Pumpkin Spice Blondies

The Busvlogger’s Pumpkin Spice Blondies Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Blondies

The following is a guest post by my friend James, aka, the Busvlogger on YouTube, wherein he shares his delicious Pumpkin Spice Blondies recipe.  But it’s not just a recipe!  He’s also posted a how-to video on his channel (and one for the Maple Glaze), so check it out-  Peter

So Peter and I got our two families together a few weeks ago; we are quickly becoming dear friends and our wives and kids are going to have to follow suit, those are the facts. We assembled, as you might expect, around food. We were at Wood Stone Craft Pizza in Fayetteville, Arkansas, were they do more than put toppings on flat bread, they make art. I digress.

Peter and I were discussing what we might do to bring my You Tube world and his blog world together. We wanted to do an Autumnal collaboration that would bring people together under sweet, joyful and, let’s be honest, highly google-able conditions.

Busvlogger

What brings people joy in the Fall? The smell of damp leaves and wood smoke on a crisp, cool night does it for me. Ultimately, we came up with the Pumpkin Spice Blondie that you see before you! Combined with the savory and sweet of my maple glaze, studded with a crisp smokey bacon, this cookie/bar has it all!

Disclaimer: No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this dessert but the amount of butter required would make even Paula Dean blush, bless her heart. These are decadent and taste like a mother’s love but they are an indulgence, so consume accordingly!

With that said, I hope you enjoy this recipe. Peter and I both agree that great food has a way of connecting people. Please use these blondies to touch base with someone in your life; whether you share a bite or pass on the recipe. We would both love to hear your feed back on our respective social media homes and we’d be flattered if you’d “Pin It”!

pump spic 2
Pumpkin Spice Blondies

2 Cups all-purpose flour
¼ t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 T. pumpkin spice or ¼ T. ground ginger, ¼ T. allspice and ½ T. cinnamon
¼ t. salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.
Coat a 9×9 or 9×12 baking pan with butter, line with parchment.
Coat inside of parchment with butter.
Combine dry ingredients.
In mixer, cream remaining ingredients.
Stir in dry mixture by hand.
Spread batter evenly in pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool 30 minutes.
Cut the Pumpkin Spice Blondies into squares or bars.

pump spic 4

Maple Glaze (perfect for doughnuts too)

4 T. butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
8 T. pure maple syrup
1 to 2 T milk

Whisk thoroughly.
Drizzle, spread or dunk onto completely cooled baked goods!
Let sit until glaze sets.

Tip: sprinkle accompaniments (bacon pieces, nuts, etc.) before glaze sets.

pumpkin spice dessert

My lifestyle brand, Busvlogger, focuses on intentional living with a comedic, casual tone. I teach viewers that quality of life can be elevated by taking simple actions.

I love being a champion of causes and brands that fit within my key platform of ‘intentional living’ namely my 5 focus areas: food, sustainable farming/gardening, home improvement, travel and parenting.

Father of two boys, two girls and a VW Bus.

http://www.youtube.com/user/busvlogger 

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesbusvlogger 

@busvlogger

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Life is what you make it, let’s get our hands dirty!

Proud partner at Deca TV

NWArkansas

I was lucky enough to sample some of the Pumpkin Spice Blondies.  Ginny had one and a half!

Ginny eating blondies

If you dig his Pumpkin Spice Blondies Recipe be sure and go let James know over on his YouTube channel.   Pin it!  Share it!  Subscribe to his channel!  All that good stuff – Peter

roasted acorn squash

Roasted Acorn Squash Bisque

roasted acorn squash

Pumpkin isn’t the only gourd that’s in season this time of year.  Roasted acorn squash has a wonderful, sweet Autumn flavor.  This Roasted Acorn Squash Bisque recipe is sweet, savory, and slightly spicy, cooked with Indian spices that wouldn’t be out of place in a good curry.  Although it’s creamy and rich, it’s also vegan and vegetarian friendly (I’ll show you the trick to getting that creaminess without dairy ).

roasting the veggies

First, roast the acorn squash, onion, carrot and tomato on a cookie sheet.  450 degrees for about 20 minutes should do the trick.  I like to drizzle my vegetables with a little olive oil and sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper before roasting them.

spices

Next, assemble the spices.  I used bay leaf, allspice, cinnamon stick, black pepper, cloves, cumin seed and a little curry powder.

frying the spices

Fry the whole spices in olive oil, then set aside once they’ve become toasty and aromatic.

spices, broth and coconut milk

You can see how toasted they get.  Let the fried spices cool off.

roasted veggies

Cut the peel off of the acorn squash, then throw all of the veggies into the pot.

cooking with ginger

Add garlic and grated ginger.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring every now and then.  Just make sure not to burn anything.

adding coconut milk

Next, add a little salt,  the curry powder, vegetable broth and a can of coconut milk (that’s trick number one for that creamy taste). Bring just to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Immersion blender

Hit it with an immersion blender (trick number two for the creamy taste; it’s about texture as much as taste).  Be careful blending when it’s hot.

Cashew nuts

Transfer some of the soup to a cup or bowl, and blend cashews into the mixture (trick number three for the creamy taste).

Finished soup

Your finished Roasted Acorn Squash Bisque should look something like this.

garam masala

Remember the fried spices that you let cool down?  Not only did they lend their flavor to the oil, before cooking your roasted vegetables, but they also make a wonderful garam masala if you grind them.  Sprinkle the top of the bisque with the spice mixture.

You won’t believe how delicious this is, creamy yet a little spicy, savory and rich.

The ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • a few bay leaves
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you try making this recipe let me know.  I love hearing from readers!

meatloaf recipe

Easy Muffin Meatloaf

meatloaf recipe

Autumn, for me, means comfort food, quite often.  There are few things quite as comforting as meatloaf.  I’m sure it’s the overwhelming umami nature of the thing, the perfect oven roastedness that elevates it to more than the sum of its (quite often) humble parts.  My quibble with meatloaf is that many times the outside will become quite dry and overdone while the inside is almost raw, diminishing the ‘comfort food’ aspect of the whole thing.   But this Easy Muffin Meatloaf recipe takes care of that problem quite well.  They bake up with just the right amount of crispy exterior brownness relative to moist, delicious inside goodness.  They’re perfect.

ground beef and ground pork

For this meatloaf I started with a pound of ground beef and a pound of ground pork.  You could easily use ground turkey as well, although I’m not going to vouch for the outcome.  I find ground turkey to be a little dry compared to ground beef or pork.

cooking mushrooms

A flavor trick to up the umami factor, as well as enhance the moistness of the meatloaf, is to dice up mushrooms (the finer the better, really) and then saute them in some olive oil until they’re well browned.  Set them aside to let them cool a little bit, before adding them to your meatloaf.

ingredients

Next, assemble your ingredients.  I used ground beef, ground pork, diced onion and garlic, the sauteed mushrooms, tomato paste, ketchup, Worchestershire sauce, fresh cracked pepper, bread crumbs, seasoning (I used paprika and Cavender’s seasoning) and an egg.

mixing the meatloaf

Mix everything quite well.  Use your hands.  They’re the best tools you have.

Meatloaf in muffin tins

Use an ice cream scoop to pop the meatloaf into the muffin tins.  You should have enough meatloaf for 18 mini meatloafs.

Baking

Add ketchup to the top of each, then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

The other great thing about Easy Muffin Meatloaf is that once they cool down they save quite well in the fridge or freezer, making mealtime in the next few days incredibly easy.

The ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup diced and sauteed mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cavender’s seasoning (or your favorite spice mix)
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

And that’s it.  Easy.  Muffin Meatloaf.  What’s not to love?

stir fry

Okra Green Bean Stir Fry – The Last Taste of Summer

stir fry

Summer fades away far too fast.  Of course, I look forward to Autumn (crisp, cool air, warming soups, getting to wear sweaters, all the good stuff), but there’s something about that last little burst of garden exuberance at the end of Summer.  Another okra recipe might seem like overkill (after my last two) but I couldn’t resist making this easy Okra Green Bean Stir Fry.  I had all the ingredients, so I figured why not.

Chopped green beans and okra

One of the keys to this is to make sure that you slice the green beans and the okra super thin, on a bias.  You want to maximize the amount of flat vegetable surface area being exposed to the hot pan.  This will ensure that the stir fry process is quick.  Which is what you want.  This isn’t fast food, but it sure ain’t slow, either.

riceland oil

A few key ingredients.  First, this amazing white peach balsamic vinegar from Old World Imports.  It has a bright and sweet flavor, very summery, and of course a little of the vinegar tartness you associate with any balsamic.  Next, this wonderful rice bran oil from Riceland Foods. It’s not commercially available as of yet (although maybe you can persuade them) in the individual bottles like this, but it is available in larger volumes.  Finally, this new spice mixture from Penzey’s Spices called Tsardust Memories.  It’s a wonderful blend of sweet and savory spices, including cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and marjarom.

Cooking

Once you slice all of the okra and green beans, add your oil to a nonstick pan, and heat to a medium high heat.  Then add the okra and green beans.

Adding Balsamic

Cook over the medium high heat, being sure to stir every few minutes so as not to burn the vegetables.  Add a light dusting of the spice mixture once the okra begins to brown a little.  Then add a little salt and pepper.  Finally, deglaze with the peach balsamic vinegar.  The interplay of sweet notes from the perfectly browned vegetables, the spices and the balsamic with the summer fresh taste of the vegetables in this Okra Green Bean Stir Fry is breathtaking.

The ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup okra, sliced thin, on a bias
  • 1/2 cup green beans, sliced thin on a bias
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tsardust Memories spice mixture
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or any other high smoke point oil)
  • 1/2 tablespoon peach balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

And that’s it.  The last fleeting taste of Summer, gone before you know it.  But there’s a lot to look forward to, now that Autumn is finally here.

AWBU – Finding My Tribe

AWBU

It’s a funny thing, when you think about it, being a guy and being invited into the world of Arkansas Women Bloggers.  But I am, and I did get the invitation.  I recently went to AWBU, Arkansas Women Bloggers University, their annual conference.  It was a humbling and (dare I say it) enchanting experience.  I’m going to wax philosophical about it for a bit, if you’ll bear with me, my dear readers.  It’s utterly bewildering and revelatory, to find my tribe.  It might sound odd that they’re a bunch of women bloggers, but it’s really not when you think about it.  They’re remarkable.  So smart.  So open-hearted and warm.  Accepting of me, despite the fact that I’m not a sister.  If you’re getting the idea that I admire this tribe of women a great deal then you’re paying attention.

Writing can be lonely.  Even if you’re writing about something as universal as the love of food, how it connects us, turns us into friends, family.  Food builds community.  But writing about food from the comfort of my living room can be lonely.  I’ve been so thankful that other bloggers have reached out to me, let me know that I’m not alone.  Loneliness can be a curse, especially for people like me.  Meeting friends who show that they really care, finding your tribe, well that has soothed my soul more than you can know.

If you look at the photo above you’ll see, in addition to a large number of Arkansas Women Bloggers, Stephanie Buckley, aka The Park Wife giving the opening remarks of the conference.  What she and others have built, this community of support and friendship, has frankly blown me away.

Food Photography

There’s really too much for me to adequately explain about everything that I learned, all the amazing people I met (or got to see again after far too long apart).  I won’t go over everything at the conference (other bloggers have done a much better job at that than I can, so I’ll leave that to them; if you’re interested in their experiences just google AWBU).  One of the really cool things I learned about on Foodie Friday, though, was a tutorial on more effective food photography from Heather Dissaro of Heather’s Dish.  The shot above was inspired by an experimental collaborative tutorial session that she let us all engage in.  The beauty of having someone share some of their tips, trying to help everyone there be a better blogger and a better food photographer is just another example of how awesome these women are.

Jacqueline Wolven

The photo above is from Jacqueline Wolven‘s session on branding yourself as a blogger.  The thing that blew me away about her session is the advice to really rock your brand, to represent your authentic self.  She’s kind of a rock star.  Seriously.  Have you read her article on Huffington Post?  No?  You should.  Speaking as a dude, she speaks to me too.

Dining with Debbie

This is Debbie Horton Arnold (yes, she’s originally a Horton, so I’m claiming her as family) of Dining with Debbie.  She is made of awesome.  Go and read her blog.  Every day.  Just do it.  It’ll be good for your soul.  Trust me.  (And if you’re ever lucky enough to get some of her homemade jelly you’ll be a very lucky person indeed)

Acorn Influence

It’s also the first time I ever got chocolate kisses from a social media influence marketing company.  Acorn Influence gave me chocolate!  Squee!  (Acorn was founded by Stephanie McCratic, of Evolved Mommy).  I’ll admit that my kids ate most of the chocolate.

Busvlogger and Me

So one of the other Arkansas dudes to be let into the fold is my brother from another mother, James, aka the Busvlogger on YouTube.  He’s a video blogger (vlogger to the rest of the world) rather than a blogger.  He gave an amazing presentation on video and YouTube and what it could mean for bloggers in the future (I also got to be a human tripod and hold his camera, much to the amusement of the audience, I’m sure).  Very inspiring.  If you’re not watching him go subscribe.  Now.  Do it.  I’ll wait.  Seriously.

Dinner at Tavola Trattoria

These are the amazing women myself and James got to eat dinner with one night.  It’s astounding, to find yourself sitting with these fearless storytellers, these vibrant and amazing women, so full of humor and acceptance and intelligence, and to feel a sense of recognition.  Identity.  Perhaps that’s aspirational, that feeling.  The main thing AWBU did for me was to make me want to be a better blogger.  A better friend.  A better person.  I looked around this table and for a while I kind of wanted to pinch myself (yes, I got to sit by Shannon Magsam of nwaMotherlode, and I sat across from Alison Chino!).  Was this real?  Did I get to do this?

I confess, I was worried.  I was worried that I’d feel out of place.  Or that I would experience rejection, or maybe some women would resent a man coming into what they’ve built for themselves.  But I got none of that.  At all.  Everywhere I turned all weekend I got acceptance and warmth and friendship.  And smiles.  And hugs.  It was awesome.

chicken coconut soup

Tom Kha Gai – A Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

chicken coconut soup

Dear readers, I confess that I’ve been feeling rather down lately.   What at first appeared to be perhaps allergies or a cold turned into a rather nasty sinus infection.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling run down and ragged, there’s absolutely nothing that will make me feel better than some Tom Kha Gai, a lovely, spicy and creamy Thai coconut chicken soup.

I’ve been exploring the idea of ‘umami’ lately (there’s going to be a future post about the subject).  One of the things that I love about umami flavors, such as chicken soup, is that it’s really the flavor of life.  Umami works really well in soups, because it’s essentially the amino acids dissolving into the liquid, giving that wonderful and delicious flavor and mouth feel.  There’s a richness on the tongue, and a nourishment of the body that you can feel with every spoonful swallowed.

Ingredients

So, to begin, you’ll need an array of slightly exotic ingredients, but most are not that altogether out of reach if you have access to a grocery store, or an Asian grocery store, or the internet (you ARE using the internet, aren’t you?).

For my tom kha gai I use coconut milk, ginger (frozen so it grates easier), galangal (a relative of ginger; I get mine from Penzeys Spices), that wonderful Chimayo chili powder (I used it in my grilled Tandoori chicken recipe), kaffir lime leaves, limes, mushrooms, red bell pepper, chicken stock, black pepper, sherry, garlic, vegetable oil and sesame oil.

Cook mushrooms and red pepper

First I saute some mushrooms and red bell peppers in vegetable oil and a little fresh cracked pepper.  This wakes up the flavor of the mushrooms and peppers, making them sweeter, and boosting that umami flavor from the mushrooms.

Adding kaffir lime leaves

Then I add kaffir lime leaves, grated ginger and garlic, and then stir for a bit.

Adding chile pepper

Then I add the zest of a lime (or two if you want that flavor stronger) the galangal and the chili powder.  Cook for a bit, then deglaze with a bit of sherry, scraping up the bits at the bottom.  More umami flavor.  The bottom of the pot is where the flavor lives anyway.  Remember that.

Adding coconut milk

Add the coconut milk and bring it to a rolling boil.  Once the coconut milk begins to ‘break’ you can add the chicken stock, a little at a time, along with the sesame oil  This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Simmer

Finally it’s ready to serve.  Add a little cilantro or basil for garnish and brighter fresh flavors.  Add the lime juice at this point.  The herbaceous flavors of the kaffir lime leaves will perfume the tom kha gai soup, while the creaminess of the coconut milk will temper the fire of the chili powder.

So why no chicken?  Simple answer is I was out.  If I’d had it I would have sliced some thin and added it to simmer in the coconut milk.

The ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • approximately 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 to 2 limes (juice and zest)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or whatever mixture of paprika and cayenne that you’re comfortable with)
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried galangal
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, try this.  Next to Vietnamese pho there are few things that will make me feel better than Tom Kha Gai.

Indian rasam recipe

Tomato Rasam – an Indian Vegetarian Spiced Soup

Indian rasam recipe

Rasam is a type of South Indian soup, well spiced, usually made with a base of either tamarind or tomato.  ‘Rasam’ itself means ‘juice,’ meaning that a large part of the umami flavor derives from the juice of the tamarind or tomato used in the soup, in addition to the spices.  This particular recipe for rasam uses tomato as the key ingredient.  In the future I will post a tamarind rasam recipe.

Tomato and red onion

The key to this dish is using tomato and red onion to their full effect, cooking them to bring out their sweet and rich flavors.

Toasting spices

In addition to the red onion and tomato, you also need an abundance of spices.  I used a whole dried chile, whole cinnamon (not cassia, but true cinnamon), bay leaf, whole cloves, ground mustard powder, coriander and cumin, as well as amchoor.

toasted spices

After the spices are dry toasted in your pot (the aroma will be enthralling), set them aside.  Toasting the spices is an essential step.  This wakes up the flavor of the spices.

Cooking tomato and onion

Next, dry fry the tomato and red onions in the same pot until they begin to brown.  Don’t burn them, but you want to get them pretty browned to develop the flavor.

Ginger and Garlic

Grate ginger and chop garlic.  It’s usually easier to grate the ginger if you freeze it.  When I do that I don’t even bother to peel it.

Adding ginger and garlic

Once the tomato and red onions are beginning to brown add the ginger and garlic and a little bit of oil.  Stir and cook for several minutes.

Adding the spices

Next, add the toasted spices, then mix well.

Pouring Vegetable Broth

Finally, pour in your favorite vegetable broth (yes, I used boxed veggie broth; it’s ok you can do that sort of thing sometimes).  Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer for about ten minutes.  Add salt and pepper and diced cilantro before serving the tomato rasam.

The ingredients:

  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 or 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a few cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground amchuur
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced cilantro

Tomato rasam makes a great starter dish for any Indian curry meal.   Don’t be afraid to try something new!

 

mint chutney

Cilantro Mint Chutney

mint chutney

Mint is a weed.  At least, it is in my backyard.  I love the idea of edible weeds, though.  Where I live cilantro really doesn’t do all that well.  It always ends up bolting long before I can get any appreciable amount.  Mint, however, is king in my backyard.  I’m rather averse to general lawn maintenance anyway, so it’s not a bad thing.  We have at least two large patches of mint growing wild in our backyard, plenty for making some Cilantro Mint Chutney.

backyard mint

There it is.  Glorious, cooling mint in all its wild and natural beauty.  Isn’t it lovely?  It’s great for making Morrocan Mint Tea, as well.

adding ginger, onions and garlic

For the chutney just add half a small white onion, grated frozen ginger and garlic to a food processor.

processing

Process until the onion is in little chunks.  You don’t want to make a paste, so be careful.  It’s best to do it in pulses until it’s just the right texture you’re going for.  I prefer mine a little on the chunkier rather than smoother side.

Adding mint and cilantro

Then add the cilantro and mint (about a cup each), a  little sugar, spices (cumin, ground mustard, a hint of nutmeg, a little salt and pepper), vinegar, lime juice, and a little olive oil and finally a jalapeno if you want to make it spicy.  That’s a totally optional step.

Process again until it’s chunky-smooth.  Pretty sure I made that up.

It goes really well with Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh mint (from your backyard if you have it!)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated frozen ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (approximate) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

The cooling effect of the Cilantro Mint Chutney is a nice counterpoint to the spiciness of Indian curries.

It’s easy!  Let me know what you think if you try making this.  As always, repin and follow!

tandoori chicken recipe

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken recipe

Tandoors, the big clay ovens that they use to cook Tandoori chicken in India, are awesome.  Unfortunately, they’re also pretty rare in the States, unless you build one yourself.  However, if you have a grill, it’s pretty easy to make a fairly decent and delicious Grilled Tandoori Chicken.

A few of the spices I use are a little more exotic, but not prohibitively so.  Make substitutions if you have to.

Tandoori spices

Like I mentioned in my last post, I was recently given some Chimayo Chile powder by my friend Mike.  I couldn’t resist using some to make this tandoori chicken.  It made the chicken spicy and a little sweet.

You’ll want to assemble your ingredients, including ginger, garlic and spices (ground amchoor, kala jeera, mustard powder, ground coriander, curry powder and finally chile powder, cayenne pepper or paprika, depending on how hot you want the spice mixture to be).

Fresh Tyson chicken

You’ll need chicken too.  I prefer drumsticks for tandoori chicken.  Chicken on the bone just tastes better.

Mixing tandoori spices

Mix the spices together.  You’ll want to add a little salt and pepper as well.

Tandoori spices

Then just add yogurt, lemon juice and the spice mixture to the chicken in a bowl.  Add diced garlic and grated ginger.

Yogurt spice marinade

Mix thoroughly.

Grilling the chicken

If you want it a little spicier you can add a diced jalapeno (I grilled some jalapeno for garnish) or you can sprinkle more chile powder on the chicken while it’s on the grill.  Marinate the meat for at least an hour.  You’ll want to leave the meat out, covered for at least 20 minutes to let it warm up to room temperature.   Grilling cold meat is just a bad idea, in general.   The yogurt mixture will make the meat tender and juicy.  Grill until the outside of the chicken is a crispy and browned (about 20 minutes).

The ingredients:

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Chimayo chile powder (or paprika or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kala jeera seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

It’s easy to make Grilled Tandoori Chicken.  Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make a delicious  Mint Cilantro Chutney to cut the heat.

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower

My buddy Mike recently bought me some Chimayo Chile powder from Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico.  The Chimayo heirloom chile variety is sweeter and more earthy than most paprikas.  I couldn’t resist using its spicy earthiness in an easy Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower recipe.

Cauliflower is often overlooked as a vegetable side dish, but if treated right, can be transformed into something delicious.  Rather than frying the cauliflower florets, I opted for drizzling olive oil and coating them with an Indian spice mixture before grilling.

Chopped cauliflower

Garam masala, nutmeg, Chimayo chile, ground coriander and amchoor (sometimes spelled amchur; it’s essentially a dried green mango that’s ground into a fine powder, lending a tartness to any dish) add layers of spicy complexity to the cauliflower.  One of the main objections many people have to cauliflower is also one of its strengths.  While it may seem like a bland vegetable, that only allows it to more readily absorb flavors.

Spice equals flavor.

Grilling

After coating with the spice mixture I simply grilled the cauliflower over a medium high heat for about twenty minutes.  Be careful though.  The particular grill I was using had some flair-ups, which you want to avoid if possible.  It’s very easy to burn vegetables if you’re not careful.

And that’s it.  The magic of the Maillard reaction and twenty minutes later you have delicious Indian Spiced Grilled Cauliflower.  An option, if you want them a little less dry, is to spoon a spice mixture (just make twice as much) plus yogurt sauce on top of the cauliflower about halfway through.  A little salt and pepper and it’s complete.

The ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chimayo chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor
  • salt and pepper to taste

This makes a great Paleo side option, if you’re exploring that diet.  Let me know if you dig the recipe.  I love to hear from you.

exploring global food and food culture