Sauteed Baby and Thai Eggplants with Basil and Peppers

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Sesame oil
Canola oil
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 red pepper, cut into 2 inch thin strips
1 orange pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
8 eggplant (small baby and thai style) halved
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
2 tablespoons mirin sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup fresh thai basil leaves
Green onions, sliced thin
Peanuts

Directions

In a large sauté pan or work heat oil until hot, add the chili garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes. Next add the peppers and sauté a few more minutes. Add the baby eggplants and sauté about 5 minutes or more until soft and tender. Add the hoisin, tamari, mirin and lime juice and stir and cook another few minutes. Add the basil leaves, stir and take off heat. Serve over rice with green onions and chopped peanuts for garnish.

Summer Squash and Portobello Taco

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 white onion, chopped fine
2 zucchinis, chopped fine
1 portabella mushroom, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt
Tortillas, soft or hard, for serving
Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Avocado (optional)

Directions

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add canola oil and avocado oil. Sauté onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers and jalapeño and cook, about 3-4 minutes more. Add the portabellas and cook another few minutes (3-4). Add lime juice, zest, cumin and season with salt. Serve with tortillas. Garnish with cheese and avocado.

Chicken Paillards with Grilled Peach & Pepino Salsa

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, boneless skinless
Salt/pepper
2 medium peaches, pitted and chopped fine
1 medium Pepino melon, seeds removed, peeled and chopped fine (1 cup chopped honeydew melon can be substituted)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons jalapeño or serrano pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon peach preserves
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, mashed

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts in between two sheets of plastic or in a zip lock bag with meat hammer until about ½ inch thick and consistently even. Cut into small triangle or similar shapes about 3-4 inches in circumference. Season with salt & pepper. Preheat you grill or an oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl combine peaches, bell peppers, jalapeños, and cilantro and toss together. Let stand at room temperature while the chicken cooks. Place chicken on greased grill for a few minutes on each side or in the oven for about 5-10 minutes flipping once time. Serve the chicken paillards with the salsa spooned over the top.

Lavender Buttermilk Fried Chicken

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the brine

1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 lemons sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lavender leaves and flowers
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of the following herbs, chopped fine: thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram
1 cup salt
2 gallon hot water (no more, possibly less)
2 chickens, cut, 4 breasts, 4 legs, 4 thighs and 4 wings

For the fried chicken

Canola oil
1 quart buttermilk
8 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl or bucket mix together all the herbs and spices with hot water until the salt dissolved fully. Place the chicken parts in the brine and let soak overnight or for about 10-12 hours maximum. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse in cool water, drain well. Let the chicken dry and rest for at least a half hour making sure to pat dry with paper towels if still moist. Heat two large deep pots with the oil for frying, the oil should register about 320°F. Prepare a baking sheet with paper towels to pace the fried chicken pieces on after cooking.

In a large bowl place the buttermilk and set aside. In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and herbs and spices. Set up your bowled flour and buttermilk as well as the chicken in a place close to the pans, this will be your “dipping station”. When the oil is hot enough, place a chicken part in the flour mixture and coat evenly and lightly, shake off excess and dip in the buttermilk and then again in the flour mixture and gain coat well and shake off excess. Place chicken skin side down in the oil and repeat with the other chicken parts as there is room in the pan. Making sure to adjust the heat if necessary to keep the 320°F temperature. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side a few times for a total cooking time of about 10 minutes per chicken piece, breasts about 12 minutes. The chicken should be a deep copper brown. Place on the baking sheets line with paper towels, skin side down to rest. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Serve!

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups dressing

Ingredients

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup blended oil (canola based)
½ shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon of each)

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together ingredients until well incorporated and emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipe property of Polo Dobkins

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

8-12 heirloom tomatoes, various varieties
8-12 pieces seedless watermelon sliced ½ inch thick and in wedges
2 cups feta cheese, sliced in sticks or wedges
12 fresh basil leaves, chifonade
White balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Baby arugula (garnish)

Directions

On individual serving plates create a stacked salad using the heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and feta. Sprinkle basil chifonade all over and drizzle the white balsamic vinaigrette over the top Garnish with baby arugula.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 2 cups dressing

Ingredients

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup blended oil (canola based)
½ shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon of each)

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together ingredients until well incorporated and emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipes property of Polo Dobkins

Almond Butter, Banana & Honey Panini

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Hearty, crusty whole grain bread, sliced
½ cup of either almond butter or peanut butter, chunky
2 bananas sliced lengthwise
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon canola oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat Panini grill (or you could use a grill pan with a heavy skillet as a weight). Spray the cooking surface. Brush one side of bread with oil, and place side down on grill. Spoon on nut butter, lay down bananas, and drizzle with honey. Place oiled bread on top, and press sandwich. If using a skillet, flip after about 3-4 minutes. Slice Paninis in ½ and store in a ziplock bag for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Spring Carrot Soup with Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

1 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
Zest of 1-2 limes (reserve half of the cream fraiche)
3 medium carrots, chopped, peels on
1 cup water
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt
Black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Créme Fraiche, to garnish (recipe follows)

Directions

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Cook garlic and onions for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the lime zest and cook, 1 minute. Add the carrots and water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Once soup has cooled, add lime juice, and season with salt. Puree soup with a hand blender or standing blender until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add more water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish soup with a drizzle of cilantro-lime créme fraiche and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Cilantro Lime Créme Fraiche

Makes 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons créme fraiche
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch of lime zest
½ tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk. Set aside.

Massaman Beef Curry

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound beef, sliced or cubed (about 1 inch-chunk or sirloin is best)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 can 14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce of tamari
1 tablespoon canola oil or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 cardamom pods, whole
1 cinnamon stick, whole
1 star of anise
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons massaman curry paste

Directions

In a large mixing bowl combine beef, ginger, hoisin sauce and coconut milk and stir. Let stand to marinate at least 30 minutes. In a large sauté pan heat oil to a medium high heat, add the garlic, yellow onions, shallot, cinnamon stick, star of anise and the cardamom and saut&eactue; until onions are just beginning to be translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to saut&eacte; on high heat another 3-4 minutes or until it begins to caramelize. Strain the meat from the marinade and add to the sauté mixture, and cook milk from the marinade. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is tender. Serve over rice.

Thai Green Coconut Curry & Vegetables

June 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper cut into 2 inch thin strips
1 medium carrot cut into 2 inch thick strips
1 medium sweet potato, cubed in small cubes
1 thai green chili (optional for excessive heat)
2-3 tablespoons green curry paste
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened milk
1 cup snow peas
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

In a large sauté pan add the oils and heat to a medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until just beginning to brown or approximately 4-7 minutes. Add the red peppers and carrots and sauté about 3 more minutes. Add potatoes and curry paste and mix well. Add the coconut milk and stir well making sure all the coconut milk is incorporated and mixed. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the snow peas, mix well and turn off heat and let sit covered for 5-7 minutes. Serve over white rice.

Petacones

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 medium to large plantains, sliced in 1 inch slices
1 cup canola oil
Salt

Directions

Heat half the oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Fry the plantains until golden brown and then turn and cook on the other side until golden brown as well. Drain on paper towels. Place on a flat surface and smash evenly entire plantain until flat like a pancake. Immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper and place back in the frying pan to finish cooking raw parts.

Asian Pork Meatballs with Sesame Spinach

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 small Spinach onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large egg, scrambled
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
Sriracha (optional, to taste)
Hoisin (optional, to taste)
Canola oil
Sesame oil
2 pounds baby spinach
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce

2 parts soy sauce
1 part lime juice
Red pepper flakes

Directions

In a small sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil up to a medium heat. Add onions and sweat for about 1 minute. Add in garlic and ginger and sweat for another minute. Place onion mix into a bowl and cool. In a large mixing bowl, add pork, cilantro, egg, cooled onion mix, breadcrumbs, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha or hoisin to taste. Mix together evenly. Shape into 20-24 balls and fry them in a pan (6-8 minutes) or bake them in a 400 degree oven (10-15 minutes). In a large sauté pan, heat 2 teaspoons of canola and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil on a medium/high heat. Sauté spinach in two batches. Plate spinach and sprinkle white sesame seeds on top and serve with meatballs.

For the dipping sauce

Mix all ingredients together and use for dipping.

Pork Fried Rice

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

Oil (sesame, canola or peanut)
1 pound pork loin, cut into small ½-inch cubes
Flour for dusting pork
Salt/pepper
2 carrots, chopped small (diced)
1 red bell pepper, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped fine
4 scallions, sliced
4 cups rice, cooked and cold
Soy sauce
Sriracha or sambal (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

Directions

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan or a wok to a high heat. Toss pork with seasoned flour (salt and pepper). Cook pork until no longer raw in the center, 1-2 minutes. Remove pork and add carrots. Cook for 1 minute. Then add in pepper, toss together and add in ginger, garlic, and scallions. Sauté for about 1 minute and add rice. Toss everything together and start to season with soy sauce (and Sriracha or Sambal for some heat). With a wooden spoon, form a well in the center of the rice and add the eggs. Let the eggs fry in the center for about 1 minute while mixing it with the spoon. Fold egg into rice and serve immediately.

Citrus Aioli

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place garlic, lemon juice and zest, lime zest, egg yolk and Dijon in a blender and puree. Season with salt. Slowly stream in oils until creamy and everything is emulsified.

Panko Crusted Asparagus Spears with Citrus Aioli

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons citrus champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 bunches (about 12 pieces per) asparagus, ends trimmed
1 cup white Japanese-style breadcrumbs (Panko)

Directions

Preaheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, cayenne and salt. Place the trimmed asparagus in a shallow baking dish and pour the lemon mixture over, making sure to cover the asparagus completely. In a second shallow baking dish, add the breadcrumbs until evenly distribute at the bottom. Taking one spear at a time, roll the asparagus in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated, then place on a lined baking sheet. When all the spears are coated, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are browned and the asparagus are tender, about 20 minutes.

Citrus Aioli

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place garlic, lemon juice and zest, lime zest, egg yolk and Dijon in a blender and puree. Season with salt. Slowly stream in oils until creamy and everything is emulsified.

Gallo Pintos

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons lard or canola oil
1 medium white onion, chopped fine
2 cups cooked black beans, drained but cooking liquid reserved
2 cups long grain rice, cooked
Salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

In a large skillet, heat oil to medium, add onions and sauté until edges start to brown or about 5 minutes. Add the beans and stir well, continuing to sauté beans. Add about ½ cup of the bean liquid and cook down to about half. Add the rice and mix well, making sure to get the beans and rice well mixed and stirring constantly so that the mixture does not stick. Season with salt and fresh cilantro, mix well.

Platanos Fritos (Fried Plantains)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 medium to large plantains, sliced in 13 inch slices
1 cup canola oil
Salt

Directions

Heat half the oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Fry the plantains until golden brown and then turn and cook on the other side until golden brown as well. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt, immediately after taking out of pan.

Smashed Beans

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Avocado or canola oil
1 medium white onion, chopped fine
3 cups black, red or pinto beans
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt

Directions

In a medium sauté pan heat the oil to a medium high heat. Sauté the onions until slightly translucent or about 3 minutes. Add the beans and sauté, smashing the beans with a potato smasher or other smashing tools. Add the cilantro leaves, cumin and salt and cook for about 2 minutes longer.

Huevos Ranchero’s de Nissa

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Avocado or canola oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ jalapeño, deseeded and chopped
½ red pepper, chopped small
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
6 eggs
Salt
Ger-Nis Tabasco
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Avocado (optional)
¼ cup cotija cheese
Corn tortillas, warmed

Directions

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium heat and sauté onions for a few minutes. Add peppers and sauté another few minutes (3 minutes). Add the cherry tomatoes next and sauté for a few seconds. Crack the eggs into the pan one by one and mix gently and cook until eggs are just done, a few minutes. Make sure not to overcook the eggs. Season with salt and serve with Tabasco and avocado, cheese and tortillas.

Artichokes with Lemon Aioli Dip

May 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

4 globe artichokes
2 lemons
1 recipe lemon aioli (see recipe) or any favorite vinaigrette

DIRECTIONS

Wash the artichokes to remove and grit between the leaves.
Snap off the stems at the base, so the artichokes stand upright. Use kitchen shears to trim the tips of each leaf. Rub the cut leaves with lemon to prevent discoloration.
Cook the artichokes in acidulated water, covered for 30 minutes or until the tip of a knife can easily pierce their bases. Turn the artichokes in the water every ten minutes to insure even color.
Drain the artichokes upside down on a towel.
Twist out the tender cone of inner leaves and reserve. Scoop out and discard the hairy inner choke.
Place the artichokes upright and surround with the tender leaves. Fill the centers with aioli and reserve.

Lemon Aioli

INGREDIENTS

½ cup neutral oil, such as grape seed, canola or sunflower
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 large egg at room temperatre
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Freshly milled black pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a bottle that has an opening small enough so that your thumb will cover the opening (such as a wine of beer bottle) shake together the canola and olive oils to mix. Anchor a heavy mixing bowl to the counter by placing it on top of a lightly damp and coiled kitchen towel.
Using a garlic press, crush the garlic into the mixing bowl. Add the egg, mustard and salt and whisk until smooth.
With one hand dribble the oils drop by drop into the egg mixture while whisking constantly with the other hand. Continue until the egg starts to thicken. Gradually increase the flow of oil until it has been completely incorporated. You will have a thick glossy mayonnaise. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Season with black pepper and additional salt if desired.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Tostadas de Guacamole (Avocado Tostadas)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 tostadas

INGREDIENTS

8 corn tortillas
2 avocados, ripe
Juice of 1 lime (1 teaspoon reserved)
13 cup fresh cilantro leaves (2 tablespoons reserved)
Salt
3 spring onions or 1 small white onion
Hot sauce
Oil (canola)
Dry queso or cotija cheese, crumbled
Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Lay the corn tortillas out flat on the counter to dry out, about 10 minutes. In a small mixing bowl smash up avocado until very smooth. Mix in the lime juice and the cilantro leaves and season to taste with salt. Thickly slice the white onion and place in a bowl and drizzle and reserved 1 teaspoon lime juice and season with a little salt. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, fry tortillas, one at a time on each side a minute or two until crispy, remove and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Spread a layer of the avocado mixture over the tostada, followed by a few sliced onions and garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves, queso or cotija cheese and hot sauce.

Sundried Tomato & Herb Chicken Sausage Pizzas

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 10-inch pizzas

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ pound pork fat, cubed (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons salt
Casings, of your choice
Canola or olive oil
Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce (recipe follows)
Cheese, of choice
Fresh baby spinach or arugula

DIRECTIONS

Mix all the sausage ingredients in a large bowl, and refrigerate, about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. Once the mixture is ground, place in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube – this is where you will need to tie the sausage off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until you are ready for more. Turn the machine on, and begin the process – air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil – the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends – you can kitchen twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week (in other words, use it, or lose it).

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the sausages on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 4-5 minutes turning once or until browned. Remove from oven and slice into 1 inch slices for pizza topping.

Place already rolled out pizza dough on a baking sheet and top with pizza sauce, cheese of choice, spinach or arugula and sliced sausage. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Dough

Makes 3 (10 inch) pizzas

INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dried herbs (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl gently mix the warm water, yeast and honey until frothy and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute for activation of the yeast. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and any optional dried herbs: oregano, basil, etc. Mix well. Slowly combine the yeast mixture to the flour mixture mixing well until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic adding more flour if needed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. In a lightly oiled bowl, preferably ceramic or stainless steel, place dough covered with greased plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm, draft free location for about 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Flatten the dough to desired size shape and thickness – thin, thick, or regular.

Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce

Makes approximately 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 medium tomatoes, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1½ cup fresh oregano, chopped (reserve ½ cup)
1 cup fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, add tomatoes, garlic, onions, red wine, red chili flakes, dried oregano, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and bring to a boil. Place on low simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a hand held food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce as they give a very rustic look and texture. Cook blended sauce on low for another 20 minutes, until thick and reduced. Season with more salt (if needed) and finish with remaining fresh oregano.

Carrot Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups carrots, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt
Cilantro-Lime Cream, to garnish (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat, add canola oil. Add the garlic and onions, and sauté for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the cumin and cook, 1 minute. Add the carrots and vegetable broth or water, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat, and cool for a few minutes.
Once soup has cooled, add lime juice, and season with salt. Puree soup with a hand blender or standing blender until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth.
Finish soup with a drizzle of cilantro-lime cream, and serve.

Cilantro-Lime Cream

Makes a ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup sour cream
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk. Set aside.

Shrimp with Sweet Basil, Purple Eggplant and Peppers

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 purple eggplant, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup water
1 small chili, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1½ tablespoons black soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons water
¼ cup basil leaves, torn

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine mirin, soy sauce, and ginger. Add shrimp, and marinate 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large deep skillet or wok over high heat, add 1½ tablespoons oil. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp has changed to light pink color. Remove shrimp, and set aside on plate. Clean out pan.

In the same pan, add remaining oil. Add eggplant and red peppers, and cook, 5 minutes. Add ½ cup water, and cover pan to steam vegetables slightly. Remove lid, and add chili and garlic. Stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add fish sauce, black soy sauce, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add cooked shrimp and basil and mix. Serve immediately.

Chicken and Cashews

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 pieces skinless boneless chicken thighs, sliced thin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green chili, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
3 scallions, sliced thin (separate green and white parts)
¾ cup chicken broth
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup cashews, toasted

DIRECTIONS

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Cook the chicken until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add bell pepper, chili, garlic, and scallion whites to wok or skillet and stir-fry until peppers are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar, then stir into wok or skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cashews, scallion greens, and chicken along with any juices accumulated on plate. Serve.

Brown Rice Fried Rice

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli florets, peppers), chopped small
¼ cup frozen peas, defrosted
¼ cup water
1 small green chili, chopped fine
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin or rice wine

DIRECTIONS

In a large deep skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, add oil. Cook the vegetables, 5 minutes.
Add peas and water and cover to steam vegetables until tender, but still have a bite. Add chili, scallions, garlic and ginger and continue to cook, 1 minute. Add the cooked rice and combine. Create a space in the center of pan and add eggs. Cook, breaking up the eggs with a spoon until they are lightly browned. Increase heat slightly and cook until the rice is crispy, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin with 2 tablespoons of water. Pour the mixture over the rice.

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and serve, with extra soy sauce on the side.

Hoisin-Drenched Vegetable Medley

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1½ tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin (reserve ¼ cup to garnish)
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small chili, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas
1 cup snap peas
2 tablespoons mirin
3½ tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a large deep skillet or wok over high heat, add oil. Add scallions, ginger, garlic and chili, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bell peppers, cook 2 minutes. Add snow peas, snap peas and mirin rice wine and continue cooking until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add tamari, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and cook 1 minute. Take off heat and add ¼ cup reserved thinly sliced scallions. Serve warm.

Sichuan-Style Green Beans

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons black soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1½ pounds green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small chili, sliced thin

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. In a small bowl, combine first 7 ingredients to make a sauce, and set aside.

In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt. Next, add the green beans, and bring back to a boil. Cook, uncovered 5 to 6 minutes or until almost cooked but still crisp.
Drain and shock in bowl of ice and water.

In a large deep skillet or work over high heat, add oil. Add scallions, garlic, and chill; and cook briefly. Add already combined sauce, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, until thickened. Return the cooked beans to the pan, and toss lightly to coat with sauce. Serve.

Beef and Guinness Pie

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 pounds beef chuck, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness
Salt and pepper
1 package puff pastry

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, thyme, and flour. Rub the spice mixture onto the beef. Heat the oil in a pan over med-high heat. Sauté the beef for 5 minutes, then add garlic and yellow onion. When onions are translucent, add carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Next, add parsley, tomato, and mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add stock, Guinness, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. In 8 (6 oz) ramekins or one large baking dish, fill with beef stew and cover with puff pastry. Bake 10 minutes or until browned.

Cumin-Zucchini & Bell Pepper Tacos

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 white onion, sliced thin
2 zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 jalapeño, deseeded and thinly sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt
Tortillas, for serving

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add canola oil. Sauté sliced onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers and jalapeño and cook, 7 minutes more. Add lime juice, zest, cumin and season with salt. Serve with tortillas.

Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

½ tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Zest of 1 lime
1 chicken breast
Salt/pepper
1½ tablespoons canola oil
½ a large white onion, chopped medium
1 poblano pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
3 whole chipotle peppers in adobe, chopped
¼ cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chicken stock
Tortillas, for serving

For garnish:

Pickled onions
Avocadoes

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, combine all spices and lime zest and mix well. Rub all over chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. In a medium heavy bottom skillet heat canola oil and brown chicken breasts on each side until brown. Remove from pan and set aside, add onions and poblanos and cook until tender.
Add lime juice, chipotles, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir well. Place chicken breasts back in pan with sauce and cook for about 15 minutes on a gentle boil or until tender. Take out chicken and shred with a fork. Place meat back in pan.

Serve on flour or corn tortillas garnished with pickled onions and avocadoes.

Jamaican Jerk Pulled Pork Tacos

February 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
½ habañero pepper, deseeded and chopped
½ tablespoon lime zest
½ tablespoon orange zest
½ teaspoon allspice, ground
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ tablespoon black pepper, ground
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons brown sugar
1½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound pork butt
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Tortillas, for serving

For garnish:

Mangoes
Pickled onions

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor place all ingredients except the pork butt, lime juice, orange juice and cider vinegar.
Pulse until the mixture is ground into a course paste. Rub the mixture all over the pork butt, let stand for 10 minutes. In a large cast iron pan over high heat, add canola oil. Brown the pork butt so that all sides are well seared. Add the lime juice, orange juice and cider vinegar; stir scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the cooked bits and pieces. Add the entire mixture to a heated crock pot and let cook for about 4 hours or until pork butt falls apart. Take the port butt out and pull apart with a fork and then place back in the crock pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve on tortillas with mangoes and pickled onions.

Laotian Spring Rolls

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 rolls

INGREDIENTS

1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
¼ cup scallions, sliced
½ tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) ground beef
1 cup chopped, boiled, drained, and air-cooled mung-bean vermicelli noodles
2 eggs
12 spring roll pastry skins
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup sweet chili sauce (store bought)

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, add onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, scallions, salt, pepper, ground beef and noodles. Crack one egg over the mixture, and mix together with your hands.

In a smaller bowl, beat one egg. You will use this to seal shut your pastry skins.

Peel one pastry skin onto a plate. Using the envelope method as taught in class, place approximately 2 tablespoons in one corner and roll. Brush egg to the final tip to seal.

Fry rolls in deep fryer or large pot filled with oil until golden brown. Dip in sweet chili sauce and enjoy!

© Recipe Property of John Vang

Malay Chicken

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of canola oil
3 chicken thighs (with the skin on the bone)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup julienned ginger
1 yellow onion, halved and then sliced into lengthwise pieces
1½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon preserved black beans
½ cup boiled/hot water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon minced Thai chilies (optional)
Juice of lime (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon scallions, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil. Add minced garlic, julienned ginger and sliced onion. Do not stir. Place chicken thighs, skin-side down on the bed of garlic, ginger, onion. Cook until skin begins to crisp, and then flip. Add soy sauce directly to the chicken.

Add black beans to the cup of boiled hot water, and let sit for 3 minutes. Strain the beans themselves and pour the liquid mixture over the chicken. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add the beans and turn to low heat for another 5 minutes. Add fish sauce, Thai chilies, and fresh lime juice. Sprinkle cilantro and scallions over and bring off heat.

© Recipe Property of John Vang

Indian Cheese in an Herbed Green Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the paneer

1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
½ to 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the green sauce

1 pound bag fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, or 1 pound frozen spinach, unthawed
1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or canola
3 whole dried red chiles
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
7 green cardamom pods
7 whole cloves
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the tempering oil (optional)

1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole dried red chile
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the paneer, preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the ricotta evenly in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned on top and firm but not dry, about 40 minutes. Let cool (the cheese will firm as it cools), then cut into 1 to 1½-inch squares. Reserve half, and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.

Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add as many squares of paneer as will comfortably fit, and brown the squares on all sides. Drain the cheese on paper towels. Continue this way to brown all of the paneer, adding ½ tablespoon more oil as needed. Set the paneer aside.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spinach, cover, and cook, stirring every now and then until fresh spinach is wilted or frozen spinach is thawed, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and puree in a blender or food processor, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water if necessary for pureeing.

Heat the ghee, butter, or oil with the red chiles, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin turns a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the asafetida, if using. Then add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 45 seconds. Add the spinach puree and the salt. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 5 minutes. Gently place the paneer squares on top of the greens. Cover, and cook gently 5 more minutes. Halfway through the cooking, use a large spatula to gently turn the paneer in the spinach. (Careful, the paneer will break easily). Taste the green for salt.

For the tempering oil (if using), heat the ghee or oil with the cumin, fennel seeds, and red chile in a small frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the seeds, until the seeds turn a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asafetida, if using, and cayenne and pour immediately into the spinach mixture. Give it a stir, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Smoked Spiced Eggplant

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons canola oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
½ fresh hot green chile, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

DIRECTIONS

Roast the eggplant directly on the burner of a gas stove over medium heat, turning often, until the skin is completely blackened and the flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Or, roast the eggplant on a cookie sheet in a 500°F oven until the skin is blackened, about 20 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then pull off the skin with your fingers, rinsing your hands under running water as you work. (Don’t worry if you can’t get all the charred skin off.) Cut off and discard the stem. Then put the eggplant in a bowl and mash it to a puree with a potato masher.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, wok, or kadai over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until the raw smell disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Now add about 1 tablespoon of water, and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to stick, about 1 more minute.

Add the tomatoes, and give the mixture a stir. Add the mashed eggplant, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh chile and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in the lemon juice, and taste for salt. Spoon into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Corn Curry

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For green paste

1 fresh hot green chile, stemmed and cut in half
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 fresh or 16 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro sprigs (with tender stems only)
2 tablespoons water

For the main dish

1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons canola oil
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional)
3 whole dried red chiles
¼ teaspoon turmeric
6 fresh or 10 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 ears) or frozen corn

DIRECTIONS

For the green paste, combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor, and process into a paste. Set aside. Combine the milk and the half-and-half in a 2 cup measure or small bowl. Combine the oil, cumin, and mustard seeds, if using, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover if using mustard seeds (they pop and splatter), and cook until the cumin turns golden brown or you heat the mustard seeds crackle, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chiles, turmeric, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using) and stir. (Stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.) Immediately add the green paste, and turn the heat down to low. Then cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the flour, and cook, stirring, 1 more minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the flour from sticking. Gradually add the milk mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time at first, to make a smooth paste. Start to add the milk more quickly, adding the final cup all at once. Stir in the salt and the corn, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Aloo Bonda Potato Dumplings

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 dumplings

INGREDIENTS

For the filling

2 pounds (about 5 medium) red potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
24 curry leaves
3 to 6 dried chiles, coarsely crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely diced
Juice of ½ lime

For the batter

4 cups canola oil, for frying
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
½ cup water

Tomato Chutney or Ketchup

DIRECTIONS

To make the filling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

Heat the oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1½ minutes. Add the chiles, and cook until the curry leaves become brittle, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the ginger and jalapeños cooking for 30 seconds. Then add the mixture to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes against the sides of the bowl until they are semi-smooth. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt and the lime juice. Take 2 tablespoons of potato mixture, and roll into a small ball. Set the ball on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

Heat the canola oil to 350°F in a medium saucepan. To make the batter, whisk together the chickpea flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and asafetida (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in enough water so it resembles a thick pancake batter. Dip each potato ball in the batter, and roll it in your hands to coat evenly. Gently drop a few battered balls into the hot oil, and fry until they are golden brown, turning often for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined plate, and serve hot with Tomato Chutney or ketchup.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Creamy Cauliflower & Spinach Soup

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10 to 12

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground peppercorns
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large or 2 small heads cauliflowers, cut into florets (about 3½ pounds)
1 small red potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound spinach, washed and tough stems removed
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 cups water

DIRECTIONS

Place the butter, oil, rosemary, thyme, and ground peppercorns in a large pot, and heat over medium-high until the butter is melted and the rosemary is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until they are soft, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and potato, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, milk, salt, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower easily mashes against the side of the pot, about 30 minutes.

Transfer some of the soup to a blender (don’t fill blender more than two-thirds full), cover, and pulse to release some heat. Blend the soup until it is completely smooth, and pour it into a clean pot. Repeat with the remaining soup. Bring the soup back to a boil, taste for seasoning, and serve.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Curried Black-Eyed Peas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup canola oil
4 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole dried red chiles
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar and pestle with 18 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium tomatoes, quartered and pureed in a food processor or blender
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon garam masala
3 (15½-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil with the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, chiles, cumin seeds, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a uniform golden brown color, about 15 minutes. Keep a measuring cup of water by the stove. As the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onion and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onion is well browned.

When the onion is cooked, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric, and cook until the raw smell of the spices disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, and then immediately the pureed tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until a film of oil pools on the surface of the sauce, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a measuring cup or bowl, whisk or stir the yogurt until smooth. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce in the yogurt to temper it. When the tomato sauce has cooked 5 minutes, stir in the tempered yogurt, the garam masala, black-eyed peas, and water. Turn the heat to medium, and heat until a bubble or two just breaks the surface, 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not allow yogurt in sauce to boil, or it will curdle.) Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Warm Lentil Salad with Coconut and Tomato

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2½ tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon yellow split peas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole dried red chiles
8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 fresh hot green chile, cut corsswise into thin slices
1 red onion, sliced
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup split peas or lentils simmered in water to cover until tender, and drained
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, the mustard seeds (if using), and yellow split peas in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mustard seeds crackle and/or the dal begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cover the pan if using mustard seeds; they pop and splatter.)

Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until the cumin turns golden brown, about 1 minute.

Add the dried chiles, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using), and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. (Stand back when using the curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.)

Add the fresh chile, onion, and salt, and cook until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils, lemon juice, and cilantro, and stir until the lentils are warmed through. Taste for salt. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl, and serve warm or at room temperature.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

“Kwalitys” Chickpeas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
3 whole dried red chiles
1½-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
4 fresh or 6 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
2 red onions, finely chopped
3 fresh hot green chiles, slit the length of the chile
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons dried mango powder (amchur), or the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pomegranate seed powder (anaardaana), or the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups water
3 (19-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and red chiles in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and curry leaves, if using, and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. (Stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.) Add the onions, green chiles, and salt while cooking, stirring often, until the onions turn a uniformly dark brown color, about 20 minutes. Keep a cup of water beside the stove as the onions cook. As the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onions and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onions are well browned.

When the onions are cooked, add the mango and pomegranate powders, if using, as well as the ground/toasted cumin, turmeric, and ½ teaspoon of garam masala; cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the cayenne and black peppers. Immediately add the water and all but about ½ cup of chickpeas. Mash the rest of the chickpeas to a puree with the back of a form, and add them to the pan along with the remaining ½ teaspoon garam masala. Bring to a simmer, stirring, and cook gently, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, if using. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Tamarind Rice

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons tamarind concentrate
½ cup warm water
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup unsalted peanuts (preferably unroasted), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
16 curry leaves, roughly torn (optional)
6 dried red chiles (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon turmeric
1 large red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons Sambhaar, or 1 teaspoon curry powder
7 cups cooked basmati rice, drained, spread out on a baking sheet, and cooled to room temperature

DIRECTIONS

Place the tamarind in a small bowl, and pour the warm water over it. Whisk together until the tamarind is completely dissolved, and set aside.

Heat the oil, peanuts, and mustard seeds in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the curry leaves, chiles, cumin, turmeric, and cook until the peanuts are golden, about 1½ minutes. Add the onion, salt, and Sambhaar, and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often (if the onion begins to burn, turn the heat down). Add the tamarind water, and cook until the water is evaporated, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice, and cook until the rice is hot, about 2 minutes (if the rice was in the fridge it will take an extra 2 to 4 minutes to warm up), stirring once or twice to make sure nothing burns at the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning, and serve.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Not-so-dull Dal

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 dried red chiles
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1½ cups washed masoor dal or yellow split peas (channa dal)
6 cups water
Juice of ½ lemon

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil with cumin and chiles in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1½ minutes. Add the asafetida (if using), and cook for 20 seconds, and then add the onion and jalapeño. Cook for 1 minute, stir in the kosher salt, and cook until the onion and jalapeño have softened, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and lentils, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, 1 to 1½ minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of the water, cook until the pan is dry, and then add an additional 5¾ cups water and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover, and stir every 10 minutes until the lentils are soft and break apart easily but are not completely broken down, 25 to 35 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and serve with rice.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Samosas, Puff Pastry, with green peas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 9 turnovers

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (9-to-10-ounce) package frozen petite peas
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Green Chutney, or store-bought (sold as cilantro or mint chutney)
1 tablespoon Tamarind Chutney, or store bought
1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg whisked with a pinch of salt, for glaze

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the oil and cumin in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the peas and the salt, and cook, covered, until the peas soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the chutneys. Let cool.

Lay a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the sheet into the thirds along the lines of the folds. Roll out one-third to a 6-by 12-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle crosswise into third to make three smaller rectangles. Brush all around the edges of each with egg glaze. Spoon a generous tablespoon of peas in the center. Fold the top of the rectangle down so that it meets the bottom layer 1 to 1½ inches above the bottom edge and makes a triangle. Fold the bottom up, and tuck the overhang over. Press gently to seal. Put on a baking sheet, and brush with the egg glaze. Repeat to make two more turnovers. Then roll out, and fill six more turnovers.

Bake until crisp, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Manchurian Cauliflower

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

About 2 quarts corn or canola oil, for frying
3 eggs
23 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup ketchup
Cayenne pepper to taste
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
Steamed greens, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Put at least 2 inches of oil into a deep-sided, heavy bottomed pot and bring to 350°F on a candy thermometer. (In a bind, put a pinch of flour into the pot; at 350°F it will sizzle but won’t burn). In a bowl large enough to accommodate the cauliflower, whisk together the eggs and cornstarch. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and add the cauliflower. Toss to coat the florets evenly.

Fry the cauliflower in batches, so as not to crowd the pan, making sure that the oil is hot each time you add fresh florets. Cook until the cauliflower begins to mottle, about 4 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain. Now take a tablespoon of the hot oil from the frying pot, and place it in a large pan over medium heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the garlic, and fry until fragrant; then add the ketchup, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble and caramelize around the edges. Add cayenne pinch by pinch to taste and then the cauliflower. Toss until hot and coated. Serve with white rice and steamed greens, if desired.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Crispy Okra Salad (Kararee Bhindi)

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Canola oil
1-pound okra, stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons chaat masala

DIRECTIONS

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. Add a third of the okra, and fry until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining okra, making sure the oil temperature comes back to 350°F before frying additional batches.

In a large bowl, toss the okra with the onion, tomato, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and chaat masala. Taste for seasoning, and serve immediately.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Savory Indian Crepes with Tomato-Shallot Chutney (Cheelas)

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For the crepes

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon carom (ajowan)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup water
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1½ teaspoons canola oil

For the chutney

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

To prepare the crepes, whisk the chickpea flour, salt, carom, and cayenne pepper together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water (the batter should look like a thin pancake batter), and set the batter aside for 30 minutes. While the batter rests, make the chutney: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the shallots and salt, and cook until the shallots are transparent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeño, and cilantro; cover the saucepan; and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the tomatoes are very saucy, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover the saucepan, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the chutney is thick and jammy, another 6 to 8 minutes. Set it aside while you make the crepes.

Gently stir the jalapeño and ¼ cup cilantro into the crepe batter, trying not to create any bubbles. Heat a medium nonstick skillet or griddle over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a few droplets of water sizzle on the skillet. Working quickly, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the center of the skillet, and spread it into a large and thin circle with the back of the measuring cup or back of a spoon (do it quickly – the batter cooks fast). Drizzle ¼ teaspoon of canola oil over the top of the crepe. Cook the underside of the crepe until browned, 1 to 1½ minutes. Flip, and cook the other side until it’s dry, about 30 seconds. Serve with a general scoop of chutney, and eat hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Spicy Mango Pickle

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

3 medium green (unripe) mangoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons turmeric
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds, coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
½ tablespoon fenugreek seeds, coarsely ground
½ cup cayenne pepper
1 cup canola oil

DIRECTIONS

Put the mango cubes in a nonaluminum bowl, and sprinkle with the salt and half of the turmeric. Toss to coat all of the mango cubes. Spoon the mango into a clean jar, cap, and set in a sunny spot for 2 days, turning the jars up and down several times twice a day.

On the third day, empty the jar into a nonreactive colander and drain for about 30 minutes. Spread the mango out on muslin or an old kitchen towel, and let stand for 2 hours. (The turmeric will stain, so use something that you won’t mind seeing yellow.)

Combine the remaining turmeric with the fennel seeds, ground mustard seeds, ground fenugreek seeds, and cayenne in a nonreactive bowel. Add the mangoes and half of the oil. Stir to mix well.

Spoon into a dry, sterilized jar, and press down lightly to compact the mangoes. Add the remaining oil, and tightly cap the jar. Set in a sunny spot for 10 to 12 days, turning the jars up and down several times once every few days. After the twelfth day the pickle is ready for use, but it tastes better as it ages.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Pickle

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

1-pound Japanese or small Italian eggplants, or 1 large (1¼ to 1½ pound) eggplant, stemmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1½ cups loosely packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
½ tablespoon chopped garlic
½ tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

If using Japanese eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 2-inch sections. If using small Italian eggplants, quarter them lengthwise, and then cut into 2-inch sections. If you can only find a large eggplant, cut off the straight-sided upper half of the eggplant, and cut it lengthwise into six pieces; cut each piece in half crosswise. Then set the bottom half of the eggplant on one end, and cut off the rounded, outside edges in 4½-inch thick slices, discarding the central core. Cut the other pieces in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 2 to 2½-inch sections.

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt on a paper-towel-lined-tray, and let stand 2 hours. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour the vinegar over the brown sugar, and let stand to soften. Wipe the salt off the eggplant with paper towels. Heat the oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Working in two batches, cook the eggplant, turning, until lightly browned and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not overcook, or the eggplant will fall apart.) Drain on paper towels.

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir the garlic, ginger, and cayenne in the oil. Return the eggplant to the pan, and swirl the pan to coat the eggplant with the spices. Let stand off the heat 5 minutes. Then add the vinegar-sugar mixture, bring to a simmer, and cook until the syrup is very bubble and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not caramelized, about 15 minutes. Let stand until cooled completely to room temperature, spoon into a sterilized 1-quart jar, and refrigerate.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Grape Raita

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

3 cups plain yogurt
1½ cups seedless grapes, halved
2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
Salt

For the tempering oil:

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin or black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 fresh or 10 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Whisk the yogurt in a bowl until smooth and lightened. Stir in the grapes, and then the cumin, sugar, and cayenne or paprika. For the tempering oil, heat the oil with the cumin or mustard seeds in a small frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. Cook until the cumin seeds darken or the mustard seeds crackle, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cover pan if using mustard seeds; they crackle and pop.) Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves, if using, and cook uncovered, stirring, 5 to 10 more seconds. (Stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they hit the hot oil.) Pour over the yogurt, and chill well. Just before serving, stir in the salt.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Tamarind Chutney

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 1¼ cups

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
2 cups water
1¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until the spices are fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the water, sugar, and tamarind concentrate until completely dissolved, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer until the sauce turns the color of chocolate and is thick enough to leave a trail on the back of a spoon, 20 to 30 minutes. (While still warm it will look like chocolate sauce, and it will thicken a bit as it cools.) Taste for seasoning, transfer to a covered plastic container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or ladle into dry and sterilized jars and can according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Parathas Stuffed with Potato, Chiles, and Cilantro

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 Parathas

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2 cups chapati flour
Salt
1 to 1¼ cups water
1½ pounds boiling potaotes, boiled in their skins until tender (25 to 30 minutes) and cooked
½ cup very finely chopped red onion
1 fresh hot green chile, very finely chopped
1½ tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon carom seeds
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
All purpose-flour, for rolling
Canola oil, for cooking
Butter, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Mix the flour(s) and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the water to the flour mixture, and mix with your hand to combine. Add another ½ cup water, and mix again. Continue adding water, a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball. The dough should take about 1 cup of water.

Now knead the dough vigorously on a clean, unfloured work surface until the dough is moist, soft, and slightly sticky, but doesn’t cling to clean hands or the work surface, about 5 minutes. If the dough is try, dip your fingers into some water and knead the water into the dough. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel pressed directly onto the surface, and let rest at 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and mash them roughly in your hands in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the onion, chile, cilantro, spices, and lemon or lime juice, and mix well to form a fairly smooth mixture (there will be small lumps present).

When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of canola oil, with a spoon, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface as well.

Break off a piece of dough about the size of a gold ball. Toss it first in the bowl of flour, and then roll it between the palms of your hands to make a ball. Set the ball on your work surface, and flatten to a 2-inch disk. Now roll the disk, flouring the work surface and dough as needed, into a thin round 4½ to 5-inches in diameter. Mound about ¼ cup of the potato mixture into the center of the dough rough. Bring the edges of the up over the top of the filling, and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the neck of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour, and roll it out again into a round about 6-inches in diameter. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas, and stack them on the plate with sheets of plastic wrap between them.

Heat a griddle or frying pan (preference goes to cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Place the dough round on the heated, ungreased griddle or in the pan, and cook until the dough darkens slightly and you see bubbles begin to form underneath the surface of the dough, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now you flip the paratha with a spatula, and cook until the bubbles form again.

With the back of the spoon, coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip, and coat the other side with oil. Now continue cooking, pressing gently on the bread the the back of the spoon and moving the spoon around in a circular motion to press the bread onto the pan for even browning. When the bottom of the bread has browned, flip and repeat. Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes in total.

Remove the paratha from the pan and spread with butter. Serve immediately. Then continue on this way until all of the parathas have been cooked.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Lahori Chicken Curry with Whole Spices & Potatoes

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

A 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and skinned
3 medium red boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt
1½ medium onions, roughly diced
5 garlic cloves
A 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half crosswise
3 tablespoons canola oil
A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
12 green cardamom pods
9 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
3 whole dried red chiles
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 fresh hot green chile, cut in half
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1 cup water
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Combine the chicken, potatoes, ½ teaspoon of the turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir to coat the chicken and potato with the spices. Let stand while you make the sauce.

Finely mince the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, red chiles, coriander, and cumin in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced onion mixture, the green chile, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables brown around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon and green chile, and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and potatoes and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well after each addition. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes, to evaporate some of the moisture.

Add the pureed tomato, mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the water. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir every 5 to 8 minutes and scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking. Then uncover and cook 5 more minutes to reduce and thicken. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste for salt and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Rice Pilaf with “Standing Spices”

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

2 cups basmati rice
4½ cups cold water
2 medium red onions
¼ cup canola oil, plus about 1 cup for deep-frying
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 green cardamom pods
A 2½-to-3-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken in half
¼ teaspoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
3 bay leaves
3 whole dried red chiles
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Combine the rice and water in a bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the rice and reserve the water separately.

Mince 1 onion and reserve.

For the fried-onion garnish, thinly slice the second onion. Heat the 1 cup oil in a small (about 6-inch) heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat to 360°F. The oil should come about ½ inch up the side of the pan. If necessary, add more oil. (To gauge the temperature of the oil without using a thermometer, drop a piece of bread about 1-inch square into the hot oil over medium heat, turning often, when the oil reaches 360°F, the bread should begin to brown almost immediately and turn golden brown all over – like a crouton – in about 30 seconds.) Add the sliced onion and deep-fry, stirring often, until the onion turns dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels and then let stand until cool and crisp. Set aside. Discard the oil.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the ¼ cup oil, the cumin, the cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaves, and chiles in a large ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the reserved minced onion and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. If the caramelized sugars from the onion begin to collect on the bottom of the pan, add water, about a tablespoon at a time, and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up the browned bits.

Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the drained rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the reserved soaking water and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then turn the heat down and simmer vigorously, covered, until the water is entirely absorbed and the rice cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Put the casserole in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fried onions and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Stir Fried Carrots with Cumin and Lime

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

2½ tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (optional)
A 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a fine julienne
½ fresh hot green chile, minced
3 whole dried red chiles
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
1½ pounds carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a grater
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Juice of ½ lime or lemon

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil and mustard seeds, if using, in a large wok, kadai, or trying pan over medium-high heat.

Cover (the mustard seeds pop and splatter) and cook until you hear the mustard seeds crackle, 1 to 2 minutes. (Or heat just the oil in the same pan.)

Add the ginger, fresh and dried chiles, cumin, and curry leaves, if using, and cook uncovered, stirring until the ginger crisps a little, about 1½ minutes. (stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they heat in oil).

Add the carrots and cook, stirring, until warned through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the salt and the lime or lemon juice. Taste for salt and serve hot or cold.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Stir Fried Cauliflower with Potato & Crunchy Bengali Spice

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Rounded ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
A 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1½ pounds red boiling potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced lengthwise about ½ inch thick
1 small to medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into medium florets
18 teaspoon ground cumin
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 fresh hot green chile, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, nigella, if using, cumin, and coriander seeds in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the potatoes and stir well to coat with the spices. Then cover and cook until the potatoes have browned some and have begun to soften and stick to the bottom of the pan, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir three or four times during this time and check the cooking. If the potatoes brown too quickly, turn the heat down. If they aren’t browning at all, raise the heat.

Add the cauliflower, ground cumin, cayenne, and fresh chile and stir to coat the cauliflower with the spices. Then cover and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan three of four times during cooking, until the potatoes are well browned, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, cover, and continue cooking until the cauliflower is nicely browned and the vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the vegetables every 3 to 4 minutes and check the cooking; if they begin to stick badly and burn, add a teaspoon of water and scrape with a spatula to loosen the spcies and crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Herb crusted Chicken with Caramelized Onion Jam on Ciabatta

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For herb crusted chicken

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lemon
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups arugula leaves, for sandwich
Ciabatta, recipe follows

For caramelized onion jam

2 tablespoons canola oil
4 sweet onions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup water
Salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine herbs and lemon zest. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and coat in herb mixture. In a large sauté pan, add oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sea on one side, flip breast and then place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on thickness of breast) or until cooked through. Once out of oven, let rest 10 minutes and then slice on breasts on the bias.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, add oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook very slowly, 10 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and water and season with salt. Cook until onions are deep golden brown and sauce is reduced to a syrupy sauce, 15 to 20 minutes more.

To assemble sandwich, spread onion jam on ciabatta loaf, top with arugula leaves and sliced chicken breast. Cut into individual sandwiches and serve.

For ciabatta

Makes 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS

For sponge

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105°-115°F)
13 cup room-temperature water
1 cup bread flour

For bread

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105°-115°F)
23 cups room-temperature water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS

Make sponge

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl, stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Make bread

In a small bowl, stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl of a blender, blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour and combine with wooden spoon. Add salt and mix. Turn out dough from bowl on floured surface and knead until soft, about 10 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)

Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12-by-6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up for edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.

Beef Short Ribs, Potato Puree, and Brussels Sprouts

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the beef

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4 pieces
Sea or kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Season the beef very well, and seal individually in a sous vide or FoodSaver bag with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Cook in a water bath or in a combi at 54°C/129°F for 12 hours. Allow to rest 10 minutes, and chill well in an ice bath. Refrigerate.

For the potatoes

2 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
Sea or kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
3 sticks butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat in well salted water. Drop to a simmer, and cook until they crush easily. Drain well, then transfer to a sheet tray, and place in the oven to dry out. Leave 5 minutes, but do not allow potatoes to take on any color. Warm milk and cream in a small pot on the stove.

Pass potatoes through a ricer or through a tamis or even a mesh strainer into a pot. Do not work potatoes too hard or they’ll get gummy. When all the potatoes have been riced, if they’re still very moist, return them to the oven for a minute. They should be dry and light.

Once the potatoes have dried out, return them to the pot, and slowly start adding milk/cram mixture, and butter. Mix with a rubber spatula over low heat. Add butter and milk slowly, season as necessary, and stop adding butter or milk when the potatoes are soft and creamy rather than stiff and firm. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat proof container, cover tightly in plastic wrap, and keep in a warm spot until ready for use.

To finish

4 cups brussels sprouts, leaves peeled from heads
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
1 cup fresh parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt

Heat a water bath to 49°C/120°F. Warm beef for 30 minutes. Remove from bath, then cut open bags. Discard liquid, dry off beef, and set aside on a rack.

Heat 1 large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Season the beef well with salt and pepper, add 1 tablespoon canola oil to one pan, and add the beef. Sear well on all sides, then remove from the pan to rest.

Heat a second large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil, then the brussels sprout leaves. Season with salt and pepper, toss through, and allow to caramelize a bit. Keep tossing for 2 minutes, or until the leaves soften and start to change to a darker green color. Remove from the pan to a bowl, add the parsley, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Set out 4 warm plates. Add a generous swoosh of potato puree. Slice beef thinly against the grain with a very sharp knife, and divide among the plates. Scatter brussels sprout leaves around the plate, season with Maldon sea salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to finish.

Recipe Property of Gabe McMackin

Roasted Brook Trout with Fennel and Black Grapes

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 fillets brook trout, rainbow trout, or other super fresh trout
1 bulb fennel
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup black grape puree, recipe follows
½ cup black grapes
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Make sure trout has been cleaned of all pin bones, cut in half crosswise, and set aside on a rack until ready to use.

Shave fennel very thinly crosswise on a mandoline. Transfer into a small pot, season with salt, pepper, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice. Set over low heat, just to warm through, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Now it’s time to move fast. Set a pan large enough to hold the fish in one layer on high heat, preferably heavy duty pan or cast iron. When the pan is hot, season the fish well with salt, add the canola oil to the pan, and add the fish skin side down. Let it cook 1 minute on top of the stove. The skin will get crisp, and the flesh should just start to turn opaque on the sides of the fillets. Move the pan into the oven, and let it cook for 1 minute. The top of the fish should just be warm, but it should still be raw. Remove the fish immediately from the pan, and place skin side up on a board or rack to prevent it from loosing its crispness.

Put a generous swoosh of grape puree down on the plate, a large and small pile of shaved fennel, black grapes and rest the trout against the fennel. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with Maldon salt, and serve immediately.

Black Grape Puree

Makes 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

4 cups black grapes, picked and washed
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon grey salt, or to taste
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup saba (cooked grape must)

DIRECTIONS

Place grapes, sugar, chili flakes, fennel seed, salt, vinegar, and 1 cup water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook 30 to 45 minutes, or until the grapes have popped, and lost their liquid.

Add saba, return to a boil, then remove from heat.

Put all ingredients into the bowl of a blender, and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Should be very smooth and lighter in color. Adjust seasoning, and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe Property of Gabe McMackin

Lentil Spiced Snack Bars

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

1 large egg
1 large egg white
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups toasted oats
1 cup chopped dried fruit (any of the following: cherries, apricots, dates, raisins, figs)
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 cup lentils (any color), cooked and drained

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-by-11 inch pan with foil. Coat with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and vanilla. Once combined, add the rest of the ingredients. Spread into prepared pan, and press down, making sure bars are even. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, and cut into bars with a lightly oiled knife.

Recipe property of Robin Simpson

Vegetable, Bean, and Cheese Burritos

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium white onion, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, chopped medium
1 poblano pepper, chopped medium
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup white rice
1 cup water
1½ cups pinto beans, black beans, red beans, or your choice of beans (pre-cooked or canned)
1 cup cilantro leaves
8 large whole wheat flour tortillas
1 to 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions and peppers, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices, and rice, cook 3 minutes. Next, add water and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add beans, cook, allowing the mixture to remain moist. Remove from heat, and add cilantro leaves. To assemble burritos, place tortilla flat on cutting board or flat surface and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable bean mixture. Top with cheese. Wrap in a burrito style and place on a baking sheet. Continue until finished with tortillas. Bake burritos for about 10-15 minutes or until warm and cheese has melted.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Crème Fraiche

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For Sauce

1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped fine (set aside half for tacos)
½ cup crème fraiche
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
Pinch of lime zest
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of cumin
2 teaspoons salt

For Tacos

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
½ jalapeño, reserved from sauce
1½ pounds halibut or snapper fillet (or other white flaky fish)
2 tablespoons fresh tomato salsa
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Salt
12 corn tortillas

PREPARATION

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until blended and creamy. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and cook onion and jalapeño, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add fish and cook until almost done, 5 to 7 minutes. Then add salsa, cumin, lime juice; season with salt and cook until all liquid is gone and fish is cooked through.

Meanwhile, warm tortillas on gas burner (or in oven). Serve tacos with fish and sauce drizzled over.

Smoked and Spiced Almonds

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1½ teaspoons almond oil
2 teaspoons canola oil
1½ cups blanched almonds
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

In a sauté pan, add oil and almonds over medium heat, and almonds and toast until golden. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, and season with spices and salt.
Serve immediately.

Moroccan Chicken Curry Pot Pies with Puff Pastry

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 Mini Pot Pies

Exotic Middle Eastern spices give these individual chicken pot pies, a sultry edge, while filling your kitchen with intoxicating scents!

INGREDIENTS

1-2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
Salt/white pepper
2 medium tart apples, cored and chopped
½ cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
Butter
1 package frozen puff pastry

PREPARATION

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, cook garlic and onions until slightly cooked or translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken, and sauté until cooked through. Season with salt and white pepper. Add the apples, raisins, and spices, and sauté, stirring well mixing in all the spices. Add the flour, and mix thoroughly making sure the flour dissolves into the mixture. Finally, add the chicken broth, mix well and turn butner to low and allow to simmer, 15 to 20 minutes. Take off burner, set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Lightly greased ramekins (8-10 ounce size) with butter. Pour the chicken mixture into the ramekin until ¾ full. Cover with a square of puff pastry just larger than the ramekin, pushing down slightly so it adheres to the ramekin. Cut some slits into the top of the puff pastry and sprinkle with a little cinnamon in top.
Place all ramekins on a baking sheet and place in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Sheppard’s Pie

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 Pie, serving about 6-8

This mashed potato crusted “pot pie” is brought to us by the British and their love of rich protein filled dishes in the dead of cold damp winters.

INGREDIENTS

1-2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
1½ pounds lean ground beef
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped fine
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons of the following fresh herbs, chopped fine: parsley leaves, rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt/black pepper
2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine for use; 1 tablespoon saved for garnish

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, and cook garlic and onions until slightly cooked or translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots and parsnips, and cook another few minutes. Next add the ground beef, and sauté until it is fully browned, around 4 to 5 minutes. Drain off fat and add crimini mushrooms, sauté for a few minutes and next add the frozen or fresh peas and the herbs. Mix in tomato paste, season with salt and pepper and place on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender. Strain and add butter, buttermilk and salt. Mash the potatoes until very smooth. Mix in the chives and set aside 1 tablespoon for garnish. Place the meat mixture in a lightly greased round glass pie dish or deep ceramic casserole dish. Spread mashed potatoes over the top evenly and sprinkle with chives. Bake until the top is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Mixed Greens with Herbed Vinaigrette

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil (neutral flavor oil)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 cups (about ½ pound) mesclun (mixed baby greens)
Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together shallot, white wine, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly stream in oils until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add herbs and greens and mix well until vinaigrette coats all the leaves. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Dark Cherry Port Gravy

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of gravy

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup dried cherries, chopped fine
1 cup tawny port
½ cup pomegranate juice
1 cup chicken broth
¼ heavy whipping cream (optional)

PREPARATION

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and cook, 5 minutes. Next, add herbs, dried cherries, tawny port and cook, rehydrating cherries. Add pomegranate juice and chicken broth, cook and reduce liquid by half. Finish with heavy whipping cream, if desired.

Apple Cider Gravy with Ginger Apple Bits

November 19th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 cups of gravy

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup tart apples, chopped fine
1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped super fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
½ tablespoon fresh sage, chopped fine
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
1 cup apple cider
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple brandy or Lairds applejack (optional)
½ cup heavy whipping cream

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400ËšF.

In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic and cook, 5 minutes. Next, add apples and ginger, cook 3 minutes longer. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven and cook until until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the fresh herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, apple cider, chicken broth and apple brandy to the rest of the sauté mixture, combine and cook, 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a quarter. Remove pan from heat and add heavy whipping cream and add cooked crispy apple bits.

Wild Mushroom Herb Gravy

November 19th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of gravy

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium shallots, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 cup mixed wild mushrooms, sliced and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
Salt
½ cup heavy whipping cream

PREPARATION

In a large sauté pan, heat butter and oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots and garlic, 5 minutes and then add mushrooms and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add white wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce liquid and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add heavy cream.

As an alternative, you can also make your gravy right in the turkey roasting pan. Remove turkey from pan and strain any fat bits and then place roasting pan right on top of two burners. Follow the same instructions as above.

Ginger Squash Cake

November 4th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Recipe adapted from Susan G. Purdy

Makes 1 Bundt Cake

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
313 cups flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1½ cups sugar
1¼ cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup canola oil
5 large eggs, beaten
2 cups baked Sugar Pie pumpkin or Kabocha squash
23 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
Orange Ginger Glaze, recipe follows
Chopped walnuts, optional

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a Bundt pan with softened butter. Sift all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add sugars, canola oil and eggs, mix well. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Next, add pumpkin, buttermilk and ginger and combine. Pour all ingredients in the prepared Bundt pan and cook for 40 to 45 minutes (test with tooth pick, until it comes out clean). Cool and poke holes on top of cake for Orange Ginger Glaze. Drizzle glaze over top and add chopped walnuts. Serve once cooled.

Orange Ginger Glaze

INGREDIENTS

1½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 pinch salt
¼ tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
zest of one orange
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice

PREPARATION

In a medium-size bowl, add all ingredients and combine until pourable consistency.

Ginger Squash Cake

Acorn Squash Quesadilla

November 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 medium acorn squash
4 tablespoons canola oil (more for frying)
3 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
1 clove garlic, minced
2 peppers, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
10-inch flour totillas
1 cup shredded Montery Jack cheese
Tomatillo salsa, recipe follows

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and cut each half into half-inch slices. Lay them on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until soft.
When cool enough to work with use a paring knife or your hands to peel the skin off each slice and chop the squash and put it in a bowl.
In a medium sauté pan, cook the onions, garlic and jalapeño in the oil until tanslucent. Add the pepper strips and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the squash and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper, add cilantro and take off heat.
Spread a few tablespoons of the cooked squash mixture onto one 10-inch flour tortilla. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of the cheese. Place another tortilla on top and sprinkle with more cheese and place in a hot pan with oil, and fry until crispy. Cut the finished quesadilla into 6 triangles. East while warm.

Tortilla Salsa

INGREDIENTS

10 tomatillos, husked and well washed, quartered
½ bunch of scallions, roots and green ends trimmed, cut into big segments
5 garlic cloves
2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
Pinch of cumin
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt

PREPARATION

Puree all ingredients together until very smooth in a blender. Season with salt.

Acorn Squash Quesadilla

Ginger and Apple Crusted Pork Tenderloin

October 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
Salt
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons Dijon
2 to 3 apples, chopped superfine
2 (3-inch) pieces ginger, peeled and chopped superfine
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Season porl tenderloin generously with salt. In a small bowl combine honey, apple cider and mustard, mix well. In a separate bowl, combie apples, ginger and cracked black pepper and set aside. Pour honey mixture over pork tenderloin and coat well. Next, place apple ginger mixture on a large plate and roll pork tenderloin until coated on all sides. Heat canola oil over high-heat in large saute pan, cook tenderloin on all sides, including ends, until golden brown. Place in over and cook for 20 minutes. Once out of oven, let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Jerusalem Bread

October 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 30 triangles

INGREDIENTS

2 cups feta, crumbled
¾ cups cold water
1 jalapeno, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. For filling, mix feta and jalapeno, set aside. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. On a floured work surface, turn out dough and roll out to ½” thick. Cut into triangles. Place stuffing in center, fold over and pinch close. Bake for 10 minutes and and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Rafael Hasid, Miriam Restaurant

Zucchini Cakes

August 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 40 small cakes

INGREDIENTS

4 zucchini, grated
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ small onion, grated
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ bunch scallions, roughly chopped
1 cup canola oil
1½ tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Yogurt Sauce, recipe below

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and make into small patties. In a large sauté pan, heat canola oil and add zucchini cakes (be careful not to crowd pan) and cook till golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the cakes over and cook on the other side until done, about 2-3 minutes. Place on paper towels to drain of excess grease. Serve immediately with yogurt sauce.

For Yogurt Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 cups plain low fat yogurt
¼ cup celery, grated
1 teaspoon mashed garlic
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups chopped English cucumber, seeds removed
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Rafael Hasid, Miriam Restaurant

Zucchini Cakes

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