Habanero Hot Sauce

Adapted from RickBayless.com

5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup roughly chopped onion (about 1/2 small onion)
12 medium habanero chilies, stemmed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. sugar

Roast the unpeeled garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly, until soft and blackened in spots, about 10-15 minutes. Cool & peel.

In a small saucepan, combine carrot, onion, habaneros, vinegar & water. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until carrots are soft.

Cool slightly. Add roasted garlic, salt and sugar. Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings.

Pour into jars and store in refridgerator. Thin with water if too thick.

Makes 2 cups.

This can be frozen but it will separate, shake to serve.


Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower (about 2 lbs)
8 Tbsp. butter
1 leek (or just onion if you don’t have a leek)
1 small onion
Salt & Pepper
4 ½ – 5 cups water
½ tsp. sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

Trim of outer leaves of cauliflower.
Cut heaping 1 cup of ½-inch florets, set aside.

Cut up remaining cauliflower into ½-inch thick slices

Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in large saucepan. Add leek, onion & salt. Cook, stirring until onion is softened but not brown, about 7 minutes.

Add 4/12 cups of water & half the sliced cauliflower and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add remaining cauliflower and simmer until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 5 Tbsp. butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring often, until golden and the butter is browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a small bowl. Toss with sherry vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour butter into a separate bowl to be used as garnish.

Process soup until smooth, using a blender or immersion blender. Return to simmer, adjust consistency with remaining water if needed. Season with salt to taste “Soup should have a thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred.”

Serve, garnish each bowl with some browned florets, a drizzle of butter, chives and pepper.

Butternut Squash Coins with Cilantro Salsa

This recipe is from an ancient copy (1995 to be exact) of Food & Wine. And truthfully it’s all about the salsa. This salsa is great over lots of other vegetables, like grilled eggplant as well as chickpeas and white beans.

For the butternut squash:
Use only the neck.
Peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick “coins”

Work in batches. Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Put in a single layer of squash. Cook about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned.

makes about 1 1/3 cups

1 large bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
Fresh ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, mint, garlic, ginger, chile and 1/4 cup water and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.

The salsa can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temp.

Korean Mung Bean Salad

This is a mix of a couple different recipes that I found on the web. A fairly flexible salad, although my mix may have lost a bit of authenticity.

350g mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
6 cups water
1 tsp. fine sea salt

Bring water & salt to a boil. Cook sprouts about 5 minutes. Drain & rinse well with cold water.

Toss with:
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1-3 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. chili flakes (optional)
1 fresh red chili, sliced (optional)

Arugula Pesto

Spring is here and the new planting of arugula is ready!

In the bowl of a food processor put:
±3 cups arugula
3 small garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp. Kosciusko mustard (spicy mustard)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Pulse until coarsely chopped.
With the motor running add enough olive oil to make a spreadable pesto.

I made an appetizer of grilled zucchini rounds topped with a spoonful of this pesto, a thin slice of filet mignon (leftover) and some diced tomato mixed with balsamic vinegar.

I also added some as a pizza topping.

Baked Sweet Potato Fritters

This is adapted from the blog The Farm Girl Gabs

I did not believe this would work. I started to add some flour to the mixture, then stopped and just followed the recipe. It not only worked but was delicious. Make the dipping sauce first, it needs an hour for the flavors to blend. We ate these with a side of pinto beans and a green salad (with pecans of course).

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup eggs (about 2)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 425F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat lightly with oil (cooking spray).

Mix all ingredients. Place scoops of potato mixture onto the baking sheet. Coat the top of each with oil/spray.

Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp & golden.

Serve with
Smoky Garlic Dipping Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

Masoor Dal

I have been on the hunt for a Dal that will make Mike happy. This one is worth repeating. I found this recipe at: Spice up the Curry at http://www.spiceupthecurry.com/whole-masoor-dal-recipe/

It was delicious. Mine turned out very hot, but it may have been that I got carried away with the hot peppers. I used sliced peppers that I had frozen from my garden, so it was probably more than one. The list of ingredients is frightening, I recommend measuring all the spices out ahead of time. Our local IndoPak grocery store sells ginger and garlic paste in jars. They are delicious but I don’t ever remember to buy them so I use what I have on hand.

Whole Masoor Dal Recipe | Sabut masoor dal | Masoor dal recipe

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 30 mins
Total time 1 hour

3/4 cup Whole Masoor dal (brown lentils)
3-4 cups Water – enough to cover lentils

1 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Green chili, chopped finely
3/4 cup Tomato, finely chopped (I used canned, whole tomato)
1 tsp. Cumin powder
1 tsp. Coriander powder
1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. Red chili powder
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
Salt – to taste
2 tsp. Lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Cilantro or coriander leaves

Wash masoor dal and soak for 30-45 minutes.
Discard the soaking water. Place the lentils and enough water to cover by 1 inch in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer partially covered until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds. Allow to sizzle and darken slightly, then add the ginger, garlic paste and green chili.

Add chopped onions and sprinkle a of salt, cook till softened.
Add tomatoes and cook till soft.
Add spice powders and cook for 1 minute.
Mix in boiled masoor, add extra water if needed to make gravy.
Simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Lastly add lemon juice and cilantro. Stir well and serve.

Curried Rice & Vegetable Pilaf

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics

This is one of Kelsey’s favorites. Serve it with some chutney and a salad of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers & sliced red onions dressed with lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil for your Meatless Monday vegan meal.

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large boiling potato, peeled (optionally) and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or cashews)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (or mint)

This makes a very large amount of rice so use a large, heavy bottomed pot. I have a clay tagine that works well, and a 12-inch Le Creuset covered skillet that also works nicely. But a stockpot would be great.

Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Saute onion, potato and carrots, about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the rice and all of the spices. Mix well, saute 2 minutes, until toasted and aromatic.

Whisk the coconut milk if necessary and pour into a large measuring cup. Mix the coconut milk with enough water to make 3 cups. Pour over the rice, add the salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook undisturbed, 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Turn off the heat & gently stir in the peas and almonds. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with mint or cilantro.

Pepper Jelly

Oddly, I have an surfeit of peppers in my garden this year. I can’t see the point in canning another jar of hot peppers so I made a small batch of “hot” pepper jelly.

This is half of the recipe from the Sure Jell direction page from an old package of pectin. For the past few years I have been buying the Ball brand pectin in the large bottle so I can measure out what I need for small batches of jam. It worked great here.

The recipe specifies sweet peppers and 10 jalapenos, minced. I used what I have in the garden, hot cherry peppers, jalapenos, poblanos and sweet Italian frying peppers.

2 cups minced peppers (if the peppers become too soupy, strain off some of the liquid before adding to the pot)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. powdered pectin
1/4 tsp. salt
a pinch of butter, about 1/4 tsp.
2 1/2 cups sugar

Sterilize your jars. This amount will make about 3 half-pint jelly jars or 7 4-oz jelly jars.

Put water on to boil for the water bath. The pot should be able to hold all the jars at once, covered by 1-inch of water.

Measure your ingredients carefully.

Measure the sugar into a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the peppers, measure out exactly 2 cups and add to a large pot (4-quart pot works nicely). Add the vinegar, pectin, salt and pinch of butter. Bring to a full, rolling boil. That’s a boil that can not be stirred down.

Add the sugar all at once. Bring back to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, boil exactly one minute.

Remove from heat and pack into sterile jars. Wipe the rims Cap with two piece caps that have been put in hot, not boiling water.

Process 10 minutes in water bath. Remove, place on towel or rack and let stand until completely cooled, at least 12 hours. Check the seals. Refrigerate any jars that have not sealed.

Kabocha Soup with Spiced Pepitas

Adapted from Vegetarian Times, Jan 2009.

I haven’t made this in a couple of years. Kelsey brought home a kabocha squash from the farm with the intention of making this soup. It was as good as we remembered! Don’t skip the spiced pepitas, they really make the dish.

Spiced Pepitas
1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey (or agave)
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. dry sherry / rice wine will work
1 1/2 lb. kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth

To make the Spiced Pepitas:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, toss together pepitas, live oil, honey, paprika and salt. Spread on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, turning occasionaly. Cool. break apart and toss with cilantro.

To make soup:
Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add onion, saute 5-7 minutes, then add garlic, smoked paprika & bay leaf. Cook 1 minutes. Add sherry and cook 2 minutes more.

Add squash, broth & 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to med-low. Cook 25 minutes, until squash is tender.

Remove bay leaf. Puree soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve sprinkled with Spiced Pepitas.