Index of Thoughts

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Girlfriends in the Kitchen - Butter Chicken, Vegetable Stew and Baked Ziti

When I lived in Montrose, I created a group of my girlfriends called Girlfriends in the Kitchen.  It was a fun collection of my friends at a time when we all had little ones and babies.  We would meet one to two times a month and create a meal or two to take home.  I have many blog posts with recipes on here from then.  I adored that time with my friends!  There's just something about a group of mamas making a meal together that nourishes the soul.

Since I moved back to Telluride, it has been an awesome thing but I have so missed my tribe.  I decided that I am pretty settled in now and feeling more grounded.  So, I decided to start cooking with my new tribe of ladies and today was the first day.

We made Baked Ziti, Butter Chicken (Makhani) and Vegetable Stew and as promised here are our recipes:

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (26 ounce) jar marina sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain.
In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add marina sauce, and simmer 15 minutes. Then add the ziti, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and sour cream.  Stir together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Put mixture in dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Butter Chicken

2 pounds chopped chicken, skinned and boneless (I combine breast and thigh)
4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
8 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup almond meal
½ cup water
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (fat, low-fat, or non-fat)
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons garam masala
8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed in mortar and pestle
1 tablespoons salt
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 large onions, thinly sliced
8 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter (1 stick)
½ cup heavy cream or half and half
½ - 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Turn empty slow cooker to high while you prep to heat it up.
Wash and cut chicken into chunks. Don’t cut it too small or it will dry out while cooking.  Set aside in a bowl.  Add all the ingredients except the cilantro into the crockpot and stir.
Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 6 hours.
After cooking, add the cilantro and stir.
Optional: Top with chopped onions and green chilies. Serve with Basmati rice or thick naan.

Vegetable Stew

1 med chopped onions
2 ribs chopped celery
2 medium chopped carrots
2 cups cut green beans
1½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
5 cups vegetable broth
2 large cut up potatoes ( I leave the skin on)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Ground black pepper to taste

Heat your crockpot up. Then add all the ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hours.

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