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Cranberry & Pineapple Salsa

November 11, 2019

Great take on cranberry sauce!

  • 16 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cups pineapple juice
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1½ cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped

Add the cranberries, pineapple juice to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar, fresh pineapple, salt and paprika. Cook on low heat for ten minutes until the sauce is thick. Check for seasonings and let cool. Can be frozen at this point for up to a week. Add the cilantro and green onions right before serving.

Make Ahead Turkey Stock for Thanksgiving Gravy

November 10, 2019

Turkey Stock 5Time to make your own turkey stock!!! It makes a big difference if you use homemade, with your own flavor profile..

By this time of year, most grocery stores have turkey necks and backs for just a few bucks. I buy a pack and roast them simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. I let them hang out in the oven till the pieces are golden brown and delicious looking. I then add them to a big pot full of chicken broth, and lots of vegetables and aromatics. For me garlic and fresh herbs are a must- like thyme, rosemary, etc. I like my gravy dark brown and so use a box of beef broth to richen the color. The stock cooks for at least an hour or two until the liquid is reduced quite a bit- in this case I reduced it to 3 cups. From here you have an option to continue the process and make the gravy and freeze for later. I find the gravy consistency compromised after it is frozen- so I stop at this point and freeze the stock.

You can take it out two days before thanksgiving and let it thaw in the fridge and make the gravy the morning of.

  • About a pound or a pound and a half turkey neck and back
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

On a lined baking pan, place the turkey parts. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Roast for an hour or till the parts are golden brown. Take out of the oven and keep aside.

Turkey Stock 3

  • Two boxes of 32 oz chicken stock
  • One box of 32 oz beef stock
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly cut up
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

In a large stockpot add the chicken stock, beef stock, onion, garlic, carrots, thyme and rosemary. Add the roasted turkey parts and bring to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours or till the liquid is reduced to about 3 cups. Strain the liquid out by pressing all the goodness out of the cooked vegetables. Take out in a container and refrigerate over night. Skim the excess fat off and freeze till needed.

Turkey Stock 4

Cardamom Saffron Panna Cotta

October 23, 2019

This is a good dessert for Diwali- the cardamom and saffron come through loud and clear!

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Eight 4 ounce ramekins

Pistachio Topping

  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

In a small saucepan heat the cream, sugar and salt until steaming hot (not boiling), stirring from time to time. Add the cardamom pods and saffron. Cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Meanwhile pour the milk into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Add the milk and gelatin to the cream and reheat to steam, stirring well to dissolve gelatin (make sure not to boil). Strain the mixture into the ramekins and refrigerate overnight.

Grind the pistachios, salt and brown sugar in a grinder.

Top the panna cottas with ground pistachio mixture and serve.

Besan and Nariyal Barfi (Indian Confection Made with Chickpea Flour and Coconut)

October 22, 2019

Here is one of my favorite Indian sweets! Happy Diwali! Enjoy..

  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms (seeds taken out and crushed)
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • Sliced almonds
  • Pistachios, chopped

Heat a medium frying pan and add the coconut oil. Add the besan and sauté on medium heat for at least 30 minutes (or more) till the mixture turns a light caramel color.
Add the ricotta, coconut and cardamom seeds. Mix well and let the moisture from the ricotta cook out- about ten minutes.
Turn the heat off and add the sugar. Mix well until all is incorporated.
Spread the mixture on to a shallow platter with edges. Smooth with a spatula and sprinkle the almonds and pistachios and press down with fingers. Keep in fridge for half an hour to set. Take out and cut into small squares and serve.

Turkey and Mushroom Meatballs

October 7, 2019

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 ounces Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs soaked in 1/3 cup of milk
  • ½ cup burrata cheese, torn into chunks
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt
  • 4 cups store bought or homemade marinara sauce

Heat a medium frying pan with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté on a medium high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and a sprinkle of salt. Continue to sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat off and cool completely.

Add the turkey meat to a medium bowl, add the cooled mushroom mixture, both the cheeses, egg, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and the soaked breadcrumbs. Mix well and keep the mixture aside for about an hour in the fridge for the flavors to marinate.

Heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan. Form medium sized balls from the turkey meat and gently drop into the simmering tomato sauce. Once all the meat used up, bring the sauce and meatballs to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti!

Coconut Rice with Shrimp

October 1, 2019
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, tails taken off
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chimichurri sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen petit peas, thawed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté for a minute. Take them out on a platter and sprinkle some salt. Cut the shrimp in half and keep aside.
Add the chimichurri sauce into the pan and saute for a minute. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat as holes begin to appear on the surface. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and shrimp on top and cover with lid.
Cook for another 10 minutes or till the shrimp is fully cooked. Mix well and add salt, lemon juice and cilantro. Mix well and serve hot.

Apple Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream

September 30, 2019

Another favorite…

  • 1/3 cup plus ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 large Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan (any shape will be fine)

Stir together 1/3 cup sugar with apple cider, lemon juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan, then stir in the apples. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl.
Whisk together egg, cider, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture- whisk till combined.
Spoon the batter into baking pan spreading evenly. Then pour apple mixture evenly over batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or till cake is done.

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree

Whip the cream in a standing mixer till soft peaks form. Add the sugar and pumpkin puree. Whip for another minute and chill for an hour before serving with cake.