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Category Archives: Holiday Ideas

Roasted Brussels sprouts with Chorizo

November 20, 2017
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pack fresh Mexican chorizo, casings off and crumbled
  • Salt
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Blanch the Brussels sprouts in boiling water, drain and put them into an ice bath to shock them and retain the color. Take out of the water and pat dry. Keep aside. This can be done a day before and refrigerated.

Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chorizo and cook on medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes till golden brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook for a minute. Add the Brussels sprouts to the mixture, mix well and cook for 5 to 6 minutes till the sprouts are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Manchego and Smoked Paprika Mashed Potatoes

November 20, 2017
  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small squares
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ to 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups shredded Manchego cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped

Add the cut potatoes to a deep pot and cover with water. Add at least 2 tablespoons salt and the garlic cloves. Place a lid on the potatoes and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and garlic and put them through a food mill and add back to the hot pot. Add butter, half and half and smoked paprika. Check for seasonings, add pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool all the way. Add the grated cheese and mix well. At this point, the potatoes can be refrigerated and made at least a day in advance. Once ready to bake, take out of fridge at least 30 minutes in advance. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or till heated through. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Mexican Style Turkey Breast with Ancho Chili

November 19, 2017

Compound Butter

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix the butter with orange and lemon zest, garlic and salt.

Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon acho chili powder

Mix all the spices together and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup Chili Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 7 to 10 pound turkey breast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 orange, cut into eight pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into eight pieces
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Have your gravy ready either the day before or the morning of. Transfer it to a large saucepan and keep aside.

Preheat convection oven to 325 degreed F.

Place the turkey onto a rack in a roasting pan. Turn the turkey over and place the cut up orange and lemon inside the cavity. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally and turn it breast side facing up. Loosen the skin and carefully spread half the compound butter. Spread the rest all over the skin. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the top. Pour the broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. Keep aside.

With a brush add the chili barbecue sauce (recipe below) all over the turkey. Roast the turkey glazing every 15 minutes. Roast till internal temperature reaches 158 to 160 degrees F. Take out of the oven and place onto a platter and cover with foil to rest for at least 20 minutes. While the turkey is resting, take the drippings from the bottom of the pan and pour them into a small glass bowl. Let the fat separate, remove from top and pour the liquid into the prepared gravy and bring to a boil. Check for seasonings and heat the gravy through. Serve with the turkey.

Chili Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 dried ancho chilies, stems and seeds discarded and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 14 ounces can diced tomatoes with chilies

½ cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

Juice and zest of 3 clementines

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ancho chilies, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, zest, juice and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low flame for about 20 minutes. Take off heat and transfer to a blender and blend till a smooth sauce is formed. Check for seasonings and take out into a small bowl.

 

 

Make Ahead Turkey Stock for Thanksgiving Gravy

November 16, 2017

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

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

October 15, 2017

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.

Honey Orange Walnut Cake- Great for Rosh Hashanah

September 20, 2017

This cake is delicious- everyone loved it. It was light yet very moist due to the honey orange syrup.

Try it for the upcoming holiday.

  • 1 ¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and orange zest in a medium bowl. Whisk to aerate. Keep aside.

  • ¾ cup raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 9 inch round cake pan.

Beat the sugar and olive oil in an electric mixture for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the milk and mix for 30 seconds and add the walnuts. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well and pour into the round cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the done. Let cool and take out of pan onto a flat platter.

Honey Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water and orange juice. Bring to a boil and cook on simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat off and slowly drizzle the honey syrup on to the hot cake. Repeat till all of the syrup is absorbed.

Let the cake cool before serving.

Chimichurri Sauce with Grilled Meat and Vegetables

June 20, 2017
  • 2 -3 pounds pork tenderloin, cleaned and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 20 ounces Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 – 3 zucchinis, washed and cut into 2 inch rounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Cut and skewer all the meat, shrimp and vegetables. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Keep aside.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt at a time and adjust to personal taste. Keep room temperature for at least an hour before serving. Serve the grilled meat, shrimp and vegetables with a drizzle of chimichurri.