Here at AwK, there’s been an ongoing behind-the-scenes debate with the authors about Cook’s Illustrated. As much as we love CI, as well as their entire entourage of magazines and books, not much is free.
No one here has a problem with that — we get it. You’ve heard my rants about Food & Wine magazine and how I can’t justify paying for a magazine that has all of the recipes listed online before my magazine even gets into my mailbox, but the upside is that I have no problem cooking their dishes and reposting them here.
CI’s a little more tricky. Their business model eliminates advertising and instead relies on actual subscribers. Crazy, I know, but for this very reason we’ve been reluctant to have a free-for-all reposting of their recipes. So that’s why you haven’t seen a lot of CI/America’s Test Kitchen, as much as we love ’em.
You will, however, get a periodic one from me. I justify it like this — I pay for a magazine subscription and an additional fee for an online description, which should allow me to post something awesome from CI at least once a month. And, I agree, if I post then I should at least try to get you to buy the magazine. Here goes: If you love delicious food and you’re looking for a fantastic cooking magazine that eliminates fluffy articles (that you won’t read anyway) and pages upon pages of advertising (that you will ignore), Cook’s Illustrated is the way to go.
Now with my apologetics and endorsements out of the way, here’s something that kicks ass: Indian-Style Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas and Chickpeas.
The first time I had the pleasure of eating this was a couple of months ago. The recipe had been published in the recent “Soups & Stews” magazine that I had picked up back in March, and was the first thing out of the magazine that I made. From the first bite until the last, I couldn’t stop myself from making all kinds of obscene noises, that’s how good it was.
Not that my spouse minded.
Indian-Style Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas and Chickpeas
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
2 tablespoons curry powder (sweet or mild)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
12 ounces Red Bliss potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 – 1 1/2 serrano chiles, ribs, seeds, and flesh minced (I used 1 jalapeno)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups water
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
8 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Plain, nonfat yogurt (as garnish)
4 cups cooked basmati rice
Toast curry powder and garam masala in small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove spices from skillet and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and potatoes are golden brown on edges, about 10 minutes. (Reduce heat to medium if onions darken too quickly.)
Reduce heat to medium. Clear center of pan and add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger, chile, and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly, until spices coat florets, about 2 minutes longer.
Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 teaspoon salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in peas and cream or coconut milk; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve immediately, passing condiments separately.
It’s delicious and obscene noise worthy. Serve this up on top of cooked rice. At the time I was out of basmati, but it was still great on top of cooked jasmine. Indian dishes can be topped with an assortment of things like chutney or a relish (which CI has recipes for if you’re interested), but I like mine with plain, nonfat yogurt. The yogurt also helps cut down on the spiciness if you went a little overboard with the peppers.
Weeknight Cooking: A
Overall Cooking: A-