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Things I made New Year’s Weekend

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

We decided to stay home on New Year’s Eve and I cooked up a special feast – mainly for Michael. I know what his favorites are, and I wanted to surprise him.

Oh! Also, my sister Michelle is engaged! CONGRATULATIONS MICHELLE AND CRAIG!! I am so excited for them. He proposed at midnight. Isn’t that romantic??

So now, onto what I made!

First, I made meyer lemon curd. I had never made it with meyer lemons, but since Michael is a huge fan, and they’re in season (clearly not in New England, but you know what I mean), I decided to make some!

I made this recipe from The Pastry Affair. I made it as directed, but I left out the butter. To be honest, it really didn’t need it, in my opinion. Michael has been eating it on toast – and loving it! The recipe as directed (minus butter) made enough for these two jars. Perfect amount, I thought!

Next, I made two breads: naan and an artisan loaf (what better to pair with the curd?). So while they rose, I went on to do other things.

Michael made a little mulled wine using Trader Joe’s mulling spices and orange slices:

I decided to make chicken tikka masala, roasted cauliflower (not pictured), naan and some basmati rice.

The recipes I used were the following: naan bread from Ecurry.com, and tikka masala from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

A few words on both of them: the naan bread was really easy to make in terms of rising and rolling out. It also tasted very authentic. However, I do not have a tandoor. And really, no matter what any site says, a pizza brick is NOT similar tandoor. I preheated my oven to 425 and let the pizza brick sit in there for a whopping 45 minutes. When you brush the water on one side of the naan, as prescribed, it is nearly impossible to get off – I think because the brick isn’t hot enough. I was unable to flip at the 2 minute mark. For me, it took more like 10 minutes. I was reluctant to add cornmeal to the brick because 1) it doesn’t call for that and 2) I was pretty worried it might have a pizza-crust like taste if I did so.

With that said, it was really delicious. Next time I am going to try the cast iron skillet method. I am pretty determined!

The masala was REALLY good. Next time, I am thinking I’ll make a chana masala with a little paneer! We really loved the masala. Michael said it’s better than at our favorite Indian restaurant. 🙂 He sure does know how to make me smile!

And finally – I made a coconut mango cheesecake with cardamom scented crust.

I made it earlier in the day, so it could properly chill:

And then after dinner, I finished it with mango slices and coconut. The moment of truth was taking the sides off the springform pan – yikes! But it came right off. Phew.

I used a couple of recipes and put them together myself, taking inspiration from Nutmeg’s Seven.

Here’s what I did:

For the crust –

  • 5 sheets of graham crackers (there are 2 crackers per sheet)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp cardamom (I used Penzey’s, which is divine)

For the cheesecake –

  • 16 oz room temp cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 tbsp agar powder
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut

Preheat oven to 350*. In a processer, blitz graham crackers with butter and cardamom. The mixture will be kind of like wet sand. Press into 6″ springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over agar, and mix to combine. In a stand mixer or by hand, combine cream cheese, sugar, milk and coconut. Stir in the agar, and then fold in one of the mangoes after cutting it into small pieces. Pour the cheesecake over the crust and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Before serving, cut up a mango and arrange as you’d like to. I also topped with more coconut. This is really simple – especially good to make if you’re also making a bunch of things that require the use of your oven! (Like say, two different types of bread!)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. cottlefish permalink
    January 2, 2012 8:58 pm

    Yum! That dinner sounds (and looks!) amaaahaahaazing.

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