Sorry for my brief absence which was due to a crazy schedule last week but that did not mean I wasn’t endlessly cooking for us (me, you, my family and everyone else!).
I had organized to have an incredible speaker, Gabe Hurley, come to our High School to discuss his tragic crash and reckless driving prevention. I lured all the media folks I knew to my house with a feast while they interviewed him all day before his presentation to the parents in the evening. You can read his story here and see our photos on my facebook page. If you would like him to speak at your high school or community group, please email me!
The next day I hit the Indian supermarkets in Edison, NJ with my friend Aman and boy did I get some killer ingredients. The next day I made this SICK Sag Paneer from the shopping trip and made it for a pot luck at my synagogue. Let’s just say that EVERYONE wanted the recipe and I am here to share the love.
Oh, I almost forgot! I was the on camera interview gal at the Montclair Art Museum’s 100th anniversary party last night and got to interview many fb folks including Rita Houston from WFUV (one of my music idols), the honorable Mayor Jackson and The Cake Boss! More photos here!:
Enjoy the sag!
P.S. This is my 7 year old’s little ditty:
“Once there was a guy named Sag Paneer,
He liked everything but really fresh beer”
(I tripled this recipe and it is adapted from the food network site foodtv.com. It is FANTASTIC!! After years of searching for the perfect sag paneer, my search is over!)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil or butter (ghee)
6 ounces paneer, (Indian cheese, cut into 1/2 -inch slices)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (1-inch piece) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy-I do)
1 (16-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup plain yogurt
In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons oil. Gently, drop in the slices of paneer and gently toss, taking care not to break the slices. Let the cheese marinate while you get the rest of your ingredients together and prepped.
Thaw the spinach or let sit out until defrosted, then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the paneer as the pan warms. In a couple of minutes give the pan a toss; each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. Fry another minute or so, and then remove the paneer from the pan onto a plate.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chile. Now here’s the important part: saute the mixture until it’s evenly toffee-coloured, which should take about 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step – this is the foundation of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin. If you haven’t already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off.
Turn the heat off. Add the yogurt, a little at a time to keep it from curdling. Once the yogurt is well mixed into the spinach, add the paneer . Turn the heat back on, cover and cook until everything is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve with rice.