Advertisements
Archive | Gluten-Free RSS feed for this section

Coriander Potatoes

18 Oct

IMG_9578

I am very sorry to have to tell you this, but I have been holding out on you. For a few months now, I have been in possession of the simplest, most delicious side dish known to all of humankind, and I have not, as yet, shared it with you. There is no excuse for this, particularly when this recipe takes under 20 minutes to prepare, contains only a few simple ingredients, and is, I have delightfully discovered, so popular with those pickiest of eaters—children—that is disappears almost as quickly as a slice of chocolate cake. Almost. Not quite. This is a potato dish, mind you, not a plate of miracles.

IMG_9575

IMG_9576

Inspired by my son’s favorite side dish at a nearby Lebanese restaurant, the potatoes are perfectly warm with coriander, spiked with a bit of fresh chiles, and tinged with just enough garlic to make them interesting, but not dangerous. I can’t recommend enough that you make this side dish a last-minute staple at your house, as it has become at ours.

IMG_9581

Last Year: Cheddar, Apple, and Poppy Seed Scones and Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

Coriander Potatoes

1 ½ pounds potatoes (I use Russet, but I imagine a waxier potato would work just fine here as well), peeled and diced into ½-inch chunks

¼ cup olive oil, or a mixture of 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of ghee

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 small chile (a Serrano works well here), sliced into thin strips or rings (seeds and ribs removed if you desire less heat)

salt to taste

sprinkling of chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat olive oil (or olive oil and ghee mixture) in a large pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the coriander and allow it to sizzle and brown for 10 seconds. Add the potatoes, stir to combine with coriander and oil, then cover, lower heat to medium, and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until potatoes have just begun to soften. Add the minced garlic on top of the potatoes, but don’t stir to combine. Place lid back over potatoes, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add sliced chile, stir to combine, and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add salt to taste, then sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6 to 8 people as a generous side dish.

Advertisements

Green Tomato Pakoras

30 Sep

IMG_9524

Well, it happened. I’ve been wearing boots for the past week—a very rainy week, I might add—which can only signal that summer is officially over, and it’s time to buckle down and prepare our nests for the long, grey days of autumn and winter. And spring. And part of summer. But who’s counting?

IMG_9517

In anticipation of our summer plans that would keep us away from home for most of July and August, we planted a rather modest vegetable garden this year. Our main garden component was tomatoes, and we were able to harvest a really nice crop after our return, which made for a lovely welcome back home. The tomato plants were still going strong as of about a week and a half ago, but with the cold weather sitting on top of us, it is obvious that the plump green tomatoes holding onto each vine have absolutely no chance of ever ripening. This, of course, is not a bad thing, particularly if you are as big of a fan of green tomatoes as I am.

IMG_9518

I wanted to experiment with more ways to enjoy green tomatoes (aside from the ubiquitous—and delicious—fried green tomatoes), so, as I am wont to do when faced with a challenge, I turned to my Indian roots in the name of experimentation. It took me about five seconds to realize that my crop of green tomatoes was practically begging to be drenched in a spicy besan batter and pan fried into golden and crisp green tomato pakoras. I’ve made a few types of pakoras over the years, and I have to admit, I think these right here are my hands down favorites. In addition to using besan (chickpea flour) in the pakora batter, I added a bit of rice flour for an added lightness and crispness, and, in the interest of pumping up the mild flavor of the green tomatoes, I added a finely diced chile to the batter. The end result is nothing short of dreamy. With a stash of green tomatoes to keep me company, it almost makes me not so sad that summer has come to a close.

IMG_9526

Last Year: Homemade Multigrain CrackersCheddar Apple Cornmeal Bread, and Apple and Toasted Oat Cookies with Penuche Frosting –is anyone else noticing that all of these recipes practically scream “AUTUMN!”?

Green Tomato Pakoras

¾ cup besan (garbanzo bean flour, also called gram flour)

½ cup rice flour

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 small chile, finely minced, seeds removed if you are concerned about spiciness

3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

¾ to 1 cup water

3 to 4 large to medium-sized green tomatoes, sliced into rounds

vegetable oil

ghee (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together besan, rice flour, dried spices, chile, cilantro, and salt. Stir the grated ginger into ¾ of a cup of water, then slowly whisk the water into the besan mixture. You want your pakora batter to be thicker than pancake batter, but not so stiff that it clumps over the tomato slices. If your batter seems to thick, slowly whisk in the remaining ¼ cup of water until the batter lightens up a bit.

In a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works very well here) set over medium high heat, pour in about ¼ inch of vegetable oil, or a mixture of vegetable oil and ghee. Heat the oil until a pinch of batter dropped into it immediately begins to sizzle.

Using your fingers (seriously, don’t even bother with tongs or a fork here—fingers just work so much better), coat three or four tomato slices at a time in the besan batter. Gently place the tomato slices in the hot oil. They should sizzle and bubble immediately. Cook the tomato pakoras for about 3 minutes on each side, give or take, until the batter is deep golden brown and quite crisp. Remove tomato pakoras to a wire rack lined with a double layer of paper towels.

Serve pakoras warm or hot, with chutney or raita.

Serves 4 to 6 people as an appetizer.

Peach Frozen Yogurt

16 Aug

IMG_9182

Do you want to know the one thing I really dislike about frozen yogurt from a frozen yogurt shop (I am certain no one here has ever considered my complaints about frozen yogurt before now, but play along)? I mean, besides the fact that it is almost painfully over-sweetened? And the unappealing flavors that serve no purpose other than to satisfy a dare (cotton candy? French toast?)? And, all right, the rather mysterious list of ingredients that go into making a frozen confection taste like French toast? So, those are three things already, I know, but do you want to know the biggest complaint I have about frozen yogurt?

It tastes absolutely nothing like yogurt.

IMG_9161

IMG_9163

Believe me, I know this is a ridiculous thing to point out. However, it is also the perfect manner in which one comes to the realization that, my goodness, do you even know how easy it is to make frozen yogurt at home? Frozen yogurt that is made of actual yogurt, chopped fruit, just a sprinkling of sugar, and not much else?

IMG_9179

It’s not ice cream, of course, but that’s not what we’re going for here. What we’re looking for is a tartness that is not found in ice cream, and a focus on fruit that can oftentimes be overshadowed by the delectably forward creaminess of ice cream. This frozen yogurt is all about the two flavors of peaches and yogurt coming together. In a fit of curiosity, I added a tablespoon of bourbon to the frozen yogurt right before the mixture was ready to be pulled from the ice cream maker and, boy howdy, can I recommend that you do the same. Bright peaches, tart yogurt, and the woodsy undertone of bourbon? Now there are some things that I definitely like about frozen yogurt.

IMG_9184

Last Year: Vintage Kitchen Tools and Chicken Tikka with Tomato–a fantastic potluck offering

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

1 ½ pounds of ripe peaches 9 about 5 large)

2 tablespoons water

¼ cup sugar

1 cup whole milk yogurt

1/2  tsp pure vanilla extract

a few drops of fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon bourbon

Peel the peaches (here is a great peeling tutorial–and a great recipe for a no-bake fresh peach pie!), slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks, and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan set over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through. You’ll want to see the peaches sitting in a nice bed of their released syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar until it is dissolved, then cool completely in the refrigerator.

When the peaches are completely cool, puree them with the yogurt in a blender, food processor, or with a stick blender. The peach mixture should be mostly smooth, but still a bit chunky. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the mixture reaches the consistency of super soft soft serve, add in the bourbon, then continue to freeze until the mixture is ready to be removed from the ice cream maker and packed into a freezer-safe container.

Makes about 3 cups.

%d bloggers like this: