Author Archive

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panko-crusted mustard-thyme roast chicken thighs

March 18, 2019

Easy weeknight chicken! What could be better? I’m including the original, from epicurious, and my own (way better) crispy-skinned version!

MY VERSION:
– preheat oven to 450
– rub chicken thighs with black pepper
– on the stovetop, brown chicken thighs on a smokin’ hot cast iron, skin-side down, til the skin is crispy
– flip thighs, sprinkle with thyme and a little bit of salt, and place in oven til done (about 25 min for small thighs)
– remove thighs, put smoking hot cast iron onto the stovetop on medium heat, and add white wine and mustard to deglaze the pan, maybe some thyme to taste.
– turn off heat, add fresh lemon juice to taste, and pour pan sauce out into another container so the acidity doesn’t mess with your cast iron. serve chicken with pan sauce. great served with a honey mustard dressed salad, or some roasted veggies like orange carrots with tahini drizzle, or even just toss potatoes in the pan sauce and roast them on the side! also great with veggies sautéed in tarragon mustard citrus butter.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:
•3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
•4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
•1/4 cup Dijon mustard
•2 tablespoons thyme leaves, plus 3 sprigs
•8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry
•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
•1 pound medium carrots, scrubbed, cut into 3″ pieces, halved lengthwise if thick
•2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place a rack in highest position in oven; preheat to 450°F. Place panko in a small bowl. Mash butter, mustard, and thyme leaves in another small bowl with a fork (it will be a little lumpy). Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up a rimmed baking sheet and smear all over skin side of thighs. Working with 1 piece at a time, firmly press chicken, skin side down, into panko so crumbs adhere. Place back on baking sheet skin side up.
Arrange carrots and thyme sprigs around chicken and drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and bake until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked though, 25–30 minutes.
Heat broiler. Broil chicken and carrots just until panko is golden brown and carrots are tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour pan juices over top.

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first recipe adapted by friedsig from the second recipe, which is by epi and bon appetit

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I found the panko crust didn’t get crispy and brown, even when I broiled the thighs for six or seven minutes. My version is way better! You still get that nice mustard and thyme flavor, with a little more depth of flavor from the wine and lemon. Also, instead of the carrots absorbing all that great chicken fat, you get a huge quantity of pan sauce and you can use that to flavor a ton of different roasted veggies throughout the week! Try the Bon Appetit version if you want, but if you want a nice crispy skin, try my version! Tagged “rotation” because I make this all the time.

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khandeshi dal (Indian Maharashtrian coconut lentils)

March 11, 2019

This lentil recipe is from Khandesh, a region in Maharashtra (the second most populous state in India.) You’ll want to add this coconut masala to everything

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2 tablespoons whole green moong dal
2 tablespoons pink masoor dal
2 tablespoons split toor dal
2 tablespoons split white urad dal
2 tablespoons chana dal
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
cooking oil, as required
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
3 teaspoon lemon juice
salt, to taste
coriander/cilantro leaves, to taste

pakka masala recipe:
1/4 cup dry coconut (kopra), grated
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1.5 tablespoon coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
3 Kashmiri dry red chillies
3 cloves (laung)
2 cardamom (elaichi) pods
1 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
3 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic

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make the pakka masala:

Heat the oil in a wide pan. Add grated coconut (I used thin strips of dried coconut instead of shredded) and sliced onions, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add dry red chillies, coriander cumin powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and black peppercorn. Sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes on low-medium flame.

Add garlic and sauté on medium flame for few seconds. Turn off the stove. Let it cool down completely.

Once cooled, blend in a mixer or in a blender to a smooth powder/paste and keep it aside.

make the dal:

soak dal for a half-hour or more.

cook on stove, or, pressure cook dal and moong with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.

Add 1/2 of the prepared masala powder/paste into dal, mix well and keep it aside.

For tempering, heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the dry red chillies and bay leaf. Sauté on medium flame.

Add the prepared dal mixture, mix well and cook. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, and stir continuously.

Add some more masala paste to taste. Add lemon juice and adjust the salt accordingly.

Cook on low flame for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Garnish with some chopped cilantro (optional) and serve immediately.

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from Archana’s Kitchen

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Really fantastic! I used the leftover masala paste in stew, spread on the inside of a grilled cheese, mixed into cornmeal mush… I want to keep a jar of this stuff just to season my food throughout the week! The masala paste is similar to this Goan coconut sauce. Can’t wait to mess around with the ingredients and turn this into an herb-based hot sauce this summer!

This is one of my favorite recipes for dal, along with my favorite gujarati dal, and maybe dal makhani.

If you like caramelized onions and coconut and spice, give this a try!

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eight treasure congee (八宝粥)

March 5, 2019

If you want something warm, thick, and comforting – something that will stick to your ribs and keep you full – you’re in the right place. It’s -20F with wind chill here right now, and this was amazing at making me feel better when I got off my bicycle and cuddled up alone under a blanket. It’s like a warm hug from a friend!

•1/2 cup (120 ml) glutinous rice
•2 tablespoons forbidden rice
•2 tablespoons barley (or brown rice)
•2 tablespoons dry red beans (or mung beans)
•1/8 cup (30 ml) raw cashews (or peanuts, or lotus seeds)
•1/8 cup (30 ml) coarsely chopped raw pecans (or walnuts, or chestnuts)
•6 to 10 dried Chinese jujubes (or dried Longan, rinsed) (I used 2 large dates)
•2 tablespoons raisins
•8 to 10 cups of water
•sugar or honey to taste (optional)
•Chinese five-spice powder to taste (optional)

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Soak dry glutinous rice, forbidden rice, barley, dry red beans, peanuts, and pecans in water overnight.

The next morning, add the water into a big pot, boil the water, and then add all ingredients (minus the sweetener).

Lower heat to a simmer. Leave pot open a crack to let some steam out. Stir regularly.

Cook for an hour or so. Add sweetener and serve.

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recipe by Maggie Zhu at Omnivore’s Cookbook and barely adapted by friedsig

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I added the Chinese five-spice powder because I wanted to keep the sugar low. The original calls for 1/4 c rock sugar, but I probably cut it to between a teaspoon and tablespoon of sugar. It was still a bit bland for my taste, so I would say the Chinese five-spice powder is mandatory if you’re cutting the sugar. However, I left five-spice optional in the recipe in case you are making this for someone who is feeling unwell or picky. I think this would be an amazing soft food for someone recovering from nausea, as it’s filling and a complete protein, with no irritating ingredients. Leave a comment and let me know if this helped cure a hangover or some food poisoning!

The original recipe says it’s a special food for a festival. For me, it’s a perfect breakfast and midnight snack. Naturally sweet (from the black rice and nuts,) and filling enough to keep you full for a while. I even had it as a side with dinner! The next night, I drizzled it with honey and had it for dessert! Flexible and healthy. A great porridge that I will definitely be making again.

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sweet potato julius (orange creamsicle smoothie)

February 25, 2019

1 cup almond milk or other milk
1 medium sweet potato, baked whole
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 Medjool date, or more to taste, pitted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
Dash of ground cinnamon

blend everything on a high/smoothie setting; serve with ice

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recipe adapted by friedsig from mckel hill via epicurious

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Much closer to liquid sweet potato pie than an orange julius. This recipe was definitely strange. I used the one orange the recipe called for, but the sweet potato flavor far overwhelmed the orange flavor. Next time, I’ll use 2 oranges. The recipe called for 1 t vanilla, but I used 1/2t. The vanilla flavor was detectable but maybe a little too subtle. I think next time I’ll use 3/4t. It was sweet enough without extra honey or other sweetener. I was hoping for a creamsicle, but instead it tasted like a sweet potato pie smoothie. I definitely didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it, either. A good use for leftover baked sweet potatoes. I’ll make it again some time that I am craving a smoothie in the middle of the winter when the only ripe fruit are citrus.

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soy-cured eggs and rice (tamago kake gohan / tamago no shoyu-zuke)

February 19, 2019

Today, I am sharing one of the breakfasts I eat regularly. It’s one of the fastest and most satisfying breakfasts I know. Pure comfort.

ingredients

fresh or leftover rice
raw egg yolk, or soy-cured egg (see below for recipe)
splash of soy sauce
seaweed flakes, or roasted seaweed (optional)
splash of leftover miso soup (optional)
sesame seeds or Japanese rice seasoning blend (optional)

process

Heat rice. Add rice to bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the rice and mix til fluffy. Eat.

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soy-cured egg

Soft-boil eggs. Peel. Sit them in a water/soy sauce/sugar for some number of hours. If you want them sooner, heat the marinade before curing eggs. These look beautiful when finished, like a tea egg or other pickled egg.

from rasa malaysia

soy-cured egg yolks

Rest egg yolks in soy sauce/tamari, mirin/sake, and a pinch of sugar for some number of hours. (8? 12? Does it matter? Just depends how strong of a tamari flavor you want.)

from wild greens and sardines

ham dan / salt-cured egg yolks for grating (!)

Rest whole eggs in a blend of salt and sugar. You can add dried onion or garlic for flavor. Ensure yolks are completely covered in the mixture. Chill in fridge for four days, turning often. Brush off excess seasoning and gently dunk into water. Finish curing on your oven’s lowest setting for an hour or two, or in a dehydrator. This method of preserving egg yolks allows them to be kept unrefrigerated for up to a month.

from bon appetit; more info at taste cooking

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tagged “rotation” because I eat this absolutely all the time. Haven’t tried the salt-cured yolks, but the tamari-cured yolks and tamari-cured whole eggs are delicious. A nice way to mix up your savory breakfast routine!

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potluck dal (vegan creamy red lentil and apple stew)

February 14, 2019

This is a great dish to bring for a vegan potluck with picky people. Not spicy, not curry – just sweet and hearty.

1.5 Tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 – 1.5+ tsp. cayenne pepper (i used 3/4t and it was mild)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. garam masala
½ large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 large apple (unpeeled), pref sour/green apple, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1½ cups red lentils
1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
fresh lime juice, to taste
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Plain yogurt, cilantro leaves, and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (for serving)

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Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and apple; stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add lentils and stir to coat. Stir in coconut milk and 2½ cups vegetable stock or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely soft and dal is thick, 20–25 minutes. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Divide dal among bowls and top with yogurt and cilantro.

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recipe adapted by friedsig and originally written by bon appetit

To be honest, I’m crazy about Gujarati dal and other lentil dishes that balance sour and spicy with sweet, and this one is definitely more sweet. I think this would be a great start for people who think they could never like Indian food because they can’t handle spicy. If you’re feeding people who would find the curry leaves and mustard seeds of a Gujarati dal or a panchkuti dal to be too far outside their comfort zone, and the cream and butter in dal makhani to be overwhelming, this coconut-apple-ginger lentil dish is a good bet. It’s also good for someone who is recovering from sickness, as it’s a soft food with medicinal spices like turmeric and ginger, and sweetened naturally with apple and coconut.

No added processed sugars, totally vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free – definitely on the healthy side. Cut down the coconut milk to make it low-fat and lower in sugars – I used about half the can, and it was still sweet. You can’t specifically taste the apple in it. It’s meant to add a naturally sour and sweet kick. If you’re diabetic, use lemon juice instead of the apple. This one is maybe not the most authentic Indian dal recipe, but definitely a keeper for cooking for kids or other picky eaters. I’m calling it potluck dal because I think this is the best lentil recipe to bring to a potluck of picky eaters.

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meatless wild rice and mushroom “meatballs”

February 5, 2019

A long-time quest for the perfect veggie burger or vegetarian meatball recipe led me to vegetarian Swedish meatballs by Pinch of Yum.

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meatballs

2 cups cooked wild rice
1 heaping cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (can omit salt, since most packaged breadcrumbs are salted – I added around 1/4 t salt and it was still too salty)

The recipe came accompanied with a Swedish meatball sauce. I tried it, and found it really bland. I recommend adding some herbs, which I included here in this adaptation:

2-3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder and/or garlic powder
2-3 tablespoons flour
enough vegetable broth or chicken stock to thin, ~1 cup
~1/4 – 1/2 c plain yogurt or sour cream, to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
1/8 t sage
1/8 t thyme

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recipe by a pinch of yum and adapted by friedsig

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The gravy is bland – sorry, Sweden! – so kick it up with some herbs or spices if you decide to make it. Otherwise, you might want to serve this with some gravy that has some actual flavor. (Even a decent vegan gravy has more flavor than an unseasoned white gravy!)

My favorite vegan meatballs? I think the winner is still these white bean based vegetarian buffalo “meatballs”. These wild rice “meatballs” have a kind of a meaty bite, since wild rice and mushrooms have a bit of chew to them. However, the buffalo meatballs’ white bean base make them more filling. If you want something that holds together, looks kinda funky, and has a nice chew, you can try these wild rice meatballs. Otherwise, check out buffalo “meatballs”.