Chicken Dumplings with Cilantro-Za’atar Sauce


8 ounces ground chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy (1 small head)
1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup rice flour
1 (12-ounce) package round wonton wrappers


1 garlic clove, mashed
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 scallion, green part only, finely chopped
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

To Finish

2 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Put the chicken, bok choy, scallion, sambal, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix well.
  2. To make the dumplings, have a small bowl of water with a pastry bush nearby. Lightly dust a baking sheet or platter where you will be placing the filled dumplings with the rice flour. Place 4 wrappers on a clean work surface. Cover unused wrappers with a damp towel or plastic wrap so they will not dry out.
  3. Lightly brush the wrappers with water. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the edges with a bit of water and fold over to make a half-moon. Using your fingers, carefully crimp the sealed edges in a scalloped pattern. Repeat with the remaining 3 dumpling wrappers. Continue this process until all the dumplings are made.
  4. Place the dumplings on the prepared baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook them.
  5. Place the garlic, sambal, almonds, and sesame seeds in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  6. Add the scallion, cilantro, and lime juice to the food processor and blend to a puree. Through the feed tube, pour in the olive oil; add the salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until the sauce has the semismooth consistency of pesto. Add the sesame oil and vinegar and blend. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
  7. To cook the dumplings, place a steamer in the bottom of a large pot. Add 1 to 1-1/2 inches water to the pot. Arrange the dumplings on the steamer, cover, and turn on the heat. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon and taking care not to burn yourself from the hot steam, transfer the dumplings to a platter flat (bottom) side down.
  8. Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Using tongs, transfer the steamed dumplings to the skillet, flat side down, and cook until they are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined platter and continue until all the dumplings are cooked.
  9. Spread the Cilantro-Za’atar Sauce on a platter. Arrange the dumplings on the platter and garnish with the sesame seeds before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: True Food

Indian-style Spiced Okra with Almonds


8 oz okra
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
2 tbsp butter
l tbsp sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
l-inch cube fresh root ginger, grated
l tsp cumin seeds
l tsp ground coriander
l tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim just the tops of the okra stems and around the edges of the stalks. They have a sticky liquid which oozes out if prepared too far ahead, so trim them immediately before cooking.
  2. In a shallow, flameproof casserole, fry the almonds in the butter until they are lightly golden, then remove and set aside.
  3. Add the sunflower oil to the casserole and fry the okra, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and fry gently for a minute, then add the spices and cook for another minute or so, stirring all the time.
  5. Pour in about 1-1/4 cups water. Season well, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or so, until the okra feel just tender.
  6. Finally,mix in the fried almond and serve piping hot.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: Essential Vegetarian

Halibut and Spinach with Orange Pine Nut Vinaigrette


4 (5 to 6 oz) skinless halibut fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
2 (6 oz) bags fresh baby spinach

Orange Pine Nut Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp very fine chopped shallots
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup pine nut, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, honey, tarragon, and orange zest with a fork to combine (but not emulsify). Stir in the pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then add the halibut and cook, without moving it,for about 3 minutes, or until deep golden brown on the underside. Turn the halibut over and cook for about 3 minutes more, or just until it is barely opaque in the center when flaked with the tip of a small knife.Transfer to a plate.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until they just begin to soften.
  4. Add the spinach in batches and stir for about 1 minute, or just until it begins to wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the spinach among four dinner plates. Top each with a fillet.
  6. Spoon the vinaigrette over the fillets and spinach mixture. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: What’s for Dinner

Boiled Egg with Marmite Soldiers


sea salt
1 large free-range egg
1 thin slice of sourdough bread
a knob of butter
a scraping of Marmite
1 tbsp mixed seeds


  1. Bring a small pan of salted water to a simmer. Add the egg and simmer for 4 minutes and 20 seconds for a perfectly boiled egg.
  2. Toast the bread and spread thinly with the butter, then the Marmite spread. Cut the toast into soldiers. Scatter over a few mixed seeds and eat.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Gizzi Erskine

Duck Breast with Spanish Olives and Oranges and Rice Pilaf with Almonds


6 boneless, skin-on duck breast halves (2-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds total)
salt and fleshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives (not pimiento stuffed)
Rice Pilaf with Almonds (recipe follows) for serving


  1. Score the fat covering each duck breast in a diamond pattern without cutting into the meat. Use a very sharp knife and make short cuts to control the knife more effectively. Press down and move the knife slowly back and forth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the skin is dark brown.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, turn, and cook 7 to 8 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a breast registers 140°F for medium-rare.
  4. Pour off excess fat as it accumulates in the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the shallots and pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until softened.
  6. Add the sherry, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add the orange juice and stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
  8. Add the orange segments and any accumulated juice, the olives, and any juices from the duck. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the orange segments and olives are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Cut the duck breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  10. Spoon some of the sauce with the orange segments and olives over the meat and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the pilaf.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds


1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Spread the almonds in a dry skillet. Toast over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion for about 4 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute to coat the rice with oil.
  4. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick, stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the toasted almonds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Lobel’s Prime Cuts