Recipes from Marche, Italy

For this entry, I made two recipes. Neither of them were especially good, but I don't blame the people who posted the original recipes or any of the traditions they came from, I blame myself and my propensity for Googling things that might kill me.

Recipes from Marche, Italy: Brodetto

A seafood stew with mussels and clams, minus the Vibrio.

Recipes from Marche, Italy: Filone Casereccio

An Italian bread that will come out much better than mine did if you use fresh brewer's yeast and steam.

Recipes from Malta

This is actually the third time I’ve cooked a meal from Malta. The first time, I cooked the meal and then just did not write the blog post. Years went by.

Recipes from Malta: Imqarrun

Imquarrum (also called Imqarrun il-forn) is descended from a dish served in Sicily, but the Maltese have adopted it as a traditional staple. The key to making this dish is to be patient.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Friday

I was just sitting here getting ready to eat a bowl of chili when I thought maybe I ought to post something, because, you know, the last time I disappeared for a week or two I didn't actually come back again for more than a year. I've been on a blogcation because we had a guest staying with us, and blog meals take up way too much time we could be spending on other fun things. Plus, my guest is a vegetarian, so cooking her a greasy, meaty, traditional meal from some exotic land wouldn't have actually been very polite. Yeah I know, I could have looked for some vegetarian options ... but I liked the idea of playing in the snow more than sitting down with my laptop looking for recipe ideas.

I will say also that there was a bunch of eating out this week, and I'm kind of scared to get on the scale now.

Anyway, I'll get some real stuff up later this week. See you then!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Recipes from Maharashtra, India

So I kind of had to squeeze this blog meal in on a weekday, because of various factors including a power outage, a roast beef dinner and my baby boy's 7th birthday. Happily, the meal I chose wasn't terribly complicated, so no one had to go to bed late. Not that late, anyway.

There were just two recipes, much to my older daughter's dismay, since she believes very strongly that no blog meal is complete without desert. And also, she hates curry. So it really wasn't her night.

Here are the two dishes I chose:

Kolhapuri Chicken, which are super spicy drumsticks.

Alu Paratha, a flatbread stuffed with spicy mashed potatoes.

I will admit that I had to actually make two separate versions of each one of these recipes. While my older son (he's now 11) is so macho about spicy food that he says things like, "I can't believe you actually think this is spicy, Mom," even while his face is turning bright red, my other children don't appreciate spicy food at all. So I left out the super spicy chili powder from the drumsticks and excluded the red chili powder from the mashed potatoes. But just to keep it authentic, I did serve the complete recipe, fire and all, to me and Martin.

Recipes from Maharashtra, India: Kolhapuri Chicken

I have always loved spicy food, so I loved this super-spicy drumstick recipe from Maharashtra. It reminded me of Tandoori chicken, but much less kind. I do suggest if you're going to make it that you
test-drive the primary spicy ingredient before adding it--it's called "Degi Mirch," and it's a special blend of super-spicy Indian chili powder. I thought it was going to be hard to find, but I actually located it in 30 seconds or less on Amazon Prime (here's the link).

If you can get past the mouth on fire thing, this is a tasty recipe. Here's how to make it:

First, you marinade the drumsticks. Take the skin off, mix together the maranade ingredients and then rub all over the chicken. Put it in the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

Now you have to mix up a bunch of whole garam masala ingredients: bay leaf, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, star anise and garlic.

Fry the seeds until they start to smell delicious, then add some sliced onion and dry coconut to the pan. Keep stirring until the onions start to brown.

Next, put the onion mix in a blender with some tomatoes and water and pulse to make a paste. Transfer back to the pan and cook in a little oil with the Degi Mirch and garam masala.

Now add the chicken to the pot, mix, cover and cook over medium low for  20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees. Now give it to your family and laugh as their faces turn red and they all dive for a glass of water.

Actually as I said, I didn't give my kids the spicy version, at least not deliberately. My super-macho 11-year-old helped himself to some sauce and then sat there sweating while simultaneously complaining that it wasn't spicy enough. Haha, I am so on to you, dude. My husband liked the flavor, spices and all, but of course complained that it wasn't a boneless, skinless chicken breast. You know, the most flavorless cut on the chicken. Sigh. You can't please everyone.

Kolhapuri Chicken

from Madhuras Recipe
Kolhapuri Chicken


  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks

  • For the marinade
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • For the sauce:
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 to 3 whole cloves
  • 4 to 5 peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp dry, shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp Degi Mirch powder*
*Degi Mirch is a spicy red Indian chili powder blend. I got mine on


  1. First pull the skin off the drumsticks. 
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients and rub all over the drumsticks. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Now heat up the oil and add all the various seeds and the chopped garlic. Keep stirring until fragrant. 
  4. Add the coconut and onion and keep cooking until the onions starts to brown.
  5. Now transfer the onion mixture to a blender with the chopped tomatoes. Add just enough water to make a paste.
  6. Now heat some more oil and add the paste, along with the  Degi Mirch and garam masala. Cook for 5 minutes or so.
  7. Drop in the chicken pieces and add a little water to make a nice sauce. Cover and cook on medium low for 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees.

Recipes from Maharashtra, India: Alu Paratha

So this is a pretty simple flatbread, no yeast or bread machine required. It's just whole wheat flour, water, salt and olive oil. The trick is stuffing it, and then getting the stuffing to stay inside while you roll it flat. It's actually not as hard as it sounds, you just can't have a heavy hand with the rolling pin. Here's how it's done:

First mix up all the dough ingredients, then roll flat. I used a teacup saucer to cut circles out of the dough.

Make sure the dough is pretty thin--think tortilla rather than naan bread.

Now you mix up the filling, and then put a lump of it in the middle of the bread.

Pull up the corners to make a packet, like so:

Then roll flat again. Just be gentle--you want the bread to be pretty flat but you don't want any of the potato filling to come out.

Now brush the tops with some melted ghee. The original recipe said to roast it on tawa, but if you have no idea what that means I think baking is a fine substitute. There were no times given but mine took about 15 minutes--you want it to start browning a little on top, then it's time to take out.

This bread was spicy, but not too spicy--you can certainly adjust the amount of red chili powder you use according to your own personal tastes. For all my kids except the oldest, that meant just not using any chili powder, of course, they still didn't like it because that's how they are. Even though they like flatbread and they like mashed potatoes but oh no, you just can't put the two together. Whatever.

Anyway here is the printable, pinable version:

Alu Paratha

from Simple Indian Recipes
Alu Paratha, flatbread stuffed with spicy potatoes


    For the dough
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water (more if necessary)

  • For the filling
  • 3 to 4 potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp mango powder
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Bread crumbs


  1. Mix together the ingredients for the dough and knead.
  2. Now combine all the filling ingredients together.
  3. Roll the dough out into tea saucer sized circles.
  4. Place a lump of filling in the center of each circle, then pull up the edges to form a packet.
  5. Roll the packet out flat, taking care not to expose the filling.
  6. Brush the top of each flatbread with a little melted ghee, then bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes
Approximate time: 30 minutes Serves 6.

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