NJladi Profile - Allrecipes.com (1355567)

cook's profile

NJladi


NJladi
 
Home Town: Ocean City, New Jersey, USA
Living In: San Diego, California, USA
Member Since: Jul. 2001
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Gourmet
Hobbies: Walking, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing
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About this Cook
I've been in love with Indian cuisine since my first dinner in Philadelphia with an Indian family in their home in 1969. When I came to California in 1971 there were no Indian restaurants and I had to go to LA for most of my ingredients and spices. I began my hunt for authentic Indian and Middle-eastern recipies in book stores and and ethnic neighborhood shops in LA and San Francisco. I discovered books on ethnic foods and traditions and a world of spices and how they are used. It has been a wonderful adventure.
My favorite things to cook
A fragrant North African style couscous steamed over a traditional rich Tunisian stew and then flavored with a little rose water and cinnamon; Tikki Murgh (a spicy chicken curry)served with cilantro chutney, pakoras, home made chipati bread, bashmati rice and a cucumber-yogurt salat; two of my most favorite meals.
My favorite family cooking traditions
As a child I watched my mother and grandmother cooking oldfashioned American meals with gusto. In those days all meals were prepared from fresh meat, veggies and dairy products. My grandmother was the bread maker. We kids hung around her old wood stove for slices of fresh hot breads with creamery butter - mmm. Mom was the "chef" and pastry queen. I often got caught lifting the lid on the buffet servers to see what delights she had made for the weekend. Their cooking, baking and constant preparation of good food has stayed with me all these years. Seasonal pickeling and canning of fruits and vegetables was an essential to great dishes all-year-round.
My cooking triumphs
A Indian dinner for 15 friends which included 4 apetizers, 4 main dishes: fish, chicken, lamb and beef, each with complimenary chutneys, two cucumber salads, 3 vegitarian sides, rice and traditional teas. I started preparation on Monday and finished on Saturday for dinner that night which was spent with good friends from several countries who also migrated to California.
My cooking tragedies
In the early '60s I was given a secret family recipe for divity candy from a woman I worked with in North Carolina for two years. I HAD to have that recipe to take with me when I moved back north to Pennsylvania. It was the best I had ever tasted - perfect. She relented and I promised her I would never reveal it to anyone, knowing how important it was to her. She relented and gave me the recipe with her best wishes. As soon as I was settled I made a double recipe for Christmas. Disaster! I ended up with goop that tasted good but never jelled. I found out later that she had left one important instruction out. I still have not revealed this wonderful recipe to anyone else to this day.
Recipe Reviews 4 reviews
Quick Microwave Frittata Casserole
Not having made a frittata in the microwave before, I thought this was a good basic recipe to try, adding my own touches. Since there are just my two of us, I used 5 extra large eggs; diced half an Idaho potato and sautéed it with green onion and a touch of garlic; then sautéed diced mushrooms - setting aside extra for a topping at the end; I then added some sautéed diced Black Forrest ham, mixed the lot into the whipped egg; cut in a little Cheddar and Jack cheeses, covered the dish and set the timer for 3 minutes. I then uncovered the dish, spread on some Pico de Gallo (fresh salsa), added more cheese on top; covered the dish again and microwaved an additional 3 minutes (full power, 1100 watts) until done. I let it rest for 5 minutes, topped with the remaining mushrooms and served. It came out just right, not dry or wet, and delicious. Frittatas are great for experimentation. A nice glass of white wine was the perfect finish.

5 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jun. 5, 2011
Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
This recipe was so simple I had to try it - with the following changes: I one can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of Italian tomatoes, diced fine in the blender, about 1 teaspoon each of oregano, marjoram and Cajon spice; and 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 3/4 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup diced carrot, and about 1.5 - 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds. I sauteed the spices, herbs and seeds along with the vegetables in olive oil before adding the tomatoe ingredients. I measure in the palm of my hand so the above measure can be decreased or increased to taste. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a little kick. Growing up with Italian food I also used this sauce (without the meatballs) baked with chicken topped with sliced mozzarella cheese one night and on Friday heated the sauce and added shrimp for about 5 minutes to serve over pasta - fabulous. There are so many things you can do with a basic sauce and it's fun to experiment. Buon appetito!

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 20, 2010
Raita
Since I've been preparing Indian food since 1971 when I first tasted it at an Indian woman's birthday, I tried this recipe as a variation to the traditional one I've always used. Riata is meant to be more of a condiment to accompany the spicy dishes and I found the garlic, tomato and sour cream a drawback to this dish. It was no longer riata and the garlic is a no-no. A little fresh cilantro added much to the dish and I will continue to make it that way now. This is a very enjoyable and refreshing dish and my whole family loved it (with the changes). I'm always looking for new ideas and the basic recipe was appreciated.

45 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Aug. 20, 2005
 
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