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My all time favorite dish- okay one of them at least- is boar ragu I have at Arturos in Maplewood. It is simply the most delicious boar ragu I have had. Before going to Umbria last month, I was very excited about eating lots of boar- since that region is famous for it. We did have some boar salami and pasta dishes. They were all delicious but something about the one Dan serves in Arturos. It is consistently good and perfectly spiced. It a mixture of boar and mushrooms cooked in a bit of cream and herbs- perfect in my book.
While my cousins were visiting from Austin, I decided to replicate the dish- in my way. I used pork instead of boar and added pancetta to the mix. I simmered the meat in beef broth. I used a bit of half and half and finished the dish with some black truffle paste. All in all, it was a delicious dish- not the same as Dan’s but still good. We all ate it with a lovely red bottle of wine we brought back from Umbria- it was perfect.
I even served the pasta the next day to Sia and her friend- they ate it up in no time! Definitely give this one a try- you will love it too.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup pancetta, chopped
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ pound penne, al dente- ½ cup spare pasta water
- 2 tablespoons truffle paste or 1 tablespoon truffle oil
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the pancetta and sauté for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add the carrots, onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the pork and separate with the back of a wooden spatula while sautéing the meat on medium high heat about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook on medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, till a thick sauce is formed. Add salt and half and half. Add the truffle paste or oil. Mix well and add the cooked pasta and pasta water. Check for seasonings and serve.
So, this is one of the things I did with the fabulous apples sauce I made the other day. I am amazed at the versatility of this apple sauce- as I write this I am preparing a pork loin dinner with a savory apple sauce (recipe will be posted soon) and potatoes.
I loved all the gelati I made in the past based on the corn starch ice cream recipe by Mark Bittman. I loved the idea of making healthy gelato. I have made chocolate cinnamon, pistachio cardamom and walnut saffron gelati in the past (amongst others). All of them have come out delicious.
As we approach this delicious fall season- my favorite time of year, I have been making treats with pumpkin and apples. So while I had these ingredients in my head- gelato came to mind… I thought I could make apple gelato, especially once the apple sauce was made. I thought I would make vanilla gelato and once the frozen treat was done churning, I would mix the homemade apple sauce to it.
That is what I did and it turned out very delicious! The gelato part is sweet with an amazing taste of the vanilla bean I used. The apples bits are sweet and tangy at the same time and complement the vanilla really well. It would actually be yummy on top of a slice of pumpkin pie. I love the apple and pumpkin flavors together- I am definitely going to experiment with the two some more…
- 1 cup apple sauce
- ½ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
- ½ vanilla bean, split in half
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons whole milk to mix in the cornstarch
Ice cream maker
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and the vanilla bean on medium heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the edges, add the cornstarch mixed in with 2 tablespoons milk. Cook till the mixture begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes and forms a custard consistency. Remove from the heat. Strain and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Take out in a bowl and mix the apple sauce. Freeze the gelato for at least an hour once it is done.
This is first time I have ever made apple sauce. I never understood why someone would make iy- what is the point? You either eat them raw or use them in a dessert or maybe even cook them on the side with pork or duck.
Then I started writing this blog and apple season came along. Well, I had to come up with a few apple recipes- and I did.. I made the apple cranberry bread, which by the way is delicious. I was thinking what else to make when an apple ice cream came to mind. I was of course going to make my healthy gelato- but what else should I was I going to add to it??
That is when apple sauce came to mind. I looked for different recipes and that is when I came across Ina Garten’s apple sauce recipe- I just love her recipes- don’t you want to invited to her house for a fabulous meal?
I adapted her recipe and came up with this. After the big saucepan came out of the oven and I tasted the results- I understood why people make their own apple sauce. It was absolutely delicious! Fresh, yummy and just the right sweetness and tartness. The wheels were turning in my head- all the things I can do with this- dessert topping, with a pork loin, on top of pancakes- sky is the limit… I can’t wait…
Try this recipe- it’s really good. I will be testing the apple sauce gelato tomorrow and posting the recipe soon- stay tuned.
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This okra dish is very popular in Indian restaurants. It’s one of my favorite vegetables to eat but only when cooked Indian style. Okra has a very slimy wet texture if it is frozen or any water is introduced to the dish. Now I remember okra as a summer vegetable. This was back when we used to eat according to what was in season. Things have changed and I can get okra year round. Usually, this dish is made out of fresh okra and sauteed for a long time till the wet texture is cooked away. I have used frozen okra in this recipe since it is cheaper and easier to find. My Mom informed me of a way to get the slimy texture out of the frozen vegetable. I cooked it in the microwave for three minutes and that did the trick! Adjust time according to the intensity of your microwave, of course! The dish is finished with ‘aamchoor’ (dry mango powder) to give it a soft tart taste. I added fresh lemon juice instead. It works quite well. This is for those of you who want to incorporate more vegetables into your repertoire. This can be a side dish with fish, chicken or even a roast. Enjoy!
- 10 ounces frozen chopped okra, thawed or fresh if you can find it
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 serrano chilies, cut and split in half
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon aamchoor
Line a large plate with a sheet of paper towel. Place the okra in one layer and microwave for 3 minutes. The reason for this step is to remove the wet slimy texture frozen okra has.
In a cast iron or non-stick frying pan heat the olive oil. Add the onions, serrano chilies and sauté over high heat. Add the okra. Stir constantly careful not to burn but brown evenly. Once the okra and the onions are dark brown and well sautéed, add the salt, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper. Take off heat and add the lemon juice. Adjust seasoning and serve.
I love making lentils. At the Indian stores, there are at least 20 different kinds of lentils lined up on the wall. It can be quite confusing and overwhelming trying to choose which ones to take home. I have about 5 or 6 that I make constantly.
These brown lentils are one of my favorites. I am always looking to cook them in a different way to change it up a bit. I like making them as they are particularly creamy and delicious. They cook fairly quick and are a perfect weeknight meal.
I made this dish with fennel seeds. I added them at the very end to give the dish a very fresh and delicate flavor. The half and half made the lentils even more creamy- really delicious!
My daughter loves all sorts of lentils and eats them happily with rice. I usually make rice with peas and serve it with the lentils- it is a complete meal. Whenever I am confused about what to make or don’t have much time, I go into my pantry and look at the lentil shelf. It is great to be able to make something at a moments notice without having to go to a grocery store.