Springtime in Sicily

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2011 by zandrsn

Dave made: Involtini Siciliani
-adapted from Pomp and Sustenance by Mary Taylor Simeti (pg. 209)


1 medium onion, minced
1 onion, cut in wide slices
2 T olive oil
2 cups stale white bread crumbs (or panko)
¼ c pine nuts
¼ c raisins (or currants), plumped in hot water for 5 minutes
¼ c grated pecorino
2 oz provolone, cut into small pieces
1.5 lbs beef steak, pounded flat and cut into 2 inch by 3 inch rectangles

salt and pepper

Saute the minced onion in 2 T olive oil until soft, then stir 1 cup breadcrumbs, pine, raisins, grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Put a small spoonful of the filling and a piece of the provolone onto each slice of meat, rolling it up and skewering it. Intersperse a slice of onion between each meat roll. When finished skewering, coat with remaining crumbs and salt. Broil or grill for about 10 minutes.

Jessie made: Orange-Baked Olives


3 1/2 cups whole mixed olives, drained
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
4 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir the olives together with the wine, orange juice, olive oil, and garlic in a 9″x13″ baking dish. Nestle the sprigs of rosemary in the olives.

2. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs, then stir in the parsley, oregano, orange zest, and red pepper flakes. Serve warm.

Adapted from www.allrecipes.com

Baked Ricotta with Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4

1 large red bell pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for the pan and for drizzling
14 grape tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces fresh ricotta cheese, drained to remove excess whey
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


1. Position a broiler rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler. Place the red pepper on a baking sheet and place on rack; broil, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes, until the skin is charred and blistered. Transfer to a plate and cool. Peel and discard the ribs and seeds. Cut the pepper into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a small baking dish (a casserole dish the size of the ricotta works best). Place the tomato halves in the dish, cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes soften. Remove the dish from the oven and set aside.

3. Cut the ricotta cheese in half crosswise. Remove the tomatoes from the dish. Place the bottom half of the ricotta, cut side up, in the dish and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the pepper strips on top, then the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and top with the remaining ricotta, cut side down.

4. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with a little extra oil. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is hot and the top is golden.

5. Serve with sliced baguette or crostini.

Adapted from www.cookstr.com


Kelli Made: Sicilian Pistachio cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups shelled, unsalted pistachios (aprox 16 ounces whole pistachios)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with butter.  Put 1 cup of pistachios in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not powder.  In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Mix pistachios into flour mixture. Set aside. In a large bowl (or standing mixer), beat butter with 1 1/4 cups sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs. Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in vanilla and almond extracts and lemon zest.  Beat flour mixture into sugar mixture in two additions. The dough will be soft. Use a spatula (I used mostly my hands) to spread the dough evenly across the baking sheet. Roughly chop remaining cup of pistachios and sprinkle them over the dough. Sprinkle remaining two teaspoons of sugar over the dough. Bake dough for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it turns golden brown at the edges. Allow dough to cool on wire rack for 35 minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Zach Made: Baked Fennel Sfincione
Serves 5


  • 5 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can 28 oz. Italian peeled tomatoa (I used San Marzano) roughly diced
  • 2 medium size onions, thickly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets (or more)
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • salt, pepper and oregano to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of grated caciocavallo or Parmigiano cheese
  • 4 oz. caciocavallo fresco or provola cheese diced very small (you can used smoked buffalo mozzarella as well)
  • 3 tablespoon of bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper and oregano to taste

Preparation :

The Fennel
To prepare the fennel for cooking, trim, cut base, discard rough outer leaves and stalks. Discard any wilted or bruised part.

Set aside the inside tender green leaves attached in the center of the white bulbous part, to be used as garnish or to flavor other recipes.

Cut each fennel vertically into ¼ inch slices and wash carefully.

The Fennel
Over high heat, set a 6 quart sauce pot with 4 quarts of water. When water begins to boil, place the fennel in it, add salt to taste and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Fennel should be al dente, if they are too hard extend cooking time.
Using a slotted spoon place the fennel to drain in a colander and set on the side.

In a 6 quart saucepan combine the sliced onions with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and place over a medium heat. When the onion turns light golden in color, remove half of the sautéed onions and set on the side; add to saucepan the tomato, the basil, salt and pepper to taste. Increase to a high heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
When it returns to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Cut the anchovies in small pieces, place in a dish and set aside.

Grease a 9 inch round baking dish and coat with breadcrumbs.
Pour a ladle of sauce in the baking dish and place the fennel in layers, covering each layer with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, some sautéed onions, a few pieces of anchovies, a few pieces of diced cheese, a sprinkle of cheese and bread crumbs, some basil and continue until all ingredients are finished. Sprinkle some oregano and bread crumbs. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Garnish with some of the fennel’s tender green leaves and serve hot or at room temperature.


The Meatless Feast!

Posted in Potlucks on May 26, 2011 by zandrsn

Dave made: Seitan Shwarma

1/4c water
2 T olive oil
1/3 red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
½ t sumac
½ t dark soy sauce
½ t cumin, toasted and ground
½ t coriander, toasted and ground
¼ t Kashmiri mirch (Kashmiri chili)
¼ t dried mint
¼ t kosher salt
1 t sugar
3 cardamom pods

-marinate 1 lb seitan for 24 hrs and pan fry. Serve with pickled beets, taratoor and lettuce on pita bread.

Taratoor (tahini sauce)

1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c tahini
½ c almond butter
3/4 c water
2 cloves garlic
3/4 t kosher Salt
¾ t sugar
¼ t smoked paprika
½ t corn starch
½ c plain yogurt

Moroccan Pickled Beets
6 beets, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, frenched
2T cumin seeds, toasted
1.5c tarragon vinegar
1.5c water
1/2c sugar
1.5t kosher salt
olive oil

-roast beets w/olive oil at 400 until soft. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Put beets and onions in jars w/the cumin seeds. Pour vinegar mixture over, cover and leave for 3-5 days.

Jessie made: Ravioli Cookies

Makes 14


1 cup salted butter, softened

2/3  cup white sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cherry preserves

Coarse decorating sugar


1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and lemon zest. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half between 2 sheets of waxed paper until pretty thin — as thin as you want the shell of your cookie to be. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

3. Remove one piece of the dough from the refrigerator, remove the top layer of waxed paper, and cut into circles, using a 3″ biscuit cutter. (Work fast because, once the dough warms up, it is impossible to work with.) Top each circle of dough with 2 teaspoons cherry preserves and place another dough circle on top. Press the edges of the 2 dough circles together to seal, then press the edge with the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge. Press dough scraps together and roll them out again until you’ve gotten all possible circles out of the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

4. Press a sprinkling of decorating sugar into the top of each ravioli. Bake for about 15 minutes on the center rack in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from www.allrecipes.com

Tore made: Tofu Reuben Sandwiches

The only real secret here is to cooking the tofu.  Except for that, the sandwich is made up of toasted rye bread with some melted cheddar or mozzarella, russian dressing (mayonnaise mixed with cocktail sauce), and sauerkraut.

For the tofu, here’s the way to cook it to perfection.  The best tofu in town is Daily’s bulk tofu, but it’s really expensive.  Fook’s bulk is great too, and about a third of Daily’s price.  Either will work fine.  Drain the tofu, cut into six or so slabs, and press any additional water out of them using a kitchen towel.  Then season them with olive oil, soy sauce, and a bit of hot sauce, and bake them in the oven at about 350 degrees for thirty minutes or so, flipping them every 10 minutes.  After they’re nicely browned, put them in the refrigerator for twenty minutes or so.  This will make them even firmer.  You can then reheat them quickly in the oven – then throw them on the sandwiches and add the toppings.


Zach Made: Tofu Tonkatsu


Tonkatsu Sauce:

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shoyu

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup sake

1/4 cup mirin

4 teaspoons dry mustard powder (or 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard)

2 tablespoons ginger

2 tablespoons garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice


On medium heat, add minced garlic and minced fresh ginger and cook till fragrant.

Reduce heat to a simmer and add other ingredients except mustard and allspice. Simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes stirring regularly and skimming any foam that rises to the top. Cook until the mixture is reduced about 20%. Add the mustard and allspice. Cool and serve at room temperature.


8 cakes koyadofu, about 6 ounces (170g) in total – Koyadofu is freeze-dried tofu. Hard to find, and others may be substituted, but try to get as dry as possible through freezing drying with a paper towel.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1 cup breadcrumbs (panko)

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Shredded white cabbage, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Simmering Sauce:

2 cups dashi stock (seaweed stock)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1/2 inch cube fresh giner, peeled and grated

1 clove garlic, crushed and grated


  1. If using koyadofu soak cakes in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the simmering sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Put in the drained koyadofu and simmer for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Dab the koyadofu in the dusting flour. Mix 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water to make a thick paste. Dip the floured koyadofu in the flour-and-water paste, then roll each cake int he bread crumbs. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 350F. Slide the breaded tofu pieces into the oil in batches so they don’t stick together and deep-fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Serve hot with shredded cabbage, lemon wedges, and tonkatsu sauce.

An Evening of Aphrodisiacal Delights

Posted in Potlucks on February 28, 2011 by zandrsn

Jessie Made: Chicken Kebabs with Pomegranate Relish and Tahini Yogurt

Serves 4
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Baharat Seasoning (recipe below)
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (I’m going to substitute cilantro next time)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Baharat Seasoning (recipe below)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2″ chunks
1. Make the marinade for the chicken. Whisk the grated onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 teaspoons Baharat Seasoning in a large bowl. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
2. While the chicken is marinating, make the relish and yogurt sauce. Combine 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Baharat Seasoning, and pressed garlic in a small bowl; stir to blend. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in yogurt and tahini. Add salt, black pepper, and sugar to taste. Let stand at room temperature until serving. Mix the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, parsley or cilantro, 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature until serving.
3. Preheat broiler. Thread 6 chicken pieces onto each skewer. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. Place the skewers on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil chicken until cooked through (about 5 minutes on 3 sides, for me). (Be forewarned: My pan caught on fire and I set off the fire alarm several times while making these.) Arrange kebabs on a platter with tahini yogurt, pomegranate relish, and warm pita breads.
Baharat Seasoning
Makes 1/4 cup
1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Dave Made: Mango lime chile sorbet

60 oz mango pulp
1 lime, juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red cayenne pepper, minced
2 T agave nectar
1.5 oz vodka
mix all together and put load into an ice cream maker.
Kate (Johnson) Made: Vanilla Madeleines
24 cookies

Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz

If you use baking powder, they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher. They’re done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Avoid overbaking them. There’s nothing better than a fresh, buttery madeleine.

I also prefer to bake these in the upper-third of my oven, so the tops get slightly-browned. I love the lemon glaze, but you can omit it if you want your madeleines nekkid.

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup (175g) flour

1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of some vanilla bean powder

9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

4. Add the vanilla to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter.

Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

8. Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4′s (you’ll have to eyeball it, but it’s not brain-surgery so don’t worry if you’re not exact.) Do not spread it.

10. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set.

11. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

Tim Made: Cinnamon Ice Cream


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk quickly so that the eggs do not scramble. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I doubled the recipe for the party.

Rich Made: Avocado Love Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 mashed avocado

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup white flour

1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

½ cup Irish oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 375F. Beat the butter until smooth, add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gently beat in the avocado until blended.

2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats and coconut. Fold through the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).

4. Drop into tablespoonful-sized balls onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.

Kelli made: Brussel Sprouts in Red Wine

4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
12 large shallots, peeled and left whole
2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled and left whole
1 stalk Brussel sprouts, trimmed
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock


In a heavy casserole with a tight lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussel sprouts, toss to coat with the oil and cook about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and braise just until Brussel sprouts are tender. Remove Brussel sprouts and reduce liquid until it just coats the Brussels sprouts. Add back Brussel sprouts, toss to heat and coat with sauce.

Zach made: Aysh Assaraya (Aish El Saraya)

Ingredients for Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoons of orange blossom
  • 1 tablespoon of rose water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water

Ingredients for Custard

  • 1 litre of milk
  • ¼ (200 grams) tin of condensed milk
  • 300 ml of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of Rose water
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom
  • 6 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 layer of packed rusks (about 20 small rusk’s – enough to line the dish you will be setting the dessert in. Or double toasted bread)
  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios


Place toasted bread evenly in a square dish.

Then make the syrup- mix sugar, water, lemon together and place over medium heat. Once hot and sugar has melted, mix the orange blossom and rose water into the syrup. Now pour the hot syrup over the toast so that it soaks it in. Set Aside.

Mix together milk, cream, condensed milk and corn flour for the custard in a saucepan and place over medium heat.

Keep stirring until thick; once the custard has thickened add rose water and orange blossom.

Stir for a little more while and when the custard has reached a thick pouring consistency, pour over the toast.

Once it reaches room temperature, cover with the dish and place in the refrigerator for cooling; a minimum of 4 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with chopped pistachios

Secret Spice Suprise

Posted in Potlucks on February 27, 2011 by zandrsn

Jessie Made: Eggplants with a Nigella Seed Sauce

Serves 4 to 6


4 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida

1/2 teaspoon urad dal

1/2 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole nigella seeds (kalonji)

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 pounds Japanese or regular eggplants, cut into 1″ chunks, so that each chunk has some skin on it

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Pour the oil into a very large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and the urad dal. As soon as the dal turns a shade darker, add the mustard, cumin, nigella, and fennel seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop like popcorn, add the onions. Stir-fry for a minute. Add the garlic and eggplant. Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are a bit browned. Add the tomatoes, stock, salt, and cayenne. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to bring the contents of the pan to a simmer, and cook about 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are soft, stirring now and then. Serve over basmati rice with raita.

Adapted from www.cookstr.com

Kelli Made: Szechuan Eggplant Lo Mein

1 1/2 pounds eggplant
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chili bean paste
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark rice vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow rice wine
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns, ground
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

1 lb. of lo mein noodles, boiled

Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each length into quarters.

In a small bowl, mix together chicken stock, chili bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.

In a wok, heat oil until just smoking. Add eggplants and stir-fry until outsides become golden brown and insides begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and Szechuan peppercorns and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour in stock-sauce mixture and mix well. Allow sauce to simmer for 2 minutes and eggplant to absorb sauce. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Add boiled noodles and stir to combine.  Garnish with scallions.

Tore made: Mediterranean Venison Tacos

The venison should be cut into strips and cooked in a crock pot for at least six hours.  Season with red wine, garlic, salt and pepper.  For tortillas, buy the best brand in town: La Providencia.  Cook them on high heat on a cast-iron skillet or comal for twenty seconds on each side.  Serve with shredded red or white cabbage and green onions, and HARISSA – the real key ingredient to the meal.  Harissa is easily made at home – combine Sriracha hot garlic sauce – not the smooth stuff that comes in the bottle but the plastic jars with lots of seeds in there – along with two parts fennel and coriander and one part cumin, all ground together, and blended with the Sriracha to taste.  Combine inside a taco and enjoy!

Sakura made: Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup


  • 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 2 (13.5 ounce) cans canned coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (1 inch) piece galangal, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks lemon grass, bruised and chopped
  • 1 lime bruised and cut in quarters
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the shrimp until cooked, about one minute. Drain shrimp, and set aside.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and 3 cups of water in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer. Add the galangal, lemon grass, and lime leaves; simmer for 15 minutes, or until the flavors are infused. Strain the coconut milk into a new pan and discard the spices. Simmer the shiitake mushrooms in the coconut milk for five minutes. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Season to taste with curry powder.
  3. To serve, reheat shrimp in the soup, and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with green onion and red pepper flakes.

Galangal Cocktail

14 oz shochu
4 oz lemon juice
6oz galangal simple syrup

Galangal Simple Syrup:
For Galangal syrup, add one cup sugar to one cup water in a small saucepan. Add shredded 1 chopped galangal root, 1 stalk lemongrass, and some lemon rind to the mixture. Slow cook for 5-10 minutes until sugar has dissolved completely and let sit over night or until completely cool. Strain well. Refrigerate.

Zach Made: Black Cardamom and Pepper Ice Cream


4 black cardamom pods

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole

2 tsp black pepper, ground

3 green cardamom pods, crushed

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

6 eggs yolks

2/3 cup sugar


  1. Heat milk and cream over a low flame with spices for 30-40 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color. Temper the egg yolks into the hot milk and cream, and cook until thickened and the mixture holds a line on the back of a spoon.
  2. Chill overnight in the fridge and spin in an ice cream machine. Serve with some fresh cracked pepper, for a spicy, smoky dessert unlike any you’ve ever tasted.

Cardamom Salted Hot Fudge


7 cloves

4oz unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup of butter

1 tsp salt

7 black cardamom pods

1 can of evaporated mile

3 cups of turbinado sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 crushed black cardamom pods

2 crushed green cardamom pods


  1. Heat

Oslo Couchsurfer Curry

Posted in Main Course on February 22, 2011 by d0g3n

Winter. Oslo, Norway. The cold wind from the fjord stings my skin like a nest of hornets. I am staying in a barely-heated legalized squat house, run by a local anarchist collective. The group coheres around the kitchen; tea, coffee, milk kept unrefrigerated save for the ambient temperature of the room itself. Tonight I cook; warmth to all.

Oslo Couchsurfer Curry

3 large red peppers
1 carrot
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2-inches of ginger
5 medium potatoes, cut to bite size bits
1 head cauliflower, broken apart
1 can green peas
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
dash of cinnamon
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter

Open the coconut milk and skim off the top half. Fill the can with water and mix thoroughly.  Chop the first five ingredients and sautee them in the ghee. When the onion begins to look translucent, add all the spices and sautee for another minute. Add the potato and the can of water/coconut milk. Add additional water as needed to nearly cover the potatoes. Stir, then simmer until the potatoes are nearly done. Add the cauliflower, cook 5 minutes. Add the peas. Using a ladle, draw off 1 cup of the simmering liquid and mix it with the reserved coconut milk cream. Add it to the pot. Adjust seasonings, serve over rice.

Royal Indian feast

Posted in Potlucks, Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 by zandrsn

Jessie Made: Pudhina Paneer

Serves 6


1 gallon whole milk

¼ cup distilled white vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

2 teaspoons Balti Masala (recipe below)

2 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup tomato paste

¼ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

2 fresh green Thai chiles, stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise (including seeds)

1 cup half-and-half


1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring

frequently to prevent the milk from scorching. (Watch carefully because the milk boils

over quickly and easily.) Once the milk comes to a boil, add the vinegar. Remove the

pan from the heat and set it aside until the curds separate from the thin, watery, greenish

whey, 15 to 20 seconds.

2. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, making sure there are 2 to 3 inches

hanging over the rim of the colander. Place the colander in the sink, then pour the curds

and whey into the cheesecloth and let it drain for 5 minutes.

3. Once most of the visible liquid is gone, pour the curds into a bowl and add ¼ cup of the

cilantro, the Balti Masala, and 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt. Stir to evenly incorporate and

then pour the curds back into the cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth over

the curds to cover them.

4. Fill a Tupperware container with water and set it on top of the wrapped cheese in the

colander. Set this aside until the cheese is firm, 3 to 5 hours.

5. Remove the weight and unwrap the now-firm cheese. (You can make the cheese up to

1 week in advance, swath it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. You can also freeze the

block, sealed in a freezer-safe bag, for up to 2 months. Thaw the paneer in the refrigerator

before use.) Cut the paneer into slabs for frying.

6. Line a plate with several layers of paper towels.

7. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the paneer

slabs in a single layer and cook, turning them occasionally, until all sides are honey-

brown and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer them to the paper towel lined plate to drain.

Once the paneer is cool, cut the slabs into 1” cubes.

8. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high

heat. Add the onion and stir-fry until it is light brown around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes.

9. Stir in the tomato paste, remaining ¼ cup cilantro, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, mint,

and chiles. Lower the heat to medium and simmer the thick paste, uncovered, stirring

occasionally, until there is an oily sheen on top, 2 to 4 minutes.

10. Pour in 1 cup water, stirring to make a red sauce. Add the paneer and stir once or twice.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally and

gently, until the cheese cubes soak up some of the sauce and soften, 8 to 10 minutes.

11. Pour in the half-and-half and stir once or twice. Raise the heat to medium and simmer

the curry, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the creamy red sauce thickens, 8 to 10

minutes. Serve.

Balti Masala

Makes 1/3 cup


2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds

½ teaspoon whole cloves

½ teaspoon cardamom seeds from black pods

½ teaspoon nigella seeds

3 bay leaves

2 (3”) cinnamon sticks, broken into smaller pieces

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


1. Preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add all the whole spices (reserving the

cayenne and nutmeg) and toast, shaking the skillet every few seconds, until the fennel,

coriander, and cumin turn reddish brown, the mustard, cloves, and cardamom turn ash-

black, the cinnamon and bay leaves appear brittle and crinkly, and the mixture is highly

fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. (The nigella will not change color.) The mustard seeds will pop

like popcorn, so you will want to have a lid handy to prevent them from flying out.

2. Immediately transfer the nutty-smelling spices to a plate to cool. (The longer they

sit in the hot skillet, the more likely it is that they will burn, making them bitter and

unpalatable.) Once they are cool to the touch, place them in a spice grinder or coffee

grinder and grind until the texture resembles that of finely ground black pepper. (If you

don’t allow the spices to cool, the ground blend will acquire unwanted moisture from the

heat, making the final blend slightly “cakey.”) The ground blend will be a deep reddish

brown and the aroma will be sweet and complex, very different from those of the pre-

toasted and post-toasted whole spices. Stir in the cayenne and nutmeg. Store the mix in a

tightly sealed container, away from excess light, heat, and humidity, for up to 2 months.

Adapted from 660 Curries

Charred Eggplant Raita

Serves 8


2 medium eggplants

1 ½ cups plain yogurt

1 small onion, finely minced

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Pierce the flesh of the eggplants with a fork in several places, then put the eggplants

underneath the broiler to char the skin. Turn the eggplants with tongs until all sides are

blackened. Place the eggplants in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool.

2. Once cool, peel the skin from the eggplant flesh and discard. Remove the stem. Put the

eggplant flesh in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir the eggplant puree into the

yogurt with the onion. Season with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

Adapted from www.allrecipes.com


Rich made: Red lentil with Tofu Dal

2T veg. oil
2sm. onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
2t chopped fresh ginger
1c red lentils
6c water
1 pound tofu
1t cumin seeds
1t garam masala powder
1t salt
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
6T chopped cilantro
Serve with cooked rice

Heat tablespoon oil in sauce pan over moderate heat. add onion, garlic and cook stirring until golden. add ginger stir for 1 min. add lentils and water, bring to a gentle boil, uncovered, until lentils split, about 20 min.
in meantime, rinse and trim tofu ends, press on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
when lentils are cooked, heat remaining teaspoon of oil in sauce pan,  add garam masala, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring until fragrant 15-30 seconds. stir in hot oil to lentils then stir in tofu cubes. let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in cilantro. salt to taste.


Kelli and Tore made: Aloo Gobi


1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets

1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup water

Accompaniment: lemon wedges and cilantro


Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.  Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Breakfast for Dinner

Posted in Potlucks on January 26, 2011 by zandrsn

Amber made: Breakfast “Smorrebrod”

I decided to make two types of open-faced breakfast sandwich. For the bread, I used a variety of fresh bagels from Ike and Jane bakery in Athens, GA, which I sliced in half, pressed thin with my palm, and then toasted on both sides. I used 8 bagels, which made 16 sandwiches in all. The following recipes make 8 salmon pâté and cucumber pickle sandwiches, and 8 modified BLT sandwiches.

Salmon pâté and cucumber pickle breakfast smorrebrod (makes 8 sandwiches)

For the cucumber pickle (Prepare 6-24 hours in advance)

2 large cucumbers

3 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 t. sea salt

1T. fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice

Halve cucumbers lengthwise, scoop out seeds with a spoon, and then cut them into 1/3-inch half-moon slices. In a bowl, whisk all other ingredients. Add cucumbers and refrigerate.

For the salmon pâté (should be made ahead as well)

8 oz. cold-smoked salmon

8 oz. Neufchatel cheese or low-fat cream cheese

The zest of 1 and juice of 2 Meyer lemons

¼ cup chopped fresh dill

1t. prepared horseradish

¼ t. cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended.

Drain cucumber pickle and pat with a paper towel to remove excess liquid. On each of 8 toasted bagel rounds, spread about 2 oz salmon pâté and top with 1/8 of

cucumber slices. Garnish with a generous sprig of fresh dill.

Modified omelet BLT smorrebrod (makes 8 sandwiches)

8 toasted bagel rounds

8 thick slices pancetta, fried till crisp, drippings reserved

4 cups baby arugula

8 eggs, whisked

6 oz. chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Fresh ground black pepper

I made the omelet in two batches to have a very thin result. In a very large skillet, heat 1 T. of reserved pancetta drippings. Pour in half of the whisked eggs. When

eggs begin to cook, evenly sprinkle on half of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, half of the grated Parmesan and black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid until egg is set,

being careful to adjust heat so the egg does not burn. Slice into 8 evenly sized pieces.


Top each of eight bagels with two pieces of the thin omelet. On top of the omelet, place about ½ cup baby arugula. Finish each bagel by topping with one slice of crisp pancetta.

Dave made: Pho Ga
(served with lime slices, cilantro, basil, fried shallots, green
onions, birds eye chilies, roasted ginger paste)

1 3.5 lb chicken
3 quarts cold water
1 t black pepper corns (I added ½ t white too)
1 3-inch piece of ginger
1 large or 2 medium onions
2 T fish sauce (3 would be best)
1 lb thin rice noodles

1. Put chicken in large pot w/water and pepper corns and bring to a boil.
2. Scorch ginger and onions over flame or in hot skillet until
blackened slightly on all sides. Add to boiling water.
3. Reduce heat on chicken and simmer, skimming foam occasionally,
until chicken is fully cooked (45 min-1 hr).
4. Remove chicken and separate meat from bones and coarsely shred.
5. Strain stock through cheese cloth, transfer to bowl and refrigerate
at least 3 hrs. Skim fat.
6. Cook rice noodles in boiling water until soft, not mushy. Strain
and rinse with cold water.
7. To serve, place a small handful of noodles and another of chicken
into individual bowls and ladle stock over. Season to taste w/herbs,
lime, etc.

Jessie made: Orange Sticky Rolls

Warning: These taste good but are a huge pain in the ass to make. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


3 tablespoons active dry yeast

2/3 cup warm water

1 cup butter, diced

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups scalded milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

At least 8 cups all-purpose flour

14 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

Grated zest of 2 oranges


1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Combine the diced butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the hot milk and mix to dissolve the butter. Let stand until room temperature.

2. Mix the yeast, eggs, and as much flour as necessary into the milk mixture to form a sticky dough. Put the dough in the refrigerator to rise for 8 hours to overnight.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Lightly flour two long sheets of waxed paper, place a dough half on each sheet, and cover each with another long sheet of waxed paper. Roll each dough half out between the sheets of waxed paper as thin as you can before the dough begins to squeeze off the paper.

4. Mix the softened butter, 1 cup sugar, and orange peel with an electric mixer. Spread over one sheet of dough. Place the other sheet of dough on top of the orange/butter mixture. Cut 1″ wide strips along the short end of this rectangle and roll into pinwheel shapes. Place each pinwheel in a greased muffin cup. Let rise until doubled in size.

5. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Adapted from www.allrecipes.com


Tore and Kelli made: Savory Scallion Cheddar Waffles

1 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
¾ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Whole Milk
½ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 whole Scallion, Chopped Finely

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Gently stir in all wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in cheese and scallions. Pour batter onto a greased, preheated waffle iron. This should make about 6 square waffles. Serve hot with butter and/or syrup.


Zach made: Cheese Blintzes

Bleitlach (crepes):

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon sugar


1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) farmer cheese, hoop cheese, or ricotta

4 ounces cream cheese

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 egg

1 lemon, zested and finely grated



2 pints blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 lemon, juiced



Make crêpes

In blender, combine milk, water, melted butter, and eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt and then add to milk and eggs. Blend at low speed until smooth, less than 1 minute. Let batter stand

1 hour.

Have ready large plate or platter. Place skillet over moderately high heat, brush lightly with some melted butter, and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into pan, tilting to spread into thin, even layer. Cook until crêpe begins to “blister,” edges curl slightly away from skillet, and underside is lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use flexible spatula to flip crêpe out of skillet and onto plate, cooked side up.

Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet lightly with melted butter before cooking each crêpe.

Stack crêpes, cooked side down, on plate and let cool.

Make filling

In large bowl, mash together farmer and cream cheeses until blended. Blend in processor with Sugar.

Add egg yolk, melted butter, and salt, and mix until combined.

Preheat oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 1 crêpe, cooked side up, on a plate. Place 2-3 tablespoons filling just below center, and fold up bottom to cover filling. Flip over and fold in sides, then pull over top. Flip over again and place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining crêpes and filling. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to fry.) Bake blintzes, covered loosely with foil, until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

Make sauce

In large saucepan, combine 3 cups blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Set over moderately low heat and stir gently until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to moderately high and boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and gently stir in remaining blueberries.

Fry blintzes

Heat 1-2 tablespoon butter in iron skillet over moderately high heat. Add 3 blintzes and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining blintzes. Keep warm in preheated oven. Serve hot sprinkled with powdered sugar. Add sauce. Top with sour cream and powdered sugar.