Most of the time I’m an assembler when it comes to cooking. I’m not making something from scratch, but putting various components together to make a meal. Usually that’s fresh meat and veggies, with a jarred sauce, or boxed pasta, or slapping together a grilled cheese sandwich. I do enjoy a good grilled cheese.
Dave and I love Indian food, and there is not an Indian restaurant to be found in Eau Claire. Our current favorites are in St. Paul and Madison, too far to drive every time the craving for Butter Chicken strikes, and it strikes often, and hard. Dave has made several dishes from scratch, but to do it properly, in true Dave form, it’s a project that takes up most of a day. Fortunately, we found that our local grocery stores are now carrying jars of various Indian sauces. Typically we get them at Woodman’s, as they have a nice variety to choose from. The Patak’s brand is our favorite for Tikka Masala, Korma, and Butter sauces.
Dishes with paneer, an Indian cheese, are my favorite, and I was thrilled to find that Woodman’s carries paneer in their vast selection of cheesy goodness. On my last shopping trip, I picked up a couple of packages of paneer, a jar of Spicy Butter Chicken Sauce, and some frozen samosas (yummy pastries filled with potatoes and peas). I put everything together for lunch yesterday. Cutting the cheese into cubes and browning it in the frying pan is the most work required. You might be thinking, “but wait, doesn’t cheese melt?” Paneer is made some sort of magical way that I could probably Google that allows it to brown and warm throughout, with minimal melting. Greek halloumi cheese, another favorite, is similar. Side note, go get yourself some halloumi, slice it up, grill it about 2-3 minutes each side, and serve it with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Best. Thing. Ever.
After allowing the cheese to brown a bit, I stirred in the sauce and some frozen peas, and let everything simmer for about fifteen minutes. I served it with basmati rice and the samosas. Delicious, super duper easy, and there was enough for the the two of us for lunch, and for me to have two more lunches at work this week. Much better than yesterday’s Cloud Bread disaster! Now that I know where I can find paneer, I will be whipping this up for my weekly meal prep often.