Maple Bourbon Potatoes with Green Peppercorns, Olives, and Scallions

bourbon-maple-potatoes

Maple Bourbon Glazed BBQ Pork Chops with Maple Bourbon Potatoes with Green Peppercorns, Olives, and Scallions

Ingredients:
4-6 medium sized “new potatoes”, Red Pontiac, Melody, or Russet, cut in bite size pieces
6-8 large pimento-stuffed Manzanilla Olives, sliced in thirds perpendicular to the pit (optional)
4 Scallions, cut in 2-3mm pieces, white separated from the greens
1 Tbsp Green Peppercorns
1/4 cup Bourbon
1/8 cup Maple Syrup
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp White Pepper
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, toss the Cumin, paprika, Chipotle, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Brown Sugar, Salt, and Black & White Pepper. Use a fork to mix well.
  • In a saute pan, on medium heat, add the Potatoes and cook until browned, about 7 minutes–you want a crust on them.
  • Toss in the white portion of the Scallions, Olives, Green Peppercorns, and Spice mixture, and stir while it cooks for 1 minute.
  • Remove the pan from the stove, and pour in the Bourbon. Replace the pan to the heat, mindful that the alcohol may flare up. To avoid injury, keep your body away from the pan, and do not have your face near it.
  • Drizzle in the Maple Syrup and adjust the seasonings. Let cook for 1 more minute, allowing the maple syrup to glaze over everything.
  • Plate, and garnish with the green portion of the Scallions.

Makes about: 4-6 servings

Notes: I cannot emphasize enough the need for caution when adding the Bourbon to the hot pan. The risk of flare up is decreased by removing the pan from the heat. I recommend you have a lid ready, just in case, and of course a working fire extinguisher. In general, if you remove from the heat to add the alcohol, the likelihood of it flaring up is much reduced, verses if you were to just add it while over the flames, the vapors could ignite like flash paper.

The Olives are optional–but I recommend trying it with them because they offer a flavor contrast to the spicy and sweet bbq glaze.

Salmon and Shrimp Phad Thai – กุ้งและปลาแซลมอนแผ่นไทย

905679_779815561696_389662409841940469_oSalmon and Shrimp Phad Thai

Ingredients
1 dozen Shrimp, peeled, de-veined
1 8oz Salmon filet, skinned, de-boned, cubed
1 Leek, sliced in 1/8″ rounds
1 cup Red Cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup Carrot, diced or julienne
1 quarter’s width worth of Rice Pasta or Linguini
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
2 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 cup Bok Choy, chopped or Bean Sprouts
1/2 cup Peanuts, crushed
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Cilantro for Garnish
Lime Wedges for Garnish
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

  • If using Linguini: In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add salt for seasoning. Add the Pasta and cook till al dente, drain. Toss in olive oil and set to the side.
  • If using Rice Noodles, soak in lukewarm water for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • In a wok or wide skillet, heat the Olive Oil and add the Leek, Cabbage, and Carrots. Toss until tender.
  • Stir in the Egg.
  • Add the Garlic, Tamarind Paste, Hoisin Sauce, Fish Sauce, and Lime Juice.
  • Add the Salmon, Shrimp, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, and Crushed Red Pepper. Toss over heat until cooked.
  • Toss in the Pasta, Peanuts, and Bok Choy/Bean Sprouts until all is well coated.
  • Add salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Plate and garnish with Cilantro and a Lime Wedge.

Makes about 4 servings

NOTES: Pad Thai ผัดไทย is a common Thai dish that means “fried Thai style”. It usually consists of rice noodles, a sweet sauce, scallions, a protein, peanuts, and bean sprouts, but can also have scallions, cabbage, and other ingredients. This version is my variation, with a little heat added in the form of Ginger and Cayenne Pepper. I also varied by using Leeks instead of Scallion and offering Bok Choy and Linguini as substitutes for ingredients.

Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Dedicated to my fellow parishioners at the Episcopal Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Greenwich Village, NYC

IngredientsVegan
7 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Red Lentils, dry, rinsed
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Sweet Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups crushed Tomatoes
1/2 cup flat-leaf Parsley, chopped fine
1 cup Celery, diced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Zaatar
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp ground Marjoram
1/2 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
1/4 tsp Salt

Lemon wedges

Directions:

  • In a gallon size pot on medium heat, combine the Onion, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil; cook until the onions softens.
  • Add the Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, and Celery. Continue to saute until the Celery starts to soften.
  • Add all the other spices, and mix well so that the spices get into the oil and juices in the pot.
  • Add the Tomato, Vegetable Broth, and Lentils; bring to a boil, stirring often so that nothing sticks.
  • Reduce to a simmer, add the Parsley, and let cook until the Lentils become tender.
  • Taste, and adjust the seasoning and spices to your preferred tastes.
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge. Squirt the juice on the Soup.

Makes about 6 servings

NOTES:Lentil Soup is eaten in various parts of the world. This recipe utilizes spices from Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Zaatar a spice blend used in North Africa, especially Egypt and Libya, often added to meats or rubbed in olive oil on flat bread. It is made up of Sumac, Oregano, Sesame Seed, often with other spices.

Lentil soup can be modified to your prefered tastes and needs. You can add chopped spinach or kale, or diced carrots or sweet potatoes. Keep in mind if you add additional starches, you may need to add additional spices. This meal is vegan, however one can add meat like chicken or lamb to it–or even sausage. It is also common to garnish with sour cream or yogurt.

Campfire Chicken Pouches

Dedicated to the men formerly of BSA Troops 354 and 747 of the Yellow River District in the Atlanta Area Council.

Campfire Chicken Pouches

Ingredients
2 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skinless
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
1 small Yellow Onion, diced (Vidalia ideally)
1 1/2 dozen Table Mushrooms, quartered
1 yellow Bell Pepper, diced
6 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 Corn on the Cob, cut in half
4 Sprigs of Rosemary
4 Tbsp Butter, divided in sixteen pieces
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
1/4 tsp dried Oregano, crushed
Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare Coals or Preheat Oven to 350F. If you have the luxury to be camping and cooking over a fire, you’ll want to create an area of charred wood–like a bed of coals. You could also use charcoal in a grill. You should know that on open fires, it is difficult to gauge the temperature–so be vigilant and have tongs ready to move your goods.
  • Cut four pieces of Aluminum Foil AT LEAST 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet. I recommend getting the extra-wide Aluminum Foil and cutting 4 squares.
  • Season the Chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper.
  • On two of the sheets of Aluminum foil, place on each: one Thigh, one Breast, one half of the Corn.
  • Mix the Mushrooms, Peppers, Butter, and Spices together and divide among the two Squares, keeping everything in the center in a mound.
  • Put a Sprig of Rosemary in each.
  • For each pouch, carefully pull two sides together and fold the seam together. Then fold and roll each side remaining. I recommend then placing in a second piece of Aluminum foil and repeating – helps prevent spillage and tares.
  • Roast for about an hour, making sure to heat evenly. If using an oven, place the Pouches on a baking sheet.

Makes 2 pouches (2 servings)

NOTES: So this takes me back to when I was a Boy Scout in troops 354 and 747 in Conyers. We used to make some variation of this on a camping trip–usually with skin-on chicken and a bag of mixed veggies. Sometimes we would add fresh veggies and potatoes, and rarely any herbs or spices outside of Seasoned Salt. This is my version with real Spices, fresh Rosemary, and Mushrooms instead of Potatoes. The vegetables you choose to use are up to you, and limited only by how many they fit inside a pouch. If you use Potatoes, I would suggest adding more salt and pepper.

It is memories of the times like camping that really stand out to me. Looking back, most of my friends from my later troop are very distant now–probably because we’ve moved on geographically, but also because they’re much more conservative than I am–me being gay probably doesn’t help as a result. Regardless, I dedicate this to those folks.

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Ingredients:
2 Turkey Breasts, boneless, & butterfly cut
2 Fennel Bulbs, thinly sliced perpendicular
2 Shallots thinly sliced
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Turkey Stock (or Chicken Stock)
2 Seedless Oranges segment cut
1/4 cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Capers
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Orange Zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Dust the Turkey Breasts with the Cumin, and Salt and Pepper as needed.
  • Heat up a large skillet on medium heat and add the Olive Oil.
  • Saute the Turkey Breasts on both sides, about 3-5 minutes each (depending on thickness) until cooked through and starting to brown. Remove to the side
  • In the Skillet add the Fennel and Onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the Stock, Orange Juice, and Raisins, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Orange segments and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring often but trying not to break up the segments.
  • Plate the Turkey and cover with the Fennel Orange topping.
  • Garnish with fresh Parsley, Capers, and Orange Zest.

Makes 2-4 servings (depending on the size of the breasts).

NOTES: I tend to use Naval Oranges for this recipe. In fact if you get two Naval Oranges for segments, and then another 2 for the Juice, it is amazing! Use fresh Zest from the Oranges, not the store-bought kind.

Chipotle Mesquite Salmon

Ingredients
1 lb Salmon filet, boneless, skinn-on, cut into 2 to 4 pieces
1/4 tsp ground Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp ground dried Chipotle Pepper
1/4 cup BBQ flavored Potato Chips
1/4 cup Honey
Olive Oil for drizzling
Avocado for Garnish

  • Preheat Oven to 400°F.
  • Pat the Salmon dry, and remove any bones.
  • In a bowl, combine the Spices and Potato Chips.
  • Sprinkle liberally over the Salmon fillets, and press. Do not worry as much about the sides, and disregard the skin-side altogether.
  • Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and lightly drizzle the olive oil.
  • Place the Salmon fillets skin down onto the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the Honey over the fillets.
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, depending on how done you want the Salmon.
  • While cooking, slice the Avocado in half, remove the pit, and then carefully peal the skin. Set aside until Salmon is done.
  • Plate the Salmon. Slice the Avocado length-wise and thinly. Place a half of Avocado on each Salmon piece.

Makes 2-4 Servings.

NOTES: So this may be a flashback recipe from my poorer youth–but seriously the barbecue chips really add to the recipe. You can choose to use panco breadcrumbs instead, but you’ll want to add some mesquite seasonings, and really unless you have a pre-made mix, it is a pain in the butt.

Roasted Winter Root Soup

Ingredients:
1 med Yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, skinned, chopped
1 Parsnip, skinned, chopped
1 Turnip, skinned, chopped
1 Sweet Potato, skinned, chopped
2 Potatoes, chopped
2 Kielbasa Sausages, sliced in 1 cm thick rounds
6 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp Dill
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400°F.
  • Add all Root Vegetables and Kielbasa to a Dutch Oven, coat with the Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  • Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and then another 10 minutes.
  • Remove and scrap into a large Soup Pot.
  • Add the Vegetable Stock and heat on high heat until it boils.
  • Add the remaining Herbs and Spices, reduce heat to low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Makes 4 Servings.

NOTES: This is a family recipe from my Slovakian side of the family, originating from Medzev, Slovakia (formerly Metzenseifen).

When chopping the vegetables, think of bite-size/spoon size pieces. You can substitute Mushroom Broth or Chicken Stock for the Vegetable Stock. You can also utilize any other cooked Sausage instead of Kielbasa if you like.

This simple, healthy dish will keep you warm on a blustery winter night.

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1 lb ground Turkey
4 Bell Peppers, large
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Shallots, minced
3 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
1-2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
1 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Water for Baking
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt for garnish
Paprika for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat the Oven to 375°F
  • Fill a baking dish with water, 1 inch deep. The baking dish should ideally be able to be covered with a lid, and large enough to hold the Peppers.
  • Remove the top of the Peppers and all the inside seeds.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well by hand.
  • Divide the stuffing into the Peppers, and place them in the baking dish with the topside up.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Top with the Yogurt and sprinkle with the Paprika.

Makes 4 Peppers.

NOTES: This is a super simple but flavorful dish. Do not forget the Salt–it is important for bringing out the flavors. My first batch, I left it out and so it was hot but not flavorful–bland even with the Chickpeas. You can also add some seasoning to the Yogurt if you like–it acts as a cooling effect if the Jalapenos prove too spicy. This is an original recipe–inspired by Indian flavors. I hope you enjoy.

Baja Shrimp and Jicama Salad

Baja Shrimp and Jicama Salad

Ingredients
1 lb Shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 Jicama root, skinned, diced
2 Mangoes, diced
2 Avocados, diced
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
6 cloves Garlic
3 Jalapeño Peppers
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Juice of 2 Limes
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped coarsely

Directions

  • In a skillet, on medium heat, toast the whole cloves of Garlic and whole Jalapeño Peppers. As each side begins to brown, turn them. Do not let them over cook–you are just toasting them. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add the Shrimp to the skillet with the remaining Olive Oil. Toss in the Spices and let each side cook until the Shrimp are pink and cooked through. Toss them as you cook them to help coat them in the oil and Spices. Remove and set to the side to cool.
  • When the Garlic and Jalapeño Peppers are cool to touch, mince them (de-seed the Jalapeño to lower the heat). Set to the side.
  • When the Shrimp are cool to touch, chop them into bite-size pieces. Set to the side.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, and toss well. Adjust the spice level with more Cayenne Pepper if need be.

Makes about 6-8 cups.

NOTES: Jicama is one of my favorite root vegetables. It is sometimes referred to as a Mexican Turnip–but it tastes NOTHING like a Turnip. Jicama originated in Mexico and derives its name from the Nahuatl name xicamatl. If I were to describe the flavor, I’d say it is a cross between a Pear, a Potato, and a Carrot–think of it as a mildly-sweet watery root vegetable. This salad showcases it with sweet Mango, creamy Avocado, and spicy Shrimp.  I also used employed toasting Garlic and Peppers–a common Mexican cooking style that awakens the flavors.  You can use this salad as  a side dish, or as a salsa over grilled fish or chicken.

Jicama is also a great addition to any Crudités platters.

Paella de Quinua – Quinoa Paella with Chicken and Shrimp

Paella de Quinua

Ingredients:
1 lb Shrimp, shelled, de-veined
6 Chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
2 Jalapeños, minced
5 cloves Garlic, cut in slivers
2 Chorizo links, diced
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Saffron
2 tsp fresh Thyme
1 tsp fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups Albariño or other white wine
2 cups Quinoa
1 Tbsp Capers
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • In a large skillet or (if you have one) paellera, heat up the Olive Oil on medium heat.
  • Liberally coat the chicken in Salt and Pepper and place into the hot oil. Cook both sides until golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the Onion, Peppers, Garlic, Shrimp, Chorizo, Herbs, Spices, and Tomato Paste to the pan. Stir well and cook till the Shrimp turn bright pink.
  • Add the Wine, Chicken Broth, Quinoa, and Capers. Reduce heat to low. Add the Chicken pieces back to the pan.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until the Quinoa is finished cooking, adding water if needed. Quinoa forms a translucent outer casing when it is cooked well. Covering will help increase the cooking speed.
  • When the liquid has dissolved and the Quinoa has finished cooking, remove from the heat and toss in the Cilantro and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: Paella is a traditional Valencian rice dish often with various types of seafood and or meat. Paprika, Saffron, and Chorizo are common ingredients added to the rice for flavor. Quinoa, is a grain from the Andes in South America. It has a similar consistency to Couscous, and can be used in many dishes in place of rice–though it is not a long grain. I thought it would be fun to try Paella with Quinoa–something I am sure is not a new idea, but not one I have seen that often. I chose Chicken and Shrimp, however you can add Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and/or Pork tenderloin to make it your own.

Snap Peas and Black Beans

Snap Peas and Black Beans

Ingredients:
2 cups Black Beans, drained
1 cup Snap Peas, in pod
1 Shallot, chopped
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Sweat the Shallot in the Olive Oil with the Salt and Pepper in a Skillet on medium heat.
  • When the Shallots start to become translucent, add the other ingredients and mix well.
  • Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often so that the Black Beans do not stick.

Makes 3 Servings.

NOTES: This was a quick and easy dish that I came up with this Spring. The sweetness of the Peas is a good contrast to the Black Beans which seem to absorb the flavors of the Cumin and Shallots. You don’t want to overcook this, as you do want the Snap Peas to be crunchy still.

Caribbean Chickpeas

Caribbean Chickpeas

Ingredients
4 cups reconstituted Chickpeas
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
2-4 cloves Garlic
1-2 Jalapeño Peppers
4 Green Onions, diced (just the lower 2 inches), reserve the Green part
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

  • Heat a Sauce Pan on medium heat, and add the Olive Oil, Garlic, Scallion, Jalapenos, and Salt. Sweat the mixture for 1 minute, not browning anything.
  • Add the Chickpeas, and mix well. Heat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • While it is cooking, take the reserved Green part of the Green Onion, and dice for garnish.
  • Plate the Chickpeas, and garnish with the fresh Green Onion.

Makes 4 servings.

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

  • 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.

Purée de Carottes – Mashed Carrots

Purée de Carottes

Ingredients:
1 lbs. Baby Carrots
1/2 cup Orange Juice
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 slice Ginger
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1 Bay Leaf
2 sprigs Thyme
1 sprig Rosemary
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Water for boiling

Directions:

  • Place the Carrots in the a Sauce pan with the Orange Juice and enough additional Water to cover over the Carrots.
  • Tie the Bay Leaf, Rosemary, and Thyme into a bouquet garni, and place in the water with the Carrots.
  • Add the crushed Garlic, and the slice of Ginger.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
  • Drain, and remove the Bouquet Garni, and Ginger (keep the Garlic).
  • Place in a Food Processor and mix with the Cumin, Butter, and Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Place in a serving dish, and garnish with the Parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: Carrots are hard to manually mash because of their fibrous nature. Thus, I have employed the use of a Food Processor. You may also choose to cook it with a potato and mash it with it as well.

Variations
Ṽ›Ɣ – Replace the Butter with Margarine.

Tabbouleh – تبولة

Ingredients:
1 cup Bulgur Wheat
2 cups Boiling Water
3 Plum Tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 Cucumbers, peeled and diced
3 Green Onions, diced fine
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh Mint, chopped
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
2/3 cup Olive Oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, soak the Bulgur Wheat and Boiling Water for 30 minutes.
  • Using a cheese cloth, squeeze out any excess liquid from the Bulgur Wheat.
  • Return to a bowl and combine all ingredients. Mix well.

NOTES: Tabbouleh was another New York discovery for me – not having ever experienced it in Georgia or Ohio. I fell in love with it. It is light and fluffy and highly flavorful. Thanks to my love Michael for introducing it to me.

Camarones Pimentón y Judías Verdes – Paprika Shrimp and Green Beans

Camarones Pimentón y Judías Verdes

Ingredients:
1-2 Shallots, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced crudely
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 lb Shrimp, cleaned (shells, veins removed)
3 cups Green Beans, cut in 1-1 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup Sherry
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat the Olive Oil on medium heat in a large skillet until hot.
  • Add the Shallots, Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, and Cayenne Pepper to the oil. Stirring constantly, heat for 1 minute to release the oils from the spices.
  • Add the Shrimp and Green Beans and toss in the Oil.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure to flip the Shrimp to ensure both sides are cooked.
  • Stir in the Sherry, Lemon Juice, and Parsley, and cover for 2-4 minutes.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Serves 4.

NOTES: This is a flavorful dish from Spanish cuisine. You can kick it up a notch by adding more Cayenne Pepper. I prefer this as a festive side dish, however you can serve this as a main dish with a side of Yellow Rice or Quinoa.

Chimichurri

Dedicated to my friend Anahi G. who educated me about Salmuera

Chimichurri-Marinated Skirt Steak and Chicken,
Grilled with Onions and Chimicurri Sauce on the side

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Oregano
8 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 wedge of Lemon
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a bowl, whisk the Salt and warm water together to dissolve. In Spanish, this is called salmuera which acts like a brine.
  • Combine the Herbs, Garlic, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper into a Food Processor and pules a couple times.
  • Squeeze in the Juice from the wedge of Lemon, and drizzle in the Salmuera and Red Wine Vinegar, pulsing.
  • Remove to a bowl, and stir in the Olive Oil, and Salt and Pepper.

NOTES: This is a very simple Argentinian marinade and sauce. The first time I ever had it was in Jackson Heights, NY at one of their many tasty Argentine places. It should be chunky and not a paste like an Adobo or Pesto. Some Recipes will include Onion and sweet Red Peppers. I prefer to keep those out. If you are able, instead of the American variety of Crushed Red Pepper, try to get Aji Molido also known as Aji Triturado–a more authentic Argentine variety of Crushed Red Pepper. You can vary the amounts of spice and garlic based on your tastes. This marinade is great on Steaks and Chicken, but can also be used with Fish. Serve it as a sauce on the side of Steak or drizzled over Roasted Potatoes as well–you can’t go wrong!

Trying to find an etymology for the word has proved interesting.   Various sources say it was either created by an English soldier or butcher named Jimmy Curry or Jimmy McCurry, who created the sauce–and folks unable to say his name morphed it into chimichurri.  It seems far-fetched to me.  Similarly, one origins story says that it was introduced about the time England was trying to invade Argentina, and captured soldiers would ask for a sauce with their meat “Give me a curry” that somehow morphed into chimichurri by natives trying to mimic them.  It just seems strange to me that there would be any English involvement in the creation of this dish–but hey, I wasn’t there.

Black Bean & Pineapple Salsa

Black bean & Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:
3 cups Black Beans, drained
1 Pineapple, skinned, diced
1 medium White Onion, diced fine
6 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Jalapeños, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 cup Lime Juice
1/8 cup Pineapple Juice
1 cup Cilantro, chopped fine
1 cup Mint, chopped fine

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients, in order listed, and mix well.

Mango & Tomatillo Salsa

Mango & Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients:
10-12 Tomatillos, diced
2-3 Mangoes, diced
1 medium White Onion, diced fine
6 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Jalapeños, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1 cup Cilantro, chopped fine

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients, in order listed, and mix well.

Fennel Chicken with Couscous

Dedicated to Christopher S.

Ingredients:
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1 tsp Salt
4 boneless, skinless, Chicken Breasts, butterfly cut
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium Red Onion, diced
1 Fennel Bulb, halved and sliced (1/4″ slices)
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp Cornstarch

1 cup uncooked Whole-Wheat Couscous
2 cups Water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon

Directions:

  • Combine the Spices and Salt in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle over the Chicken breasts, making sure to get the spices on both sides.
  • In a skillet, heat the Olive Oil on medium heat and add the Chicken, cooking for 5 minutes each side.
  • Remove from the Chicken and set aside.
  • Add the Garlic, Onion, Fennel, and Lemon Zest, cooking until the Fennel is tender or about 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl whisk together the Cornstarch and the Chicken Broth, then add to the Fennel.
  • Heat for another 7-10 minutes, allowing a sauce to form.
  • Heat the Water in a sauce pot.
  • When boiling, remove from the heat and add the Couscous.
  • Fluff the Couscous with a fork, adding the Lemon Juice and Olive Oil.
  • Serve the Chicken on a bead of Couscous with the Fennel sauce over it.

NOTES: Couscous كسكس is a pasta that is common in northern Africa and the Middle East. Near East® makes a good whole wheat Couscous. Also, I prefer small grained Couscous, as it feels fluffier than the larger versions.  This dish is also very tasty without couscous over a bed of Spinach. I have made this recipe suitable for those on low-carb high-protien diets at the request of my bud Christopher S.

Salsa Cruda – Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo
Ingredients:Vegan
3-4 medium sized Tomatoes (I prefer Roma or Plum), diced finely
2 Jalapeño Peppers, de-seeded, de-ribed, minced
1 Serrano Pepper, de-seeded, de-ribed, minced
1 medium White Onion, diced finely
2 cloves minced Garlic
1/2 tsp fresh Oregano, de-stemmed
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped fine
juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine all Ingredients and mix well.
  • Let chill for at 1/2 an hour before serving.

NOTES: Salsa Cruda, Pico de Gallo, Salsa Mexicana, Salsa Fresca, and Salsa Picada all refer to the same uncooked sauce consisting of Tomatoes, Onions, and Jalapenos. Pico de Gallo means “beak of the rooster” and probably refers to the bit size kernels of rooster feed, although some same it references the time of the day to make the sauce, while other people say it references the shape of a rooster’s beak. Finally, some think that Pico de Gallo references a certain cocky machismo needed to eat hot sauces. The world may never know why it is called what it is.


Suggested Uses:

Serve with tortilla chips, use as a marinade, or use as a topping on grilled foods.

Mexican Corn Salad

Ingredients:Vegan
3 large ears of Corn
1 red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Jalapeño Peppers, diced
1 small White Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Haas Avocados, diced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1 Lime

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring water to boil.
  • Boil the corn for 5-10 minutes, remove from the water, let cool.
  • Using a serrated knife, remove the kernels from the cob into a bowl.
  • Combine all other ingredients and mix well.

NOTES: If you are not serving soon, hold off on adding the avocado until the very last minute, as it will go brown quickly–Citric Acid does not stop the browning like it does with Apples and Pears.

House Seasoning

Ingredients:Vegan
1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp rubbed Sage
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Store in an air-tight container.

NOTES: I use seasoned salt for quick sauteing and grilling hamburgers. It is also useful to add to breadcrumbs or flour when dredging.

Curry Chicken Salad on Mesclun Greens

Ingredients:
1 whole roasted Chicken
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, minced
1 cup Yellow Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, thinly cut and diced
1 cup White Grapes, diced
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp Mint, minced
1 Tbsp Cilantro, minced
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
8 cups Mesclun Greens
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges

Directions:

  • Prepare the chicken ahead of time. If you cannot roast your own, get a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Avoid using Canned Chicken – YUCK. Set aside. To prepare, remove the chicken mean from the bones, cartilage, and skin. Dice the chicken meat-if for sandwiches, I recommend baby-bite size pieces.
  • Combine with Garlic, Onions, Jalapeño Pepper, Celery, and Grapes.
  • In a Mortar, add the herbs and spices and crush with Pestle.
  • Add the Mayonnaise to the herbs and spices, and mix well.
  • Incorporate the herb mayonnaise into the chicken mixture, and stir well.
  • Serve upon Mescaline Greens, garnished with Tomatoes and Eggs.

Variations:
One could use the same amount of Roasted Turkey. Here are some additional recipes below that one could employ:

Curry Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Curry Chicken-Stuffed Endives

Falafel – فلافل

Ingredients:Vegan
2 cups Chickpeas (dried, soaked 24 hours or canned)
1 medium Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh Mint, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

3 cups Olive Oil for frying
1 Lemon

Directions:

  • Drain the Chickpeas from water/can solution.
  • Add the Chickpeas and all ingredients (except oil and Lemon) into a food processor.
  • Pulse the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. If needed, add a small, small amount of water to aid in the pulsing. Do not over pulsate, or it will turn into a hummus-like mixture. You want it grainy.
  • Using your hands, form small 1″ balls from the mixture. I prefer to then squish the balls making a small patty. This is easier for pan-frying. If you are going to use a deep fryer, the balls are best.
  • In a skillet, add the oil and heat to 350°.
  • Using a spatula, place the patties in the oil. Let cook for 2 1/2 minutes then carefully flip. Cook another 2 1/2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack or papertowel-lined plate.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the falafel.

NOTES:
History: Falafel is originally from Egypt, and was made with Fava beans. Most Middle Eastern variations use Chickpeas, either mixed with Fava beans, or exclusively. The herbs and spices can be modified to suit your taste. Some recipes add Sesame seeds to the mix.
The Chickpeas: Either use canned, or dried. For dried, soak them at least 24 hours in water. Keep in mind that they will triple in size and may need more water.

Serving Options:
Serve with Tahini, or Tzatziki as a finger food.
Serve with lettuce, tomato, tahini, Tzatiki, in a split Pita like a sandwich.
Serve atop a salad.