Beef Vindaloo to Welcome my Husband Home

You know, Christmas comes the same time every year.  Yet every year I find myself in full scramble to get it all done.  I swear I will start in September.  Unfortunately good intentions are not a guarantee!

I should finish the gifts I’m making today and get everything wrapped and under the tree.  Then there is the dump run and grocery shopping.  But I should have plenty of time tomorrow to decorate the Christmas cake.

My husband had to do a business trip last week.  Luckily it was only four days rather than the two weeks last December but I still wanted to make a nice home cooked dinner for him.

I was in the mood for curry and thought I’d try beef vindaloo.  Beef you say?  There are areas in West India that have Muslim and Christian communities that eat beef and add in the fabulous flavours you find in India, amazing dishes happen.

Vindaloo has it’s roots in Portugal and was originally based in wine and garlic but gradually evolved to have vinegar instead of wine.  When a lot of people hear vindaloo they think off the charts for spicy food but that isn’t always the case.  I didn’t make this crazy spicy but you can if you add more hot pepper.

Beef vindaloo 1 2015

I adapted a recipe from the Best-Ever Curry cookbook.  I used ground cumin instead of the seeds and I could have sworn we had fenugreek but nope so I had to leave that out.  The recipe did call for a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.  To be honest I didn’t miss it.

In a spice grinder, grind up 3-4 chili peppers or hot peppers of your choice, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn, 5 green cardamon pods, and 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds.

In a small bowl add the spice mix, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of white vinegar.

Beef vindaloo 2 2015

Set that aside.  Chop up a large red onion and saute in olive oil until softened.

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In a food processor add the onions and spice mix.  Process until it is a paste.  In the skillet add a bit more oil and start browning stewing beef.  I used just under a pound.  The recipe called for two pounds.  As it is browning, finely chop a couple of garlic and grate a piece of ginger about 1-2 inches square/3-4 cm square.

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Cook for a couple of minutes then add the onion spice paste.  In addition to that add a scant tablespoon of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground tumeric.

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Stir well then add 300ml/1 1/4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  Cook for at least an hour.  You want the sauce reduced and the meat tender.  My husband made naan to dip into this curry.

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I was a bit worried because there was only enough for about 1/2 a cup a serving for the four of us.  But with the naan we were stuffed.  I love that our kids love the spicy flavours, they really liked this.

Ceviche with Avocado Salsa

My daughter and I love seafood while my husband and son don’t.  So if we do seafood it is usually on the grill.  But my daughter wanted to try ceviche and I found this ceviche and thought I could try it out.  Because hers looked a bit too spicy for a kid’s palette I changed it a bit for our family.

I bought flounder as it was wild caught and fresh.  Turns out tilapia is only farm raised.  I avoid that as I don’t like all the antibiotics they use.

I chop them up into small cubes and put in a bowl.  Then cover with lime juice.  Do this for at least 45 minutes.  Next time I make this I will probably do a blend of citrus juices as pure lime juice is overpowering for me.

Chop up some onion, garlic, and tomato.  Mix in cilantro and a bit of lime juice.  Instead of hot peppers I added chili pepper and adobe seasoning.  Stir well and set aside for a bit so the flavours mix.

Then chop up an avocado and add.  If you aren’t going to serve for awhile add the pit to the salsa to keep the avocado from browning.

For my husband and son I served the salsa before I added the fish.  Add the fish and serve.  A nice accompaniment to this would be lime flavoured tortilla chips.

This is easy to make and the prep time is minimal.  The length of time is primarily waiting for the fish.