Spinach Salad with Arugula, Clementines and Croutons

It’s fun to be aware of which fruit and veggies are in season and build a recipe around it. Here, the Clementines, at their peak now, are the star attraction. Not only do they add the perfect color, but their sweet tang is the perfect foil for the dressing and slight edginess of the greens. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This salad was so-o good, it became my whole dinner with wine and a light dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Get all of the ingredients together in one place. Use fresh! Fresh garlic is better than garlic powder. Fresh lemon is better than bottled. Freshly grated parmesan is better than bought and freshly baked croutons taste much better than store bought. I forgot to include the Clementines in this photo. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients 

The Dressing

3 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

4 fresh garlic cloves

Pinch Kosher salt

1 large egg yolk (boil egg for 1 minute and not longer)

Zest of 1/2 fresh lemon

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more (to your taste)

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons excellent extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons canola oil

6 Tablespoons finely grated FRESH Parmesan

Pinch black pepper

Worchester sauce (one drop)

 

The Croutons

1 cup torn 1“ (bite-size) pieces old bread, with crusts

1 Garlic clove, squeezed

2 teaspoons olive oil

 

The Greens

3 or 4 (packed in tightly) cups of fresh spinach and 3 or 4 cups of (packed in tightly) fresh arugula all leaves separated, washed three times, dried with paper towel. Then leaves torn by hand, put into a bowl and set aside. Both of these green veggies are grown in sandy soil. This is why you really need to wash all the leaves three times, draining each time. Even though the packaging makes the leaves look clean, there’s always a certain amount of sand and/or grit left on the leaves, that’s not visible. It ruins a good salad to feel your teeth crunch down on grains of sand or grit. Also, you have no idea who handled the leaves before or during packaging. It means 5 extra minutes of work, to do this washing routine, but it’s worth the time.

 

Even fresh looking greens need to be washed three times and drained in between the washing. Last, dry the leaves with paper towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Clementines

 

1, 2 or 3, depending on your taste

 

They’re in season now and couldn’t be more sweet and juicy. Simply peel and separate the segments. Use whole segments or cut them in half. Pick out any seeds that’re sticking out, but don’t bother digging into a segment to get them out, unless you feel like doing it.

 

Directions

The Croutons, certainly, can be made the day before and so can the dressing. Otherwise, make croutons first, before you make the dressing. Can you buy packaged croutons? Of course, but try to make them yourself. The flavor is so much better. If you’re going to make a really great salad, you might as well make great tasting croutons. There is simply no comparison! Once you taste the richness of your own croutons, you’ll never buy them again. They’re not a peripheral ingredient, they make the salad better. That’s why they’re in the recipe.

 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and the squeezed juice of one fresh garlic clove. Stir

3. Tear or cut any left-over bread, you have, into (1 inch) bite size pieces, enough for 1 cup (press the bread down a bit, in the measuring cup). Then put the pieces of bread, into the bowl with oil/garlic. My favorite bread for croutons is day old (or older) sour dough bread.

4. Now, toss the bread pieces or cubes and be sure that the bread cubes are all covered (as much as possible) with the oil mixture. Let them sit for a while to absorb the oil, like 30 to 60 minutes. Stir them around every once in a while

5. Arrange croutons on a baking sheet or large pan and bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10-15 minutes. Watch them carefully. Just a little too long in the oven, and they will burn and won’t be useable for the salad. When golden, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

 

Croutons are about to go into the oven. You can see that some pieces have more oil than others. Doesn’t matter. Once added to the salad, dressing will rub onto the croutons and they’ll be delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Out of the oven, crisp, crunchy and delicious; ready to be added to the salad. These are a hundred times better than store-bought. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The Dressing

1. Use a medium bowl to make the dressing in.

2. Boil one large egg for one minute and remove from heat after 1 minute. Immediately run the egg under cold water. Then carefully crack it open, so as not to break the yolk. You have to separate the yolk from the egg white and use only the yolk in this recipe. Separate and put the yolk into a small container, ready to use in the dressing. This is a precaution worth taking, to prevent salmonella. Never use a completely raw egg.

 

You’ve got to boil the one egg (for the dressing), for 1 minute and not longer. This is a short cautionary step, so as not to get salmonella. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Freshly grated parmesan means doing it yourself. There’s no substitute. Buying a container that reads “freshly grated“ simply is NOT. After a while, you’ll see, there’s something satisfying about doing it yourself. However, if you’re working and raising kids, everyone understands that, so do what you have to do. If kids are old enough, let them share the various steps of a recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

3. In bottom of salad serving bowl put the garlic and the anchovies. With a fork, mash these two ingredients into a paste

4. Next, with a small whisk, add the egg yolk and whisk it into the garlic/anchovy paste; or continue to use the fork.

5. Now, add the lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and whisk; then add the mustard and 1 drop of Worchester sauce, whisk again

 

This type of lemon squeezer catches the seeds while letting the juice flow through. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. Next, add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk it into the dressing.

7. Add the canola oil drop by drop, while you whisk it into the dressing.

8. Finally, add the freshly grated parmesan and black pepper (to your taste). Taste to see if the dressing needs more of anything (to your taste). With the anchovies, you may decide not to use any salt. You might want more lemon juice. This is the time to taste and decide. I don’t think you need salt, since the anchovies are salty enough.

9. Whisk the dressing so it’s thick and glossy.

10. When you’re ready to serve, add the greens to the dressing in bottom of salad bowl and toss many times to get each leaf covered with the delicious dressing.

11. Finally, add the croutons and the Clementine segments and toss a few more times, to combine everything.

 

Enjoy!

 

Such a delicious way to get your daily dose of magnesium. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Experimenting recently, with Chateauneuf du Pape. So far, not living up to expectations, but will keep you posted as we move forward into this new taste adventure. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Turkey Biscuits Presented in Various Ways

Warm Turkey Biscuit served over a delicious parsnip puree, topped with hot gravy and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Before I share a new recipe, it goes through many iterations; however, this was delicious the first time I experimented with the ingredients. This recipe is quick and easy, which is just what you want, after all your effort to make Thanksgiving work well. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Turkey Biscuits served over a medley of rice, mushrooms and green peas, hot gravy and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Same dish as above, after half the turkey biscuit has been eaten, revealing a soft moist center. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Plain hot Turkey Biscuits on their way to the table. MMmmm, they smell so-o good. Can’t want to sink our teeth into one of these. Served with roasted asparagus, a crunchy garden salad and chilled white wine. Btw, these yummy biscuits make a great finger food. I know this, because Jules keeps grabbing them out of the fridge to snack on. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients 

2 or 3 cups left-over turkey

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon curry

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, then very well chopped

2 Tablespoons Kraft mayonnaise

2 teaspoons left-over gravy from bottom of turkey roast pan

6 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

One 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled then grated

6 scallions, thinly sliced (use the white part only)

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime

1 Tablespoon chickpea flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg, plus 1 egg white, slightly beaten in a small cup

Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

Use left-over gravy or make a new batch.

 

You need a food processor for this recipe and a large skillet.

Turkey Biscuits are the perfect meal for left-over roast turkey or chicken. Plus, they don’t have the same flavor as your turkey dinner. This is a quick, easy and delicious recipe; really hope you’ll try it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Directions

1. Get all your slicing, egg-separating, chopping, grating, done first.

 

Preparing the lime and jalapeno. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Grating the ginger. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. Get out your food processor, and a large skillet

3. All the ingredients are going to end up in your food processor, so it hardly matters, which goes in first, except, do this: add all of the dry ingredients last.

 

Adding wet ingredients to food processor (garlic, onion, lime, jalapeno, scallions). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Egg, all seasonings, gravy, turkey, mayo; all wet ingredients are now in food processor, ready to be pulsed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor, last. Then, pulse until all ingredients have been completely and thoroughly combined. It’s important to do this right.

 

After pulsing all wet ingredients, the dry ingredients were added, then pulsed. I’m going to pulse it just a little bit longer before removing from food processor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. Next, with a narrow spatula, scrape all the contents from your food processor, into a medium bowl. Get it all out, so it all goes into the Turkey Biscuits.

 

Batter is now ready to be hand molded into Turkey Biscuits for cooking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. Put oil in your large skillet and plan to cook no more than 3 or 4 Turkey Biscuits at a time. Use a medium high flame and heat before cooking.

7. Rub some flour together, on your hands, then with a Tablespoon, scoop out of the bowl, some of the mixture, and with your other hand, form an oval shape while mixture is still in the Tablespoon, and plop it into the hot skillet, using fingers to get all of the mixture out of the Tablespoon. There is no need to have each Turkey Biscuit look exactly the same.

8. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. After flipping over the first time, you may see that this side needs to be cooked a little longer. Simply wait until the other side has cooked and browned, then flip back and cook a little longer, if needed. Both sides should be a golden brown; but not overcooked, or will be ruined.

 

First Turkey Biscuit to go into pan. Have some paper towel next to pan to drain the biscuits when cooked. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here’s that first Turkey Biscuit after being flipped. This is just the right color to aim for, a lovely golden brown. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

9. Have a serving platter ready, so that when cooked, you can arrange the Turkey Biscuits and serve immediately with hot gravy and a few sesame seeds (black or white) sprinkled over the Biscuits.

 

Turkey Biscuit cut in half, showing the yummy moist texture. Served with lots of hot gravy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Turkey Biscuits are good as a quick snack; above served plain with green beans and almonds. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Turkey Biscuits served with cranberry sauce and gravy, over sauteed mushrooms and sweet peas. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We had several white wines during our testing of my new recipe for Turkey Biscuits. You can’t go wrong with some of our old standbys like the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, above or a Pino Grigio or another favorite, Pouilly-Fuisse, not to mention Prosecco, a Rose, Blanc de Blancs or Champagne and plenty more. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We went to Lincoln Center this weekend to hear Verdi’s Requium, a magnificent choral piece conducted by James Levine, whose health is better now, hence the maestro is back in the pit. Very enjoyable time!

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Adaptation of Lebanese Fattoush Salad with Grilled Haloumi

After adapting this Lebanese salad to available produce, and adjusted to our taste, I have come up with one of the most delicious and refreshing salads, we have had in a long time. Easy to make and beautiful to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Most of these ingredients are easy to find, if not, I’ve given substitutes. The haloumi cheese is available at Amazon and Zabar’s. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

Fattoush (also fattush, fatush, fattoosh, and fattouche) is a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of Arabic flat bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. Fattush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat (plural of fatteh), which use stale flatbread as a base.

 

Fattoush includes vegetables and herbs according to season and taste. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces compared to tabbouleh which requires ingredients to be finely chopped. Staghorn sumac is usually used to give fattoush its sour taste.

 

I decided not to make croutons out of the pita or flat bread. Instead, I served warm pita at the table, with garlic hummus. Although I like to use ground sumac in other dishes, I didn’t want a sour taste in this salad, so omitted the sumac.

 

Ingredients

1 large green capsicum (pepper) or avocado, cut in cubes

1 Lebanese, or long English cucumber, finely chopped

2 ripe truss or vine tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped

1/2 bunch fresh coriander, leaves chopped

2 pita bread toasted, then make small croutons in food processor

1/4 to 1/2 pound haloumi cheese, cubed (or muenster)

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Dressing 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch chili flakes

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 small garlic cloves, crushed or squeezed

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

 

Using a garlic press, you can squeeze the garlic right into a small bowl with the other dressing ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Directions

1. Rinse all of your raw veggies well. You don’t know where they’ve come from or who has handled them. Also, there could be residue from pesticides, even though the claim is organic. Why take a chance, when it only takes a few minutes.

2. Do all of your chopping, cutting slicing, squeezing, peeling etc.

3. Make the dressing first. Simply combine all the ingredients into a small bowl, as you see above.

 

Something so-o refreshing about the smell of chopped cucumbers. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Do all of your chopping first. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. If you plan to toast pita or flat bread, do that now. Then, either cut the toasted bread into cubes, or put into food processor and pulse, until you get the size of crouton you want to put into the salad. I have no photos to show re: bread, because decided not to have bread in this kind of salad.

5. In a large salad bowl, that you plan to use for serving, add all of the salad (veggies plus herbs) ingredients, in no special order, and toss them.

 

Making this salad made me feel really healthy; eating it was even better and such a pleasure. You’re going to love this salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Not a chore; rather, time well spent! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

You decide if you want to fry the cheese or simply add the cheese cubes to the salad. Do this step last, add the cheese cubes to the salad and give one last toss. I didn’t fry the cheese. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I added the dressing last, after adding the cheese cubes. Then several good tosses. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. After tossing the fresh ingredients, add the toasted pita to the salad, if you want to.

7. If you decide to fry the cheese, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the haloumi or muenster, turning, for 2 minutes or until golden. Arrange over the salad. Serve drizzled with a little extra lemon juice.

 

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We had this salad with warm pita, hummus and well chilled white wine. Then a new recipe I’m working on, curried quinoa with chicken thighs, toasted pistachios, golden raisins. Just about ready to share with you

For dessert, a simple fresh berry combo, photo below.

 

Fresh berry combo for dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Varieties of Arab salad: Arab salad, Fattoush, Palestinian salad, Matbucha, Tabbouleh and Raheb. Source: Wikipedia Commons.

 

Pouilly-Fuisse has become our default white wine, taking the place of sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio.

 

We have been following the work of Rajiv Joseph for many years. This weekend we saw his latest play, Describe the Night, produced by one of the theaters we are proud to be patrons of, The Atlantic Theater Company on West 20th Street, here in Manhattan. YOU CANNOT MISS THIS WONDERFUL PRODUCTION WHICH IS RAJIV JOSEPH’S BEST! This is an epic drama based on the life and writings of the great Russian-Jewish, playwright and author, Isaak Babel (1894-1940), who was executed by Stalin’s secret police in 1940. His work was not published in its original versions again, until the 1990s. Babel’s diary becomes a focal point, around which this drama unfolds and weaves around, going, very affectively, back and forth in time. This play is so well acted and directed, that it catches the audience’s attention, immediately, and doesn’t let it go until the final scene. During the two intermissions, we all said agreed (members of audience) that we couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Certain years of Soviet and Russian history are well integrated into this amazing play.

The sets are excellent and so is the sound design. Be prepared for one of the best theatrical experiences of the year, as Rajiv Joseph expertly traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.

 

Playwright, Rajiv Joseph

Photo credit: Jessica Johnston – Nefariouschafe, CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17945095

 

Isaak Babel

More about Isaak Babel

Hope you had a great week!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Bouffee de Petoncle de Mer

Is my French good? No. But this new recipe is. I was inspired to create this French title for my newest recipe, simply because it is so unbelievably delicious. It took time to get it right, but finally it is my great pleasure to share it with all of you. Your partner, spouse, guests will not believe that you made it; that’s how good it is, and easy, now that I’ve experimented with Jules, my best and favorite tester. The name of my recipe translates to: Puff of Sea Scallop, which is how it tastes. (if you like sea scallops).

 

Ingredients

1 pound very fresh sea scallops, rinsed and dried

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch black pepper

2 teaspoons clam juice

6 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

One 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled then grated

6 scallions, thinly sliced (use the white part only)

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs but use the whites only, slightly beaten in a small cup

Extra virgin olive oil for cooking (or coconut oil or peanut oil)

 

You have to have a food processor for this recipe and a large skillet.

 

I bought the (real) sea shells for cooking, from Amazon. Even though you don’t have to use them, as you can see from the photos, serving in these shells, really adds to the presentation and the enjoyment. I highly recommend that you buy them. They’re not at all expensive.

 

Surprisingly, there’re not many ingredients in this wonderful recipe and all are easy to come by. I got the sea scallops from Whole Foods, the coconut flour from Nuts.com and all the rest from FreshDirect. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Get all your slicing, egg-separating, chopping, grating, done first.

2. Get out your food processor, a large skillet and the all-natural sea shells, for serving.

3. Make any number of sauces or toppings you want to use for the scallop puffs. I used an easy scallion cream sauce, a cashew cheese topping, mango chutney and pomegranate arils

 

Slicing scallions and grating the raw ginger. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

In the photo above, all seasoning, garlic, scallions, grated ginger, clam juice, lime juice and egg whites have been added to the food processor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

In this photo, all of the previous ingredients have now been pulsed well. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. All the ingredients are going to end up in your food processor, so it hardly matters, which goes in first, except, do this: add all of the dry ingredients last.

 

All the scallops were added and pulsed until all ingredients have been well combined. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puff recipe ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. As you see above, add the dry ingredients to the food processor, last. Then, pulse until all ingredients have been completely and thoroughly combined. It’s important to do this right.

6. Next, with a narrow spatula, scrape all of the contents from your food processor, into a medium bowl. Get it all out, so it all goes into the Scallop Puffs

 

Scrape everything from the food processor, into a medium bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

7. Put oil in your large skillet and plan to cook no more than 3 or 4 Scallop Puffs at a time. Use a medium high flame and heat before cooking.

8. Rub some flour together, on your hands, then with a Tablespoon, scoop out of the bowl, some of the mixture, and with your other hand, form an oval shape while mixture is still in the Tablespoon, and plop it into the hot skillet, using fingers to get all of the mixture out of the Tablespoon. As you will see in the photos, there is no need to have each Puff look exactly the same. My concept was puffy clouds, none of which are ever the same.

 

All the Scallop Puffs will be slightly different shapes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

9. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Even though the flavor will be exquisite and delicate, you don’t have to be delicate while cooking, except to be sure they don’t burn. After flipping over the first time, you may see that this side needs to be cooked a little longer. Simply wait until the other side has cooked and browned, then flip back and cook a little longer, if needed. Both sides should be a golden brown, as you see in the photos.

 

Flipped too soon, so will cook second side until golden brown, then flip back and finish the first side. Important NOT to overcook, but get them the golden brown, that you see above. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

10. Have the shells ready (or a serving platter), so that when cooked, put each Scallop Puff into its own shell and serve immediately with a sauce, with topping or plain which is just fine.

 

The Scallop Puffs are ready to serve. The fragrance is wonderful; you will NOT believe what a treat you’re in for. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The photos that follow, show a partial example of how the Scallop Puffs have been served, before sharing this new original recipe with you.

 

With scallion cream sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

After one bite and with scallion cream sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puff with Cashew Cheese Topping. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Nearly all eaten. Scallop Puff with Cashew Cheese Topping. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puffs served plain with saffron rice and saut?ed broccoli. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puffs served with saffron rice and mango chutney. Btw, the mango chutney is a fantastic combo with these Scallop Puffs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puff served with scallion cream and pomegranate arils. The seafood forks I used are one of my favorite stainless patterns, called: “Gone Fishing“ by the Japanese flatware company, Yamazaki. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Luscious Scallop Puff, half eaten with scallion cream sauce and pomegranate arils. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Scallop Puff extremely yummy with this scallion cream sauce and pomegranate arils. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The gourmet Scallop Puffs are as delicious as anything you could get at a good restaurant, probably as an appetizer and I am very proud of this. As for wine pairing, we prefer chilled white wine, or Proseco, or champagne or Blanc de Blancs. If you insist on a red, we would say, a very light-bodied red; however, the only red we’ve found that works well with seafood or fish is Hall’s cabernet sauvignon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Weather here in Manhattan is now winter-y, we’ve added cozy plump puffy winter comforters for sleeping. Theater here continues to be stimulating and fun. We saw the comedy (which has extended the limited run, because it’s so popular) The Portuguese Kid, with Jason Alexander. This fine production is a fun-romp that’s light and playful. The acting is excellent, the constantly changing sets are terrific, the lighting design is perfect. If you liked the film, Moonstruck, you will love this play; they are like first cousins.

 

Hope you had a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Sea Scallops With Figs and Butternut Squash Sauce

 

When I heard about a luscious scallop dish my husband had during his business trip this week in Philadelphia, I got a little jealous and decided to compete by creating a recipe for him to try upon returning home.

 

Figs are still available, at a local farmer’s market, and today the scallops were sold (Dean & Deluca) within 24 hoursof being caught (harvested?) and couldn’t be fresher. I decided to combine seafood and fresh fruit and here, below, is what I came up with. Serve these delicious flavors with an icy white Bordeaux (we get most of our wines from Sherry-Lehmann here in Manhattan) served in chilled glasses and lovely warm French bread to sop up any juices left on the plate. Or, join us – we’ve recently fallen into a Bellini groove.

 

Sizzling Scallops MMmmmmm ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Serve warm bread to sop up the delicious sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Along with the scallops, we had a new recipe I’m experimenting with, Curried Cauliflower. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

8 Fresh Figs

2 teaspoons or more sugar-free apricot jam

1 Tablespoon Sugar-free maple syrup

1 Butternut Squash

1 pound Sea scallops

Pinch Salt and pepper (or no salt)

Very fine balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup arugula

Annie Chun roasted seaweed for garnish

 

Directions

1. Peel and roast the butternut squash. Then puree it in food processer and add the sugar-free maple syrup and pepper to your taste. Salt if you wish. Keep warm and set aside

2. Wash figs, remove stems, and halve lengthwise. Dip the cut side of the figs in the sugar-free apricot jam and set aside.

3. Wash arugula very well and drain. Then dry on paper towel. Put in small bowl and toss with about 1 Tablespoons of olive oil and a few drops of the balsamic.

4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, so the surface is lightly coated. Add a little sugar-free apricot jam and on it, put the figs cut side down until lightly caramelized.

5. Flip figs and cook for an additional 30 seconds, remove from pan, and reserve. Add one drop (we keep a regular medicine dropper in the kitchen) of balsamic to each fig half and put them aside, trying to keep them warm.

6. Wash scallops and dry with paper towel. Cut each Sea scallop in half and lightly coat with almond flour.

7. Season scallops lightly with black pepper and salt, if you wish.

8. Use the same pan, with oil and jam left in it. If you need more olive oil, add it lightly and mix it with the remaining jam.

9. Add scallops and cook for 1 to 3 minutes (until a golden color). Turn the heat up, but be sure to constantly swirl the pan so that the scallops are rolling around and don’t get tough or burnt.

10. Get ready to serve. Put the arugula on each plate. Now place half of the scallops on the arugula and then a fig half on top of the scallop.

11. To the pan juice, add the butternut squash puree and heat and stir it with all the pan juices until nice and warm. If the squash is not the consistency of a sauce, slowly add some chicken broth until there is the desired thinner sauce. Now spoon this butternut squash sauce over the scallops and figs and serve. Crush the seaweed and sprinkle it over the sauce and serve.

12. One option: At the last stage, when you’re stirring the butternut squash with the pan juices, consider adding 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cream sherry. Do this slowly so you can taste before adding a second Tablespoon.

13. Another option: If you’re pressed for time, consider using a frozen package of Birds Eye Southland frozen butternut squash. Thaw and warm it up, taste, and consider adding sugar-free maple syrup or cream sherry. If not, use as is to pour over the scallops and figs. Crush the seaweed and sprinkle over the scallop/figs.

 

Consider serving rice or quinoa or orzo, or not. For dessert we had another recipe I’m experimenting with, that I call Mango Mousse.

 

We buy the bottled pre-mixed Bellinis from Sherry-Lehmann, which is quite good. Sometimes, we add more vodka or more champagne or Blanc de Blancs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Another good pairing with the scallops and curried cauliflower. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cheers!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Italian Veggie Balls, Served Over Pasta & Your Favorite Sauce

If you like to include a meatless Monday (or additional veggie dinners) in your weekly menus, here is one of my most delicious veggie recipes. It has evolved over a period of two or three years to what I now call Italian Veggie Balls. The sauce I recommend is not my marinara sauce, published in our newsletter many years ago, but a more recent tomato sauce, published recently to serve with seafood. This sauce has rich depth and is also perfect for meat or meatless recipes. Whenever Jules travels, he takes with him a large container of these Italian Veggie Balls, which he gives a score of A+. We both love this dish and have it about once a week. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup chickpea flour, to roll the balls in

1 cup quinoa

3 boxes mushrooms (cremini or Bella or white), well chopped

2 cups chicken stock or broth, or more if needed

4 eggs, whisked

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

4 scallions, chopped

25 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch Kosher or sea salt

2 Tablespoons DRY oregano

2 Tablespoons fresh basil, very well chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, very well chopped

1 red chili, seeds removed, then chopped very well

4 cups steamed kale, chopped

1.5 cup Panko crumbs

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Make your favorite marinara or tomato sauce

Make capellini or your favorite pasta

Freshly grate extra parmesan for the table

 

Healthy and Easy to Find Ingredients.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Directions

1. Make your marinara or tomato sauce first or the night before.

2. Get a pot with salted water, out to make your pasta, later, after you make the veggie balls.  You want the pasta to be freshly cooked and nice and warm, before serving.

3. Rinse the kale leaves three times, before steaming, to get all the sand and grit out.  After all the work cooking this wonderful recipe, it’s terrible to sit down, take a bite, and have your teeth crunch down on even one grain of sand.  So, rinse, drain; rinse, drain; rinse, drain.

4. While you’re rinsing the kale three times, do all of the cutting, chopping, grating, you need to do, so everything is ready for mixing, later.

 

Do all your cutting, slicing and chopping at the same time and on the same cutting board.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chopping the cilantro.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. After kale is rinsed and drained 3 times, steam it until it wilts and is reduced in volume.  Let it drain well before you use it.  In fact, before combining the kale with anything, after it drains well, give it a squeeze with paper towel so there’s not too much liquid in the veggie ball mixture.

 

Steaming the kale.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of chicken stock or broth. Allow quinoa to soak for 15 minutes. Then, with the lid on the pan, bring the broth to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid – about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temp.

 

Cooked the quinoa.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

7. While the quinoa is cooking, get out a nice looking pan that you will bring to the table and serve from. In this pan, sautee the chopped mushrooms, minced garlic, chili flakes, oregano and basil, in a mixture of olive oil and chicken broth or stock.  Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.

 

Sautee the mushrooms, onion, garlic, scallions, herbs and spices.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

8. When mushrooms & garlic are done, use a spatula to scrape every bit of the mushroom mixture out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

9. With a large knife, chop the mushroom mixture into very small pieces, as small as you can.  I did not want to use a food processor here, because by making a paste in the processor, you will lose a certain texture, that adds to the flavor.

 

Above is in the middle of chopping the mushroom mixture.  The pieces need to get just a little smaller.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

10. Into the same mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa, eggs, 1 cup of parmesan, red chili chopped, salt, steamed kale, Panko crumbs and anything that you might have forgotten to add earlier. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny.

 

Starting to make the batter; adding egg to the cooked quinoa in a large bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here is what the batter should look like, done.  Now, you’re ready to start making the Italian Veggie Balls. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

11. Get a large pan out to cook the veggie meatballs.

12. Sprinkle a little chickpea flour on a plate.

13. With your hands, form little balls and roll them in the chickpea flour.

 

With your hands, take a fingerfull of the batter and roll balls about the size of golf balls.  Then roll those balls in the chickpea flour until they’re completely covered with a thin film of the flour.  Then fry them in batches in a skillet with enough room to move them around, without breaking them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

14. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook about 6 veggie balls at the same time. Cover the pan and let the veggie balls cook for about 5 minutes, then roll them around so more of the sides get a nice brown color.  Cook another 5 minutes until the other-sides are a deep rich brown.

 

Cook the Italian Veggie Balls in extra virgin olive oil with enough room in the pan to move them around.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

15. When each batch is done, put them on a plate, while you finish the next rest.

16. When all the veggie meatballs are done and on a plate or in a serving bowl, fill the skillet with marinara sauce or other tomato sauce, over low flame. When sauce begins to simmer, put veggie balls in and warm everything up, so ready to serve over the pasta.

 

These Veggie Balls are done now and about to go into a pre-warmed serving bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Into a pre-warmed serving bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

17. On the table, set a trivet out and bring the pan with veggie meatballs to the table to serve (over the pasta).  Garnish the veggie balls with some of the chopped basil or parsley.

 

Getting hungry just looking at these photos. Such a yummy, flavorful meal ! We love this and hope you do too. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Good to the last bite.  Have your favorite bread with this meal, so you can sop up the wonderful sauce  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Relatives came over for dinner this weekend.  We started with a variety of appetizers (shrimp cocktail, mushroom deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, baked cauliflower/potato tiny nibbles).  We were drinking nicely chilled Bellini’s, they chose red. First course was a simple garden salad (my recipe published several years ago), with fresh lemon juice & olive oil, warm French baguette and European butter. Next, my recipe for spinach pie (published several years ago). The entree was Italian Veggie Balls with Capellini and an extraordinarily rich tomato sauce. (My recipe for this sauce was published recently). We had two desserts made at home: my apple cheese cake recipe (published recently in the newsletter) and a chocolate cake (recipe by the great London chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, from Israel).  Our son, Alex, gave me a book of his recipes. We all had a wonderful time!

 

We saw the play, Junk, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. If you liked the Oliver Stone movie with Michael Douglas about Wall Street greed, called, Wall Street, you will probably like, Junk.  Junk is by playwright, Ayad Akhtar, the Pakistani-American, who won a Pulitzer Prize-for his memorable Broadway play (debut), “Disgraced,“ which we saw and liked immensely.  Watch for more works by this extremely talented writer.

 

Hope your weekend was stimulating, yet relaxing.  Note to the whole east coast for the next few days: watch out for unusually strong wind.  We’ve heard that New Hampshire may get 120 mile an hour, hurricane force wind, so stay indoors if you can.  Be careful.

 

We actually drank Bellini’s from start of evening to finish, but don’t necessarily, recommend that. Because of the earthiness of the Italian Veggie Balls and the richness of the sauce, you could easily pair a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon or a chilled white, which you see in the photo above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Celebrating Diwali, Especially the Fourth Day, Called Diwali Padva Dedicated to Wife – Husband Relationships

 

Diwali is the five day Hindu-Buddhist festival of lights celebrated every year in Autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November. With the celebratory explosion of lights, there is a certain similarity between Diwali, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Diwali holiday encourages interfaith participation, which is a welcome aspect of any religion in the 21st Century.

 

Your executive chef, looked over dozens and dozens of recipes, deemed appropriate for this great Diwali celebration. I then adapted them, to our taste. Some, like the one above, which I am calling Peppers Galore, are my own creations. Above, are four different colors of peppers, seeded, then cut in strips and laid out on a baking sheet covered with parchment. One red onion was chopped and sprinkled over the peppers. Extra virgin olive oil was sprinkled over these veggies and then roasted in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Next time, I will add to a small bowl, the olive oil, much more seasoning, juice of 1 fresh lemon, and a Tablespoon of toasted black mustard seeds, which I love. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here is my version of Dal. Jules and I loved this dish; we particularly liked the combination of this Dal with my version of Vegetable cutlets. We will not wait until another celebration to have this meal again. Dal is enjoyed by Pakistanis and Indians. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

My Dal Recipe for Two People

Ingredients

1 cup yellow lentils

1/4 cup butter.

1 and 1/2 cups onion, well chopped.

10 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

2 or more scallions, chopped

1 chili pepper, seeded and minced.

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 big pinch ground nutmeg, or freshly grated

1 Tablespoon, black mustard seeds, toasted

1 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 cup golden raisins

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, then finely minced

3 to 4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 bay leaf (remove before serving)

1 cup fresh cilantro, well chopped

1 cup fresh parsley, well chopped

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

 

As you can see most of the ingredients are not in this photo. That’s because this is the first experiment making Dal, where I went by one of the recipes I educated myself with. As I read on and on, it was clear that there were hundreds of versions. At that point, I decided to create my own version, which is below. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Do all your cutting, chopping, grating, slicing, so all ingredients are ready to add, while you continue to stir.

 

Cutting, chopping, slicing all on same board. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

2. In glug of olive oil, toast the black mustard seeds and the pine nuts

3. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large pot, and add onions, garlic and scallions. Stir until soft.

4. To the pot, while stirring, add the chili, lentils, ginger, all spices, seasoning and bay leaf. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

 

5. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, add all herbs, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, raisins, toasted mustard seeds, toasted pine nuts, while continuing to stir, then lower flame to a simmer.

 

6. Cook until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.

 

 

Cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Our Diwali feast for two: Clockwise, starting with the glass bowl of Dal, vegetable cutlets, fresh garden salad, samosas, spicy tomato sauce, chicken, grapes, another variety of samosa. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Left out Peppers Galore, in photo above. See desserts, below. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This is my first attempt at making Kheer, a favorite Pakistani-Indian dessert with dates. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The world needs more celebrating of light over dark, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. This will not be handed to us. People must have this vision of global cooperation, and work hard to persuade inactive citizens to get out, and vote for it. Equality for all leads to peace and harmony. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Manhattan Seafood Medley with Amazing Sauce

The success of this entree begins by making sure you buy the freshest seafood from a trusted fishmonger and spending the time to collect all the spices needed to give the sauce its rich depth. Make the sauce the day before you serve it and the herbs and spices will infuse my entire recipe, even more. Instead of serving the seafood and amazing sauce over rice or cous cous or potato or quinoa, I chose orzo, which worked wonderfully well. My second choice would have been either cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower. ©Joyce Hays, Target Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

If you make the sauce the night before, as easy as that is, there’s practically nothing to do the next day, except cook the orzo (or your choice) in chicken stock or broth, and fry the seafood quickly in a very hot skillet. Because this fragrant recipe is impressive and attractive, your family and/or your dinner guests will regard you as a top chef. Try it. As long as there are no allergies or other reasons not to eat seafood, your complements will come rolling in. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Dinner for Two

Seafood Ingredients

1/2 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined & cleaned

1/2 pound sea scallops

1 glug extra virgin olive oil

2 or 3 fresh garlic cloves, mashed right in skillet, with a fork, or use a garlic press

Amazing Sauce

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

10 gloves garlic, sliced

1 cup diced ripe tomatoes with a little of their juice

One 28 ounce can of Cento San Marzano Certified Peeled Tomatoes with Basil Leaf

2.5 Tablespoons dry oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 Tablespoon chickpea flour

1 cup clam juice in the bottle

1 Tablespoon Cento tomato paste

1/2 cup cream sherry

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco

1 pinch Salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 Tablespoon flax seeds

1 cup fresh cilantro, well chopped

Keep some chicken stock or broth handy, while cooking the sauce.

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (save some for garnish)

 

I bought all the ingredients from the following: Whole Foods, FreshDirect, Dean & Deluca, Amazon, Sherry-Lehmann Wines and Spirits. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

Make Amazing Sauce the Day Before Serving

1. Do all of the chopping, slicing, cutting now so all sauce ingredients will be ready.

 

Do all your chopping, slicing, cutting at once, on one board. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. Melt olive oil with butter in a large skillet, that has a cover that fits well, over a medium flame.

3. Next, saute the scallions, onion, garlic, pepper, until soft.

 

Saute the scallions, garlic, onion, pepper first. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

4. Stir in the can of Cento tomatoes and juice, along with the fresh tomatoes. Add the fresh, cut tomatoes

 

Cento tomatoes and fresh tomatoes have been added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. Add oregano, thyme and all spices, as well as all herbs and flax seeds. Lower heat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the chickpea flour and stir well.

6. Add 1 cup clam juice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.

7. Add the Cento tomato paste and stir until blended.

 

All spices and herbs, plus Cento tomato paste, have been added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

8. Add the Cream Sherry, Worcestershire, 1/3 cup of heavy dairy cream and Tabasco. Stir well to combine all ingredients. If you feel sauce is too thick, slowly add some chicken stock, stir and determine if you need more. If you think sauce is too thin, very slowly, add more chickpea flour, stirring constantly, until you get the consistency you want.

 

As you can see all final liquids have been added and am ready to stir well to combine everything before simmering for 10 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

9. Once all sauce ingredients have been combined, put the tight-fitting cover on and lower the heat to simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Keep sauce covered and let it cool down to room temperature. Then put in refrigerator overnight.

 

Finally, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

 

On the day of serving

  1. Follow directions on box and make the orzo (or whatever you chose to serve the seafood and amazing sauce over): I like to use chicken stock or broth to cook in, instead of water, which is always part of the directions on the box. After cooking, keep warm.

 

Orzo cooked in chicken stock or broth. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. At this point, when you’re about to serve in 10 minutes, over a low flame, heat up the amazing sauce, so it’s ready when the seafood is done.

 

Warming up the sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

3. Seafood, add one glug of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and with a fork, mash the garlic. If you have a garlic press, you can use that also. Turn the heat up.

4. To the pan, add the sea scallops and shrimp. Allow them to cook for a full minute, check to see if the scallops have turned a light brown. At that point, turn shrimp and scallops over and let the other side turn a light brown. This should take about 1 minute on each side, over a high flame. When done, remove from heat and set aside. At this point, you’re ready to serve.

 

Call me fussy, but I like to cook shrimp and scallops separately, so while I’m trying to get the scallops just right on the outside, I don’t overcook the shrimp. If either is overcooked, they get rubbery and really do taste overcooked which would ruin the whole dish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cooking the shrimp. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

5. Spoon the amazing sauce into individual large pasta-shape bowls and place a portion of orzo (or your choice) in the center of each pasta bowl, over the sauce.

6. Spoon seafood over the orzo and the sauce. Add more sauce if desired, sprinkle some chopped parsley over the top, serve and enjoy!

 

All this dinner needs is a fresh crispy salad, your favorite warm bread or rolls to sop up the sauce and an icy white wine.

 

For dessert we had an easy to make fresh berry mousse.

 

Just a little sauce left over, but that’s about it. This is so-o delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Finally, Fall is in the air, here in the Big Apple. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We are deeply disturbed by all the climate change catastrophes taking place around the world. In our hemisphere we’ve had disasters in: Puerto Rico, Mexico, California, Texas, Florida, as well as ruinous flooding along the whole eastern coast of the U.S.

 

Climate change is the most dangerous global challenge we all have to contend with.

 

Let us give up part of our tribal allegiances, and become world citizens working together toward one goal — saving our planet.

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Apple Cheese Cake with Autumn Attitude Crust

Sometimes, I brag and this is one of those times. Because apples are in season now, I wanted to use them in a new dessert; but last year I already did several apple cakes. Then a light went off. As I had never heard of an apple cheese cake, this became a new challenge. The first attempt was delicious but wasn’t presentable enough for photos. I also wanted to experiment more with the crust, as well as the filling. We ate our way through the week, all the variations I could think of. You get to make it one time and savor the flavors delicieux. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

Filling

4 or 5 fresh apples

4 containers of Tofutti (soy cream cheese)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

7 Tablespoons sugar (fine grains)

5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Zest of 1/2 fresh lemon

2 teaspoons fresh lemon

6 large eggs

Crust

15 graham crackers (2 and 1/2 inches x 5 inches) or 8 ounces

3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 stick butter, soft and cut into pieces

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch ground nutmeg

 

Try to buy the best available ingredients.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

Do the crust first

Crust

1. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Process until they are almost fine crumbs. Add dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Process until mixture clumps together like damp sand.

 

Processing all the crust ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. With the paper the butter stick was wrapped in, oil a large pie dish.

3. With your fingers, press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch pie dish and refrigerate 30 minutes while preparing filling.

 

Get the processed crust out of the food processor with a spatula and press into the bottom and sides (if only enough for the bottom, that’s fine, don’t worry about it). Press as hard as you can and make the crust even all over. Then put in fridge for 30 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

Filling

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. If your food processor is small and you can’t do all the filling at once in it, don’t worry, simply do each step, then remove the contents from processor into a large bowl and continue with the next step, until all ingredients have gone through the processor. Then mix all ingredients in the large bowl, very well.

3. Peel skin and core 3 apples and puree in food processor until smooth

 

Processing the 3 apples. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

  

4. Add Tofutti and process until smooth.

5. Add superfine sugar, and with motor running, add eggs one at a time.

 

Processing the rest of the filling. I need a new food processor; this one is too small to hold all the filling ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

6. Add lemon or lime juice, and process until blended.

After each processing step I scrape the pureed ingredients, into a large bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

7. Cut and core (leave skin on) the other 2 apples. Then on a cutting board, chop these apples into small dice-shaped pieces and set aside.

 

Chopping two apples with skin left on. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

8. Wait until crust has been in fridge for 30 minutes.

 

Contents of bowl have all been pureed in food processor and are now ready to pour into the crust. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

9. Scrape all the filling out of food processor (or out of the large bowl) and into the pie dish with crust.

10. Now, with your hands or a spoon, sprinkle the cut up apple pieces with skin on, over the top of the cheese cake.

 

Cheese cake going into oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

11. Put pie dish into the oven.

12. Bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until filling is set and wobbles slightly in the center (it will continue to cook as it cools). After baking for 1 hour and 30 minutes, check to be sure cheese cake isn’t too dark around the edge.

13. When cheese cake is done and wiggling a little in center, remove and allow it to do its thing, while cooling down completely.

 

Just out of oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

14. When cool, refrigerate overnight. Then serve the next day.

 

Yummy apple cheese cake; creamy filling and crunchy crust! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We’re drinking an icy Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough district of New Zealand. A delicious wine with a rating in the 90s and worth every penny (do they still exist?). We chilled the glasses first. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Roast Cardamom/Curry Chicken Thighs with Sumac, Cilantro, Mango, Dates and Chopped Pistachios

There are three aspects of my latest recipe that make it especially good: First, you marinate ingredients overnight. Second: the wide variety of herbs and spices, creates the depth and levels of flavor. Third: the 25 fresh garlic cloves, surprise many people; however, if roasted long enough, garlic takes on an unbelievably sweet nutty taste, without which this recipe would not be as good as it is. Put off making this, until you have collected all the spices. I get my spices from Nuts.com, FreshDirect and a little family owned Asian market a few blocks away. Once you have all the herbs and spices, give it a try. It’s worth it! The second time I experimented with this recipe, was to show off with our wonderful house guests, who, I might add, gobbled it up, with nothing left over. Because the natural juices are so-o flavorful, you’ve got to serve this chicken dish with rice, couscous, mashed potatoes, risotto, or orzo, to help soak up the gravy au natural. In addition, serve warm pita or flat bread to sop up the juices. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest of 1 fresh orange

4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of 1 fresh lime

4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sumac

2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard

4 Tablespoons honey

1/2 cup cream sherry or Madeira

1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

1 bay leaf

1 pinch chili flakes

1 pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cardamom

2 teaspoons curry powder

8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)

3 cups sliced carrots (1/4-inch thick)

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

25 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

2 cups sliced dates

3 mangos cut in cubes

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2/3 cup fresh cilantro, well chopped

2/3 cup fresh parsley, well chopped

2 scallions, chopped (for roast)

2 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)

1/2 cup pistachio nuts, toasted, then chopped, for garnish

 

This recipe is great because of the myriad of ingredients like orange, lemon, lime, mango and dates. I’m also experimenting with new spices like sumac. The Madeira also adds a special touch. In my recipe for chopped chicken liver, I swear it’s the Madeira that makes such a difference. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Do all of your chopping, slicing, zesting, first.

Chop several items on one cutting board, to save time. Here, we’re slicing onion, garlic and carrots. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Having peeled 3 mangos, we’re now cutting into bitesize pieces. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

2. Zest of one lemon

3. Zest of one orange

4. Zest of one lime

5. Quarter the lemon, lime and the orange lengthwise, removing any seeds. Thinly slice crosswise into small wedges Reserve slices.

6. In a saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, oil, mustard, honey, salt, bay leaf, chili flakes and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.

 

Mustard-honey mixture is now cooling. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

7. In a very large bowl, add the honey mixture. Next, add carrots, onion, garlic slices, chopped scallions, dates, thyme, curry, flax seeds, cream sherry, chicken stock or broth, orange and lemon slices, cilantro. Stir this mixture several times.

8. Add chicken thighs to the bowl with sauce, stir sauce over the chicken several times. Cover and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

 

All of the ingredients will be covered and marinate overnight in the fridge. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

9. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

10. Line a large roasting dish with parchment (optional) to make cleaning easier, later.

11. Transfer all ingredients, including all of the marinade, to a large roasting dish that can go from oven to table. Chicken should be skin side up.

 

This is my favorite oven to table large size, baking dish. –  From your bowl of marinating ingredients, first put the chicken into the baking dish, with the skin side facing up. Then slowly, with a large spoon, add all of the fruit and veggies, over the chicken. Finally, add all of the liquid. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Going into oven to roast. Another secret of this flavorful recipe, is the amount of fresh sliced garlic. When I told our house guests that there were 25 garlic cloves (large slices), they were quite surprised. People don’t realize that when you roast garlic for this amount of time, it becomes sweet and so delicious, you can eat it plain, as a regular vegetable. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Out of the oven. This chicken is so moist and delicious! I must confess that as I’m putting this newsletter together, everything about this recipe is making me hungry. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

12. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 to 40 for thighs.

13. While chicken is roasting, make saffron jasmine rice, with curry, golden raisins, and toasted pine nuts

14. When the chicken is done, give the sauce in the pan a stir; if the sauce looks too dry add 2 to 3 Tablespoons chicken stock or broth or wine. Add the parsley and scallions and stir into the sauce. If you want the sauce thicker, mix some chickpea flour into several Tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, and add to the sauce, mixing the flour very well into the rest of the sauce.

15. Continue roasting the carrots until they are tender, about 7 to 12 minutes longer.

16. Serve the chicken and saffron rice with sauce spooned over.

17. Sprinkle the chicken with the toasted, chopped pistachio nuts.

 

The aroma of herbs and spices filled the air and beckoned us to begin the feast, which we did with gusto! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

With our relatives visiting us from Germany, we started this meal with chilled Pouilly-Fuisse and a tomato/avocado/cucumber salad with an extra virgin olive oil & fresh lemon, dressing. Then the new recipe, the chicken thighs with all of the luscious gravy, served over one of my oldest most reliable recipes, saffron/curry rice with golden raisins and toasted pine nuts. Both dishes will be finished by the time we clear the table for dessert; which is a simple and refreshing, strawberry/blueberry mousse. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Dessert: Fresh mango, Cheese & grapes, Blueberry cake. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Last week, we all saw Mary Jane by playwright, Amy Herzog at New York Theater Workshop, where THI is a patron. On another evening, we saw Prince of Broadway, a lovely musical review of some of the productions of director/producer, Hal Prince. Prince of Broadway was playing at the Samuel J. Friedman, Broadway Theater of Manhattan Theater Club, where THI is also a patron. We enjoyed both of these shows and recommend them highly.

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

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