Category Archives: Year Round

Hazelnut Sticks

Crunchy with a strong hazelnut flavor. And they're easy: the nuts don't have to be toasted or skinned.
Makes about 40 cookies
Shopping List

2/3 cup raw hazelnuts

11/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

scant 1/2 cup sugar

6 TBL unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Line the bottom and sides of a 9×5 loaf pan with foil. (See note at the end of these directions for how to do this painlessly.)

In a food processor, combine

  • 2/3 cup raw hazelnuts (with skins still on them)
  • 11/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pulse until the hazelnuts are finely chopped. Cut

  • 6 TBL cold unsalted butter

into 1/2-inch cubes, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Combine

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBL cold water

and drizzle into the processor bowl. Pulse just until the mixture resembles damp crumbs – it shouldn’t be a smooth mass, but it should stick together when pressed. Dump the mixture into the lined loaf pan and spread it evenly. Press it very firmly and compactly. Fold the foil over the dough and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Grease two cookie sheets.

Unwrap the dough and transfer it to a cutting board. Use a long sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise into 1/4-inch (or thinner if possible) slices. Use the knife to transfer each slice to the greased cookie sheets, placing the slices 1 inch apart. The slices will be fragile and require the support of the knife in transit.

Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are golden with golden brown edges. Rotate top to bottom and front to back halfway through for even baking. With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. May be kept in an airtight container for several days.

Variation: Almond Sticks

I just substituted 2/3 cup raw almonds for the hazelnuts. But I didn’t think the almond flavor was strong enough; next time, I’m going to use almond extract in place of the vanilla, or half almond/half vanilla.

NOTE: ATTN To line pan with foil: Invert the pan, cover it with a piece of foil 4 inches longer and wider than the bottom of the pan, and with your hands press down on the foil around the sides and the corners to shape it like the pan. Dampen the inside of the pan slightly. Without tearing, press the foil into place in the pan.

 

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake

No butter, no oil, no flour: a delicious, moist cake with the flavor of almonds and orange. Served with a marmalade sauce.
Makes an 8-inch or 10-inch cake
Shopping List

2 navel oranges

65g or 100g brown sugar

130g or 200g granulated (white) sugar

4 or 6 eggs

165g or 250g almond flour

1 tsp or 11/2 tsp baking powder

This recipe can make either an 8-inch or 10-inch pan. Whichever you use, ATTNmake sure it is at least 11/2 inches high.

Simmer, covered thoroughly in water for 2 hours:

  • 2 navel oranges

Alternatively, place them in a 6-quart pressure cooker with enough water to cover (even if you have to hold them down to measure it) and process at high pressure for 20 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Discard the water.

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line the bottom of the greased baking pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine

  • 65g or 100g brown sugar
  • 130g or 200g granulated (white) sugar
  • 4 or 6 eggs

Process until it forms a fluffy mixture. Cut the cooked unpeeled cooked oranges into 8 pieces. The two I used weighed 600g after cooking, so for the 8-inch cake I used only 400g of the orange; I discarded the excess. Add the measured orange to the food processor and process until it has been fully incorporated: you’ll see small pieces of skin floating through the mixture. ATTN For the larger cake I had to process it in two batches.

Combine in a bowl

  • 165g or 250g almond flour
  • 1 tsp or 11/2 tsp baking powder

Transfer the liquid mixture to a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake. The small cake takes about 45 to 60 minutes. The 10-inch cake bakes for 60 to 90 minutes. The top will get fairly dark (cover with loose foil if it’s getting too dark) and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, run knife around pan and then invert twice (removing parchment paper) and leave it on a rack to finish cooling.

Thin out some orange marmalade with water at a simmer. Let cool. To serve, combine some mascarpone with milk or cream, served on the side of a slice of cake, drizzling the top of the wedge with a spoonful of the thinned marmalade mixture.

Adapted from the Polpo cookbook

 

No-Knead Pizza Dough

Simple as can be. The recipe readily scales up for a bigger crowd.
Makes two 11-inch pizzas
Shopping List

Type “00” soft wheat flour

Yeast

Measure the flour by weight: you can scale this recipe up. See the note at the end.

In a bowl, measure

  • 320g type “00” soft wheat flour
  • scant 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1/16 to 1/8  tsp yeast

Regarding the yeast, for a 6-pizza recipe, you need about 1/2 tsp yeast, so go easy and don’t worry about being too precise. Stir the dry ingredients together. Add

  • 1 cup cold water

Stir until a ball forms. Transfer it to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Let sit for 18 to 24 hours and leave at room temperature.

After the rising time, the mixture will look a bit bubbly. Gently dump it onto a floured board, shape into a rectangle. Divide into separate pieces for each pizza (two in this case). For each piece, pull the four corners into the center. Smooth into a ball, dust with flour and place on work surface with the seam down. Let rest for 1 hour covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel.

ATTN If you’re working ahead of time, you can place the balls of dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to use the refrigerated dough, remove it from the fridge one or two hours before you’re ready to bake.

Dual Pizza Stones
Dual pizza stones transmit the heat better.

Start preheating the oven. I bake my pizza on a pizza stone with ATTN another pizza stone on a shelf about 4 to 6 inches above it. I bake at the highest temperature, 550º F convection in my case, so it takes almost an hour for the oven to heat up and for the stones to get thoroughly hot. Be sure to wait until the stone(s) heat up completely.

Form the pizza by gently forming into a circle, handling the dough as little as possible. Be sure to leave a bit of an edge around the pizza to form a crusty edge. Stretch the dough to an 11-inch round. Transfer the shaped dough to a baker’s peel that is generously coated with cornmeal. Top the dough with ingredients. Bake for 61/2 minutes (adjusting for your own oven’s temperature).

When ATTNscaling up this recipe to make more pizzas, use this guide. Per pizza 160g flour, scant 3/4 tsp salt, speck of yeast (keep reading), and 1/2 cup water. For 6 pizzas the proper amounts are 1kg of flour, 4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast and 3 cups water.

This caramelized onion pizza (pictured above) is made by slow-cooking chopped onions in olive oil. Cover the dough with mozzarella and bits of shaved romano cheese and then cover with a thick layer of the golden onions. Follow baking directions above.

Inspired by

 

Grilled Octopus

Easier than I ever imagined.
8 legs but the servings vary according to appetites and the size of the octopus
Shopping List

1 octopus, 1.5 to 2 pounds (see note)

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano (or alternate herbs)

1 large or 2 small lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

Purchase

  • 1  octopus (11/2 to 2 pounds), cleaned

Note: A larger octopus will work, just make sure it fits in your pressure cooker and adjust the cooking time. I’ve also cooked 2 11/2 pound octopuses at once in my 6-quart pressure cooker.

When you (or the fishmonger) clean the octopus, be sure to remove the beak, eyes and open the head and clean it out. Rinse the octopus, especially inside the head as there might be a little sand in there if it isn’t cleaned out thoroughly.

Place the octopus in a pressure cooker. Add water to cover and

  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, split or smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt

ATTN Be absolutely certain you don’t overfill your pressure cooker!

Bring the pressure cooker to high (15 lbs) pressure. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the time is done, bring the pressure down quickly and check that a paring knife easily slips into the thickest part of the leg.  If not, close the pressure cooker, bring it back to pressure and cook for 3 minutes; then re-test it. Generally I have found that 15 minutes is enough time.

In a 2-3 quart mixing bowl, combine

  • juice of 2 small or 1 large lemon
  • 3 to 4 TBL olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, marjoram or thyme. (You can also use fresh herbs if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add the cooked octopus and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, turning the octopus at least once in the marinade but more often if time allows.

Light coals or light gas grill. Grill the octopus whole, making sure you don’t char the tips of the legs too much. When it’s gotten some color, it’s done. Remember, it was fully cooked when it came out of the pressure cooker.

Serve, either cut into legs or bite-size bits, drizzled with more olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice or your favorite condiments.

 

Almond Polenta Pound Cake

We love this cake, but getting to this point was a little bit of torture. Read the story at the end of the recipe.
Makes one Bundt or 10-inch tube cake
Shopping List

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup (4 ounces) almond paste

11/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 eggs

11/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup coarse cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a Bundt or 10-inch tube pan.

Separate

  • 6 eggs

Reserve egg yolks. With electric mixer beat egg whites with

  • 1/4 cup sugar

until soft peaks form. In an electric mixer, cream together

  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently. Add all six egg yolks to butter-sugar mixture and blend well. In another bowl, sift together

  • 11/2 cups cake flour (or 11/2 cups less 3 tablespoons of sifted all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal (I prefer the consistency of Quaker cornmeal)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Mix until well blended and set aside.

Fold half the egg whites into the butter mixture and incorporate well. Gently fold in remaining whites and pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake 65 minutes. Cake will be done with the top is golden and is firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the cake will come out clean when cake is completely baked.

Let the cake cool on the rack for ATTN 15 minutes before turning out.

The original recipe calls for one 9-inch pan. When Bob mixed the batter, he knew he had a problem: it couldn’t all fit in one pan. He called the Coyote Cafe restaurant in Santa Fe, asked for the pastry chef, and told her his dilemma. She said, “Oh, the old pastry chef contributed most of the dessert recipes, and many of them have problems.” She even went as far as naming one recipe that should be completely avoided. Her suggestion was a bigger pan and longer baking. This is now one of our favorite recipes.

Adapted from Coyote Cafe, by Mark Miller

Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and Cauliflower)

A dry-style Indian dish. I like it spicy, but feel free to adjust to your taste
enough for several people as a side dish
Shopping List

1 medium-size head of cauliflower

2-inch piece of peeled ginger

3 or 4 cloves of garlic

1 TBL ground coriander

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika

1/2 tsp hot chili powder

2 TBL peanut oil

1 jalapeño pepper

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 pound yukon gold potatoes

fresh cilantro

Wash, trim and cut into medium-sized florets

  • 1 medium-size head of cauliflower

Grate

  • 2-inch piece of peeled ginger
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic

Place in a small (2-cup) bowl and add

  • 1 TBL ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add

  • 2 TBL peanut oil

Heat until shimmering. Add

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed and cut in two halves. I retained the seeds.

Let cook for 30 seconds. Add

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

ATTN It may spatter and the seeds will begin to pop. When they do, add the water-spice mixture ATTNwhich may spatter so be careful.  Cook about 2 minutes, then add the cut cauliflower and

  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut the slices into half-circles if they are large.
  • 1/2 cup water

Stir the mixture to coat the vegetables and reduce heat to a low enough level to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Uncover, as the dish should dry out some as it finishes: this is not a saucy dish. Test for salt and add more to taste. When the potatoes are cooked, serve, garnished with

  • 2 TBL chopped cilantro leaves

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/cauliflower-and-potatoes-aloo-gobi-recipe.html

 

Chicken Tikka

Traditionally made as kebabs, this version uses chicken pieces.
4 servings
Shopping List

2-inch piece of ginger

4 cloves of garlic

2 habanero chilis (or 1 jalapeño if you want a milder dish)

1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika)

3/4 tsp hot chili powder

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp garam masala

2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces

In a blender, combine

  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 habanero chilis, stem removed seeds left in (or a jalapeño if you want a milder dish)
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1/4 to 3/4 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp garam masala (or use a substitution, below)

Run the blender until a smooth paste forms, adding a tiny bit of water if needed to get it moving.

Trim excess fat from

  • 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces

I’m partial to thighs, but any pieces can work. Large breasts, if used should be cut in half.

Combine the chicken and paste, mixing thoroughly. Refrigerate for for at least 4 hours. Cook on a grill, starting with the skin side up; indirect heat is better. Flip to finish cooking the skin side. (I haven’t cooked this in the oven, this but it should cook for 30-40 minutes at 425º F on a tray.)

Note that if you don’t have garam masala you can make a mixture of the following spices, ATTN using more of the earlier ones on the list and less of the later ones. Everyone’s idea of what’s in this spice mix is different so look around on the web, and if you don’t have one of the ingredients listed,  just omit it and fill in with the others: (all are ground herbs)  coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves.

 

Pasta with Spicy Almond Pesto

In a blender, combine to make a runny “pesto” ATTN with some chunks of almonds still visible.

  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • olive oil to cover

Cook

  • 8 ounces pasta (bucatini, radiatore, etc)

reserving some pasta water just before you drain them. When the pasta is almost done, saute

  • 1 glug olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 3 jalapenos, cut lengthwise in half (leave in seeds), and then cut in narrow slices

over high heat for about a minute. Add about 3/4 cup of pasta water, the cooked pasta and about 1/2 cup of the pesto. Saute, stirring to mix thoroughly and complete cooking. Season with salt, pepper and

  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

ATTN You will have leftover pesto. Save it in the fridge and use it the next time you want to cook this dish.

 

Oniony Noodle Kugel

Shopping List

12-ounce package of broad egg noodles

2 very large or 4 medium onions (about 11/2 pounds)

Vegetable oil (a few TBL)

10 eggs

Bring a large pot of ATTNwell-salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting for it to boil, peel and dice

  • 2 very large or 4 medium onions

This works best with a non-stick pan, but you can do this in any 11- to 12-inch frying pan. ATTNHeat a large frying pan to a medium-high heat and add

  • 1-2 TBL vegetable oil

and then add the diced onions. Saute the onions, ATTNstirring from time to time, not constantly. The onions need to get well-browned, and don’t worry if a few of them get extremely dark — that is what gives the kugel its flavor. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to them as they cook: check by tasting them. Towards the end of the cooking, if there’s a lot of browned bits stuck to the pan, add 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pan, doing this while the onions are in the pan and the pan is still on the heat.

These still need a little more cooking, but they're almost done.
These still need a little more cooking, but they’re almost done.

Remove the pan from heat when the onions are done, but meanwhile…

When the salted water comes to a boil, add

  • 12-ounce package of ATTN broad egg noodles

Pay attention to how long the noodles cook: you don’t want them to get mushy and in fact, they should be a little firm but not doughy or raw-tasting. My brand’s package said they “should cook 8-10 minutes but no more than 8 minutes if they will be added to cooked more as part of another recipe”. I cooked them just over 6 minutes, sampled one and it was done.

While the onions and noodles cook, in a very large mixing bowl beat together

  • 10 large eggs, shelled of course
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)

When the noodles finish cooking, drain them in a colander and run some cool water over them to bring them down to room temperature. If the onions aren’t done cooking yet, add a little oil to the noodles and toss the noodles to coat. If the onions are already done cooking, proceed with the next step without bothering to add any oil. (The reason for this is that you don’t want to combine the eggs and noodles until you are ready to cook everything because the eggs will absorb into the noodles and the kugel won’t hold together. If you leave the noodles drying in the colander without adding the oil, the noodles will stick together making it hard to mix with the eggs and onions.)

In the large bowl, add the noodles and onions. Stir thoroughly. I prefer to do this with my hands to make sure everything is well mixed. Quickly wash off the large frying pan you used for the onions (if you don’t, the kugel will tend to stick), dry the pan and heat it over a medium heat, adding

  • 1-2 TBL vegetable oil

When the oil is hot, add the egg-noodle-onion mixture. Smooth the top of the mixture in the pan. As the kugel cooks, you should see a crust form around the edge of the pan: this might take 5 minutes or so. Run a knife around the edge to separate the kugel from the pan. ATTNThe kugel will cook about 10-12 minutes on this side, so keep an eye on the heat and make sure it isn’t cooking too quickly as you’ll end up with a very dark crust. There will still be some loose  eggs at the point you need to flip it, but not a lot. Before flipping the kugel, run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pan again and ATTNunder the kugel to make sure it’s not stuck to the pan. If the frying pan doesn’t have straight sides, you can probably shake the pan a bit to see that the kugel has been loosened. Put a suitably large plate over the top of the pan, invert the pan and plate together and hopefully the kugel will be on the plate. If part of the kugel sticks to the pan, remove it with a spatula and put it where it should be. It’ll be fine.

Quickly add

  • 1 TBL vegetable oil

to the pan and slide the kugel off the plate and back into the pan. The second side will probably only take about 7-8 minutes to cook.  Again, ATTN loosen the bottom of the kugel from the pan and invert it onto the serving plate. Note that if you had a “separation disaster” the first time around, it is hidden on the bottom of the kugel and no one will see it.

The completed kugel.
  The completed kugel.
This is a diet-sized slice.
This is a diet-sized slice.

Serve hot or at room temperature, cut in wedges. It’s also great cold, eaten while standing in front of an open refrigerator at midnight. This is often served with braised meat (gedempte) that has a sauce.

From my mother, Rita Fitterman, who probably learned how to make this from her mother-in-law, Goldie Fitterman.

 

Potica Cake

Potica (pronounced poe-TEET-sa) is a delectable Slovenian yeast pastry, filled with cinnamon and nuts. It's a lot of work to make. The flavors of this recipe are reminiscent of potica, with far less work.
Makes one 9-inch tube cake
Shopping List
3/4 cup margarine or butter
11/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
11/2 teaspoon baking soda
11/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 lb. sour cream
11/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream, until fluffy

  • 3/4 cup margarine or butter

Add gradually

  • 11/2 cups sugar

until light. Add, one at a time

  • 4 eggs

and mix well. In a mixing bowl sift (and we really mean   sift, not combine) three times:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 11/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/2 teaspoon baking powder

Add this mixture to the egg mixture in three parts, alternating with

  • 1 pound sour cream

Beat after each addition until smooth. Add in

  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine, to make filling:

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Into a greased and floured 9-inch tube pan, alternate layers of batter and filling, starting and ending with batter. When finished, cut through with knife. Bake at 350° F for 75 minutes, or until done. Cool cake 15 minutes before removing from pan.

This comes from a dear family friend, Nell Simala.

Jerk Chicken

This is a recipe that really demands cooking on the grill with a source of smoke, such as wood chips. It’s probably good cooked in the oven, but it won’t be the same. Note that it’s pretty spicy, but you can tone it down by reducing the number of hot peppers or substituting milder peppers such as jalapeños.

In the jar of a blender (or food processor), measure the following:

  • 6 scallions, cut into 4″ pieces
  • 1 large or 2 medium shallots, peeled
  • 3-4 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilies, stems removed but the seeds left in.
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 11/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices across the grain
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 heaping TBL ground allspice
  • 1 generous TBL soy sauce
  • 1 heaping TBL brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cider or white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Run blender until a smooth paste forms. If you taste it at this point, just be aware that it’s very concentrated and the flavors will soften somewhat when it’s on the chicken and cooked.

Trim excess fat from

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into quarters or 8-10 chicken thighs or 4-6 leg quarters

The amount of chicken the paste will service will vary with the surface area of the parts. Spread it around on all the outside surfaces and put the chicken in a bowl or zipper-sealable bag, and refrigerate for 18-36 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, set up the grill and be sure to have soaked some kind of wood for smoke. I love hickory chips, but you might prefer something else. You’ll need enough fuel to cook the chicken for up to 45 minutes. If you’re using coal,  arrange them for indirect heat or cook at/under 300 if you’re using gas.  Make sure you have a lot of smoke going and place the chicken skin side up, cover the grill and let it cook for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on it just to make sure you don’t have any flare-ups. The chicken will be a lovely color at this point. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 10 minutes. Start to check whether the chicken is cooked through. The timing will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of the grill. The chicken is going to be dark (not burnt) on the outside when it’s fully cooked.

 

Cheese Straws

Cheesy, in the good sense.
Enough for a small dinner party. You might want to double this.
Shopping List

6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese

4 TBL butter (half a stick)

3/4 cup flour

crushed red pepper flakes

1 TBL milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grate

  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese

In food processor, combine cheese,

  • 4 TBL butter (cut up into pieces)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

and pulse until it forms crumbs, then add

  • 1 TBL milk

Pulse for a few seconds and it will form a ball. Roll out on floured board to form an 8- x 10-inch rectangle.  Cut into strips, about 1/4-inch wide. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet(s), ATTNleaving space between the dough as it will spread slightly.

Bake about 12-15 minutes, making sure they get a golden color and the edges begin to brown. Cool entire baking sheet on rack, then gently transfer to a drinking glass to serve. Leftovers should be kept in a sealed container.

Adapted from  Smitten Kitchen.

 

Harissa

Simple enough.

 

Combine in a small bowl

  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes (with seeds)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp  cayenne

Add just enough boiling water to cover and place a plate over the bowl.  Meanwhile, prepare

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

After 30 minutes, drain peppers, if needed.  In a food processor, combine pepper flakes, garlic and

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Blend to form a smooth paste.

Green Chili

Adapted from my cousin Irene's recipe.
Makes 2 quarts

Coat with flour

  • 3/4 pound boneless turkey, chicken or port butt

Brown in

  • 2 TBL oil

Cook until meat is well browned. Meanwhile, in a 2-3 quart saucepan on medium heat, add

  • 2 TBL oil
  • 1 small onion diced

When the onion is tender, add the browned meat and

  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 15-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 4-ounce cans of chopped green chilis
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 chopped jalapenos, or a mix of peppers of your choice (See note below.)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Let simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. If  needs adjustment of seasons, have at it. If it’s not thick enough, use some oil and flour to make a thin roux, and use that to thicken it up a bit. It should have the consistency of a thin gravy or a thick soup. Alternatively, you may want to add finely minced potato at the beginning of the cooking to help thicken it a bit.

NOTE: For peppers, you may want to roast some milder peppers like Anaheim, use habaneros if you want it spicier, etc. It is all up to you!

Caponata

Makes 8 servings
Shopping List

2 medium eggplants

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 large onion

2 stalks celery

1/2 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup capers

16 stuffed green olives

1/4 cup wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

ATTN Prepare this a day before you want to serve it.

Rinse and cut

  • 2 medium eggplants, making 3/4” cubes (leave skin on)

In a large saucepan, heat

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

and saute eggplant until colored. Remove from pan. Add

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

to pan. Saute until golden

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced

Add

  • 1/2 cup tomato puree

and simmer 2 minutes. Return eggplant to pan and add

  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 16 stuffed green olives, halved

In another pan (or microwave oven) heat

  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

and pour into eggplant mixture. Season with

  • salt and black pepper to taste

Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and toast.

Adapted from The International Dinner Party Cookbook, by Jan Bilton