I recently read in an ancient Indian manuscript that the word Friday actually translates to “creamy.”
Freaking sweet, right? But don’t ask me to show you the manuscript because right after I read it, I spilled some water on it and it’s at the . . . manuscript repair . . . store. For probably a long time.
But first of ALL, what did you think of Idol last night? Were you happy? Were you sad? I was all good with it. I mean it was no PHILLIP PHILLIPS stick of butter, but what can ya do?
So, the last time I made something with cashews, before this blog birthed itself onto the interwebz, things didn’t exactly end up hunky dory.
It had nothing to do with my cooking though! I don’t think. (don’t look at me like that.)
It was a normal Sunday evening, and I’d made something LIKE cashew chicken, but it was different. It had rice in it, chicken in it, cashews in it, la dee da. Aaron and I both ate it, normal normal, watched some Family Guy on the TVs, blah blah blah, and went to bed.
I woke up at like 3am to hearing Aaron all, “what? WHAT? OMG. WHAT IS THIS. WHAT IS GOING ON.” We flipped on the light, and staring back at me was a face so swollen, he looked like John Travolta meets Ron Perlman meets an inflatable party house for a 5 year old’s birthday party.
“Omg sweetie, this is so horrible! I’m so sorry! How can I help?” – is what I should have said. Instead I completely freaked my life, ran out of the room, and then started laughing so uncontrollably, a lion’s den would have been a more appropriate place for me to finish the night.
“I had no idea you were allergic to cashews, darling! I feel awful!” – is also something I should have said. But no, instead I panicked, “YOU CANNOT GO TO WORK LIKE THAT. YOU LOOK LIKE THAT DUDE WHO EXPLODES AT THE END OF ‘BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.’”
But see, I’m a detective. I watch a LOT of Law & Order. Like, an obscene amount. I started putting things together and remembered that when I bought the cashews from Whole Foods, they’d recently switched out all the bulk bins, so particles from certain nuts were transferred to other bins, and particles from certain other nuts were left in the original bins. Following me? Me either.
Anyway, I THINK what happened is that those specific cashews had touched the particles from some other nut that he was Travolta-style allergic to. Because it was NOT my cooking, you guys.
But I’m not defensive or anything!
I am happy to report that he immediately saw a doctor that morning, took a regular ole Benadryl, and has since been facial deflated, just like I like him.
Wait that came out wrong.
I am also happy to report that he ate this entire creamy cashew chicken dish, with the only swelling of the day occurring in my ego. RA RAAAA.
This is stupid yummy. And your weekend desperately needs it.
Creamy Indian Cashew Chicken:
(inspired and adapted from Pinch of Yum)
What it took for 4 – 6:
* 1 cup uncooked brown rice
* 1 white onion, quartered
* 4 cloves garlic
* 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
* 2 Tbs. tomato paste
* 1 1/2 Tbs. garam masala
* 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup yogurt
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1 tsp chili powder
* 1/2 cup cashews, plus more for garnish
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive
* 1 pound chicken breast, cut into a small cubes
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 1 cup frozen peas
* 2 scallions, finely sliced
* cilantro leaves, for garnish
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Throw that rice in a rice cooker, add 2 cups water and you’re done. The end. Well, you have to turn it on. You knew that.
In a food processor, add the quartered onion and pulse until you have a paste, around 45 seconds or so.
To the processor, add the garlic THROUGH the cashews, plus a pinch of salt. Turn that baby on and pulse her until you get a nice saucey-ness. Taste it. GOOOOOOOODness be.
Now heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium. Add the cashew sauce and bloom for about a minute. It will get nice and fragrant.
Add the chicken, red bells and half the scallions. Cover and cook on medium-low until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook another minute or two, until they pop in color.
Serve over the cooked rice and garnish with cilantro, remaining scallions and cashews!