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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Apologies to whomever (or whereever) I first saw a recipe for mashed potato pancakes! The website is completely lost from my memory.

What a wonderful idea! And yes, they are as delicious as you would expect: pillowy pancakes made of mashed potato goodness. Wednesday is mashed potato night for us and leftovers are made on purpose to make these tasty morsels for weekend brunch.

While they are tasty on their own, we like to slather them with chipotle mayo or chevre or tomato jam or pesto. Kind of anything goes well with them, the sky's the limit!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eggplant Involtini with Feta and Raisins

Involtini - a thin slice of something wrapped around something else. Kind of non-descript but oh so Delicioso!

Borrowing from a New York Times recipe, this version is thinnly sliced eggplant wrapped around feta, raisins, and nuts. Strange combination you may think? Not really, very traditionally Sicilian, and trust me, those Sicilians know a thing or two about how to make great food!

Not surprisingly, my version diverts from the original recipe, mainly because I got distracted and forgot to add the lemon zest and dried mint. They were spectacular without those extra ingredients but next time they will be in there.

Yes, it takes a bit more time than a 30 minute meal; closer to 90 minutes. But it is so worth the effort. For myself, my time spent preparing food is my alone time, my daily meditation. But is that time commitment is daunting, you can make part of it ahead of time; fry the eggplant and refrigerate it, bringing it to room temperature before stuffing and rolling it.

Since we are in full blown tomato season, just go with a very simple topping of chopped fresh tomatoes. Do drain off the extra tomato juice (or slurp it when no one is watching, cook's perogative!)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bearnaise Sauce...on Halibut Steaks

As mentioned before, French cuisine has always intimidated me. But since mastering hollandaise (and aioli ages ago), Bearnaise sauce was next on the list to conquer. Eh Voila! So easy if you follow these steps!

Usually Bearnaise is served on steak or lamb (and it is also delicious with fries!) but being mainly pescatarians it was halibut steaks for us and it worked beautifully.

A few words of advice. Do be overly cautious about overcooking the yolk mixture; remove the double boiler bowl from the heat often because once you overcook the yolks, the sauce is ruined. You will have to start over. Believe me, this has happened to me with hollandaise sauce, and it is as frustrating as it sounds! But patience is a virtue and this sauce is worth the time!

Reread the recipe several times to understand the process. Don't be overwhelmed by the length of instructions, it is just helpful tips so that you will be successful on your first try.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kerala Beefy Mushrooms

Mark Bittman is my food god. End of story. But when he posts a recipe that appears to be fairly afield from his usual cuisine talents - Asian, Mediterranean, American - my suspicious nature raises its ugly head. Never fear on this one, it was incredibly good! And so surprising

Who knew that cooking lots and lots of chopped onions, adding spices, tamarind and yogurt could produce such an amazing tasting dish!

Adding seared portabellos was my inspiration, and it worked well. To keep it veggie, add seared seitan or some other faux meat if you like, or the traditional beef if you like. But the mushrooms are what I will be sticking with in the future!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Garam Masla Salmon with Plum Mango Salsa

This is just a variation on the fruit salsa with grilled salmon that has mde it way to this space before. But plums in the mango salsa was a first for me and it was so delicious! Not being a huge fan of plums, I rarely think of them. But having been gifted with some this seemed like a great way to use them.

You could substitute peaches or nectarines or even some good tomatoes if they are prime where you live. Mango is always my favorite so that is usually my starting point. But let your own preferences guide you.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prawn and Veggie Tempura

Tempura is one of those dishes that you have probably assumed can only taste good at a restaurant. Guess again! This is nearly a fool-proof recipe from the God himself (that would be Mark Bittman in case you had forgotten!)

Simple, easy, quick and delicious! Yes, it does require a lot of oil. So it is not something that happens very often in my kitchen. But it sure is worth it!

The assortment of veggies listed below leaves out any of those that require a parboil before frying - carrot, sweet potato, yam - so feel free to add them in if you want to. I find easy is better.

I have tried beer battered tempura but find that Bittman is right on this recipe - light but crispy. It allows the flavor o the vegetables to shine.