Tonight I'm making Indian food. I have a lot of the necessary whole spices. Tonight I'm making peas and panir. Panir, or paneer, is a type of cheese. I managed to find some last week while in Halifax at Pete's Frootique. I also have some Chana Dahl and some split Mung Beans so I'll also make a bean dish of some sort.
A while ago I had gotten a bag of dried red chilies at the asian market in Halifax. These are spicy chilies. I use them in dishes that call for any type of chili. The recipes I'm looking at tonight all call for green chilies but since I have these dried red ones on hand, I'll use them. They are super hot so I'll only use one or two. I love buying dried ingredients. They are so convenient to have on hand.
Last night I made a pasta dish that involved no real sauce except for the juices from the beef and some pasta water. I incorporated some chunks of fontina and mozzarella cheese. It's hard to do this without the cheese melting into one large clump, which is what happened to me last night. The secret is to quickly toss in the cheese, get it off the heat, stir just enough to spread the chunks around and then serve. I stirred too long and left it on the heat so the cheese melted too much. In this dish I also had slices of flank steak, brocccoli, cauliflower and zucchini and fresh basil. I had pre-grilled the steak and let it rest while I made the rest. I sauteed the veggies with my italian blend and olive oil. I boiled the pasta and saved 2 cups of the water before I drained it. I use that water to moisten the mixture before I put the cheese in. The interesting part about all this, I did it all on the bbq because we had lost power!