Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bombay Palace London - The World's Best Chicken Tikka

I've eaten chicken tikka all over the world (yes, including famous establishments in Mumbai and Delhi too).  Of all of the different kinds I have tried, Bombay Palace in LONDON (not in New York or any other branch) is the clear winner.  Marinated and cooked to absolute perfection, these delicious morsels of chicken take the cake.  Even when I have gotten take out from Bombay Palace, the chicken is still incredibly tender even after it's been carted around by me for 20 minutes en route to where I am staying.

Enjoy this chicken with some red onions and lemon, and some naan.  It's not cheap, but it's definitely worth the splurge.

Bombay Palace is located in central London on Connaught Street.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brunswick Stew - A Hearty, One-Pot Chicken Stew

From 2009-2011 I lived in Virginia. During my two years in one of the oldest states, I was introduced to a one pot meal that I had never heard of previously; brunswick stew. Upon eating and enjoying brunswick stew once or twice with a few of my native Virginia friends, I consulted my mother to ask if she had ever heard of this dish. Surprisingly she said, "Sure, that's something they ate in old colonial Williamsburg. I've got the Williamsburg cook book which I am pretty sure includes a recipe for brunswick stew."

It wasn't until I graduated and moved away from Virginia that I found myself craving brunswick stew. So I decided to do some googling and found a few recipes that sounded familiar to what I had eaten. Searching around the house, I found variations of most of the ingredients required, and after a quick trip to the grocery store I was ready to begin the process of making my first brunswick stew. I was a little skeptical of how it would turn out, after all, the ingredients seemed too simple to create the same tasty flavor which I had experienced during my first few encounters with brunswick stew in Virginia. To my delight and surprise, the stew came out so well that I wouldn't even tweek the recipe for the next time I make it!

Brunswick Stew
Makes approximately 6 main servings

1 split chicken breast, skin on
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups of frozen baby lima beans
2 cups of frozen corn
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
Water or chicken stock
1-2 cups frozen chopped okra (optional)

1. Place chicken in a pot and just cover with water (or stock)
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; cook chicken on a low heat for 2-3 hours until tender and falling off bone
3.  Remove chicken and set aside to cool
4.  Add onion and chopped tomatoes to broth, bring to a boil and start reducing broth if necessary
5.  When onions are soft, add potatoes
6.  When potatoes are tender, add tomato sauce, baby lima beans, corn, and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
7.  Remove chicken skin and bones, shred chicken breast, and add back to stew (you can adjust the amount of chicken you add back to the pan; try to balance the amount of chicken with the amount of vegetables)
8.  The stew should be pretty thick, but if it's not, it can be simmered for a little while longer until it reduces

Friday, December 23, 2011

02 Sushi in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California

I'm by no means an authority on Japanese food, but if you are passing through the Los Angeles area and are in the mood for some tasty sushi at an incredibly reasonable price, try out 02 in Pasadena. They have all the usual fare, but what makes 02 really unique is their appetizers. I honestly don't think I'd call them appetizers as each item is a delicious plate of food that goes way beyond appetizer status (aside from the usual edamame, miso soup and seaweed salad of course), so, if you go to 02, order lots of these yummy and creative dishes! The gently seared albacore with crispy onions, wilted spinach and sauteed mushrooms is my personal favorite. Other recommendations are the sea bass and eggplant, the yellowtail with jalepeno in a citrus soy sauce, and the tempura shrimp in sweet chili sauce.

The sushi chefs are very friendly, and I've never had a piece of "fishy" fish. Everything always tastes fresh and as if it's been made with care.

02's address is: 245 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA, 91101

10 Minute Spicy Indian Peas

This is a simple, quick and tasty accompaniment to any meal. Adjust this recipe to be less spicy - just reduce the amount of red chili flakes.

10 Minute Indian Spicy Peas
Makes 4 Side Servings

1lb bag frozen petit pois
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste if required)

1. Heat canola oil in a non-stick pan
2. Add mustard seeds and wait until they start to pop; when they start to pop, add onions, and salt

3. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until onions are slightly brown
4. Add chili flakes and cook for an additional minute or two (do not let onions burn)

5. Add peas, and stir until completely warmed through