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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Onion, Cabbage and Coconut Tart with Cilantro Chutney

During my bouts of kitchen schizophrenia (yes I talk to my vegetables and yes they talk back to me), I couldn't bring myself to make any sensible clean cut decision.  I was to have some of my favorite French people over for an Appetizer Soirée and needed several ideas.  Usually, when I do this, I stick to a basic theme.  This time, I wanted it all.
All of it.
It was going to be my united cultures party.
And of course, since the only thing that was missing was the French flag, I put India in a quiche.
Just Brilliant.
I may not have invented the idea, but this recipe is 100% my own.

Serves 6 - 8 as an appetizer
Ingredients
Shortcrust:
100g (3.5 oz) butter
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp amchur (mango powder)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
100g (3.5 oz) buckwheat flour
120g (4.2 oz) whole wheat flour
1 egg yolk
5 cL water
use the method, then pre-cook for 10 minutes at 190°C 375 °F
Filling:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chiles
(if I had curry leaves, I would have added them)
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp turmeric
4 onions, sliced thinly
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup shredded coconut
few pinches salt
3 small eggs or 2 large
10 cL (3.5 oz) coconut cream
1/2 inch grated ginger

 Directions
1.  Heat the oil in a wok or heavy based pan
2.  Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to crackle before adding the chiles and curry leaves.
3.  Add the hing and turmeric.  They should fizz.  I love that part.
3.  Add the onions and cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring.  You want them to slightly color.
4.  Add the shredded cabbage and a few pinches salt.  Cook, stirring, until onions are nice and golden.
5.  Add the shredded coconut and cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes.  The dried coconut gets toasty quick, so be careful not to burn it!  Taste, adjust the seasoning, remove the whole chiles so you can add them to your own slice later on, and remove from heat.
6.  While this is happening, whisk together the eggs, coconut cream, and grated ginger.
7.  In your pre-heated shortcrust, lay the onion-cabbage-coconut mixture down and pour the egg mixture evenly over it.
8.  Cook at 180°C 350°F for 35 minutes.. then let it cool down for at least 30 minutes.
Best served warm with some chutney.... the crumbly crust will melt in your mouth and subtly caress your senses.
Who knew this could actually work?
The next day, I had a slice in my thali with some Daal, Urad Pakoras, Papadums, and Cilantro Chutney.
Are you drooling yet?
I am...

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

BBQ Corn on the Cob & Veggie Skewers

 This is how Americans do BBQ.
Good old fashioned corn on the cob with hot sexy skewers of eggplant, bell pepper, cherry tomato, mushroom, and apricot.
And some nicely charred chicken.
My Grill is my new Happy Place

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Griddled Cuttlefish....

Heaven is This.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Almond Crusted Coalfish with Ajvar Quinoa and Pickled Okra

When life hands you Ajvar,  inspiration follows.
Ajvar is a Turkish/Serbian spread made with roasted paprika peppers, garlic, and eggplant.  It's like Turkish caviar.  It can be eaten as a spread for a sandwich or wrap, mixed with yogurt for a madd veggie dip, spread on toast for canapé's, on eggs, as a salsa... well, pretty much anything because once you dip your spoon in to taste it.. your brain starts twirling and singing and you float along the Bosphore..
So here, I had some coalfish (lieu noir) filets and I was about to use my Ajvar as a marinade, but decided to make orange quinoa instead.

Coalfish filets in a coconut almond crust with Ajvar laced quinoa and a pickled okra, beet, and feta salad.. just another weeknight dinner..

OooOooh Coqinaee

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Seabass on the BBQ

 Sometimes you just need to BBQ between the rain drops...
Stuffed with sliced shallots, grated garlic, chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a nice dash of sexy black pepper and olive oil.
Grilled for about 10 minutes on the BBQ, until skin was golden and flesh was flakey..
A dream come true..

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Roasted Beet Pesto

Let me name all the things I love about beets...
I love the way they feel raw
I love the way they taste cooked
I love the way they penetrate others with their color
I love the way stain my fingers for days
I love the way make me feel closer to Earth
I love the dark red color through my body
I love their natural sweetness
I love the Halwa they give me
.. this list can go on...

Beets are the Fire Element, directly linked to the heart.. it's only natural to love them.
Every time I try something "different" with beets, I fall in love all over again..

Yield 1 1/2 cups (enough for 500g or 1 lb pasta)
Ingredients
2 red beets, unpeeled, cut in halves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup ground cashews
1/3 cup olive oil
freshly cracked pepper
few pinches fleur de sel

Directions
1.  Rub some olive oil all over the beets and place them cut side down in a baking dish.  Bake at 275°F 180°C for 50 minutes or until tender.  Let cool.
2.  Peel the cooled roasted beets.  The skin should come off easily.
3.  Blend the beets with the garlic, vinegar, and ground nuts, adding olive oil as needed.  Blend this into a smooth paste, then add the fleur de sel and cracked pepper.
4.  Use on pasta (as I did) or as a spread as you would any pesto.
For pasta, make sure you reserve some of the cooking water to make it as saucy as you like it toss with the pesto.

I did this and added some roasted pollock to it
Eat Beauty.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Miso Mushrooms, Crispy Broccoli, and Kimchi Quinoa

Here is how I was feeling last night..

Stolen from TheKitchn
but made into my own with the mighty Egg...

I have writers block.. but I definitely don't have cooker's block.  I have 19 draft recipes.. the oldest one from November (whaaaaat?)
I need to make my own Kimchi to unlock my goddess trapped inside these hands.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vegetable Roulade in a Buckwheat Crust

The roulade:  A bunch of random different colored vegetables sliced with the thinnest setting of the mandolin..
Zucchini, Carrots, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Bell Pepper
then layered vertically, each slice slightly overlapping the next into a neat little circle nestled in its buckwheat shortcrust brushed with a yogurt mustard spread
then sprinkled with thyme, fleur de sel, cracked black pepper, and heavily drizzled with olive oil
then popped in the oven at 190°C 380°F for at least 50 minutes
Then served warm with a salad

Eat Beauty

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cardamom Chocolat Mousse with GOLD

So I finally got a good picture of some Mousse au Chocolat..
But this time, I used the 4 hand method with the Brother and used cardamom to spice it up. 
Since this was a special occasion.. it was carefully dusted it with GOLD.. you know, to make it proper to serve to the Father for his 62nd birthday..

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bella Capsicum Masala with Tandoori Eggplant

When I go Indian... I must make Thali.  I LOVE having several flavors and colors in my plate.
I do go overboard on quantities sometimes, which means I get to eat this several times during the week.
Who's complaining?
The new additions to my thali this time are the Tandoori Eggplant the Bella Pepper Curry.  The Sexy Dal and Red Cabbage Subzi are very common guests in my home.  I was looking for something veg but saucy enough to eat with rice.  When I found that Bells could be the main event, I swooned.
I may have swooned aloud around folks that had no idea why I was swooning.. but that's ok..
Borrowed from VegRecipesofIndia (as usual).
Serves 6 as a side
Ingredients
Paste:

2 large onions,  chopped
1 inch ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp peanuts
1 tbsp sesame seeds (I used black)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp concentrated tamarind or tightly packed seedless tamarind
½ to ⅔ cup water for grinding
Curry:
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tomato, chopped
4-5 medium different colored bell peppers (capsicum), sliced
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 to 1.25 cups water
½ tsp powdered or grated jaggery or add as per taste
salt as required
chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions
Make the spice paste:

1.  Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and poppy seeds on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes.
2.  Add the ginger and garlic and let cook for 1 minute before adding the onions.
3.  Cook, stirring until the onions turn translucent or a light brown, adding a pinch of salt.
4.  Add the coconut on low flame and continue to stir for 7 to 8 minutes, till the coconut turns golden. The whole mixture should turn light golden or golden.
5.  Let cool, then blend with the tamarind and enough water to make it into a paste.  Set aside.

Make the curry:

6.  Wipe down your pan and add oil on high.  Add the mustard seeds until they crackle, then add the fenugreek and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute.
7.  Add the chopped tomates and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the tomatoes soften.
8.  Add the sliced bells.  Cook stirring, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
9.  Lower the flame and add the paste along with the turmeric and chili powder.  Cook stirring for about 2 minutes, making sure the paste does not stick to the pan.
10.  Add 1 to 1.25 cups water and stir until incorporated, then add the jaggery and garam masala and simmer on low for about 15 minutes for softened bells.
Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro. 
I served mine in a vegetarian Thali.
Yes that is tandoori eggplant... which is basically an eggplant halved lengthwise with criss-cross cuts into the flesh, slathered with lemon juice, tandoori spices, and olive oil.. then roasted until tender.
That was the Umami part of the fabulous evening.
Anything can be tandoorified (even endives!), making it shine in a very sexy light..

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