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This pasta came about after my daughter brought a bunch of vegetables home from the farmer’s market at their school. It is a great program to introduce kids to different fruits and vegetables. Kids are more likely to eat the vegetables when they make the choice themselves.
They will also be more interested in maybe helping at home to cook the veggies for dinner.
In my case I had a bunch of lovely swiss chard and some corn. I decided to make a pasta dish. I had a stuffed pasta in the freezer I purchased at Eataly in NYC.
I sauteed some pancetta and added shallots and garlic. I then added the fresh corn, some fresh tomato sauce and the swiss chard. It was super simple and very delicious. I cooked the tiny pasta and added some pasta water into the sauce. A few minutes later I had a delicious, healthy- farm to table food.
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I have to give full credit to my husband for coming up with this idea. While we were discussing what to make for dinner and came up with the fish curry- we were wondering what to serve it with.
My husband loves polenta and he suggested I make it with the fish- but I wasn’t sure since when I think of polenta- Italian cuisine comes to mind… but then I thought, I could make the polenta Indian style. Hmm- as I sat on the train, I began envisioning the polenta. I thought I would start with curry leaves and mustard seeds. Lemon rice came to mind and so I decided to add some nuts for texture. Instead of cooking the polenta with milk and broth, I decided to cook it with just broth and eliminate the cheese. I also wanted to add a vegetable to balance the dish- frozen spinach- perfect!!!
The result was amazing- why didn’t I think of this before??? Sky is the limit when it comes to what all I can add to the polenta. It was delicious with the fish curry- great combination. The spinach was delicious and so were the pistachios- and it was so quick to make.
Next time you are looking for a side dish- think polenta and let your imagination run wild….
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
- 5 to 6 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
- 1 cup fine one minute polenta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Juice of half a lemon
Heat a medium pan with the olive oil. Add the mustard seeds, nuts and curry leaves. Saute for a minute on medium heat. Add the chicken broth and spinach. Bring to a boil and add salt and polenta. Whisk till thick and smooth. Taste for seasonings and add lemon juice. Serve with fish curry.
We were in the city on a Monday for lunch and as usual even after a delicious meal- I was thinking about what to cook for dinner. I asked my husband for ideas and he suggested some thing South Indian. I reminded him Mondays are my busy day since our daughter has some activities after school and we don’t get home until about 6 PM. I don’t get a lot of time to cook and my daughter is super hungry when we get home. So, I need to prepare something in the afternoon and put it together quickly once we get home.
I ended up making a South Indian style fish curry- I happened to have cod in the freezer which I took out as soon as I got home. I processed shallots and ginger together. I roasted cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds and ground them up. The spice mixture holds the key to this curry- it gives it great flavor.
I marinated the fish with some shredded coconut, tamarind concentrate, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric and salt. Remember to keep the fish in the fridge and only marinate for an hour. The rest was easy- I started with sauteing the shallots and curry leaves and then added the spice mix. I then added the coconut milk and fish stock.
The curry was delicious, especially with the Indian style polenta- yes, you read it correctly.. recipe to follow tomorrow…
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This is a delicious dish for a chilly weeknight or even weekend evening. When I hear ragu- I think of red wine. In fact I used the same red wine for cooking as I did for drinking. That is one of the secrets to a successful dish. If you use a subpar wine for cooking, it will intensify in the dish and taste really bad- but if you use a reasonably good quality wine- it results in a delicious dish. By good quality I don’t mean a super expensive wine. It is amazing what $10 to $15 can get you.
Anyway, this is kind of like a coq au vin but a lot easier. Also it is served on top of creamy, herb polenta. My daughter is not a big fan but my husband and I love it. I made it with chicken broth and milk and added fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme. The combination of the herbs and Gruyere made the polenta super flavorful and creamy.
Overall the dish was fabulous…
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You can’t have a Latin style Thanksgiving dinner without a cranberry salsa- right? Well as I was thinking of all the different flavors I could add to a cranberry sauce- I somehow decided to pair the red berries with pineapple. I of course cooked it all in yummy pineapple juice and added the usual suspects- smoked paprika, cilantro and green onions. You can make this a week before and freeze. I would freeze it after the cranberries and pineapple are cooked. Add the fresh cilantro and green onions the day of the feast once the salsa is thawed.
The sweet and tangy sauce was absolutely delicious with the chipotle turkey, scalloped potatoes, chorizo stuffing and of course chorizo brussels sprouts.
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