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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quick Ricotta Dumplings with Garlic Tomato Sauce

Ever since I spied Mark Bittman's "easy recipe" for ricotta dumplings I knew I had to try it out with my family. We are cheese lovers to the hilt and anything with tomato sauce is a sure fire winner with the youngest of the family. Sure enough, these were simple, quick and delicious!

It's one of those dishes that you do not want to embellish in any way and using a very simple tomato sauce is the way to go. I used Marcella Hazan's famous butter, onion, tomatoes (throw it all in a pan, simmer for an hour and presto, gorgeous sauce!) And don't even think about adding extra grated cheese, that's gilding the lily in a most undelightful way!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Curried Latkes with Sour Cream and Pear Chutney

Potatoes are probably one of my most favorite ingredients in the world. Humble, versatile, comforting yet capable of transporting one to exotic lands since they are such great vehicles of flavor. The latke is the perfect example. Shred potatoes, squeeze out excess moisture and add eggs and flour and you have the age old peasant food that has sustained families for generations. Add some curry and chutney and you leave the Russian steppes and float away to a Bengali street vendor. All in the time it takes to make weekend brunch!

I will admit that not all of my latke experiments turn out as well as this one. Maybe it's the preponderance of Indian food that has been my favorite cuisine to explore but I seemed to have gotten this one right on the head.

Of course it would have been so much more exciting (and apropos to this blog) if the pear chutney was homemade, but alas it was a gift. But such a wonderful one that homemade pear chutney is high on my list of DIY items when pears are again in season!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Vegetable Stuffed Egg Crepes with Asian BBQ Sauce

Food blog surfing can be such fun - tripping lightly through the blogsphere and ohhing and ahhing at pretty pictures and interesting new recipes. But at the end of this sensory binge when you can't remember where you saw something or forgot to bookmark it, you have the dreary job of trying to get your human computer to pull up the correct site so you can make that dish that was so inspiring.

Don't worry, this has a happy ending. Exhibit A above is the happy mish-mash of two posts that got conflated in my memory and produced a wonderful brunch (or quick week night meal!). Lots of flavor, healthy veggies and fairly inexpensive if you've got a few key pantry items.

With an over abundance of eggs in the refrigerator to the tune of 5 dozen (we get them for free...) and a desire to make a more vegetable heavy brunch meal, I found Worthy Pause's post on Korean egg crepes. Recalling how I swooned over Smitten Kitchen's Japanese vegetable pancakes and the yummy sounding sauce, I cobbled together this meal and it was a real winner!

Looking back at both posts, my sauce is nothing like Smitten Kitchen's, but it was fun and appreciated. Those vegetable pancakes are still calling my name. Don't be surprised if they make an appearance soon!

Don't be daunted by the apparently long recipe, the sauce is the key and once you make it once, it's easy to toss all of this together as your morning coffee is making it's way to your brain!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chermoula Roasted Eggplant with Coconut Cilantro Cream

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can get a bad rap. Too many people have had it in mediocre dishes or think that the only way to eat it is parmesaned (delicious!) or in baba ghoush (scrumptious!)

But my friends, eggplant is so much more than those two standards. Inspired by Jotam Ottolenghi, my roasted eggplant included the chermoula plus some smoked paprika and an original creation of coconut cilantro cream sauce which is divine!

If you don't have preserved lemons you can substitute the zest of 2 lemons and 1 teaspoon of juice. But it's winter and citrus time, so make yourself some preserved lemons! They keep in the frig for a very long time!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mei Fun Noodles with Seared Ahi Tuna

So there comes a point in your life when, much to your chagrin, you will admit that your mother was right about something, something that you have resisted and fought for a long time. And you will once again be reminded of how stubborn you can be....Of course "you" would be me, there is no denying that any longer!

Of what do I speak? The carb thing, how it does help you to lose weight to reduce your carb intake as well as you glucose levels (let's stay far away from being pre-diabetic, thank you very much!) And as we age, or s-age as Shirley McLaine put it, we need to pay attention to such pesky things. Hence my exploration of rice noodles.

But rice is a carb! you might exclaim.

Yes, yes, dear reader, it is. But when it comes to weaning my family and myself off of wheat and carbs, it takes slow adjustments or all hell would break loose. It turns out these rice noodles are way fun! And they really are called mei fun or chow mei fun depending on who you ask. Let's just say that "fun" with rice noodles also means deliciousness!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Massaman Curry with Paneer and Broccoli

Despite three attempts (on different nights) to obtain a better photo than the one pictured above, I am using this horrid looking photo to talk about the most delicious Indian dish. Massaman Curry is my current favorite Indian dish and why wouldn't it be: complex spice combinations, coconut milk and creamy paneer. What's not to love?

Apparently massaman somehow, way back when, is a derivative of a curry that came from a unknown muslim man, somehow reflecting the Thai style red curry paste that is the key to this fragrant seductive dish. Although the origins of the name sound murky to me, irregardless, it's a fantastically delicious dish that is sure to win over all but the pickiest eaters!

Don't be scared by the long list of ingredients, it's mostly spices. Once you start working with spices you realize the genius of Indian cooking. It really is outrageously fun (and just a tad smug making!) to cook like this and impress your eaters!