Monthly Archives: May 2014

Ravioli-Making 101

Who doesn’t love ravioli? Pillowy mounds of pasta filled with anything you can dream of; meats, cheeses, vegetables, etc. My personal favorite ravioli flavors are wild mushroom with truffles, butternut squash with sage and Italian sausage with Ricotta and Parmesan cheese. They’re just so delicious and fun to eat.


I’ve made many a pasta, but I’ve never tried my hand at ravioli. The process always seemed out of reach; too difficult and tedious. However, this past week I learned firsthand that the opposite is true. Not only is ravioli easier to make than one might think, they are a fantastic and fun group activity.

Since Bryan and his brother were both married over the summer, thus presenting his parents with two new “daughters,” Bryan’s mom wanted to start a new family holiday tradition: making ravioli together. Knowing my penchant for cooking and finding recipes, she asked me to find a few recipes for making ravioli filling. We decided that, at least for this first year, we would get pre-made pasta sheets to prevent ourselves from getting overwhelmed. It is incredibly convenient that that Bryan’s dad works at company called Home Maid Ravioli, so he brought home a commercial-sized roll of pasta dough.

Saturday morning, Bryan’s mom and I set out to make the three ravioli fillings:
  • Cheese
  • Spinach & Mushroom
  • Sausage, Beef & Cheese

Believe it or not, making the fillings was really easy, especially the cheese. The beef/cheese and spinach/mushroom required a quick saute of some ingredients and a few pulses in the food processor; hardly anything to be afraid of. Once Bryan’s brother and sister-in-law arrived, we were ready to go. Everyone gathered around the kitchen island and we went to work; it was one well-oiled Bishop machine and we had a really great time. Not to mention we all had a tupperware full of fresh ravioli to take home with us after the fact.


I’ll post the recipes below, but the photos really say it all. Don’t get intimidated by the amount of ingredients; the work isn’t hard at all and as long as you’re organized, you’ll be just fine. I’d highly recommend hosting a ravioli-making party, where everyone gets to take home the delicious fruits of their labor. As a host, you simply need to get the ingredients and give everyone a job. Got too many people and too few jobs? Alternate positions or just appoint a bartender. Someone needs to keep the drinks flowing! 🙂

Organize Ravioli Dough & Fillings

Place Mounds of Filling on Dough, 3-Inches Apart

Brush Egg Wash Around Each Filling To “Glue” Sheets Together

Cover Fillings With Top Sheet & Use A Ravioli Shaper/Cutter to Make Desired Shapes

Place Finished Raviolis on Baking Sheet

Boil For 2-3 Minutes & Top With Your Favorite Sauce! (or Freeze For Future Use)

1. CHEESE RAVIOLI

  • 1 (16-ounce) container Ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks (set the whites aside)

Directions: Put the cheeses, salt, and pepper in a blender and pulse. Add the egg yolks and pulse until incorporated. Arrange tablespoon-size dollops of the filling 1 1/2 inches apart on one of the sheets. Brush a little egg white around each dollop, then place another sheet directly on top. Gently press around the filling to remove any air pockets and seal the sheets. Using a ravioli cutter or a knife, cut out ravioli squares. Sprinkle with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Cook the ravioli in plenty of boiling salted water until they float to the top, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and toss with marinara sauce. Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and serve immediately.

2. SPINACH & MUSHROOM RAVIOLI

  • 1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces button mushrooms, slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup Marscarpone cheese
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour (for dusting baking sheet)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, button, and stemmed shitake)
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • (Makes 2 main course servings)

Directions: In a large saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil over a medium-high flame. Add the sliced button mushrooms and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt & pepper. Saute until the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach and saute for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a coarse texture forms,. Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and the Marscarpone. Season the filling with more salt and pepper to taste. Using a tablespoon, spoon mounds of the spinach mixture 1-inch apart on the ravioli dough. Top with another sheet of ravioli dough. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut out the ravioli squares, forming 12 total. Place the the ravioli on a prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. In a large, heavy saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chopped assorted mushrooms and saute until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in the marinara sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Adding 4 ravioli at a time to the salted water, cook the ravioli until tender, about 3 minutes (working in small batches will prevent the ravioli from crowding in the pot and sticking together). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to two plates. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the ravioli, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

3. SAUSAGE, BEEF & CHEESE RAVIOLI

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (from 1 onion)
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Directions: Heat a medium size, heavy skillet over a medium flame. Add the ground beef (or sausage) and onion and saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Once it has cooled, add in the salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse texture forms. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add in 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine. Using a tablespoon, spoon mounds of the meat and cheese mixture 1-inch apart on the ravioli dough. Top with another sheet of ravioli dough. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut out the ravioli squares, forming 12 total. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Adding 4 ravioli at a time to the salted water, cook the ravioli until tender, about 3 minutes (working in small batches will prevent the ravioli from crowding in the pot and sticking together). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to two plates.

Gourmet Magazine’s Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfait

Finally, I get to make this gingersnap pumpkin parfait. I’ve had this recipe in the blog hopper, so to speak, since fall of last year. Why so long? There was never the “right” time to make it, because by the time I thought about it, fall was long gone. And no one wants to make a pumpkin recipe in April. This recipe, courtesy of Gourmet Magazine, is great. The hardest part of the recipe requires you to “bloom” gelatin over warm water for a minute. If you can handle that — which I know you can — then you’re good to go.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfait
From start to finish the parfaits took me about one hour to make, which doesn’t take into account time spent wondering if I just should just eat the whipped pumpkin creme directly out of the bowl (I did not). If you’re in a time crunch, you can make the parfaits one day ahead of time and let them just chill out in the fridge. I also recommend using either Ziploc-turned-piping bags or professional pastry piping bags to layer the pumpkin mixture and whipped cream. That way you end up with the clean layers inside the glass, rather than all over the sides. Here’s how you make them:
Ingredients:
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 20 gingersnap cookies, coarsely crushed
  • EQUIPMENT: 8 (6- to 8-oz) glasses

Directions: Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small saucepan and let soften 1 minute. Bring to a bare simmer, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Whisk together gelatin mixture, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Beat 1 cup cream with 1/2 tsp vanilla until it holds soft peaks, then fold into pumpkin mixture gently but thoroughly. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream with remaining 1 tsp vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Spoon about 1/4 cup pumpkin mixture into bottom of each glass, then sprinkle with some of cookies and top with about 2 Tbsp whipped cream. Repeat layers once, ending with cream. Chill until set, at least 2 hours. Note: Parfaits can be made up to one day in advance and chilled.

Pumpkin Parfaits: Step By Step

Need some more guidance? Here are step-by-step photos. Hopefully they’re helpful!
Step #1: Pipe a layer of pumpkin mixture into bottom of each glass

Step #2: Sprinkle crushed gingersnap cookies over pumpkin mixture

Step #3: Layer whipped cream

Step #4: Pipe another layer of pumpkin mixture

Step #5: Sprinkle another layer of crushed gingersnap cookies

Step #6: Pipe another layer of whipped cream

Step #7: Sprinkle a few more crumbles of gingersnap cookies

You’re all done! Stick the parfaits in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve up to one day later. If you can wait that long!
Pumpkin Parfait: Just Chill & Enjoy

My First Homemade Fruit Tart!

I just made my very first Fruit Tart. Totally, 100% from scratch. Pastry dough, pastry cream, fruit glaze, the whole figurative enchilada. I’ve always wanted to make a Fruit Tart, rather than ogling them through the dessert display case at our local bakery. I’ve got to say, it turned out really gorgeous. I seriously don’t even want to eat it. I just want to sit here and stare at it. I mean, if I don’t say so myself, just look at this thing:
As I finished making the tart, I had a conversation in my head with an imaginary friend. Any friend, it didn’t really matter. I’d show up to their house, fruit tart in hand, and they’d politely ask, “That fruit tart looks amazing. Where did you buy it?”
Nonchalantly on the outside but absolutely beaming on the inside I’d respond with, “What do you mean? I MADE it.”
In disbelief and (I’d hope) admiration, they’d reply, “No way. No, you didn’t make that.” And then I’d regale them of the exciting tale of the day that I made my first fruit tart.
Okay, that didn’t happen. And to be honest I’ve only been able to show it to Bryan and Megan, his Occupational Therapist here helping strengthen his arm and shoulder. But they were very impressed. And now I get to show it to you, too, which is the best part. 🙂
It took a long time to make; I’d say about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish. But here are the ingredients you need and how you make it:
Pastry Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pastry Cream:
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 tablespoon liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch) (optional)
Apricot Glaze: (optional)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam or preserves
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or water or combination of the two
Fruit Topping:
  • 2 – 3 cups mixed fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, etc.
Make the Pastry Crust: In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. Place the butter in your mixer and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. Don’t over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color. Add flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Don’t overwork or pastry will be hard when baked. Flatten dough into disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
Have ready an 8 – 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into an 11 – 12 inch circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). To make sure it is the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than pan.
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. This was by far the hardest part for me, as the dough was delicate, soft and slick from the flour. So really be careful when rolling the dough around the rolling pin. If you have problems unrolling the dough on the tart pan, don’t get frustrated. Just patchwork the rest if necessary, as the pastry cream and fruit will cover it. You (and me) will get better with practice! So unroll the dough onto top of tart pan. Never pull pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan).
Gently lay the dough in the pan and with a small floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. With a “thumbs up” movement, again press dough into pan. Roll rolling pin over top again to get rid of any extra pastry. Prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights, rice or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack before filling.

Make the Pastry Cream: In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. (Never let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch (corn flour) together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the milk and split vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. The milk will foam up to the top of pan when done, so watch carefully. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. If you get a few pieces of egg (a result of curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.
Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.
Make the Apricot Glaze: Heat the apricot jam or preserves and water (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. (If using, add the liqueur at this point.) Let cool until it is only slightly warm, then lightly glaze the fruit using a pastry (or silicon) brush.

Assemble the Tart: To remove the tart from the fluted sides of the pan, place your hand under the pan, touching only the removable bottom not the sides. Gently push the tart straight up, away from the sides. The fluted tart ring will fall away and slide down your arm. If you want to remove the bottom of the pan, run a knife or thin metal spatula between the crust and metal bottom, then slide the tart onto a cardboard cake round.
Spread a thin layer of apricot glaze or melted chocolate over the bottom and sides of tart to prevent the crust from getting soggy. Let the glaze dry between 20 – 30 minutes. Spread the Pastry Cream into the tart, filling about 3/4 full. Level with an offset spatula.

To decorate the tart you will need 2 to 3 cups of mixed fresh fruit (I used strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and kiwi). Prepare the fruit by gently washing and drying. De-stem and slice the strawberries from stem to tip, arranging the bigger slices around the edge of the tart. Peel and slice the kiwi, arranging it in a circle next to the strawberries. Arranging the raspberries and strawberries in circles in the middle, until you run out of room.
After arranging the fruit, rewarm the glaze, if needed, and gently brush a light coat on the fruit. Don’t put it on too thick or it will look like Jell-O. Try not to get any glaze on the tart shell. The idea is to make the fruit look shiny. If not serving immediately, refrigerate. Take out about 30 minutes before serving to give the fruit and cream a chance to warm up.
This fruit tart is best eaten the same day as it is assembled. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. If there are any!

Day #7 of Holiday Appetizers: Spinach Artichoke Dip

If there is one ubiquitous appetizer, it’s got to be spinach artichoke dip. It’s at every party and everyone seems to love it. It’s cheesy, creamy, oozy and gooey but with chunks of cooked spinach and artichoke that make you feel a little less guilty. Whatever; it’s holiday season, indulge a little (or a lot)! A little cream and cheese won’t hurt you! 

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip with Fresh Baguette

A word of advice about making the dip: When I decided to make it from scratch, I thought it would be one of the easier appetizer recipes to follow. Turns out draining the liquid from the cooked spinach was a real task. I tried a few different ways and found the best method was to let the spinach cool and then squeeze out the liquid with my hands. Once you get past that, you’re golden! Add in the cream and cheeses and bake it in the oven until it’s golden brown bubbling. Slice a fresh baguette and serve!


Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds spinach, cleaned, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cans artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Baguette slices, breadsticks, or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add spinach in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next; cook until completely wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander; drain, pressing to release all excess liquid.



Saute onion and garlic until translucent

Add spinach in batches, waiting for one to wilt before adding the next

Stir wilted spinach with onion and garlic. Transfer spinach from pot to a colander to drain. Press and squeeze to until water is removed.

In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments, as desired.

Place spinach back into pot. Add cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and Mozzarella and stir to combine

Transfer to a serving dish, surround with baguette slices and serve!

Tackling My (Absurd) Fear of Asian Cooking + Rock Sugar’s Massaman Curry Recipe

I have a confession to make. I’m afraid of cooking Asian food. Woks, stir-fries, curries, you name it… I find them all strangely intimidating to master in my own kitchen. It’s ironic, because the flavors inherent in Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Indian cuisines are some of my hands-down favorites, but I’ve never gotten the courage myself to learning how to cook them. Don’t get me wrong; I rip out seemingly delicious Asian recipes, have cookbooks filled with healthy stir-fry recipes and even tweet the hell out of other people’s Asian creations. But the closest I ever got to making something myself was a few months ago when I ordered a 12″ wok pan from Amazon.com, but the thought of setting off the fire alarm in my tiny kitchen from the simple “seasoning” process alone deterred me. Sadly, the wok pan occupies its time inside my oven (when not fired up, of course) and my Talesai menu gets all the action.
Last month I was determined to change that, but I knew I needed a tiny bit of guidance. When I heard that Century City’s Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen (another great place for happy hour, by the way) was having a “Foods from Bangkok” cooking class, I was on it like white on sticky rice. Singapore-born Executive Chef Ismail Mohan, who earned his stripes at Tabla, Spice Market and Blue Hill, would be instructing an intimate group through the basics of Thai specialties: chicken satay with homemade peanut sauce, Goong Sa-Lhong (beer-battered, rice noodle-crusted shrimp), Yam Som O (pomelo and crabmeat salad), and Gaeng Massaman, a southern Thai dish that would help me tackle my absurd fear of curry paste and tamarind head-on.
Goong Sa-Lhong (Beer-battered, rice noodle-crusted shrimp)
Yam Som O (Pomelo and Crabmeat Salad)

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
When I got the class at 10:30 a.m., I joined eight other “students” on Rock Sugar’s spacious back patio. Chef Mohan’s team had set up five cocktail tables complete with individual place settings and leather-bound notebooks filled with the day’s recipes. There was not a bad seat in the house to watch Chef Mohan as he prepared each dish; he made following along even easier by coming out and showing each table his preferred brand of curry paste, how to segment pomelos (Asian grapefruits), and sharing the details on where we could buy each of the specialty ingredients.
Chef Mohan Preparing Massaman Curry

Show-and-Tell Shrimp Dipping Sauce

It was easy to see Chef’s passion for talking about Thai cuisine, especially when he regaled the group with stories about how he has a special basement stockpiled — floor to ceiling, mind you — with wholesale Thai coconut milk after a terrible disease wiped out many of the coconut trees in Thailand. Anticipating the price of authentic coconut milk to double (which it did), Chef Mohan was smart enough to order enough to last Rock Sugar for one year. Speaking of secret stashes, when Chef isn’t feeding the hungry masses that hit Rock Sugar everyday, he’s enjoying a Skippy peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. He has his own secret stash in the manager’s office that he “pairs” with a hot Milo (hot drink make from chocolate and malt powder). I can only imagine it would be better if he slathered on a layer of his homemade peanut sauce instead…
Chef Mohan’s Secret Indulgence: PB&J!
Photo Credit: HubPages
At the end of the day, Rock Sugar’s class demystified the basics of Thai cuisine. As is typically the case with my inane cooking phobias — roasted beets were another silly example — the ingredients are much easier to find and the dishes much easier to prepare than I thought. Take the Massaman curry, for example, the recipe for which I’ve included below. It’s essentially a process of layering ingredients and letting them cook down into a steaming, simmering bath full of Thai flavors. And as it turns out, Chef Mohan’s specific recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Try it for yourself, or better yet, sign up for one of Rock Sugar’s cooking classes (rumor has it the next one will focus on “Rock Sugar” favorites). I’ll see you there!
Thanks again to Sharon at Murphy O’Brien for the invitation!
Gaeng Massaman (Thai Curry w/ Chicken)
Recipe from: Chef Mohan Ismail, Executive Chef Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen
Pre Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs
  • 8 oz. chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 oz. Massaman curry paste (available in Asian markets)
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock (canned)
  • 1 pound Yukon (or other low starch) potatoes
  • 2-4 tablespoons Tamarind paste (available in Asian markets)
  • 3 ounces brown sugar, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons peanuts, toasted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Chop the chicken into 2-3″ pieces, then season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the chicken pieces in the pan until they are slightly caramelized. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and sweat until translucent. Add the ground cumin and stir quickly until it is incorporated with the onions. Add the Massaman curry paste and stir until fragrant.
Return the seared chicken pieces to the pot and stir until the pieces are coated with the paste. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock to the pot and summer until the chicken is almost cooked. If the mixture starts to reduce too much, add a small amount of water. Place the potatoes into the pan with the chicken and season with Tamarind, brown sugar and fish sauce. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are tender. Once the potatoes are tender, the chicken should be cooked through. Serve with white rice and sprinkle with toasted peanuts, if desired.