Jaime’s Lamb Stuffed Onions

3 large yellow onions

1/4 C sherry or other dry white wine

1 T butter

1 cup cooked rice

8 oz fresh ground lamb or lamb sausage

1 T minced garlic

1T minced fresh mint

1T minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper

1/2 teaspoon Za’atar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375. Halve onions across equator, peel and place cut side down in greased roasting pan.  Drizzle with melted butter and wine.  Bake until just tender, 15-20 minutes.  Let cool slightly and then remove the inner layers of the onion (melon baller is great for this) leaving the outer 3 layers intact.  Slice very thin layer off rounded bottom if necessary to help stay upright.

Turn oven up to 450 F. Mince enough of the left-over onion insides to make about 1/2 cup. Mix with remaining ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.  Lightly salt and pepper insides of onion, fill with mixture (do not fill too tightly or too tall) and put into roasting pan. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes until sausage is cooked through (use knife to peek into sausage  mixture on one- if still pink, cook a big more).  

Le Cheval Carrot Chowder

Our son is *completely* obsessed with the soup we get from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Le Cheval.  We managed to get a staffer to give us the ingredients and then I tinkered around and re-created it.  Here it is.

1/2 pound carrots, finely shredded

1 small onion, chopped

4 cups chicken stock

4 T butter, divided in half

2 T flour

2 T cornstarch

1/2 T garlic powder

1 T fish sauce

1 T sugar

Make a roux by melting 2 T butter and adding 2 T flour and stirring until thick and not smelling like raw flour.  Add 1/4 water to 2T cornstarch, stir and let sit. 

Melt 2 T butter and add onion, cooking until translucent.  Add chicken stock and blend with immersion blender (or leave it if you like it chunky).   Add roux and cornstarch and stir until smooth (I used the immersion blender again).  Add fish sauce, sugar and garlic powder and stir (or blend).  Add carrots and let simmer another 5 minutes or so until texture is to your liking.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Stuffed Onions

From “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Ingredients

Onions:

  • 4 large onions
  • 1 2/3 cup veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Pomegranate molasses
  • salt and pepper

Stuffing:

  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 C finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 C short grain rice like Arborio
  • 1/4 C pine nuts, crushed
  • 2T fresh mint, chopped
  • 2T flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 t dried mint
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t ground clove
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 4 lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions:

Peel and cut about 1/4 incho off tops and tails of onions.  Place in large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to boil, cook for 15 mins.  Drain and set aside to cool down. 

Stuffing: Heat olive oil in medium frying pan over medium-high heat and add shallots.  Saute for 8 mins, stirring often, then add all remaining ingredients except lemons wedges.  Turn heat to low and cook and stir for 10 minutes.

Once onions have cooled, take small knife and cut from top to root, running all the way to the center of the onion, but not all the way through to the other side, so each layer of onion has one slit in it.  Start separating the layers of onion from each other and pile them in a bowl or plate.  It’s okay if they tear a little.

Pick up one layer of onion and place in the palm of your cupped hand.  Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of stuffing at one end of the layer and roll up the onion around the filling tightly, like you’re rolling up a carpet.  Place in a medium frying plan with a lid, seam side down.Continue stuffing onion pieces and lay each packet of stuffed onion side by side in the pan with as little space in between as possible.  Fill in any spaces with pieces of onion that couldn’t be stuffed/rolled.

Add stock until onions are 3/4 covered, add pomegranate molasses and season with 1/4 t salt.  

Cover pan and cook on lowest possible simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until liquid has evaporated.  Serve warm or room temp, with lemon wedges if you like. 

Yield: 

Makes about 16 stuffed onions, serves 4

Tweaks:

Cooked in pressure cooker for 9 minutes at 1st level of pressure, but too much liquid was left, so moved to big saute pan with lid and simmered for at least 1 hr, until sauce was syrupy. 

Notes:

Really had trouble understanding directions with onions until I saw a photo.  Was used to stuffing onions by hollowing out middle and putting things inside, not taking layers apart and rolling each layer up.  

Review:

Very sweet and sour, not super savory.  Could be amazing with ground lamb/beef in the filling. If skipped pomegranate molasses would be more savory, but makes it interesting. 

Difficulty:

Hard

Rating:

3.5

Indian Kale and Chickpea Stew

From Emeril’s Table

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole yellow-mustard seeds
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or canned low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 pound kale, stems removed, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup julienned red bell pepper, for garnish

Directions

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat ghee over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and yellow mustard seeds and cook for 1 minute longer. Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, vegetable broth, kale, and salt and increase heat to medium-high. As soon as stew begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in coconut milk and cook for 15 minutes longer.

Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and red bell pepper.

Yield

4-6 servings

Tweaks

Used fingerling potatoes and doubled chickpeas (halved recipe but didn’t want to have to find another use for half a can of chickpeas).

Notes

Definitely more a stew than a soup.  Not a lot of liquid so don’t store mixed with rice or noodles overnight or you’ll have a very dry dish.  Served with rice noodles. Didn’t serve with cilantro and bell pepper and think it would have added a nice dimension.

Review

Nice simple Asian-style dish.  Nothing to write home about but good. I’d probably make again if I had the ingredients lying around and was looking for something to do with them.

Difficulty

Medium

Rating

3.5

Shaker Lemon Pie

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Adapted from Tartine

Pie Dough for Double Crust in a 10” Tart Pan

  • 1 ½ t. salt
  • 1 ½ t. sugar
  • ½ cup water, very cold
  • 3 cups + 2 T. all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold- divided into ¼ cup (half stick) and ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) portions
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) trans fat free vegetable shortening


If making dough: In separate bowl, dissolve salt and sugar in water.  In mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle, add flour and ¼ cup butter-  cut in small pieces, and shortening.  Mix well, until butter and shortening are coating most of the flour and there are hardly any chunks left.  Cut remaining butter into slices 1/8” thick and add to flour mixture and mix until this butter is in large chunks.  Add water mixture, all at once.  Mix just long enough to get all of the water incorporated.  At this point, there should still be some small chunks of butter visible in the dough- do not overmix- these pieces are what help the dough become flaky.  Form dough into two equal balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.  This dough can also be made the day before, or up to 3 days in advance.

Whole Lemon Filling

  • 2 medium Meyer lemons, chilled (regular lemons can be  used, but please see note* below)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Eggwash

  • 1 egg, dash salt, dash sugar, dash cream or milk


Slice the lemons very thin, discarding any seeds and also the thick ends of the lemons.  Place the sliced lemons in a stainless steel or glass bowl (non-reactive bowl, due to the acidity of the lemons).  (HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING MANDOLINE! Or freeze lemons for 30 mins- makes it easier to cut thinly) Add sugar to lemons and toss to coat.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for an hour.

*If using regular lemons, slice and put in bowl with sugar as described, and allow to sit for 12 hours before using.

Roll out one round of dough to line the inside of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Leave about 1 ½ inches overhang.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and salt, add to the lemon mixture and mix thoroughly.  Pour the entire contents into the lined tart pan and move the lemon pieces around to distribute evenly.  Cover tart with second rolled out round of pastry and trim overhang of both bottom and top crusts, then crimp the edges the same as you would a pie, using whatever crimping technique you prefer.  (I like to roll both crusts under, together at the same time, to give a good seal, then crimp edges decoratively).  Put the assembled pie into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, to get it nice and cool, which aids in creating a better crust.  While the pie is chilling, preheat the oven to 350˚.


For an egg wash, whisk together one egg, a dash of salt, and a dash of sugar, along with a dash of milk or cream.   Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash over top of crust, being careful to not let it run down sides (it will cause the tart to stick to the pan later).  Cut some decorative slits in the top crust.  Place tart on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.  Bake on a rack slightly below the center of the oven until filling is bubbly and crust is golden, about 40 minutes.  If crust appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil for last part of baking time.  Let pie cool completely before serving, so that filling sets up.  Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.  Store in refrigerator- if you have any leftovers.

Tweaks:

Feel free to use store-bought frozen unbaked pie crust and follow directions from “Whole Lemon Filling” on. 

Notes:

If using Meyer Lemons, consider cutting sugar a bit.

Review:

Delicious! Like lemon bars only better.

Difficulty:

Medium

Rating:

5 out of 5

Merguez Sausage with Fennel and Couscous

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From “Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet” by Padma Laskhmi

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • bay leaves
  • 1 cup diced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8½ ounces merguez sausage, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 2 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb (discarding green stalky tops)
  • ½ teaspoon harissa paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 teaspoon sumac

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves; stir, and then add the shallots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and add the oregano.

2. Add the sausage and stir-fry for an additional 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the fennel and harissa. When grease starts to appear and the meat is dark brown, add the stock. Simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Add the cranberries and chopped dill. Pour in the couscous, stir well, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot immediately and let the dish steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. If the couscous is not soft and fluffy, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of boiling stock or water over it, cover, and steam for a few minutes. Be careful not to add too much water. The couscous should not be mushy. Garnish with the sumac. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield:

4-6 servings

Tweaks:

Used millet instead of couscous, to make it gluten-free.  Cooked 1 cup millet separately and cut chicken stock to 1/2 cup in the lamb dish. I did not add millet to the lamb mixture until it was on the plate. Did hot have harissa paste, so used same amount of powdered harissa.  Did not have merguez sausage, so used 12 ounces of Moroccan Style lamb sausage from Prather Ranch.  Used dried cherries instead of cranberries and used dried dill instead of fresh (used about 2 Tablespoons).  I had sumac but you could probably squeeze 1/2 to 1 lemon over the dish for a similar effect. Didn’t measure fennel, but used 2 big bulbs.

Notes:

Delicious!  Would like to try with Merguez.  Fed it as described in “Tweaks” section to children and it was not too spicy.

Difficulty:

Medium

Rating:

5 out of 5

Beirut Tahini Swirls

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From Alford + Duguid

Dough

  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 c. lukewarm water
  • About 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Filling
  • 3/4 c. tahini
  • 3/4 c. sugar

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in 1 c. o the flour, then add the sugar and oil and stir in. Incorporate a second cup of flour, then turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them ( or a baking sheet) on the middle oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Mix together the tahini and sugar and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with 3 at a time, keeping the others covered. Flatten each out on a lightly floured surface, then roll each out to a rectangle about 5 inches by 10 inches. Spread the top surface with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the filling mixture, spreading it almost to the edges. Roll up the rectangle from a long side into a cylinder, which will stretch as you roll to about 20 inches long.

1 Anchor one end and coil the bread around itself, then tuck the end in.

2 Flatten with the palm of your hand, then set aside, covered, while you fill and shape the other two rectangles.

Return to the first coil and roll out gently with a rolling pin. Roll the other 2 out a little and then return to the first one and roll it out a little more thinly, and so on, until you have rolled each to a round about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. A little filling may leak out - don’t worry, just leave it.

3. Place the breads on the hot baking stone or tiles (or baking sheet) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Shape and bake the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield:

6 rolls

Tweaks: 

None.  Could be done with peanut butter or other types of nut butters

Notes:

Best eaten the day they’re made. Could probably be frozen either uncooked or cooked.

Difficulty:

Medium- Experience working with dough helpful

Rating:

5 out of 5

Tomatillo and Green Apple Salsa

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From Gourmet, 2004
  • 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos (about 5), husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo

Simmer tomatillos and 3 cups water in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are just soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool 15 minutes.

While tomatillos are cooling, core apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Purée tomatillos with remaining sauce ingredients except apples in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in apples.

Tweaks:

None

Notes:

This is awesome on pork, grilled chicken, salmon, chips, anything really.  

Review: 

De-lish. 

Difficulty:

Easy

Rating:

5 out of 5

Tokyo Turnips

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Growing up, I thought turnips were something Peter Rabbit stole from Mr. MacGregor out of desperation.  If someone told me that *turnips* could taste as good as Swedish Pancakes, I would think they were…well…daft. 

But I never lie about food, friends.  You MUST try this. It’s simple.  It’s healthy and goddamn is it delicious.

  • 1 pound Tokyo Turnips, green tops removed, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (if you have a mandoline, use it!)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce

Heat big, heavy skillet over medium heat until water sizzles when dropped on it adn then add 1 T butter.  Spread turnips in an even layer so each piece is touching the pan.  Cook until nice and brown.  Flip.  Put in bowl and repeat process with remaining slices (I have 2 skillets going at the same time).  Drizzle soy sauce over the turnips.  I dare you not to eat the whole bowl by yourself.

Yield:

4 servings

Tweaks:

None

Notes: 

You may have to do a few batches so that each one gets evenly browned.

Difficulty:

Easy

Rating:

5 out of 5

Malabar Shrimp in Coconut Sauce

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Adapted from 1998 Julie Sahni’s School of Indian Cooking


  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon or more of ground red pepper [or red chili flakes if that’s all you have]
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground mustard [the dry powder kind, not the fridge kind]
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of julienned fresh ginger [in a pinch you can use jarred ginger]
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon or more of julienned green chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup shredded scallions, both the white and green part into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound of large shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (light or regular, whatever you prefer, but the stuff in a can, not a carton)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cilantro sprig for garnish


Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add coriander, red pepper, mustard, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chilies, bay leaves, and scallions, in this order. Saute stirring for 3 minutes or until the scallions are wilted. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they start to turn pink and there is no grey left. Stir in the coconut milk and cook until the sauce is heated through. Turn off heat. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper, and add cilantro sprig to each dish if you want to be fancy.

Yield:

4 servings

 Tweaks:

None

 Review:

Lots of ingredients but actually easy to make. Delicious!

 Notes:

Leftover coconut milk can be frozen in muffin tin cups and then popped out and stored in plastic bag in freezer.  Great with plain rice or over rice noodles

Difficulty:

Easy

Rating:

5 out of 5