Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cherry Basil Salad

I had an exhausting day today, editing writing all day, so when I came home I wanted to make something easy and yummy. We had some leftover pasta sauce, so I wanted to make a salad to accompany. Then I remembered we have cherries and a yummy salad I had at Whole Foods.

I tossed some mesculan greens, with some cherries that I pitted, and some basil. For dressing a little lime juice and olive oil!

A nice refreshing summer salad. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Smoked Paprika Shrimp

Last night we felt like having a homemade dinner after a weekend of fun and eating out, but I also had some work to do so I needed something easy.
- 2 packs of grape tomatoes
- a bunch of basil
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- pinch of smoked paprika
- red chilli pepper flakes
- pimente d'espellete (could use cayenne)
- linguini
- 1 lb shrimp cleaned and deveined
- leftover wine in a box (rose wine)
- parmesean cheese 

I had a bunch of grape tomatoes, of all different varieties, I laid them out on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt and left them in the middle rack of the oven roasting at 250celsius for 2 hours. During that time I did the work I had to do.

Then when the were almost done, I put on salted water to boil the linguini.  Then in a large 2 inch pan, I placed finely chopped garlic, and sautéed it in olive oil then adding the pinch of smoked paprika, red chilli flakes and piment d'espellete. If you choose to use cayenne because it can be really spicy. I then added the shrimp and tossed them into the spiced oil for about 2 minutes, not fully cooking them. Then I transferred the tomatoes from the oven tray to the pan. They were starting to stick to the pan, and I didn't want to add more oil, so I added a 1/4 cup of rose wine we had leftover in the fridge, and covered the pan to allow the shrimp and tomatoes to cook. You want the tomatoes to pop and explode under the light pressure of a fork, but otherwise appearing whole. Then I added chopped basil, grated pamesean and a little salt to my taste and removed from heat. 
I then added the linguini to the boiling water. The package said to cook for 11 minutes but I cooked for 9. After cooking for 9 minutes, I drained the pasta and added it to the sauce and let the whole thing cook on a low simmer for about 2 minutes. This helps to ensure the pasta absorbs the sauce and is perfectly al dente. 
I transferred to a bowl, added some freshly ground black pepper, and some coarse salt, and little parmesean.
It was the perfect home cooked meal after a weekend of bar crawling and camping. The two hours of roasting was great because it allowed me the time to do some work, and the rest of the assembly time was probably about 20 minutes. (I cooked the pasta while cooking the sauce, but for was of recipe writing did not write it that way, but that saves time!)
No picture sorry, but it was pretty!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The upside of being married to hot headed Persian Girl

So I worked all weekend... And had a bit of a rough day, and when I get mad one of my big ways to vent is to cook. Frittata is one of my favorite things to cook when I am in a bad mood because somehow all that veggie chopping makes me relaxed! Call me nuts, but my hubby sure benefits from it!

So I looked in my fridge this morning and saw I had half a red pepper, plenty of eggs, plenty of red onions, and some black trumpet and oyster mushrooms.
So I started by dicing two red onions, and dicing the peppers, cut up the mushrooms, and sautéed then in olive oil and spiced them with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Once the veggies were cooked, I removed them from the heat.

I then cracked 10 eggs in a separate bowl and shredded some parmesan cheese into the bowl, and added salt and pepper. I then whisked the eggs thoroughly.

I placed a layer of the veggies into a lightly greased mini loaf baking dish (it has separate mini loaves, but one could use a muffin dish). After placing the vegetables in I poured the egg mixture on top to fill each slot, grated a little more cheese on top and garnished with basil! Then baked it all for about 20 minutes at 350!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bone marrow appetizer

So my hubby and I have been sick and unable to eat much for the past few days, but my appetite has come back with a vengeance and all I wanted was something really meaty.
So I went to my local butcher, and they had these beautiful marrow bones

So of course I had to buy them and I made a simple appetizer with them.

I baked the marrow bones as shown at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, then I scooped out the marrow, spread it on some baguette slices, and garnished with some sea salt and thinly sliced raw garlic ramps! It was delicious and satisfied my extreme post illness hunger!

Noosh-e Jaan

Saturday, August 4, 2012

So the other night after my shift, I needed to lift my spirits, so I decided I was going to make some tarragon roast chicken and pasta, but when I got to the grocery store I did not like the chicken they had. They were sold out of thighs and drumsticks and I just didn't feel like breast or whole chicken.... So I found some  delicious looking lamb merguez made by D'artagnan and born was this pasta dish!

- Long ziti (you could use regular or maybe a bucatini)
- shallots (2 small ones I had in the fridge)
-fresh tarragon (one package)
- 1 package of lamb merguez (6 links)
- oyster mushrooms 
- crushed red pepper 
- tomato powder (a random gourmet product I picked up in Olivier and Co, but I don't think a vital ingredient)
- finishing salt
- olive oil

I started by boiling some water with a ton of regular salt in it, and cooked the pasta until al dente (about 9 min).

While the pasta was cooking, I minced the shallots and started to sauté them and about a half tablespoon of crushed red pepper in a large 6 quart sauté pan over medium heat. After the shallots were a little cooked, about 2 min, I chopped up the the lamb sausage and added that to the sauce pan, cooking then until they were almost browned, at that point I added a bunch of sliced fresh oyster mushrooms, and I added about 1 teaspoon of the tomato powder and a little kosher salt to the whole mix and let it all cook until the mushrooms were nice and soft but not too soft! (The tomato powder could be substituted with tomato paste, but if you do this I would use a tablespoon of tomato paste and instead of waiting to add it nearly at the end, I would add the tomato paste to the shallots and crushed pepper initially when you start, so that it gets worked into the oil and makes a nice sauce.)
Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the chopped tarragon, and leave on the heat for like 5-10 seconds, you don't want it to wilt!
Now add the cooked pasta, and mix well, and add a little finishing salt before serving. I served with a persian shirazi salad, which made it extra good! Recipe for shirazi salad is coming!

Noush-e Jaan!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Broccoli with Garlic Sauce

So I worked in the pediatric ER last Friday and Sunday. Sunday night I was wiped out, and when I got home at 11:30 I felt a lymph node that was tender in my neck, and Monday morning I couldn't even wake up I was so sick. I was sick until this morning where I feel okay.
So when I am sick I only want to eat two things: Fresh squeezed orange juice, and Chinese food (specifically wonton soup, broccoli with garlic sauce and general tso's chicken). I really think the combo of OJ and wonton soup can be curative.
So now that I recovered, today I bought some broccoli and made my own version of broccoli with garlic sauce.
2 bunches of broccoli
2 tablespoons of corn starch (organic nonGMO variety/ rapunzel brand)
7 garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup of chicken broth (that's what I had)
A sprinkling of sesame seeds
Sriracha sauce
Safflower oil

In a cup I combined the garlic, brown sugar, corn starch, soy sauce, sesame oil, and the broth. I whipped it until it was smooth.
In a wok I heated the safflower oil and the red chilli flakes, and when the oil is warmed I added the broccoli, let I cook until it was almost cooked, then I added the sauce I made and added sriracha to taste, and let it cook down. At the very end I sprinkled the sesame seeds onto it, and let it cook 10 more seconds and voila!

It was delicious and I plan to take it to work this weekend with some brown rice!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eggs... good for everything

So I love eggs!!!  They are easy, versatile and they take a really long time to go bad (this is a very important quality for me in food, because I never know when I am actually going to have a chance to cook)

So this post is all about eggs!  Three different recipes... 

Shirred Eggs with chervil and goat cheese

This I made this morning for my husband who has feeling a bit rundown.  I happen to be a strong believer that most ailments can be cured with or at least assuaged with a good meal!  So I decided to make him a hearty meal to help bring him a little energy and umph for the rest of the week!

Goat Cheese

This is a super easy recipe.  This is a good one, that you can start, then hop in the shower, and when you get out you can put on the finishing touches.

You butter a small ramekin by just rubbing a stick of butter in it, don't be stingy with the butter, you don't want your eggs sticking to the ramekin.

Crack a whole egg into the ramekin, and salt and pepper it accordingly. 

Put the ramekin in the oven, or a toaster over, set to about 400 on bake.   Let them cook for about 7-10 minutes.  You may need to play around with your oven setting and time. 

After about 7 minutes check on them, if the whites look cooked and the yellow is still soft, you have succeeded.  Top them with a little chopped chervil and grated or diced goat cheese, and then broil the whole thing for another minute or two!  And voila you have shirred eggs. 

They whites taste really baked and fluffy and the yellow is yummy and gooey.

Obviously you can substitute the type of cheese and herb that you use.  You can make your own bacon bits and add those on top.  Also if you can get a bigger ramekin or other baking type stoneware then you can put more than one egg in each dish.

Here is a picture of the finished product

Eshkene (Persian Egg Drop Soup)

This is a great recipe! It is so easy. If you have turmeric in your house, you probably have all the ingredients you need, and it is really hearty.  For those cold winter nights you can eat this for dinner and feel completely satisfied. Its vegetarian, and can be made kosherly as well!  So super easy, super hearty, and for me an ultimate comfort food.


In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat, then mix in some flour and some turmeric to make a turmeric flavored roux.  Now how much butter and how much flour you ask.. in a 4-5 qt sauce pan, I would use about 2 tablespoons butter, 1 heaping tablespoon of flour and one almost full tablespoon of turmeric. Play around with it.  Don't let the roux burn.  Once you have a nice paste, fill your saucepan 3/4 of the way with water, turn the heat to high so that you get a rolling boil.  Add the salt and pepper to taste, while awaiting the mixture to boil.  Once you have a rolling boil, take as many eggs as you like (I would not do more than 4 in 4-5 qt sauce pan), and crack them whole right into the boiling water.  Let it boil for about 4-5 minutes after the last egg is in. Then turn off the heat and take the pot off the stove.

You can scoop out just an egg and eat just the egg, or you can serve it like a soup.  If you served it like soup, after you have eaten all the egg out of the soup, then you can make chilit chilit, which is when you cut up some pita, lavash or other flat bread, soak it in the broth and eat it!  It will warm your soul! This is a really good recipe for vegetarians who want a hearty winter dish. 

Also I am putting a plug in here for turmeric. It is an amazing spice, makes everything taste better, and also has anti-inflammatory properties according to ayurvedics.  In fact turmeric is used to treat all kinds of ailments!  It should really be a staple in all kitchens (clearly my Persian roots, intertwined with my husband's Indian ones do cause some bias here)

Here is the finished product:  Noosh-e-Joon

Last but not least...

Deviled Eggs

I don't know why we don't eat these more often. I feel like they are super elegant, or eggelant :),  and super delicious, and really easy to make.  My recipe is the basics, but you can make so many variants of deviled eggs, and top them with all kinds of goodies, fresh herbs, or homemade bacon bits.... play with them! They are great for parties, and look so nice! I recently made them for a baby shower.

Lemon Juice or White Vinegar

Hardboil your eggs, (remember each egg produces two deviled eggs),  let them cool and them peel them.  If you are having a party, you can always hardboil your eggs the night before. 

Cut each egg in half, and scoop out the yolk, and place it in a separate bowl.  Then cut a tiny sliver off the bottom of each side of the egg white so it can sit flat on a serving tray.   Some people preserve the egg whites for garnish at the end.  You will also mess up on some of the eggs, and so you can keep those egg whites for the garnish.

Once you have cut all your eggs up, and laid them flat of a baking sheet, serving tray or whatever surface you like, then focus on making the filling.  Whip some mayonnaise into the yolks, go slowly and keep tasting until you get a nice fluffy and creamy texture.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  I go slow with the mayonnaise because its always easy to add more, but hard to take it away.

Also another littler disclaimer about mayonnaise. Not all mayonnaise is equal. Most mayonnaise that you buy in the grocery store is made with soy bean oil... which I am convinced will at least harm you if not kill you.  Soy has a lot of phytoestrogens, people with breast cancer are not supposed to eat it, and they say if you are trying to get pregnant you should not eat much of it either. Some say it is linked to polycystic ovarian disease.  Soy beans are also one of the most processed foods in the market.  So check the labels, Hains makes a great safflower oil mayonnaise and there are the french companies that make ones out of olive oil.  Soy is literally in 90% of everything that comes in a package at the grocery store. I love tofu, I love edamame, and soy milk too but I do limit myself. 

Okay back to cooking.  Once you have created the filling to your satisfaction, then put it in a ziploc bag, and snip a tiny little corner of the bottom of the ziploc bag, so that you can fill each egg white individually. Here is a demonstration:

Then finish by garnishing with some paprika, and if you like the chopped egg whites.  So easy and not to mention delicious! 

If you need inspiration for a good deviled egg, go to the Clover Club in Brooklyn and order them there! They garnish theirs so well! If you do go there, you must have the drink the clover club... it is definitely my favorite drink I have ever had!!!

Well I hope you guys try some of these egg recipes!  I am planning to learn some more egg recipes... my next endeavour with eggs will be Shakshuka ... but for now I will just go to the Israeli breakfast place and get it there whenever I am in the mood!

Have an eggcelent day!