Meat Loaf Experiment, Adapted from the NY Times

On the dinner menu this past Friday, snacked on all weekend by Jules. Now, long gone. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

My photos are not doing this delicious recipe, justice. I should have spooned more of the juices over the meat. Take my word for it, this meatloaf gets gobbled up by Jules whenever I do another experiment with it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 

 

Ingredients

1 onion, well chopped

25 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 loaf Italian bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)

1 cup almond milk

2 teaspoons curry

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons dry oregano

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

2 large eggs, scrambled

1/2 pound turkey sausage, chopped well

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup fresh parsley, well chopped

2 teaspoons dry thyme

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, well chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup butter

1 cup dry white wine

 

The reason I wanted to experiment with the recipe I saw in the NYTimes, is that I had never soaked bread in milk for a meatloaf, and I had never scrambled the eggs before mixing them in with the other ingredients. Also, I had never gone through the step of searing, before baking. The outcome is a meatloaf that is definitely very moist. I’m not sure exactly what scrambling the eggs does, but the end result is delicious. Besides the soaked bread and scrambled eggs, all of the other ingredients are from my own meatloaf creations. As you know, I especially like to use lots of garlic. For roasts, tagines, meatloaf, baked veggie dishes, 25 garlic cloves is nothing, because they become soft and have a delicious nutty flavor when baked or roasted. I don’t serve meatloaf that often, but will now, try to do more, in order to compare this recipe with my others. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes.

3. Do all cutting, chopping, slicing

4. Scramble the 2 eggs

5. Sautee the onions, garlic, jalapeno and scallions until soft

6. In a large mixing bowl, and with your hands, mix the beef, veal, chopped turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice.

7. Add all herbs, seasonings, spices and mix well again. Get all of the vigorous mixing done before you add the bread. Add the bread last.

8. Squeeze the bread to remove excess milk, then chop the wad of wet bread and add it to the meat. Mix gently until well combined, but DO NOT OVERMIX.

9. Transfer the contents of the bowl, onto a board and shape into a loaf. Make the loaf about 10 to 11 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

10. Use A large baking pan. It doesn’t have to be a rectangle shape. a large round white pan will work okay.

11. Heat the oil and butter in the white pan, on the stove, over medium-high heat. Add the meatloaf and sear without moving it until it is browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully slide a spatula under the meatloaf, then gently use another spatula to help turn it and brown the second side, again without moving it for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, temporarily.

12. Make the gravy:Return the skillet to the stove and raise the heat. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Deglaze simply means, stirring in the wine with a wooden spoon, while scraping up the browned bits stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan, which will make a simple sauce. Return the meatloaf to the baking pan, pour the sauce over the loaf and then put into the middle of the oven, basting occasionally with the pan juices, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the meatloaf to a platter and let stand, tented with foil, 10 minutes. Slice, pour the pan juices over the top and serve.

 

Do all your chopping, cutting, slicing, etc. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chopping herbs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Soaked bread in milk, coming out of fridge. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Eggs about to get scrambled. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Chopping up the precooked turkey sausage. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cooking the onions, garlic, jalapeno, scallions. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

About to hand mix meat, eggs, parmesan. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Here, everything added except the lemon and the bread. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl. Finally, the bread. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ready to be formed into a loaf and refrigerated. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Getting ready to sear both sides of the loaf. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Getting ready to sear both sides of the loaf. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

The one possibility for a slip-up, but one that can easily be fixed, in seconds. If the loaf loses its shape when you turn it, never mind, all you do is re-form it with your hands. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

After searing both sides, put the loaf into your baking dish. Use a baking dish that goes from oven to table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Back to the searing pan. Add your wine and deglaze, which simply means scrape all of the little pieces of the loaf that are stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. This wine, butter, natural juices and little scraps are the ingredients of the delicious warm juice to bake in and to serve over the meat, at the table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ready to bake. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Into the oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We started our meal, clinking glasses of the delicious Henschke shiraz and a simple crisp garden salad with oil, lemon and mashed garlic dressing, Then came the meatloaf with my saffron rice recipe and another veggie dish, I’m experimenting with; and more Henschke. Dessert was a low calorie jello cake with cool whip on top.

 

Henschke Shiraz, from Australia, is one of our favorite, rich velvety, smooth finish, reds. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Baked Brie with Fig Jam

Many people have a version of this recipe, so perhaps you’ve already had a taste of how wonderful this special appetizer is. The reason I am sharing is that you might not know about it; the other reason is that, what makes my version of this, my favorite, is that it’s so quick and easy, but has the same unbelievably delicious outcome. We served this dish many times over the holidays. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This recipe looks like fare from a gourmet restaurant. When you make it at home, you won’t believe you’ve created an appetizer, so good, you’ll want to make a whole meal of it, with some chilled white wine. Once, that’s exactly what Jules and I did. Polished off the whole thing (slowly savoring each luscious bite), for appetizer, dinner and dessert. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Just out of the oven, the Brie and fig preserves have softened and oozed together and merged with the pastry. If you serve this dish to guests, it won’t last more than 15 to 20 minutes, if they’re helping themselves. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

1 Box Puff Pastry

1 piece of round Brie (8 or more ounces)

Fig jam

Egg Wash (1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water, beaten together well)

1 round pie baking dish, greased with butter

Separate plate: sliced apples (skins left on), sliced pears, red and green seedless grapes

 

Unbelievable how few ingredients are needed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Directions

1. Be sure to chill your white wine; overnight is good

2. After you buy your pastry dough, chill it overnight along with the wine.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees

4. With butter, grease a pie baking dish

5. Rinse off all of the fruit you plan to use and let it drain.

6. Sprinkle almond flour over a flat board or flat surface. I use marble countertop, which bakers used to always use. Make the whole sheet of dough 1/8“ thick. Don’t worry if you’re not exact.

7. Carefully, lift and transfer the dough to the pie dish, draping the dough over the pie dish; letting the dough hang outside the pie dish

8. If you weren’t able to find a round Brie, as I couldn’t, buy a nice wedge, and cut it into big chunks.

9. Spread jam over the bottom of the dough. We love fig preserves for this recipe, but you can use whatever you like with a cheese like Brie. Quince jam is also excellent or you may prefer a marmalade. (your choice).

10. Place the Brie over the fig jam and then spread more jam over the top of the cheese.

11. Now, pull all the draped pieces of dough together, pulling them toward the middle of the pie dish. Pinch carefully, all of the places where the dough comes together, so you don’t have any small openings where the cheese will run through, while baking. Examine carefully and pinch all possible little openings. The dough will fall into place while baking, but lightly pat it down a bit so there’s no point of dough, sticking up, in the middle.

12. With your little pastry brush, brush all of the egg wash over the entire area of dough.

13. Place on the middle rack, in the middle of the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Set a timer to ring at 30 minutes and watch carefully from that time on. You want the top to become a beautiful golden brown and at that point, remove it from the oven.

14. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and slice your apples, and pears while the Baked Brie is cooling. Arrange the fruit plate and include Carr’s water crackers, or not.

15. Plan exactly when you want to serve this appetizer because you want to serve the Baked Brie when it’s warm and runny. It’s not nearly as good cold or cool.

16. Make sure everyone has a chilled glass of while wine and a small plate with small fork.

17. Cut the Baked Brie with a knife and a pie server. If you want guests to serve themselves, don’t be surprised at the speed with which it disappears.

 

Grease your pie dish with butter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

As you can see, the thin dough may rip in places. Don’t worry, all you have to do is pinch it back together, so there are no leaks. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Spread the fig preserves on the dough, (or your choice of jam) all over the bottom of the dish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

I couldn’t find a nice round Brie, so used a ripe wedge and cut it into chunks. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Can you see, just from reading this recipe, how easy it is to make. Your guests won’t believe it.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health

 

About to spread the jam over the bottom, much more and over the top of the cheese. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Pinch the dough together, all over, in order to close all cracks and small openings, so the Brie doesn’t run out. I will press down on that tip of dough in the center. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

All pinching and pressing down has been done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Egg wash with brush is ready. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Egg wash has been brushed all over the dough. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Going into oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

And Voila! The process of baking wrought such a change of form. Look at it now! Mmmmm, smells so good! I cut the apples with a mandolin. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

If you like warm, runny, melted merging flavors, you are in for a real treat!

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Going fast. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

With or without crackers. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Sheer pleasure! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Will discuss this white in a future newsletter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

We are happy and peaceful and thankful for all that we have. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

This is not a tourist joint. This is a favorite of ours for over 25 years. Of course tourists go here, but New Yorkers never left. It’s such a fun place to dine; there’s enough to go around for everyone. We hung out here over the holidays ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc .

 

Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

Persian Pomegranate-Pistachio Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

 

1 onion, chopped well

2 stalks scallions, chopped well

10 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios

1/4 cup almond flour

2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup fresh tarragon, chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 fresh lime

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped well

1 pinch black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch salt

2 pounds ground lamb

1 egg

1/2 cup olive oil

 

Glaze

 

3/4 cup pomegranate molasses (I got it from Amazon.com)

1/4 cup honey

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch chili flakes

 

Garnish

2 Tablespoons chopped pistachios

1 sprig basil

mint leaves

1 cup fresh pomegranate arils

Directions

 

Meatballs

1. To make the meatballs: Pulse all the ingredients, except the meat and egg, in a food processor until you have a grainy paste.

2. Transfer the paste, to a large mixing bowl add the meat and egg. Lightly knead with your hands for a few minutes (do not over mix).

3. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 500F.

5. With extra virgin olive oil, grease a baking dish, large enough to hold 24 meatballs, and set aside. Use a baking dish that goes from oven to trivets on the table.

6. Remove the paste from the refrigerator and scoop out of bowl with a Tablespoon and shape into bite-sized balls, the size of the 1 Tablespoon.

7. Put the meatballs in the baking dish and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

 

Glaze

1. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the glaze.

2. Taste and decide whether it’s too sour. If so, just add more honey.

3. Reduce the oven to 400 degrees.

4. Brush the glaze over each meatball and bake for another 5 minutes, so the flavor of the glaze becomes incorporated. to infuse them with the flavor of the pomegranate. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

5. Just before bringing to table, garnish the meatballs with chopped herbs and more arils.

 

Serve these delicious meatballs with Basmati or Jasmine rice, or your favorite Daal recipe; a simple tossed salad, warm pita bread and one of the following wines: red Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or an excellent Chardonnay, plus many more.

 

My dear husband was the guinea pig for this recipe, as he is for all of them. After he helped himself to the dinner spread, laid out, there was a pause, and great suspense, waiting for a reaction as he raised his fork. Before I could say one word, he let out sounds of high satisfaction. Happily, he loved the lamb meatballs and I hope you will too! This was definitely one way to my husband’s heart!

 

Try this excellent wine with lamb. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

With the lamb we had Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, “Artemis“ Cabernet. If you haven’t tried any of the wines (red and white) from this reliable vineyard, we urge you to do so. This vineyard has a very wide range of wines and prices to pick from and it’s fun to experiment. We have never been disappointed. One of our favorites is the “Artemis“ above.

 

We stayed in this weekend, relaxing, reading and just generally chilling. Maybe, that’s not exactly the right word to use when it was 5 degrees here in Manhattan, last night. Luckily, we could curl up with a good red wine, delicious food and the best company there is.

 

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!

 

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!

 

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