Earlier this year, I had the fun experience of recipe testing for a friend, Carolyn Hughey. She's got a book coming out Aug. 5: SHUT UP AND KISS ME.
Doesn't the cover & title make your mouth water? You can learn more about the book here. Anyhoo, the book I recipe tested for is Dishing Up Romance (available February 2012). Now back to the food :) Let me tell you, the recipes she includes will both make you smile and your tummy happy!
Carolyn had me try two recipes: Naan of this, and Naan of that Bread and the Nutty Apple Cake with HOT Caramel Sauce.
With the Naan recipe, Carolyn attached this little note: "You can probably make the Naan in your sleep, but I thought cooking it on the grill might be a nice change--give it that smoky taste. Tell me what you think."
Um, total head*to*desk moment. Yes, I'd grown up enjoying naan and kababs and chicken tikka, but I'd never considered grilling them. Yes, I live in Texas, and grilling tops the list of my favorite summer activities, and I'm always trying to bring the Bengali kitchen of my childhood together with the West Texas kitchen of my marriage...yeah, head-to-desk.
So what did I think about grilling naan? Abso-freaking-lutely brilliant! Oooh, there's nothing like watching the breads puff up on the grill while inhaling the aroma of freshly-cooked bread. Yeah, I swooned. :)
And yes, the Nutty Apple Cake with the Hot Caramel sauce was good too.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and my family enjoyed every bite...so anyone need a recipe tester?
Recipes? Sorry, you'll have to get the recipes from Carolyn's DISHING UP ROMANCE when it's out...but here's my recipe for Naan (which is a modified version of Madhur Jaffrey's)
2/3 cup hand hot milk
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
3 3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup natural yogurt, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons of minced chives (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1. Put the milk in a bowl. Add 1tsp sugar and the yeast. Stir to mix. Set aside for 15-20 minutes or until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is frothy.
2. Sift the flour, salt, caraway and baking powder into a bowl. Add the remaining 1tsp sugar, the yeast mixture, 2tblsp vegetable oil and yogurt,egg and minced chive (if using). Mix to form a ball of dough.
3. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and satiny (I did this in a stand mixer). Form into a ball. Pour 1/4tsp oil into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and set aside for 1 hour until doubled in size.
4. Preheat your grill. (Lightly oil the grill)
5. Punch down the dough and knead again. Divide into six equal balls. Keep covered when not working with the balls of dough. Roll the ball of dough into a tear-shaped naan, about 10-inches long and 5-inches wide at it's widest point.
6. Brush one side of the Naan with melted butter and place on a hot grill cooking for approximately 3 minutes or until it puffs and is lightly browned. Flip it over and repeat the same thing with the other side.
7.Wrap the naans in a tea towel or foil. Make all the naans this way. Serve hot. You can reheat them in the microwave for 40 seconds or so.