Pork Vindaloo

From my favorite Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking book, this is a hot and sour curry from Goa on the west coast of India. The sauce is made with lots of wonderful spices and an onion broth that has a little vinegar in it. Some of the spices are a little rare but I have found a line in small green boxes called Spicely and they have every spice in small amounts! You could substitute beef or lamb instead of the pork if you wish. I serve it with basmati rice and a vegetable side dish, like the cabbage and carrots from my Indian feast post.

2 t. whole cumin seeds
2-3 hot dried red chilies
1 t. black peppercorns
1 t. cardamom seeds
3″ stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 t. whole black (or brown) mustard seed
1 t. fenugreek seeds
5 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
5 T. oil or ghee (I used grape seed oil)
1 1/3 c. water
2# boneless pork shoulder meat, cut into 1″ cubes
1″ cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
a small whole head of garlic, with cloves separated and peeled
1 T. ground coriander seeds
1/2 t. turmeric
Grind the top seven spices together in a spice or coffee grinder and put in a bowl. Add vinegar, salt and sugar-mix well and set aside.
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium and fry onions, stirring frequently until bring and crisp. This takes some time but is essential to the dish! It took me almost one hour to brown the onions. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and put into a blender or food processor. Add 2-3 T of the water to blend and puree the onions. Add this puree to the spice mixture in the bowl. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze.
While the onions are cooking, dry off the meat cubes and cut off any fat.
Put ginger and garlic in the blender and puree into a paste with 2-3 T. of the water, or more as needed.
Heat 5 T. oil in the pot again over medium high flame. Add the pork cubes, a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. After the pork is browned, add the garlic ginger paste, turn down heat to medium. Stir for a few seconds. Add coriander and turmeric, stirring well for a few minutes. Add the meat and vindaloo paste and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for on hour or until pork is tender. Stir a few times during cooking period.

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Turkey Pho

From the NY Times, a wonderful soup with your leftover turkey and stock from Thanksgiving. Charring the onion halves and ginger add a lot of flavor to the broth. I love all of the fresh tastes from the garnishes.

2 medium yellow onions, halved and peeled
1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger (do not peel)
12 cups turkey or chicken stock, preferably homemade
¼ cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 star anise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (1-pound) package dried rice vermicelli
12 ounces mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
1 small bunch Thai basil sprigs
3 jalapeños, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 to 3 limes, quartered, to taste
4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 large bunch)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch)

Cook onions and ginger directly over open flame of a gas burner for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are charred on all sides. (If you don’t have a gas stove, heat broiler and set onions and ginger on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes until charred on all sides.) Allow charred ginger to cool, then slice it into 1/2-inch coins.
In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, combine onions, sliced ginger, stock, fish sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, cook rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Arrange mung bean sprouts, sprigs of Thai basil, jalapeños and limes on a platter and set on the table.
Remove onions, ginger and star anise from the pot. Add shredded turkey to the pot, and return it to a simmer. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning with additional fish sauce and/or salt, if needed.
Divide rice noodles, cilantro and scallions evenly among large soup bowls, then ladle hot stock over the top, making sure each bowl gets a healthy serving of turkey. Serve immediately, accompanied by platter of garnishes.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers, keeping noodles separate, for up to 3 days.

Buttermilk Biscuits

From a Martha Stewart recipe circa 2001. Tried and true recipe and very simple.

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Put 2 1/2 cups of the flour mixture into a food processor. Pulse in the butter all at once until they are pea sized pieces. Pour back mixture into large bowl, stir in buttermilk. It may be easier toward the end to flour your hands and mix it. Knead dough until it comes together and roll out into 1″ thickness. Cut into size desired. (Optional-prick tops of biscuits with the tines of a fork and brush with melted butter or milk or cream. Bake 18-20 minutes.