Curry Eggplant Pancake with Wide Variety of Toppings

Medium rare lamb pieces, cooked in oil and garlic with a fig reduction, is the topping on the eggplant pancake that you see above. It’s garnished with chopped scallion and served with fresh mango and mango chutney. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here, topping the eggplant pancake is a delicious shrimp salad (finely chopped celery, a few spices and a very light creamy dressing) ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Over the eggplant pancake, are curry lamb meatballs served with yogurt and mango chutney; cilantro garnish ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The eggplant pancake is topped with ripe avocados mixed with fresh garlic, finely chopped parsley and cilantro and a simple extra virgin olive oil & fresh lemon dressing. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Homemade lentils cooked with tomatoes (sundried or fresh or canned) onion, garlic, parsley, spices, seasonings. I always cook lentils in chicken stock or broth. Not shown is the finely chopped fresh parsley garnish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


On the eggplant pancake is left over chicken or turkey, turned into a salad with fresh apples, green and red grapes, garlic, scallions, nuts. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Curried eggplant pancake, served plain without any topping, as a veggie along with a cooked but rare salmon entr�e and a couple of asparagus spears. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Get all your ingredients together. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.





2 or 3 cups roasted eggplant

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 Onion, well chopped

6 fresh garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 to 1/2 creamy goat cheese or plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch dried oregano

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 cup fresh mint, very finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup canola oil, more if needed





  1. Roast 1 or 2 Italian eggplant until the inside is very soft. With an oven mitt on, squeeze the eggplant to feel the degree of softness. Remove from oven when done and (use oven mitts) cut each eggplant in half, and open like a book, to cool, on a plate.
  2. When cool enough, throw away any seeds or skin and remove the soft eggplant to a food processor to break up and soften any fibers. Set aside
  3. While eggplant is baking, do all your chopping
  4. Into a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, garlic, onion and creamy goat cheese, finely chopped parsley. Stir to combine everything well.
  5. Add the eggplant from the food processor, to the bowl with mixed wet ingredients.
  6. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, curry powder, dried oregano, and fresh mint. Mix well.
  7. Slowly, add the mixed dry ingredients to the eggplant mixture and stir until the batter is just moistened. Don’t over-mix.


Cooking the Eggplant Pancakes


Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop rounded spoonfuls of eggplant batter into hot oil and fry until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate.


Bake the whole eggplant. You can rub extra virgin olive oil over the skin before baking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


I covered the whole eggplants, lightly with foil. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


When roasted and soft when you squeeze, ( but not soft and mushy), remove from oven and let cool. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Italian eggplants don’t have as many seeds as other varieties, so use these. When eggplant has cooled enough to handle, cut in half and open like a book to cool more. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Scoop all the flesh out of the eggplant and put into food processor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Do all your chopping at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After mixing wet ingredients, add the eggplant from the food processor, to the wet ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Slowly, add the bowl of mixed dry ingredients, into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir only until you get a moist batter. Don’t over stir. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Don’t crowd the pan. Cook over medium high flame. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


From pan to plate covered with paper towel to drain. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health In.


On a platter, serve plain as a vegetable with fish, seafood, poultry, meat. Or with a topping of your choice, make this into a meal in itself. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


With curried lamb cooked in a wine/fig sauce, the eggplant pancake turned into a gourmet feast. With it, we had a delicious robust Shiraz from Southern Australia. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. (you’ve got to try it)


This wine was a gift from dinner guests. We didn’t open it right away. Recently, when we opened it for the eggplant pancake with lamb, we were so-o surprised at the unique quality of this Shiraz. You take notice the minute the first sip hits your mouth – then such a pleasant sensation as it explodes and sets your throat on fire, the long finish continues as the heat lingers. This is a fabulous 2012 Henschke blend, with 65% Shiraz, 20% Cab, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. We highly recommend this wine. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


Smoked Paprika Hummus with Warm Pita or Flatbread

Several years ago, our son, Alex, introduced us to one of Manhattan’s best gourmet vegan restaurants, Candle79.  We all go for dinner there, each time he comes to Manhattan . We all love it, by the way. Our strategy at Candle79 (on East 79th Street), is to have 3 or 4 courses, each ordering something different – and sharing. This way, we all get to sample a wide variety of what this inventive restaurant offers. For the appetizer course, one of the dishes was “Smoked Paprika Hummus.“ This and a few other items on the menu, which we ordered, were so-o delicious, that I bought one of the restaurant’s cookbooks in order to try their recipes out at home. The recipes are not that difficult. We want to share with our readers, Candle79‘s “Smoked Paprika Hummus“ recipe, exactly as it appears in their cookbook.



1 cup dried chickpeas, or 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I use the canned chickpeas)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I don’t use the salt)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I also like to use cilantro instead of parsley, for a change of pace)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

1/3 cup tahini

Optional garnishes: roasted red bell peppers, roasted garlic, lemon slices, olives, mint or parsley sprigs



If using dried chickpeas, put them in a saucepan or bowl and add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Soak in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.

Put the chickpeas in a saucepan and add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Drain and let cool, reserving 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil, and tahini in a bowl and stir to mix well. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until well mixed. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid (or water or vegetable stock if using canned chickpeas) and process until smooth and almost fluffy. Add more liquid if necessary. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.)

To serve, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the hummus and sprinkle a bit of paprika. Serve with desired garnishes.


Some of the ingredients — Serve with warm pita bread


In the food processer



Try stuffing chunks of cucumber with this paprika hummus, or mushrooms or deviled eggs.


On an informal Sunday night at home, we find that this hummus is so good, we heat up some pita bread, break out a bottle of our favorite white wine, and just sit at our kitchen table, with raw carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks (and a few olives) and eat this delicious repast with total satisfaction. Sorta like a picnic at home.


See below the wine we enjoyed with the paprika humus.


Orvieto is a lovely light Italian white wine that we usually drink in the summer, but it went well with the paprika hummus  For dessert we had fresh mango spears and fresh blueberries.


From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!

Curry Zucchini Dumplings and Curried Tomato Cream Sauce

All those wonderful spices did not disappoint; their warm aroma filled our home and whetted our appetites. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Dumpling Ingredients


2 eggs

2.5 pounds zucchini, washed, keep skin on

2 pinches kosher, sea salt or Himalayan

1 pinch black pepper

1 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons raw cashews

10 large cloves garlic, peeled

1.5 Tablespoons curry powder (more for spicier)

4 lengthwise slices from a fresh ginger root

1 red chili, stem & seeds removed (more for spicier)

1/3 cup chickpea flour

4 Tablespoons rice flour

2/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

Canola oil for deep-frying


Sauce Ingredients


2 Tablespoons ghee or canola oil (ghee from Amazon)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1.5 Tablespoons curry powder

10 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 red chili, stem & seeds removed (more chilies for spicier)

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup golden raisins

1 Tablespoon raw ginger root, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (Cento)

1 pinch kosher or sea salt or Himalayan

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup chicken broth, to start; then use the whole can

1 teaspoon garam masala

2/3 cup + finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, (plus extra for garnish)


These are not your usual suspects. This group of ingredients, combines in an extraordinary way, yielding flavors so-o delicious, you will find that you can’t stop. Jules gives my recipe a 5+. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Directions for making dumplings


1. Prepare the dumplings: Shred zucchini using a box grater. Collect shreds in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, not listed with the ingredients. Let stand for about 30 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, place onion, cashews, garlic, one egg at a time, ginger, curry and chilies in a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms a spicy-smelling, slightly chunky paste. Use a small spatula and get every bit of this mixture, scraped out and into a mixing bowl.


3. Back to the zucchini. Rinse all the salt off the zucchini. Wrap zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the liquid, over the sink. You may not think this is necessary but it’s worth doing, in order to get as much liquid out of the zucchini, so later the dumplings hold together better.


Here, the salted (grated) zucchini has been draining for 30 minutes, after which salt rinsed off, and squeezed with clean kitchen towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



4. Place the squeezed squash into the mixing bowl and stir it into the onion paste mixture until well combined. Add chickpea flour, rice flour and cilantro and stir to combine into a slightly wet batter.


Here, all the dumpling ingredients are in this bowl, except for the flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Finally, both flour types, are added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Half the dumplings made, and about to go into the oven. The other half will be fried. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



5. Now, you can either bake the dumplings in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Or you can fry the dumplings in canola oil over medium-high flame. For baking, line a baking sheet with parchment. For frying, have a large skillet ready with canola oil in it, heating slowly, while you make the dumplings. Use tongs for frying. I have baked as well as fried. Both turn out well, so it’s up to you.


6. Working quickly, place a heaping Tablespoon of batter in the palm of your hand and squeeze it slightly, to form into a ball; transfer dumpling to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter to make about 25 dumplings. The longer you let the batter stand without using it, the more liquid-y it will get, making it difficult to handle. Adding more flour will take away from the flavor and texture of the dumplings.


7. If you’re going to fry the dumplings, wait until you have formed about 8 dumplings and then put them all into the skillet to cook, while you make the remaining dumplings. Carefully, turn the dumplings with tongs to be sure that the whole surface of each dumpling is cooked to a golden-brown color. Each batch should take about 5 minutes to cook. Set aside.


Just turned dumplings over. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



8. Cover a plate with paper toweling, to put the fried dumplings, so they can drain away some of the oil. Set aside


9. If you bake the dumplings, remove from oven when done. Set aside.


Fried dumplings are done and cooling on a paper towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This batch of dumplings, just came out of the oven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping herbs for the sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping red onion and garlic, for the sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Directions for the sauce


1. Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle and darken, 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately add onions, garlic, chili, cashews and raisins. Stir-fry until onion is soft and golden, chili is pungent, cashews have turned honey brown, and raisins are swollen and darkened, about 5 minutes.


Sauteing ingredients for the sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



2. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric to the saucepan, stirring once or twice to combine. Add all seasonings and spices and herbs, now. Stir again to combine.



3. Transfer all the tomato sauce ingredients to a food processor and pur?e, scraping downward, with a small spatula, the inside of the glass bowl, as needed, to make a smooth and spicy-sweet red sauce.


4. Pour sauce back into saucepan, using the spatula to scrape all the sauce into the pan. Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth, into blender and swish it around; add this liquid to pan. Stir in the half-and-half and garam masala. Stir all together to combine well.


Here is the thick sauce. I will add a little more chicken broth, very slowly, stirring the whole time, until I get the exact consistency I want. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



5. At this point, I usually find that the sauce is too thick, so I slowly add a little more chicken broth to the sauce, while stirring the whole time. In the end, I always add all the remaining chicken broth. Do this slowly, so that you’re sure the sauce will not be too thin. If it becomes too thin, it’s hard to add a thickening agent and be sure you won’t dilute the flavor, so don’t let the sauce get too thin, by adding the broth too quickly.


6. When you’re ready to serve, gently add all the dumplings to the sauce, making sure they do not break apart.


Sauce is just right and I’ve added the dumplings to the sauce, as they get reheated. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



7. Heat over medium flame, until sauce starts to bubble, then lower heat, cover the pan, and simmer until dumplings are warmed through and have absorbed some of the sauce, about 5 minutes; do not stir. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.


Just brought the pot from stove to table and added some cilantro. Ready to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


As Jules wolfed down the curry dumplings, I managed to get a photo`of one, cut in half. Dee..lish ! He gave my new recipe a 5+. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Serve warm with mango chutney on the table, some sour cream and chopped cilantro.


This was a scrumptious meal filled with such a myriad of flavors. We started with our chilled Pouilley-Fume and a simple tomato/avocado salad (fresh lemon & oil dressing); then the new recipe, the awesome curried zucchini dumplings with equally spectacular sauce. I love spoiling my dear, husband, so also made a favorite of his, fried chicken thighs. To complete the entr?e, I also served broccoli sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, a dab of butter and plenty of sliced garlic. Fresh fruit for dessert. We’re in a mango groove these days. Such a refreshing way to end a meal. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This well chilled Pouilly Fume was perfect with the whole meal. Pouilly Fume is a bit drier than Pouilly-Fuisse. I happen to like Pouilly-Fuisse better, for what it’s worth. If I had to compare (remember, I’m no wine expert), I would say that if you like Chardonnay, then you might prefer Pouilly-Fume. Whereas, IMO, those who like Sauvignon Blanc, which I do, would probably like Pouilly-Fuisse. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We saw a wonderful revival this weekend, on Broadway (The Samuel J. Friedman Theater). August Wilson is the playwright and the play with raving reviews is: Jitney. All of the acting is beautifully done, with excellent direction. IMO, the writing is splendid, especially Act 2 and the last scene of Act 1. The end of any play is particularly difficult. The sensitivity and skill of August Wilson’style is clear as he navigates to the final words of this gem Here’s a play not to miss. There’s another week or so to go. Try to catch it. The end is stunning!



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


Kale and Pecorino Salad with Walnuts & Sherry-Soaked Raisins

I am always thinking about kale because our family is focused on health, although we sometimes break away for something sweet.  Kale is one of those super healthy foods so I have experimented with many combos of ingredients with kale.  © Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces, toasted

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 Tablespoon creme sherry

1 Tablespoon water

1/2 cup Panko crumbs

2 or more (optional) cloves garlic, pressed

Pinch kosher salt (optional)

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch Tuscan kale washed and patted dry

2 oz. or 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon




Prepare the walnuts:


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. Let cool and coarsely chop.


Prepare the raisins:


In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer champagne vinegar, water, creme sherry and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid, for as long as you can. (Keep in the liquid)


Prepare the crumbs:


Toast panko, garlic, curry powder, pinches, pepper, chili flakes and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.


Prepare the kale:


1. Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.


2. Put kale in a large salad bowl. Add the pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the raisins, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, if you can.  This enables all of the lovely flavors to merge.


3. Add the Panko crumbs, just before you serve the salad, and toss it one more time.


We started with chilled Orvieto, warm Italian bread, olive oil & butter and an antipasto.


Next the kale salad with fresh halibut dipped in egg then panko (mixed with curry and parmesan), and quickly cooked in a small amount of olive oil.  For dessert we had spears of fresh mango which we have been eating all week.


This weekend we went to MetOpera and saw, Rusalka an opera by Antonin Dvorak.  We love Dvorak, so were looking forward to this.  The role of Rusalka was sung by the Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais; the role of the Prince was sung by (beautiful) tenor, Brandon Jovanovich from Montana.


Below are my two favorite Dvorak compositions; the first is the hauntingly gorgeous First Act aria, “Song to the Moon“ from Rusalka; the second is his magnificent, String Quartet #12 (American).  I’m including one other video, which is a cello rendition of “Song to the Moon“  The cellist is the young, Stjepan Hauser, from Croatia.


Kristin Opolais, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak


Stjepan Hauser, cello, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak


 String Quartet #12, “American”


A glass of icy Proseco. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Curried Shrimp Rissoles Topped with Mango

For months, I have been trying to come up with a new shrimp recipe, good enough to share with everyone. Finally, here it is. Versatile enough to serve as an entr?e or an appetizer. There were enough made, so that we ate them for two dinners; plus, Jules could snack on them over the long weekend. BTW, Jules gives this recipe a 5. He’s eating them hot or cold, I like them best warm with hot gravy spooned over and chopped fresh mango scattered over the top, and a garnish of fresh cilantro. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



For the dough:


2 cups almond flour

1 3/4 cups and 2 1/2 Tablespoons boiling water (for the dough)

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt (to taste)

1 eggs


Canola oil (or extra virgin olive oil) for frying


For the filling:


2 pounds medium to large shrimp, cleaned and de-veined

1 onion, chopped very well

10 fresh garlic cloves, chopped

3 stalks scallion, well chopped up to half the white section

1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 cup mango chutney

Pinch black pepper

Pinch pink Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 Tablespoon white or brown sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 Tablespoon almond flour

1 Tablespoon butter

1 bunch fresh Parsley, very well chopped

1 onion to cook the shrimp


Gather all the ingredients in one place. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Get all of the ingredients out

Do all chopping, slicing, cutting, etc.


Chopping parsley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping garlic, onion, mango. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


For the dough:


1. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. To the water, add the butter and the salt. When starts boiling, reduce to low heat and add the flour. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a compact ball.


2. Turn off the heat, place the dough on a table and allow to cool to room temperature. Knead the dough with your hands, make one large ball and set aside.


The dough should look like this. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Make your favorite seafood gravy that’s light, or no gravy at all. I put together a simple sour cream, flour, teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, curry, garlic, chopped mushrooms in a saucepan, then set aside.


You don’t need gravy for this recipe but I made a simple gravy, to see if the recipe needed it and it doesn’t. © Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



For the filling:


1. In a skillet, with extra virgin olive oil and a little chicken stock or broth, and the parsley, cook the chopped onion until it’s golden.


Cooking onion, garlic, parsley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



2. Place the shrimp in the skillet with the onion/parsley. While stirring constantly, cook the shrimp for about 2 or 3 minutes.


Add the shrimp to the parsley mixture and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring all the time, to get both sides of the shrimp cooked. When shrimp are done, remove quickly into a bowl and cook more, until all the shrimp are done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After cooked and oil drained on paper towel, put shrimp in bowl to be chopped.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



3. Chop by hand, the shrimp garlic and the bunch of parsley. Don’t chop too much. You want the filling to have texture to it. You want small pieces of the shrimp to show when the little rissole is cut open to eat.


4. To the chopped shrimp add the curry powder, nutmeg, all seasonings, all spices, all herbs, corn kernels, chopped mango and mix to combine well.


Here is the filling. I need to chop some of the big pieces of shrimp some more and then the filling will be ready to become part of the dough. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



Make the Rissoles


1. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.

2. Cut small circles by using a coffee mug, turned upside down


3. Place portions of the filling in the center of each circle. Put another circle over the filling and press the edges of the two circles, together to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork.


Fry the rissoles


1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork.

2. Put Panko on a flat plate

3. Dip the rissoles in the beaten egg and then cover them with the Panko.


The beaten eggs to dip the rissoles in before frying. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The Panko to roll both sides of the rissoles after dipping in the beaten egg, just

before frying.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Heat the oil in skillet. When the oil is hot, add the rissoles and fry them on both sides until golden on each side.


5. Once they are fried, place them on a plate with paper towel.


6. Then put the rissoles on a serving platter. Add some gravy, if you wish. Scatter chopped mango over the top and garnish with chopped cilantro.

7. Put some chutney on the table to serve with the shrimp rissoles.


Platter of curried shrimp rissoles, ready to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Over the rissoles, gravy added, plus scattered chopped mango over the top of the rissoles.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


These curried shrimp rissoles are so delicious, you can’t stop eating them.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We ate these all weekend. Mmmmmm outstanding! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


These rissoles were the entre, with which a simple salad was served.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Wonderful with mango chutney ! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chilled Prosecco was perfect with the Shrimp Rissoles. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This was the perfect long weekend for us. The outstanding event was attending the MetOpera’s, I Puritani, shining gem of outstanding bel canto, with brilliant voices, lyrics, conductor. On our list of perfect operas, this is tied at the top.


All Bravas and Bravos, standing ovations, were well deserved. If you can still get tickets for this glorious opera, there are three more performances in February; try not to miss this superlative production by the great master, Vincenzo Bellini.


The electrifying Frech coloratura, Diana Damrau is Elvira, gripped by madness and love; great Mexican tenor, Javier Camarena, a sensation in his recent appearances in other bel canto works, takes on the role of her beloved and heroic Arturo. If you think you hear a little Verdi, you would be almost right.


Bellini, earlier composer, had a great influence on Guiseppe Verdi, not the other way around. Bellini wrote long swaths of melody, a style that influenced all of Europe’s composers including Chopin and yes, Wagner. I would venture to say that IMO, Wagner’s greatest creation, Tristan and Isolde, was influenced by Vincenzo Bellini.


Click the link for my favorite aria from Bellini’s, I Puritani, sung by the greatest tenor who ever lived, Luciano Pavarotti


Vincenzo Bellini, operatic genius, makes LGBT proud



We were so enthralled by this glorious opera, that at dinner afterwards, the first thing we ordered was, two Bellinis, toasting the genius of Vincenzo Bellini. Opera doesn’t get any better than this production of, I Puritani.


From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


Valentine Sweethearts

Pretty and Easy ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 large package chocolate chip cookies
1  container of Tofutti
2 or more cups white chocolate chips or white block of chocolate

1 can (11 ounces or more) marzipan (bought online at

Bottle of red food coloring

Tiny candy hearts for garnish

Box or bag of thin red licorice sticks


Just a few, easy to find, ingredients.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Who doesn’t love the flavor of marzipan?  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Red licorice, for sticks   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




  1. Cover one or 2 plates with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 42 (1 large package) chocolate chip cookies in a large food processor and pulse until all you have are crumbs. If you only have a small food processor, make your crumbs in stages, pouring some in a bowl, while you pulse the rest.


Making the crumbs in small food processor.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Crumbs are in bowl and about to add the Tofutti; then the marzipan.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. Slowly, add crumbs and Tofutti together until all crumbs and Tofutti are completely combined. You can do this back in the food processor, or mix very well in a bowl.
  2. Next, add the whole can of marzipan to the bowl and mix it very well into the crumbs and Tofutti already combined.


This is the consistency you want, just before you start to roll by hand;  firm dough.  Let your own judgement guide you.  If you need more crumbs, just pulse a few more and add to bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. With a spatula, scrape the mixture out of the food processor and into a bowl. Then, by hand, one by one, make small, 1-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet or on plates covered in parchment paper.
  2. Cut the red licorice into sticks about 2 or 3 inches long.
  3. Add a thin red licorice stick to each ball and freeze for 10-15 minutes.


Rolling out the balls by hand, then adding little red licorice sticks, before going into the fridge.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave for 30-seconds, or in a small pan on top of the stove, stirring often.


Melting white chocolate on top of the stove in my favorite tiny pan.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. After 15 to 20 minutes or more, take out of the fridge, 1/3 of the marzipan balls and dip them into the white chocolate, covering them all over. After coated with the white chocolate, put them back on the plate or baking sheet and while they’re still wet with chocolate, sprinkle tiny hearts over them, in a design you like. Set aside.


Here’s the first completed batch, with white first, of course.  Sprinkle with tiny hearts while the chocolate is still wet, or it will be more difficult to get the little hearts to stick.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. Now, add about 20 drops of the red food coloring into the melted chocolate until you get a nice medium pink. Take another 1/3 of the marzipan balls out of the fridge, and dip into the pink chocolate, put back on a plate. Sprinkle with hearts and set aside.


Here’s the result of the first pink chocolate balls (20 drops of red food coloring into the pan of melted white chocolate).  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Easy to make darker pink chocolate; same pan, just more drops of red food coloring, in the melted white chocolate.  The above photo, shows my second, darker pink chocolate   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Second batch, pink marzipan balls with garnish.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


  1. If you’re running out of melted chocolate, simply add more white chocolate to the pan and melt more.
  2. To the pink chocolate, add more of the red food coloring until you get a darker pink to rose color. Take the last 1/3 of the marzipan balls out of the fridge and dip them into the remaining dark pink chocolate, covering each ball with the melted chocolate and add to plate. Again, while chocolate is still wet, garnish with little hearts (or your own ideas for garnish).
  3. Serve these little sweeties for dessert with coffee and/or tea.


Tea for Two   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Luscious !   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Happy Valentine’s Day to You and Your Special Someone!  Share the Love!

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


Broccoli Baked with Turkey Bacon, Lemon/Garlic & Cheddar

Trial and error — We ate this recipe three times this past week, until it was just right, as you see above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




2 bunches broccoli

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for cooking, or more

1 slab of turkey bacon, chopped, put into mixing bowl

20 garlic cloves, sliced, put into bowl with turkey bacon

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

20 garlic cloves, sliced

2 eggs beaten in small bowl.

2 cups Panko, on flat plate

1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese



  1. Slice the garlic
  2. Chop the turkey bacon
  3. Make your lemon zest


Chop the turkey bacon into little pieces. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 


4. Beat the eggs

5. Grate the cheese

6. Pour out the Panko into a flat dish

7. Wash broccoli two or three times and dry well.  You want all sand and grit removed.  Break broccoli into pieces about bite-size, on paper towel.  Use stems for soup or another recipe.

8. Oil a large baking dish that you can bring to table to serve from.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

10. Dip each piece of broccoli into the beaten eggs, and then roll in the plate with Panko.  Set aside


11.  In large skillet, put about 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium flame.  Cook the broccoli pieces, moving them around with tongs, so that each piece is cooked to a golden brown color.  Put each cooked piece of broccoli into the baking dish.


Put the cooked broccoli into the oiled baking dish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


From the bowl, pour the turkey bacon garlic mixture over the cooked broccoli. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Finally, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and put the casserole into the oven, uncovered. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


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


We started with chilled sauvignon blanc and the little sourdough flat crackers we recently discovered & hummus.  Then, a simple salad of tomatoes and avocados in a lemon/oil/garlic dressing.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Then, I brought out the final version, and we loved it.  Crunchy, but still soft where you wanted it.  If I do say so myself, this was fun to experiment with, the colors are beautiful and the end result is delicious.  This is quick and easy to make, now that the trial and error part is behind us.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


For dessert, we had some chocolate covered juicy fresh strawberries, that I’m experimenting with for Valentines Day


Your favorite chilled white, goes well with this recipe.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This weekend we saw Rigoletto at the MetOpera. As you know, this is a gorgeous opera and one of our favorites. The new MetO production is set in Las Vegas, the perfect setting for the dark story. The voices were fine but could have been stronger. The Russian soprano who sang Gilda has a lovely voice, but at the end of the famous quartet in the third act, (which I wait for eagerly each time we see this opera) she was not able to hit the high notes.  I felt let down. Oh well, we’ll go again next year.


Don’t get me wrong, the MetOpera is a glorious place and magical each time we go.  I can’t think of a better way to spend several hours, floating on beautiful waves of sound, while the stresses of life fade, momentarily.

Here is the Rigoletto quartet, (Act 3) the way it should be heard.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  The brilliant soprano here is Dame Joan Sutherland, the glorious tenor is the greatest, Luciano Pavarotti



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!

The Rooster        Asian New Year Celebration

An online ad for Korean vodka, intrigued me, especially when there was no way to buy it in the U.S.  After some research, it turned out two countries stocked it: Korea and Germany.  Executive Director of Target Health Inc., Yong Joong Kim was contacted for advice.  Luckily, for the newsletter, Y.J. Kim’s wife was heading to Korea for a visit.


Ingredients for two unbelievable vodka (Korean vodka) cocktails


3 jiggers of Korean vodka

1 cup of ruby red Tropicana grapefruit juice

3 jiggers of Frangelico

3 jiggers Ginger liqueur

1 teaspoon Campari in each glass, after all else is poured in

2 Martini picks (1 per glass)

6 Cocktail cherries, 3 on each pick (per glass)

1 Cara Cara orange, 1 circle cut in half, half per glass

2 spears watermelon (1 per glass)

2 spears cantaloupe (optional) – 1 per glass


This particular vodka cocktail is for Absolut Korean vodka only.  Korean vodka comes with spices infused: coffee, almond, chili.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Special voyage needed to obtain this special vodka.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In Korea, Mrs Kim is receiving the Korean vodka from her father, who got it from her brother who made the purchase.


Here Mrs. Kim hands her husband, Yong Joong Kim the long sought after special Korean vodka, who brings it to THI in Manhattan and finally to yours truly, who now must come up with an extraordinary recipe saluting Asian Lunar New Year.


Above are the 4 basic alcoholic ingredients needed for this vodka cocktail: Absolut Korean (spiced) vodka, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Frangelico Liqueur, and after the above mixture is shaken with ice & with gusto, 1 teaspoon of Campari is gently dropped on the surface of the drink.  I learned this secret from a friendly Italian master bartender, now Maitre D’  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


You never want to use those bright red totally chemical cocktail cherries.  Instead, shop around for slightly more expensive real cherries in their own syrup or sometimes infused in brandy, cognac or (above) bourbon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After trying out several brands of juice (orange and grapefruit) plus some bubbly, we settled on the above ruby red with pulp.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cut your fruit, before you do anything else.  Cara cara oranges were used because they have peak flavor right now and because their color is really beautiful, as you can see above.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here’s a close up of the fruit I ended up using.  Three dark cherries on each pick, half a slice of Cara cara, spear of watermelon.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1. Decide what fruit you want to use, then do all the cutting and slicing needed.  This is a fun chance to be creative, in the shapes and lengths you make of the fruit.

2. Put all the fruit in each cocktail glass, so you’re free to arrange it any way you want.  If you do this after the drink is poured, it’s much harder.

3. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the Campari

4. Shake vigourously.

5. Take cover off shaker and add as many ice cubes as will fit.  Shake again with gusto

6. Pour the mixture, through the strainer, into each glass, about 1 inch from the top of the glass rim.

7. Pour a small amount of Campari into a small glass or measuring cup.

8. Place the drink in front of the lucky person about to take a sip.  Now dip a teaspoon into the Campari, fill it,  and carefully drop the Campari onto the surface of the drink.  DO NOT STIR. WAIT until the Campari drops through the rest of the drink and falls to the bottom.  There are photos below, that show the remarkable layers of color, this small amount of Campari adds to the already delicious Korean vodka drink

9. Okay, now sip and smile


The Rooster, a Korean vodka cocktail to celebrate the New Year with!  We raise our glasses to Mr. and Mrs. Yong Joong Kim.  We also raise our glasses to all of our wonderful Asian employees who contribute daily to the feeling of community at THI.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The Rooster                                        ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Like part of a rainbow, the color layers are so pretty.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Up close example of the separate layers of color that make a lovely presentation.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here are the beautiful layers of color easy for you to achieve.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


HAPPY  NEW  YEAR  EVERYONE !  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Rice crackers or the Asian mix, above, are especially good with this cocktail.  During one experiment with the Rooster, we had Ahi tuna & avocado sticks, which also went well with this drink.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


Warm Curry Cauliflower Salad with Avocado-Cilantro-Lime Dressing

It’s not every day that we rave about a salad; however, this warm curry creation is worth trying. It’s extremely easy to make, so no time wasted. Marinating overnight, does a lot of the work for you. Give it a try; you won’t be disappointed. Add some warm bread and/or rolls, a chilled glass of wine and enjoy with whomever you share this salad. One evening, along with this warm salad, and chilled wine, we had hummus and a new kind of sourdough flat cracker (11 calories each). We were satisfied and happy.  Oh, and Happy New Year everybody! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1 large cauliflower head, washed, dried, chopped into bite size pieces

1 fresh lime, juiced

Zest of 1 lime

10 fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon curry (more if you want spicier)

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

2 avocados, diced

2 stalks scallions, chopped up to half the white section. Save some for garnish


Just the right herbs and spices, not many, and amazingly?. You have a tasty warm salad to start your meal, or fine alone for lunch or low calorie dinner. Warm crunchy bread or rolls dipped in extra virgin olive oil, a chilled white wine and you’re all set. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Get all your chopping, squeezing, cutting, slicing done, except for the avocados. Cut them the next day, just before serving the warm salad.


Chopping cilantro, scallions, and slicing garlic on same board and at same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



3. In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper and 1 chopped scallion. Mix to combine, cover and let it marinate overnight.


Getting ready to cover the cauliflower with marinade overnight. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



4. Transfer cauliflower into a very lightly oiled (extra virgin olive oil) baking dish, (or no oil at all) using a slotted spoon. Keep as much of the marinade in the bowl (the garlic and cilantro, etc.) as you can.


Cauliflower, having marinated overnight, has been transferred into a baking dish. Naturally, some of the herbs and spices are sticking, but most remain in the bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cauliflower is going into oven (first without the cheese) to bake for 15 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



5. Bake the cauliflower for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Add the grated cheddar cheese stir with cauliflower and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.


After baking for 15 minutes, baking dish removed, grated cheddar cheese added and stirred a bit; dish goes back into oven until cheese melts. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



6. While cauliflower is baking, check the bowl and taste any marinade that’s left, to determine if you want to add something more. Consider adding a little more fresh lime juice or more curry, pepper, or chili flakes, etc.

7. When cheese has melted, remove baking dish.


Here’s what the cauliflower looks like after the cheese has melted. Set aside while you finalize the dressing. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



8. Now, to the bowl with dressing, add a little more well chopped cilantro. Cut into cubes the two ripe avocados and add to bowl. Stir the dressing well, so that all ingredients are well combined.

9. To the baking dish with warm cauliflower, scrape all of the dressing out of the bowl and over the cauliflower. Toss everything together. Garnish with extra chopped scallion. Serve warm immediately.


Cheese melted, baking dish out of oven. Here the dressing with added avocados, has been added to the warm cauliflower. Next, the salad will be tossed and served. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Tossed, ready to serve; filling the room with a soft yet spicy scent. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Salad for two. By now, we really love it. This is the fourth time this week, we’ve had this particular warm salad. Each time a slight tweak, and each time it got better and better. The trick seemed to be to get the right balance of lime juice and curry. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Warm, healthy and delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This was the perfect chilled wine, that we sipped with our warm cauliflower salad.

Let us know if you tried it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



From Our Table to Yors !


Bon Appetit!


Fresh Fruit Dessert Plate with Stuffed Dates and Aril Garnish

Like many relatives, friends and colleagues, we’ve struggled with bouts of serious winter maladies. Weight loss has been the only redeeming feature. In our house, loss of appetite, lead to lethargy regarding creating any food combinations, resulting in new recipes. Luckily, during our “down“ time, we craved fresh fruit. Above, is one of many fruit plates we feasted on, with a low desire for anything else. These ubiquitous plates appeared during breakfast, dinner, snacks and over the past three or four weekends, plus, ever-present at Scrabble. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.





Cara cara oranges
Blood oranges
Mandarin oranges
Sumo Tangerines
Red seedless grapes
Pomegranate arils
Turkish dates
Tofutti (soy cream cheese)
Grand Marnier


Basically, I went onto the fresh fruit page at FreshDirect, and bought a variety of peak oranges, tangerines, pink grapefruit, pomegranate arils, grapes, dates, Tofutti and a bottle of Grand Marnier. Just buy fresh fruit that you and your family like, and create a beautiful plate. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.





1. Start by peeling all the fruit. If you feel like marinating some of the fruit in Grand Marnier, do it now. I cut the Cara cara oranges in circles and covered them with this liqueur overnight. The strawberries are on the table, because I was planning to dip them in chocolate to serve with the fruit, but never had the energy to actually do it.


Cara cara oranges are at their peak now. Don’t miss this season’s a lovely range of citrus fruit in markets now. I bought these at FreshDirect. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Mangoes are very fine in markets right now and as healthy as can be. They can be addictive we found, as we slurped them down. Mmmm super delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



2. Cut your fruit in different shapes: I made some spear shaped mangoes; circles of Cara cara oranges; segments of tangerines; half circles of other oranges. I cut the dates almost in half, spread with Tofutti (soy cream cheese); distributed the grapes and sprinkled the entire plate with the pomegranate arils.


Many varieties of grapes are well rated, now. We’ve eaten a lot of these, often with plates of American and European cubed cheeses. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


One of our favorite soft cheeses, to eat with grapes, is this Italian: Bra Tenero. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat.  Sometimes, an evening meal of warm crusty bread, robust red wine, your favorite cheeses and lots of grapes, apples and pears, is all you need to feel happy  …oh, and good conversation with plenty of laughs.


At one point, we tried some white wine with the fruit, which at any other time would have been just fine; but I found that it did not mix well with my illness and made me feel worse. I had not yet begun taking medication. Jules was okay with it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



“May Your Days Be Merry and Bright“ (Irving Berlin)



From Our Table to Yours !


Bon Appetit!


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