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Recipes that include cayenne

How to Use Oil to Fix a Leek

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No… we haven’t become a mechanic blog, this post is about making Fried Leek Rings. A few years ago I saw Alton Brown make some delicious looking Leek Rings. I was inspired, but never got around to making them myself, until this week!

Jessica picked up some beautiful leeks from the Union Square Farmer’s market, and asked me to make dinner last night, while she trained for her upcoming triathalon. She had defrosted some Mahi Mahi (from Trader Joes) and that was the protein, and sitting next to it in the fridge were some mini bell peppers — I was getting inspired.

Raw Leek Rings Drying

I didn’t care much for Alton’s recipe (sorry Alton, you’re awesome anyway), so I made my own. Here it goes, my recipe writing is still in practice mode, so my measurements are not nearly as accurate as Jessica’s…

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Home Fried Potatoes and a Cousins’ Brunch

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My cousins came for brunch today and I asked Lon to make (and write the recipe) for Home Fried Potatoes. My only requirement was that I wanted him to use tomato paste. We agreed that it was a nice touch, adding both flavor and color to the dish. It turned out pretty spicy too but everyone loved it.

Home Fries.jpg

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Chimichurri Flank Steak

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chimichurri is one of my favorite flavors. I have made it with different types of vinegars and gone back and forth between cilantro and parsley, but all versions come out wonderful. If you have extra sauce left-over, save-it. It goes well on chicken, fish, almost anything. I wrote down the recipe we used for our July 4th barbecue yesterday. Hope you had a fun and yummy one!

grilled Chimichurri steak

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Moroccan Spiced Meatloaf

Friday, May 23, 2008

Inspired by the nicely spiced lamb meatballs at Alta, I decided to make Moroccan Spiced Meatloaf. Lon happens to love meatloaf and the last time I made it, he raved. I love when he loves my food so I thought this would be a good shot and I think this one beat the last one!

Moroccan Spiced Meatloaf

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Yum Yum Brunch

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I had the Yum Yum Sisterhood over for Brunch. Our mission is always social eating but today we also started folding paper cranes for two important people to Julie and Lily, who were diagnosed with cancer. Our best wishes goes out to them. We had a great time as we always do and I got several compliments on the food. Here’s what we had:

Pumpkin Bread
This is a simple and perfect pumpkin bread for a holiday season brunch. The texture and color is amazing. I will definitely make this again.

Salmon Cake Benedict with Garlic Roasted Potatoes
This was my own creation. I did not write down an exact recipe for poaching the eggs, the sauce (a pseudo hollandaise), and the potatoes but I did finally write down my recipe for the salmon cakes that I’ve made several times. People always ask me for the recipe and I didn’t have one until now:

1 can (7oz) Kirkland brand Salmon (other canned salmons are awful)
1 cup chickpeas, mashed
1/4 cup minced yellow or white onion
1 green onion, chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
pinch cayenne (adjust to your spice)
2 teaspoons olive oil or non-stick spray

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Divide and shape into six patties. Set aside.
3. Prepare a skillet with oil or non-stick spray on medium high heat.
4. Place the patties on the pan, careful not to break them.
5. Cook them for 3-4 minutes on each side.
6. Remove from pan and serve.

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
The pancakes came out so fluffy and flavorful enough to eat alone but even better with sauteed apples on top.

With all the excitement, I forgot to take more pictures of the food. =(

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Italian Wedding Soup

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A week ago my mom picked up four pounds of lamb for me at a butcher in Long Island. Because he butchered an 8-pound piece for me, I ended up with two beautiful shanks. After attending my cousin Riva’s wedding last night, and because our brunch plans fell apart, AND (for the real reason) because Jessica wasn’t feeling well, I decided to make some lamb stock, which would end up in homemade (the best kind) Italian Wedding Soup.

First I sauteed the shanks with salt and pepper in extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot. I let them go for a good 15 minutes, during which time I added 1.5 roughly chopped onions and 3 cloves of garlic. I then caramelized half a can of tomato paste before deglazing with low sodium College Inn chicken broth. I filled the pot with water and added two roughly chopped carrots; two bay leaves (broken in halves), a tablespoon of peppercorns, and a large handful of fresh dill.

After bringing it to a boil, I let the stock reduce for about three hours. Towards the end I started making the soup: first I cooked some pasta and made the meatballs. While the standard pasta for this soup are elbows, I used a great variation on elbows, Barilla’s pipette rigate.

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 0.5lb Ground Beef
  • 0.5lb Ground Pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or more, as necessary)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped, flat leaf, Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4lb of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Black Pepper (to taste)

I rolled the meatballs into 3/4″-round balls and cooked them for 3 minutes in unseasoned, boiling water (the same water I used to cooked the pipettes).

Before assembling the soup, I pulled the shanks out of the stock pot and pulled the meat off them. Then, I strained the stock and saved the carrots as a snack for Jessica later. In the mean time, I finely diced half an onion into a two-quart sauce pan, and added the stock. I also added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, two cloves of garlic diced, lots of dried oregano, and adjusted seasoning (a little salt was necessary). In the mean time I rinsed some baby spinach and gave it a very coarse chop.

Just before serving the soup, I added the spinach and some more parsley to the soup, along with the meatballs and pulled lamb meat (to reheat). I served with the pasta in the bowl.

The overall flavor was phenomenal. The stock had a rich flavor and the soup had just a bit of heat from the cayenne in the meat and the red pepper flakes in the soup. The spinach was also cooked perfectly.

While this soup does take a bit of work, it is worth every second. A lot of love goes into making soup like; and it can’t be rushed. Perhaps that’s the reason it has magical curative powers?

See more pictures of the soup and the cooking process in our Flickr set.

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Beef, Korma-Style

Saturday, July 7, 2007

When looking upon the top sirloin that we had defrosted for dinner, I just didn’t feel like having it as a steak. For some reason it called to me as beef korma. While there are several recipes on AllRecipes for Korma, I decided to make my own.

Korma is a mild-curry dish that is prepared typically with yogurt and nuts. However, I don’t care for nuts in savory food (usually) and we only had either flavored (vanilla) or expensive (Fage) yogurt around, I had to improvise.

Ingredients (approx.)

  • 8oz Beef Steak (Lamb or Chicken could be used instead)
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, roughly diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half (or heavy cream or yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup Frozen Peas

Instructions
After cutting the steak in half, it was about 8oz; I seasoned it with kosher salt and then grilled it to barely rare.

While the steak was cooking, I heated a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a table spoon of unsalted butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat. I then added half of a large, yellow onion, roughly diced and seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (jalapeño slices would be good too). As the onions softened, I slowly added the key flavors of Korma, about one teaspoon each of: cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, ground ginger, and a bay leaf; you could also add some coriander if you have it on hand, I didn’t. Then I tossed in five garlic cloves, sliced. You need to keep the heat low and the ingredients moving in the pan to avoid burning.

After the steak rested for a minute or two, and the sauce had been going for about eight minutes, I diced the steak into about one inch by half inch by half inch pieces. They were absolutely under-cooked inside, that’s what you want. I tossed these into the sauce along with about 1/4 cup of half and half and 1/4 cup of frozen peas, coating everything evenly.

Immediately after adding the peas, which will drop the temperature slightly, taste the sauce for seasoning. I decided mine needed more salt and black pepper. I cooked it for another minute, to bring the meat to medium (although medium rare would be nice too) and then plated along with seasoned rice: I used cilantro, ginger, and garlic in my rice.

The dish is mild and delicious. The red pepper flakes really added some pop to this normally simple dish, and it is was simple and fast to make. Enjoy!

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