Mushroom Tortelloni and Curry Cream Soup

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Soup!  I think this is my first soup entry. (oops, no the second in 6 years) I clipped this from the newspaper years ago and just found it with the words “Excellent!” written on it.  Well I can’t make these “excellent” recipes if I don’t run across these small snippets of paper.  So, it’s time I enter it here so I might actually find it. The recipe says it was adapted from a Better Homes and Garden Soup book. Who knew Better Homes and Garden had such exotic taste? I found a variation of this recipe on the Internet that doubled the chicken broth and added a cup of sliced mushrooms. (and I stole her photo above as I rememeber this is sort of what it looked like.) I like the idea of those additions so may consider experimenting the next time I make this.

  • 3 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry poweder
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can unsweeteened coconut milk
  • 1 (9oz) package of refrigerated mushroom tortelloni
  • 1 Tablespoon snipped fresh basil
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped peanuts

In a medium saucepan, cook shallot, jalapeño pepper, garlic and curry powder in hot oil about 1 minute, or until shallot is tender.  Stir in chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 5 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk, tortelloni and basil. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more, or until pasta is tender but still firm. Stir in the tomato and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, but do not boil.

Garnish each serving with peanuts.


Published in: on May 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Safaid keema (ground meat & potatoes)


Meat and potato comfort food with wonderful Indian spiciness.  Another old recipe by  Julie Sahni clipped from a newspaper who knows when.  I just researched her and found that she is a chef and teacher of Indian cooking and has written several Indian cookbooks. I also found this recipe online in many different versions, so either she has changed it, or others have. (For example, they all list ground cumin as one of the spices, but don’t use the seeds at the end. I really like the seeds.) I did add peas on my own, and I see the others all have done the same.

We ate this as is (with big dollops of yogurt) because to me our carbs, the potatoes, were already in the pan. However I see that others serve it over rice. I’ll list my original recipe here and note my slight changes.

  • 5 tablespoons corn, peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 4 medium potatoes, about 1 pound, peeled ( I used red, but I think any firm potato would be fine)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup unflavored yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. salt, optional
  • about 1 cup of frozen peas, or as many as you’d like
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the onions.  Cook, stirring often, over moderately low heat, about 15 minutes, or until onions are golden brown.  Do not let them become dark brown or the sauce will become dark.
  2. Cut each potato in half or in quarters (depending on the size; I cut mine so I had 1-inch thick disks; I thought they would take too long to cook if I only halved them.) Drop pieces in cold water and set aside.
  3. Put the cumin seeds in a skillet and cook, shaking the skillet, until they are lightly browned.  Do not burn!  Pour the seeds from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and cook, stirring, about two minutes longer.  Add the meat and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps with the side of a heavy metal spoon. Cook until the meat loses its raw look.
  5. (The recipe calls for lean meat, but if you have quite a bit of grease in the pan, drain it from the meat now. Also possible later, but might be easier now)
  6. Drain the potatoes and add them to the meat.  Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, yogurt and milk. Add the salt if desired. (In newer versions of the recipe I’ve seen online,  1 1/2 cups of water is added at this point. I did not do that. I did not have a “sauce,” at the end; just wonderfully spiced meat with potatoes. I did add a tiny bit more milk at one point to keep it moist. If you want a sauce, try adding water and/or chicken broth at this point.)
  7. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer about 35 to 45 minutes. Check carefully and do not allow the sauce to stick and burn. (Without that extra water, burning might be possible, but OK to add a little more milk or yogurt if necessary.) I also checked for taste and added a little more of the spices to taste.
  8. In the last few minutes, I thought of adding the peas so I threw them in, frozen.  It didn’t take long for them to heat up in the skillet. Be careful not to break the potato pieces. You want potatoes cooked through, but not so soft they turn into mashed potatoes.
  9. Remove from heat.  First time I made this, I thought it was too greasy so I removed some of the grease at this point, but it would be better to do it earlier on.
  10. Add roasted cumin seeds and stir gently. Serve with yogurt.  Cucumber and yogurt salad makes a nice side. Chutney also goes well according to author, but we used only yogurt and loved it.
  11. Yields 4 servings.

I always have some fresh herbs around.  I chopped some mint and cilantro to sprinkle on top, but it tastes wonderful without it.  We ate the leftovers two days later and I think it was even better. So, this is a good one for a make-ahead dish.  Also, freezing is recommended.

Just found this recipe in a 1983 New York Magazine article online.  That is probably exactly where I cut it out from!  33 years ago!

Published in: on January 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Couscous Casablanca

This has been a long-time favorite around here.  So easy to make and so tasty!  I cut this recipe out of a newspaper years ago, but there’s no reference as to where it comes from.

  • 12 ounces lean boneless leg of lamb or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I’m just noticing lamb as an option as I type this; I’ve always only made it with chicken.)
  • 1 to 2 tsps. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 tsps. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots  (I usually add more as it’s our entire meal and the carrots have to count as the vegetable.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 13-3/4-ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Near East couscous  (aha! an ad for Near East; maybe that’s where the recipe comes from.  I use whatever couscous I have at home, which is NEVER Near East.)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro  (mint is also good)
  • Plain low-fat yogurt
  • Chutney (I don’t know much about chutney.  The only one I buy is spicy mango chutney which is very good on this dish.)

1. Toss meat with curry powder and salt. In large, nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 tsps oil over medium high heat.  Add meat mixture; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides. (Lamb should be pink in center. If using chicken, cook 7 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.)  Remove from skillet; set aside.

2. In same skillet, heat remaining 1-1/2 tsps oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 5-7 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

3. Stir in couscous and reserved meat; bring to a boil. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve with yogurt and chutney.

4 servings  (Call us piggies; we normally get only 3 servings.  One of us gets a nice leftover lunch.)

Published in: on September 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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Indian Chicken with Fragrant Rice Pilaf

Split votes on the goodness of this dish.  This was the second time I made it because my memory was that I really liked it the first time.  I had a couple of notes of things I added and I also had the memory of Luigi not liking it as much as me, but I wanted to try again.  This time I can’t give it the rave reviews that I felt the first time. (and Luigi still gave it a thumbs down)  However I believe there is hope for this recipe if I could  just find the right adjustment.

It called for basmati rice and I had brown jasmine so that may have been one mistake. The chicken is made with a coconut milk sauce. I actually added some hot sauce to give it some punch after the lime juice and more  salt didn’t do it. I doubled the peas and this time added some snap peas and mint and basil on top, none of which would be in a real Indian recipe.  When I google this recipe online, there are more complex versions of it. Maybe this quick and easy version doesn’t do the original justice, or maybe it just needs a little something that I will still have to figure out…

Note to self: If this one gets tried again, googgle the title for other versions; saw one with red pepper and with half coconut milk and half broth.

Recipe Link

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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World Curry

Ev was out shopping and I was supposed to cook. Well I checked the freezer and found we had a nice curry from our last double coupon take-out from World Curry in Pacific Beach! Goes great with the Karl Strauss seasonal Oktoberfest from Costco!  Ev wasn’t too happy though, as my ‘cooking’ didn’t show any “effort.”  Plus we are supposed to ‘save’ ready meals from the freezer for “emergencies.”

Of course, my needing to cook is an emergency, but I didn’t get far with that line. I was also told I should have ‘enhanced’ the curry with some veggies or something, but I didn’t think of that.  To top it all off, I didn’t even take a picture, which Ev says I should have done to document the lack of eye appeal of the dinners I serve.

So is the blog to be “Ev’s Serendipitous Kitchen” or is 364 nights of dinner? We’ll see….

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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