Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grilled Tuna with Lemony Tahina, Greens, and Pomegranate Seeds

This simple dinner is elegant enough for company, but simple enough for a quick weeknight dinner. Don't skip on the pomegranate seeds as they add a nice sweet, crunchy contrast to the rest of the dish.

Two years ago: Breast of Chicken in an Onion-Turmeric Sauce
Four years ago: Asian Style Green Beans

Grilled Tuna with Lemony Tahina, Greens, and Pomegranate Seeds (from Radically Simple)

1/2 cup tahina
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 thick tuna steaks, 6 ounces each
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 ounces mesclun
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

1. In a food processor, combine tahina, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro. Process, adding 1/2 - 1/3 cup water until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Drizzle 3 tbsp of oil on tuna steaks and season with salt.
3. Mix together coriander and cumin and rub on fish.
4. Toss mesclun with remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add salt and divide among 4 plates.
5. Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Sear tuna 2 minutes on each side, keeping the tuna very rare.
6. Place tuna on greens, pour tahina sauce over fish, scatter with pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Oxtail Stew with Lima Beans

I'll admit that the name of this recipe did not draw me in, but it packs a full and rich flavor that was a nice change of pace from the more traditional roasted goose we'd had the night before. The original calls for oxtail, but I had regular beef stew meat in the fridge, so I used that instead. If you have fermented black beans on hand instead of black bean sauce, just rinse and mash them before adding them to the sauce.

Two years ago: Sunchoke Gratin
Four years ago: Pork Strips

Oxtail Stew with Lima Beans (from Smoke & Pickles)
3 lbs oxtails, fat trimmed and cut into 2" segments and sprinkled with 1 1/2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp corn oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
10 ounces carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp minced ginger
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 ounces (3/4 cup) black bean paste
1 cup dry sherry
2 whole star anise
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground allspice
1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans (dried will also work if they're soaked, peeled, and put in at the beginning)

1. Heat corn oil in large heavy pot over high heat. Working in batches, brown oxtail on all sides, 5 minutes. Transfer to large plate.
2. Pour out fat and wipe pot clean. Melt butter over medium heat.
3. Add onion, carrots, green peppers, garlic, ginger, and habanero. Saute for 4 minutes or until vegetables soften.
4. Add browned meat, tomatoes, black bean paste, sherry, star anise, sugar, pepper, stock, and allspice. Bring to simmer and skim off any foam. Simmer for 3 hours, adding water if liquid reduces too much.
5. Remove oxtail pieces and transfer to platter to keep warm.
6. Add lima beans and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens to consistency of a light gravy.
7. Pour gravy over oxtail and serve.

Rhubarb-Mint Tea with Moonshine

I have a bad habit of finding outstanding new recipes at the end of the season. This drink is no exception. Although there's tea in the name, there's no tea in the final drink and I'm okay with that. The sour, sweet, minty drink is perfect for a hot summer day. If you don't like overly sweet drinks, you might consider cutting back on the sugar a bit. The cranberry juice we have is far more sour than the standard ocean spray and I found the drink a bit sweeter than I would like. This takes a bit of work, but makes a full pitcher, so it's worth the time investment. Frozen rhubarb will work in this recipe (or am I the only one who freezes rhubarb to keep the season going for longer?)

Two years ago: Veal Scaloppine with Tomato, Oregano, and Capers
Four years ago: Potato and Bacon Muffins

Rhubarb-Mint Tea with Moonshine (from Smoke & Pickles)
6 cups water
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups sugar
8 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
1 bunch fresh mint
For each drink
ice cubes
2 ounces moonshine (August says bourbon also works well)
1/2 lime wheel for garnish
1 sprig cilantro for garnish

1. Combine water, cranberry juice, and sugar in a medium pot, bring to boil, and add rhubarb. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Turn off heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
3. Reserve a few mint sprigs for garnish. add rest to rhubarb mixture and let steep for 1.5 hours.
4. Strain mixture and let chill in refrigerator.
5. For each drink, fill a Mason jar or glass with ice. Add moonshine and fill glass with rhubarb mixture. Garnish with half lime wheel, sprig of mint, and sprig of cilantro. Serve.

Glazed Scallops with Almond-Caper Butter Sauce

I always have a hard time resisting scallops at the farmer's market. There are few things that are as easy to cook and as delicious to eat. The glaze recipe makes quite a bit of extra, but keeps well and can be used on other fish (we've also had it on cod with great success!). The glaze gives the scallops a nice salty-sweet taste. The almond caper butter sauce on this dish is simply outstanding with capers, shallots, and almonds trying to steal the show from the scallops.

Two years ago: Lettuce Cups with Stir-Fried Chicken
Four years ago: Chicken Curry Masala

Glazed Scallops with Almond-Caper Butter Sauce (from Big Small Plates)
12 large or 18 medium scallops
1/4 cup Madeira
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
Almond-caper Butter Sauce
8 tbsp butter, divided
1 - 2 shallots, sliced into thin rings
3 tbsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 - 4 tbsp, toasted sliced almonds
2 - 3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced, divided

1. To make glaze, combine ingredients in saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce to simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Cover and set aside.
2. Just before either grilling or frying scallops, make sauce. Heat medium saute pan over high heat. Spoon in 2/3 of butter.
3. Add shallots, capers, almonds, and half the parsley. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
4. Add remaining butter and pinch of pepper. Swirl.
5. Stir in remaining parsley and remove from heat.
6. Lightly sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Brush on both sides with the glaze and place on a grill (or frying pan). Baste as they cook and cook until nicely caramelized, rotating and flipping.
7. To serve, place scallops on large platter or individual plates. Brush with extra glaze, then pour sauce over dish and serve.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sauteed Chestnuts, Onions, and Bacons

This simple side would be great for Thanksgiving. Salty and sweet, it's easy to prepare, but full of flavor. I simplified the recipe a bit by using frozen pearl onions, but you could also blanch and peel fresh pearl onions.

One year ago: Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli
Two years ago: Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Ginger
Four years ago: Craisin Blue Cheese Salad

Sauteed Chestnuts, Onions, and Bacons (from the New Portuguese Table)

1/2 lb thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4" strips
1 lb pearl onions, peeled
1 lb roasted chestnuts without sugar
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
parsley for garnish

1. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-low heat until fat has rendered and strips start to crisp, 12 minutes. Transfer to towels to drain.
2. Raise heat under skillet to medium. Add onions and saute until tender and spotted brown, 10 minutes.
3. Add chestnuts, bacon, and honey and toss to warm.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with parsley.

Stewed Spinach with Coconut, Chiles, and Curry Leaves

This dish is everything an Indian side dish should be - easy to make, richly flavorful with just a little bit of heat. I made some fish to go with it, but this side dish stole the show entirely.

One year ago: Beef Stew with Squash and Cinnamon
Two years ago: Honey-Glazed Five-Spice Baby Back Ribs
Four years ago: Sesame Green Beans

Stewed Spinach with Coconut, Chiles, and Curry Leaves (from 660 Curries)

1 lb fresh spinach leaves
1 cup shredded coconut or 1/2 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut, reconstituted
1/4 cup medium to large fresh curry leaves
4 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
2 tbsp Ghee or canola oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp skinned split black lentils (cream-colored)
1 tsp coarse salt

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spinach in batches, stirring until it wilts, 3 - 5 minutes.
2. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Shock with cold water. Transfer to cutting board and chop finely.
3. Pour reserved cooking water into blender jar. Add coconut, curry leaves, and 2 chiles. Puree.
4. Heat ghee in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover skillet, and cook until they've stopped popping.
5. Add lentils and remaining 2 chiles and stir-fry until chiles blacken, 15 - 20 seconds.
6. Add spinach, along with any water from the greens.
7. Add salt and coconut paste. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium, cover and simmer 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.


A quick and easy dinner that's perfect for October. Pair with German beer and pretend you're in Berlin.

One year ago: Yogurt-Marinated Lamb with Ginger and Garlic
Two years ago: Refrigerator Dinner Rolls
Three years ago: Chinese Beef with Broccoli
Four years ago: Southwestern Egg Rolls

Currywurst (from Planet Barbecue!)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup very finely minced white onion
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp anise seed
1 cup ketchup
4 weisswurt or other white veal sausages

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and mustard seeds and cook until onion begins to brown, 3 - 4 minutes.
2. Stir in curry powder, pepper, nutmeg, and aniseed and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
3. Stir in ketchup and simmer until thick and richly flavored, 3 - 5 minutes.
4. Preheat grill to high. Brush and oil grill grate. Arrange sausages on hot grate 1" apart. Grill until crusty and brown on all sides and cooked through (2 - 3 minutes per side for cooked and 8 - 10 minutes per side for uncooked).
5. Transfer sausages to cutting board, cut crosswise into 1/4" slices, place sausages in shallow bowls, and spoon curried tomato sauce on top to serve.

Kabocha Squash Mac n Cheese

For an eclectic Thanksgiving meal, I wanted to do something a little bit different than my usual macaroni and cheese. This recipe won't displace that classic, but it's also a bit healthier than the other one. He gives you the option of topping with crushed pork rinds (which I'm sure would be amazing) or adding more traditional breadcrumbs instead. I went with panko for a bit of crunch, but not quite as much salty, porky goodness.

One year ago: Yogurt Curry with Cumin and Curry Leaves
Two years ago: Southeast Asian Squash Curry
Three years ago: Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese
Four years ago: Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Kabocha Squash Mac n Cheese (from Smoke & Pickles)
1 small kabocha squash (~1.5 lbs)
2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
12 ounces elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
3 ounces Colby, grated
3 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
5 tbsp crushed pork rinds (or breadcrumbs)
2 tsp black sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 4" deep 9"x12" baking dish.
2. Peel and halve squash (or you can save peeling until it's cooked). Scrape out seeds and cut into 1" cubes. Place on backing sheet, toss with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until fork-tender.
3. Meanwhile, cook macaroni until al dente. Drain, cool under running water, and set aside.
4. Transfer cooked squash to blender, add milk, chicken stock, cheeses, and butter. Blend until smooth.
5. Add 2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg and pulse to mix. Mix together macaroni and sauce (you can do this in your pan if it's large enough to mix well or in another bowl and then transfer to dish.
6. Sprinkle with pork rinds/breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
7. Remove foil and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 25 - 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bourbon-and-Coke Meatloaf

Let's get one thing straight. I really don't like meatloaf in general. A loaf of meat (often dried out) without much flavor, just isn't my thing. I decided to give this one a shot though due to some favorable reviews. It was worth the risk because this one is nothing short of outstanding. Incredibly moist with lots of unami and a bit of smokiness from the bourbon. The original recipe includes a black pepper gravy and suggests serving this as an open-faced sandwich with a fried egg on top. I'm sure that's good, but why bother?

One year ago: Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
Two years ago: Cosmopolitan Cupcakes
Three years ago: Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Four years ago: Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts

Bourbon-and-Coke Meatloaf (from Smoke & Pickles)

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
3 ounces bacon, diced
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Coca-Cola
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp Worcestershire
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until softened.
3. Add bacon and mushroom and saute for another 4 minutes, until soft. Transfer to large bowl and let cool.
4. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, yolk, ketchup, cola, bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to bacon mixture. Mix until blended and transfer to a 9x5 loaf pan.
5. Mix together ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Brush on top of meatloaf.
6. Bake until internal temp of 145F or about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully drain off pan drippings.
7. Let cool before serving.

Kentucky Mule

It's been a while since I've posted a cocktail recipe now that I usually just let August make those. He was stuck working late one night though, so I was forced to make my own. This one requires a little bit of advance planning, but the results area worth it. And best off all, once you make the ginger simple syrup, it will keep for months in the fridge, giving you plenty more nights of easy, delicious, ginger-bourbon cocktails.

One year ago: Nutty Rice with Cashews, Almonds, and Fresh Mint
Two years ago: Soy-Braised Chicken Thighs
Three years ago: Kung Pao Chicken (revisited)
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Noodles

Kentucky Mule (from Smoke & Pickles)

Ginger Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 ounce piece ginger, chopped
1 1/2 ounce bourbon
1/4 tsp lime juice
1 ounce Ginger Simple Syrup
3 ounces ginger beer (or club soda)
lime wheel and slice ginger for garnish

1. In small saucepan, combine ginger simple syrup ingredients. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Turn off heat and let steep 20 minutes. Strain and cool.
2. To make cocktail, fill rocks glass with ice. Add bourbon, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ginger beer and stir gently. Garnish and serve.

Collards and Kimchi

Southern-Korean fusion is a genius idea. This is an incredibly rich, deeply flavored side dish that tastes like a lot more than just the sum of its parts. Next time, I'll have to try it with homemade kimchi, but it's excellent even with the storebought stuff.

One year ago: Fenugreek Scented Cheese with Cream
Two years ago: Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
Three years ago: Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnut and Mint
Four years ago: Penne Arrabiata Sauce

Collards and Kimchi (from Smoke & Pickles)

1 tbsp lard or bacon fat
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced country ham (10 ounces) or less diced pancetta or similar
1 1/2 lbs collard greens, washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
8 ounces kimchi, chopped

1. Heat lard and butter in medium pot over high heat. Once foaming, add onions and saute for 5 minutes or until slightly colored.
2. Add ham and cook for 3 minutes until crispy.
3. Add collards, chicken stock, and soy sauce. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
4. Add vinegar to greens and cook for 1 minute.
5. Toss kimchi into pot with greens. Mix and serve.

Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade

The original recipe calls for using a T-Bone with this marinade, but that just seems like a waste of a beautiful cut of meat to me. I made it instead with flank steak and it worked great. The marinade is a satisfying mix of heat and cooling lemongrass. If you're heat averse, you might want to dial back a bit on the habanero.

One year ago: Chicken with an Almond Yogurt Sauce
Two years ago: Korean-Style Salmon with Bok Choy
Three years ago: Tomato, Semolina, and Coriander Soup
Four years ago: Bourbon Chicken

Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade (from Smoke & Pickles)

2 steaks of your choice
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp peanut oil
6 garlic cloves
3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely minced
2 habanero peppers, halved and seeds removed
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender and blitz until well blended.
2. Generously salt and pepper steaks. Place in glass baking dish and pour half or marinade over steaks. Marinate for 20 minutes.
3. In a large cast iron skillet, heat butter and peanut oil over high heat until barely smoking. Add steaks, cover with lid, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium, and cook uncovered for another 2 minutes (or until desired level of doneness.
4. Let rest of cutting board. Serve with reserved marinade.

Salmon in Luxurious Green Sesame Pipian

This is a bold dish, so the salmon gets a bit lost in it (i.e. don't waste expensive salmon on this recipe), but the flavors are so good that I don't care. The original also includes a cup of peas, but both of us are pea averse, so I left that out.

One year ago: Sri-Lankan Style Hard-Cooked Eggs with Coconut Milk
Two years ago: Cheddar Apple Bacon Strata
Three years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives, Tomatoes, and Feta
Four years ago: Kung Pao Chicken

Salmon in Luxurious Green Sesame Pipian (from Mexican Everyday)

2 cups tomatillo salsa, blended to a smooth puree
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp tahini
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sugar
Four 4 - 5 oz skinless fish fillets (salmon, halibut, walleye, snapper, or striped bass)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add salsa and cook until it reduces to the consistency of tomato paste, 5 minutes.
2. Stir in broth and tahini. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
3. Add fish to sauce, submerging them if possible. Simmer until cooked through, 5 - 6 minutes for 1/2" thick fillets.
4. Transfer to dinner plates. Spoon sauce over top and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Buckwheat Noodles with Red-Braised Beef

I always struggle with what to do with the stew beef we get in our CSA box. I'm not such a big fan of pot roasts, so I have a hard time. This dish hit the spot with a very flavorful but tender beef. Served over noodles with bright greens for textural contrast, it's a satisfying meal.

In the book, the beef recipe is separate from the noodles with the suggestion of using leftover beef in this noodle dish. The original noodle recipe is for one serving. I've doubled here for two, but you probably won't use all of the beef.

One year ago: Aromatic Beef Stew with Mustard Greens and Fenugreek
Two years ago: Braised Potatoes with Garlic and Bay Leaves
Three years ago: Cranberry, Caramel, and Almond Tart
Four years ago: Pasta Milano

Buckwheat Noodles with Red-Braised Beef (from Every Grain of Rice)

Red-Braised Beef
1 lb stewing beef, cut into 1" chunks
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 1/2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste
1/2 oz ginger, crushed
2 spring onions, white parts only, crushed
1 star anise
1 1/2 tsp sweet fermented sauce
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 - 6 tbsp chili oil
14 oz buckwheat noodles
1/2 tsp ground roasted Sichuan pepper
6 tbsp sliced spring onions, green parts only
6 tbsp chopped celery, including leaves

1. Bring panful of water to a boil, add beef, and return to boil. When froth has risen, tip beef into colander, drain, and rinse.
2. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add chili bean paste and stir-fry until richly fragrant.
3. Add ginger, spring onions, and star anise and fry until fragrant.
4. Add sweet fermented sauce and stir-fry briefly.
5. Add stock.
6. Add beef and Shaoxing wine to wok. Bring to boil, cover pan, and reduce to simmer. Simmer for a couple of hours or until tender.
7. Cook and drain buckwheat noodles.
8. Divide soy sauce and chili oil between two bowls. Add stock, then noodles and top with beef. Scatter with Sichuan pepper, followed by spring onions and celery. Mix before eating.

Pork Loin with Aged Gouda and Apricot Mustard

Now the original recipe for this was a bit of a headache/disaster, but the flavour combination was too good to give up on it entirely and the basics of what works simple enough that I think it's worth giving it another try. Pork, gouda, apricot, and mustard are an outstanding combination.

The original called for pounding out boneless pork loin, filling it, and then rolling into skewers. The problem with this was that my pork didn't pound out thinly enough and then didn't roll nicely and stay cleanly skewered. I think this simplifies nicely to just being a filling for pork tenderloin instead. The skewers were also a bit on the tough side so using pork tenderloin should fix that.

One year ago: Beginner Almond Shrimp with Tomatoes
Two years ago: Beets with Balsamic Syrup, Mint, and Nuts
Three years ago: Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
Four years ago: Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Pork Loin with Aged Gouda and Apricot Mustard (adapted from The Cheesemonger's Kitchen)

1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed to a powder
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1/2 cup apricot jam
2lb boneless pork tenderloin
255g aged Gouda, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425F. In small bowl, mix together fennel, mustard, and jam.
2. Slice pork tenderloin in middle, opening it like a book.
3. Spread apricot mustard in middle of pork tenderloin. Add cheese.
4. If you're feeling fancy, tie the pork together and sear on all sides in a large fry pan. If not, skip to next step.
5. Place pork on a baking sheet. Bake in oven until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Serve.

Country-Style Pork Ribs Braised with Mango, Lime, & Coconut

This bright dish would be perfect for a winter day when you need a reminder that somewhere it's still summer. The original calls for an oven-braise, but let's be honest, ribs in the slow cooker are so much easier and usually ridiculously more tender.

The sauce on this is outstanding, but chopping the mango is a bit of work. I'm tempted to suggest that an easier alternative would be using canned mango puree. It would also have the benefit of thickening the sauce nicely, providing flavor, but not giving you odd mango chunks. I haven't tried it yet, but it might be worth a gamble.

One year ago: Potato Mix with Cracked Peppercorn Sauce
Two years ago: Peking Pork with Scotch and Scallions
Three years ago: Cranberry Vanilla Coffeecake
Four years ago: Stuffed Zucchini

Country-Style Pork Ribs Braised with Mango, Lime, & Coconut (adapted from All About Braising)

2 1/2 lbs country-style pork ribs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil
2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground to powder
1 ripe mango (about 1lb; see header notes), chopped into 1/2" dice
1 medium yellow onion (6 ounces), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp grated lime zest
2 tbsp golden or amber rum
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup lime juice

1. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pork ribs in batches and cook, turning with tongs, until lightly browned, 4 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to slow cooker.
2. Add onion to skillet and saute until soft, 4 minutes.
3. Add garlic, ginger, serrano, cardamom, cinnamon, and lime zest and saute until fragrant, 1 minute.
4. Add coconut milk, lime juice, and mango and stir.
5. Pour mixture over pork ribs. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Duck Burgers with Shiitake Mushroom Ketchup and Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce

There are a lot of parts to this recipe, but don't get discouraged. The whole thing is fairly straightforward and the burgers themselves are nothing short of outstanding. Do not skip on making the shiitake mushroom ketchup (which isn't really much like a ketchup) or the Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce. They are both worth the extra effort. The recipe calls for cooking these on the grill which gives a great flavor, but our burgers were entirely too soft to maintain shape on the grill and we lost quite a bit of meat, so do so at your own risk. I think pan frying would be preferable to losing precious duck.

Also note that all of the components can be made ahead of time.

One year ago: Duck Stew with Black Cardamom and Cherries
Two years ago: Chicken-Fried Steak
Three years ago: Celebration Yellow Rice
Four years ago: Penne Rigate della Kay

Duck Burgers with Shiitake Mushroom Ketchup and Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce (from Big Small Plates)

(I'm going to deviate bit from my normal procedure and put the ingredients with their instructions rather than a long list of intimidating ingredients at the top. You're welcome!)

Mongolian Marinade
(You'll need this in several of the recipes below.)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp tamari (or regular soy sauce)
2 1/4 tsp sherry vinegar
2 1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 - 2 scallions, white and light green parts, minced
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
3/4 tsp black bean chili sauce or hot garlic sauce
3/4 tsp grated ginger
2 1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

1. Whisk everything together in a bowl.
(See that was easy!)

Duck burgers
1 lb ground duck
1 scallion, white and light green, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Mongolian Marinade
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
2. Cover and chill for 1 hour - overnight.

Shiitake mushroom ketchup
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup Mongolian Marinade

1. Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender.
2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is thick, 3 - 5 minutes.
(You can make this ahead, refrigerate, and just rewarm when you're ready to serve if desired.)

Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp Colman's mustard powder (or whatever you have on hand)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
6 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

1. Combine sugar and mustard powder in top of double boiler and mix with a whisk.
2. When well combined, whisk in egg yolk and vinegar.
3. Cook over simmering water, stirring, 10 - 15 minutes until thick enough to form ribbons when drizzled with the spoon.
4. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, fold in creme fraiche. Refrigerate until needed.
(The hardest part of this whole thing!)

Additional Mongolian Marinade for basting
brioche or other buns
1 - 2 tbsp butter
2 cups arugula

1. Portion chilled duck into patties. (The book calls for 2 ounce mini patties, but I prefer regular size burgers.)
2. Grill, griddle, or pan-fry burgers over medium-high heat. (See head notes.)
3. Toast and lightly butter buns.
4. Place burgers on bun bottoms, top with shiitake ketchup, arugula, and a drizzle of mustard sauce. Serve with extra mustard and ketchup on the side.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Summer King Salmon Kebabs

This is a quick, easy, and light dinner. The simple seasoning on the salmon really allows the fish to shine. The original recipe calls for grilling the salmon as kebabs on skewers, but I opted to keep it simple and just pan fry. The original also suggests using mizuna greens, but suggests that arugula or frisee are also good substitutes. I went with arugula since mizuna is a bit more difficult to find.

One year ago: Indonesian Spice Cake
Two years ago: Lamb Stir-fry
Three years ago: Beef Rendang
Four years ago: Mint Brownies

Summer King Salmon Kebabs (adapted from Big Small Plates)

1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp mustard seeds (yellow, brown, or a mix)
12 ounces king salmon fillets
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups arugula
Champagne vinaigrette
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 tbsp finely chopped dill, fennel fronds, or chives
salt and pepper

1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl and whisk until emulsified.
2. Toast sesame seeds in a small pan until lightly golden, set aside.
3. Place mustard seeds in small pan, cover, and toast until they stop popping. Mix with sesame seeds. Divide into two piles - one for the rub and one for garnish. Grind the rub seeds and place on a plate.
4. Cut salmon into 6 pieces if doing kebabs or 2 if pan frying. Smear flesh side with mustard and press into ground seeds to coat.
5. Fry or grill salmon until cooked medium rare.
6. Dress greens with vinaigrette, top with salmon, drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette, and sprinkle with reserved seeds.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Turkey and Sweetcorn Meatballs with Roasted Pepper Sauce

The original recipe calls for turkey, but I made this with veal, so feel free to get creative with your choice of meat. The original also calls for pan-frying the meatballs and finishing in the oven, but I thought I'd keep the amount of work I had to do simple and just bake them. The roasted pepper sauce is what makes this dish amazing, so don't even think about skipping it.

One year ago: Aromatic Green Beans
Two years ago: Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage
Three years ago: Apple and Cheddar Scones
Four years ago: Breakfast Tacos

Turkey and Sweetcorn Meatballs with Roasted Pepper Sauce (from Ottolenghi)

100g corn kernels
3 slices stale white bread, crust removed
500g ground turkey
1 egg
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Roasted pepper sauce
4 red bell peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
25g cilantro, leaves and stalks
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 small red chile
2 tbsp sweet chile sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Quarter peppers and remove seeds. Put in roasting tray with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Roast 35 minutes or until soft. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool and peel if desired. Place in blender with roasting juices and add remaining sauce ingredients. Process until smooth. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375F.
2. For meatballs, heat a fry pan over high heat. Add corn and cook until lightly blacked. Let cool.
3. Soak bread in cold water for a minute, squeeze and crumble into large bowl. Add rest of ingredients. Mix well.
4. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with pepper sauce.

Portobello Mushrooms with Pearl Barley and Preserved Lemons

I don't remember what I served these with, but I do remember thinking that the mushrooms completely outshone the main dish. The only thing I would change is maybe adding more feta. There's a lot of butter in this recipe, but it only makes the mushrooms that much more delicious.

One year ago: Pureed Mustard Greens with Clarified Butter
Two years ago: Pork in Green Peanut Sauce
Three years ago: Refried Bean Enchiladas
Four years ago: Mexican Rice

Portobello Mushrooms with Pearl Barley and Preserved Lemons (from Ottolenghi)

100g unsalted butter, divided
15 sprigs thyme
6 large Portobello mushrooms
180ml dry white wine
250ml vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
coarse salt
Pearl barley
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
750ml vegetable or chicken stock
110g pearl barley
1 quarter of preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin finely chopped
50g feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp purple basil leaves, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat sunflower oil in heavy saucepan and saute onion and garlic until translucent.
2. Add stock to pan and bring to boil. Stir in barley, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour until tender.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. Grease large baking tray with 2/3 of butter. Scatter sprigs of thyme over it and place mushrooms on top, stem side up. Pour wine and stock and scatter sliced garlic on top. Dot each mushroom with remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover tray with foil and place in oven for 15 - 20 minutes until tender.
4. Stir preserved lemon, feta, parsley, and thyme into barley.
5. Reheat mushrooms if needed. Place mushroom on serving place. Scoop barley and top and spoon mushroom cooking juices on top. Garnish with basil and drizzle with olive oil.

Panfried Sea Bass with Harissa and Rose

This is probably one of the most unique seafood dishes I've cooked in a while with the combination of spicy harissa and sweet currants, honey, and rose. The combination is outstanding and unique enough to remember a month later. Note this has a 2 hour marinade.

One year ago: Crumbled Cheese with Scallions and Tomatoes
Two years ago: Pinon-Breaded Chicken with Ancho Chile Cranberry Sauce
Three years ago: Cauliflower Gratin
Four years ago: Cheese Enchiladas

Panfried Sea Bass with Harissa and Rose (from Jerusalem)

3 tbsp harissa paste, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
4 sea bass fillets, 1 lb total, skinned
all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rosewater
60g currants
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tsp dried rose petals

1. Mix together half the harissa paste, ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt in small bowl. Rub paste on fish and marinate for 2 hours in fridge.
2. Dust fillets with flour.
3. Heat olive oil in wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry for 2 minutes per side. Set fish aside.
4. Add onion to pan. Cook until golden, 8 minutes.
5. Add remaining harissa, vinegar, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Pour in water, lower heat, and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until thick.
6. Add honey, rosewater, and currants to pan and simmer a couple more minutes.
7. Return fish to pan. Spoon sauce over fish and let warm for 3 minutes.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with cilantro and rose petals.

Parsley and Barley Salad

This salad is bright and fresh. Everything you could want in a side dish to a Middle Eastern meal. The feta is the best part of course.

One year ago: Pan-Grilled Sea Scallops
Two years ago: Black Radish Soup in Roasted Acorn Squash
Three years ago: Mahogany Beef Stew with Red Wine and Hoisin Sauce
Four years ago: Basic Risotto Recipe

Parsley and Barley Salad (from Jerusalem)

1/4 cup, 40g pearl barley
150g feta cheese
5 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp za'atar
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
80g parsley, leaves and fine stems
4 green onions, finely chopped (40g)
2 garlic cloves, minced
40g cashew nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely crushed
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2" dice
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Place pearl barley in small saucepan, cover with water, and boil for 30 - 35 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
2. Break feta into rough pieces and mix in small bowl with 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, za'atar, coriander, and cumin.
3. Chop parsley and place in a bowl with green onions, garlic, cashew, pepper, allspice, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and cooked barley. Mix well.
4. To serve, divide salad among 4 plates and top with feta.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Imperial Potatoes

With a little bit of heat, a little bit of smokiness, and a bit of sweetness, this makes for a complex side dish or main course.

One year ago: Grilled Chicken with a Cashew-Tomato Sauce
Two years ago: Basil, Hazelnut, and Chocolate Cupcakes
Three years ago: Caramel Apple Blackout Cake
Four years ago: Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta

Imperial Potatoes (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 black cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks (3" long)
2 bay leaves
1 small red onion, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 lb russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 medium green or red bell peppers (8 ounces total), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp Balti masala
1/2 tsp cayenne

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Cook until fragrant, 10 - 15 seconds.
2. Add onion, cashews, and raisins and stir-fry until light brown, 2 - 3 minutes.
3. Add potatoes and bell peppers. Pour in 1 cup water and sprinkle with salt and turmeric. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender, 12 - 15 minutes.
4. Stir in cilantro, garam masala, and cayenne and serve.

Cubed Pork with Potatoes, Yogurt, and Tamarind

For some reason, I always find myself far more drawn to lamb curries than pork, but this tangy curry is worth a deviation.

One year ago: Moroccan Carrots
Two years ago: Chana Masala
Three years ago: Lemon and Cranberry Scones
Four years ago: Raspberry-topped Lemon Muffins

Cubed Pork with Potatoes, Yogurt, and Tamarind (from 660 Curries)

1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 lb boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1" cubes
1 lb russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup thickened yogurt
1 tsp Punjabi garam masala

1. Combine cayenne and turmeric in bowl. Add pork and toss to coat. Refrigerate covered 30 minutes - overnight.
2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook until light brown, 5 - 8 minutes. Transfer to plate.
3. Add cumin seeds, onion, bay leaves, and pork to pan. Cook until pork releases juices and onion sweats, 5 - 10 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium and cook until pork starts to brown, 5 - 10 minutes.
5. In small bowl, stir tamarind paste into 1/2 cup water. Stir into pan. Add salt and heat to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 10 - 15 minutes.
6. Stir in potatoes and simmer, covered until tender, 25 - 30 minutes.
7. Fold in yogurt and garam masala and serve.

Spicy Lamb with Yogurt, Cream, and Fenugreek

Lamb with dairy, a bit of heat, and bitter fenugreek is always a good combination and this rich curry is no exception. It does require a bit of planning ahead to marinate and if you're using stew meat, you'll want to cook it for a couple of hours, but the results are worth it.

One year ago: Roasted Red and Golden Beets
Two years ago: Saag Paneer
Three years ago: Linguine with Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto
Four years ago: Easy Buttermilk Cake

Spicy Lamb with Yogurt, Cream, and Fenugreek (from 660 Curries)

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 medium red onion, half coarsely chopped and half thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic
6 green chiles, stems removed
3 lengthwise slices ginger (1 1/2"x1"x1/8")
1 lb boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1" cubes
2 tbsp Ghee or canola oil
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves (or 1/2 cup dried leaves soaked)
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Place yogurt, salt, turmeric, coarsely chopped onion, garlic, chiles, and ginger in blender. Puree. Transfer to medium bowl, add lamb, and refrigerate, covered for 30 minutes - overnight.
2. Heat ghee in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thinly sliced onion and stir-fry until light brown, 3 - 5 minutes.
3. Add lamb with marinade and cook until liquid evaporates and oil separates, 15 minutes.
4. Add fenugreek leaves and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender and sauce has thickened, 25 - 30 minutes.
5. Fold in cream, allow to warm (1 - 2 minutes), and serve.

Saffron-Scented Lamb with an Almond Sauce

It's hard to come back to posting recipes after a hiatus. So much has happened and so many things have blended together in the mean time. You might find the first dozen or so recipes sorely lacking in the background department, but you should know if they were good enough to make my list, they're good enough to take a chance on and cook. If I recall correctly, this is a richly flavored curry with a nice smoky flavour from the cardamom. As usual with this cookbook, if you're using lamb stew meat, you'll want to increase the cooking time. I usually go with 2 - 3 hours.

One year ago: Buffalo, Mushroom, and Feta Meatballs
Two years ago: Paneer
Three years ago: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Four years ago (what, what?): Blueberry Boy Bait

Saffron-Scented Lamb with an Almond Sauce (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp Ghee or canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cinnamon sticks (3" long)
3 bay leaves
3 black cardamom pods
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lb leg of lamb, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1. Heat ghee in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cardamom pods. Cook until aromatic, 1 minute.
2. Add onion and lower heat to medium. Stir-fry until onion soft and honey-brown, 10 minutes (or quite a bit longer).
3. Add lamb and cook until it starts to brown and ghee separates, 15 - 20 minutes.
4. While the lamb is cooking, pour 1/2 cup water into a blender. Add almonds and puree.
5. Pour almond paste into skillet with lamb. Pour 1 cup water into blender and add to skillet along with saffron and salt. Bring to boil, reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until lamb is tender, 25 - 30 minutes.
6. Stir in cilantro and serve.