It's no secret, one of my favorite places back in my home town of Milwaukee, WI is Braise. Their creative use of local ingredients never disappoints. How I came to know Dave and his passion is through his classes when he started the Braise travelling culinary school. My first class with him was in the back of the Outpost about chocolate. I know you can't go wrong with chocolate but he used it in some interesting ways... I'll cover more of that later because today I am craving Indian food! At Braise I took "Braise Basics: Indian Food" in April of 2015 and learned some great basic skills that I thought I could only get at my favorite Indian restaurants.
Chicken Tikka Masala
1/4 cup garlic puree
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup peeled ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into strips lengthwise
1/4 cup ghee or vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
36 ounces whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Create spice mixtures by combining garlic, ginger, turmeric, lime juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin and cardamom in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill overnight or 4-6 hours. Reserve remaining spice mixture.
Heat ghee in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
Add cream and chopped cilantro, simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
Puree sauce until smooth. Add back to pot.
Optional: preheat broider or grill. Grill or broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots.
Add chicken to sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender.
Moong Dal Curry
1 cup split yellow mung bean, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon curry
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons yellow brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1-2 whole dried red chilis, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 small tomato, finely chopped
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
Pick through the dal and remove any debris. Rinse the dal thoroughly under running water in a fine mesh sieve. Drain thoroughly.
In a deep saucepan, bring water, curry powder and 1 tablespoon of oil to a boil over high heat. Add dal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dal is very soft. If the water starts to dry up, add another 1/2 cup water. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds; when they begin to sizzle, add onion. Saute for 7-8 minutes, until onions are well browned. Add ginger, chilies and garlic (tomato if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 8 minutes; add onion mixtures, coconut milk and salt to dal. Bring to simmer, check seasoning and add cilantro, serve.
Garlic & Herb Naan
Yield: approx 20 2oz flat breads
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons yeast
1/3 cup herbs, chopped
4 teaspoons salt
2 3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons garlic puree
2 ounces butter, melted
2 tablespoons garlic puree
1/4 cup herbs, chopped
1/4 cup oil
Combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and herbs in bowl of mixer. Whisk together milk and egg and add to dry ingredients. Mix with paddle on slow until a rough ball of dough is formed.
Combine melted butter and garlic puree, then add to dough and mix with paddle on slow until fully incorporated. Place ball of dough into a bowl and place in proofer. Proof until 2-2 1/2 times the original size, about an hour.
Portion dough into 2 oz balls, then roll out with rolling pin until 4-5" in diameter and about 1/4" thick. Place onto floured parchment lined sheet pan and place back into proofer and proof 20 minutes.
Drizzle liberally with oil and place oiled side down on grill. Grill on a low flame. When the bread is easy to handle and is set and browned on one side, flip over. After grilling, brush both sides of naan with herb oil.
Mix to taste. Top any of these dishes with this!
This last Sunday one of my favorite restaurants, Braise, hosted a Garlic Fest in Walker's Point. Garlic food, garlic drinks, garlic games, garlic drawing... you get the idea.
It was super hot that day, but was lots of fun. I got to talk to a garlic farmer and eat lots of great garlic food, including hummus, puff pastry, open faced sandwich, garlic cotton candy... not your regular festival food! That great food was provided by Braise (of course), Ball & Biscuit Catering (love their vegan friendly stuff!), Chez Jacques (love that French guy!), and even some garlic Rx from Outpost Co-op (mints, ginger, brownies!).
Loved that there were composting bins next to the recycling and garbage cans! And the beautiful floral displays are from my favorite greenhouse, Plantland! Wine came in these funky plastic glasses they ask you to keep and reuse all summer. And music from WMSE's was perfect!
Great fun celebraing all things garlic, looking forward to seeing the fest expand in years to come!
Braise has got to be one of MKE's finest... it's the city's first Community Supported Restaurant with several levels of membership. You can always just drop in; reservations are recommended unless you want to take your chances like my husband and I prefer at the bar or in the back at the food bar where you can see all the kitchen action. The building is a beautiful brick ex-bowling alley just North of the Allen Bradley clock tower. Look closely inside and you'll find elements from the bowling alley days. My favorite being the tables up front that were created from the actual lanes.
Starting with the drinks, all is very well thought out and executed. Mixed drinks are great classics using liquor that's been distilled by small crafters in Wisconsin. Several liquors are infused in house. I'm a big fan of the wine dispenser which serves up wine from the casks. Sometimes I stop in just for the Rishi Masala chai with milk steamed in their espresso machine.
Menu changes daily so it's always an adventure. We prefer to stick with small plates so we can try a variety. Some of my favorites were raviolo, veggie verions of lasagna, and the tarts (anything from nettles to potatoes and onions!). My husband loves the Crispy Pig, Pork Buns and any of the soups. And don't forget he buckets of bread and butter blend to start... they are incredible! Several varieties of bread in there and a seasoned butter on the side.
Desserts are not to be missed. Sweet little cakes that melt in your mouth with a sauce (the fruit ones are my favorite) and a scoop of fresh whipped cream or ice cream. My husband loves the chocolate pots de creme or the coffee based ones. Tarts are also winners; anything from lemon to salted caramel.
I do a lot of cooking and try to use local and organic when possible. The biggest question people that eat my food is where did it come from. We're lucky here in Milwaukee that we have access to some amazing things happening in the slow food movement.
First, is a service I've been using for a few years called Braise. I met David Swanson through a cooking class I took at Outpost co-op. He is a visionary that started going back to farms, teaching classes there and inspiring all things local by creating a delivery service (or CSA, community supported agriculture). There are several options for home delivery, the one I use I pay a yearly fee for delivery and I place an order by Sunday online and the food arrives Tuesday. It's an amazing assortment of local meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits, oils, grains and even chocolate! He recently opened a beautiful restaurant in Walker's Point, which is definately rising to be one of Milwaukee's best! http://braiselocalfood.com/
Second, is Will Allen's creation, Growing Power. It's an incredible system that is getting world wide attention for turning abandoned inner city space into a garden haven. They have chickens, tilapia, tomatoes, lettuce, compost making worms! My favorite are the sunflower sprouts. I first had in some salads at some fancy pants restaurants. Now I love that I can make my own fancy salads at home with these sprouts! They also have a small grocery store to help bring fresh produce that's not available locally. I'm lucky enough to have this service come to my work and I order a sustainable bag every week. They also have pick up sites around the city with several different options for sizes/prices. I'd recommend a tour to see how this amazing place works. http://www.growingpower.org/
True Milwaukee girl, lived in a multiple areas in the state of Wisconsin and has traveled around the world but always remembers "where ever you go, there you are".
All Art Art In Bloom Asia Bar Beading Braise Bridge Coffee Colorado Discovery World Domes Donuts Doors Fair Flowers Forest Gallery Glassblowing Growing Power Harley-Davidson Museum Hong Kong Indian Food Menomonie Mexican Milwaukee Milwaukee Art Museum Motorcycles Music North Carolina Peeps Restaurant Rishi Tea Shopping Tapas Tea Tiki Vietnam Virginia West Allis Winston Salem Winston-Salem