I still made dinner.

Lots of things are happening. You know about most of them because you’re on social media too, or because you aren’t a hermit and you have spoken to another adult human recently. So I won’t talk about all that here. I’ll just tell you about what I made for dinner, because we are still eating food a few times a day every day.

Here is a beautiful photograph of tomato sauce: image

I didn’t really measure but it was about half the bottle. I used the bionaturae brand tomato sauce because I like it.

So that’s probably about 2 cups of tomato sauce.  I bet you’re wondering what I’m making! It’s an off the cuff chicken tikka masala with what I already had at home. Here it is with the spices:

image

That has turmeric, paprika, salt, cumin, pepper, and I couldn’t find the garam masala until it was almost done but it made a world of difference, so if you have that, add it. No measurements. Probably about a teaspoon or so each.

I cooked it over medium heat for a while, until it all blended nicely, and then I added a lot of heavy cream – about a cup and a half I would estimate, and let it cook more over low heat. I used enough heat that it would bubble on the sides but not so much that it would splatter. I don’t like splattery food.

Then I had a nice sauce.

I used it as a dipping sauce for roasted chicken legs. (ok the truth is there’s this awesome Thai place that opened up recently and they have a really delicious dipping sauce that’s very much like tikka masala sauce so I thought I’d try my hand at it, and it turned out pretty good!)

That was not the best use of this sauce.

 

So later, I chopped carrot (2), onion (1/2), red pepper (1/2), garlic (3), and fresh turmeric (1 nub), and sautéed them well in olive oil and butter. To that I added the pulled apart chicken breasts, about 3/4 of the remaining sauce, and another round of heavy cream until I liked both the color and consistency. I let that simmer a few minutes, and served it over white rice — I have been making my white rice with garlic and turmeric lately, I’ll get that out in a post soon too and update this one with a link.

This was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made – better than following any of the many chicken tikka masala recipes I have followed by far.

Check it out and please give me feedback! No pics of my final dish, it wasn’t photogenic. Just delicious.

Food: yellow split peas

Yellow split peas are my new favorite food, since beginning to experiment with my new Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker. I make a very simple dish, and I do not like to measure, so here are my ingredients. You can’t get it wrong.

Carrot, celery, onion, garlic, yellow split peas, broth (and/or water), salt, pepper.

And Kerrygold butterEdit of course.

Simple. Cook the chopped mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion) on the sauté setting in some butter until the veggies are soft and turning brown. Add chopped garlic. Measure the split peas, I usually use 2 or 3 cups. 2 cups at my house fed 3 adults and 3 kids with no leftovers. 3 cups let me have leftovers, which I preferred. Add 2-3 times as much liquid. Closer to 2x if you want them to stay a little crunchy. 3x as much liquid makes them mushy, which is also good. My preference is al dente so I use a bit over 2x. Close the lid and use the manual setting, 13 minutes. Add more butter after serving!

One time I used 2x the liquid and it overheated because it was beginning to stick on the bottom, but that was actually my favorite texture to date.

[EDIT: 8 minutes yielded the perfect consistency today. I didn’t measure the water, and there was plenty of water after cooking (so no overheating) AND this time I added a sliced burdock root – in Japanese this is called gobo, which is excellent for the skin and the large intestine.]

If you’re unfamiliar with the Instant Pot, it’s an electric pressure cooker but can be used as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, for warming or for browning/sautéing. I’ve had it for less time than my Vita-Mix and I’ve already used it much more. The learning curve is small.

Yellow split peas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium.