A recipe for tandoori chicken that you can make without a tandoor

I’ll never forget having tandoor chicken for the first time.

I was living in Southern California, my first foray into life outside the rural Midwest, where Indian restaurants had not yet opened, at least not in a 100-mile vicinity of my small hometown.

Tandoori chicken is traditionally made in a cylinder oven, but this version from "Paleo Monday to Friday" by Daniel Green is cooked in a regular oven. Contributed by Peter Cassidy
Tandoori chicken is traditionally made in a cylinder oven, but this version from “Paleo Monday to Friday” by Daniel Green is cooked in a regular oven. Contributed by Peter Cassidy

While living in San Diego for an internship at the local NPR station, my uncle took me to a place that specialized in tandoori chicken. He pointed out the cylindrical ovens called tandoors as soon as we walked in, and I remember being super impressed when the cooks slapped the naan bread on the side to cook. But then it came time to tear into that bright orange tandoori chicken, and I entered into a new phase of loving and appreciating just how flavorful chicken could be.

This recipe, from “Paleo Monday to Friday: A Diet So Good You Can Take the Weekend Off” by Daniel Green (Kyle Books, $22.95), is a good starting place for home cooks who want to try to recreate that flavor at home. You can find some fun videos online about how to make a tandoor oven at home, but this method uses a regular oven. I would marinade the chicken in the coconut milk and spices for at least a few hours to fully infuse the meat with flavor, but in a hurry, especially on a weeknight, Green’s basting method is fine.

Tandoori Chicken

paleomondaytofriday1 large (3 1/2-lb.) chicken
1 lemon, quartered
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. garam masala
4 garlic cloves, crushed
For the salad:
7 oz. (about 5 cups) arugula
A handful of fresh cilantro
A handful of fresh mint

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and place the lemon quarters inside the bird. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Divide this spice mix in half and set one half aside.

Baste the chicken thoroughly all over with half the marinade, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove the bird from the oven and baste all over again with the remaining marinade, and then roast for a further 45 minutes or until the thigh juices run clear when tested with a skewer.

Serve the chicken with a fresh green herb salad of arugula, cilantro and mint. Serves 4.

— From “Paleo Monday to Friday: A Diet So Good You Can Take the Weekend Off” by Daniel Green (Kyle Books, $22.95)

Getting creative with sweet, savory pies for National Pie Day (just don’t tell National Pi Day)

It’s National Pie Day! Not the one that happens in March, but the one that happens in January. Why not November, when we’re all eating pies for Thanksgiving? We’ll have to ask the American Pie Council — yes, that really exists — about that one.

But in the spirit of made-up food holidays, here are some pie recipes to inspire your Monday evening baking plans.

Strawberry Balsamic Pie is one of the striking dishes in "The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book," by Emily and Melissa Elsen. Contributed by Gentl & Hyers.
Strawberry Balsamic Pie is one of the striking dishes in “The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book,” by Emily and Melissa Elsen. Contributed by Gentl & Hyers.

Tired of basic pies? My favorite pie cookbook is “The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book,” which has this recipe for strawberry balsamic pie , not to mention a few dozen other pies you probably haven’t seen elsewhere. You might also check out this Earl Grey Pie with a sugar cookie crust.

Craving a savory pie? You’ll love this Sunday supper pie, but you might also just open up some cans of chili to make a Frito pie pie.

Don’t forget about the margarita- and gin-inspired pies we made last summer for our Year of Baking series.

And finally, our Thanksgiving-inspired Year of Baking pie tutorial with tips to keep your pie crusts from getting stuck on your counter or burnt in the oven.

Put your pâte à choux skills to use with these goat cheese gnocchi

Don’t let the length of this recipe deter you — this is a relatively simple approach to gnocchi using basic, readily available ingredients, but it does call for making a pâte à choux.

Pâte à choux is that dough we tackled during last year’s Year of Baking series that adds airiness to profiteroles and cream puffs, but this gnocchi is a great way to turn them into savory bites that aren’t Parmesan cheese puffs.

The recipe author, Bryan Calvert, serves the gnocchi with summer squash and basil in his book, “Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates” (Little, Brown and Company, $30), but you could make them with any gently cooked seasonal vegetable.

The goat cheese basil gnocchi in "Brooklyn Rustic" is made with summer squash and lots of basil, but you could make a winter version with greens or cruciferous vegetables. Contributed by Ed Anderson

The goat cheese basil gnocchi in “Brooklyn Rustic” is made with summer squash and lots of basil, but you could make a winter version with greens or cruciferous vegetables. Contributed by Ed Anderson

Goat Cheese Basil Gnocchi

Fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
12 oz. goat cheese
5 large eggs
3 Tbsp. finely sliced fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more if needed
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced

Bring 6 quarts water and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a large pot.

In a medium pot, bring 1 1/2 cups water, the butter and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and stir with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes a smooth dough and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Remove the pot of dough from the heat and stir in 8 ounces of the goat cheese. Crack the eggs in one at a time, beating each one into the dough before adding the next. The batter should be sticky. Stir in the finely sliced basil and two turns of black pepper. Transfer one-quarter of the batter to a pastry bag with a #5 tip (7/16-inch), or a gallon-size zipper-lock bag with 1/2-inch cut off one corner.

Hold the bag over the pot of simmering water and squeeze the batter out in 1/2-inch cylinder dumplings, cutting them with a paring knife so they fall into the water. Simmer for 4 minutes. Once all gnocchi have floated to the top, cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to remove any excess water.

Repeat with the remaining dough in three more batches. Once cooled, the gnocchi can be used immediately, or refrigerated for up to 2 days.

When ready to cook, heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Working in batches, add as many gnocchi to the pan as will fit in one layer without overcrowding. Brown the gnocchi for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Brown the remaining gnocchi, adding another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan in between batches, if needed.

Carefully wipe out any remaining vegetable oil from the pan with a paper towel. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. If you’d like to quickly saute some vegetables, such as winter greens or summer squash, do so now. To the hot pan or the just-cooked vegetables, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute without browning. Add 1/4 cup water and the gnocchi. Heat through, scraping the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle the remaining goat cheese on top. Garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired, and a couple of turns of black pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

— Adapted from “Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates” by Bryan Calvert (Little, Brown and Company, $30)

Rain in the forecast? Find comfort in your kitchen

Baking your own bread can save you money, even if a batch doesn’t come out quite right. Photo by Addie Broyles.
Baking your own bread can save you money. Addie Broyles/American-Statesman

This weekend’s forecast is looking pretty gloomy. But rainy days are the perfect excuse to spend more time in the kitchen. You can relax, try some new recipes (or old favorites) and get the whole family involved. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the photos other readers have shared with us using #Austin360Cooks on Instagram.

RELATED: Looking to go out to eat instead? These cozy places will hit spot

Green coconut curry to go with your moment of soup cleanse zen

If eating better and mindfulness are on your resolution list, you might check out Nicole Centeno’s “Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You with the Weekly Soup Plan” (Rodale, $24.99), which offers a little Zen with her zucchini-filled ratatouille.

1472535021Centeno, who grew up in a family of doctors with a strong curiosity about our bodies and our habits, started the soup delivery company Splendid Spoon, which ships soups across the lower 48 states. Each delivery for the full program includes 10 soups, five for lunches during the week and another five that are meant to reset your body’s optimal organ function. Four of those soups are lighter, drinkable soups such as carrot turmeric or a vegan broth that you can sip hot or cold, and other soups include cauliflower coconut, pumpkin pear hempseed and tomato basil.

If you want a smaller delivery, you can also order just the five lighter “cleanse” soups or the five lunch soups. You don’t get to choose each week’s soups, but you can order them one week at a time ($95 per week, including shipping) or pre-pay for one, two or three months ($80 per week).

More than 70 of Centeno’s recipes are in the book, but it is the author’s beginning chapters and side notes where you get a real feel for her mission. You can use the book simply as a set of recipes or as a guide to a set of new habits — eating more plant-based soups, intermittent fasting and increasing general awareness about your mind and body.

This green curry soup with broccoli, for instance, comes with this message: “The Buddha taught, ‘Mind and body are united. What I think I become.’ Before you soup, close your eyes and stretch your spine so you are sitting or standing tall, as if a string is holding up the crown of your head. Silently repeat to yourself. I am strong, I am confident, I am at ease. Your souping habit is helping your body strengthen, which will increase your confidence and put your spirit at ease. You are doing this now, so go ahead and claim that full mantra in present tense! Sit up tall and repeat it again at the end of your souping ritual, or whenever you have a few moments.”

Nicole Centeno, the founder of a soup delivery company called Splendid Spoon, has written a new cookbook called “Soup Cleanse Cookbook,” which includes recipes such as this green coconut curry with broccoli. Contributed by Tara Donne

Green Coconut Curry with Broccoli

Light sweetness from the coconut’s rich milk and oil combine with green leafy flavors from broccoli and bok choy and fresh curry spices. The most beautiful curries are the ones made with freshly ground spices, but if you don’t have time, you can find green Thai curry paste at an Asian grocer or order online.

— Nicole Centeno

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (use gloves if your skin is sensitive to hot peppers)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. green curry powder or paste
1 head broccoli, broken into small florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup plus 1 quart water, divided
1 can (15 oz.) coconut milk
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 head bok choy, green leaves only, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the onion and pepper, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Stir in the green curry powder, broccoli and 1/4 cup of the water, cover and cook for 5 minutes while occasionally stirring.

Add the coconut milk, salt, black pepper and the remaining 1 quart water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium to simmer. Add the bok choy and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the broccoli and bok choy are tender but still al dente.

Enjoy warm or chilled topped with the cilantro, if using. Add a few slices of fresh jalapeño for more heat.

— From “Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You with the Weekly Soup Plan” by Nicole Centeno (Rodale, $24.99)


From the archives: Charles Mayes’ famous fire-roasted artichoke tomato bisque

The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an annual fundraiser that almost always features this fire-roasted artichoke bisque from local chef Charles Mayes. Laura Skelding / American-Statesman
The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an annual fundraiser that almost always features this fire-roasted artichoke tomato bisque from local chef Charles Mayes. Laura Skelding / American-Statesman

Charles Mayes, the founder of Cafe Josie, has been serving this soup at the Austin Empty Bowl Project for so many years that it’s become a signature soup of the event. (It was also featured on one of Rachael Ray’s early Food Network shows.) Mayes, who recently sold his Clarksville restaurant to longtime employee Cody Taylor and chef Brandon Fuller a few years ago, says you can roast the vegetables instead of grilling them, but they won’t have the same fire-roasted flavor.

Fire-Roasted Artichoke Tomato Bisque

4 Roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
4 whole artichoke hearts, on skewer
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
Several sprigs of cilantro, leaf only, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cream
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Cotija or manchego cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (optional, for garnish)

Coat tomato, pepper and artichoke hearts lightly with oil and place on grill over hot coals. Turn occasionally to sear all surfaces. Remove, place on a plate or in a large bowl and cool. Reserve any juices that accumulate.

In a large soup pot, heat butter over medium flame and sauté onion and garlic. While aromatics are cooking, place cooled vegetables in a food processor and pulse until vegetables are in small pieces, but not pureed. Add vegetable stock, grilled vegetables, cilantro and salt to onions and garlic. Bring to a simmer and heat evenly.

Combine cornstarch and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Slowly add to saucepan while stirring to combine. Stir in the cream. Season to taste and continue to heat until the soup reaches desired thickness.

Serve with cotija or manchego cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. Serves 4.

— Charles Mayes

Day 10 of cooking at home: Red pozole for days

I wasn’t the only person craving pozole this weekend.
It was freezing, and I needed an excuse to stay home all Saturday afternoon and cook. The soup was delicious, and there’s so much of it that I’ll be eating it for days on end.
This red pozole was one of my cooking projects this weekend. The pork took a while to cook in the oven, but it was otherwise a simple dish to prepare. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman
This red pozole was one of my cooking projects this weekend. The pork took a while to cook in the oven, but it was otherwise a simple dish to prepare. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman
That’s one big plus — or minus, depending on your feelings about leftovers — about cooking for yourself and your two somewhat picky kids. If they don’t like the food, you get to eat it all! It’s the second week of this My Home Table cooking challenge, for what it’s worth, so having leftovers is a great way to catch a break from the dishes.
Since I already have those pickled onions and a bag of leftover shredded cabbage on hand, I’ll use the leftover pork from this dish for pulled pork sandwiches tonight. (Conversely, this recipe is a great way to use up leftovers you already have, maybe from this overnight pork roast…)
Red Pozole
Add sliced fennel and/or celery to the sautéed aromatics, if you like. You’ll also have plenty of extra pickled onions for all kinds of other tacos, sandwiches and soups.
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, root end attached and sliced into thin wedges
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on an angle
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
Small handful sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
For the pickled onions:
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Kosher salt
2 red onions, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 jalapeño, sliced
For the pozole:
4 ancho chile peppers
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. chile powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (14-oz.) cans hominy, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)
A handful fresh cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 generous Tbsp. agave syrup or honey
2 limes
Queso fresco or other mild cheese, for topping
Warm, charred flour or corn tortillas, for serving
Make the pork: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Brown the meat on all sides and then remove from heat. Reduce the heat and add the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, then deglaze the pot with the wine, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock and pork back to the pot and bring to a low boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning meat halfway through cooking. Cook until the meat is tender and pulls apart with a fork.

Remove pork and place on a plate until it’s cool enough to handle. Pull apart meat and divide in half. Strain the cooking liquids and add to half of the pork. Reserve half of the meat for another use.

While the pork cooks, make the pickled onions. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Place the sliced onions and peppers in a jar and pour the hot brine on top. Cool, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the pozole: Seed and stem the ancho chiles. Place the peppers in a pot and cover with stock or water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peppers are soft. Transfer peppers and the cooking liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add onions and garlic. Season with paprika, chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stir in the pepper puree, hominy, cilantro, chicken stock, honey, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 the pulled pork. Add just enough water to form stew as loose or thick as you like, 1 to 2 cups additional liquid.

To serve, heat the stew over medium heat. Once hot, spoon the stew into shallow bowls and top with pickled onions and jalapeños, queso fresco. Serve with warm charred tortillas or tortilla chips. Serves 8 to 10.

— Adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray

Appetizer recipes turn a cold weekend into a party

It’s cold outside, the NFL playoffs start today and the Golden Globes are Sunday night — all you need to turn your weekend into a party are some delicious snacks. We have some recipes to get you started.

This cheesy dip packs a spicy punch with chorizo and is great for parties. Photo by Caroline Potter
This cheesy dip packs a spicy punch with chorizo and is great for parties. Photo by Caroline Potter

Is it a party if there’s no queso? No, no it is not. But if you want to try something a little different (and Velveeta-free), go for this Cheddar Chorizo Dip.

TV binging calls for easy snacks you can mindlessly munch on (if, like so many of us, you’ve already abandoned your dieting New Year’s resolutions). Crunchy Party Mix, a cheese ball and Spicy Corn Dip all fit the bill.

What’s for dessert? In honor of the Golden Globes, go spherical with some no-bake dessert balls.

Party on, Austin.