Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes

Crave+2 Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes

Butter+Chicken Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes300!!

How can this be? And I haven’t even managed to sort all these recipes into an alphabetical and categorized database. (It’s getting to be a mighty large project, let me tell you. I have been working on it!)

Three hundred. Imagine what else I might have accomplished if I just committed myself to spend time every night on it, no matter how tired I was or what else I had going on. I guarantee there is nothing else I’ve done in my lifetime for 300 consecutive days, except maybe eat and breathe. And I suppose change diapers, but that wasn’t much of a challenge.

It was a celebratory day today too, which is sort of fitting. I wouldn’t have wanted to post grilled cheese and a double double on day 300, although that would have been fitting, too. It’s the week of the birthday trilogy: my sister, Mike and me. Mine is later this week, but we generally get the family together for dinner on the closest Sunday, which was today. It was at my sister’s house and a potluck. We made it Indian, hoping to trigger my other sister into labour (it might have worked), but mostly because I wanted an excuse to have butter chicken.

Once I made it I realized that it doesn’t really need to be half butter and cream (some recipes I found called for 3 cups of whipping cream and/or a cup of melted butter) and thus need not be relegated to multiple-birthday days. I further found you can do it in the slow cooker – at least until the adding of the cream. It wouldn’t have occurred to me, but I was cooking for 13 and needed it to be transportable and easily reheated, so I simmered the tomatoes, spices and chicken for a few hours this afternoon, took it over, plugged it in and stirred in some plain yogurt and the merest splash of cream while it was set on warm.

But my sister made these curried potatoes and cauliflower that were phenomenal; it was something she remembered seeing Jamie Oliver make on TV years ago, and she went ahead and winged it. This is how she relayed it to me:

Curried+potatoes+and+Cauliflower Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes

Melt butter (as I was leaving she confessed that the quantity of butter likely had something to do with their awesomeness – 1/2 cup – it was a large batch, but still) and a bit of coconut milk (the last of the can, about 1/4 cup) and a big spoonful of curry paste (Jamie had made his own spice blend, of course) until it’s melted and the coconut cooks down to “sort of oily”; add diced potatoes and cauliflower florets and cook until they start to brown. Cover and keep on cooking. Add a half a pint of grape tomatoes and keep on cooking until everything is soft.

They cooked for quite awhile, and she used a large electric frying pan to free up the stovetop for the soup, rice and naan. Seriously, phenomenal. I feel as if I’m about to deliver quintuplets and still I can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow. Ironic that the veggies had more butter than the butter chicken, which actually had none, come to think of it.

Butter+Chicken+2 Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes

Better Butter Chicken

This is also a great way to use up leftover roast chicken or turkey; chop and add it to the sauce instead of the chicken breasts.

canola or olive oil, for cooking
3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can tomato paste
1-2 tsp. garam masala (optional)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup(ish) half and half (or whipping cream)
salt and pepper

steamed basmati rice, for serving with

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the chicken breasts in a drizzle of oil until browned on both sides. Set aside, or transfer to a slow cooker.

Add a little more oil to the skillet and cook the onion until starting to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute, then add the chili powder, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another minute. Slice the chicken on a slight diagonal; don’t worry if it’s not cooked through.

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer; pour over the chicken in the slow cooker and set on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2, or return the chicken to the skillet, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the garam masala, yogurt and cream, if you’re using it. Season with salt and pepper, if it needs it.

Serve immediately, with rice.

Serves 6

And cupcakes from Crave, just because we could. Back when we lived in Vancouver 5 years ago I TOLD Mike we should move back to Calgary and open a cupcake shop. He wouldn’t go for it. W could have been heir to our cupcake fortune. Seriously, $47 for a dozen cupcakes and a dozen minis? It seems I was on the right track when I opened the Kooky Cupcake Company (my mom had to explain why spelling it with three Ks was not a good idea) with a $20 loan for ingredients and the One Egg Cake recipe from The Joy of Cooking when I was about 8. (A lot of the profits were eaten up.)

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October 26 2008 11:18 pm | chicken & turkey and veg

21 Responses to “Day 300: Butter Chicken, Coconut Rice, Curried Potatoes, Cauliflower and Grape Tomatoes, Naan and Crave Cupcakes”

  1. Teresa on 26 Oct 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    Julie,
    I’ve been visiting your site every day, since I read about you in the Herald sometime ago…
    I LOVE what you’re doing and how you relate to food with such passion.. even a grilled cheese sandwich!!Not a day goes by without me checking the site for your easy, delicious, and absolutely ‘heart’ warming recipes. I also love how you incorporate Mike/Will, into your site, it makes you so ‘real’!
    I have tried MANY of your recipes and now every time I try something new, my family asks, “Is that Julie’s”? (My son has a passion for good eats, too!)
    I just wanted to let you know that I am so glad I found your site… Keep up the great work, I so enjoy the passion you put into every detail!
    I will ‘so’ be trying the Butter Chicken…
    Teresa

  2. Buddiegirl on 26 Oct 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    I never use butter or cream to make butter chicken, only low fat yogurt and I think it tastes great. Should it really be called butter chicken if it isn’t swimming in chicken?

    Crave is opening another store in Willow Park soon, which is too close to where I live, especially when there is a Starbucks at the other end of the mall. Coffee and cupcakes, who could ask for more. Maybe it would help if I walked there and back! At least I drink my decaf Americano black.

  3. Tina on 27 Oct 2008 at 6:52 am #

    Happy Birthday to you!

  4. Elaine on 27 Oct 2008 at 7:59 am #

    I suspect that I’ve mentioned this here before, but butter (or curry) chicken can really easily be made vegan by:

    1. substituting the chicken for potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, peas, carrots, etc. (I generally make curry to clean out my produce drawer).

    2. substituting yogurt/cream/butter for a splash of EVOO and then blended (soft) tofu, and finally thickening the mixture with a bit of cornstarch and a half-cup of finely ground nuts.

    Still, that 5000 calorie butter chicken from the restaurant: it’s tough to resist.

  5. robyn on 27 Oct 2008 at 8:15 am #

    I think there’s always room for another cupcake company! Just put a slightly different spin on it…..

    Your dinner looks delish!!

  6. HB on 27 Oct 2008 at 8:36 am #

    I see you used the Butter Chicken recipe from E,S&BM. For some reason they changed the recipe from what was originally featured on their show and on the foodtv website. I much prefer the original to the new one as the one here is really watery and less creamy!

    I am still puzzled why they would go and change such a good recipe!

  7. JulieVR on 27 Oct 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Actually it was an amalgamation of a whole bunch of recipes I looked up, all of which start with onion, garlic, ginger and spices, (sometimes cooked in a ton of butter), add some form of tomatoes, chicken and cream or yogurt. Theirs uses a rotisserie chicken I believe? I used diced tomatoes over tomato sauce because I like it chunky, and added a can of tomato paste to make it rich and thick, and because tomato paste is such a condensed form of lypocene. I actually had a bunch of cooked chicken breasts that had been brushed with chili powder and roasted from a food styling gig on Friday, and so sliced and used them up (I added a lot more since I was feeding 8 adults and 5 kids) and didn’t even measure the yogurt or cream, just dumped some in until it looked about right.
    (I haven’t seen the ES&BM show on Butter Chicken or what they have up on the FoodTV website.. I just looked up the version in their book and it uses butter, a rotisserie chicken, some brown sugar, light cream (5%) and light sour cream or yogurt.)

  8. Kathy on 27 Oct 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Too funny Julie, we have a trio of birthdays in October as well – myself and my sister-in-law were born 11 days apart and my mother in law’s was yesterday. My mother-in-law turned 80 yesterday so the whole family was here. We celebrated all 3 yesterday with brunch out, then for supper we had – at my sister-in-law’s – a fab squash soup and some munchies and a cake (Mocha Chocolate) from Glamorgan Bakery.

    Happy birthday to you and yours this month!

  9. Anonymous on 27 Oct 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    I never have a birthday without Crave cupcakes (Mike and I even had four tiers of Crave cupcakes in lieu of a wedding cake)! Happy birthday!

  10. Gail on 27 Oct 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Congratulations Julie for 300 days! I was looking back on the site (since I came late to the party) and I find it really interesting to compare the early posts with the later ones. You are very relaxed and comfortable now with it all. Good going.

  11. glenda on 27 Oct 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    Congrats on 300 days – and on the birthday! I love checking in to see what is cooking in your world…and to inspire me in mine. Do keep it up!

  12. elektra on 27 Oct 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Julie, a cookie from Calgary,
    Makes dinner for all of us to see.
    Her food’s fantastic;
    Nothing is plastic!
    She’s truly one of a kind; quality.

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Dana mccauley on 27 Oct 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Happy 300!

  14. Melanie on 27 Oct 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    Happy Birthday Sister Scorpio! Our husbands should just trust that we always have amazing ideas!!!
    From another birthday-er later this week,
    M.

  15. sharon in oregon on 27 Oct 2008 at 7:49 pm #

    Happy Birthday to another Scorpio! I have a b’day (60th!) on the 21st of November and love knowing there are other wonderful cooks etc out there to make us all happy!

  16. Carolann on 27 Oct 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    Okay I swore I wasn’t going to do this. Have you looked at the time you post every day. What in the sam hill are you doing up at 1.15 am. When do you sleep.

  17. JulieVR on 27 Oct 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    Sleep? What is this sleep you speak of?

  18. Heather on 28 Oct 2008 at 7:49 am #

    Oh this looks delicious! I wish we had cupcake shops around here.

  19. Meg (J's mom) on 28 Oct 2008 at 10:43 pm #

    I too was at the birthday dinner, and to all of you who offered suggestions to help me overcome my vegetable “allergy”, I must report that, to my huge surprise, the cauliflower/potato curry was my favorite part of the meal, other than maybe the squash soup brought by J’s other sister, Anne. Squash soup is my #1 favorite way to eat a vegetable.

  20. Brenna on 10 Nov 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    This was my first time looking at your blog and I am hooked. I am so excited about the no butter butter chicken recipe as it is my husbands favorite dish and I refuse to make it for health reasons(even though we are only in our 20’s!) I noticed that you said to add turmeric but it wasn’t listed in the ingredients. How much do we add? Thanks.

  21. Marion on 16 Nov 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    I’ve only recently found your site, and I’m thrilled! I made the potato and cauliflower dish for a “memories of Nepal” dinner party last weekend. We thought it was delicious… and I’ve enjoyed the very best left-overs this week too. Thanks!

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