BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Sweet Potato Latkes

  • Prep Time 0:15
  • Cook Time 0:10
  • Estimated Cost $5
  • 4 Comments

T’was the night before Hanukkah and all through the shtetl
Not a person was stirring, not even dreidel
The tzimmes were simmering in the slow-cooker with care
In hopes that the mishpocha soon would be there
The kinder were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sweet potato latkes danced in their heads!

Just try them, you’ll see. These are latkes you fall asleep thinking about and wake up craving.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb garnet yams, grated (I like to leave the peel on) $2
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced $1 for a bunch
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated $0.50 for a whole onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour Pantry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten $1.50 for 6
  • 1 tsp salt Pantry
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper Pantry
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (vegetable or canola oil will work too, but I prefer the taste of olive oil) Pantry

Recipe Serves 6-8

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine grated yams, scallions, onion, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until viscous.
  4. Form about 3 tbsp of sweet potato mixture into a ball and flatten it gently between your palms. 
  5. Slide it into the oil, and repeat with the remaining mixture, working in batches, so as to leave room between the latkes as they cook. 
  6. Drain cooked latkes on paper towels, and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Lamb Tagine with Golden Raisins and Almonds

  • Prep Time 0:30
  • Cook Time 2:30
  • Estimated Cost $18.50
  • 1 Comment

Tagines were the original Crock-Pots—the very first “set-it-and-forget-it” appliances. Tagines (the name for both the stew and the dish it’s cooked in) hail from Morocco, but their popularity now spans worldwide—and for good reason: cooking meat over low heat for long periods of time in flavorful spices and liquid yields a tender, aromatic result. The cone-shaped top on traditional tagines helps in this, promoting the return of all condensation to the bottom, allowing the stew’s ingredients to cook evenly.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a tagine though—you can also cook this in a dutch oven or other large pot with a fitted lid.

Note: Remember to buy your raisins and almonds in the bulk section for the best prices.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Pantry
  • 1 pound boneless lamb stew meat (cut into 1" pieces) $7
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced $0.50
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
  • 1 1" piece ginger, peeled and grated $0.50
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2" strips $1
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into coin $0.50
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes $3
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper Pantry
  • 1 tablespoon honey Pantry
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins $1
  • 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds $1
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped $1 for a bunch

Recipe Serves 4

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or tagine over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb on both sides, working in batches if necessary. Place browned meat on a clean plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pan (there should be enough fat left from the meat to cook them, but if not, add a touch more oil). 
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until onions begin to wilt. 
  4. Add the ginger, bell pepper, carrots, diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. 
  5. Stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, honey and raisins.
  6. Return the lamb to the mixture, stir well to combine, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, undisturbed, for 2 1/2 hour, or until lamb is very tender
  7. Serve in bowls, plain or over rice/couscous/quinoa, garnished with the almonds and chopped cilantro.
  8. Other good toppings are harissa (or other hot sauce), plain yogurt and/or chopped kalamata olives.

 

Tandoori-Style Roast Chicken

  • Prep Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $16.00
  • 5 Comments

Tandoor ovens, perhaps best known for their role in cooking naan and Tandoori chicken and fish, are a mainstay in Indian and Pakistani homes and restaurants. They get extremely hot and are used to quickly cook food, often charring it a bit in the most pleasant of ways.

I don't have one in my tiny apartment kitchen, but that's never stopped me from making my own naan, and, feeling inspired by some delicious Pakistani food I had recently, I decided to put a tandoor spin on roast chicken.

As you know, I'm a big fan of roasting chicken at a very high heat, yielding a crisp skin and tender, juicy interior. Since this is in a similar vicinity as tandoor, cooking, I figured that if I applied Tandoori flavors to chicken legs before roasting them at a high heat, i I could get a similar result to traditional Tandoor chicken. Though the skin is typically removed before roasting in the case of Tandoori chicken (and you can feel free to do so if you prefer), I decided to leave it on, because as far as I am concerned, crispy chicken skin is the new bacon.

I started by making a marinade of spices (look for these in Indian specialty grocery stores like Vik's--they're amazingly cheap when you buy them in bulk!) and yogurt (regular whole milk yogurt, Greek yogurt, plain soy yogurt, or plain coconut milk yogurt all will work), which my chicken legs bathed in overnight (though you can still get delicious chicken if you only have an hour to marinate). The chicken and onions went for a nice long dip.

After tenderizing (the calcium in the yogurt activates enzymes in the meat which breaks down the protein, keeping it ultra-juicy after cooking), the chicken and onions get roasted, just like with regular baked chicken, and that's when the magic happens. The spices impart a deep, dark red color, the skin crisps, and the onions get all charred and roasty.

The lemons and cilantro aren't required, but they do add an amazing pop of freshness. Serve this one with homemade naan (I made my new favorite kind -- chickpea flour!), and a crisp green salad or slaw. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon salt Pantry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 8 ounces plain yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut all work) $1.50
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced $0.50
  • 2 whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, cut into 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs $6
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/8ths $0.50

Recipe Serves 2-3

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the spices, salt, and yogurt. Mix well to combine.
  2. Combine the chicken and onions with the yogurt mixture in an air-tight storage container or a zip-top bag. Make sure the yogurt covers every piece of chicken.
  3. Let marinate for at least an hour (and up to 12 hours).
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  6. Arrange the marinated chicken and onions on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space between each piece of chicken.
  7. Roast for 27-30 minutes, until the chicken is slightly blackened on the outside, and the meat is tender on the inside.
  8. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve hot, with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired. 

Category: Meals

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Chickpea Flour Flatbread

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 6 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $3
  • 5 Comments

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates.

I tend to develop junior high school crushes on ingredients. Sweet potatoes, kale, coconut milk, avocados, and chicken thighs have all been my jam (come to think of it, jam, too, has been my jam).

Well, the latest stud on my culinary dance card is none other than chickpea flour, also known as besan or gram flour (the lattermost is not to be confused with graham flour, famously used in graham crackers). I first learned about it when my friend Andrew told me about a pizza crust he made with it. He said it was deliciously crisp and flavorful--not to mention tailored to accommodate several dietary restrictions.

My ongoing curiosity about chickpea flour was recently satisfied on a Sunday trip to Vik's Chaat in Berkeley, where I like the food, but I love the adjacent Indian grocery store, with its affordable bulk spices, unique teas, outrageously cheap and delicious raw nuts, and fabulous selection of paneer. At Vik's, an enormous two-pound bag of chickpea flour could be mine for a song (OK, for $3). 

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates. It tastes nutty but light, and when cooked in a little bit of oil, become outrageously crispy on the exterior while maintaining a lovely tenderness on the inside. 

After much research and several flops (some of my attempts to make this literally flopped, and not in a good way) I have nailed what I believe is the most perfect chickpea flour flatbread around. It's somewhere between naan and a dosa or crepe. Serve it with curry, soup, creamy greek yogurt for dipping, or eat it on its own. I promise, you, too, will be hooked. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan) $3 for 16 oz.
  • pinch of salt Pantry
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped Optional
  • pinch red chile pepper flakes Optional
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil Pantry

Recipe Serves 2

Directions

  1. Sift the chickpea flour and salt together into a mixing bowl, using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Whisk in 1/3 of the water, to form a thick paste, making sure to eliminate all of the lumps. 
  3. Whisk in the remainder of the water. The batter should look and feel like thin pancake batter.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and chile flakes, if using.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan, jiggling the pan a little bit if necessary, to help the batter spread.
  7. Cook the batter for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes firm, and the bottom turns golden brown and crisp.
  8. Carefully flip using the largest spatula you own, then cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, until it also becomes golden brown and crisp.
  9. Remove from the pan, cut into wedges, and serve.