Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge is a Facebook Group for people to get together, once a month and cook the same recipe, compare notes and discuss outcomes. It is put together by Mario Bosquez host of "Living Today" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112 & XM 157
This month's challenge was a "double-challenge". First, A rustic "no-knead" bread, courtesy of Jim Lahey of New York's Sullivan Street Bakery. Next, a delicious Black Pepper Chicken Curry courtesy of Chef Floyd Cardoz at Tabla in New York City.
First, let's bake some bread. If you're ever intimidated by bread making, this recipe will change your mind. Though the rise time is almost an entire day, it's well worth the wait. The recipe can be found here: No-Knead Bread.
This recipe couldn't be simpler, and with only a few ingredients, flour, water, yeast & salt, you'll be wanting to make this many times!
Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the water, a little at a time, by hand and mix for about a minute or until it comes together. Dough will be a little sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for a minimum of 12 hours - 18 hours is ideal!
After rise time, remove dough from bowl, and fold it over onto itself once or twice let rest for 15 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and place between two clean cotton dish towels dusted with your choice of flour, cornmeal or wheat bran. Allow dough to rise for an additional 2 hours until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°. Place a large enameled cast iron pot in the preheated oven for 30 minutes prior to baking the bread.
Remove the pot from the oven and place dough in the pot, seam side down, cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-30 minutes or until nicely browned.
Carefully remove the bread from the pot and cool slightly on a wire rack.
Slice with a sharp serrated knife and enjoy!
This next recipe is another first for me. It's a delicious chicken curry dish. Wonderful mix of flavors and again, simple to prepare.
The recipe can be found here: Black Pepper Chicken Curry
Now there are a few ingredients that may be hard to find. Most notably, Curry leaves and Tamarind. Look in your area for good Indian grocers, they should carry the ingredients. The tamarind called for in the recipe is a powder. Tamarind paste can also be used. If you can't find curry leaves, you may substitute 1-1/2 Tablespoons of Madras Curry Powder, which is easier to find.
I also used boneless chicken thighs. Economical and delicious. The recipe also includes, onions, diced tomatoes, fresh minced garlic, ginger and other spices!
As with what I've learned with most Indian cooking, you want to build layers of flavor as you prepare the dish. Starting out by heating some oil in a pan. When it's hot, add spices, cook for about a minute, then onions...garlic & ginger, cooking each ingredient for about a minute or 2 before adding the next.
Lastly, you add the diced tomatoes and let them cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Then we add the chicken and tamarind and let this cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve this over steamed white rice and it's a comforting Autumn dish you'll really enjoy and if you think you aren't a fan of curry, trust me, you will be after tasting this dish!!
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