I’m a huge fan of Maunika Gowardhan, a brilliant Indian chef. I am also a huge fan, generally, of Indian food! I asked for plenty of Indian spices for Christmas and this year will be the year I really explore cooking Indian cuisine.
Don’t imagine for a second that I won’t be involving the slow cooker at a later stage.
We enjoyed this dish for a small ladies night with some close friends, and it was a wonderful night.
In the photo you’ll see it’s featured next to some daal. I sadly forgot what I did to make the daal so you’ll never know, and neither will I.
- 230gms paneer diced in cubes
- 3tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- Pinch turmeric powder
- 1 medium green pepper thinly sliced
- 1 small tomato sliced
- Salt to taste
- 1" ginger slivers for garnish
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Fresh coriander for garnish
- First, put your rice on!
- Then, heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add cumin seeds and sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the onions and fry for 2-3minutes on medium heat. As they begin to soften add the garlic paste and fry for a few seconds. Add all the spice powders and stir for a further minute. If the spices stick to the base of the pan add a splash of water.
- Now add the peppers and mix with all the spices for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes at this stage and cook until slightly softened. Now add the paneer cubes and stir well to coat with all the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes, season to taste. Add the ginger, lemon juice & garnish with fresh coriander.
- Serve warm with naan,
These are perfect for a side dish to a thick black bean stew. That’s how I made them most recently, but unfortunately the soup went too fast for a photo, and is hence not featured on the blog.
I invited some of my closest friends over for a dinner, to tell some of them about the recent engagement (squee!!!), and I was so excited and in the zone that I actually forgot the yeast… had to unroll ALL of the dough balls, add it back in… and reroll them all. Catastrophic situation.
Anyways, surprisingly, this still worked, so I can’t imagine how delicious these rolls would be if you just followed the instructions.
One note, is that they are delicious fresh out of the oven. They are NOT delicious (barely edible in fact), the next day. So only make them for a crowd, otherwise you’ll eat the whole thing out of guilt and feel terrible.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (1 package or 1/4 ounce)
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup medium-ground cornmeal
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 3- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- Grease a 9-inch round pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast and the lukewarm water. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof (the yeast should look puffy on the surface after that time).
- Pour the boiling water into a large bowl and slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking as you pour to make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the molasses, butter, and salt to the cornmeal mixture. Stir until the butter is melted.
- Add the egg and whisk thoroughly.
- Add the flour and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. The dough will be on the stickier side, but it shouldn't completely stick to your hands: You should be able to knead it. If it's much too wet, add up to 1/2 cup more flour (just a bit at a time) until it's sticky but you can knead it.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. I recommend using a digital scale for accuracy. Weigh the dough on a piece of wax paper, then divide by 16. Pinch off pieces and weigh each one to make sure they are the proper weight. This will ensure your rolls look beautiful and uniform but it's not mandatory!
- With floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball and place it in the prepared pan.
- Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Just before the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375° F.
- When the rolls have risen, bake them for about 30 minutes. They should be golden and sound hollow when you tap on the surface.
- Remove the rolls from the oven. Brush lightly with melted butter if you'd like them to look nice and shiny.
I love cabbage. And I love tomatoes. This soup is an excellent one to have on hand over the holidays, when you have people visiting, getting hungry at different times, and you need to have a healthy snack on hand at all times.
This soup is vegan, and packed with flavour. What makes it so unique is the splash of vinegar that gives it some punch.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and shredded or diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 small dried red chili pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the pepper has softened slightly and the pan is fragrant, about three minutes. Add the cabbage. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage has softened slightly and lost some of its volume, about five minutes. Add the chili pepper, sugar, tomatoes, salt and paprika. Raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and the mixture smells fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the vinegar and pepper, and taste and adjust salt. Simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with thick slices of country bread or with rice. This will taste even better if you refrigerate it overnight and serve it the next day.
This is one of my ‘go-to’ meals for a dinner party. It takes about an hour to cook, but it’s relatively low maintenance, and it’s surprising how much flavor there can be with so few ingredients. The reason is that the beans are first cooked a bit directly in red wine, so that gives the dish this earthy delicious flavor.
A word to the wise: do not oversalt, and do not use a broth which is too salty. I have made this many times, and on my last rendition I was heavy handed on the salt- regrets! Taste as you go, and add little by little.
I should mention as well, that this is less of a soup, and more of a risotto type texture, which is exactly how I like it.
The cookbook that this comes from is absolutely delicious, it was a gift from my mother and there are so many simple yet flavor-packed recipes for Italian soups inside, it’s difficult to choose.
- 1 cup dried borlotti beans
- A large glug of olive oil
- ¼ cup diced lardons (thick cut bacon)
- 2 medium onions, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 cup Italian red wine such as Chianti
- 8 cups broth (your choice)
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Pick over the beans, and soak them overnight in water. Drain and set aside.
- When you are ready to cook, heat the oil and lardons in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until softened, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beans and the red wine. Cook, uncovered, until most of the wine evaporates, about 7 minutes.
- Add the broth, and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow but steady simmer and cook, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- About 10 minutes before the beans are done, stir in the orzo. Taste and season carefully with salt & pepper (remembering that you will garnish with Parmesan which is also salty).
- To serve, ladle the ‘soup’ into warmed bowls. Top with a tablespoon of grated cheese, and a drizzle of high quality olive oil.
This changed my life. I’m not being overdramatic here- it changed my life. The original stew should be cooked in an earthenware pot (ttukbaegi). The day that I went to cook this, I actually FOUND such an earthenware pot. On top of the world, I hauled it home- only to realize that it doesn’t really work with an electric stove.
Crushed, I made the stew in a regular tiny pot and ate it directly from there.
I was so in love, I made it for myself on a Saturday night in, and again for breakfast on Sunday morning. I have craved it every day since.
It’s from Maangchi- and I highly recommend you go directly to her website and watch the video because it’s great and it really makes your mouth water.
There is also a vegetarian version with oyster mushrooms, which is equally as delicious and easy.
- 8 ounces beef skirt steak (or tenderloin, any tender cuts of beef), sliced thinly (For those living in Brussels, I go to Marks & Spencers and buy the pre-cut beef slices they keep in the stir fry department.)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 ounce starch noodles (dangmyeon), soaked in cold water 30 minutes to 1 hour
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) onion, sliced
- 1 ounce (¼ cup) carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 2 ounces large green onion (or 2 green onions), sliced diagonally.
- 1 ounce (about 1/3 cup) Enoki mushrooms
- 1 ounce (about ½ cup) spinach or basil leaves.
- ¼ cup worth radish sprouts
- Spicy mixture (optional, for a spicy version): 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes mixed with ½ teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl.
- Combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar, honey, ground black pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix it well until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef and mix well to marinate. Cover and refrigerate.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to cook, soak your starch noodles in water.
- When you are ready to cook, place a small pot on the stove with 2 cups of water or chicken broth, salt, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.
- When it starts boiling, add the beef, onion, carrot, and the large green onion. Let it cook without the lid for about 10 to 12 minutes over high heat. Stir it a few times and remove any foam from the surface with a spoon.
- Add the noodles, stirring a few times, and cook for 1 minute. Add Enoki mushrooms and radish sprouts and cook for a few minutes. Crack an egg and put it in the center of the bubbling stew. Garnish with the chrysanthemum greens and the red chili pepper.
- Remove from the heat and serve with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes. If you want the spicy version, put some of the spicy mixture into the stew and mix it in.
- If you want to make this vegetarian, you can use oyster mushrooms instead of the beef. Follow the same recipe, except leave out he fish sauce and increase the salt to 1 teaspoon (from ½ teaspoon).
I was inspired to make these when I recently cleaned the kitchen and discovered a great deal of coconut that was about to expire. Not wanted to throw out food and have that on my conscience for weeks, haunting me… I discovered the below.
Easy, and yummy! The batter does need to sit in the fridge before you bake, so keep that in mind (and it can even play in your favour if you want to leave it over night and have a ‘ready to bake’ cookie dough on hand for a dinner the day after.
There is even an extreme advance prep option: Roll out the balls and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they’re set, transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or airtight container and keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Let the dough balls sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking as usual.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup/113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed fluffy and yellow.
- Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition for 30 seconds.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture in three parts, beating for about 10 seconds after each addition. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out portions of dough the size of golf balls, roll them between your palms loosely, and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet (you’ll need to bake the cookies in several batches). Bake for 14 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to make the rest of the cookies.
I received this cookbook for Christmas, and boy was this a great recipe to start with. The recipe makes 2 loaves, which disappeared in 24 hours at our house.
You can eat it as is, but I highly recommend toasting slices and giving them a thick slather of butter. Just do it, don’t ask questions.
It is light and fluffy (thanks in part to the dry milk powder), and has just the right amount of sweetness from the filling.
It looks like a hassle, and I won’t lie to you, it is. But it’s worth it.
Lastly, it’s not recommended to do this without a kitchen aid because the dough is very sticky which makes the kneading literally painful. Just find a friend who owns a mixer and go to their house to make it.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 3 ¼ cups bread flour
- ¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 tablespoon instant or rapid rise yeast
- 1 ½ cups water, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups raisins (golden are nice, but any will work)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon room temperature water and a pinch of salt
- Toss butter cubes with a bit of flour, just to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside to soften.
- Whisk the remaining flour, milk, powder, and yeast together in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid.
- Whisk water, sugar, and egg in a separate bowl, until sugar is dissolved.
- Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add the water mixture to the dry mixture and continue to mix until a cohesive dough forms and there is no dry flour left (about 2 minutes). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Add salt to dough and knead on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. With mixer running, add butter cubes a few at a time, and knead for about 4 minutes or until the butter is fully incorporated. Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic, another 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add raisins and mix for a minute or until incorporated.
- Transfer dough to lightly greased large bowl. Using greased bowl scraper or your fingers, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough towards middle. Turn in a circle as you make a total of 8 folds around the outside of the dough. Cover dough with plastic and let rise for 45 minutes. Repeat folding, cover again, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Press down on dough gently to deflate it. Transfer it to a lightly floured counter, divide in half, and cover one half loosely with greased plastic wrap. Working with the other piece, press and roll it into an 11 x 6 inch rectangle, with the short size parallel to your body.
- Stretch and fold dough lengthwise into thirds, so it becomes an 11 x 3 inch rectangle. Roll dough away from you into a firm ball. Cover with the greased plastic wrap and repeat with the second dough lump.
- Make the filling by whisking together al of the filling ingredients in a small bowl.
- Take the first dough ball you made, coat lightly with flour, and place on a lightly floured counter. With the seam facing down, flatten with a rolling pin, into 18 x 7 inch rectangle, again with the short edge parallel to your body.
- Mist the top of the dough with a water spritzer. Sprinkle half of the filling mixture, leaving a small border around the edges. Mist filling with water spritzer until surface is speckled. Roll dough away from you into a firm cylinder, as tightly as you can. Pinch the seam and ends closed. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rest as you repeat the process with the second dough ball.
- Grease two 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pans with butter. Using a sharp knife, cut one cylinder in half lengthwise. Turn the cut sides face up (so you can see the stripes with the filling facing you). Gently stretch into 14 inch lengths, pinch together the tops, and twist around one another (start by placing the left side over the right). You want the cut sides to always face up, and they should be tightly twisted. Pinch bottom end together, and place into greased loaf pan.
- Repeat with other loaf.
- Cover with greased plastic and let rise until dough is 1 inch above the rim of the baking pan, about 1.5-2 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 350f/176c. Gently brush loaves with egg mixture, and bake until crust is browned (roughly 25 minutes) rotating the pans halfway through baking.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325f/162c, cover loaves with aluminum foil, and continue to bake until loaves register 200f/93c (about 15-25 minutes).
- Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes before removing from pans, and let rest for 3 hours on a wire rack before serving.
I originally made this for my beautiful friend Claudia who has just had two handsome twins. I did, however, leave it in the car and forget to bring it to her sigh.
Anyways, Claude- this one was for you!!
It’s yummy, salty, oily, everything a focaccia should be. We ended up freezing these, and that works just fine in case you can’t eat both loaves right away.
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup room temperature water
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ¼ cups water, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- First make the base dough. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, until combined. Cover tighly with plastic wrap, and let sit at least 6 hours, and up to 24. The dough should rise and begin to collapse.
- Once you’ve got your base dough, mix it together with the second dough. Stir the flour, water, and yeast into the base dough until well combined. Cover tightly with plastic and let rest 15 minutes.
- Stir 1.5 teaspoons of salt into dough with wooden spoon until fully combined, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic and let rest 30 minutes.
- Using a greased rubber scraper, fold dough over itself towards the middle. Repeat 7 more times, turning the bowl in a circle as you do, until you have folded it over all the way around. Cover with plastic and let rest 30 minutes.
- Repeat the folding circle, and let rest again for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the folding circle a third time, cover, and let rest until almost doubled in size, about an hour.
- Adjust the oven rack to upper middle position, and place a baking stone on the rack. Heat the oven to 500f. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons of oil each, and sprinkle each with a large pinch of salt.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured counter, and dust the top with flour as well. Divide dough in half, and cover the part you aren’t working with in greased plastic. Take the other dough ball, and shape into a 5 inch round by tucking the edges under itself.
- Place seam side up in a prepared pan, coat the bottom and sides with oil, and flip it over. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rest 5 minutes while you repeat with the second ball.
- Moving back to your first dough ball, gently press it out into the edges of the pan, being careful not to rip the dough. Using a fork, poke the surface of the dough plenty of times, poping any air bubbles. Sprinkle with rosemary, cover with plastic, and let rest another 10 minutes.
- Repeat with the second ball.
- When ready, place pans on baking stone, and reduce oven temperature to 450f. Bake until tops are golden, 25-30 minutes.
- Let loaves cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans onto a wire rack. Let cool for 30 minutes thereafter before serving.
- Feel free to dip the bread in any olive oil left over in the pan- you won’t regret it !
This is a recipe invented by my mother (the best cook in the world), and the method is often applied to other types of vegetables and other dishes on Beckwith Rd (parboiling and then sautéing in high quality olive oil with loads of salt and garlic).
This goes with just about any meat or fish main course, or it can stand alone as a delicious vegan main.
You could throw it onto pasta with a handful of freshly grated parmesan and it would be absolutely fantastic.
Or if you aren’t vegan if you want to jazz it up a bit add some sausage. And then throw that on pasta.
I recommend adding vegetable broth, but it depends entirely on your preferences and how liquid you want the final dish to be. Just keep tasting as you go along and decide how you want it.
- 2 medium Potatoes
- 1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe
- 6-10 cloves of Garlic
- 1 small can of White Beans (cannellini, navy beans, whatever you prefer)
- 1 cup Vegetable Broth (or more or less depending on how ‘soupy’ you want it to be)
- Salt & Pepper
- A very large glug of high quality extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the broccoli rabe, pick off any yellow leaves, and trim the ends. Separate the leaves from the stems, and cut the stems in half.
- Wash the potatoes (peel them if you like but you don’t have to). Cut off any green spots, and chop into tiny cubes.
- Bring two pots of salted water to boil.
- In the first pot, parboil the broccoli rabe, adding first the thicker stems, then the thinner stems after a few minutes, and finally the leaves for a minute or two. You want everything to be very soft. Drain, and set aside.
- In the second pot, parboil the potato cubes.
- Drain and rinse the white beans.
- Once all of your ingredients prepped, and you are ready to compile, chop up the garlic, and sauté it in a low pan with the olive oil, over medium heat.
- Once the garlic is soft (but not brown), add in the potatoes, and stir until thoroughly mixed and the sides of the potatoes are coated with oil. Add the broccoli rabe, and the vegetable broth. Stir to combine, and add in the white beans.
- Let the whole thing simmer slowly on the stove for 10 minutes or so, just to let the flavours meld. If you want it to be soupier add more broth, if it needs to dry up a bit let the liquid boil off.
- Salt generously to taste, and add plenty of freshly ground pepper.
This weekend we surprised my brother for his birthday in Boston! We baked this cake the day before and brought it with us.
What a treat to be all together again before the new year kicks off.
A certain someone (the cutest baby in the world Maxwell) particularly enjoyed the raspberry coulis and wound up with vampire face.
The cake really belongs with the coulis, do not attempt to make only the cake. It’s easy enough to do both, and so worth it.
It’s inspired by a recipe found on epicurious, from Claudia Roden. The link is in the recipe card so if you’d like to read the original or read the Spanish roots, please do!