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Category Archives: Holiday Ideas

Indian Style Latkes

December 2, 2018

Here is my take on potato latkes… !

  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons chickpea flour (all-purpose flour will be fine)
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil heated to about 200 degrees.

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place a small lined cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Line a large mixing bowl with a cheese cloth. Grate the potatoes in the cloth and squeeze all the liquid out and put back into the bowl. Add the shallots, green onions, ginger, chile, cilantro, egg, salt and the coriander powder. Slowly add the flour, mix well until the mixture is thick.
Scoop the mixture with a ¼ cup measure. Place it gently in the hot oil and flatten it with the back of the cup measure. Cook on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes on both sides or till golden brown. Take out on a platter lined with paper towels, drain well and place in the oven to keep hot.
Serve with cilantro cream or apple chutney.

Makes 9-10 medium sized latkes.

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Cilantro Cream

  • ½ cup low-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste

In a blender, add the sour cream, cilantro, lime-juice and salt. Blend till smooth- you may need to add a couple teaspoons of water to start the blending process. Take out in a small bowl and serve with the latkes.

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Apple Chutney

  • One large honey crisp apple, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Salt

In a small saucepan, add the apple, cider, vinegar, sugar, cloves, ginger, cayenne pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the apples till they are soft and the liquid is half the amount- about 10 minutes. Smash the apples with the back of a ladle and mix with the thickened liquid. Cook for another 5 minutes and take out in a bowl and serve with the latkes.

Manchego Smoked Paprika Mashed Potatoes

November 20, 2018

  • 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
  • ½ cup cilantro, 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.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with Chorizo

November 19, 2018

  • 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

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

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.

Mexican Style Turkey Breast with Ancho Chili

November 18, 2018

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.

  • ½ 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.

 

 

Apple Galette

November 11, 2018

I baked this delicious dessert using the Food and Wine recipe by Jacques Pepin. It’s an incredible recipe and everyone loved it. I did tweak it a bit- I added the heavy cream and turbinado sugar. I also used an amazing apple pie spice from raw spice bar. This apple pie spice mix is delicious, it included green cardamom, grains of paradise and rosemary. The flavor was incredible- I would highly recommend this spice store online.

Pastry

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup ice water

In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until pastry just begins to come together and forms a ball- about 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, form into a disk and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

 

  • 3 large golden delicious apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons apple pie spices
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise ¼ inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones- about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and apple pie spices.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  On a lightly floured work surface roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round circle and transfer to a large lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped apples over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Drizzle the honey over the chopped apples. Decoratively arrange the apples slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the spiced sugar evenly over the apples and dot with pieces of butter. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1-inch border. Spread the heavy cream over the folded pastry with a pastry brush evenly. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the cream.

Bake the galette for about 50 minutes or till the pastry is nice browned and crisp and the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract till stiff peaks are formed. Refrigerate till serving with the galette.

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

November 6, 2018

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.

Cardamom Saffron Panna Cotta

November 5, 2018

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.