Date Apple Chutney

This pairs well with pork, a cheese plate, dessert and turkey – so you might want to keep this one up your sleeve for Thanksgiving!

Date Apple Chutney

Date Apple Chutney

Yield: Approximately 3 cups

 

4 medium apples, peeled and diced medium (preferably Pink Lady)

1 cup roughly chopped deglet noor dates

½ cup black currants

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon freshly grated Ginger, grated on a Microplane

¼ cup white wine vinegar

3 3-inch sprigs rosemary

 

Put all ingredients in small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the liquid has almost all reduced and apples are soft.

Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the cinnamon sticks and rosemary sprigs.

Serve with pork, turkey, a cheese plate, dessert, etc.!

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Teff Polenta with Sauteed Onions, Chard and Bacon

Teff is a North African cereal grass. Being a grass, it’s gluten free. It is primarily ground into flour and, if you have ever eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant, you have probably enjoyed the spongy injera bread, which is made of teff flour. Teff can also be purchased it’s grain form – in fact, it’s the smallest grain in the world! – and can made into a polenta type dish, among other delicious uses.  Being such a fine grain, it has an almost silky texture and the taste is familiar like a mashed potato (almost uncanny) but with a little more earthiness and nuttiness.

Teff Polenta with Sauteed Onions

Teff Polenta with Sauteed Onions, Chard and Bacon

Yield: 3 to 4

 

3 cups water or vegetable stock, divided

½ cup teff grain

¼ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons, unsalted butter

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 slices applewood smoked bacon, halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices (3/4 cup)

1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

5 medium chard leaves, leaves stripped from stems and chopped roughly, 1 packed cup

¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, not pre-grated

 

For the Teff:

In a medium saucepan, bring 2½ cups water to a simmer. Add the teff and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the teff has softened and absorbed all the water, 15 to 20 minutes. (Check in frequently. You may need to add a bit more liquid as the teff cooks or to loosen it before serving.)

Once, teff is cooked. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover until ready to serve.

For the Sauteed Onions, Chard and Bacon:

Add the bacon to a large sauté pan then place over medium-low heat and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until much of the fat has rendered off and the bacon is just beginning to get nice and crispy.

Remove bacon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all of the bacon fat from the pan except 1 tablespoon, reserve the rest for another use or discard. Add the onions, thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt to the sauté pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the onions are lightly caramelized.

Add chard and ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is cooked down, approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve:

Spoon teff into bowls. Top with sautéed vegetables and bacon. Finish with some shavings of cheddar cheese and some cracked black pepper.

Spiced Roasted Cabbage with Yogurt Sauce

Cabbage is more than just the star of a good coleslaw, it can stand on its own – especially when spiced up, roasted and served with my lemon yogurt sauce!

spicedroastedcabbage

 

Spiced Roasted Cabbage with Yogurt Sauce

Yield: Serves 4

 

1 small head of green cabbage, cut into ¼ – ½ inch rounds

extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground fennel

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle powder, or more to taste

 

Place an oven rack on the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place cabbage on a parchment lined sheet tray.

Drizzle cabbage with olive oil. Using a brush or your finger, spread olive oil to coat the cabbage.

Season cabbage with salt, pepper, cumin, fennel and chipotle. Flip cabbage rounds and repeat with olive oil and spices.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cabbage is nice and caramelized.

 

Yogurt Sauce:

¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons freshly squeeze lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Stir to combine all ingredients. Serve alongside roasted cabbage.

 

 

Turkey Stuffing Burger

Because sometimes you can’t wait until Thanksgiving to have turkey and stuffing.

Turkey Stuffing Burger

Turkey Stuffing Burger

Yields: 4 burgers

 

1 medium yellow onion, chopped roughly (2 cups)

5-ounces button mushrooms, quartered

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup fresh corn (kernels)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped roughly

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ teaspoon red pepper (chile) flakes

1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ pound ground white turkey meat

 

Combine onion and mushrooms in a food processor and pulse 13 to 15 times until the mixture just begins to clump together.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering, approximately 1 minute.

Add the onion mushroom mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone and the mixture is just beginning to caramelize, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the corn, garlic, and fresh herbs. Stir and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.

Add the panko, chile flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

Add contents of the sauté pan to a food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times until the mixture just begins to clump together. It will look like wet stuffing.

In a large bowl fold together the “stuffing” ingredients with the turkey.

Form 4 equal sized patties and place on a parchment-lined tray or plate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Place an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from refrigerator, transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray and bake, flipping the burgers once halfway through cooking, until the internal temperature of the burger reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (use a digital thermometer) approximately 25 minutes.

Place a large non stick saute pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Let sit over medium-high heat for 1 minute, until the oil shimmers. Add the burgers and flip after 30 seconds, just enough to sear the bottom side. Sear the opposite side for 30 seconds and remove from heat.

 

Burger Fixings:

4 toasted hamburger buns

¼ cup whole grain Dijon mustard, plus more to taste

¼ cup mayonnaise, plus more to taste

4 slices of tomato

handful of mixed greens

12 slices avocado

 

Spread mustard on bottom side of buns. Top each bun with turkey burger, tomato, 3 slices of avocado and some lettuce. Spread mayonnaise on top of buns. Put together and dig in.

 

Candied Spiced Pecans

How about a weekend treat? Careful – they are addictive.

Candied Spiced Pecans

Candied Spiced Pecans

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1¼ cups pecan halves

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

 

Mix together the cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, salt, and a few good grinds of pepper in a small bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute or until hot.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and the nuts, and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to cook evenly.

Working quickly, add the spice mix to the sauté pan and stir to coat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring once every five seconds.

Add the maple syrup very carefully, as it will bubble up, stirring to coat. Allow to cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the nuts, and if they begin to smoke, turn down the heat a little and stir more often.

Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

 

Working quickly, using two forks, separate the individual nuts, then allow to cool completely. Seriously. They’re going to be hot.

 

 

Very Green Juice

It’s national kale day, so this recipe seems like a great way to celebrate! Enjoy!

Very Green Juice

Very Green Juice

Yield: 2 cups

 

8 curly kale leaves, stems included

½ hothouse cucumber, peeled

1/3 cup packed cilantro, leaves and stems

4 celery stalks

2 Fuji apples

1 lime, peeled

 

Process all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy your green juice.

Spiced Roasted Eggplant Tomato Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese

Since it’s cooling down in some places (certainly not in Los Angeles!), here’s one for a crisp afternoon or cold evening – using the end of summer eggplants from  your local farmers market.

Spiced Roast Eggplant Tomato Soup

Spiced Roasted Eggplant Tomato Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese

Yield: 8 servings

1 large Italian eggplant, peeled and diced medium (approximately 7 to 8 cups)

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon garam masala

⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

1 dried bay leaf

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained, preferably fire-roasted

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Fresh Goat Cheese/Chevre, for serving

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 450ºF.

In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and season well with some salt and pepper.

Lay the eggplants in a single layer on two sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Place into the oven, and roast, uncovered, until lightly colored, approximately 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

Add 4 tablespoons olive oil and the onions to a small pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Stir in the garlic, thyme, garam masala, chile flakes, bay leaf, and paprika, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute

Pour in the tomatoes and stock and add the salt and pepper.

Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Check the eggplants; if they are lightly colored, remove them from the oven.

Add the eggplants and the stock to the tomato mixture and stir. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.

Add lemon juice, a healthy pinch of salt, and a few really good grinds of pepper. Blend once more. Taste and adjust seasoning once more with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Serve in soup bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, a little goat cheese, and a sprinkling of the chopped parsley and mint.