Thursday, April 29, 2010
Stepping Up to the Side Dish Showdown
As I've been working to improve my blog, seeking new trinkets to put on it and some ideas other than just "Here's What I Ate Today" (though, admittedly, I am having quite a bit of fun reporting on that!), I've done a lot -- a LOT -- of gawking at other people's blogs. Some are so cool and artistic that I can only writhe in jealousy and wish I had both talent for presentation and time to work on enhancing my skills; others need some help, and I would personally hesitate before making a couple of them available for public perusal. But one which I particularly liked was Cinnamon, Spice and Everything Nice, which has great hearty recipes and beautiful pictures of fabulous food ... and also offers one of my new projects: the Side Dish Showdown.
As our charming hostess? ringleader? cat corral-er??? -- a.k.a. "Cinnamon Girl" -- describes it: "Side Dish Showdown is a monthly blogger event to give side dishes the attention they deserve." Thus, rather than preparing an entree and then tossing some slices of cucumber or a quartered orange on the side (though fruits and vegetables are good for us and shouldn't be denigrated!), put a little effort into it, why don't you? Don't neglect the poor side dish, sad and lonely on the edge of the plate rather than getting its moment in the spotlight. Make it ready for its close-up!
Feeling as though I was accepting a dare, I thought I might try this. I'm always up for a new cooking challenge; and so I thought to myself, "Self? What side dish should we make when the category is 'Anything Goes," but with a special emphasis on Spring vegetables?" And my Self pointed out to me that we had just bought new red potatoes ... thus the matter was settled. Some cumin seed, some coriander, a pinch of red pepper flakes ... Indian Spiced Potatoes it is! And then the dilemma, what to serve as the entree for them to accompany?
I'd defrosted some chicken, but only found inspiration at the very last moment after going to the grocery store with Tom and hearing the Brown Cow Cream Top Maple Yogurt calling to me. I poached some chicken and diced it, then stirred together some of the luscious yogurt with garam masala, hot curry powder and ginger. I mixed the chicken into the sauce, poured it over some naan, and a Curried Chicken Sandwich was ready and waiting. Spinach would have been a fabulous addition! Too bad I didn't have any ....
The entire meal -- which I only fully conceived of and started to prepare moments after walking in the door after both work and a visit with Tom -- was magnificent, if I may dislocate my own shoulder to pat my back. Jeremy thought the chicken was too spicy, but his friend Doug had a second helping of the potatoes and said they were so good he could happily finish off the batch ... :)
And so, here I offer my first entry into the Side Dish Showdown ... enjoy!!!
Indian Spiced Potatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds new red potatoes, cut into 1/2” dice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon lemon sea salt flakes (or 1 teaspoon salt and a spritz of lemon juice)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 10” skillet over medium high heat; add the potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, cover, lower heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes stirring once halfway through. Uncover the potatoes, add the cumin, coriander, lemon salt, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until potatoes are golden and tender.
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