Sunday, December 11, 2011

Red Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese

Serves 2

2 ears of red corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons crumbled cotija anejo cheese**
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Cut off the corn kernels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt olive oil. Add corn and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add lime juice and salt & pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. The corn should be cooked through yet still firm. Sprinkle with cotija anejo cheese and cilantro and toss gently until well combined and serve immediately.

** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: This dish can be made with traditional white, yellow, or bi-color corn, though you many want to omit the sugar.

Experimenting with Red Corn

Basic Cooking Instructions: Combine 3 cups of water and 1 cup of dry corn. Bring to boiling. Simmer uncovered 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover, let stand 3 hours. Return to boiling, simmer covered 3 hours or until done. Season to taste.

+ cilantro
+ tomatoes
+ lime
+ nuts, toasted
+ quinoa


Red Corn Posole with Smoked Pasilla

2 cups dried Red Corn Posole
1 1/2 lb pork shoulder
2 medium diced white onions
5 cloves garlic

Red Corn Posole has a wonderful flavor- at once corny, nutty and earthy. It retains its red color when cooked and stays more Al Dente than conventional yellow posole.

Soak the posole overnight; two nights are better. Drain. In a large, heavy- bottomed pot, brown the salted pork in olive oil taking care to get it quite brown and caramelized. Remove the pork; sauté the onions and garlic slowly until translucent. Return the pork to the pot. Add the drained posole, oregano and bay leaf. Remove from heat. Toast the smoked chiles for 2 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Don't burn them or they will be bitter. Pound the chiles or pulverize in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Add to pot and sauté everything together for five minutes or so. Add water to about 2 inches above posole. Bring to a boil and skim off scum. Lower to simmer and cook for at least 4 hours, adding water as necessary. Salt to taste during last 20 minutes of cooking. The pork should be falling from the bone. Serve in large bowls with plenty of broth. Garnish with diced red or green onion, avocadoes, toasted oregano, lime juice, cilantro and /or finely shredded cabbage. In late summer, add tomatoes, sweet corn and green chile and forget the pork. With less broth, it can be a side dish for roasted meat, poultry or grilled fish.

Tip: It will taste even better if served the next day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fresh Tofu with Bonito Flakes, Scallions and Sesame Oil

Yet another delicious variant on the fresh-tofu-topped-with-stuff genre!

Drain and cut fresh soft tofu into chopstick-friendly slices.
Sprinkle some salt onto it.
Drizzle with sesame oil.
Top with chopped scallions, then bonito flakes.
That's it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cucumber Wakame Salad

courtesy of Susie!


small cucumbers, the really cute ones
wakame (seaweed)
sesame seeds
rice vinegar
sesame oil


1. Very thinly slice the cucumbers.
2. Soak the wakame until floppy.
3. Combine the cucumber and wakame. Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar as dressing. Top with toasted sesame seeds (can crush beforehand) and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve!

Quick Daikon Kimchee

courtesy of Susie!


Korean pepper flakes for kimchee
sesame seeds


1. Grate daikon.
2. Toast sesame seeds and crush.
3. Sprinkle the daikon with some pepper flakes, and add salt and sugar to taste (a lot more salt than sugar). Add sesame seeds, chopped garlic, and chopped scallions. Let sit for a while to ferment. Serve!

+ add fish sauce
+ add ginger

** And for the real deal, with fermenting, jarring and all that, see this recipe HERE!

Green Beans with Miso Sauce

courtesy of Susie Suh!


green beans
miso paste
soya sauce
sesame seeds

1. Cut the beans into 1-1.5 inch long pieces. Blanche and set aside.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan; crush somehow.
3. Combine miso paste, soya sauce (shoyu), some sugar, and the sesame seeds. The sauce should be thick-ish.
4. Toss the green beans in the sauce until evenly covered. Eat!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Daikon Mania!

Ways to use the wonderful(ly large) and delicious radish, Daikon.

1. Grate and add to cold udon with lots of green onions, grated ginger, and soya sauce to taste.
[alternative: + wakame, cilantro, lemon juice]

2. Karasumi and Daikon Pasta

2-3 servings

8 ounces dried pasta such as spagetti or linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
leaves of 1 small daikon radish chopped
1/3 cup grated daikon radish with extra juice strained out
1 sac of Karasumi or Bottarga grated on a Microplane (reserve a little to top the pasta with)

Boil the pasta in well salted water for slightly less than the package recommends (my pasta said 11 minutes, I cooked it for 10).

After draining the pasta, put the hot pot back on the stove and add the olive oil. Add the daikon leaves and quickly saute. Add the pasta, then stir fry to coat with oil. Add the grated daikon and Karasumi and toss to distribute evenly, then plate immediately. Top with the reserved grated karasumi and serve immediately.

3. Houtou: Prepare miso soup like normal and add to it diced kabocha (or pumpkin or acorn squash), potato, carrot, leeks, abura-age, and daikon. Serve with udon.

4. Cut into thin strips about 3 cm in length, mix with diced tomatoes, and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil.

5. Rice Stew with Daikon (Daikon Zosui)
Serves 5

2 ½ cups cooked short-grain rice*
¾ cup shiitake mushrooms*
1 ½ cups daikon (about a four-inch-long chunk), sliced as directed*
¼ cup carrots, sliced as directed*
½ cup Wakame, soaked five minutes in cold water to cover, then chopped into one-inch long pieces (discard soaking water)
5 cups fish stock (if unavailable, use chicken or vegetable stock)*
1 teaspoon salt*
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce*

Peel the daikon and carrot, and slice into two-inch-long by one-half-inch wide ribbons that are no more than one-eighth-inch thick. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms also. Heat the stock in a soup pan with the daikon and carrot, and cook until the vegetables have softened, around 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice, mushrooms and wakame, and bring to the boil again, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and soy sauce. Eat hot. Partners well with Daikon Pickles. (Note: Be careful not to cook the rice too long; otherwise, it will end up the unappetizing consistency of glue.)

6. Quick Daikon Pickles

1 ½ cups daikon, sliced into match-like strips*
½ cup hothouse cucumber, seeds removed, sliced into match-like strips
½ teaspoon freshly minced lemon peel*
Piece of kombu, around 4 inches long and 1 inch wide*
1 teaspoon salt*
Soy sauce, to taste*

Put the daikon and cucumber into a plastic bag. Break the kombu into one-to-two-inch slivers, and add to the plastic bag. Sprinkle with salt and lemon peel. Close plastic bag. Work salt into vegetables by squeezing them in the plastic bag. Lay the bag flat and place two 16-ounce cans on top of the closed bag, spreading the weight over the vegetables inside. Let stand two hours. Remove vegetables from bag. Gently squeeze out water. Sprinkle with a little soy sauce. Enjoy with rice.

7. Daikon Fritters: Shred roots on grater. Mix with beaten egg, flour, salt and pepper. Drop and flatten out a dollop into hot oil and turn once while browning both sides.
+ dipping sauce: 1/2 cup soya sauce with juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus some lemon zest and chopped scallions.

8. Shred medium coarse across the diameter (about 1/8" thick), cook in dashi (japanese-style broth, available as granules) until tender (about 20 minutes). Add aka (red) miso to taste, as for any other miso soup. Garnish with chopped scallion if desired.

9. Cut daikon in 1" thick disks, peel, and simmer in dashi until tender. Make a sauce with miso and a little water and sugar, simmer until blended, serve over daikon (with rice, of course).

10. Japanese Guacamole:
* ¾ cup shredded daikon (Japanese radish)
* ½ tsp salt
* 2 California avocados, about 1 pound
* ⅓ cups finely sliced green onion
* ¼ cup fresh salmon caviar
* 2 tbsp rice vinegar (plain)
* 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
* ½ tbsp wasabi paste

1. Toss daikon with salt; drain in a colander for half an hour.
2. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible; reserve.
3. Coarsely mash (do not purée) avocados.
4. Fold in remaining ingredients and reserved daikon.
5. Guacamole is best made as close to serving as possible. For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole.

11. "Loh Bak Goh": Steamed Daikon Cake

Cake base

* 1½ lbs daikon
* ½ lbs rice flour
* 1 can chicken broth
* ¼ tbsp msg
* 4 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp white pepper


* 1 cup of Chinese sausage
* ½ cup of Chinese dried shrimp
* 1 cup of Chinese mushroom
* 2 scallion
* 2 tbsp soy sauce
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp cooking wine
* 1 tbsp sesame seed (optional)


1. First remove the daikon skin and slice into thin pieces.
2. Place the sliced daikon, the chicken broth and the "cake base" seasonings into a pot.
3. Cook until the diakon is soft (about 40 minutes).
4. If the daikon tastes bitter, you'll need to add more sugar.
5. Also, if the daikon releases too much water, you may have to drain some water out.
6. While the daikon is cooking, dice the "filling" ingredients.
7. Stir fry the "filling" ingredients and seasonings until cooked (note: save ½ the scallion for later use).
8. Place the fillings aside.
9. When the daikon is soft, slowly stir in the rice flour.
10. Mix well. You'll feel the cake base thicken.
11. After the daikon and rice flour are mixed, stir in the "fillings" (note: save some of the filling for the topping).
12. When everything is mixed, grease the steaming pan with corn oil, so the daikon cake won't stick to the pan.
13. Pour the daikon cake mix into the pan, and place the rest of the scallion and fillings on top.
14. Steam the daikon cake under high heat for about 40 minutes.
15. To check the cake is well cooked, poke a chopstick into the center of the cake, if the cake does not stick to the chopstick, the cake is cooked.
16. Allow the daikon cake to cool.
17. You can pan fry the sliced cake before serving.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shrimp Salad with Arugula and Mint

Douse shelled shrimp with olive oil, some salt and pepper, a small pinch of cayenne, paprika, chopped garlic, and stir.

Heat pan for a few minutes till very hot.

Fry shrimp in one layer. Brown the shrimp (will be quick—30 seconds!). Total cooking time is 2 minutes.

Mix arugula (6 cups) with a bunch of mint, roughly torn. Could also mix with cilantro, basil ... Add shrimp and pan juices. Then add the juice of 1-2 lemon. Add olive oil if necessary.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pasta with Anchovies and Arugula


olive oil
chili flakes
garlic, thinly sliced
loads of arugula



1. Cook pasta.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan until just starting to become less viscous. Add garlic and stir until golden brown.
3. Add anchovies and chili flakes. Cook at mildest heat for about 5 minutes, until garlic slices are floppy and done.
4. Drain pasta and add to pan, tossing to coat.
5. Add pasta to a bowl full of arugula and toss to integrate.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Papri Chaat [North Indian Fried Cookies with two chutneys]

[borrowed from the website I've linked to ...]

Papri Chaat is a mouth watering North Indian fast food, relished by most of the people. It can be found easily on the roadside food carts all over India, apart from fast food outlets. Comprising of a snack, it is made from crispy wafers, to which is added a delicious combination of potatoes, seasoned yogurt, chilies and chutneys. Papri chaat is crispy, tasty and can be prepared in both spicy and sweet flavors. It is very delicious to eat and is considered as a great alternative to a meal by many. Given below is the list of ingredients required as well as the method of preparing it. Read on and know how to make papri chat.

Papri Chaat Recipe


For Puris

* 1 1/2 cup Wheat Flour
* 3 cups Maida
* 1/4 cup Oil
* 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
* 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
* 1/4 tsp Heeng
* 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
* 1 tsp Ajwain Seeds
* 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
* Salt (according to taste)

For Green Chutney

* 1/2 bunch Coriander Leaves
* 1/2 cup Grated Coconut
* 2-3 drops Lemon Juice
* 1 Green Chili
* Salt (according to taste)

For Red Chutney

* 4-5 Dates
* 1 tbsp Tamarind
* 1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder
* Salt (according to taste)

For Yoghurt Mix

* 4 cups Yoghurt
* 4 tbsp Sugar
* 2-3 Curry Leaves
* 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
* 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
* 2 tsp Oil
* Salt (according to taste)

Other Ingredients
2 Potatoes


Making Puri

* Crush the cumin seeds and the Ajwain seeds coarsely in a mixer. Mix Maida, wheat flour, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, Heeng, oil, crushed cumin and Ajwain seeds together.
* Knead a little hard dough adding water. Roll out very small even size round puris of the dough. Deep fry them in oil and keep aside.

Making Green Chutney
Mix grated coconut, washed and chopped coriander leaves, salt, lemon juice, green chilies in a mixer to make a fine paste. Keep aside.

Making Red Chutney

* Make the red chutney by boiling the dates and tamarind together in water till they are cooked.
* Then crush it in a mixer to make a fine paste. Add salt and red chili powder to it. Keep aside.

Making the Yoghurt Mix
Beat the yoghurt nicely and add to it sugar and salt. Then heat the oil and season it with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and then pour it hot in the yoghurt. Mix it thoroughly and keep aside.

Final Steps

* Boil the potatoes and mash them coarsely. Add salt and little chat powder to it.
* While serving, lightly crush the puris little. Put one tbsp of mashed potatoes.
* Then put 3 tbsp yoghurt mix over it. Add 1 tsp of green and red chutney over it.
* Sprinkle little red chili powder and Chaat powder and serve.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

101 Fast Recipes for Grilling, New York Times

Vegetables and Fruits

1. A winter dish, summer style: Brush thick slices of fennel bulbs with olive oil and grill over not-too-high heat. Cut oranges in half and grill, cut-side down. Put fennel on a bed of arugula or watercress, squeeze grilled oranges over top. Garnish with fennel fronds.

2. Best grilled artichokes: Cut artichokes in half, scoop out the choke, parboil until tender. Grill, cut-side down, until lightly browned; grill a couple of halved lemons, too. Combine the juice from the grilled lemons with melted butter and spoon over the artichokes. Finish with parsley.

3. Tahini tofu steaks. Thin tahini with lots of lemon juice and some minced garlic. Cut a brick of firm tofu into four slabs and brush with sesame oil. Grill over a moderate fire, turning a few times, until marked and crisp outside and custardy inside. On the last turn, baste with the tahini sauce. Serve on thick tomato slices with a drizzle of soy sauce and chopped basil, Thai if possible.

4. Spice-rubbed carrots: Roll peeled carrots in cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Char, then move them away from direct heat and cover the grill until carrots are tender.

5. Grill bread; grind in a food processor to make coarse bread crumbs. (You can add garlic and/or parsley and/or Parmesan, or not.) Grill asparagus until tender. Top with bread crumbs and olive oil.

6. Brush slices of beet with olive oil and grill slowly until tender and lightly browned. Top each slice with a little goat cheese and some salad greens.

7. For perfectly ripe tomatoes only: Grill tomatoes, any size, until hot and lightly charred but not bursting. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh mozzarella (or, even better, burrata) and grilled bread.

8. Halve and grill radicchio (or Belgian endives); drizzle cut sides with honey or plain vinaigrette, pesto or parsley pesto. Or just brush with oil and finish with a little grilled prosciutto.

9. Grilled guacamole: Halve and pit avocados; lightly char them, then scoop out the flesh. Grill halved red onion, too. Chop, combine, add tomatoes, lime, garlic and spices if you like.

10. Grill corn. Serve with mayo with minced garlic, pimentón and parsley.

11. Grill more corn. Serve with curry-powder-laced yogurt and minced onion.

12. Grill corn again. Serve with coconut milk, cilantro and mint.

13. Root vegetable of your choice: Slice celeriac — or jicama, big potatoes, daikon or yams — and grill slowly, until very tender and browned. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with chopped rosemary or sage and olive oil.

14. Choose another root. Slice it, but this time char lightly and leave it crunchy. Chop and toss with chopped cilantro, a pinch of cayenne and juice of grilled lime.

15. Rub thick zucchini slices with a mixture of fresh or dried dill, yogurt, olive oil and lemon. (Or use pesto or parsley pesto.) Grill slowly.

16. More shopping than cooking: Grill an array of radishes on little skewers, four to six each. Serve with butter, salt and bread.

17. Halve Belgian endives. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over moderate-to-low heat, turning once or twice, until soft and browned. Finish cut-side up and sprinkle with grated Parmesan; close the grill to melt cheese.

18. Lightly char whole or halved heads of baby bok choy; drizzle with soy sauce and top with chopped scallions.

19. Peel and thickly slice a not overly ripe mango. Brush very lightly with neutral oil and grill just until softened; sprinkle with cilantro and/or mint and lime juice (you might as well grill the lime first, too).

20. Grill pineapple (or anything, really, from pork to tofu to eggplant). Make a sauce of half-cup peanut butter, a tablespoon (or more) soy sauce, a dash (or more) sriracha chili sauce, a handful of basil or mint and enough warm water to thin. (I’m tempted to say, “Throw away the pineapple and eat the sauce,” but the combination is sensational.)

21. Waldorf salad revisited, sort of: Grill cut apples until browned but not mushy; grill chunks of Napa or savoy cabbage, also left crisp; grill halved red onion. Chop or shred all together with blue cheese, walnuts and a little yogurt.

22. Cut a slit in as many ripe figs as you like; stuff with herbed goat cheese (or cream cheese mixed with chopped nuts) and grill slowly. Appetizer or dessert? Your call.

23. Grill red, orange and/or yellow peppers; toss with olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

24. Quick grilled pickle: Rapidly char thick slices of cucumber; toss with salt, vinegar and sugar; let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.

25. Charred salsa verde. Toss whole husked tomatillos, scallions and jalapeños in olive oil and grill until charred. Remove the blackened skin from the chilies and chop or blend everything with diced avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Eat with chips or top grilled chicken with it.


26. Mideast lamb chops: Shoulder cuts are the best and the cheapest; just don’t burn them. Marinate them briefly in yogurt, lemon, cardamom and mint. Serve with lemon and parsley.

27. Midwest pork chops: Again, shoulder; again, don’t burn. Marinate briefly in spicy mustard, chopped garlic and apple cider.

28. Six-minute steak (or maybe four): Salt skirt steak and grill it, quickly. Top with queso fresco, thinly sliced red onion (you could grill it first, if you like) and the juice of grilled lime.

29. Six-minute steak, plus a little marinating time: Soak skirt steak in a mixture of soy, lime juice, garlic, ginger and sugar (or mirin) before grilling. (The time it takes to heat the grill is long enough.)

30. Smear chicken leg quarters (or thighs) with a paste of garlic, chopped rosemary (thyme, too, if you like), olive oil and the juice of grilled lemon. Grill away from heat, covered; crisp briefly over high heat.

31. Steak au poivre: Sirloin strip is ideal. Press lots of cracked black pepper into both sides, sprinkle with salt and grill over fairly high heat, about three to four minutes on each side. Slice quarter-inch thick before serving.

32. Crisp (and better) duck à l’orange: Score the skin of duck breasts and press rosemary leaves, salt and pepper into both sides. Grill skin-side down over low-ish heat until crackly, then turn and grill briefly. Serve with grilled orange halves.

33. Smear hanger, skirt, flatiron or other steak with mustard. Grill and serve with grilled shallots.

34. Brush chicken thighs — boned or not — with basil, parsley or cilantro pesto. Boneless and skinless thighs can be grilled over direct heat; thighs with skin should be started away from heat.

35. Fast lamb leg: Use steaks cut from the leg, and rub them with a mix of warm spices: cumin, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric. Grill quickly, serve hot.

36. Spread flank steak or butterflied lamb leg with garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Roll and tie, or fold. (Or grill without further fuss, adding more paste occasionally.)

37. Moist grilled chicken breast? Yes: Pound chicken breast thin, top with chopped tomato, basil and Parmesan; roll and skewer and grill over not-high heat until just done.

38. Call it grilled chicken Parm: Pound breast thin, top one side with sliced tomato, mozzarella and Parmesan; fold in half, seal with a toothpick or skewer and grill for a few minutes on each side.

39. Pork (or veal) saltimbocca: Pound pork or veal cutlets thin; top with ham (prosciutto preferably) and cheese (maybe Gruyère). Roll, cook on skewers and serve with pickles.

40. Slice pork shoulder thin. Fry lots of sesame seeds, minced garlic, fresh minced chili in sesame oil; off heat, stir in some soy sauce. Grill the pork fast over high heat, smearing with the sesame paste right after flipping. Serve with lettuce leaves and cilantro, basil and/or mint for wrapping.

41. Bacon-wrapped hot dog. You know you want one.

Fish and Shellfish

42. Grill thick onion slices; purée in a blender with olive oil and lemon juice. Grill scallops for about four minutes; serve with the vinaigrette.

43. Salmon tartare with grilled stuff: Lightly grill radishes, scallions, lime halves and, if you like, plantain disks. Serve the plantains under, and the other things next to, chopped raw salmon (preferably wild) seasoned with salt and pepper.

44. Grill sardines or mackerel; serve with a squeeze of grilled lemon, grapefruit or both.

45. Stuff whole gutted trout with slices of lemon and chopped marjoram or oregano. Wrapping in bacon is optional. One per person is best.

46. Not so easy, but so impressive: Stuff squid bodies with chopped chorizo (optional), garlic-toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest and parsley. Close with toothpicks. Char quickly over a very hot fire.

47. Shrimp, Part 1: Rub with chili powder and salt, and grill quickly. Finish with cilantro and the juice of grilled lime halves.

48. Shrimp, Part 2: Rub with olive oil, salt and cumin. Finish with the juice of grilled lemon halves; garnish with chopped marjoram, if you have it, parsley if you don’t.

49. Shrimp, Part 3: Rub with curry powder. Drizzle with warm coconut milk and chopped mint, basil and/or cilantro.

50. Grilled tuna niçoise: Brush tuna with olive oil and grill; keep it rare. (You might grill some new potatoes while you’re at it.) Serve with more olive oil, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, olives, grilled red onion and parsley. Green beans and hard-cooked eggs are optional.

51. Grilled clams on the half shell: Get them shucked (or cook in the microwave or on the grill until opened); top with bread crumbs, parsley, lemon, minced cooked bacon (optional). Grill until topping is hot.

52. You think you don’t like bluefish? Grill it, then drizzle with a mixture of chopped fennel fronds (or crushed fennel seeds), melted butter and the juice of grilled grapefruit or orange.

53. White fillets with spice: Mix salt, sugar, chili powder and paprika. Rub on sturdy white fish fillets (make sure the grill grates are clean and well oiled).

54. Buy shucked oysters. Top with juice of grilled lemon. Period. (You could grill shallots, mince and make a grilled mignonette, but this is better.)

55. Grill soft-shell crabs, brushing with melted butter and Tabasco. A little charring of the claw tips isn’t a bad thing.

56. Simmer octopus tentacles until tender (this may take a couple of hours); cool. Grill; cut into attractive little rounds and drizzle with lemon and olive oil.

57. Grill wild salmon (preferably king or sockeye) until not-well-done. Toss diced cucumbers with fresh dill, olive oil and lemon juice. Serve salmon hot, slaw cold.


58. Shrimp and chorizo. Serve with lemon or a little vinaigrette.

59. Lamb and carrots. In last few minutes, brush with miso thinned with a tiny bit of mirin (or sherry, wine or water).

60. Lamb and onions. Brush with a mixture of cumin and olive oil as they sizzle. You can add bell peppers, too, but somehow the stark minimalism of this is pleasing.

61. Odd, but good: Strawberries and cherry tomatoes, finished with basil-laced balsamic vinegar.

62. The New Yawk special: Italian sausage, peppers and onions.

63. The California special: Figs, with chunks of good bacon.

64. Kebab or hero? Your choice: Cut brussels sprouts in half; grill slowly on skewers, with chunks of sausage. Both slowly crisp as they cook.

65. Bread salad on a stick: Cubes of bread, black olives and cherry tomatoes. Don’t grill too long, and drizzle with basil or thyme or parsley vinaigrette.

66. Peaches, plums, strawberries and watermelon. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and perhaps a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

67. Cubes of mango and chunks of white fish; brush with a mixture of soy, fish sauce, sriracha chili sauce and chopped mint or cilantro. Serve with a mai tai.

68. Go Hawaiian or Italian: Wrap pineapple or melon in prosciutto. Grill briefly.


69. Grilled coleslaw: Lightly char wedges of green and red cabbage and carrots. Let cool, then shred and toss with a little mayo, vinegar, salt and sugar.

70. Grill halved new potatoes or fingerlings (microwave or parboil first for a few minutes to get a head start), red onions and scallions. Chop as necessary and toss with chopped celery, parsley, mustard and cider (or other) vinegar. I make this annually.

71. Toss grilled Lacinato kale leaves with a little Caesar salad dressing (or olive oil, lemon and Parmesan) and grilled croutons.

72. Char iceberg wedges and cherry tomatoes (skewer these first). Top with blue cheese dressing.

73. Lightly grill ripe figs; brush with balsamic. Chop and toss with arugula and blue cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil.

74. Steak salad with almost no steak: Halve endives or radicchio; brush with oil and grill. Sprinkle with bits of blue cheese and bits of charred steak.

75. Ratatouille: Grill chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, eggplant, onion and tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes), all until lightly browned and perfectly tender. Toss with fresh marjoram or oregano, thyme, basil and olive oil.


76. Greek salad burger: Ground lamb with grated feta, chopped calamatas and a little oregano. Top with tomato, red onion and cucumber.

77. The pickled onions make it: Soak sliced red onions in diluted vinegar and salt while you prepare everything else. Combine ground lamb with grated carrots and cumin; grill, then top with onions.

78. Asian burger: Grind pork, combine with grated daikon and a little soy sauce. Brush with hoisin or miso and top with sliced-and-salted cucumbers.

79. Grind beef, combine with crumbled blue cheese and chopped toasted walnuts. Top, if it doesn’t sound too effete, with sliced grilled pear.

80. A chicken or turkey burger worth eating: Cook and chop bacon; mix with ground chicken (or turkey) and grill.

81. Another: Grind turkey, combine with chopped basil, shove a cube of mozzarella into the center, grill until well done (the cheese will melt). Top with tomato and more basil.

82. Grind salmon (actually, it’s better if you grind half and chop half) and combine with chopped scallions and soy sauce. Grill medium-rare, top with mayo spiked with ginger, soy and/or lime.

83. Philly cheesesteak burger: Grind beef and grill with mushrooms and onions; top with aged provolone.

Sandwiches and Breads

84. Actual grilled cheese: Use good bread, good cheese, tomato slices and maybe a little mustard; brush with melted butter or olive oil and grill with a weight on top.

85. Glorified grilled cheese: Use grilled pineapple, grilled ham, cheese, pickles and mayo; grill with a weight on top.

86. Grill bell peppers until blackened and collapsed; cover, cool and peel. Grill eggplant planks, brushed with olive oil (or pesto if you have it), until very tender. Make a sandwich with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella and basil. This is also good with strip or skirt steak: grill meat until medium-rare, then slice and salt.

87. Grilled quesadilla (simple): Fill a flour tortilla with queso fresco, Monterey Jack or Cheddar; add chicken, shrimp and/or tomato. Fold and grill until cheese melts.

88. Grilled quesadilla (not as simple): Grill and strip corn from the cob; grill red-onion slices and chop them. Combine both with chili powder and bind with a tiny bit of mayo or yogurt. Put between two flour tortillas with cheese and grill. Serve with grilled lime wedges.

89. A different kind of Cuban sandwich: Grill pork steaks (best from the shoulder, about half-inch thick). Put on baguette spread with well-seasoned mashed black beans, queso fresco, chopped red onion (grilled or not), cilantro and lime juice.

90. Grill pork steaks as above; grill red onions. Slice the meat, chop the onions, toss with thinly sliced apples and roll in lavash bread or stuff in pita with yogurt-dill dressing. You can use the meat as an accent, or as the dominant ingredient.

91. Grill sweet Italian sausage and some figs. Combine on a toasted hot dog bun; mustard is optional.

92. Grill split kielbasa or chorizo (the Spanish type). Serve in buns, filled with chopped Manchego and mayo spiked with pimentón. Some chopped dried apricots would be good, too.


93. An idea whose time has come: Halve and grill peaches, nectarines or apricots. Brush with barbecue sauce or, if you want to be sophisticated, a mixture of bourbon, sugar and mint, or simple syrup laced with basil.

94. An idea whose time will come in September: Halve and grill pears or apples. When they’re done, drizzle with yogurt, honey and a pinch of cardamom.

95. Grilled fruit salad, and why not? Toss grilled watermelon (really good), peaches, plums, pineapple and kiwi with honey, a little salt, lemon juice and tarragon (not much), chervil, basil or mint (or a combo).

96. Cut grapefruit in half. Sprinkle with brown sugar; grill, cut-side down. You might top this with chopped pistachios or a little honey.

97. Grilled shortbread or poundcake (store-bought is totally fine) topped with grilled fruit sauce, strawberries in sugar, yogurt, ice cream, whatever.

98. Grilled angel food cake or poundcake (again, store-bought is fine) topped with Nutella, chocolate sauce, sorbet, etc.

99. Grilled s’mores: Put graham crackers (or other good quality flat cookie) on foil, top with marshmallows and chocolate and another cracker. Grill until the chocolate and marshmallow begin to melt.

100. Cut bananas into thick rounds (like scallops almost), char quickly and serve with caramel sauce, brown sugar, vanilla ice cream, Nutella ... whatever.

101. Actually, this is a drink: Skewer green olives, then char them a bit. These would be a good garnish for shrimp, chorizo or anything else. But instead, make yourself a fantastic dirty martini.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sabich (Iraqi-Israeli Eggplant Sandwich)


eggplant, sliced and roasted
hard-boiled egg, sliced
thick pita, warm
amba (Iraqi mango chutney)
tahini (with parsley and lemon juice)
hummus (optional)
salad / greenery / sliced onion

Directions: (or rather, description)

Sabich, served in a pita bread wrap, traditionally contains fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, potato, parsley and amba (a mango pickle). Traditionally it is made with eggs cooked for a long time until the white of the egg becomes brown. Sometimes it is doused with hot sauce and sprinkled with minced onion.

Soya Sauce Chicken


* 3 to 3 1/2 pound chicken
* Sauce:
* 1 cup light soy sauce
* 1 cup dark soy sauce
* 1/2 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
* 1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup Chinese rock sugar
* 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
* 3 whole star anise
* 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn, roasted (see recipe directions for link to roasting peppercorn)
* 1 thick slice fresh ginger, smashed
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 4 cups water

** Mom's variant: add fresh rosemary!

1. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a pot large enough to hold the chicken (I use an 8-quart pot) combine the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sugar, fennel seeds, star anise, roasted Szechuan peppercorn, ginger, cinnamon stick and the water. Bring to a boil.
3. Add the chicken, breast side down. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook the chicken for 45 minutes, turning over once or twice and making sure it cooks for an even amount of time on both sides. Baste the chicken for a minute or more each time you turn it over.
4. After 45 minutes, turn off the heat and the let chicken sit, covered, until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit (about 77 degrees Celsius).
5. Remove the chicken from the pot, cool and cut into bite-sized pieces. Serves 6 – 8 (or 1/2 chicken will serve 4).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fettuccine with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Pears

This recipe puts a spin on a traditional Italian dish with chicken sausage and crunchy sticks of fresh pear. Buon appetito!

* 12 ounces fettuccine pasta
* 1 pound spicy chicken sausage links, cut into ½-inch thick slices
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 ½ cups white wine
* 1 ½ cups red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 Red Anjou USA Pear, cored and cut into matchstick slices
* ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Prepare fettuccine according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté sausage in olive oil until thoroughly cooked and browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.

Add peppers to pan and sauté until slightly tender. Add pears to pan and sauté until heated through but still crisp. Remove peppers and pears and set aside.

Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to boil until reduced by half. Add sausage, peppers, and pears to the wine sauce and toss to coat.

In a large serving bowl, toss the freshly prepared pasta with the sausage mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

preparation time: 30 minutes
yield: Serves 6

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken Mushroom Fried Rice


1/4 cup long grain white Rice (Chawal)
2 tblsp Vegetable oil (Vanaspati)
1 small chopped finely Onion (Pyaj)
2 chopped finely Garlic Cloves (Lasun)
2 seeded and cut into slivers Red chili (Lal Mirchi)
225 gms chopped finely Chicken breast meat
85 gms chopped or cut into matchstick strips Bamboo Shoots
8 dried, soaked for 30 minutes, drained and chopped Chinese Black Mushrooms (Goochi)
2 tblsp dried Shrimps
1 tblsp Fish Sauce
25 Thai Holy Basil Leaves (Tulsi)
Thai Holy Basil Sprig to garnish
As required Salt (Namak)

How to make chicken mushroom rice top:

* Cook rice.
* Heat oil in a wok.
* Combine onion and garlic.
* Cook till golden.
* Stir occasionally.
* Combine chilies and chicken.
* Fry stirring for 2 minutes.
* Stir in bamboo shoots, mushrooms, dried shrimps, fish sauce and salt.
* Stir continously 2 minutes.
* Combine in the rice and basil.
* Stir well.
* Garnish with basil sprig.
* Serve hot.