recipe: looking for: challenge recipes

pisces7386April 1, 2010

I am looking for cooking/baking ideas! I have a month before I start my new job and decided that I will fill some of my time by cooking "new things". I have come up with a few ideas on my own (bagels, homemade pasta, puff pastries, and quiche) but I need more ideas. I have been looking online, but all the recipe sites I find have normal things like casseroles and baked chicken dishes; I want more excitement, lol. I have some cooking experience and I am more than willing to "study up" if the recipes are little harder. I am slightly limited by my tiny kitchen and lack of cooking hardware so I am leaning towards recipes that don't need very specialized materials (some new hardware is okay, especially if it is a really cool recipe). I ask you to challenge me! All I need are your ideas... and recipes wouldn't hurt either. I thank you all in advance for your help.


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Here are a few of my favorites. They may not be too challenging but they are delicious. We're having Monte's Ham for dinner this Sunday :)

Kima (Indian Meat Dish)

1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 or more Tablespoons curry powder
2 tsps salt
tsp pepper
2 potatoes peeled & diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
Ground coriander
Garlic powder
1 package frozen peas

Saute onion in butter (I used 1 Tbsp). Add garlic and meat. Brown, then drain a bit (I didnÂt have much fat). Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper. Simmer. Then add tomatoes (I mash the tomatoes and meat at this point to get more juice and to make the ground meat fine). I saute the potatoes separate, then add to the mixture and let simmer about 15 minutes. I add some spaghetti sauce (marinara style) and water until I have a sauce because the tomatoes I buy donÂt make a lot of juice it seems. I taste for seasoning and add more curry powder plus some coriander and a bit of garlic powder. A few minutes before serving I add the peas and let simmer. If the Kima is too acidic, I add a bit of sugar. Serve with raita salad and naan (from Trader JoeÂs, baked 1-1/2 minutes in countertop oven). Can also serve with rice.

Raita Salad (can halve this recipe for above Kima recipe)

2 (8 oz) containers plain yogurt
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
4 or 5 radishes chopped
¼ cup red onion diced
Ground coriander
Pinch of Kosher salt

Blend all ingredients, cover with wrap and chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Chile & Tomato Saifun Noodle Salad

½ pound saifun (rice stick) noodles


¼ cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tsps chile paste*
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsps fish sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
Soy sauce

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small peeled cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons choped fresh mint
3 to 4 green onions, minced

To prepare the noodles, soak them in a bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes to soften. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the softened noodles, & cook until tender, about 1 minute. Drain the noodles & briefly rinse them under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and place in the refrigerator to chill.

To prepare the dressing, mix together the vinegar, sugar, zest, juice, and chile paste in a medium bowl. Stir in the garlic and fish sauce. Slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified & thickened. Season to taste with the soy sauce and set aside.

To finish the salad, place the chilled noodles in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, mint and green onions and toss well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat evenly. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes, then serve.

*I use only 1 tsp of chile paste (sambal oulek)--this stuff is Hot! The author says you can add slices of pork tenderloin or bean sprouts. I added snow peas, bean sprouts and shrimp & sometimes have added more soy sauce.

Source: CaprialÂs Bistro Style Cuisine

MonteÂs Ham

1 (15 lb) smoked ham, on the bone
1-1/2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 rounded tablespoon whole cloves

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cut off the ham's tough outer skin and excess fat and discard.
Put ham in a large roasting pan. With a long, sharp knife score it, making crosshatch incisions all over the ham about ½" deep and 1 inch apart.

Roast the ham on the lower middle level of the oven for two hours. Remove it from oven, increase heat to 350 degrees and make the glaze.

For the glaze, stir together the orange marmalade, mustard and brown sugar in a medium-size bowl. Stud ham with cloves, inserting one at the intersection of each crosshatch. Brush entire surface of ham generously with glaze (reserving some glaze) and return ham to the oven.

Cook ham 1-1/2 hours more, brushing with glaze at least 3 times. Transfer ham to a cutting board or platter & allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. Carve and serve warm or at room temp.

Source: Saveur Cooks Authentic American.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:33AM
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For baking, my favorite site is the one below. I've made lots of the recipes there & never had a bad one.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 5:18PM
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Get thee over to the Cooking Forum and check out the What's for Dinner Threads.....and don't be afraid to ask for recipes.
Lots of great adventurous cooks who will be more than glad to give you all the tips you want.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 9:32PM
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