Once again it’s Wednesday and I have mustered up the energy to cook after a traffic-y commute home. I’m usually only SUPER-excited about cooking on the weekends, when there’s more leisure time than I know what to do with. But there are these occasional stray weeknights where I manage to pull something together even when I don’t feel like it.
And tonight, I needed RACHAEL. She always fills me up and never lets me down. This afternoon I decided that tonight I’d be in the mood for something Asian, something light, something fantastic. I thought it would be neat to do a very lime-y, cilantro-y dish, light and tangy, but couldn’t find a recipe that tickled my senses, so out with that idea . . . for now. Instead I drifted towards the idea of a creative curry, something new and exciting but warm and familiar at the same time. Safe and delicious without being a dish we made last week. Boy oh boy, I searched up and down Epicurious.com and Food Network, two of my fav recipe websites, and I just couldn’t find something that looked easy and delicious without requiring 24+ hours of marinating or soaking. I was not initially thinking “Rachael Ray” when I decided on a curry, but I thought I’d zip on over to her magazine website to give it a try. (On a side note, Rachael’s magazine website, as opposed to any of her multiple other websites, seems to have the most organized and helpful recipe collection. By far.) Sure enough, she had plenty of curry dishes and several that looked new and exciting. I settled on a “Roasted Tomato and Chickpea Curry” and started salivating almost immediately.
I absolutely adore tomatoes and chickpeas, so I knew that I was not going to go wrong with this dish. A couple of changes, if you’re looking at the recipe. I opted out of homemade roasted tomatoes . . . I’m certainly not against the practice and have had excellent results in the recent past roasting my own tomatoes . . . but tonight, Wednesday night, I just didn’t feel like it. I substituted it for two cans of peeled diced tomatoes, partially drained. Also, I adore garlic, so I threw in 3 or 4 cloves instead of the prescribed 1. Finally, between the choices of ground turkey and ground chicken, I chose turkey because I was in the mood for extra-light-and-healthy.
This dish is very simple and hard to mess up. And delicious. I used the Cuisinart to mince the onion and garlic and let those two go in a little olive oil in my favorite big pot. Once those were a little browned and VERY fragrant I threw in the ground turkey and spices. I mixed those up and let everything cook through slowly before throwing in the tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Couple of notes: Rachael says 1 teaspoon salt, I think I would have used about half that in retrospect. The final dish was not at all overly-salty but it was getting there and that’s one thing I don’t like to risk. Also, always remember to rinse your chickpeas or other types of beans, as they are canned in horribly salty preservative water that could dilute your dish and is certainly not healthy for you. Finally, let me dote on the lemon zest. The lemon zest MADE this dish in a big way. Boy, it added that fresh and tangy taste I was looking for at the beginning of my quest, and I’m so glad Ray-Ray thought to add it in. Delish!
Okay, back to the recipe. I simmered the dish for 10 minutes, and the final step is adding in 1.5 cups of plain unsweetened yogurt, which really gives the whole thing a little more pizzazz. I served the curry on top of yummy Basmati rice (and no, you may not substitute Uncle Ben’s for Basmati rice…trust me, it is worth an extra trip to the grocery!) and had al dente broccoli on the side. We always strive to have a fresh green on the side. I remember growing up whenever our cats ate rich foods they would go chew on grass, which I suppose made their stomachs feel better. Humans are the same way! Every delicious meal can be so much more enjoyable with a nice and simple green to balance things out. I’ve served really fantastic dishes that are forgotten because of their rich after-effects, so it’s always nice to include something green and stabilizing.
This dish will definitely be going in the recipe folder for future use.
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