Ginger Ricotta Naan Toasts with Balsamic Figs and Lentils

Ingredients

2 naan flatbreads
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt and ground black pepper, as needed for sprinkling
1 cup baby arugula

Figs and Lentils

3/4 cup dried figs, hard stems removed
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp minced shallots or red onion
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup cooked green lentils

Ricotta

3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme plus more for garnish
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
salt, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Lightly brush the naan flatbreads with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut each naan into 8 pieces. Place the pieces onto a tray and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the pieces are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and reserve.
  3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Pour over the dried figs and allow them to soften for 5 minutes. Drain the water completely and chop the softened figs into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Meltthe butter in a medium pan, add the shallots and sauté until soft. Add the chopped figs, pepper, and thyme. Sauté until lightly golden, then deglaze with balsamic vinegar and simmer until reduced.
  5. Add the cooked lentils and heat through.
  6. Combine the ricotta cheese in a small bowl with thyme and ginger, then season with salt.
  7. To assemble, lay a dollop of the ricotta mixture on top of each piece of naan, spreading the mixture out so that it nearly touches the edges. Lay a few leaves of arugula on top of the ricotta. Add a spoonful of the lentil and fig mixture and garnish each piece with fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 toasts.

Source: Lentils


Today’s Comic

Grilled Halibut with Asparagus and Leeks

Ingredients

4 (7-ounce) skinless halibut fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), well rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

Method

  1. Cook the Leak. Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and olive oil and swirl the pan to melt the butter. Stir in the onions with a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften but do not take on any color.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the leeks, add another pinch of salt, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring often,for about 15 minutes, or until the leeks are translucet.
  4. Add the cream and raise the heat to medium-low. Simmer very gently about 12 minutes, or until the leeks are very tender and the cream has thickened slightly. Season with salt. Cover and keep hot over very low heat.
  5. Prepare the asparagus. Spread the asparagus on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle shallots and paprika, and toss well. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
  6. Cook the halibut. Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat.
  7. Coat the halibut with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the halibut fillets on the grill with the top right corners at the 2-o’clock position. Grill, without moving the halibut, for 4 minutes. (This help give the fillets a good sear of nice grill marks and make it easier move.)
  8. Add the asparagus and grill, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and slightly charred, then transfer to a plate where the fish is ready.
  9. Starting at the corner of the fillet nearest to you, slide a metal spatula under each fillet, and turn it over. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through and all but the very center is opaque when flaked with the tip of a knife. Transfer to a platter.
  10. Divide the leeks among four dinner plates. Top each with a halibut fillet and the asparagus. Add a lemon quarter to each plate and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Curtis Stone – What’s for Dinner


Today’s Comic

Lamb and Raw Green Mangoes

Ingredients

1 lb boneless lamb shoulder
1/4 lb green mangoes
1/3 cup oil
1/2 lb onions
1 teaspoon each ginger and garlic, ground together
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Method

  1. Wash meat, cut into pieces, add all ground spices and salt and set aside.
  2. Heat oil, add sliced onions and fry until light brown.
  3. Remove half of the onions and set aside.
  4. Add meat to the pan with the rest of the onions and fry until meat is brown.
  5. Add 2/3 cup hot water and cook over slow fire until meat is tender.
  6. Peel the green mangoes and cut into strips, about 1/2″ x 2″. Add to the meat and cook seven minutes over slow flame, stirring occasionally. The mangoes should not lose their shape.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mughal Cuisine


Today’s Comic

Five-spice Beef

Ingredients

1-1/2 lb boneless stewing beef, such as chuck or bottom round, trimmed
2 scallions, each tied in a knot
3 slices ginger, smashed with the flat side of a cleaver
4 tablespoons Chinese spirit (Mou Tai) or brandy
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
5 oz rock sugar
1 scallion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil

Method

  1. Cut the beef into 2-3 long strips and place in a clay pot or braising pan with the scallions, ginger, Chinese spirit and stock. Bring to a boil and skim off any impurities. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, soy sauces, five-spice powder and sugar to the beef, return to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Allow the beef to cool in the liquid for 1 hour, then remove, drain, and continue to cool for 3-4 hours.
  4. Just before serving, slice thinly against the grain and sprinkle with the chopped scallion and sesame oil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: The Food of China


Today’s Comic

Mushroom Medley in Potato Curry

Ingredients

1-1/2 lb potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (9 medium cloves)
3 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 Tbsp salt
2-1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp crushed cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
5 cups water
2-1/2 cups buttermilk
6 oz mushrooms, chopped
brown Basmati rice to serve

Method

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are soft but not mushy when pierced with a knife. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.
  2. Once potatoes are cool, use your fingers or a sharp knife to peel off and discard the skins. Roughly mash the potatoes using your fists or a potato masher. (Be sure to leave the potatoes a bit chunky, as you want some texture in the soup.)
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds. Add garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir in ginger and saute for 30 seconds, then add salt, coriander, cayenne and turmeric, and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, stir in potatoes and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the 5 cups of water and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
  5. Pour buttermilk into a large bowl (or the same one in which you kept tie potatoes). To prevent the buttermilk from separating in the soup, use a ladle to spoon about 1-1/2 cups of the hot potato curry into the buttermilk.
  6. Whisk the mixture until it is well combined. Carefully spoon all of the buttermilk into the pot of curry. Using the whisk, mix well and, stirring continuously, bring to a boil on low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: VIJ’s at Home


Today’s Comic