Archive for April, 2012

Turkish Delights

Aka Lokum, a candy that originated in Turkey in the 1700’s. Many of us were introduced to the candy while reading “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S Lewis. The White Witch tempts Edmund, with Turkish Delight. I love these and indulge when ever I find them. They are a sophisticated, subtly-flavored gummi treat.

I guess I’d have to call this a cheaters version, not that anything about candy making is easy or simple. This was my third attempt, and I can happily report a success. This recipe uses gelatin, not the traditional use of sugar brought to the firm/hard ball stage, as the solidifier.

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flavored extract (citrus, rose, or nut are traditional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
pinch of salt
chopped nuts (optional)
food coloring (optional)

Mix gelatin, sugar and salt in a large heavy pot (I use a larger pot because the sugar/water mixture will expand and can overflow in a smaller sized pan)
add water (do not stir, just let the sugar melt into the water)
bring to a slow boil, and then simmer without stirring for 15 minutes
remove from heat, stir in juice, flavoring, coloring, and/or nuts
pour into an oiled 8-inch square pan

Cover with plastic wrap and chill well, even overnight

Invert onto cutting board, and cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch squares
toss in confectioners’ sugar, coating well
once coated, let the sugar get a little hard or crunchy, before putting them away

Store in an air-tight container

April 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Chicken Tagine – A small batch

aka Tajine, a dish from North Africa, that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is traditionally cooked.

oil for sautéing
1 clove garlic, grated
1 chicken breasts, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 carrots, sliced (or any vegetable you like)
6 or so pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup chicken stock, or water
salt and pepper

Spice blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
a pinch of cinnamon

All measurements are approximations

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot
season meat with salt and pepper
brown chicken
add onions, carrots, and garlic, cook until somewhat browned
add spice blend, stir and heat through
add stock or water
add prunes and raisins, stir
cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes

Season to taste and serve over a bed of prepared couscous, with a condiment of chutney or harissa.

I’m certain an all-vegetable version would be delicious and well worth the effort. One day I’ll give it a go.

April 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm Leave a comment

Mussels

… in Thai Red Curry Sauce

1 bag of mussels
1  5 ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
sprinkling of basil
oil for sauteing

Heat oil in a large pot
add curry paste and heat through for about a minute
add the solid part of the coconut milk and allow to melt and combine well with curry paste
add the coconut water, stir
add fish sauce and sugar, stir
add mussels, place lid on pot, hold tightly and shake to coat well
steam on medium high for approximately 5 minutes
shake well again and serve

Note: I’m going to leave this post title generic, so I can add other recipes for other sauces at a later date, keeping them all in one place.

April 12, 2012 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

Shrimp Scampi – A small batch

1/2 pound large shrimp, thawed, shelled, and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup white wine or stock
a pinch red pepper flakes
a splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat a sauté pan on high
reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter
once the butter melts, foams up and subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes
sauté for a minute, or until you see the edges of some of the garlic just beginning to brown

As the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp to the pan
then add the white wine and stir to combine and coat the shrimp with the butter, oil, and wine
spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to the highest setting and let the wine boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes

Turn the shrimp over, and boil the wine for another minute
remove from the heat, add the parsley and toss to combine
add the lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Serve alone, with crusty bread, over pasta, or over rice

April 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

Fennel and Orange Salad

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved
2 blood oranges, supremed, reserving the juice (actually, any variety of orange works)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
salt and pepper

Arrange fennel and orange on a plate
sprinkle with nuts and a few fennel fronds

Mix reserved orange juice, oil, salt, and pepper
pour over fennel and orange

April 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment


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