Easy Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1 package Philadelphia cream cheese (NOT LOW FAT!! OR ANY OTHER BRAND!!)
2 c whole milk (can replace with 2%, half and half, or cream, but not skim)
6 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese (NOT KRAFT!!)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste

Directions:

  1. NOTE: have pasta ready before making sauce
  2. Heat butter on stove over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic.
  4. Add room temperature cream cheese. Whisk. Get it as smooth as you can.
  5. Add warm milk. Whisk till smooth. DO NOT boil.
  6. Add parmesan. DO NOT bring to boil or it WILL separate. Whisk till smooth.
  7. Take off heat.
  8. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  9. Sauce will get thicker as it cools.
  10. Add sauce to pasta and enjoy!
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Candied Purple Cabbage

Note: YOU WILL NEED TWO HOURS TO LET THIS SIMMER ON THE STOVE!! It’s so worth it, but make sure you have that kind of time. This recipe does not require constant attention or mixing, so it’s good to have on the stove while doing something else.

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/40533/red-cabbage/

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 head red/purple cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
1 small apple, peeled and diced
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinaigrette
one handful of finely chopped onion (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put everything into a medium sized pot. Bring to boil over medium high heat on stove, uncovered. Mix well.
  2. Once boiled, decrease stove heat to low and put lid on pot. Let cook, stirring from time to time, for around two hours.
  3. It is done when the water is gone, and the taste is like candied yum.
  4. Enjoy!

Note: I found the final result tasted a LOT like gulkand. If I had added cardamom it would have been uncanny.

Note: No one in my house could believe this was cabbage. It was awesome and went fast.

This recipe’s a keeper. Makes a perfect side dish. It’s excellent for a pot luck because it looks unusual and impressive, everyone loves it, it doesn’t cost a lot, and although it takes two hours to make, it’s not a high maintenance two hours.

 

Salsa Roja

This is a boiled salsa. It is super easy and so yum. I bottled mine after boiling to enjoy at a later date.

Ingredients
6 pounds roma (plum) tomatoes
1/4 pound roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 red onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 pound jalapeno peppers, chopped [optional]
1/3 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Briefly place 6 pounds tomatoes into water to loosen skins and set color. Drain, peel and crush.
Mix chopped tomatoes, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper and cumin into the saucepan with crushed tomatoes. Whip to desired thickness. Bring to a boil. Mix in red onion, white onion, yellow onion, jalapeno peppers and cilantro. Continue boiling until vegetables are soft and mixture has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat. Refrigerate until serving.

Iyengar Karnataka Eggplant

iyengar eggplant

Ingredients:

2 long eggplants, cut into 1 inch lengths (then I cut each 1 inch cylinder into six long pieces)

eggplant

1/3 tsp tamarind paste diluted in 1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coconut powder

Spice Powder

2 tbsp urad dal
2 tbsp chana dal
1/3 tsp paprika
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 ” cinnamon stick
1 clove

Tempering

enough oil to cover bottom of heavy bottomed wide pot (I use a sesame oil and peanut oil combination)(make sure you have a lid for this pot)

pot

1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
4-5 curry leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine spice powder ingredients in pan on stove. Dry roast until fragrant. Dals will be golden. Taste the dals to make sure they are cooked. When done, let cool and then grind in grinder until fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add tempering ingredients in order given. Add eggplant. Sautee. Add tamarind water. Add turmeric. Add salt. Mix well. Cover with lid. Let cook over medium low heat until eggplant is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat. Add spice powder and coconut powder. Mix well.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from Simply Southern by Chandra Padmanabhan. Buy this book, you won’t regret it. There are a lot of really great South Indian recipes in it, which you won’t get at any restaurant. And as far as spiciness is concerned — do what I did, and omit the red chilies and replace with a minute amount of paprika powder.

Lemon Pepper Paneer

Ingredients:

Paneer
Olive oil
Lemon Pepper
1 small onion (chopped into 1 in pieces)(optional)
1/2 small red pepper (chopped into 1 in pieces)(optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut paneer into 3/4 in cubes.
  2. Put into mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1/3 c).
  4. Sprinkle with lemon pepper (about 1/3 of the bottle).
  5. Mix well.
  6. Optional: Add onion and red pepper to bowl. Mix well.
  7. Let sit for four hours to overnight to let the flavors soak in.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F.
  9. Spread cubes out onto nonstick cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 10 min.
  11. Take out of oven and mix.
  12. Bake 10 min.
  13. Take out of oven and mix.
  14. Paneer should be nicely browned and crisp. If not bake another 3-5 min.
  15. Take out of oven, put into serving bowl lined with paper towels.
  16. Enjoy!

 

ABP Corn and Green Chili Bisque

Okay, the “original” copycat recipe is on the bottom of this post. This is similar to the soup at Au Bon Pain.

I am adding a recipe that is more mild, which is more to my family’s taste. If you like the spiciness of the original, scroll down 🙂

Ingredients:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 green pepper, minced (abt 1/4 c)
1/4 red pepper, minced (abt 1/4 c)
1/4 onion, minced (abt 1/4 c)
1 tsp minced garlic (I use the bottled version from Costco)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (I use the red and yellow Italian brand canned version)
1 7 oz can Herdez salsa verde
4 c water
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
2 ears of corn, boiled, cut from cob
1 tsp heavy cream powder (or more, to taste)
juice of 1/8 lime

Directions:

  1. Add butter and olive oil to large pot over medium heat. Let warm.
  2. Add green pepper, red pepper, onion. Sautee.
  3. Add onion. Sautee.
  4. Add tomato paste and salsa verde. Add 4 c water. Add sugar and cumin. Let come to boil.
  5. Add corn. Let boil, then simmer over medium low heat.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Add heavy cream powder.
  8. Mix well and enjoy! 🙂

Note: This recipe is AWESOME! 🙂 Everyone loved it, will make it again.

 

 

 

Corn and Green Chili Bisque (original copycat recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, minced (or 1 4-oz. can green chilies)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tomatillos, diced (or 1 28-oz. can tomatillos)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8 cups (10 ears) of corn (or frozen)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 32-oz. vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 8 oz. cream
  • juice of 1 lime

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Sauté the peppers and onions, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Add the tomatillos, tomatoes and sugar and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add 6 cups of corn into the pot along with spices. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

After the flavors have married, puree with an immersion blender.

Stir in the cream. Stir in the lime juice. Add the remaining 2 cups of corn. Heat for about 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with tortilla strips or a crushed tortilla chip and a cilantro leaf.

 

Iced Hermits

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE COOKIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 cup chopped candied ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup raisins

FOR THE ICING
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar, plus more if needed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper, and butter parchment; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add brown sugars; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and yolk, and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup candied ginger and the raisins.
    Spread dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely in baking sheet on a wire rack.
  3. Make icing: Put brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar. If icing is too thick to drizzle, stir in more milk, a teaspoon at a time. If icing is too thin, stir in more confectioners sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Let cool slightly.
  4. Drizzle bars with icing; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup candied ginger. Let stand until icing has set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

NOTE: These bars are a bit on the dry side. I added 1/4 c milk to keep them moist. With the milk, they will not store as long as they would otherwise.

NOTE2: DO NOT double the spices in this recipe. They already have an “Indian” level of spice. You’ve been warned. ^^

NOTE3: These are really delicious, amazing cookies.

NOTE4: The icing tastes a lot like New Orleans pralines. Yum yum.