Day #9: Chicken Tikka, Garlic and Lemon Cauliflower, and Pesto Potatoes

Hello readers!

I will be experimenting with the format of my posts with the goal of providing as much knowledge and insight to add to your culinary learning process as possible. I would love to know your thoughts and what posts you find to be the most helpful.

Chicken Tikka and Lemon Garlic Cauliflower
Chicken Tikka and Lemon Garlic Cauliflower

Today’s cooking challenge will explore two learning objectives: exploring the flavours of indian cooking through a dish called Chicken Tikka and learning how to cook cauliflower.

Indian Cooking often incorporates chillies, garam masala, tumeric, cumin, and coriander along with vegetables such as garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and onions. Trying this recipe is an opportunity to explore some new flavours and spices. Any leftovers could be infused into a rice bowl or wrap for lunch the next day.

I have never really cooked with cauliflower before as I don’t usually eat it; however, this challenge is all about exploring new things so what better time to try it out? This is a great chance to learn how the vegetable cooks and to become more familiar with the taste and texture.

Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala 

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 small onion (minced)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 1/2 cushed tomatoes
4 oz fat free yogurt
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
salt to taste
2 boneless chicken breasts (bite sized pieces)
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Directions can be found at Skinny Taste. Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka.

 Garlic and Lemon Cauliflower

1 large head of cauliflower (cut into bite sized flowerets)
1-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
zest and juice of one lemon
salt and course ground pepper (to taste)

Directions can be found at Kalyn’s Kitchen. Recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Pesto Potatoes

5-6  medium russet potatoes
1 jar of pesto sauce (10 ounces)
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Directions can be found at Six Sisters Stuff. Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff by Elyse.

Edible? 

The chicken turned out wonderfully!

I overcooked my cauliflower and it was a bit too soft for my liking. My pieces were quite small causing them to cook faster. I may have been able to skip the boiling step altogether. My mother enjoyed the lemon taste but I found the citrus flavour to be at odds with the vegetable texture. I plan to remake the cauliflower side and incorporate barbeque flavours or spicier spices.

The potatoes were so so. I did not use the entire jar of pesto, I only used enough to coat the potatoes. As a result, the pesto flavour did not fully come through. If I were to make them again I would use a knife or a fork to make small slices into the potatoes and help the pesto flavour soak through. I would also recommend quickly taking the potatoes out of the oven 10 minutes before they are done and sprinkling the parmesan over them before placing them back in the oven. In my experience, sprinkling the cheese over the potatoes before placing them in the oven for 25 minutes led to the parmesan over-baking and becoming hard.

There was extra parmesan so I sliced up a tomato into thick slices, sprinkled some parmesan, basil, and oregano over them, and baked them in the oven with the potatoes for the last 8 minutes.

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