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Posts Tagged ‘Condiments’

This month we are focusing on the spice turmeric!  Here is a new one from Dish Deanna:
finished

Turmeric is typically used in a lot of curries, can be used as a substitute for saffron and apparently has great health benefits. It is very vibrant, adding color to any bland-looking recipe and it even has anti-inflammatory properties, helps detoxify the liver, and is a natural pain killer. As I was doing research about this interesting spice, I was reading that many people put it into capsules and ingest it daily. This might be something worth looking into further! I do have to say though, when I heard that Turmeric was the theme of the month I panicked a little. I had no idea what kind of recipe to make. I knew that it is used in many curry recipes but I wanted to do something different. As I was browsing some vegetarian recipes, I came across one for hummus. It didn’t have turmeric in it but I improvised a little and came up with something that I think is pretty damn creative.

Ingredients for the hummus:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Ingredients for the pita chips:

  • 1 pkg of pita pockets
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

You will need:

  • A food processor or blender!
  • An oven or toaster oven

chickpeas

To start, strain the chickpeas and rinse them with water. This will take off any liquids that are still clinging to the chickpeas from the cans.

turmeric

Measure out all of your ingredients and toss everything into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. You may want to open the food processer intermittently and see how your hummus tastes. I found as I was making this that it was very experimental. In order to get the creamy texture I wanted I had to add just a little bit more olive oil. Feel free to be liberal with your measurements – you can’t really mess this up!

blender

After you’ve finished with your hummus, place it into a bowl. I prefer my hummus at room temperature but if you like it cooler, throw it in the fridge! To start on the pita chips, first preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Cut one pita pocket into 4 even triangles and peel apart each side. Lay them flat on tin foil on a baking sheet. You should then brush one side only with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder and salt over the pita. Toss them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes (maybe even less). I wouldn’t walk away from the oven because you want to take them out as soon as the edges turn golden brown. I burned the first batch!

chips

When they look about ready, take them out and let them cool. Then get ready to enjoy. You’ve just made homemade hummus and homemade pita chips! CONGRATS!!

*** serve with veggies or save for later to use as a spread for sandwiches!***

me

 

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From Dish Erin:

photo 1

A few months ago I took a Curries of Asia class at the Brooklyn kitchen, which was fascinating because it completely changed everything I know about curry. In the West curry usually means the yellow powder, which is actually a blend of many spices that includes the curry plant, and it’s often an acquired taste. But in the East, the term “curry” refers to any dish that includes the actual curry plant in it, and is used similarly to how we use the terms “soup” and “stew” in the West. It’s completely subjective to the region, the ingredients available, and the cook that’s preparing it. There are literally billions of types of curries. One of the most interesting ones to me was Japanese curry because it’s still spicy but it has a bit of sweetness from an unexpected and secret ingredient.

You’ll need to make a roux for this dish, which is a fancy word for a mixture of flour and butter that is used as a thickening agent. This roux naturally has an Asian influence with tonkatsu sauce, which is halfway between a Japanese ketchup and oyster sauce. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, use oyster sauce instead. Garam masala is similar to curry powder, and available at most Asian and Indian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can use curry powder instead.

For the roux:

3 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs garam masala or curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs tonkatsu or oyster
Make the roux first:

curry

Melt butter on low heat, stir in flour and curry powder until a thick paste, add cayenne, black pepper, ketchup and tonkatsu, cook until crumbly (will look like a dry paste), remove from heat. Set aside. (This roux can be used immediately, kept in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

For the curry:
2 tbs oil vegetable or peanut oil
2 large onions sliced thin
1 package extra firm tofu cubed
3 carrots cubed
enough water to cover veggies
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 Fuji apple micro planed
1 pack white beech mushrooms
1 Japanese eggplant, diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas

ricenoodlescarrots

Sauté onions in oil until caramelized. Add carrots and stir to coat, then water and bring to a boil.

add curry mushroom

Lower heat and add potatoes, apple, mushroom, eggplant, salt, tofu and garam masala. Stir to incorporate.

photo 3

Whisk 1 cup chicken stock into roux to reconstitute it and pour into the curry pot. Stir until mixed in thoroughly and cover.

Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 min. About 5 minutes before removing from heat, add peas, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve over jasmine rice.

photo 4

Note: the longer this cooks, the more fragrant it becomes, so you can absolutely cook it really low for 1-2 hours in a slow cooker.

photo 2

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From Dish Amelia:

Late summer into fall is as exciting to me as early spring. Spring’s bleak odorless stage features the easily spotted first-time life sprouting pale crisp colors into the air. The transition to fall gives us robust summer bounty which is almost bittersweet, and there is a pressure to make the most of it. Honeycrisp apples appear, and the first yearning to make cozy dishes, like oatmeal, pumpkin soup, and mushrooms on polenta. You can make anything in the fall and spring, just like you can wear anything you like, flip-flops or boots, jackets for chilliness or fashion. You can make light bright food with huge basil, heirloom tomatoes, and shaved vegetables galore. It’s a toss-up whether I’ll go for hot coffee or iced. On a recent shorts-and-sweatshirt clad trip to the farmers market, I discovered piles of oval Italian plums. Not seeing a ton of other fruits I figured I would just cook with these somehow and I went on my way. Once home I washed and split the plums and tasted them to see what I would do. Six or seven plums later I had to act so as not to make myself sick, and so I would cook with them as I had told myself I would. Man they were SO good. Luckily I made an excellent plum chutney which lasted longer than the fresh fruit, but not by much.

Adapted from Susan Spungen from Bon Appetit/Epicurious

6-7 plums (Italian or otherwise) pitted and chopped (I did not peel them)
1 small red onion, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled into thin strips and finely diced.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 T chopped garlic
scant 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 T mustard seeds
a few liberal shakes and grinds of cumin, cardamom, coriander and black pepper
1 bay leaf
kosher salt
1/4 cup water



Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Cook the onion and the carrot until they begin to soften, and add brown sugar, water, vinegar, spices, garlic, mustard, leaf, and salt. Cook until this becomes very fragrant, then add plums, cover and simmer gently for 8 minutes. Uncover, stir and cool until thickened, about 20-25 min. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool.



Apply to anything and everything. I ate this several times on a tortilla with scrambled eggs and arugula. Revel in the sun and clouds of the season, before they slip away.

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From Dish Nicole:

Tis the season to B-B-Q! Every spring I get sooooo excited to move my kitchen outside and cook and dine al fresco. The grilling gods have been very kind to me and I have always been given or loaned a grill, oddly enough. My last apartment had a backyard and my landlord let us use his gas grill for the 3 years I lived there. I got used to the convenience of just turning on the gas and grilling away. When I moved into my current apartment my boyfriend and I were very pleased to find that the previous tenants left us a relatively new charcoal grill on the porch (they even left most of the grilling accessories). Score! The only problem with the charcoal grill is that I had never used one so the boyfriend has come in rather handy and has been giving me grilling tutorials. One of the benefits of charcoal is that the food actually tastes the way grilled food should taste, slightly smoky. I went out and purchased a grill pan so I could take the grilling even further and add more delicate items to the old Webber, e.g.: fish and veggies. The grill pan is a MUST otherwise you will lose most of the food into the smoldering coals.


To keep things interesting throughout the grilling season we have a lot of fun experimenting with sauces and marinades. Zeke’s mom recently passed along a walnut sauce recipe that we love. Its light, savory and the walnuts add a really nice texture. Not only that, it’s tasty on salads, chicken, you name it. Another added bonus to sauces is that they can be made ahead of time and thrown on to spice up a quick dinner.

Here is what you need to make the salmon, asparagus and walnut sauce:

Salmon filets with the skin on
1 bunch of asparagus rinsed & dried
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil

Walnut Sauce:
1 c. walnuts chopped
3/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 c. EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbs chopped, pitted Mediterranean-style black olives
1 Tbs capers, rinsed and chopped



Start out by making your walnut sauce. I prepared the walnut sauce a day ahead of time but you can make it right before serving as well. I like the way it tastes after the flavors have had a chance to infuse into the oil. All you have to do is prep your ingredients and then mix together. Boom, you’re done.

Next prepare your grill. Rub the salmon filets with olive oil to prevent sticking and lightly salt and pepper then set aside. Next, prepare the asparagus by cutting off the bottom where the green color fades. You will also want to lightly coat the asparagus with oil, salt and pepper. Once the coals are ready you can add the grill pan to the grill and add the salmon filets. Start with the salmon skin side up on the pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side. The salmon will continue to cook once you remove it from the heat. Add the asparagus to the grill pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until tender.

You can remove the salmon skin before serving (I prefer it that way). Add the sauce to both the veggies and salmon and dig in! I think grilled food is best served outside with a glass of chilled wine, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t call myself a grill master just yet but I plan to take the title by the end of summer.

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From Dish Danielle:

I’ve just returned from my very first trip to Mexico. I had the perfect guide, Dish Amelia, who’s been across the border before and knows Oaxaca City like the back of her hand. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that we did an excellent job eating our way through the OAX. SLD style….

The trip provided each sense with its own degree of intoxication: The brightly colored buildings and the incredible flora of southern Mexico; the hypnotizing sounds of bustling markets; vendors waving flags and enticing you with their sing-song-y pitches; the dizzying aromas wafting out of kitchen windows; Mexican chocolates, fresh tortillas, grilled meats over massive barbecues; the textures of traditional woven garments…
All of the flavors of Oaxaca are woven into their food and drink: bright yet earthy, hearty but not heavy. Dreaming of mezcal to mouth watering mole, I’m already dying to go back.


With that being said, I’ve had a killer hankering for a particular breakfast that Amelia & I ordered nearly every morning (and kicked ourselves when we didn’t…), Huevos Divorciados, behold:

For salsas:
1 lb plum tomatoes, rinsed
1 lb tomatillos, husks discarded & rinsed
3 small jalapenos
1 poblano, roasted, skinned and deseeded
1/2 a large white onion
4-5 garlic cloves
Salt
Handful fresh cilantro, rinsed
Water as needed.

For 8 tortillas:
1c masa harina (I actually picked up ‘instant’ which meant I didn’t need to wait for the dough to ‘set.’)
2/3 c water, plus a little more if needed

For desayuno:
2 eggs per person being served.

Start by roasting the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and onion on a comal or dry cast iron skillet until blackened on all sides, (15mins or so). Core roasted tomatoes. De-stem/de-seed jalapenos.

Make red salsa: Puree tomatoes, 1½ jalapeños, 2 garlic cloves, ½ the onion, and salt in food processor, (add water to thin salsa if desired). Set aside.

Make green salsa: Purée tomatillos, 1½ jalapeños, poblano, 2 garlic cloves, rest of onion, salt, cilantro, and 1/2 cup water in food processor, (add a bit more water if desired).

Make tortillas: Combine masa harina and water in medium bowl. Mix with hands until a soft malleable dough forms that keeps its shape. Add tiny amounts of masa/water as needed if too wet/dry. Form into 8 small balls. Keep dough covered with damp towel. Use tortilla press to flatten into perfect discs! Fire up your comal/dry cast iron to cook these bad boys. Gently place tortilla on hot surface. Cook for about 1min on each side—you’ll see it firming up and your nose will tell you when it’s time to pull one off!





Once your tortillas are finished place them snuggly in a tea towel to keep warm. Now fry your eggs to your own liking and lay 1 fried egg atop 1 tortilla, and serve 2 of these per plate.

Spoon liberal amounts of green salsa on one egg and red salsa on the other. I complimented the eggs with my own rendition of a black bean puree we had on the side of this breakfast in Oaxaca, (I simply stewed the beans with a few cloves of garlic, a hunk of onion and some freshly ground Oaxacan allspice that I picked up down there). Feel free to make any accompaniment to your Saucy Little Dish, and enjoy.

Salud!

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From Dish Amelia:

I made this cranberry situation for Thanksgiving of course, to have alongside the required can shaped guy. It was sweet, tart, spicy, deep and interesting, and I’ve been adding it to any and everything since a week ago. In fact, who’s to say I shouldn’t make this all the damn time. A spoon on stuffing, incorporated into a turkey bacon lettuce tomato sandwich, alongside pork, as jam in the a.m…Try it, you’ll like it.



Adapted from Bon Appetit November 2010.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cups red wine vinegar (or light vin of some kind)
3 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin (I used ground, but part ground, part whole seed would be good)
1/2 tsp ground New Mexican red chile
1/2 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole anise seeds
1 pinch caraway seeds
1 pinch ground ginger
3/4 or 1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
8 oz. frozen cranberries
4 oz. frozen cherries
zest from 1 orange
salt and pepper

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar over medium heat, then set aside. Heat the oil in a pot and when it shimmers, add the cumin, red chile, anise, caraway and mustard seeds. In one minute start ducking because the mustard seeds will start popping and flying EVERYwhere, so turn down heat and scramble to cover pot before they’re all gone, heh. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until softened, and sprinkle ginger over. Pour in the vinegar simple syrup, 3/4 cup of water, cranberries, cherries, zest, salt and pepper. Cook gently for 25 minutes, and stir occasionally, popping cranberries with your wooden spoon. Will yield about a quart of deep dark garnet complexity.

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From Dish Danielle:

I’m not one to keep track of high-profile chefs and the hippest new restaurants. I love food and I love to cook. For me it’s usually that simple. But alas….I do admit that there’s one professional chef whose recipes make me swoon, and those are the culinary delights of mister Marcus Samuelsson. His Ethiopian and Sweedish roots inspire unique flavor combinations that somehow fuse African and Scandinavian cuisine in an incredibly exciting and balanced way. The food he creates reflects his distinct heritage exquisitely and I’m inspired every time I try a new recipe of his.

Samuelsson’s second cookbook, ‘The Soul of a New Cuisine,’ is one of my all time favorites, and it’s not for a home cook who’s faint at heart. His dishes often have 3-4 parts, as each recipe requires the completion of a spice rub, infused oil, or special sauce – instructions for all of which can be found in the beginning pages of his book.

Let’s get to it. M. Samuelsson’s Jerk Chicken (slightly tweaked):

1. Compose his ‘Jerk’ Mix:


Place 2 tbsp olive oil in pan over med heat. Add 6 minced garlic cloves and 2 seeded & chopped jalepenos and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp allspice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cayenne, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Stir constantly. Remove from heat when mixture starts to clump. Transfer mix to blender. Add 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tbsp dry thyme, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground ginger, 4 chopped scallions, 1/3c fresh lime juice and ½c red vinegar. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Prep the chicken:
3-4lb chicken
½ c Jerk Mix
a few thyme springs
½ head garlic, top third cut off and papery skin removed
2 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 parsnip, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 onion, cut into 1’’ cubes
1 pear, cut into 1’’ cubes
1 quince, cut into 1’’ cubes

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly salt & pepper the bird. Generously rub ½ jerk mix under the skin & all over it. Stuff some thyme under skin. Place garlic in cavity, (I also stuck ½ a lemon in there as well). Set aside. Toss potatoes & parsnips with remaining jerk mix. Spread on bottom of roasting pan in an even layer. Scatter few thyme springs atop. Place chicken on roasting rack above veggies and roast for 45 minutes.

3. Make his ‘Yogurt Dip’ accompaniment:
Place 2 tbsp olive oil in pan over med heat. Add 2 peeled garlic cloves, a 2’’ piece of minced ginger, and a seeded & minced jalapeno chili. Sauté for 5 min. Add ½ tsp fresh ground coriander (if you have seeds to grind yourself), ½ tsp cumin and sauté for 2 more mins. Let cool briefly. Transfer to blender. Add 2 limes worth of juice and 2c thick greek yogurt. Blend until smooth. Fold in 2 tsp fresh chopped cilantro and 2tsp fresh chopped parsley. Store in fridge until dinnertime.

4. Add pear/quince to roasting pan:
Pull chicken out of oven and remove chicken from roasting pan. Add pear & quince to veggies. Increase oven temp to 375. Return chicken to roasting pan and bake for additional 30-40 minutes, until juices run clear. Let cool for 10min before serving.


5. Do as Samuelsson says and ‘Cook with Love.’ Then, EAT!

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