6 pieces

Naan

Roll each piece out into an oval shape to your desired thickness

Naan

Place the rolled dough into a heated cast iron or nonstick skillet and you’ll see it bubble up

 

Naan

Flip it over to cook the other side

Naan

After a minute or two, flip it and you’ll see these beautiful brown spots

Naan

Be creative, eat your naan in its simplicity or spread some za’atar on it

 

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Green Bean Bacon Bundles

With a 2 ingredient recipe, it’s hard to turn this one down (assuming you have olive oil and the salt & pepper of course). This was a pretty spontaneous side dish that I prepared for Thanksgiving. It makes for a delicious substitute for a green bean casserole if you’re looking for a dish that’s out of the ordinary. It may even tempt little ones who are finicky with their foods to try a healthy green!

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 10 turkey bacon strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat: 350 F

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water.
  3. Blanch the green beans by placing them into the boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove them and immediately place into the ice water. This will preserve the color and stop the cooking process.
  4. Dry the green beans and place aside.
  5. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the turkey bacon until cooked but not crisp, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove cooked bacon to paper towels.
  7. Toss the green beans in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  8. Use about 8-10 green beans to assemble each bundle. Wrap the bacon around the green beans and place in a baking dish with the loose end of the bacon facing down.
  9. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Green Bean Bacon Bundles

For a sweet bacon inspired dish, check out my Maple Bacon Brittle Icecream!

 

SugarCane Glory

photo 1

When I first saw my brother cutting this in the kitchen, I wondered… What the heck is this boy doing with a bamboo stick? Haha turns out it was actually a sugarcane!! This is basically the processed sugar we eat on a daily basis in it’s unrefined form. Seems kind of weird right? It’s quite deceiving knowing that this comes from the grass family which we all assume is “healthy” although it produces that sweet product that we all try to stay away from lol. I was really curious about how sugar is made and allll these different types that we find at the grocery store.

Here’s a quick run down:

White Sugar: Made from the sugarcane; multiple washings to remove all traces of molasses and give the white color

Molasses: Byproduct syrup after sugar is extracted from the sugarcane; the type of molasses depends on which pressing of the sugar it was collected at (first-light molasses, second-dark, third-blackstrap)-with each pressing the molasses get less sugar than the previous one and become darker and less sweeter

Brown Sugar: Plain white sugar mixed with molasses

Turbinado Sugar: Made from the first pressing of sugarcane- syrup is boiled to produce the crystals and then is spun in a centrifuge to remove the moisture (gets its name from turbinelike centrifuge); retains more of the original flavor

Preparing sugarcane is a relatively easy task. Take a sharp knife and remove the green skin from all around the cane. You will expose the creamy fibrous inside that we see below in the picture. Then you chew and chew until you draw out all the juices/sugar (don’t swallow it!).

For choosing a sugarcane, Walter Nicholls gives us an in depth description in his article on the plant

“In stores, sugar cane may be sold in one-foot sections or six-foot sections. Willie Robson Jr., produce manager for Dean & DeLuca in Georgetown, suggests the following: Choose light-green-fading -to- yellow- colored batons mottled with reddish-brown patches. Avoid white canes and those with cracks or blackened areas. Thin, heavy canes tend to be sweeter than thicker ones. Those with joints that are three to five inches in length are best for skewers and swizzle sticks and easier to eat out of hand. Ask the produce clerk to make a fresh cut on each end of the cane. The best cane has opaque, off-white, moist flesh. Canes are past their prime when the flesh is dry and brown or red.”

photo 2

Enjoy!

Never Say Never!

It’s crazy when you sit back and look at how your opinions have changed over time over any subject, and in this case-food. In the past, I would have never dreamed of touching an avocado. Slimy. Tasteless. Mushy. Basically, that’s how I judged them. I even hated guacamole! What was I thinking haha. It’s funny because I’m not really sure when the transition occurred, just sometime in the past couple years. Well now, I am a hugeee fan of avocados. I love them in anything and everything, you name it whether it’s on turkey bacon wrapped hotdogs or even something as simple as a salad.

Something else that I recently tried out with avocados that my parents always eat is avocados with honey. Yup, only honey. Easiest snack you could ever make and it is just delicioussssss! So if you have any spare avocados sitting around and aren’t really sure what to do with them, just drizzle some of that sweet honey on top, grab a spoon, and dig in :)

Any other interesting ways you eat your avocados??