Pumpkin picking for the upcoming recipe

Every year on East Coast, before the beach chairs, beach balls, and swimming suits are not fully emptied from the store shelves, I start seeing fall themed items start appearing on store shelves. This year I noticed apple cider sales in the stores to appear first. Then came apple pies and other items related to apples.

After a little while along with the apple theme, came pumpkin theme. Pumpkin theme is even more popular than apple theme. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin baked goods, pumpkin scented candles, and bunch of other pumpkin flavored, infused, rubbed, brushed,  painted, and scented things.

Hey, I am not complaining. I fell in love with everything pumpkin infused items just as much as most people in America. I gotta admit that each year the retailers get more and more inventive and that is even a better excuse to indulge in things with pumpkin.

Today I took a trip to a farm to pick a pumpkin for the next recipe. Also I figured this trip would be a good activity to do with my kids. I am sure the kids will enjoy carving a pumpkin with me and I will use the rest of the pumpkin instead of throwing it out. So, the next post hopefully, will be about a Central Asian baked mini pies stuffed with pumpkins. For now, I would like to share the pictures from the farm trip.

Alima xoxo

I have been told these apples are called Cameo apples. I have never heard of them before, however, they tasted delicious. They were pretty crunchy and tasted like the cross between granny smith and gala apples, sweet and sour and juicy.

This pumpkin looked like a cross between a pumpkin and a gourd. Is it even possible?

These are gourds, another example of beautiful fall colors. They are so Gourd-geous!

Chicken Stir Fry (Ganfan Chicken Style)

Here at Central Asian Food we embrace the unique culinary characteristics of food from the “stans” (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzebekistan, etc.) while also incorporating variety and ideas from other areas.

This can been seen in this post’s example of chicken ganfan.  Ganfan is traditionally served with beef but this recipe has decided to mix things up with chicken being the protein source!

Ingredients:

1 lb of chicken breast cut into small cubes

1 onion diced

1 pepper diced

2 medium carrots cut into thin sticks

2 cups of rice

3 cups of water

cooking oil

salt

minced garlic

Directions:

1. Heat and grease the pan and brown the chicken.

2. Add the onions and sautee it until dark brown.

3. Add the pepper and carrots and sautee until soft.

4. Keep cooking the meat and vegetables until the meat is fully cooked.

5. Season it with salt and minced garlic.

6. Grease another pan and fry the rice for a minute.

7. Add the water and boil the water on a high heat.

8. After the rice absorbes all the water and bubbles start appearing on the rice, lower the heat.

9. Close the lid of the pan and on a low heat cook the rice for 15-20 minutes or until ready.

10. Serve the meat and vegetables on top of the rice.

 

Stay tuned for a more traditional ganfan recipe to be posted later!

Lagman

Lagman is a noodle and beef dish unique to the Central Asia area.   It features savory meet, yummy handmade noodles, and juicy vegetables.

The dish originally comes from the Dungan Chinese, a group of people that border the Tien Shan mountain range

Ingredients:

1 lb of beef or lamb cut into small cubes

1 onion

1 pepper

1/2 cabbage cut into cubes

1 tomato diced

fresh garlic

fresh parsley

fresh dill

canola oil

3 cups of flour

1 cup of water

salt

black pepper

cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

1. Grease the pan and brown the meat.

2. Add the rest of the vegetables and sautee. Season it with fresh garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

3. Pour a cup or two of water and cook it until the meat is fully cooked.

4. In a mixing bowl pour a cup of water and add a pinch of salt. Then add the flour to the water.

5. Knead the dough until the dough is no longer sticking to your fingers.

6. Close the lid of the bowl and let it stand for about 30 minutes.

7. Take the dough out of the bowl and stretch it. The stretched dough should look like a thick rope.

8. Apply some canola oil to soften the dough.

9. Place the dough on top of the flat surface and cover it with a plastic wrap.

10. Let it stand for another 20 minutes.

11. Stretch the dough again thus forming even thinner rope. Keep applying canola oil each time you stretch the dough. Let it stand for another 10 minutes.

12. Keep stretching the dough following the cycle described above until the dough is very thin.

13.Cook the noodles in a boiling water on a high heat for 5-7 minutes.

14. After the noodles are cooked, rinse them off with a cold water and pour some oil in them.

15. Serve the noodles with the meat stir-fry and fresh parsley and dill.

 

Kebabs!!!

Below is a picture of some tasty chicken kebabs that we made!

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 pounds of chicken breast meat cut into medium cubes

1 onion

2 cups of rice

3 cups of water

thyme

caraway seeds

cayenne pepper

paprika

black pepper

onion powder

cumin

lemon juice

salt

Cooking Directions:

1. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl.

2. In another bowl pour some olive oil or canola oil.

3. Make a marinade. Add thyme, caraway seeds, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, salt, onion powder, cumin, and lemon juice and mix well; until the spices are all blended with the oil.

4. Pour the marinade on the chicken. Rub it onto chicken.

5. Close the lid of a mixing bowl and put it away in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

6. Grease the pan and on a medium heat caramelize the onions.

7. Turn up the heat and add the rice.

8. Fry the rice with onions for 2-3 minutes and add the water.

9. Bring the water to boil.

10. Turn the heat to low as soon as the bubbles on the rice start appearing.

11. Close the lid and turn the heat to low.

12. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

13. After marinating the chicken in the refrigerator, thread the chicken onto metal or bamboo skewers. Note, the bamboo skewers should be soaked beforehand.

14. Turn the gas burner grill on. Preheat it. Grill the chicken for 15-20 minutes on 300-350 F. If you wish to cook it in the oven, preheat the oven to 375 F and bake the chicken for 30 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.