Slow Cooker Beef Madras

You know that time when you are really wanting some great Indian food, and wanting that great curry gravy? Yeah, I had one of those moments recently, and I was glad that I did! The most recent dish I made is called beef madras. It is essentially an Indian style curry made with beef, but this time I decided to prepare everything in advance, and let it cook in a slow cooker for about 8 hours until the beef was fall apart tender. This beef madras is loaded with awesome flavor, dark in color, rich, and just warms the soul. I was a bit skeptical if my kids were going to eat this, but you know what, they devoured it! All of it. That’s always a great thing.

Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe

Yes, I turned my beef madras into a sandwich, but traditionally it is served on a bed of rice, of which my kids could not get enough of. Your choice, but whatever route you go with, it’s going to be a great route, trust me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cubed beef
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, chopped
  • .8 oz curry powder (yes, I used store bought, don’t judge me)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • French baguette, optional
  • cooked jasmine rice
  • fresh onion, sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

This sounds like a lot, but it is really a quick throw together meal, and after some initial stove work, it all gets dumped into your slow cooker, and then you can walk away only to be bombarded by some awesome smells through the day until you are ready to eat.

Let’s get going.

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in half of the oil, and let it come to temperature. Once heated, add in the onion, and give a good stir. Once the onions soften, about 6 minutes or so, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and once you get that great aroma from the garlic, add in chili flakes, curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and ginger. Give this a good stir, and cook the seasonings for a few minutes.

Remove the mixture to a plate, and set to the side.

Beef Madras Ingredients
Beef Madras Ingredients

Rinse out your skillet, and return back to the stove.  Add the remaining oil, and keep the heat on medium-high.

Season the cubed beef with some salt, then add the cubed beef to the skillet. Your goal here is to brown the beef, not fully cook it. Once browned, add the onion and seasoning mixture back to the beef mixture, give a good stir, then add the beef stock. Stir again, then add everything to your slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on the low setting, and cook for 8 hours or longer if you desire. Stir along the way.

Now when you are ready to serve, take some rice and place into a bowl, then ladle in the beef madras. Top with fresh cilantro and onion if you desire.

The result is nothing short of fantastic. The beef is super tender, and that curry gravy will have you coming back for more. Again, I was really surprised watching my kids devour the beef madras. They came back for seconds, they loved it that much, and for me, well, I made the sandwich, and there was something about it. It almost reminded me of a beef au jus. That gravy set into the baguette, and made it that much more special. This is a real winner if you are into a great beef curry. Hope you enjoy!

Read More

Fried Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

What a great holiday season it has been. I love this time of year when we can simply relax as a family, watch the kids open their presents, and enjoy my wife’s birthday, only to say the least. As we went through a busy Christmas day, and Eve at that, my wife’s birthday is always just right around the corner.  I decided that morning that the kids and I were going to surprise her and take her out to lunch, then to watch Star Wars, and then to take her and her parents out for dinner. My wife has been talking about this burger place that she recently enjoyed (Milwaukee Burger Company), and as we have not had a good burger lately, I figured what the heck. To say the least, we were stuffed (I actually did not even finish my food), and as we wobbled out of there, I thought for sure I would have fallen asleep at the movie. You know, comfy reclining chair, and dark theatre, plus way too full of a belly? Yeah, I was struggling, and in dangerous thoughts that I would have to eat again, only in a matter of hours. Yes, I was that full.

Regardless of the matter, I did stay awake during the movie, and a great one at that, and as I kind of got a second wind, we decided to head over to a local supper club, Diamond Jim’s. As they brought out bread and relish trays, I could not even fathom eating bread, although I watched my oldest boy probably take down two bread trays, and after I watched him inhale his bacon burger and fries at lunch, I only thought how is this even possible? By the way he also took down a rack of ribs and three huge shrimp, plus more fries after this bread contest! As much as I did not even want to order anything, as I was that full from lunch, I decided that I would try their fried chicken. I know, fried chicken in a steak house supper club, right? Anyway, I probably only had a few bites, good bites at that, and decided I would take it home to make for lunch the following day. This is when I decided I would make a fried chicken buffalo sandwich.

Fried Chicken Buffalo Sandwich Recipe
Fried Chicken Buffalo Sandwich Recipe

Now you are either fan of buffalo chicken, or not. My wife is not, and as a matter of fact I do not even think I have seen her use buffalo chicken sauce, ever. Me? I’m a huge fan, and I have even just poured stuff on a spoon before only just to have the sauce. This sandwich was a perfect use of leftover fried chicken and breaking it down into a sandwich was even better.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Leftover fried chicken (I used have a breast, and a thick), warmed in the oven
  • 1 whole bolillo roll
  • 2 tbsp ranch, or blue dressing
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo sauce
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, break up your chicken and remove the meat from the bone. Place onto a baking sheet, and place into the oven, cooking for about 10 minutes.

During this time, slice the roll. To the bottom, slather on the ranch or blue cheese dressing, then top both sides with mozzarella cheese. Place the bun, into the oven to not only warm the bread, but also to melt the cheese.

How to make a fried buffalo chicken sandwich
How to make a fried buffalo chicken sandwich

When the cheese is slightly melted, remove both the chicken and the bread from the oven.

To the bottom of the bread, cover with the diced celery.

Add the chicken to a bowl, pour over the buffalo sauce, and give a good mix to ensure the chicken is coated.

Now place the chicken onto the roll, fold and gently press down. Now dig in.

This sandwich was awesome. Great texture from the fried chicken and celery, along with the perfect tanginess from the sauce, really made this a great use of leftovers, and the great memories from the previous day. Next time however, I will only have a light snack before heading out on a great birthday for my wife. Hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

Read More

Pickle Brined Spicy Fried Chicken

Lately my kids have been big fans of fried chicken. My oldest gets excited if we go out to eat at a chicken wing restaurant such as BW3s or Quaker Steak and Lube. He’s the one who will take on the chicken wing challenge, and granted as he eats them plain, or with a light dry rub, he’s all in, so is my other boy. My girls on the other hand are not. Something about the chicken wing just does not jive with them, but they will eat fried chicken. With that said, I decided to take a different approach to making fried chicken by brining it in a spicy pickle juice mixture.

This fried chicken was so great, and that subtle hint of pickle was spot on, and who doesn’t love some pickles with fried chicken!

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken
Pickle Brined Fried Chicken

I took this one a step further and lathered it with a seasoned mayonnaise. That just took it over the top.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into various pieces (or you can use your favorite parts)
  • 1 cup of dill pickle juice
  • 1 cup of dill pickles
  • 1/2 tbsp dill weed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 whole habanero chilies, stems removed
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 5 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic seasoning

Start by making your brine. To a food processor or blender, add in the pickles, pickle juice, dill weed, garlic habaneros, 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of salt, the sugar, and the water. Blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Add the chicken to a large sealable bag. Pour in the brine mixture, seal, and  mix around. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, about 2 hours before you are going to make the chicken, get the chicken out of the refrigerator and set it to the side.

Make your flour mixture. To a large bowl, add the flour, paprika, cayenne, and salt, and give this a good mix.

Take each piece of chicken and thoroughly coat with the flour. Carefully shake off any excess flour, and set the floured pieces on a wire rack to rest and take some of the chill off of it, about 1 hour.

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Ingredients
Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Ingredients

After an hour, return each flour piece of chicken to the bowl of flour, and coat again, shaking off any excess flour. Yes, we are doing this twice as I find it lends to a crispier coating. Return the pieces back to the wired rack and let them rest for about 30 minutes more.

During this time, take a large cast iron skillet and add to the stove, on medium heat, and pour in the oil. Keep an eye on the oil temp as you are looking for around 350 degrees.

Make the mayonnaise sauce if you are going that route. Mix the mayo and chili garlic seasoning until mixed and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

OK, time to fry. Once the oil is heated, work in batches, and being careful not only to add the chicken, but also not to overcrowd the skillet, cook for about 6 minutes per side. Again, keep an eye on the temperature.

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.

Once your chicken is cooked, add to a wire lined baking sheet and place into the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Go ahead and serve with white bread slices and additional pickles, and if your are going down the mayonnaise route, slather some onto a hot piece of chicken.

This chicken has the right spice level (not too spicy as all of my family devoured this chicken)  with the subtle hint of that pickle that makes you question, or in my case the kids questioning, if that had pickle seasoning. I might have turned for the best on this one as my kids will not even  touch pickles (don’t ask), but they sure did like the pickle brined spicy fried chicken! Hope you enjoy.

Pickle Brined Spicy Fried Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into various pieces (or you can use your favorite parts)
  • 1 cup of dill pickle juice
  • 1 cup of dill pickles
  • ½ tbsp dill weed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 whole habanero chilies, stems removed
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 5 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic seasoning
Instructions
  1. Start by making your brine. To a food processor or blender, add in the pickles, pickle juice, dill weed, garlic habaneros, ½ tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of salt, the sugar, and the water. Blend until you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Add the chicken to a large sealable bag. Pour in the brine mixture, seal, and mix around. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The following day, about 2 hours before you are going to make the chicken, get the chicken out of the refrigerator and set it to the side.
  4. Make your flour mixture. To a large bowl, add the flour, paprika, cayenne, and salt, and give this a good mix.
  5. Take each piece of chicken and thoroughly coat with the flour. Carefully shake off any excess flour, and set the floured pieces on a wire rack to rest and take some of the chill off of it, about 1 hour.
  6. After an hour, return each flour piece of chicken to the bowl of flour, and coat again, shaking off any excess flour. Yes, we are doing this twice as I find it lends to a crispier coating. Return the pieces back to the wired rack and let them rest for about 30 minutes more.
  7. During this time, take a large cast iron skillet and add to the stove, on medium heat, and pour in the oil. Keep an eye on the oil temp as you are looking for around 350 degrees.
  8. Make the mayonnaise sauce if you are going that route. Mix the mayo and chili garlic seasoning until mixed and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  9. OK, time to fry. Once the oil is heated, work in batches, and being careful not only to add the chicken, but also not to overcrowd the skillet, cook for about 6 minutes per side. Again, keep an eye on the temperature.
  10. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.
  11. Once your chicken is cooked, add to a wire lined baking sheet and place into the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Go ahead and serve with white bread slices and additional pickles, and if your are going down the mayonnaise route, slather some onto a hot piece of chicken.

 

Read More

Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce

Last summer, I grew a bunch of habanero chili peppers. I often wonder why I grew these many chilies as they are very, very hot, but then I knew why. It is really because I love using those in Caribbean style recipes. There is something about the habanero that will always have a place in my heart. It’s wicked spicy, but when used properly, and it has this citrus note that I just can’t get enough of. That is probably also why one of my favorite chicken wing sauces is mango habanero. That’s when it occurred to me to come up with a mango and peach habanero sauce. This is unlike the fiery habanero sauce I made five years ago. This one is sweet with just the right amount of heat, that it has you coming back for more.

Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce Recipe
Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce Recipe

This sauce can go on anything, and yes, I slathered my onion rings with this sauce, and due to the sweetness of those onions, it was a perfect sauce.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 habanero chili peppers (use cooking cloves), seeds and stems removed
  • 1 whole medium onion, quartered
  • 1 whole mango, skin and pit removed, chopped
  • 1 whole peach, skin and pit removed, chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups water, more if necessary
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt

 

NOTE: Be extremely careful when working with habanero chilies (or any chili for that matter) as the oils will get onto your skin, and if you rub your eye or elsewhere by accident, trust me, you will be feeling it.

This is way too simple, and yields quite a bunch, so it’s nice if you have a chile head in the family to offer up the extra bottle.

Add everything to a sauce pot, bring to medium heat, stir, lightly cover, and cook for about 15 minutes on a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature.

Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce
Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce

Use and immersion blender if you have one, or if not, add everything to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner hot sauce. Store in sealed tight bottles and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

I’ve been squirting this on cooked chicken, as well as using it on top of my morning omelette and I’m impressed everytime it hits my palette! Hope you enjoy!

Mango and Peach Habanero Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Hot Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 8 habanero chili peppers (use cooking cloves), seeds and stems removed
  • 1 whole medium onion, quartered
  • 1 whole mango, skin and pit removed, chopped
  • 1 whole peach, skin and pit removed, chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups water, more if necessary
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
Instructions
  1. This is way too simple, and yields quite a bunch, so it’s nice if you have a chile head in the family to offer up the extra bottle.
  2. Add everything to a sauce pot, bring to medium heat, stir, lightly cover, and cook for about 15 minutes on a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature.
  3. Use and immersion blender if you have one, or if not, add everything to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner hot sauce. Store in sealed tight bottles and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

 

Read More