Tag Archives: spicy

Lemony garlicky cauliflower

8 Dec

cauliflower lemon & garlicI was preparing a company dinner and didn’t want to have to worry about getting yet another dish heated at the right time but not overcooked , so I pulled out this recipe I clipped from the New York Times a few weeks earlier.

It’s a very tasty marinated cauliflower salad that I served as a vegetable. Be aware that you need to prepare it a day ahead of time so the cauliflower can marinate and all the wonderful flavors can meld.

I didn’t have any whole cumin but I did have whole coriander seeds, so I mushed them up with a mortar and pestle. I threw in a little ground cumin too, just for the taste. The flavors were very good together. I didn’t have fresh basil or dill, and didn’t want to fork out the exorbitant cost to buy it, so I used dried basil, figuring that the ample liquid and long marinating time would soften it sufficiently. Fresh would probably be preferable! Fresh parsley is a must.

If you seed the jalapeno before chopping, it won’t be too hot. If you don’t like a little zing of heat, leave out the red pepper flakes, but I think they add a lot of flavor.

The original recipe called for three-quarters of a cup of olive oil, which I thought sounded like a lot. So I used a half-cup, maybe a little more, and it seemed to work fine. You might have to work a little harder to stir it up so that all the cauliflower florets get coated by the marinade, but you won’t waste as much oil.

Don’t worry if you have leftovers — this will keep for a good several days in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 8 cups)
1 lemon, plus more lemon juice to taste if necessary
1¼ tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste if necessary
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh dill or basil
½ cup chopped parsley leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves finely grated or minced
2 tsp. whole cumin or cracked coriander seeds
Large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Finely grate the zest of the lemon into a large, heatproof bowl, then halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Add the salt and stir to dissolve.

Add the cauliflower florets, jalapeno, scallions, dill or basil and parsley and toss to combine.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil until it is hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and cumin or coriander and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in red pepper flakes, if using.

Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and stir well. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours, to let the flavors mingle.

Toss well before serving, adding more salt and/or lemon juice if necessary. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10

 

Moroccan Chickpea Soup with Couscous

13 Dec

moroccan-chickpea-soup-from-a-cedar-spoonIt had been snowing all day, and the snow seemed almost a foot high  when the hostess of our annual book club potluck dinner called it off. I had just put together a spinach and cabbage salad to bring. What was I going to do with all that? So I put out a call to the other book club members inviting over anyone willing to brave the roads. My friend Char, who was wondering what to do with the huge kugel she had just baked, answered the call.

Char also brought his delicious soup, which came from a blog called A Cedar Spoon (which is where I got the picture too — much nicer than the one I took!). The couscous makes it thick so it’s almost like a stew. It’s perfectly spiced and just the right thing for a snowy winter day. We loved it, and I hope you do too!

Ingredients:

½ cup couscous
3 Tbs. olive oil
½ sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
tsp. paprika
½  tsp. red pepper {cayenne pepper}
¼  tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth {you could use chicken broth}
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup milk, half & half  or unsweetened soymilk
Chopped fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, extra chickpeas and/or lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Cook the couscous according to the package directions.

While the couscous cooks heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and a dash of salt and continue to sauté until the vegetables become soft. Add the spices and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and chickpeas and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk or soymilk and stir well. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put half the soup into a large mixing bowl and puree using an immersion blender or a blender. Return the pureed soup back into the soup pot and mix well.

Divide the couscous into soup bowls and ladle the soup on top. Garnish with {fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper, lemon wedges and/or extra chickpeas.

Serves 8 to 10

 

Indian Fish Curry

28 Apr

fish curryThis came from a friend, Elaine Stein, who got it from allrecipes.com and modified it slightly, using a little less cayenne pepper and adding the green beans, which is a great idea. Even with this amount of cayenne it was plenty spicy, so if you don’t like it hot, use just a dash of cayenne. I added the suggestion of using parsley for garnish if you like, instead of cilantro, which many people don’t really like.

The recipe looks complicated but it’s really not.

Ingredients:

Marinade:
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¾ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1½ Tbs. canola oil
4 fillets firm white fish (cod works well), about 1½ lb.)

Paste:
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely shopped
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
20 raw cashew pieces
1 Tbs. oil

Spices (mix in a small dish):
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Sauce:
½ cups chopped tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable broth or water
½ lb green beans, cut in half
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Directions:

Mix the mustard, black pepper, salt and oil in a zip-lock bag and add the fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the onions, garlic, ginger and cashews in a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. Heat the 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and stir-fry the paste for1 to 3 minutes. Add the spice mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth or water and heat through.

Layer the fish in a greased baking dish, top with the green beans and then sauce. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with cooked basmati rice.

Serves 4