Tuesday, July 22, 2008

rage blackouts

last night was not one of my more shining moments in the art of gentlemanly, gracious, sportsmanship. i kind of lost it. f bombs like crazy! calling the other team b***hes! threatening to key the opponents car (this i did with my teammates, not to the opponent's face)! i was all yelly mcyellerson. you'll have to excuse me i'm not at my best, styles. brutal. it was all right in the end though...doing the post-game line-up hand-slap with the other team, i supplemented my usual "good game" with a healthy peppering of "sorry for being an a**hole." the other team had some hotheads too, so it all worked out in the wash. i seriously don't know what comes over me. i have way too much of a competitive spirit...that or maybe too much testosterone.

i was at the grocery store today and saw this little tyke of about 3 or 4, with flaxen pigtails, look beseechingly up at her mother and say, "mama, can we get some swa-behwies?" and i felt nothing. in fact, my heart kind of hardened AGAINST her and my gut instinct was to flick her nose or something. i feel like this is a sign that i'm not meant to have children.

tonight for dinner i made mutter paneer. we had it with steamed rice, parathas (frozen and pan fried) and sag from makkah (the pakistani place in the neighbourhood). i've made mutter paneer before, but the recipe i tried was too watery and had too many peas. this recipe had me make a spice paste first and fry that up with onions in butter and then add crushed tomatoes, a touch of cream, the paneer cubes and the peas. it was delicious.

the following is the recipe i used (i skipped the mint and cream/milk and used chili flakes instead of the aleppo pepper flakes. i also upped the thai bird chili count to 2 and added more peas). pretty tasty and muy picante.



Mattar Paneer


5 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 2″ cube fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red Thai bird chile
1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper flakes (aleppo is a mild chile from Turkey–optional–I get it from Penzey’s)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
10 cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces paneer cheese cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 14 ounce can crushed Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
large handful fresh mint leaves, chopped roughly


Grind together the garlic, ginger and spices into a thick paste.

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet, and when it foams, add paneer. Add spice paste and cook, stirring, until the spices are very fragrant and the paneer is beginning to brown. Turn the paneer, and keep stirring. Add the tomatoes adn milk, and stir. Turn down the heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Add the heavy cream and salt to taste. Add the peas, and turn heat down to very low and simmer slowly for about an hour or so.

After it has cooked for an hour, put a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and let it sit for another hour or so. When you are ready to serve, reheat the curry to a simmer, adding a bit more milk or cream as necessary to keep it from reducing too much.

Just before serving, stir in mint leaves.

Not surprisingly, this is even better heated up the next day. You may have to add more milk to the sauce to think it out so it will reheat properly.

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