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"You first parents of the human race... who ruined yourself for an apple, what might you have done for a truffled turkey?" - Brillat-savarin, "Physiologie du Gout"

Thai Red Curry Duck

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Not something you'll see on the common Thai dinner menu, it's more of food you'll find at higher end restaurants. Very very tasty and not terribly difficult to make, assuming you use an already roasted duck as we do.

1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
1 roast duck 5.1
1-2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 kaffic lime leaves - torn
1 large eggplant - cubed
1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
10 small cherry tomatoes
20 seedless grapes
3/4 cup sweet basil leaves

  1. Pour the coconut cream in to a large pan, bring to a simmer.
  2. Add curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, and torn lime leaves. Simmer for two more minutes. Add coconut milk - bring to a boil.
  3. Add the duck and eggplant, bring back to a simmer - cook for eight to ten minutes.
  4. Add pineapple, tomatoes and grapes and basil. Simmer for two minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and serve garnished with bits of lime leaves and basil.

Curried Shrimp Cakes with Mango Lime Sauce

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The most time consuming part of making these is definitely peeling the shrimp. But it is quite worth the effort. We also find the shrimp cakes work excellently as a sandwich filling. i.e. Shrimp cake sandwiches.

3/4 tsp Tikka masala curry
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tbsp flaked sweetened coconut
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp minced red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced green onion
1 tbsp minced grated ginger
3 tbsp light coconut milk
1-2 tsp minced seeded serrano chili
1 tsp soy sauce
1 pound shrimp, peeled and finely chopped
1 egg
1 minced garlic clove
  ---
1 cup fresh or frozen mango
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  sugar to taste
  ---
4 cups salad greens
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Add curry through garlic to a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside to cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Puree mango, lime juice and sugar in a food processor or blender. The sauce should be tart and slightly sweet when the balance is right.
  3. Divide the shrimp mixture into eight evenly sized cakes. Pan fry in a lightly greased skillet over a medium heat (approximately 2 minutes per side).
  4. Serve over a bed of greens, with a couple tablespoons of mango sauce over the lot. Garnish with fresh cherries or other fruit.

Mole Poblano sauce

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Mole Poblano is a traditional Mexican sauce from the state of Oaxaca. The normal triumvirate or 'holy trinity' of chilies used are Ancho, Pasilla, and Mulato. Chocolate is also a notable part of the sauce giving it a sweet and spicy taste. Disjointed turkey pieces is the traditional meat. We prefer pork shoulder generally.

.

This recipe does take some work, but some mole served over warm fresh tortillas is simply divine.

4 dried Pasilla chilies
4 dried Mulato chilies
6 dried Ancho chilies
2 cups boiling chicken stock
3/4 cup pepitas
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tortilla, torn apart
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp anise seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
one large can diced tomatoes
1 wheel Ibarra chocolate
1/2 cup golden raisins

  1. Prepare chilies - Wear gloves to protect hands. Under running water (to minimize chili dust), remove stems, ribs, and seeds from chilies. Tear chilies into small pieces, about two inches square, putting into medium bowl. Boil chicken stock. Add hot stock to bowl of chilies. Soak chilies at least thirty minutes.
  2. Prepare chocolate and pepitas - Wrap chocolate wheel in clean kitchen towel. Hit with hammer until chocolate is mostly ground. Add chocolate to food processor. Add pepitas and anise seed. Grind in processor until pulverized.
  3. Grind remaining ingredients - Add soaked chilies and any remaining liquid to processor, and grind until it becomes a paste. Drain canned tomatoes, reserving liquid. Add tomatoes and process. Add remaining ingredients and process until pureed. Add tomato liquid and process until pureed. Can store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to cook meat.
  4. Cook meat - Cut meat into inch cubes. Add to Mole in Dutch oven. Cook at$350 ^{\circ}$Ffor hours, until pork is cooked through and very tender. I serve with a slotted spoon, removing the pork from the sauce. I freeze leftover sauce and use again for next batch of meat. The pork leaves a good flavor, and the second batch is even better than the first. Repeat until sauce is all gone. This is safe because sauce is thoroughly cooked after each freeze. When you go through all the trouble to make this sauce, you will want to make it last.

Posole

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Posole is a traditional Mexican soup based on hominy5.2. The soup is served with a variety of fresh vegetables that you can then mix in to the bowl to your individual taste. This recipe uses pork as the meat, but really you can substitute anything you like without really changing the character.

1 tbsp ground cumin
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  salt
  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large red onion, sliced
  ---
10 large dried red New Mexico chiles
2 cups hot chicken broth
  ---
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 28-ounce can drained pinto beans
1 28-ounce can drained white hominy
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 tbsp oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 tbsp whole cumin
1 tsp salt
  freshly ground black pepper
  ---
  Queso fresco
  Chopped fresh cilantro
  Thinly sliced radishes
  Thinly sliced cabbage
  finely diced sweet onion
  Lime wedges
  Flour tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to $275 \,^{\circ}$F. Line a small roasting pan with foil. Mix cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Rub spice mix all over pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork in pan and cover with sliced onion. Pour 1 cup water in the bottom of pan. Cover pan tightly with foil and roast until meat is very tender, 5-6 hours. Let pork rest until cool enough to handle.
  2. Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite-size pieces. Reserve for adding to soup.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  4. Add reserved pork to posole. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes longer for flavors to meld. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved juices from roast pork, if desired. Divide among bowls, garnish with shredded cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges, and serve with flour tortillas.

Mexican Lasagna

2 cups frozen corn
3 sliced green onions
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 - 2 tbsp ground California chili
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
can (15 oz) black beans, drained
can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
can (16 oz) refried beans
2 ounces queso seco
1 pound cooked meat (optional)
  (beef, chicken, shrimp, etc.)
  ---
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 corn tortillas
  oil
  yoghurt or sour cream
  salsa

  1. Combine first 12 ingredients (corn through meat) in bowl.
  2. Coat baking dish with oil.
  3. Arrange tortillas to cover bottom.
  4. Spoon in half of corn mixture, then cover with half the cheese.
  5. Repeat layers (tortilla, mixture, cheese).
  6. Bake at 400 F until nice and melted (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  7. Serve with dollop of yogurt or sour cream and/or salsa.

Daube

2 tsp dry thyme
12 bay leaves
4 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2" cubes
1 bottle of hearty red wine (we use Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 tbsp fennel seed
4 tsp ham bouillon
2 tbsp olive oil
3 chopped medium onions
12 chopped cloves garlic
  salt and pepper to taste
5 diced large carrots
  steamed or boiled potatoes or couscous

  1. Marinate beef overnight in refrigerator in enough wine to cover with thyme, bay, and fennel.
  2. Drain, reserving marinade.
  3. Brown beef in stockpot with oil.
  4. Add marinade, onions, and garlic.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes evaporating most liquid.
  6. Add enough water to cover and cook until the beef is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 2 hours.
  7. Add carrots and cook 30 more minutes.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over potatoes or couscous.

Beef Brisket with 40 cloves of garlic

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Lots of garlic reduced to a nice mild nutty flavour from the slow roasting. Fantastic with some crusty bread, a nice salad and some wine.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (5 to 6 pounds ) beef brisket, rinsed and patted dry
  Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
40 large peeled cloves garlic
1 large sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups beef or chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp dried basil

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Season brisket liberally on both sides with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy, deep-sided, oven-proof skillet with a lid over medium-high heat.
  4. Add olive oil to coat the bottom. Sear both sides of brisket, beginning with fat-side down, until golden brown. Remove to a platter.
  5. Add garlic cloves and sweet onion rings to the remaining oil in the pan. Cook and stir until garlic begins to turn golden and sweet onions are limp.
  6. Add red wine or balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan, stirring for 1 minute while scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef or chicken broth, oregano, and basil. Bring back to a simmer, then turn off heat. Move garlic and onions to the side and return brisket to the Dutch oven or skillet. Spoon garlic and onions over the top of the brisket, cover tightly, and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 1 hour at 325 F. Reduce heat to 300 and bake an additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. Remove brisket to a platter and cover to keep warm. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove half of of garlic cloves and most of onions to a bowl. Skim off excess oil from the pan gravy and discard. Blend pan gravy and garlic until smooth. You can add a flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken gravy, if you wish. Return reserved whole garlic cloves and onions to the gravy.
  9. Slice brisket diagonally across the grain. Serve with pan gravy.
  10. Notes: Peeling such a large amount of garlic can be a pain. We just buy pre-peeled garlic from the Asian grocery.

Chicken Tagine

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Tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish of vegetables, meat, and often fruit. It is actually named after the conical clay pot it is traditionally cooked in (i.e. the tagine cooking pot).5.3 It is a nice fairly light dish with a unique flavor. Morrocan cooking evolved as a sort of fusion of African, Asian, and European flavors.

2-3 pounds skinned chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sliced large onions
4-6 chopped garlic cloves
2 sliced carrots
2 sliced celery ribs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
  salt to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
1/4 tsp saffron
2 sliced small zucchini
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  black pepper & cayenne to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  chopped fresh cilantro to taste
  ---
  Couscous

  1. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil in a stockpot, stirring until onions are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and sauté another couple of minutes.
  2. Add chicken, cumin, ginger, turmeric, bay leaf, white wine, chicken stock and salt; stir together and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender.
  3. Take chicken out and cut into cubes/chunks if necessary. Add paprika, chickpeas, saffron, zucchini and lemon juice; simmer another 15 minutes, until zucchini is tender but still bright green.
  4. Taste and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Stir in cilantro and parsley, just before serving with couscous.

Pesto

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What can you say about pesto? It's a pungent green paste made primarily from basil leaves that is excellent on pasta. Make it in the summer when your basil crop (or the local herb ladies crop) is fragrant and bushy. It's not bad as an alternative to marinara as a pizza sauce, for example; Pesto, onions, tomatoes and finely chopped bits of cured ham make a very nice pizza. We also like to finely chop sun-dried tomatoes and put them into the pesto when we have it on pasta.

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Tip from Alena: freeze some into cubes in ice cube trays and you can have portions of pesto long after your Basil dies at summer's end.

3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
2 large minced cloves garlic
  salt to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.
  2. Toss with pasta.

Pomodoro Sauce

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Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. This is a quick simple pasta sauce that we usually have most of the ingredients on hand for. We like to chop up and add some Greek olives to this to add a bit of flavour. This is enough sauce for about a pound of pasta. This is a very fast recipe that's great for a quick dinner.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven at a medium heat. Add garlic, cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in pepper, salt, tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the basil, remove from heat. Serve over prepared pasta.

Linguine Fra Diavlo

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A nice standard Italian dish, spicy and fragrant. I first tasted this at a little seafood restaurant in Fremont, near the Lenin statue. It was a marvelous little place, but the owner closed up because she wanted to go finish her Masters degree. Pity.

1 pound large shrimp, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  ---
1 pound cooked linguine

  1. Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes.
  2. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.


Smoked Salmon Pasta

1 recipe Béchamel Sauce (p. [*])
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
4 oz smoked salmon5.4
  ---
1 pound cooked pasta

  1. After the Béchamel sauce is prepared, simply crumble the smoked salmon into the sauce and slowly add the Parmesan cheese. After a vigorous stirring, give it five minutes for the flavours to combine and then serve over the pasta. A little sauce goes quite a ways, so be frugal.

Sweet Garlic Eggplant

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A perennial family favorite, this dish is easy to cook, and freezes well. Excellent over rice or eaten with flatbread.

2 1/2 pound Japanese or Chinese eggplants
4 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
5 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp cider vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp dry sherry
1/4 c oil

  1. Coarsely chop eggplant and place in a covered microwaveable dish. Cook in the microwave until tender.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in the wok, swirling gently to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic and cook slowly until just golden. Add the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sherry. Bring to a boil, stirring. Add the eggplant and simmer for 3 min.to allow it to absorb the sauce.

Szechuan Style Eggplant

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One of this dishes Natasha requests most frequently. Sometimes it will 'just happen' that we have all the ingredients for it on hand and not for anything else. Very convenient.

  stirfry
  ---
2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 chopped cloves garlic
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium italian eggplant, 1 inch cubes
1 block firm tofu, 1 inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  sauce
  ---
2 tbsp tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp szechuan pepper, ground
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in pan, cook garlic for 30 seconds, then add onions and saute for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add pork and cook for 2 more minutes. Add eggplant and 1/2 cup water. Cook for 10 minutes, covered.
  3. Combine all ingredients for sauce while eggplant is cooking.
  4. Add tofu and sauce and cook for additional 3 minutes.
  5. Add bell pepper and green onions, cook for one minute.
  6. Turn off heat and add cilantro.

Mapo Dofu

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Nothing fancy, just lots of tofu and classic Szechuan seasonings. In China this is a classic winter dish, comfort food for cold days.

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
  ---
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp peanut oil
  ---
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup sliced bamboo shoot 5.5
3 thinly sliced green onions
3 cakes firm tofu, 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp corn starch
  ---
1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorn, toasted and crushed
1 tsp sesame oil

  1. Heat the oil till nearly smoking, and swirl the wok to coat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chili flakes, salt, vinegar, and oil. Cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add pork and cook until pork is crumbled and cooked through.
  4. Add bamboo and green onions and cook for one minute. Add tofu, soy sauce, water, cornstarch mixture and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

Carrot Lentil Curry

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One of our favorite quick meals, this one is easy to make because all the things in the dish are ones that we keep on hand. We like to serve this on couscous or rice. It's fairly low effort, other than cutting up the carrots and onions, you simply throw everything in the casserole and microwave it.

1 cup dried red lentils
3 cups water
6 washed carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup golden raisins
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp fennel seeds
  freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Combine lentils and water in a 3 or 4 quart microwaveable casserole dish. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. 5.6
  2. Stir in the carrots, cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

Chana Dal

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Chana Masala is a great comfort food. It's not fancy, but it's very filling and a nice simple bold food. This is one of Danes favorite Indian dishes. Sometimes we add chicken and let it simmer in the last stages of the dish.

2 cups cooked chick peas
  ---
3 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp whole cumin
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2/3 cup water
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can diced tomato
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp tikka masala / red curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
  ---
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 c yoghurt (optional)

  1. Heat ghee in a stockpot on high until drops of water vaporize instantly.
  2. Add in cumin and cook for 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for another 7-8 minutes until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients up to cayenne (including the chickpeas) into the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the cilantro and yoghurt and server with Naan or over rice.

Chicken Korma

1 (2 1/2 pound ) cut-up chicken
2 cups yogurt
3 cloves garlic
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 tsp peanut or sunflower oil
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chili
1 tsp cumin
Seeds of 2 peeled cardamom pod
1 tsp poppy seed
1 tsp turmeric
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

  1. Place chicken in bowl and marinate in yogurt, 1 clove garlic, half an onion, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper for a few hours.
  2. Heat oil in large heavy casserole; gently sauté remaining onion and garlic for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add to casserole the coriander, chili, cumin, cardamom seeds, poppy seed and turmeric. Fry for a few minutes. Add the chicken. Pour enough water to cover and add remaining marinade.
  4. Add onion and garlic with bay leaf. Simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Sprinkle the chicken korma with fresh coriander and serve.

Egg Curry with Tomato (Anda Curry)

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It may seem odd, but this is a delicious and simple vegetarian one pot dish. Another plus is that it is a dish we almost always have all the ingredients on hand for (though it does use up most of a carton of eggs). This is an amazingly aromatic dish that is great served off jasmine rice or with some soft warm flatbread like naan. This curry is based off a Gujarat Indian dish.

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp s ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
2 pounds tomato chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp garam masala
8-9 eggs

  1. Put in a stockpot over medium heat. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds, add onion. Sauté onion for 5 minutes or until limp.
  2. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in cilantro and garam masala, then gently break eggs and drop into the curry.
  4. Let them simmer with the lid on until the yolks are gently set. Probably about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve over rice or with naan.

Curried Cauliflower (Gobhi ki Sabzi)

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After a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, Dane finally gave in and made this (Cauliflower being one of the few things he is not overly fond of). Unfortunately everyone, including Dane (albeit grudgingly) declared it to be quite good.

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cumin
2 tbsp grated, minced fresh ginger
1 cup finely chopped onion
  ---
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
  ---
2 heads cauliflower, washed and broken into small florets
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 minced jalapenos
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

  1. Heat the butter and oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or stockpot on medium. When the mixture is hot add the cumin through onion and cook stirring for one minute. Next add the salt and turmeric and continue to cook, stirring for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and mix in until the florets are thoroughly coated. Then stir in the tomato through cumin. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook simmering for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender, but still intact. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in cilantro and serve with flatbread or rice.

Gingered Carrots

2 pounds carrots
  water
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 medium cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dry mint
3 to 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup cashews or almonds
1 or more cup plain yogurt
  cooked rice

  1. Chop carrots coarsely; boil in water until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Saute onion, in oil about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, salt, and spices and sauté to 10 minutes until onions are very soft. Stir in lemon juice.
  4. Place everything in food processor or blender (including nuts) and puree, adding more yogurt if you want smoother puree.
  5. Serve hot or cold over rice.

Sesame Crusted Salmon

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 1/2 pounds salmon
  spray oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a large sheet of foil on baking sheet. Spray foil with oil spray.
  2. Mix first three ingredients together. Place the salmon fillet on the foil. Spread oil over the salmon, then coat with the sesame mixture.
  3. Bake salmon just until opaque in center, about 6 minutes.

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

  spray oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup drained capers
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  (or)
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp lemon zest
1 lemons juice
1 tbsp softened butter
1 pound skinless center-cut salmon fillet
  ---
  Lemon wedges

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a large sheet of foil on baking sheet. Spray foil with oil spray.
  2. Mix first six ingredients together (shallots through butter). Place the salmon fillet on the foil. Spread shallot mixture over salmon. Fold up foil edges to enclose salmon in a seal.
  3. Bake salmon just until opaque in center, about 26 minutes. Open foil; transfer salmon to platter. Spoon any juices over. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Salmon with Basil, Garlic, Ginger, and Fermented Black Bean Sauce

1 tbsp Chinese fermented black bean garlic sauce
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 tbsp finely mince garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  ---
  spray oil
1 pound skinless center-cut salmon fillet

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a large sheet of foil on baking sheet. Spray foil with oil spray.
  2. Mix first seven ingredients together(black bean through basil). Place the salmon fillet on the foil. Spread mixture over salmon.
  3. Bake salmon just until opaque in center, about 6 minutes. You will probably wish to briefly put the salmon under a broiler to sear the spice mixture.

Baked Beans

2 cups dry small white beans (navy beans will work)
4 to 8 tsp ham bouillon
1 chopped large onion
  ---
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp white wine
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 small can tomato paste

  1. Bring the beans to a boil in a lot of water. Remove from heat, and soak for an hour (or you can soak overnight in room temperature water).
  2. Drain and rinse, then bring to a boil in fresh water. Reduce heat and simmer until almost tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.
  3. Separately sauté onion in oil with bouillon until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  5. Combine beans, onions, and flavor ingredients with just enough bean cooking water to mix.
  6. Bake covered for 90 minutes covered at 350 F. Uncover and cook for an additional hour.

Red Beans and Rice

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 diced onion
2 cups uncooked rice
2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 cups water
  salt to taste
3 tbsp diced green onion
2 tbsp minced parsley
1 crushed clove garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp allspice
1 can red beans, undrained

  1. Saute onions in oil and butter until beginning to color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add bouillon water, salt and then bring to boil.
  4. Stir in green onion, parsley, garlic, pepper, cayenne, and allspice and beans. Reduce heat to lowest possible and cover.
  5. Cook until rice is tender WITHOUT stirring, about 20 minutes.

Crab and Shrimp Gumbo

3/4 pound Andouille sausage, cut in 1/4" coins
1 large onion
4 large cloves garlic, minced
3 large shallots
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2-3 ribs of celery, diced
1 pound fresh okra, cut into 3/4" pieces
3/4 pound tomatoes, coarsely diced (or 1 can)
5 cups fish stock
2 cups water
3 pounds shrimp, shelled (shells reserved)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional) 5.7
3 whole allspice
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
4 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  salt to taste
1/2 pound lump crap meat
2 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp filé powder5.8
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot (7-8 quarts), sauté the sausage, stirring frequently over medium-low heat until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl with slotted spoon. Add onion through celery to drippings and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are wilted. Stir in the okra and cook for three to five minutes more. Add the tomatoes and turn off the heat.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, bring the fish stock, water and shrimp shells to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into the Dutch oven. Add tomato paste through cayenne. Add the bay, cloves and allspice in a cheesecloth bag and add (or just add it loose). Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, heat butter over very low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the roux takes on a caramel color. 5.9 Do not burn it or it will become bitter. The cooking time should be 10 to 15 minutes. When the roux is finished, gradually ladle 1 cup of soup into the pan, stirring constantly, then return this to the pot. Discard cheesecloth bag. Add the nutmeg and salt to taste.
  4. Stir in the shelled shrimp, crab meat and reserved sausage. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until the shrimp are opaque. Stir in the lemon juice, filé powder if using, and the parsley. Cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, then correct seasoning to your taste. Serve over hot cooked rice in deep bowls.

Eggplant Bharta

2 pounds eggplant
1 can diced tomatoes
4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  ---
3 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
2 minced cloves garlic
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 cup finely chopped onions
  ---
1 tsp garam masala
  salt to taste
  lemon juice
  cilantro for garnish

  1. Coarsely chop eggplant and place in covered dish. Microwave until the eggplant is tender.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the ghee or butter over medium heat until it is sizzling. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for approximately 30 seconds. Add the onions next, cooking about 5 minutes or until soft and golden.
  3. Add eggplant mixture into the skillet. Cook this until most of the free moisture has evaporated. Stir in the garam masala, then add salt to taste.
  4. Serve on a bed of rice, garnishing with cilantro and lemon juice.

Ratabooley (aka Ratatouille)

3 tbsp olive oil
8 chopped cloves garlic
2 cups chopped onion
2 bay leaves
1 cubed medium eggplant
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 cubed medium zucchini
2 chopped medium bell peppers (green or red)
  fresh black pepper to taste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

  1. Heat oil in stockpot. Add garlic, onion, and bay; sauté at medium heat about 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggplant, salt, and herbs; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Add zucchini, bell peppers, black pepper, and tomatoes.
  3. Cover and simmer 10 minutes until zucchini and bell peppers are tender.



Footnotes

... duck5.1
Cut in to small pieces, when we buy it in Chinatown, they hack it up with a cleaver for us.
... hominy5.2
Large kernels of corn that are soaked in lye and then dried.
... pot).5.3
We don't have one yet if any of you are wondering what to get us for Christmas.
... salmon5.4
The dry smoked Native American style is best for this dish. Those of us in the Pacific Northwet should have no trouble obtaining this. Those of you in less fortunate areas of the country may have more trouble.
... shoot5.5
Or whatever strikes your fancy. Mushrooms, bok choy, sugar pea vine are all nice additions
... minutes.5.6
You may need to adjust the times up or down depending on your microwave. Ours is a fairly venerable appliance we obtained as a hand me down. Yours will almost certainly cook it faster.
... (optional)5.7
The Andouille sausage usually is spicy enough that this is not needed.
... powder5.8
Filé powder is a sassafras based herb that thickens the gumbo and gives it an authentic Louisiana taste. Do not cook longer than 3 minutes or allow it to boil or it will become stringy.
... color.5.9
Be careful not to spill it on yourself, there's a reason roux is sometimes referred to as Cajun Napalm.

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Dane Buson 2016-09-11