Monthly Archives: July 2014

Masala Monday


We created a recipe for Chicken Masala for the new book. That’s Masala not Marsala. The one is made with Garam Masala spices. The other with Marsala red wine. Then we started thinking that it might be nice to have a seafood version, basically the same thing but with shrimp instead of chicken. This is a “first try” recipe. We usually wind up doing something two or three or more times, seldom do we just hit it the first time. My wife thought it was fine as is, I thought it needed more Masala spice. You be the judge, here it is so far.


1/2 of a 14 oz. of canned chopped tomatoes (6-7 oz.)
1/2 medium onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 clove of garlic (whole clove if you love garlic)
2 tbs. tomato sauce
1 tsp Garam masala spice (1.5 if you love indian food)
1 pat of melted butter
Salt to taste
About 10 jumbo raw Shrimp shelled and deviened

1/4 cup basmati or white rice with 1/2 cup water, salt and a pat of butter or use the one minute instant cups, just microwave.

PAM spray


Cut the shrimp into large bite sized pieces
In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, butter, tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, tomato paste and the masala spice.

PAM spray two ramekins and fill each with the mix

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 min.

While its baking, cook the rice in a small pot according to directions. Or get the rice cup ready for microwaving.

Put a tablespoon or two of the rice on top ( an ice cream scoop is perfect) and serve. We put the rice on a plate and poured the dish onto it. Some people might like some plain yogurt or sour cream on the side. A grande flour tortilla lightly toasted is a good substitute for the Indian bread, Nam.

Garam Masala spice: 1 Tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, ¼ tsp ground fennel, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, pinch cayenne pepper and cardamom. You may need a seed grinder or a mortar and pestle for some of these. Store this in a bottle or plastic bag for future use.
You can sometimes find this in your food store or an ethnic foods store. It’s hard to find some of these things ready ground. If you buy true Indian Masala it will have big nuts and seeds in it, sift these out.

Serve with a good burgundy white. It really needs something with body to offset the spices.



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Beef Tips as Small Foods


BeefTip1I’ve been trying for some time to make a beef wellington in a ramekin dish. This would be for the next version of Small Foods. Just rolling a chunk of steak into a taco shell or filo doesn’t work. Even with the best cut of beef it just comes out over cooked and chewy. I had the same problem with beef stew in the first book. The stew beef has to cook for hours to become tender. The Beef Wellington would have to be a big chunk of beef to cook with some amount of rareness.



When I did the Beef Stew I found that I had to use frozen precooked beef tips. They worked perfectly providing the fall apart in your mouth tenderness the stew needed. I decided to try them in a Wellington-ish beef dish for Small Foods Too and here it is.



1 Pkg. Frozen PreCooked Beef Tips
2 Large Pats of Butter
1 Tbs. Red Wine
3/4 cup of coarsely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup defrosted and chopped frozen potatoes
1 Grande Flour Tortilla
2-3 dashes of garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Heat up a saute pan and cook the onion and mushrooms until they are tender. Add the defrosted potatoes. Cook for a few more minutes and add the beef tips & gravy, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix it well and remove from the heat. Cut a 3″ slice across the edge of the tortilla, form it into a circle and pin it together with a toothpick.


Spray two ramekins with PAM and put the rolled up tortilla into them. Fill the tortilla with the mixture being careful not to break the band. Don’t fill it to overflowing, leave about an inch or so exposed at the top to brown. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top edge browns. Serve with a green veggie and a salad maybe a good Red Burgundy.

These were so good that I broke the portion control aspect of Small Foods and I ate all three!






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Friday Night is Wings Night

We usually have chicken wings for Friday night’s dinner. They are easy to make and quite tasty with a big salad. These are relatively dry wings, so if you like those gooey coatings you’ll have to add it before serving. They’re not really “Small Foods” as in  my book, but I keep toying with the idea of cooking 5 or 6 standing up in a ramekin. It would probably be super messy and I wonder if the ones inside would even cook.  So this is really big food, here’s the first recipe for the blog.



About a half pound or so of wings per person (1.5 lbs. will fill a cookie sheet)

If the wings aren’t cut up, cut them and discard the wing tips

1/2 cup cheap soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
Couple dashes of sesame oil
Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tsp. Paprika
Pepper to taste (you won’t need salt it’s in the Soy Sauce)
If you like really hot wings add some red pepper

Reynolds non-stick tin foil (it makes clean up so much easier)


PreHeat Oven to 350 degrees

Put everything except the Sesame Seeds together in a gallon sized  plastic bag. Press the bag to get most of the air out of it and close it tightly. Mix it up thoroughly by squishing the bag around for about 30 sec.  Put it in  the fridge for 4-8 hours flipping it over every hour or so.

Line a big cookie sheet with the tin foil and turn up the edges to keep the juices off the pan. Pull a wing out of the marinade bag and shake it a couple times to remove excess marinade. You don’t want the wing sitting in a puddle of marinade as the marinade can burn. Fill the tray with the wings but leave room between them. Sprinkle some Sesame Seeds onto each wing.

Bake for about 30 min. then rotate the wings so they will cook evenly, bake about another 30 min. checking during the last 15 to see if they are brown enough.

Make a big salad, serve some beer and enjoy!







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