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Friday, September 30, 2016

Chickpea & Coconut Flour Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Chickpea flour Coconut Flour savory Pancake



Last of the home-garden zucchini was waiting to be used. It felt like a pancake kind of day. Not the boring old flour-and-eggs kind served with butter and syrup. But, the loaded-with-veggies savory kind that I've passed off as "pancakes" since kids' infancy.

For the longest time, both kids rejected the traditional pancakes; and, when offered at friends' place the morning after her first sleepover, the then 6 year old came home and wondered why the pancake she was offered was so buttery, soggy, and sweet.

No surprise, as the title says it all, these are griddle pan cakes made with a mix of chickpea flour and coconut flour that has been infused with a generous amount of grated zucchini.

Since the batter is easy to make, I did not measure it out with any precision. Just a bit more of chickpea flour than coconut flour, salt, turmeric, chili powder, plus grated zucchini, and enough water to make the batter thick.

Served with spicy herb green dip and sweet-sour red dip, plus a dollop of thick plain Greek yogurt, these zucchini pancakes get polished off quickly, much like... hot (pan) cakes.




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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Verum Arisi Adai

Verum Arisi Adai palakkad cuisine flatbread griddle-cake


Verum Arisi Adai translates to just Plain Rice Adai, a Palakkad specialty. Among the various Adais -  thick, griddle-cooked pancake-like flatbread - this Verum Arisi Adai is my only favorite. This is more my mom's specialty, and I didn't used to make it often.

It is a fairly thick adai, even up to a quarter inch thick, and needs to cook over medium-low heat for enough time so insides are not raw. My mom usually makes 3 or 4 "holes" on the surface and drops some oil in to help with crisping the surface.

My favorite additives to the plain rice adai batter are: chopped greens like kale, beet greens, spinach, grated carrots, finely diced onions, finely chopped coconut, whole black pepper, coriander and curry leaves. Of course, not all of these at the same time - that would just overload the adai.


Verum Arisi Adai palakkad cuisine flatbread griddle-cake


Soak 2 cups red par-boiled rice overnight (with 1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds), grind it to a coarse batter that is thick, with very little water; should be able to scoop a handful, roll it into a ball so it will still hold its shape on its own. This batter tastes better when allowed to ferment overnight with natural wild yeast fermentation, no additives.

However, since I don't get the traditional variety of rice here, and since I don't want to go to the trouble of soaking and grinding the long grain rice batter just for me, I have this alternate recipe using coarse rice meal like for Arisi Upma Kozhakattai.

  1. Soak required amount of Coarse ricemeal (also sold as Rice Idlee Rava in Indian stores), grind it with just enough water to make a thick paste; and allow it to ferment overnight 
  2. When ready to make the adais, add a tad bit of rice flour if the batter is too brittle and breaks apart when made into adai; the flour seems to help keep it together;
  3. Add in grated carrots or kale or onion or any other favorite veggies, adjust salt to taste, and cook on a medium hot pan on both sides till cooked through
  4. Serve with favorite chutneys or pickles; I serve it with pickled beets
While the original par-boiled rice Verum Arisi Adai will be just fine no matter how long after getting out of the pan, this quick short-cut method adai has to be eaten hot off the pan as it can get quite hard ("jaw-breaker") if allowed to cool down. It is very filling - just 2 medium sized (5" diameter) Verum Arisi Adai makes a big brunch.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arisi Upma Kozhakattai

Arisi Upma Kozhakattai


These steamed coarse ricemeal balls, Arisi Upma Kozhakattai, is my mom's specialty. She whips up a batch or two in no time at all and it is an all-day kind of meal - breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, these taste good with suitable chutneys and dips.

Now, the recipe is my mom's, so, the measurements are not precise; which suits me fine as I rarely measure the ingredients before I cook.

Basically, coarse rice meal, "arisi ravai" or "rice idlee rava" as sold in Indian stores, is coarse ground raw rice about the texture of coarse cornmeal. It is versatile in south Indian tiffin/snack dishes.

This rice meal is cooked in water with some salt and oil to a fairly thick consistency - like the standard Upma - so as to be able to take a handful and shape into egg-shaped balls. Then, steamed gently and served hot with chutneys on the side. Alternately, I've tried this with leftover thick polenta shaped into ovoids and steamed as well.

During my fledgling days of pottering about in the kitchen, I often goofed up and made the upma too thick so that after steaming, they became hard as rocks, making my dad nickname them hand grenades. But, I think I've learnt a thing or two since then, so, am happy to make this dish whenever the mood calls for it.


Ingredients
2 cups rice idlee rava
½ cup dry grated coconut
4-5 cups hot water (more or less)
salt to taste

tempering: 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2-3 dry red chilies (broken)

optional: ¼ cup toor dal, soaked for 2-3 hours and ground to a fine paste

Preparation
  1. Heat oil in a pan and when shimmering add the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the dry red chilies, then add the hot water, some salt, and bring it to a boil
  2. Slowly add the rice meal while stirring constantly so as to not form any lumps
  3. Add the dry grated coconut and the toor dal paste, if using and stir till well incorporated
  4. Adjust salt to taste, cover and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice idlee rava is cooked through and comes together to a medium-thick scoopable consistency
  5. Allow to cool a bit so it is easier to handle, and scoop a handful of it and form little oval balls
  6. Steam them in idlee cooker or other simple steamer apparatus for about 8-10 minutes
  7. Serve warm with chutneys like mint chutney or curry leaf chutney, or my favorite ridge gourd peel chutney


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex

Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex



Yet another Apple Pie Crumble, with Oats and Cinnamon Chex™ for the crunchy topping. Standard single crust pie crust recipe that I always use for the home-made pies. Why Cinnamon Chex? The crunch from it is the latest family obsession for home-made crumbles.


The solitary capricious little apple tree managed to bear enough fruits for Codling moth and us.



Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex



Jars of apple sauce got made and canned. 



Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex



(Hard) Apple Cider came about thanks to the home-made wooden apple press.



Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex



Mini Caramel apples got made as well, when the older child felt like it. Which was pretty much every other day. As it is easy to make especially with ready-to-melt caramels chips and ready-made toffee crunch, it seemed all right to indulge.


Home-garden Apple Pie Crumble with Oats and Chex



Finally, our neighbors came and got some of the apples (with permission, of course) from our tree, what was left after the pests got some.






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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Three Ways to Enjoy Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberries

Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat



The jaded adult that I've become, I have a general idea of what will arrive in my CSA basket each week, depending on the month; and just nod approvingly when my expectations are met.

However, every once in a while, I forget that there are some special gems that come in the CSA basket. Like, these "Ground Cherries" or "Husk Cherries", which are not cherries at all, of course.

Orange pearls inside an Oyster-Lantern!

Generously sweet with a hint of tropical fruit blend, these sprightly cousins of  the more common tomatillos are a treat to be relished.

Known by alluring names like "Cape Gooseberries" and "Poha Berries" these Ground Cherries seemed like the perfect thing to try out some fun recipes while gearing up for Fall and bidding farewell to Summer.


Ground Cherries Relish



Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


When something comes so naturally sweet, it lends itself well for quick-cooking relishes and chutneys. This Ground Cherries Relish recipe balances sweet, sour, and spicy, just the way I prefer it.

Some Lemon Drop chilies were ripe in the garden. They start out the usual green and  then turn into this gorgeous bright yellow. Plus some ripe red Thai super chilies were handy. A couple of mini orange bell peppers came into the mix. All in all, a rainbow of colors (minus the ever-challenging blue, of course) thanks to the purple onions.


Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


Top a slice of crusty artisan bread with a generous spoonful of this ground cherries relish for a satisfying fall snack. Or, add a dollop to a warm bowl of kedgeree or porridge. Even simply dip favorite wheat crackers in the relish and enjoy.


Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


Ground Cherries Relish

¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
minced red onions
1 mini red bell pepper chopped
1 mini orange bell pepper chopped
1 or 2 minced lemon drop chilies
1 or 2 minced thai red chilies
1 cup Ground/Husk cherries, husked & washed
salt to taste

Saute the onions, bell peppers, and chilies; then add the cider vinegar, lime juice, and water, allow to simmer gently; toss in the cherries and cook till the relish thickens to a spreadable or scoop-able consistency. Allow to cool and store in fridge for up to a week.



Ground Cherries and Bitter Melon Sambar



Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


Very much like my usual Bittermelon Sambar, to which I added some Ground Cherries to give it a boost.


Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat



As these are delicate fruits, they disintegrate in the sambar if simmered for too long, so, I toss some in towards the end and cook it long enough to meld the flavors while the ground cherries still retain their shape.





Ground Cherries and Asian Pears Salsa Fresca



Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


The Asian pear tree in the backyard was weighted with low-hanging fruit this year. Since they sort of skip a year and can be temperamental depending on the degree of neglect I subject them to, I was thankful for the fruits we got this year.


Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


Being sweetish, with a crisp crunch, Asian pears are perfect to snack on. I make pear sauce out of it and can it for later. Birds and wasps and hornets get to these juicy fruits before we do usually, but, since the branches typically get weighed down with fruits, it seems all of us creatures get our share.


Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberrie Three ways to eat


For this Ground Cherry and Asian Pear Salsa Fresca, I went with what's readily available in the garden:
Asian pears
Lemon drop chilies
Onions, and onion shoots
Cherry tomatoes
Tomatillos
Red bell peppers
Plus, Ground Cherries, of course

A sprinkling of salt,  a generous dash of McCormick's Original Taco Seasoning, a few drops of lime juice, a splash of Apple cider vinegar, and a driblet of Olive oil is all it takes to get this bowlful of Salsa Fresca.

Three Ways to Enjoy Ground Cherries aka Husk Cherries aka Cape Gooseberries tomatillo salsa fresca


Serve it along with Pan-seared Yelloweye or Herb-Almond-encrusted Halibut Fingers. Or, simply wrap it in crisp lettuce leaf and enjoy a quick and satisfying snack. Stir it in with Angel Hair pasta along with some feta for that virtually-Greek al fresco kind of dining experience. Add it to pancake batter and make some savory pancakes oozing with flavor. I enjoyed it with Dosai and even Verum Arisi Adai recently.



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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Herb and Almond Encrusted Pan Seared Halibut Fingers

Herb and Almond Encrusted Pan Seared Halibut Fingers



I said, "Holy Bagumba!" emulating Flora, from Flora & Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo, when I came to know about the humongous halibut that the nicer half caught in Alaska. Yes, even accounting for the fact that fishermen tend to exaggerate, the proof was in front of my eyes, I couldn't discount it.

Not being a big fish and seafood fan, the catch-o'-the-day stories don't excite me much personally. But, knowing the health benefits of pristine fish, and knowing how much the rest of the family loves to eat the recent Alaskan catch, and, especially knowing how expensive halibut can be, I am grateful that I get to cook it up for them in as many interesting ways as possible.

These pan-cooked halibut fingers are encrusted with my favorite herb+almond coating. Served in a bed of crisp Romaine hearts, they are perfect as snack; or can be served as a major part of a balanced dinner along with veggies and buckwheat bhaturas.


Herb and Almond Encrusted Pan Seared Halibut Fingers


Some home-garden mint, fennel, oregano plus raw almonds and one Serrano chili got pulsed coarsely, with a dash of salt, to make the crusty coating.

This time, I dredged the halibut in seasoned Pride of the West™ batter mix, then, dipped in lightly beaten eggs, then, pressed onto the herb-almond crumbs to make a firm coating. Then, pan fried in a cast-iron skillet till done.

A simple dish that comes together quickly and is immensely satisfying for the folks at home.



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Monday, September 12, 2016

Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en Papillote baked packet chimichurri sauce mint fennel peppers


The nicer adult in the family brought back lovely, pristine Chinook Salmon from his fishing trip in Alaska. Plus, humongous halibut, lean cod, and some yelloweye.

As I was exploring ways to cook the salmon, the ever-popular en papillote appealed to me to be the quick and easy thing.

I would've preferred to slather on some South Indian spices and wrap it in banana leaf and bake it. Maybe next time...

Since this was good-sized skin-on fillet, it was easy to sear the skin first and then cut to portioned pieces for baking.


Salmon en Papillote baked packet chimichurri sauce mint fennel peppers


Although sauce is optional and Salmon-purists may frown upon added flavors, this time the dish was asking for my favorite fresh herbal chimichurri sauce using the fennel, mint, and oregano from the garden. A generous layer of this chimichurri sauce was spread on the salmon.


Salmon en Papillote baked packet chimichurri sauce mint fennel peppers


Some flame-blistered chilies, sliced lemons, fresh fennel leaves, mini red bell peppers, and slivered garlic went into the packet as well.

Parchment paper packets were not fancy, just a rectangular piece that wraps tight and seals, with just enough room to puff up in cooking.


Salmon en Papillote baked packet chimichurri sauce mint fennel peppers


Bake in a 450° F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. I went with longer baking time and the parchment paper browned a bit, but it's all good.


Salmon en Papillote baked packet chimichurri sauce mint fennel peppers

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Friday, September 09, 2016

Yellow Eye Pan-seared with Wild Rice and Blanched Green Beans

Alaskan Wild Yelloweye rockfish Pan-seared with Wild Rice and Blanched Green Beans


The other adult came back from Alaska with a modest catch of pristine fish.

Humongous Halibut was among the catch. As was immaculate Chinook Salmon. Plus lovely lean Cod. These are the only kinds of fish, caught fresh in unspoilt waters, that we like. Some Yelloweye came home as well and I sure won't turn up my nose on them either, especially when I know the source and the work that went into catching them and bringing them home for us.

The good part is, it was all cleaned and cut and vacuum sealed and frozen, ready for storing and using over the next few months.

And, yes, I had to ask if the fish suffered much, trying to make peace with the handful he brought home, talking to the frozen packets as if they were alive, thanking them for nourishing us.

Although we don't eat much of ocean's bounty, these few above are the best of the best so am glad to have them.


Alaskan Wild Yelloweye rockfish Pan-seared with Wild Rice and Blanched Green Beans


This is a no-fuss pan-seared yelloweye rockfish dish. Quite a mouthful there.

The fish was marinated in ginger-garlic paste. Then pressed on to seasoned coating and pan-seared in my trusty cast iron skillet to seal and brown the sides, then covered a cooked till the insides were done to flaky tenderness.

Wild rice was cooked in the rice cooker with some garden herbs and aromatic spices. Green beans were blanched to crisp-tender perfection.


Alaskan Wild Yelloweye rockfish Pan-seared with Wild Rice and Blanched Green Beans


Some blistered mild chilies are a fantastic accompaniment for the fish, with some lemon slices and sauteed onions.


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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Spicy Pan-roasted Summer Squash, Corn kernels, and Roasted Tomatoes Salad

Spicy Pan-roasted Summer Squash, Corn kernels, and Roasted Tomatoes Salad


The title says it all, nothing much to this dish, except the crisp freshness of late summer vegetables.

Roast or grill the corn on the cob, brush with Cajun seasoning, shave the kernels and toss with some lemon juice, keep handy.


Spicy Pan-roasted Summer Squash, Corn kernels, and Roasted Tomatoes Salad


Home-garden summer squash and tomatoes came in handy for this quick and easy salad.


Spicy Pan-roasted Summer Squash, Corn kernels, and Roasted Tomatoes Salad


Sweet Cherry tomatoes and golden pear tomatoes are two of my favorites to munch on as snack.


Spicy Pan-roasted Summer Squash, Corn kernels, and Roasted Tomatoes Salad


Dice the summer squash and onions and pan roast them in a cast iron skillet, adding a pinch of Cajun seasoning and olive oil; and while the skillet is still very hot, add the cherry tomatoes and allow to plump and almost burst with juiciness.

Combine the corn, squash, onions, and tomatoes, garnish with herbs from the garden. I went with some fresh Oregano.

Serve at room temperature for a sweet and bright summer evening salad.

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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Pipián Rojo with Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini

Pipián Rojo with Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini mexican vegetarian home-garden vegetables


Pipián sauce, be it verde or rojo, is delicious when done right by someone who knows it intimately from their experience and cultural influence.

Me, on the other hand, not being Hispanic, sort of wing it based on tasting it someplace and reading about it.

The combination of ingredients are interesting enough, and in a way familiar enough from my intimacy with Indian cuisine, that I am at peace with this version. Layering of flavors for Indian curries, starting with fresh paste of aromatics and herbs, and adding in spice mix and nuts that are roasted and ground just before use, is something I am used to. In that sense, the Pipián sauce seemed not very different since it involves a similar layering of flavors as well.


Pipián Rojo with Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini mexican vegetarian home-garden vegetables


Home garden summer squash was bountiful. Roasting/Charring them and serving with the Pipián sauce seemed like a fun thing to do.

Of course, kids turn up their noses at roasted summer squash, and squash of any kind, but I've got to keep offering it to them so that someday it can become an acquired taste, much like I acquired an all-consuming passion for eggplant with repeated exposure from childhood after staunchly refusing it as a kid, thanks to my persistent mom.


Pipián Rojo with Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini mexican vegetarian home-garden vegetables


Roasted squash and zucchini: Heat the broiler, brush the squash with olive oil and place under broiler till browned on the top and cooked on the inside.

Alternately, char it over open flame or grill. Or, heat the cast iron skillet to high and place the cut side down, brushed with oil, and allow to brown and develop flavors, flip and cook the skin-side.

Zucchini gets so tender and sweet when roasted, it hardly needs any accompaniment to enjoy it.


Pipián Rojo sauce


Pipián Rojo with Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini mexican vegetarian home-garden vegetables



Ingredients
4 dried ancho-pasilla chilies
4 dry Japanese red chilies
1 small fresh white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced (optional)
4 cups stock or water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste

for the powdered seeds+nuts:
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup raw hulled green pumpkin seeds


Preparation
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, saute the onion, garlic, tomatoes; add the chilies stock, spice powder, salt, cover and simmer till aromatic and cooked through
  2. Meanwhile, dry toast the nuts+seeds and grind them to fine powder and keep handy
  3. In a blender, pour in the coarse sauce from step 1 above and blend to a smooth consistency, then strain to remove chili skin and seeds and bits and pieces; return to pot and allow to simmer some more by adding stock as needed for desired consistency
  4. Whisk in the nuts+seeds powder into the simmering sauce, over low heat, allow to cook some more
  5. Taste and adjust salt and serve warm or at room temperature as a dip or sauce for chicken or veggies












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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jalapeño Garlic Mint Fennel Mini "Green" Flatbread

Jalapeño Garlic Mint Fennel Mini Flatbread


Serene green. Only in Spring and Summer.

By Autumn there's more reds and oranges and yellows and browns around here.

By Autumn, the summer garden is spent, and if I am lucky, I might get to plant a small fall edible garden, and then wait patiently till following April when things start sprouting green again.

To savor the greenness of the season, this pillowy soft, flavorful, warm, and irresistible flatbread is packed with herbs, no added food coloring.

Since the mint is taking over a corner of the garden with its runner roots, I've been trying to use up as much of it as I can. Mint thookku is perfect to keep for a few months - especially if I can it in boiling water bath, with enough added tamarind and lemon. Dried mint leaves stored in the freezer bring that instant flash of summer during the wet and cold winter days.

I also make a paste of fresh mint, fennel, jalapeño, and garlic and store it refrigerated every week or so to add to curries and soups. And, that's how this flatbread got a boost of flavor from home garden herbs.

Jalapeño Garlic Mint Fennel Mini Flatbread


The basic recipe is similar to my usual naan recipe in that this flatbread uses yeast-risen dough. Rather than traditional rounds or ovals, I went with squares this time, just for fun.

These are perfect as-is at tea time or even for breakfast, but the best thing about it for me is that both the kids like it and ask for it to be packed for lunch. I can make a stack of two dozen or so quickly on a weekend and freeze it for months. The recipe here makes about 16 3x3" square flatbreads. More than enough to pack a week's lunch for both kids, with enough to spare for adults.


Ingredients
2 tsp yeast
12/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup flax meal
1/2 cup mint fennel jalapeño garlic paste*
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup scalded milk

(*substitute any favorite herbs and aromatics)


Preparation

  1. Knead the dough, roll it out into a large rectangle, fold in half, fold in half again and roll it out again to build layers
  2. Cut into squares with a knife and cook each square much like naan

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Squash Koftas

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals


Yellow summer squash and patty pan (aka scallop) squash have been yielding fairly regularly in the garden this year.

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals


Finding interesting ways to use them in recipes this summer is one of the enjoyable aspects of cooking with what I plant - especially, what survives my care and yields generously.

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals


Summer squash is quite bland and watery and lends itself well to pairing with other stronger bolder flavors. This time, grated summer squash and beet greens are paired together to make the vegetarian kofta balls, which are served soaking in a bath of curry sauce.


summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals



Ingredients
For the kofta balls:
½ cup chopped beet greens
1½ cups grated, squeezed dry summer squash (save the squeezed out liquid)
½ Tbsp chili powder or cayenne pepper powder
½ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)


For the Kofta Curry Sauce:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped

1 Tablespoon garam masala
¼ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 cup water

1/2 to 2/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Preparation

  1. Summer Squash and Beet Greens Kofta balls: Combine the ingredients, make a dough that can be shaped into balls; divide into 12 even-sized balls and deep fry in oil over medium heat so the insides are cooked through and the outsides are not charred
  2. Spicy Kofta Curry sauce: Combine the chopped tomatoes and onions and grind to a fine paste; heat 1 Tbsp oil, add the ground paste with a sprinkling of salt and saute over medium heat till aromatic; add water and simmer till the sauce thickens and changes to a deeper richer color and is cooked through; add the rest of the curry sauce ingredients and simmer gently for 5 minutes till well-incorporated, adjust salt to taste
  3. To Serve: Drop the kofta balls in the curry sauce and allow to soak up the flavors for a few minutes and serve warm with naan or rice.


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Home Garden Summer Squash Gratin with Lemon Pepper

easy Summer Squash Gratin


A super simple dish that comes together quickly, this summer squash and zucchini gratin is a wonderful side.

The home garden Summer Squashes were ready to be harvested .

home-garden summer squash gratin organic vegetarian


Some of them were getting rather large at which point they don't taste as tender and delicious, so, it was time to use them fresh.

home-garden summer squash gratin organic vegetarian


Grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese with just a touch of Panko crumbs form the crusty bottom and tops. A generous sprinkling of lemon pepper and crushed red pepper flakes adds the bite needed to bring this rather bland summer squash alive. Some fresh oregano and thyme add a wonderful aroma as well.


easy Summer Squash Gratin


Arrange the slices in a baking dish that has a bed of cheese; top with seasoning, more cheese, and Panko crumbs. Bake in a 425°F oven for 20-25 minutes till cheese browns and crisps to your liking. Drain any liquids that might collect from the squashes.



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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Roasted Summer Squash Olive Naan Pizza

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza


Every once in a while, knowing that not everything has to be made from scratch and labored over, I resort to putting together a quick but fairly healthy and delectable dinner on the fly.

Home garden scallop squash was handy. I harvested it a little later than I had intended but it was still fine. The scallop squash is a favorite - more for its shape and beauty than its versatility.


home-garden summer squash pizza organic vegetarian


The summer squashes were quite ready, and I was thinking of ways to use them everyday. It's not a top favorite with kids, but, the adults enjoy it in a variety of dishes.


home-garden summer squash pizza organic vegetarian


I also had a jar of Konex Pinjur I am addicted to: http://konex-tiva.com/spread-and-dips

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pinjur

Plus some olive naan sneaked home with me from the store the previous weekend, even though it was not on the list. Quelle horreur!

Anyway, it felt like a pizza kind of evening. Not the made-from-scratch that we are spoilt on by the other adult. Just a quick pizza on a flatbread is what I had the energy and time for. 

Of course, homemade Olive Pita or any of the homemade Naan would be fine for this quick pizza crust. I usually have a stash of these homemade flatbreads in the freezer. But, since the whole wheat olive naan decided to come home with me, it seemed like the thing to use. 

Chopped bell peppers, shallots, celery, and the home garden scallop squash, but kept the cherry tomatoes whole as I love the way they plump up on cooking and then burst open when biting into it.



Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza

Pan-roast the squash, along with onions and celery and other veggies, to make a fantastic combination of toppings for the pizza.

Pinjur, the red pepper, eggplant, tomato relish, is the pizza sauce, so to speak. Just an amazing burst of flavors that make this pizza rather unique and Mediterranean.

Some mozzarella and feta for the cheesy goodness, in moderation, of course.

Bake in 425°F oven for about 8 - 10 minutes. 


Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza


Paired with a simple salad made with homegarden Butter lettuce, Romaine, and Kale, tossed with some Parmesan and Greek vinaigrette, this was a completely satisfying weeknight meal.

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