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Indian Corn & Cranberry Succotash

A pepper plant. Aromatic plants and spices suc...

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Source: chefpriyanka.wordpress.com

Have you ever heard of succotash? It’s a corn/bean dish that has come down to Americans from the Native Americans. It was especially popular during the Great Depression becasue corn was cheap and redily available.

Well, there’s not much explain to do here. It’s corn, it’s chili, it’s cranberry and with a little Indian flair. Sweet, spicy and delicious! Great as a holiday side dish or a healthy snack! But, since it’s the winter season (well tomorrow starts winter to be exact), I was kind of ghetto and used canned corn. It really tastes yummy and is easy to just open and saute! Plus, corn is a great source of protein and fiber- just check it here!

Indian Corn Succotash:

  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4-5 small green chilies, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garam masala (I used Homemade)
  • salt to taste
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM original flavor
  • grated parmgiano cheese (optional)

1. In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat spray with PAM. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add chilies and garam masala- mix until combined well and fragrant about 1 minute. Add corn and cranberries. Saute for about another 5 minutes until soft and and cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in cilantro. Place on a serving dish and top with grated parmigiano (I know weird, but the nuttiness of the parmigiano went well with the spicy Indian flavors of garam masala!)

Want More Indian Vegan? Check these out!

Indian Stuffed Masala Peppers

Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Creamy Maharashtrian Chole

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Herbed Brioche Stuffing with Fig & Walnut

A mixture of black peppercorns from the Malaba...

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An awesome vegetarian side dish that’s great for the cold weather season. Warm and hearty, this stuffing is filled with my homemade Brioche, dried figs and crunchy walnut. I add some sweet, I add some spice, and you’ve got yourself a great side dish. The leftover can be turned into stuffing muffins, or just reheated and eaten as is.

Herbed Brioche Stuffing with Fig & Walnut:

  • brioche loaf– cubed and dried (overnight preferably)
  • 1 fuji apple- diced
  • 1 white onion- diced
  • 6-7 dried figs- diced
  • 23 cup glazed walnuts (RECIPE BELOW)
  • 1 tbsp sage- fresh chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme- fresh chopped
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper– few grinds
  • 1-2 tbsp red crushed pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • clove powder- small pinch
  • 1/8 tsp (or less) nutmeg- freshly grated
  • 1/8 tsp (or less) ginger powder
  • PAM Butter Flavor
  • fresh chives- chopped for garnishing

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat spray with pam, add onion and apple. Saute until onions are translucent and apples are slightly soft. Add herbs, red crushed pepper and spices.

Cook for another few minutes until fragrant and soft. Add walnuts, dried figs, dried brioche, salt and pepper. Combine over low heat making sure to coat every piece. Pour into a large rectangular oven-proof dish.

2. Add the vegetable stock and mix until stuffing is moistened and sticking together. Add a few more fresh chopped herbs and taste for salt and pepper. Spread evenly in dish and cover with foil.

3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until stuffing is cooked and browned. I removed the foil for the last 5-8 minutes, so the top would brown and get crispy.

4. Serve as a side dish to your favorite meal!

Homemade Glazed Walnuts:

  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • PAM Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter (optional)

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, spray with PAM and add butter. Add walnuts and toss. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft and heated through. You don’t want them to burn. Just want them coated and toasted. Remove from the heat and cool before adding to the stuffing.

Want More Yummy Vegetarian Side Dishes?

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary, Chili & Chives

Baked Sweet n’Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Mediterranean Hush Puppies with Feta & Olives

Italian Broccoli with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Glaze

 
 

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Spicy NYC Diner-Style Home Fries

A plate of home fried potatoes

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I like diner food. I think NYC has the best diner food- yes, I am biased. But, seriously take me to a a diner in another state that is better than a NYC diner. Yah, it probably doesn’t exist, hehe. In any case, we were in the mood for some diner-style food, and didn’t really want to drive to the local diner (which is 5 minutes away, I know laziness at its peak!). So I decided to make some homefries- crispy on one side, salty, and loaded with onions. Of course, I added a little spice, but it was pretty much pimped-out diner-style potatoes. Did I mention they’re healthy, vegetarian and vegan? Yup!

Diner-Style Homefries:

  • 1 idaho potatoes- washed
  • 1 medium white onion- thick diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • cayenne pepper- to taste
  • salt-to taste
  • coarse black pepper– few grinds
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil (I use extra virgin)
  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro– finely chopped (optional)

Ghetto style boiled potatoes.

1. Wrap each potato in plastic wrap and microwave for about 4 minutes each until 4 tender. Set aside to cool. Dice into medium-sized cubes (same size as onions preferably).

2. Meanwhile in a large non-stick skillet spray with PAM and pour oil and set over medium flame. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add spices and saute until fragrant and onions are soft- about 5-7 minutes. Add potatoes and combine with spices and onions. Saute for about 8 minutes, with 5 minutes covered. This is when the potatoes will get crispy on one side- increase/decrease flame accordingly. I had it on medium-high flame. Uncover, taste for salt and spices. Place in serving dish and top with chopped cilantro (if desired). Serve with favorite breakfast meal!

Serves 2-4 people

Want more yummy Breakfast Options?

Taco Omelette

Zesty Stuffed Bagel

Healthy Egg n’Cheese Sandwich

 
 

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Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Roasted Onions & Garlic

The Superbowl is around the corner! Get out the chips, dips and fried wings!! NOT. The Superbowl every year is about tailgating and partying. Now, for most that does mean calorific fried food items and generally non-vegetarian dishes. But, it’s time to change that! Indulging once a year is okay, but taking in about a YEARS worth of calories in one afternoon is NOT okay. So, I’ve come up with some healthy, hearty and absolutely yummy superbowl party food options that’ll keep you coming back for more!

First up is my Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Roasted Onions, Garlic and Chilies. Its scrumptious, it’s zesty, it’s bold and best of all it’s VEGAN! Yes, an amazing Superbowl dip that’ll have meat-lovers and vegans rejoice! You won’t feel bad going in for seconds, or thirds.. or fourths. Filled with robust flavors of fresh roasted peppers and roasted garlic, blended with a bit of Tahini and lemon juice- it’s simple and filled with ingredients that households generally have! Eat it with pita chips, crackers, vegetables or top your favorite sandwich or falafel with it!

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade:

  • 2 red peppers- diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 medium white onion- diced into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic– top trimmed off
  • 3-4 dried cayenne chilies
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice- preferably fresh
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil– more or less depending on consistency
  • warm water- couple tbsp
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper– few grinds
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor
  • lemon rinds- for garnishing

1. On a baking sheet place a small piece of foil and place head of garlic. Spray with PAM and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil to create a packet. On the remaining portion of the sheet, add onions, peppers and chilies. Spray with PAM, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss so each piece is coated. Place in oven on broil and cook for about 10-12 minutes, shaking the tray half way thru, so the vegetables cook evenly. Remove and cool before handling. Garlic should be soft and easily squeezable thru the skin.

2. Once the vegetables are cool, peel off an excessively charred parts and place into a food processor. Squeeze in all the garlic cloves, making sure not to get any of the skin in. Add roasted chilies, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until chunky-smooth. Blend on low and add a little warm water until its smoother. Blending a little faster, drizzle in olive oil until the dip comes together and is smoother, but not pureed. You want it to have texture. Taste for salt and lemon juice.

3. Place on a serving platter and top with lemon rinds and serve with pita chips, vegetables, crackers or with falafel!

Serves 6 (to make more, just double all the ingredients!)

Want More Tailgating Food Options?

Indian Stuffed Peppers with Paneer

Roasted Garlic & Chili Hummus

Baba Ghanoush

Baked Sweet n’Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

 

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Baby Octopus & Fennel Risotto Recipe

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the true "par...

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With the temperatures dropping a wee bit at the beginning of this week it has encouraged me cook more ‘substantial’ meals, by this I mean risottos, pasta or roasted food which I have steered clear of for the past few months in preference for something lighter and refreshing. I’m not saying it has gone cold but after several months of hot humid weather even a drop to temperatures in their low 20s (centigrade) makes me excited about winter food and baking again. I think P has been craving winter food, he loves stodgy carb loaded food whereas I avoid them. As part of our European trip back home to Europe this year I am taking him to visit where I lived in Frankfurt in June and I just know he is going to be in heaven eating in the Keipern (Bistros) on plates of dumplings and pieces of meat that hardly fit on the plate.

This risotto is hardly stodgy, far from it, it is creamy and light with the fresh lemon and fennel coming through and it didn’t have me toiling for long over the stove top either. The sun is out again this morning though so I imagine we will be back to salads again tonight!

Ingredients – makes 2

  • 8 baby octopus
  • 4 cups stock, approx (chicken, fish or vegetable)
  • 2 cups Aborio rice
  • 2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and black pepper to season
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  • To cook the octopus I use my BBQ with an open flame which prevents the octopus from ‘stewing” and gets nice char grill but you can fry it on a very high heat.
  • Season the octopus with salt & pepper and a little olive oil and slice in half if not very small pieces (for faster cooking). For BBQ cooking place on a skewer and grill on high for 2 minutes, just until cooked. For pan cooking, place a cast iron pan on a high heat and quickly fry the octopus for 2 minutes in batches. Do not put all the octopus in the pan at once as the heat will drop and the octopus will stew in it’s juice and be rubbery.
  • Heat the stock in a pan.
  • Remove the core and fronds from the fennel before slicing thinly.
  • Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over a low heat then the garlic and fennel. Fry gently until the fennel is opaque and soft.
  • Add the rice and turn the heat up to medium and stir the rice so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate before starting to add the hot stock.
  • Turn the heat down again and start adding the stock one ladle at a time, stirring the rice to release the creamy starch. Allowing each ladle of stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock.
  • It will take about 15-18 minutes for this process, taste the rice to see if it is cooked and soft but still with a slight bite. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked add boiling water in place of the stock.
  • Remove risotto pan from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest, Parmesan & char grilled octopus then place the lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with cracked pepper.

And for some exciting news this week, my blog along with a few other fab Kiwi bloggers was mentioned in the NEXT magazine this month. Here is the article and do visit the other bloggers mentioned.

 

Source: http://peasepudding.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/fennel-and-baby-octopus-risotto/

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Rice, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Charcutepalooza! Project: Homemade Bacon

Irish bacon

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by Vivek

It’s the 15th of February and as promised, today is the post about HOMEMADE BACON. As you all may have read in my previous post, here, I am participating in Charcutepalooza – a year long project focusing on the art of charcuterie. So far the experience has been both educational and fun. Making charcuterie is a challenge for me – a completely new field of cooking that I never knew much about. The fact that dry curing, one of the oldest methods of preservation, is rarely practiced in the home is in actuality quite stunning. What’s more is that for someone interested in food, I really knew nothing about it. Sure, I would buy bacon (and I have bought my fair share over the years), but never would I think about making it at home. This project has made me more aware of what we are capable of doing at home, while connecting us with the roots of true and authentic cooking. It’s trying something new – venturing out into unknown territory. And I’m all about jumping in head first and trying it out. To me, there’s nothing more fun than that.

This month’s project was to make either bacon or pancetta. I chose to make bacon because the process was a shorter one than making pancetta. Since I knew I would be traveling this month, I didn’t want to over exert, especially on one of my first projects. I could not believe how EASY it is to make homemade bacon. I mean, you really work for about 15 minutes and then just wait and go about your business until it’s done curing. Once you buy fresh pork belly, all you have to do is dredge the entire belly in a dry cure that can be flavored with whatever you want – I used garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. Although now that I’ve finished the first batch, I have all kinds of idea – spicy bacon with smoked paprika and cayenne, basil pesto bacon, sorghum syrup + vanilla bacon, and maybe an Indian spiced bacon! After seven days in the cure, you roast (or smoke) the entire pork belly for about 2 hours until it reaches a temperature of 150 degrees F. Once you remove the skin, the bacon can but sliced, used immediately, or frozen for a few months.

 

 

Now, let me tell you about TASTE. When this beautiful, home cured bacon is cooked, its taste is UNBELIEVABLE. Because mine was roasted and not smoked, you could really taste the ingredients from the cure. The bacon was garlicky, which gave it a great savory note; it was spicy because of the black pepper and the herbaceousness of the bay leaf rounded everything out to make this the best tasting bacon that I’ve ever had. Seriously, it’s the most flavorful bacon EVER!

And because the bacon is so easy to make (I mean, seriously, it just sits there for 7 days), I’m pretty sure I’ll always have homemade bacon around my house. Who knew that making your own cured meat products would be so easy? But that’s what charcutepalooza is all about – try something new, challenge yourself to be a better cook, and you will be rewarded. This was quite the reward.

 

So now that I got my own bacon, I’ve been making a lot of stuff. Of course, you gotta have aB.L.T. If there is a better one than mine, I’ve never seen or had it. You could make my Apple Cabbage & Bacon slawSpaghetti Carbonara, or even Huevos Rancheros! But for all you fellow Charcutepalooza-ers out there, I made a really special dish. One day, a few years ago, I went to Miami for my little sister’s graduation. While we were there, my dad and I had the pleasure of dining at Michelle Bernstein’s restaurant, Michy’s. We were even luckier because it was restaurant week, so I got to have 3 courses! My favorite course was actually the appetizer – some steamed asparagus, with a poached egg, and bacon lardons. The flavors were amazing and I couldn’t get over how a few simple ingredients really came together to produce a very tasty dish.

This is my take on Michelle’s dish. I’ve grilled the asparagus to give a smoky flavor to the dish, since the bacon was not smoked. With a perfectly poached egg, parmiagiano reggiano curls, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this dish is just incredible, full of so many different flavors and textures. The vinaigrette in my mind is essential, as its heightened acidity cuts through the richness of all the other ingredients. At the end of the day, the bacon is the star of the plate and everything else helps to elevate the bacon.

Grilled Asparagus Salad – Bacon, Parmigiano, Poached Egg, Balsamic (serves 4)

(recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti)

Asparagus:

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed

olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toss the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is nicely marked and tender. Take off the grill and set aside.

 

Poached eggs:

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Bring a large, wide pan filled with water to a simmer. Season the water with the vinegar – this will ensure the egg whites coagulate around the yolk when you poach the eggs. Crack the eggs and put them into individual bowls (or crack one at a time). When the water returns to a simmer, use a slotted spoon and start stirring the water clockwise until there is a bit of a vortex in the middle of the pot. Drop one egg into the middle of the vortex and watch as the egg white comes to surround the yolk. Let the egg cook for about 3 minutes, and then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. At this point, your egg is almost perfectly cooked. Repeat with remaining eggs.

When you are ready to serve, insert the eggs back in the poaching liquid for about 45 seconds so they warm all the way through. This will result in great, runny yolks. If you want a hard yolk, just cook it longer, for about 2 minutes.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard. Slowly stream in the olive oil, while whisking, to emulsify the dressing. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:

8 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or lardons

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Grilled Asparagus

Poached Eggs

Balsamic Vinaigrette

First, cook the bacon by putting it in a cold pan over medium heat. Keep turning bacon, every few minutes, so it is evenly cooked, the fat renders, and it is crispy. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble the dish, lay a few asparagus spears on the plate. Top the asparagus with the poached egg. Scatter the bacon around the plate. Using a vegetable peeler, curl some long pieces of parmigiano cheese around the other ingredients. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over the salad and around the plate.

Serve. Eat. Be Merry.

I can’t wait for next month’s Charcutepalooza project! Now that I’ve completed my first project, I feel much  more comfortable going forth. I’m ready to face any challenge and start making some tasty cured pork products. If this bacon was any indication, it’s going to be one tasty and exciting epicurean adventure!

Cheers,

Vivek

source: http://viveksurti.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/charcutepalooza-project-homemade-bacon/

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Pork

 

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Peppercorn Steak (Steak Au Poivre) Recipe

A raw steak

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A five-star recipe for New York Strip steak with an incredible cream sauce cooked with green peppercorns, onions, shallots, butter, and cognac. The green peppercorns, combined with cognac, adds an exceptional flavor to this savory sauce. This is a recipe that is sure to become a favorite!

 

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Beef, French Cuisine

 

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