Peas, Potatoes and Yuerba Buena Harissa

October 29th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

harissa

Serves 4

An accidental combination of the best kind, this dish is inspired by Salatata Batata al Tunis (Tunisian Potato Salad), and uses some of the fresh and vibrant local ingredients that I found here in Ecuador;  baby potatoes, peas , spicy red chilies and yerba Buena.  The spice mixture is a little plainer in this harissa recipe, as I used what was easy to find here and it is just as vibrant and fits perfect with the potatoes and peas.  Serve it hot or cold and with a dollop of fresh yogurt to mild out the spicy harissa.

Ingredients

1 pound baby potatoes, halved
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup fresh shelling peas, shelled
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Smoked Maldon Salt ( or regular salt)
Fresh Mint ( Yuerba Buena) Harissa ( recipe follows)

Directions

Place the baby potatoes and salt in large pot and cover with water, about 1 inch above the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and allow to gently boil for about 10 minutes or until soft but still tender and “aldente”.  ( Or when a fork poked in moves rather gently through them.)  Turn the heat off, add the peas and cover and let stand for another 7-10 minutes.  Strain the potatoes and peas and place in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the cilantro and the olive oil and toss together gently, until all of the potatoes are coated with the oil and cilantro.  Serve with a drizzle of fresh harrisa and a pinch of smoked salt.

Yuerba Buena Harissa

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and deseeded

3 (hot) red chilies, roasted, peeled and deseeded
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons rainbow, black or pink peppercorns, toasted

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
2  tablespoons olive oil
3  tablespoons fresh mint leaves

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and spices are broken apart and the sauce is silky.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Tunisian Potato & Herb Salad with Harissa and Yogurt

August 2nd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

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Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds yellow potatoes, cooked and cubed or cut in approx ½ inch cubes (peels on or off)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper
¼-½  cup extra virgin Olive Oil
Yogurt
Fresh Mint Harissa ( recipe follows)

Directions

Toss the cooked and hot potatoes with the herbs, salt, some cracked black pepper and the olive oil, making sure that the potatoes are well coated.  Refrigerate.  Before serving take out of refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  Serve with a side of harissa and a dollop of yogurt.

Fresh Mint Harissa

Makes 2 cups

My own version of the Middle Eastern spicy red sauce, adds fresh mint for a more vibrant flavor.  The Tunisians have the best Harissa hands down.

Ingredients

2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken
2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted
3 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper, roasted & peeled
2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted & peeled
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2  tablespoons olive oil
2-3  tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Fresh Mint Harissa

May 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 dried guajillo chilies, stems removed, broken
2 dried red chilies, stems removed, broken
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns, toasted
3 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper, roasted & peeled
2 red (fresh) jalapeno peppers, roasted & peeled 
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2  tablespoons olive oil
2-3  tablespoons fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and spices are broken apart and the sauce is smooth.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Yemini Zhug

February 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

zhug

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns, toasted
1 cardamom pod, cracked and toasted
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
½  teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic2 cups cilantro leaves
4 -6 hot green chilies, chopped (any type is fine- Serrano, jalapeño, cayenne a combination of them all is best)
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

*alternatively spices do not have to be toasted

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  An emersion blender can also be used.  Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.  Use on eggs, meats, fish and vegetables.

Roasted Tomato & Red Lentil Soup with FIRE HOT Yemini Zhug

February 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

zhug 1

Serves 6

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 cups red cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, chopped course
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
2 teaspoons smoked paprika ( Turkish variety if you can get your hands on it!)2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups red lentils
2 cups water
3 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Yogurt
Fire Hot Yemini Zhug (recipe follows)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 ° F.  In a small thin bottomed pan on medium heat, toast the spices until they start to pop and char slightly, making sure to shake the pan and flip the seeds/spices so they don’t burn and stick.  The process should take about 1 minute in total.  Using a mortar and pestle grind the spices into a course mixture, like course pepper.  If you do not have a mortar and pestle you can use a flat bowl  on a wooden cutting board to push down and crack, sliding the bowl over the seeds until they care crushed.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots and sprinkle the spice mixture over the top.  Add in the smoked paprika and the salt and stir.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss until all the tomatoes are well coated in the spices and oil.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked and slightly charred on the edges.

In a heavy bottom pan combine the lentils and the water and cook on medium high heat until most the water is absorbed and the lentils begin to soften.  Add a little salt, the roasted tomatoes, making sure to get all the scraping from the roasting pan,  and the vegetable broth and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, making sure to add more water if the soup begins to get too thick.  Take off heat and let sit for about 30 minutes before re-heating to serve, again adding more water before re-heating if the soup is to thick.  Serve garnished with a yogurt dollop and zhug sauce drizzled over the top.

zhug

FIRE HOT Yemini Zhug

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

½  teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon rainbow pepper corns
1 cardamom pod, cracked
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½  teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic2 cups cilantro leaves
4 -6 hot green chilies, chopped (any type is fine- Serrano, jalapeño, cayenne a combination of them all is best)
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  An emersion blender can also be used.  Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.  Use on eggs, meats, fish and vegetables.

Spicy Peruvian Cilantro Sauce

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2-3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ small white onion
¼ cup avocado oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup hot water (more as needed)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more hot water until desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.

Nissa’s Gumbo Z’Herbes

February 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

When Jimmy’s No. 43 came-a-calling with their Gumbo contest in celebration of Mardi Gras and benefitting Chefs for the Marcellus, an organization of food professionals who are fighting against hydrofracking for natural gas in NY in order to protect food and water supplies, I knew I needed something special.  Certainly it is “my thing” to want to offer a unique take on any recipe, so I started my quest to come up with the perfect gumbo for this event, something that represented me and the region we are trying to protect.  Staying true to who we are is important and for gumbo in NYC and in February, it can be tough, when there isn’t a lot of fresh okra and peppers, and not much of any local produce in general.  With this in mind, through my research I came across a traditional recipe called Gumbo Z’Herbes, a version of gumbo often served during lent when Catholics abstain from meat.  This was a great idea for me, as not only is the traditional Gumbo Z’Herbes filled with greens (which our local farmers do have right now) and herbs (which is “my thing”), but it is also a vegetarian and vegan dish, and I always try and prove that eating less meat is possible and when I get the chance to prove that meat can be vacant from even the meatiest dishes, I take it. The idea of winning a gumbo contest with a vegan entry, I thought seemed quite radical!  Gumbo Z’Herbes is made with a variety of greens and like mustard, turnip, beet, kale spinach and kale. Also included in the dish are plenty of herbs like arugula, parsley, chives and often some of the more unconventional greens like cabbage, carrot tops and even lettuce. There are a few rules that I learned exist in a typical Gumbo Z ‘Herbes: the number one rule that you must use an odd number of greens for good luck and an opportunity to make a new friend. Second, you must puree at least half the greens as it is supposed to be like a big bowl of tasty mush.  And third, it is made like a traditional gumbo with a roux and file powder as an extra thickening agent.  My version is obviously loaded with fresh herbs and adds extra depth by using a deep and rich roasted red onion stock.  I also added a pop of color to my version with some carrots I found that are arriving a bit early this year because of our mild winter.  I will let you know if it wins or places, but the moral of the story is to stay true and learn something new and eat less meat when you can!

UPDATE: Winner of Most Creative Gumbo

Nissa’s Gumbo Z’Herbes
Serves 12

Ingredients

8 cups roasted red onion & herb stock (recipe follows)
2 cups of each of the following greens, destemmed (stems can be used for stock) and chopped fine: collards, beets, mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale and chard
Canola or grapeseed oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 yellow onions, chopped fine
2 red chili peppers, deseeded and chopped fine
1 medium leek, halved and sliced thin (green and white parts)
3 medium carrots, chopped small
3 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
½ cup brown mustard roux (recipe follows)
1 ½  cups of each of the following (leaves only) parsley, watercress, rocolla, romaine lettuce (chopped) and spinach
3 fresh bay leaves
File powder (optional)
Fluffy white rice
Spicy red or green hot sauce

Directions

Place the roasted onion stock and hearty greens in a big soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a medium low boil and continue to cook until tender, about 30 minutes.  Strain, reserve liquid and set greens in a bowl on the side.  In a clean, large soup pot, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously to a medium high heat.  Add the garlic, onions and chili peppers and sauté until the onions are just beginning to brown, or about 5 minutes.  Add the leeks and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.  Next add the carrots, celery, fresh thyme and oregano and continue to sauté for a few more minutes.  Add all of the spices, making sure you are still stirring well and that all the spices have time to incorporate and cover the vegetables.  Deglaze the pan with the vermouth or white wine making sure to scrape all the little stuck “bits” to the bottom of the pan to “loosen” everything up.  Turn the burner to a medium heat and slowly start to spoon a little of the brown mustard roux into the vegetable, stirring well until all the roux is incorporated.  Allow the mixture to cook a little longer, stirring the entire time.  Add the remaining greens into the mixture and stir.  Add the reserved liquid (the roasted red onion & herb cooking stock). Stir the mixture well and if necessary use a whisk to make sure the roux is incorporated nicely.  Bring the gumbo to a low boil and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.  Take about 4-5 cups of the mixture and puree in a food processor (carefully as it will be hot) until smooth and creamy.  Place the pureed mixture back into the pot and mix well.  Turn the heat off and let stand for about 10 minutes. Serve over white rice with a pinch of file powder and Cajun Picadillo and hot sauce of choice!

Roasted Red Onion & Herb Stock
Makes about 8 cups of stock

Ingredients

2 medium red onions, quartered
1 leek chopped
Olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
9 cups water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Handful of chives
Handful of parsley
Stems of greens

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 450° F.  Place the onions and leeks on a baking tray and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the oven and bake until just beginning to char.  Remove and place in a soup stock with 9 cups of water and the fresh herbs.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer, allowing to simmer for 15-20 minutes maximum.  Take off heat, strain and discard stock ingredients, reserving liquid.

Brown Mustard Roux
Makes 1 cup

Let’s face it, a roux is not easy to make.  Anyone can definitely do it and it’s certainly worth the process.  I have found a few tricks that help me make my roux “fool proof”, one of which is based on the goldilocks theory of not making too much and not making too little, but finding just the right amount. Roux is a simple two ingredient dish, flour and oil in equal parts.  I find that 1 cup is the perfect amount for me.  Another trick I like is using a cast iron pan. I have a much higher success rate with roux by using cast iron pans, although I don’t know the reason or science behind why.  Never use olive oil, typically canola oil is the best, but I will admit that I’ve had good luck with grapeseed oil as well. Lastly, the best tip I ever received was to make sure the pan is cold when you start.  Because I like to make things a little tricky for myself, sometimes I like to put some of my flavoring agents for whatever dish I am making in my roux. I feel like it gives an underlying subtly of flavor to my dish when done this way, but I am a gambler in the kitchen, unlike most!

Ingredients

½ cup canola oil
½ tablespoon brown mustard seeds, crushed fine with a mortar and pestle
½ teaspoon all spice seeds, crushed fine with a mortar and pestle
2 cloves, crushed fine with a mortar and pestle
½ cup flour

Directions

In a medium-sized (well seasoned) cast iron skillet, place the oil, spices and flour.  Heat the pan to low and stir. You will stir for what feels like forever but you cannot stop until it is finished!  This can take between 20-30 minutes.  The roux will move through various stages of color, from a light yellowish to a brown to a deep amber brown.  Make sure you continue to stir and that you do not burn the mixture, keep the burner on very low.  Once the roux takes the right color on, the deeper the color the richer the roux, take it off the heat and continue to stir for about 3-4 minutes while it cools, ensuring that it does not brown. The mixture should not be too thick; it should resemble a cream of wheat cereal texture.  The mixture can then be stored in the refrigerator or used right away.

Nissa’s Green Chili Tabasco
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 green bell peppers, deseeded and chopped
3 jalapeño peppers, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic
½ cup water
1 cup citrus champagne vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
5 serrano chili peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon salt

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, combine bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, and water.   Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool. Place in a blender and vinegar, lemons, lemon zest, fresh herbs and spices and blend until super smooth.  Strains using a fine mesh strainer and pushing all ingredients through.  Season to taste with salt. The sauce will keep up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

Ger-Nis Louisiana Hot Sauce

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and chopped
3 red cayenne peppers, chopped (seeds included)
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup champagne vinegar
½ cup water
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon smoked alder salt
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
3  red cayenne peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, combine red bell peppers, raw cayenne peppers, garlic, salt, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool. Place in a blender and add lemon juice, lemon zest, white onion, spices, herbs and roasted cayenne peppers. Blend until super smooth and then push through a fine mesh strainer.  Season to taste with salt and or lemon juice.  The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.



Thai Style Spicy Vegetables

January 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 to 3 Thai red chile peppers (more=spicy), minced
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
3 tablespoons canola oil
1½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter and minced red chilies; set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, sauté shallot and ginger in oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes until softened. Add green beans; cook and stir for 3 minutes or unti crisp-tender. Add reserved sauce mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts if using. Serve immediately.

Roasted Spicy Moroccan Chicken with Figs & Carrots in Spicy Brown Butter Sauce

January 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

6-8 pieces of chicken, drumsticks, wings, legs or breasts
Salt
2 tablespoons ros al hanout, traditional or modern recipe, plus 1 tablespoon
6 medium carrots, cut in half
12-16 dried figs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped large
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon turbinado sugar
2 cups chicken broth
½ stick butter

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a large glass, greased baking dish lay down the chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with salt (both sides) as well as with two tablespoons of the ros el hanout mixture, making sure to rub it all over the chicken. Place the carrots, garlic, onion and the figs around in the baking dish. In a mixing bowl whisk together the zest, citrus juice, vinegar, sugar, remaining tablespoon of ros el hanout and broth and pour over the chicken mixture. Place the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Stirring and turning occasionally. In the last five minutes of cooking, take the dish out of the oven and strain out the juice or drippings. Place the dish back in the oven with a temperature of 425°F and brown the chicken, cook for about 5 minutes maximum. In the mean time in a small sauce pan heat the butter on medium high and cook until it turns brown stirring often to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add the juice or pan drippings for the chicken and stir well and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve the chicken and fig dish over couscous drizzled with the brown butter sauce.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin powder
18 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 teaspoon garam masala
Kosher salt to taste
Lime wedges

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas and dry by rolling them around in a kitchen towel.
Combine the oil, cumin, cayenne, garam masala and salt in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and toss to coat evenly.
Transfer the chickpeas to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer.
Bake until golden and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl with lime wedges.

©Recipe by Palak Patel

Garden Baked Beans

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

058

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 pounds dry beans or 3 pounds fresh (cranberry, navy, yellow, eye, heirlooms in general are best)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup molasses
1 cup dark amber beer
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup spicy yellow mustard
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

If using dry beans, clean and soak the beans overnight submerged in water. For fresh beans or after dry beans have soaked, place the beans in fresh water with the sprig of thyme in a large pan and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven pot or heavy bottom pot, with a little olive oil sauté the garlic and yellow, red, and green onions until a little translucent, season with some salt. Strain the beans in a large mixing bowl, reserving the liquid, and mix together with the molasses, amber beer, maple syrup, mustard and tomatoes until well combined. Pour the bean mixture over the onions and mix together well. Pour about 2 cups of the water into the pan; the water should cover the beans by a few inches.

Preheat the oven to about 375 degrees F. Place the pot covered in the oven and bake for about 4-5 hours, making sure to place more water in the pot as it evaporates, mixing as you do this as well. The mixture will start to get thicker and darker. When the beans are very tender for the last hour uncover the beans and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes. Taste the mixture at this stage making sure it’s sweet and spicy enough to your taste, then add the fresh herbs and mix well. The final product should be dark, the beans super tender and the juice thick!

Bell Pepper Spicy & Dirty Martini

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A spicy, dirty, yet fresh tasting variation of the dirty martini, alive and filled with a daily dose of vegetables!

Makes one drink

INGREDIENTS

Ice
2½ ounces bell pepper infused vodka, recipe below
1 ounce extra dry vermouth
1 ounce spicy pickled olives and pepper brine, recipe below
3 olives and 1 slice of pepper (from the brined goods), for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Fill a shaker with ice and add the vodka, vermouth and brine. Close and shake vigorously. Place the olive and the bell pepper in the bottom of a martini class and strain mixture from shaker into the glass.

Bell Pepper Infused Vodka

Makes 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
4 cups vodka

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a quart container and let infuse about 2 to 3 days.

Spicy Olive & Pepper Brine

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

1 (8 ounce) jar stuffed garlic olives
20 to 25 pieces of sliced red, yellow and orange peppers
1 jalapeño, chopped and wrapped in cheese cloth
½ cup water
1 tablespoon salt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a large glass container. Let brine for about 3 days. Remove the cheesecloth wrapped jalapeño.

Spicy Italian Sausage Baked with Tomatoes & Potatoes

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 (makes 6-9 sausages)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sausage

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, slab bacon, or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings of your choice

For the Baked Sausage Dish

6-9 spicy Italian sausage
2 medium sized green peppers, seeds and pit removed, cut into long strips
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt

PREPARATION

For the Sausages

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. If you are making links, put the mixture back in the mixing bowl, and place in the freezer for a little while. 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 ened of the tube- this is where you will need to tie the sausages 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 your are ready. Turn the mahcine 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 use meat or butchers 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 (or lose it).

For Baked Sausage Dish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place in an oven proff baking dish with a lid, and bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

Spicy Moroccan Cauliflower Latke with Preserved Lemons and Mint Marmalade

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 medium latkes

These are Moroccan inspired latkes with a tangy mint sauce adds interest and an exotic twist.

INGREDIENTS

For Latkes

1 small head of cauliflower, washed and grated
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil

For Preserved Lemons and Mint Marmalade

1 cup preserved lemons, chopped fine (2 whole lemons chopped with peels and all is okay is well)
1 cup sugar in the raw
1 cup water
½ cup fresh mint, chopped

PREPARATION

In a large mixing bowl, combine grated cauliflower, onion, parsley, ginger, honey, zest and juice of lemon, eggs, flour, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, mix well. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over high heat, making sure there is enough oil to cover the bottom generously. Form 2-inch pancakes, drop into pan, and brown on both sides until deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Take off heat, and place on paper towels so excess oil can be drained.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine lemons, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes uncovered. Take off heat when it reaches desired consistency, and add mint. Serve warm over latkes.

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