Archive for the Potlucks Category

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

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

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

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


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


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.

Christmas in Southeast Asia

Posted in Potlucks on January 26, 2011 by zandrsn

Jessie made: Thai Iced Tea

Serves 1/2 to 1 gallon


6 star anise pods, ground

1 teaspoon orange blossom water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch ground cinnamon

1/2 cup loose Chinese black tea leaves

1 cup white sugar

4 drops red food coloring

Sweetened condensed milk


1. Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil. Add the crushed star anise pods, orange blossom water, vanilla, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and tea leaves.

2. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup sugar and red food coloring. Cover and steep until tepid.

3. Strain the tea into a pitcher. Add enough additional cold water to make 3/4 to 1 gallon, if desired. In each glass, pour tea over lots of ice and add a generous amount of sweetened condensed milk. Stir vigorously.

Adapted from

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango

Serves 10


1 1/2 cups Thai sweet rice

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tapioca starch

2 mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


1. Soak the rice overnight.

2. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. While the rice cooks, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture; cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

4. Make a sauce by mixing together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (I have reduced this amount from 1 tablespoon, which turned my sauce into silly putty) in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

5. Place the sticky rice on individual serving dishes. Arrange the mango slices on top. Pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Adapted from

Kate made: Baked Crab Rangoon

This is a combination of the many recipes found online. For best results, as usual, mix ingredients a day ahead to allow flavors to mingle.

1 package of imitation crab
2 packages of cream cheese
2 green onions
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
salt and pepper

wonton wrappers
grated Parmesan cheese
green onion

Place wonton wrappers in a muffin tray and add a spoonful of filling, sprinkle with grated Parm and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Once shells and filling are golden brown, remove from oven and sprinkle remaining green onion. Serve with Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.

Kelli made: Korean BBQ tacos with seitan

  • 2 packages seitan, cut into smaller strips
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons garlic/chili sauce

Mix last 5 ingredients together and marinate seitan for at least an hour.  Pan fry the seitan with the marinade until it has browned just a little.

serve with:
small flour tortillas
green onion

Dave Made: Dave’s Transformative Thai Curry

2 cloves garlic, crushed with knife
1 2 inch piece of galangal, skin scraped off with a spoon, chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, outer layers and woody top and root removed, chopped
1T fish sauce
2 t sugar (adjust to taste)
2 kefir lime leaves, removed from central stem
1 can maesri curry paste
2 T peanut oil
1 can high fat coconut milk
1 onion, diced
(you can add other vegetables, meat, tofu, etc. if you’re using
potatoes, i would recommend pre-boiling.)
1 lime
birds eye chilies, sliced into thin cross-sections to taste
fresh cilantro and thai basil leaves to taste (in my opinion, the more
the merrier)

1. in a food processor (or mortar) grind garlic, galangal, lemongrass
into fine paste.
2. heat oil in wok or large skillet until very hot. add onions and
stirfry until they start getting translucent. then, add
garlic-galangal-lemongrass paste and can of curry paste, stirring
vigorously (this will most likely make some smoke, but it’s worth it).
reduce heat slightly and add other meats and veggies as you would a
3. add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves. bring to a
boil, and reduce to a simmer.
4. just before serving throw in basil and cilantro leaves, give a good
stir. squeeze lime juice over top. adjust seasoning (salt, sugar and
5. enjoy with rice.

note: to make this a bit more traditional, you can add the top layer
of coconut cream to the hot hot pan as you fry the pastes. stir until
the coconut oil begins to separate from the milk.

Zach made: Chai Eggnog

15 whole cloves
4 quarter-sized pieces of fresh ginger (1/2″ thick)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken up
1/2 vanilla bean, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 cup water
4 Darjeeling tea bags
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Brandy, rum or whiskey, optional
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg

With a mortar and pestle crush fresh ginger, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cardamom seeds, whole coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns and whole fennel seeds until coarsely ground.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the ginger and spices in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a meat mallet.

In a small saucepan bring spice mixture and water to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add Darjeeling tea bags and steep for five minutes.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a saucepan while the tea is steeping.  Gradually heavy cream and whole milk, whisking until smooth.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is as thick as heavy cream.  If you boil this the eggnog will curdle and you will have scrambled eggs in your nog.  Off heat, strain the tea into eggnog.

Serve in your favorite cup warm or chill until cold.  Sprinkle ground or fresh nutmeg on top for garnish.

For those wanting to add liquor, a shot of brandy, rum or whiskey per glass will usually be sufficient.  If you are serving this warm, add liquor after straining the tea.  If you are serving it cold, chill the eggnog and stir in the liquor just before serving.

Amber made: Larb

THE SAUCE (whisk the following together in a bowl and set aside)

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 generous tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste)

THE BODY (instructions follow)

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 shallots, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-rings
  • 3 tablespoons very finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons fresh serrano chilis, sliced into paper-thin rings
  • 1/2 cup each of roughly chopped fresh cilantro and mint
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted white rice, roughly ground

In a heavy skillet or wok, bring broth to a simmer, then crumble ground turkey into the pan. When the turkey is cooked and well crumbled, add toasted rice, green onions, shallots, lemongrass, and serrano chilis. Cook until veggies are just tender, then remove from heat and let rest about 10 minutes, then add sauce, cilantro and mint. Taste when herbs have wilted, and adjust chili sauce to your preference.

Larb can be eaten with a spoon right out of the pan, served on a bed of fresh greens, or wrapped in lettuce leaves, but my favorite way to have it is wrapped in green cabbage and radicchio leaves. Vegetarians should substitute tofu for the turkey, and a good vegetable stock for the chicken stock, and I think it will be just as nice.

Experimental Thanksgiving Potluck

Posted in Potlucks on December 10, 2010 by zandrsn

Tori and Kelli made: Butternut Squash & Israeli Couscous Salad–Two Ways


Israeli couscous
roasted butternut squash (seasoned with garlic, salt, and nutmeg)
goat cheese
toasted walnuts
2 shallots, finely diced
topped with fried sage leaves


Israeli couscous
roasted butternut squash (seasoned with garlic, salt, and nutmeg)
1 tin of anchovies, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves
2 large shallots
olive oil (for a quick saute of the garlic and shallots)
parmigiano reggiano
fresh basil, chopped
lots of cracked black pepper

Rich made: Sweet Pumpkin Spice Tamales

(Makes 12 to 14 tamales)
Cortez uses fresh masa (available in tortillerias and Latino markets); look for masa refregada, masa molida or masa sin preparada on the package.  Do not buy masa preparada, which is premixed with lard.

30 large dry cornhusks
1 cup butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/4 cup fresh masa

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 to 1/4 cup milk

Rinse cornhusks; soak in hot water until pliable, about 15 minutes.

Cream butter and sugar on medium-high in mixer until fluffy, about 12 minutes.  With mixer running, add salt, cinnamon and cloves after first few minutes of mixing.

Thoroughly mix masa, pumpkin puree, baking powder and milk in separate bowl.  Mix masa mixture, ¼ cup at a time, into butter mixture until ingredients are incorporated and texture is airy.

Drain cornhusks and pat dry.  Spread 2 tablespoons dough on half of each husk, leaving margin on all sides.  Fold sides of huscks to enclose dough and bring up pointed end of husks even with cut ends.  Tie tamales.

Place tamales vertically, folded side down, in steamer basket covered with a few unfilled cornhusks.  Place basket in large pot with 1 to 2 inches simmering water.  Cover tamales with some of remaining unfilled cornhusks and clean towel, then add lid.  Steam, without uncovering pot, 50 to 60 minutes.

Tamales should be firm when prodded with fork after being unwrapped and allowed to sit 5 minutes.

Dave made: Italian-inspired Stuffing

1 large loaf italian white bread

1 loaf focaccia (a nice one with cheese and herbs, preferably)

1 lb hot italian sausage
1 fennel bulb

1/2 red onion

6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fennel seeds

3 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms

7oz smoked mozzarella, 1/8 inch dice

1 cup good quality kalamata olives, deseeded and chopped

1 medium sized jar tomatoes marinated in oil (dried or fresh)

½ cup parmesean, grated

-dice bread and dry out in oven at 250 for 30-40 min until dry but not toasted
-Brown sausage and deglaze w/water or stock. Reserve liquid.
-sautee onions, fennel, garlic
-dry fry fennel seeds
-rehydrate porcini mushrooms in stock
-remove mushrooms and chop
-combine all ingredients (including tomato marinating oil) in greased roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350
-sprinkle parmesean on top and finish under the broiler

Jessie made: Blue-Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Crystallized Ginger Topping

Blue-Cranberry Sauce

Serves 9


1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 cup water
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 ¼ teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1 pint fresh blueberries

1. Wash and pick over cranberries. Place in a medium saucepan with water, sugar, and orange peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until
cranberries pop.
2. Slightly mash the cranberries with the back of a wooden spoon to ensure all skins are broken. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Mix well.
3. Remove from heat and mix in the blueberries. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
4. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly, and place plastic wrap directly on top of sauce to cover.
Refrigerate until chilled.

Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Crystallized Ginger Topping

Serves 8

1 recipe for a 9” double pie crust
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unsalted raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
Large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, slivered
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream

1. Roll out one pie crust on a lightly floured surface to 13” in diameter. Transfer crust to 9” glass pie dish. Press crust evenly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Trim dough overhang to 1”. Fold overhang under, forming high-standing rim ¾” above sides of dish. (This is important because there will be lots of filling.) Crimp edges decoratively. Freeze crust until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds; sauté until nuts brown slightly and pepitas begin to pop. (Watch the nuts very carefully; you don’t want them to burn.) Sprinkle brown sugar and salt over; stir until sugar melts and nuts are coated with glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in crystallized ginger. Cool topping in skillet.
3. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line frozen pie crust with foil; fill with dried beans or rice. Bake crust until sides are set, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans or rice. Bake just until crust is set and sides are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Remove crust from oven. Maintain oven temperature.
4. Combine pumpkin, both sugars, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolk, then cream. Pour filling into warm crust. Sprinkle topping evenly around edge of filling, forming 1 ½” border (some topping may sink into filling). Bake pie for 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven and wrap foil around edge of crust and topping to prevent the crust and nuts from burning. Return pie to oven and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is set in center (center may move very slightly when dish is gently shaken), 40 to 45 minutes.
Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Amber made: Jerk Turkey Drumsticks


8 turkey pieces, mix of legs and thighs

Here’s what you throw in to make the rub:

2 bunches of scallions, rough chopped
1/2 cup ground allspice or 1 cup whole allspice berries
12 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (more for hotter)
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce
10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (add more if you like)
1 T ground thyme
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T fresh grated nutmeg
1 T fresh ground black peppercorns
Optional: 1T molasses (makes it sweeter, funkier)

To do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse all of the rub ingredients in a food processor, stirring occasionally, until it is of the consistency of a sludgy slush puppy or sandy mud (thick and grainy but liquid; all veggies thoroughly blended in. The spices will make it grainy, especially if you use whole allspice berries). It will exude a peppery, scallion-y scent. Don’t put your face too close to smell it! Rub the poultry parts thoroughly with the rub. Thickly slather them as you arrange them in a heavy duty baking dish. Pour the rest of the rub over the top. Cover the dish tightly in foil, and bake until the collagen in the meat starts to break down and it starts to fall off of the bones (about two hours, but check periodically). When it is close to done, your kitchen will begin to smell wonderfully like a mingling of spice cookies, garlic, and stewed meat. You will begin to drool. For holidays, serve with a homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce or cranberry relish.

WARNING: Use plastic or rubber gloves when handling scotch bonnets and the blended rub. Do not handle the jerk rub with your bare hands, and for the love of your brother don’t splash any in your eyes or nose area. And, as with bacon, please don’t do this nude.

Zach made: Chipotle Mac and Cheese


1 pound macaroni

1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1/2  cup  finely chopped red bell pepper

1/4~½ cup butter?

3 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tsp mustard powder

Pinch of cumin

Maybe one can of diced tomatoes

Maybe 1 cup of cottage cheese

4 chipotle in adobo and their juices, chopped or 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili

3 tablespoons~1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk (2 if using cottage cheese)

3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar (1 cup monetary jack and 2 cheddar)

Salt and black pepper to taste (1~1.5 tsp salt, .5 t of pepper)


Preheat oven to 350°.

Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. When it boils, salt water and cook pasta until a little under done, just shy of al dente.

1. Remove 1.5 teaspoon~ 1T adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 3 chipotle chiles from can; finely chop to measure 1 tablespoon. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.

2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and place the macaroni into the bottom of the dish. Heat milk in a saucepan until hot but not boiling.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan, and cook and stir the onion, garlic, and chipotle chiles until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and let cook for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly to avoid burning. Whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir in paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer (do not boil), whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheeses, about 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is thick and smooth.

4. Pour the sauce over the macaroni in the baking dish, and stir gently to combine. Cover the dish with foil.

5. Bake covered until the dish is bubbling and the macaroni has absorbed some of the sauce, about 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake until golden brown on the edges, 10 to 15 more minutes.