Archive for May, 2013

Raita – A small batch


1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 a cucumber, peeled, sliced or grated
pinch of cumin
pinch of coriander
pinch of chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped mint, parsley, or coriander
salt & pepper

Mix everything together and serve with your favorite Indian dishes.


May 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

Chopped Liver – A small batch


Traditionally this recipe uses rendered chicken fat, known as gribenes or schmaltz. It’s not something I have readily on hand, so I use plain old oil.

1/2 pound liver, either chicken or beef
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled, and diced
1 slice hearty bread, diced (I prefer rye)
salt and pepper

Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat
season raw liver with salt and pepper
brown the liver on both sides, about 3 minutes for each side
remove from pan and set aside

Brown the onions in the dirty pan
add more oil if needed

In a food processor add all the ingredients and pulse for about 30 seconds, or until the desired consistency is achieved. More oil may be needed to loosen up the chopped liver.

Salt and pepper to taste
chill for about 2 hours

May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

My attempt at vertical gardening


So I thought I had this really great original idea. Well, in the end, not such much. But I’m giving it a try just the same.

I have a very small garden, and most of that is always in shade. I thought I’d take advantage of the one unused and sunny spot by planting a small vertical garden using a dollar-store shoe bag attached to the basement stair railing. Not growing a lot, some herbs, lots of lettuce, a few patio-variety tomato plants, strawberries, snow peas, and one tiny Thai chili plant. My biggest concern is not yield, it’s forgetting to water on a regular basis, once the novelty has worn off.

I’m already having thoughts of making a pasta and scallop dish using all those wonderful tiny tomatoes come July!

May 8, 2013 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Masala Dosa – A small batch


The dosa is Southern India’s answer to a pancake or crepe, they are typically stuffed, and eaten for breakfast. The batter is made primarily of ground urad dal and rice, and though I give the directions below for a scratch version, mixes are readily available online or at your local Indian grocer, if you are lucky enough to have one.

3/4 cup dry rice
1/4 cup dry urad dal, skinless
1/4 small onion

The day before…
begin by soaking the urad dal and rice in two separate container covered with several inches of water. Cover and allow the bowls to sit out at room temperature at least overnight and up to one day.

The next morning…
drain and rinse the rice and dal
using a food processor grind the two together into a paste
add the onion and salt
and continue to grind
add water slowly until you get a smooth creamy and slightly thin batter
continue to grind the batter in the processor until you can rub it between your fingers and the grit remaining should be a little finer than cream of wheat

1 large potato, peeled, cubed, and cooked until fork tender (russets are recommended)
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green chili, minced (or chili powder to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon garam masala (or prepared curry powder)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
oil for sautéing

Heat the oil over medium heat
add the mustard and cumin seeds until they begin to pop
add the onion, garlic and chili
sauté for a couple minutes
add the ground cumin and coriander
gently stir in the cubed potatoes
add the turmeric, garam masala, chopped cilantro and mix well
add a about 1/4 cup of water and mix well
salt and pepper to taste

The Masala Dosa
Heat a well-oiled medium non-stick pan over high heat
reduce heat
pour 1/3 cup of batter into the center of the pan, like a crepe, work quickly swirling the batter outwards into a very thin flat pancake. (don’t be overly concerned about holes or getting it perfectly round, just focus on spreading it thin. Use a rubber scraper to move the batter if you feel more comfortable)

Cook the dosa until the underside is golden brown and the top is no longer glossy. This will only take a few minutes and do not flip the dosa. (If your dosa seems a little thick, too chewy, or not quite crispy enough, blend the batter again and add a little more water.)

Remove the dosa from the pan and fill with several tablespoons of the prepared potato filling and a little squeeze of sriracha for more heat, if you like that. Roll up and serve immediately with your favorite chutney.

Makes 6

May 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

Chocolate Syrup

chocolate syrup

This is not hot fudge, and yes, there is a difference. A teaspoon or two makes great chocolate milk.

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve cocoa powder with water in a saucepan
heat through
add the sugar, and stir to dissolve
boil for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly

Be careful, do not step away, or let it get too hot, it WILL boil over!

Add the salt and the vanilla
let cool and pour into a clean glass jar

This recipe make two cups
store in the refrigerator

May 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

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