Pumpkin Curry Soup

This soup can be served chilled or hot. The ingredients are so complimentary to each other and the curry and ginger lift the flavor profile to something almost floral. You can finish it with some crispy bacon, or labne or your favorite herb.

Ingredients for a big pot of soup that serves 6 – 8 people:

  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 1 large potato or white sweet potato
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 large shallots
  • 1 – 2 inches of fresh ginger
  • 1 very large fresh garlic
  • 3 dried Thai chilis
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste

Peel the butternut squash, carrots, potato and shallots and cut up into 1 – 2 inch chunks. Add chopped garlic and grate the piece of ginger into the pot. Add all spices, salt, pepper and cover all ingredients with water, and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to low/medium depending on your pot. Check after 30 – 40 minutes to see if most of the veggies are soft and falling apart. Next remove the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes, stir it well and check for spice or salt adjustment. Now add the coconut milk and then begin to purée with a handheld or blend with your Vitamix. …and voilà you’ve got great tasting soup. I love serving this as an appetizer with some champagne at a great start to a Sunday brunch, chilled.

Gluten Free Pizza

As you know, we always mix our own ingredients to make a dish, but we thought that this time, we would show you a gluten-free pizza recipe that you can make quickly and easily have access to pretty much throughout the U.S. It is not always easy to find all the right flours required to make your gluten-free pizza, so we are introducing Bob’s Red Mill to you for our rendition. This recipe makes two 12 inch pizzas or one 20 x 14 inch large square pizza.

Directions for the crust:

  • 1 package of Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix (set 1/4 cup of flour aside)
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 2 eggs (cage free if you have them)
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 packet of dry yeast (enclosed in the packet mix)

Preheat oven to 425F – we use the convection setting. Heat the water to very warm and allow the yeast to open, let this sit for a minute or two. If you have a Kitchen Aid or the like use it with the dough attachment, otherwise mix the following ingredients together with your hands. Your hand mixer will not do well with this dough as it will be too hard for it.

In your Kitchen Aid or with your hands, mix the pizza crust mix, eggs, olive oil, water and yeast together until your dough becomes silky and smooth. Place two overlapping sheets of plastic wrap on the kitchen counter and place the dough in the middle. Sprinkle a little of the left over flour on your hands and form the dough into a ball, wrap in the plastic and allow it to sit for 20 – 30 minutes. If you like you can also pre-make this dough and make it the next day.

Take a big sheet of parchment paper and lightly sprinkle it with some left over flour and distribute evenly. Place dough onto paper and gently begin to push it apart in all directions. Use a little more flour on top of dough and begin to roll out from center to edges, middles and continue until your dough is nice and flat and reaches into all four corners of your sheet (or 12 inch round pizzas).

Slowly slide the paper onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 15 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside. If you are ready to begin topping then sprinkle hot pizza crust with the 2 tbsp olive oil listed in the ingredients below and begin our instructions.

Ingredients for the topping as shown on our pizza:

  • 2 packages of nitrate free salami (you’ll need to look around for it)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (look for an organic one with nothing else added)
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) of Organic Valley Mozzarella Cheese, slice as thinly as possible, 1/4 inch
  • 2 – 3 small/medium organic vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large bushel of fresh organic basil
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps olive oil

Now that you have your pizza dough golden brown and have drizzled your olive oil on top, spread the oil out a bit more evenly and then spread the all the tomato paste on top of your pizza with a spatula, evenly. Begin topping with the salami, one row at a time, salami should be almost touching corners. Now add the sliced tomato and then add the beautiful mozzarella which does not need to touch corners as the cheese will melt quite evenly. Finally add the basil, but please remove the stems, use only the leaves and add cracked pepper to taste. Bake this tasty pizza for 20 to 30 minutes on 425F convection, check after 20 minutes to see the consistency of the cheese and if the edges are crispy, careful not to over cook it. When ready pull it out, let it sit for 2 minutes and cut into your favorite squares with your pizza wheel.

This pizza will not disappoint and will receive praise from your family and friends. If you like this pizza, try it out with different toppings of your choice. Cooking time is about 40 minutes total, so it’s great for dinner, or a wonderful Sunday afternoon get together.

Enjoy! NK

Savory Calamari & Cod: Thai Inspired

Although we’ve been cooking as usual, we haven’t really shared recipes consistently and we are sorry for that. We are back and you can expect consistent posts. Thank you for  your continued visits and recreation of our dishes.

calmari thai

Ingredients

  • 2 cups calamari tentacles
  • 1/2 lb cod, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you could also use another robust white fish)
  • 2 bell peppers, we used one green and one red
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 3 dried Thai chilis
  • 1 1/2 cup dried Porcini mushrooms (will need to be soaked, see below)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 tbsp World Market Spice Blend

Take a small bowl and soak the Porcini mushrooms for about 10 minutes, then drain and add to the sautéed veggies. 

Take our your favorite wok or large pan and heat ghee on high, once it is very hot, add the sliced onion and dried Thai chilis and stir fry until golden. Now add the sliced bell peppers and World Market Thai Spice Blend, black sesame seeds, fish sauce, coconut sugar, cayenne and fresh grated ginger root (add mushrooms here). Allow to cook for another 5 minutes on medium-high, then add the coconut milk, and water; keep stirring. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Now it’s time to add the calamari tentacles and cod. Allow to simmer on low for another 10 – 15 minutes and serve with your favorite side. We enjoyed some traditional Thai Jasmine rice with this dish. 

Please enjoy!

Polenta Squares

Holidays are just around the corner and beautiful appetizers are about to pop up everywhere. We wanted to share a tasty easy to make appetizer option for you that you can dress up or down depending on your needs. These tasty polenta treats keep well for several days refrigerated, and will always be loved by your guests.
polenta
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of polenta
  • 6 cups of water
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh chives
  • 4 – 6 cracked cardamom seeds, ground up in a pestle
  • 1 – 2 fresh finely chopped Thai chilis (your option for spice)
Bring the polenta, water and salt to a boil in a medium non-stick high rimmed pan, stir several times to mix it up well.  While it’s still boiling, cover with lid and reduce heat to the lowest setting possible. Be sure to check back every 10 mins and stir. It will take about 30 mins to cook. Taste it to make sure that the polenta is not hard. Check for consistency, as you want it to be pasty but not too hard, you should be able to spread it nicely with a spatula.
Once the consistency is right, add fresh chives, cracked cardamom, the spice with your Thai chilis really comes down to your taste.
You’ll need two cookie sheets. Cookie sheet #1:  - place parchment or wax paper on the cookie sheet, then spread the polenta mixture over it, evenly, cover with another sheet of parchment/wax paper and place second cookie sheet on top press down hard but even and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Once chilled, remove paper carefully, cut off the outside edges with a sharp knife, and cut into your favorite size squares. We served ours with a delicious spicy Fage Greek Yogurt dip. You could top this with your favorite salsa, sauteed onions with peppers, or make your best dip. Either way it will be perfect for your guests.
Best! NK

Cucumber Relish

Henry, my wonderful husband, surprised me with this dish of love when I got home from a really long day of work recently. This dish is so incredibly refreshing, light and satisfying that it erased all the clutter of my day, and I hope that it does the same for you. It is a make you feel good and happy dish, that pairs so well with just about anything. Please give this a try; you will not be disappointed.

cucumber relish

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (rice/coconut)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Serrano or Thai chilli peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juice only
In a salad bowl, mix peeled cucumbers, finely diced ingredients, lime juice and all other ingredients. Cover and chill in your refrigerator for an hour for best results. Serve and enjoy. Thank you honey!

 

Poppy Seed Banana Torte

We love poppy seed anything, and wanted to share an easy, but delicious torte that you can make for your family or for a gift to bring to a friends house. With the holiday season slowly approaching, it will be nice to have another healthy choice on the dinner table. This will surely make it onto ours for Thanksgiving as a secondary to our Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

photo (4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of ground poppy seeds
  • 5 (cage free) eggs
  • 2 bananas (not overly ripe)
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • gratings from 1/2 lime rind

This is so easy to prepare. You can choose to use a handheld mixer or a Kitchen Aid, I prefer my Kitchen Aid. Begin by separating the eggs. I always beat the egg whites first until they are very stiff and move them into a bowl. Then begin to mix the butter, once it’s nice and smooth, add the sugar, continue to mix well. Now add the egg yolks one at a time and continue to mix until everything is beautiful and creamy in texture. Sprinkle in the salt, remember, you can always add salt, so be careful not to add too much. Now add the poppy seeds, vanilla and bananas and continue to mix, but at a lower level. When everything looks smooth and blended well, stop the machine and add the lime gratings. Fold these in by hand first and then fold in the egg whites. Ensure not to leave any large egg white clumps as your torte will not have the right consistency when it bakes.

Grease your favorite 8 inch pan and pour in the mixture. Move your oven rack to the middle position and place the torte into the preheated 325 degree oven on convection. Because every oven is different your best measure to see if it’s done is to check with a metal skewer. Insert it after about 40 – 45 minutes to see if anything sticks, if yes, it needs a little more time. Be careful not to overcook it though as it is thin.

We are showing it here with some fresh whipped cream.

 

Wild Black Rice Burger Patties with Dover Sole

It’s been a little while since we posted last, so very much has happened – the most important and sad is that we have lost our boy Tiger, who you see on our last post. We have not had the heart or mindset until now to think of other things. We will miss him forever! …

*****

Thank you all for you patience in waiting for this post and thank you for your continued support and love.

Today we would like to feature a new spin on how you serve a burger, your style and burger patty of choice. This particular burger is accompanied by a warm kale salad, which we will share soon, protein is dover sole, separately sauteed onions to top your patty with before stacking the fish or beef filler.

Rice patty

Saute one large yellow onion with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and a few coriander seeds. Saute and set aside, keep them warm.

Boil 1 cup of dry black rice in 2 parts of water with a little pinch of sea salt, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a little simmer. Stir once or twice and allow to set.

In a medium mixing bowl add cooked black wild rice, one egg, pinch of turmeric, a little paprika, fresh cracked pepper, pinch or salt, a tiny pinch of Garam Marsala and dice up 1/2 tablespoon of pickled jalapenos. Use pickled peppers because this will help in keeping your patty together better.

These patties are sensitive and you do have to take care to cook them thoroughly and ensure that they are rounded out and can’t break out. Work with a spatula after you pour them into the pan to round them out.

Whip the rice and egg and all other ingredients mix them well. Heat a cast iron pan with some ghee or coconut oil until the pan is really hot. Pour in the desired pancake size of rice mix into the hot pan and allow to cook for a minute or so, before you flip the rice patty for the other side.

It really is that easy. Set the patties aside on a paper towel.  Now begin to build your favorite burger.

Ours here is depicted with the warm kale salad, patty has organic dijon mustard lightly smeared on it and topped with the wonderful onions, followed by the dover sole, covered with the top patty and wrapped in your favorite tissue for presentation and enjoyment.

These are truly delicious – please give these a try.

Jo’s Indian Spiced Comfort Ground Beef

Sweet husband of mine made this fabulous dish for me. He had it waiting with the most perfectly baked Yucca, and had the perfect wine to pair, thanks Eric! I am truly lucky in every way. I was so smitten with these tastes that you, too, should be able to enjoy such a perfect combination of Indian spice blends…in a non-traditional Indian dish. Make it in advance and wow your family and friends.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. grassed beef, we buy ours from Date Creek Ranch (thank you!)
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Inches of Ginger (peel)
  • 4 Large Onions
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Turneric
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste, same with pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5-8 Serrano Peppers
  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 can coconut cream

Here’s how to make it!

  1. Sautee Onions and Ghee until glossy (browning them to golden in color on medium heat)
  2. Add Spices and continue to cook while you get ready for the next step
  3. Combine Ginger, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, and tomatoes, and mix well with a hand-held blender, until smooth
  4. Add to onions and spice mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes
  5. Add Beef and make sure it is well folded in, let it cook for another few minutes on medium heat
  6. Finally add Coconut Cream, combine and let simmer on low/medium low for another 15-20 mins – covered

Serve with our favorite Yucca and enjoy!                                …secret…it’s even better the next day. :-)  - and it always tastes better with Tiger to help us eat.

Mixed Ceviche (without Onions)

We love ceviche just about every way. This past spring we enjoyed some variations with juices and coconut milk  in Bogotá, Colombia. In my opinion, Colombia has some of the tastiest ceviche.

Ours today has three different seafood in it, for taste and texture. We chose to leave the onions out of this dish this time, and we did not miss them, actually.

It is very important to get enough lime juice and the proper balance of spices. I am not a big fan of adding spices in which the dish is marinating, rather we prefer to sprinkle cayenne and some turmeric over it. Mix it well and cover it and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, stirring it every 20 minutes. We always make a little extra for a snack or lunch the next day.

photo (10)

Today’s ingredients:

  • 4 large diver scallops (cut into very small chunks)
  •  2 cups of tiny bay shrimp
  • 1.5 pounds of Tilapia filet (cut into strips and then chunk into small squares
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of freshly pressed lime juice
  • 1 great bell pepper, diced
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 – 6 cilantro peppers, diced seeds in
  • a little sea salt to taste
  • some fresh ground black pepper
  • sprinkle of cayenne and turmeric – for finishing
  • drizzle of olive oil, also for finishing

Note:  if your seafood is frozen, please allow to thaw naturally, not in the microwave.

Take a large serving bowl and add diced veggies and seafood. Mix well, add some salt and pepper and continue to fold in well. Add lime juice and once again mix well. Let your food sit for a minute or two and stir again, repeat this a few more times before it’s covered and chilled. The extra mixing allows for the lime juice to cook the seafood evenly, and tt will make all the difference in taste.

As you can see we served ours with some Yucca. Enjoy this dish this summer, it’s easy and it’s refreshing.

Boneless Leg of Lamb in Heavy Cream Sauce

My mom’s secret boneless leg of lamb recipe shared with you in honor of her. In this past visit she took such great care of us, cooking and loving us everyday, treating us to amazing meal after amazing meal. We could not help but to share this with you. As complex as this tastes, it is not that difficult to make. Top restaurants in Vienna serve this dish, in my opinion – not this good.  (and they use flour)

Give this a try and please send us your feedback.

boneless leg of lamb

The beautiful ingredients are:

  1. 5 lbs of leg of lamb, cut into 1 – 1.5 inch thinck slices
  2. 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  3. 1 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
  4. fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  5. 1/8 tsp cardamom seeds (not pods)
  6. 2 small rosemary twigs, whole
  7. from a 1/4 lemon the zest
  8. sea salt to taste
  9. 4 tbsp heavy cream
  10. 1 tbsp fine yucca flour
  11. 1/2 to 3/4  liter of water or beef or chicken broth

Here’s how to make it:

Use a big sauce pot, heat butter or ghee on medium high and sautee the garlic until golden brown. Then add the meat quickly browning it on each side and then adding the water or broth, including all other spices and ingredients with the exception of the flour and the cream. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook it for about two hours.

Mix the flour with a little bit of water (typically 2 – 3 tbsps water) and slowly work into the meat. Increase heat to medium and add cream and reduce the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Note, you can also remove the meat and set aside as you are preparing the sauce with a hand blender and then add the meat back in for a more consistent sauce texture.

Serve and enjoy with your favorite salad or carbohydrate, such as yucca, sweet potato or beets.

Thank you mom for this great dish!

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