Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

2 Cornish Hens
2 small Oranges (Clementine or Mandarin are fine)
5 cloves Garlic, sliced length-wise in half
1 cup Greek-Style yogurt
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Cilantro, dried
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Orange Zest


  • Slice 1 Orange in half. Leave the other Orange alone for now.
  • Divide the Garlic between the two Orange halves, and poke them into the flesh of the Orange. You should have five slivers of Garlic per Orange half.
  • Place each Garlic-studded Orange into a Cornish Hen, garlic-side down.
  • In a small bowl combine the Yogurt, Spices, Herbs, Seasonings, and Zest, and mix well.
  • In a large bowl or pan, cover the Hens with the Yogurt mixture. Make sure to get the bottom of the Hens. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F
  • Place the marinated hens in a shallow baking dish, and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, then increase heat to 500°F for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Slice the remaining Orange into rounds (1/8″ thick) and use as a bed for the Hens to set upon for serving.
  • Remove the Hens and place on the Orange bed.

Makes 2 Servings.

NOTES: You can increase the spices to give it a kick, or add some crushed red pepper. This dish was one of those happy accidents–I wanted something with some flavor, some citrus, and Cornish hens were on sale. I was so pleased with the turn out I had to share it. If I were to assign an ethnicity to the food, I’d probably say it is reminiscent of a Tandoori-style chicken in Indian cuisine. A true Tandoori would use a Marsala spice mixture (which does include cayenne pepper). Additionally, tandoori chicken is cooked in a clay oven called a Tandoor.

Spiced Mango and Cherry Salad

4 large Mangoes, skinned, cored, diced
20 Bing Cherries, pitted, sliced in half
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Cardamom


  • Place the Mangoes and Cherries in a bowl.
  • Combine the Spices and sprinkle over the fruit. Do this slowly, and then toss, then more, then toss again, until the Spices are mixed in well.

Makes about 4 servings.

NOTES: Mangoes come in many varieties–and it is hard in most supermarkets to know what cultivar is being sold. If the mangoes you have available are small, use more. The important thing is that they are ripe, yet firm.

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 1:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

5-6 lb bone-in Leg of Lamb
6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
6-8 cloves Garlic, sliced in half horizontally
2 Tbsp Lemon Zest, divided
2 Tbsp Oregano, divided
2 Tbsp Rosemary, divided
2 Tbsp Mint, divided
2 Tbsp Salt, divided
1 Tbsp Black Pepper, divided
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tbsp Cardamom
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 cup dry Red Wine
1 cup Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Olive Oil


  • Combine the minced Garlic, half of the Lemon Zest, Rosemary, Oregano, Mint, Salt, and Black Pepper, the Crushed Red Pepper, Red Wine, and Lemon Juice in a large container for a marinade. The container should be able to hold the leg of lamb, and be sealed. I advocate using a seal-able bag.
  • Place the Lamb in the container with the marinade and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
  • After marinating, remove the Lamb to a roasting pan, and pat dry.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Taking a large paring knife, cut slits in the meat about 1/2″ wide, and 1″ deep.
  • Insert the Garlic slivers into the slits.
  • Taking the remaining Herbs and Seasoning, rub the Lamb. If you need more, feel free to add more.
  • Take the Dijon Mustard and lightly spread along the Lamb over the rub. Try to avoid clumps.
  • Drizzle the Olive Oil over the top.
  • Place in the oven, and roast for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 325°F and roast for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until desired doneness.
  • Rare is about 25 minute with an internal temperature of 135°F
  • Medium-rare is about 30 minutes with an internal temperature of 140°F
  • Medium is about 35 minutes with an internal temperature of 160°F
  • Remember to put the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg, and not touching the bone.

Serve with Tzatziki or Mint Jelly

NOTES: This recipe pulls on Greek flavors from my neighborhood Astoria. For me, lamb says Spring, Easter, and Passover. Traditionally, Lamb (קרבן פסח)would have been sacrificed on the first night of Passover in remembrance of the lambs blood that was painted on the door posts of the Hebrew homes in Egypt, signifying to the Angel of the Lord to passover that house and spare the first born son. The use of a shank-bone on the Seder plate is reminiscent of this sacrifice, and in some places, Lamb is eaten as the primary meat in the Seder meal.

In the Christian tradition, which I am much more familiar with, the symbol of the lamb has been drawn from Passover and applied to Jesus as the sacrificial lamb which allows death to passover all those washed in the blood of his sacrifice. You will see a lot of symbolism around Easter time in both the Western and Eastern Churches of the Paschal Lamb, often carrying a banner and sitting on a broken sarcophagus.

Jan Van Eyck painting “Ghent Altarpiece”, finished 1432

Whether celebrating Passover or Easter or just a group of friends coming for a visit, lamb is a great festive choice of food, and probably my favorite meat.

Glögg – Gløgg

Ingredients:AlcoholicVeganNut Alergy Warning
1 bottle of Merlot
1 bottle of Port
2 cup Brandy
1/2 – 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar (inversely to wine quality)
2 medium sized Orange, sliced horizontally
4 Cinnamon Sticks
12 whole Cloves
3 Allspice Pods
2 Cardamom Pod
3/4 cup blanched Almonds
1/2 cup Raisins
5 dried Figs, quartered


  • In a large Saucepan, heat the Wines, Brandy, and Sugar on low-medium heat until Sugar is dissolved. Never allow to boil.
  • Add the Orange, Spices, Almonds, and Fruits and let steep on low heat for 1 hour.
  • Serve Warm, strained.

Serves 12

NOTES: This is a Scandinavian Mulled Wine, originating in Sweden, and was a traditional drink of King Gustav I of Sweden and was called “glödgad vin”.  The distinct nature of this version of mulled wine is the use of Almonds and dried Fruits.

English Mulled Wine
Finnish Glögi – Substitute Vodka for 1/2 or all of the Brandy.


1 bottle of Merlot (750mL)
1 cup Brandy
1/2 – 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar (inversely to wine quality)
1 medium sized Orange, sliced horizontally
2 Cinnamon Sticks
6-8 whole Cloves
2 Allspice Pods
1 Cardamom Pod

Use similar proportions for each additional bottle of wine.


  • In a large Saucepan, heat the Wine, Brandy, and Sugar on low-medium heat until Sugar is disolved. Never allow to boil.
  • Add the Orange, and Spices, and let steep on low heat for 1 hour.
  • Serve Warm.

Serves 6

NOTES: Glühwein is a German Mulled Wine. If you do not have Merlot, you can use a Burgundy or Franconian red wine–what you’re looking for a is a wine that will hold up to the sugar and brandy and not loose flavor. With regards to the quality of wine, I would not use the expensive stuff because with all the flavors, you’re not just tasting wine–conversely do not use the cheapest wine either. If you have a crock pot, you can add all the ingredients and let it slow cook to perfection.

The big thing to think about is how sweet or spicy you want your wine to be–the amounts above are just suggestions.

English Mulled Wine
(Finnish Mulled Wine)
Glögg/Gløgg (Swedish/Danish Mulled Wine)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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Beef Stroganoff

1 lb Ground Beef (you can use sliced beef too, cut into bite-size pieces)
1/2 cup White Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 cups Button Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
1/2 cup Beef Broth

Egg Noodles, cooked al dente, drained


  • In a large Skillet, melt the Butter and add the Onions, Garlic, and Beef.
  • When Beef is browned, add White Wine, Beef Broth, Spices and Mushrooms. Let cook down for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Sour Cream and incorporate into the whole mixture.
  • Season to Taste (you can add more Dill or Cardamom if desired).
  • Serve over Egg Noodles.

Substituted Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey to cut down on the fat.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Yellow Onion, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
5 cups Button Mushrooms, cleaned and diced finely
3 Tbsp White Wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp Cardamom powder
1/2 Tbsp Dill, finely chopped
1/2 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Corn Starch


  • In a large Sauce Pan on medium heat, combine Butter, Onions, and Garlic. Brown the Onions.
  • De-Glaze with the White Wine
  • Add Mushrooms, and Spices and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup Stock to the side.
  • Combine the remaining Stock and Cream to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the Corn starch to the reserved Stock and whisk together so there are no lumps of corn starch. When mixed, add to the soup and continue to simmer until the Soup thickens.

NOTES: You can always modify the types of Mushrooms you want in this Soup.  I prefer to use Pinot Grigio for this recipe because it is not too dry and not too sweet.



2 Eggs
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Honey
1/4 cup Molasses, Dark
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
3 cups All purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Anise Extract
1/4 tsp grated Lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp ground Allspice
1/4 tsp ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
Confectioner’s Sugar (for dusting)

  • In a large bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, and Spices. Sift mixture.
  • In a large bowl, combine Butter and Sugar. Mix until well combined. Add Molasses.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and then combine with the Wet Ingredients.
  • Slowly add Dry Ingredients and Lemon Zest until well combined. Dough should start to pull away from the bowl. If too wet, add more flour, but very slowly and cautiously.
  • Place on a piece of plastic wrap, seal and place in Refrigerator and cool for for 2-3 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Roll dough into 1″ balls. Place parchment on cookie sheet, and place balls 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cracking is normal.
  • Cool cookies on wire racks.
  • Roll in Confectioner’s Sugar, and let cool completely.

NOTE: Some people may add 1/2 tsp Cocoa powder, but that is not authentic. Some may also add nuts like Almonds to this, but the kind my family makes never had nuts in them.  This has always been a Holiday treat at my house, people saying they “taste like Christmas”.

Worcestershire Sauce

1 White Onion , chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 1/4″ slice of Ginger
3 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Cardamom Pods
2 cups Malt Vinegar
1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Tamarind Pulp
3 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Anchovy Paste
1/2 cup Water

Specialized Tools:
Cheese Cloth


  • In a Cheese Cloth, combine Onion, Garlic, Mustard Seeds, Crushed Red Pepper, Peppercorns, Ginger, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves and Cardamom Pods, making a pouch. This will make it easier to remove the ingredients once the sauce is made.
  • In a large saucepan, Malt Vinegar, Molasses, Soy Sauce, and Tamarind Paste. Bring to boil. Place the Spice Pouch in, and lower the heat, simmering for about 50 minutes.
  • Add the Salt, Curry Powder, Anchovy Paste and Water to the pot. Let simmer 1o more minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, and pour into a container with an air-tight lid. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least two weeks, squeezing the Spice pouch every day.
  • After “brewing” for two weeks, remove the bundle, and put into sanitized Mason jar for storage.

NOTE: This is exceptional, but not the quickest thing to prepare. If you’re really in a hurry, or think this is just not worth it (you’re losing out) you may, at the last minute, to the degradation of what you are cooking, use Lea & Perinn’s, but never ever ever, a store-bought brand that contains HFCS!