Or, what to do with all of those end-of-summer squashes.
If you're an adventure cook like my brother, you could make a boiled, peeled pig tongue that you then smoke after sprinkling it with our Chipotle Chocolate Rub, but, well, many of us might not be up to that. Alternatively, here's a recipe for easy roast chicken.
1 whole chicken, backbone removed by a butcher or by you (poultry shears or a sharp knife will do the trick)
2-3 tablespoons of Chipotle Chocolate Rub
Sprinkle the bird, inside and out, with Chipotle Chocolate Rub. If possible, let the bird sit, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour or two. Then, if you have a gas grill, turn it on to its lowest setting. If you're using a charcoal grill, set up the grill for indirect cooking.
Roast the bird for 25 minutes, exposed side down. Then flip it skin side down and roast until the breast measures 150 degrees F and the thigh measures 175 degrees. (Those are the temps the FDA recommends. Some people find that the bird is a little overcooked this way. You do you.)
Some years ago, I posted a recipe for muhamarra that was, well, fine for what it was, but it was too complicated (three kinds of nuts? really?). This one is easy and tastier.
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (or sherry vinegar)
1 teaspoon harissa
1 roasted red pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sheet or goat feta (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and garlic until they're coarsely ground. If you like your dips chunkier, pulse til the pieces are the size of small peas. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse til well combined. Taste and add more harissa, feta, or lemon juice, as desired.
Serve with sliced vegetables, chewy bread, or grilled meats.
ghee or oil, 1 tablespoon
garlic, 1-2 tablespoons minced
onion, 1 medium, chopped
celery, ½ cup diced
carrot, ½ cup diced
garam masala, 1 teaspoon
sweet turmeric masala, 1 teaspoon
tikka masala, 1 teaspoon
tamarind paste, ¼ teaspoon, mixed into warm water (opt.)
ginger, 1 ½ inches, grated
coconut milk, 8-12 ounces
red lentils, 2 cups
chicken or vegetable stock, or water, 1 quart
spinach, 10-16 ounces
salt to taste
Heat the oil to a shimmer. Sauté the onion on medium heat for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, add the garlic, and sauté for another minute, then add the carrot, ginger, and celery and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the spices and stir to mix thoroughly for 30 seconds. Add lentils and broth and simmer 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add more water or broth as needed. Add spinach and cook until tender. Add the coconut milk and bring the soup back up to a lower simmer. Taste, correct salt, and serve.
Like many of you, I over-indulged over the holidays. Not terribly, just a little more sugar, a little more meat, and several fewer vegetables than I like to. Yesterday, I shopped for the good stuff: spinach, peppers, lettuce, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, cabbage, eggplant, buttermilk, yogurt, and some lean beef so I can make my own ground beef. And all I wanted for dinner was a vegetarian, vegetable laden meal, satisfying, but not heavy. So I put some rice on to cook and made this.
a small thub-sized piece of ginger, minced or grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 fresh hot chili, minced, or one to two dried hot chilis
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup split yellow peas)
water (or broth)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional)
Heat the oil to a shimmer. Add the onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir, cooking, 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin, mix, and cook another minute. Add the lentils and two cups of water. Stir, bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cover. Check every 15 minutes, stirring and adding water as needed. When the lentils are tender add the spinach and coconut. Cook until the spinach is wilted and tender. Add 1 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt as needed. Mix in butter and serve over steamed rice.
Serves 4 as a main course.
It's fall here in the Pacific Northwest. All of a sudden, after the hottest summer ever recorded here. The grey and the rain are a welcome blessing. And with that weather comes the desire for soups, puddings, and a move away from the cold, crisp foods of summer. Kheer is perfect for this time.
Kheer - serves 4
1/4 cup arborio or jasmine rice, soaked and rinsed
16 ounces of coconut milk
2-4 tablespoons of sugar (I used 2 1/2)
1+ cup water
a pinch salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
2 tablespoon roughly chopped almonds or pistachios (I omitted these this time)
Add the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt to a large-ish saucepan. Cook until rice is still chalky in the middle. Add the sugar and spices. Cover and turn down the heat to low. Check every 5-10 minutes, stirring. If it becomes thick enough for you and the rice isn't cooked through, add a half cup more water.
Serve topped with the chopped nuts, if using, and/or chopped peaches or berries.
This soup is far more delicious than it should be, given how quick and easy it is. It takes 30 minutes, start to finish and is filling and nutritious. It's also easy to make vegan, should you wish.
8-12 ounces of sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon urfa biber or harissa
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
Click title for the rest of the recipe
Perhaps because I'm not eating anything with added sugar right now, I found myself thinking wistfully about a chocolate cake I made two weeks ago. It was a Valentine's Day cake for my family, and although I'd originally planned to make a heart-shaped one, when the moment came that seemed precious and twee. Instead, I made up a peanut butter ganache, a chocolate frosting, and three layers of moist chocolate cake. The moist (sorry to use that abhorred word twice!) part is worth mentioning because that tends to be the Achilles' heel of gluten free cakes, of which this was one. For the record, I don't believe in sifting. (CLICK THE TITLE FOR THE REST OF THE RECIPE)
I absolutely love coconut burfi. Sweet, toothy, and easy. The depth of flavor comes from the interplay between the coconut, pistachios and cardamom.
2 cups dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups whole milk
10 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Soak the coconut in the milk for 1-12 hours, then add it to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the condensed milk. Cook for 30 minutes at a low bubble, stirring, then add the cardamom. Cook until the mixture is reduced by about 1/3 and pulling away from the edges of the pan. Stir in the nuts and spread mixture in a buttered pan at least 9 inches across, or on a piece of parchment. Let cool enough to cut, and then cut into diamonds.
If you don't consume the entirety within two days, please refrigerate.
I posted a recipe for Muhamarra here a few months ago. Delicious Muhamarra. This one is even better. Way better. Lick your fingers better. If you make it, please let me know what you think.
100 grams (a little more than 1/2 cup) almonds
100 grams (a little more than 1/2 cup) walnuts
50 grams (a scant 1/4 cup) pistachios
2 cloves garlic
(click the title for the rest of the recipe)