Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Garam Masala

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1/4 cup cardamom seeds
1 1/2 tsp. black cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg, cracked into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder.  Grind into a powder.  Store in an airtight container up to 3 months.

Ghanta Tarkari (Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry)

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1/3 cup ghee (I used coconut oil)
6 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
5 small green Thai chiles or 2 serranos, halved (I chopped them)
2 Indian or regular bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon, halved
1 lb. kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
6 potol (pointed gourds) or 2 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 loofah (ridge gourd) or 1 large cucumber, peeled, and cut into 1" pieces (I omitted this)
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (I used dried coconut)
1 tsp. sugar (I used honey)

Melt half the ghee in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook cardamom, cloves, chiles, bay leaves, and cinnamon for 1-2 minutes.  Add squash and potatoes; cook until golden, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in gourds and salt; cook until just tender, 4-6 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 12-15 minutes.  Stir in remaining ghee, the coconut, and sugar; cook 2 minutes.

(I adjusted cooking times and temps to my liking - did not want to overcook the zucchini.  I also added some water during cooking to keep the potatoes and squash from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Just pay attention and adjust as needed.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baked Eggplant with Tomato Chutney

(recipe from Eat Up Slim Down 2010, Prevention Magazine)

1 medium eggplant
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (I used coconut oil)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.  Cut the eggplant into 1/2" slices and brush with 1 tsp. of the oil.  Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper; lay the slices in the baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is tender.

Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring, until softened.  Add the vinegar and basil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts.  Spoon over the eggplant and bake for 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Chestnuts

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dried currants
1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
One 7- to 8-oz. jar whole peeled chestnuts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. butter (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add currants; let soak 30 minutes.

Using a food processor fitted with a slicing disk, push Brussels sprouts through feed tube and slice.

Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chestnuts; sauté 2 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.  Add Brussels sprouts to skillet; sauté until beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water and butter; sauté until most of the liquid evaporates and the Brussels sprouts are tender but still bright green, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 7 minutes.  Stir in chestnuts, currant mixture, and vinegar; sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to bowl and serve.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dalma (Lentil Stew with Coconut)

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1 cup toor dal (yellow pigeon peas), rinsed, soaked (I used split yellow peas)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 carrot, cut into 1"pieces
1 plum tomato, minced
1 small Japanese eggplant, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 small Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 1/2" piece ginger, peeled and mashed into a paste (I minced it)
1/2 small daikon radish, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (I used a watermelon radish)
salt, to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (I used dried unsweetened coconut)
3 Tbsp. sugar (I used less honey)
1 tsp. asafoetida (I used 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. onion powder)
1/4 cup ghee (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small green Thai chile or a Serrano, halved (I chopped finely)

Bring dal and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium; stir in turmeric, carrot, tomato, eggplant, potatoes, ginger, daikon, and salt; cook until dal is mushy, about 45 minutes.  Stir in coconut, sugar, asafoetida; cook 15 minutes.  Melt ghee in a small skillet; cook cumin seeds and chile until seeds pop, 1-2 minutes; stir into stew.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

(recipe from Sprouted Kitchen)

3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts
3/4 lb. cauliflower florets
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2"cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic (I used regular balsamic vinegar)
3/4-1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
few pinches of cayenne
1 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 packed cups arugula
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 large clove garlic
1/2 a shallot
1 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, to taste
handful of fresh chives and/or parsley
dollop of crème fraiche, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the Brussels in half lengthwise, and cut the cauliflower into similar size chunks.  Add both of these and the squash to a large rimmed baking tray.  Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a few pinches of cayenne and toss everything together with your hands to coat.  Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35 minutes, until edges are browned.

While the vegetables roast, make your dressing.  In a mini blender or processor, combine the horseradish, garlic, shallot, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and crème fraiche, if using.  Blend everything together to mix well.  Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

As soon as the hot tray is out of the oven, add the beans onto the tray and toss everything together.  Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.  Add the pomegranate seeds, arugula, and a good drizzle of the dressing and toss everything to coat.  Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Parsnip-Golden Beet Latkes

(recipe from Parade Magazine)

3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
big pinch freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb. golden beets (about 3), peeled and shredded
3/4 lb. parsnips (about 2 large), peeled and shredded
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil, for cooking

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Squeeze shredded beets dry in a clean kitchen towel.  Toss beets and parsnips together in the bowl with the flour mixture; stir in beaten eggs.

Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drop 1/4-cupfuls of mixture into skillet and cook, pressing with a spatula to flatten, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Keep warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve.

(Optional:  Stir 2 Tbsp. each grated horseradish and finely chopped parsley into 1/2 cup sour cream and serve on the side.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Good Winter Salad

(recipe from 101 Cookbooks)

1 delicata squash, seeded and sliced into thin crescents
6-8 heads little gem lettuces, leaves separated
2 endives, shredded
2 medium cloves garlic
1/8+ tsp. fine grain sea salt
5 Tbsp. melted butter (I used coconut oil)
big squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
2 ripe avocados, slivered

Heat the oven to 375F.  Toss the squash crescents with a splash of olive oil, and roast until deeply golden.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Crush the garlic with the salt into a paste with a mortar and pestle.  Work the melted butter into the garlic paste, and finish with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Taste and add more salt if needed.

When you're ready to serve the salad, arrange the little gems and endives in a large bowl.  Drizzle with half of the butter and give a good toss.  Add the pepitas, avocados, and squash, and some dressing, and give another gentle toss.  Taste, and add more salt, and more dressing if needed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lentil and Basmati Salad with Tamarind, Coconut, and Cilantro

(recipe from Food 52)

1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup du Puy lentils (French lentils)
2 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, including stems
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. black caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
3 tsp. water
salt, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine rice, lentils and water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender and water has evaporated, about 25 minutes.  Fluff and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

In a skillet, temper dressing by heating oil over medium heat.  Add black caraway seeds and cook for about 1 minute.  Seeds should sputter a bit.  Remove from heat.  Add tamarind paste and water, stirring to combine.

Pour dressing over rice and fold to mix thoroughly.  Fold in coconut and cilantro.  Add lime juice and salt to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.