MILLET COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED CARROTS

Saw this recipe in Bon Appetit.  Made it that same evening for dinner. Lightning speed. Not that usual for me, but I had all the ingredients and was also anxious to cook millet for the first time. One of our grocery stores carries a very nice assortment of grains, seeds & flours in bulk. It is quite convenient when I feel like baking a special bread but do not want to carry home 1kg of oat flour or some other exotic being.  Millet was one of the goodies I brought home from a recent visit.   This recipe, a perfect way to welcome it in our kitchen.

MilletCouscous3

 

MILLET COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED CARROTS
(from Bon Appetit)

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (I used a bit less)
1 cup millet
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 + ¼ cups chicken broth
6 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems (I omitted, did not have any around)

Heat oven to 400°. Toss carrots with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add millet and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until millet is tender, 25–35 minutes (it took me closer to 35 minutes).

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil (I used about 1 teaspoon instead) in a small skillet over low heat; cook almonds and cayenne, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Serve millet topped with carrots, cilantro, and almond mixture.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

comosite
When I told Phil we were not having “real couscous”, he was a bit surprised. It looks almost exactly the same as semolina couscous. It takes longer to cook, though, and has a firmer texture. The flavor is slightly more “nutty”, but still quite mild.  I imagine most people will love it, there’s really nothing not to like about it. Plus, like your regular couscous, it will absorb the flavors of everything else you cook with it. Use  a flavorful chicken or veggie stock if you have it around.  The roasted carrots and sautéed almonds turn it into almost a complete meal.  Of course, we enjoyed it with a nice roast chicken, just because… Full disclosure: the roast chicken was prepared at the grocery store.  And I am not even slightly ashamed to admit it.

On a slight tangent,  a couple of years ago I read a pretty good article written by one of the popular celebrity chefs, I don’t remember who it was,  it was not Thomas Keller, but some other star almost as bright.  Anyway, he went on and on about never buying a roast chicken from a rotisserie. That he could have a much better dinner by buying the chicken (organic, of course), sticking it in the oven with just a sprinkle of salt, pepper, a lemon or two quickly placed inside the bird.  I am all for cooking from scratch, but I must say a chicken ready for me on my way home from work is very handy. It makes life so much easier! I don’t have to deal with the raw chicken, I don’t have to wait for my oven to warm up to temperature (it does take a while with our potent Supernova), and I can concentrate on making a quick and easy side dish such as couscous, or from now on, millet…   So, yes, 8 times out of 10, I reach for a rotisserie chicken.  And 6 times out of 10, I resort to cheese pre-shredded, from a bag.

Confession: good for the food blogger ;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: Mozarella-Stuffed Turkey Burger

TWO YEARS AGO: Happy Halloween!

THREE YEARS AGO: Clay Pot Roast Pork

FOUR YEARS AGO: Panmarino

FIVE YEARS AGO:  A Classic Roast Chicken

 

 

 

SECRET RECIPE CLUB: PECAN-CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING

Not sure what happened, we were waiting for Spring to arrive, I blinked twice and October is about to end. As those who follow my blog know very well by now, I look forward to the last Monday of each month, because it is Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club.  Food bloggers are paired in secret, choose a recipe to make from their assigned blog, and post about it on the exact same time.  This month I was assigned the blog hosted by Traci,  Burnt Apple.  Her choice of name for her blog gave me a huge smile – apparently she was not a very good cook, and had a tendency to burn stuff. Evidently, those are days left behind in her distant past.  Not only her site is full of great recipes, but she deals with a tricky situation as far as cooking is concerned: her husband was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when he was very young, so Traci adapts all sorts of recipes to accommodate his requirements.  I feel that I have it all so easy!  Both Phil and I can eat anything, so if I decide to bake something gluten-free, or opt for a Paleo-friendly recipe, it’s just for experimenting and for fun.  It is a totally different story when one deals with diabetes or serious food allergies.  I am in awe of her efforts, and the way she uses her blog to help others faced with the same type of problem.  Now, quoting a paragraph from her About page:

“I’ve become a master recipe manipulator. I can make anything healthier and still taste great. I’ve also learned how to eat healthy on a strict (aka teeny tiny) budget. I’ve taught what I’ve learned (and made) for stores like Whole Foods Market and Sunflower Market. I’ve even shared my creations and ideas on my local TV news programs”.

Isn’t that amazing? I was paired with a superstar!  Usually I decide on a recipe pretty quickly, but this month I went through a bit of a struggle.    I kept going back and forth, tempted by her Winter Squash Cheese Flatbread,  her Ham and Cornmeal Cakes,  her Greek Yogurt Lemon Drop Cookies,  and – this might surprise you – her Arby’s Beef and Cheddar Sandwiches.  It turns out that in one of my first road trips with Phil, we were in the middle of nowhere and stopped for a bite to eat at Arby’s.  I had never been to that fast food place, and ordered that exact sandwich.  My gosh, I loved every single bite of it, could not care less if it was fancy or not fancy, healthy or not healthy. In fact, just writing about it makes me crave one… Anyway, after a full week of indecision, I made her delicious version of boneless chicken breasts, and a tasty dressing to go with it.

PecanCrustedChicken

PECAN-CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING
(from Burnt Apple)

for chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup finely crushed pecans
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

for dressing:
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped (I omitted)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1/2 lemon)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish or use a dish with a rack to keep the pieces surrounded by air all around.

In a food processor, pulse grind the pecans, cornmeal, parmesan cheese, onion powder, rosemary, salt and pepper until fine. Pour mixture into a bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the egg and milk.

Dip the chicken pieces in the milk mixture, than into the pecan mixture, lightly coating both sides. Arrange chicken pieces in the baking dish.

Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, flipping the chicken once halfway through baking time. Make the dressing while the chicken is cooking:  whisk together all dressing ingredients until combined. Transfer dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Shake before use.

Remove the chicken from the oven when the center of the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Allow the chicken to cool for several minutes before slicing.

Drizzle with honey mustard dressing when you serve it.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

compositeComments:  This was a fun recipe to prepare, and the chicken turned out surprisingly moist for boneless pieces baked straight in a hot oven.  I guess the coating performed its beautiful magic.  I baked the pieces over a rack, and turned the pieces half way through baking time, as recommended.

The dressing went perfectly with it, at least for my taste. Phil preferred his chicken without any extra flavor, he thought that just the breading with the nuts and cheese was perfect to showcase the natural taste of the meat.  You will have to make it and decide if you side with me or him…  Of course, if you side with the hubby, this shattering blow to my ego will not affect my relationship with you. We will still be friends.  I promise.

Traci, now that the secret is out, I will be following your blog adventures, your style of cooking matches mine quite well…

For those who want to see a nice collection of recipes from my friends over at The Secret Recipe Club, click on the funky frog at the end of the post. She is funky, but nice, and loves to be poked…

ONE YEAR AGO: Bewitching Kitchen on Fire!

TWO YEARS AGO: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

THREE YEARS AGO: Chiarello’s Chicken Cacciatore

FOUR YEARS AGO: Donna Hay’s Thai-Inspired Dinner

FIVE YEARS AGO: Panettone

A LETTER TO MY DAD

Today he would be 94 years old. Instead, he’s been away from us for 10 years.

I’d like to share a few things with you, Dad. A few things I know you would love to hear about.  First, are you ready for this?  I am going to be a Grandma!  One of my stepsons and his beautiful wife are expecting a baby. You never met any of them, but I know you would be thrilled.  A Grandma!  Can you imagine? All my gray hair, which I got through your genes, I must add – is finally going to have a nice reason to be here.

The baby will be born in the end of March, so we are planning a trip to California to meet her/him the following month. And, remember how I used to love to run? When we fly to see the baby, we will take the opportunity to run together a beautiful race, from a place called Big Sur to a place called Carmel. Gorgeous places. We will run only 10.6 miles, the marathon is out of the question for us due to the injuries accumulated over the years…  We are not young kids anymore… (sigh).

chess
Another thing you would love to know. This week, Phil and I decided to celebrate your memory by playing chess.  We set a board over the kitchen table and each day we do one or two moves.  I must say, Dad, you were a fantastic chess player but a very impatient teacher.  Hummmmm…. am I guilty of the same crime? I suppose I might be…. ANYWAY,  playing chess definitely brings you here to our home. I can close my eyes and see that look in your face, super serious, as you analyzed the chessboard and considered your next move. Then, I would quickly move my piece, and you would raise your eyes, trying your best not to seem too upset and say “Are you SURE you want to do that?

Finally, let me share something I know would make you very very happy, and proud.  This is a video about the research of our lab. I think it captures the essence of what we do, and hopefully how much we love doing it.

That’s about it for now, Dad.  Ten years, five months, a few days that you are gone.  But gone is a relative term.

 

 

COOKING SOUS-VIDE: TWO TAKES ON CHICKEN THIGHS

I am still having fun and getting more and more comfortable with my Anova sous-vide gadget. Many recipes tried, some will go un-blogged due to photos that did not turn out well. A lobster tail, for instance, was quite spectacular cooked sous-vide, but the pictures did the recipe no justice whatsoever.  I shall re-visit that in the future to share the method in the Bewitching.  But here I am today to show you two ways to deal with chicken thighs. The first preparation uses boneless and skinless pieces, a departure from the classic Chicken Cacciatore that I found on this site, great source for sous-vide cooking tips and recipes. Before I share my recipes, I invite you to take a look at this recent post  from my friend Maureen, at The Orgasmic Chef.  Beautiful caramelized onions, without having to stand by the stove baby-sitting them.  She got her sous-vide toy not too long ago, so I guess we are both newbies at this. Sous-vide sisters!

chicken-cacciatore11

 

CHICKEN CACCIATORE
(slightly adapted from SVKitchen)
 .
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 can (28.2-ounce) cherry tomatoes  (or regular canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra for final garnish
4 tablespoons mascarpone
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon each)
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
 .
Preheat the water bath to 152°F (67°C).
 .
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes, being careful not to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes, stirring to combine. Gently stir in the basil and the mascarpone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
 .
When the sauce has cooled, place about a third in a 1-gallon zip-lock bag. Add 3 of the chicken thighs. Add another third of the sauce, the other 3 thighs, and then the remaining sauce. Seal using the water displacement method.
 .
Cook for 2 to 4 hours.
.
If serving immediately, transfer the chicken and sauce to a oven-proof dish or ramekin large enough to easily hold all the ingredients. Heat a broiler to high. Place the casserole under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching closely, just to brown the sauce.
.
ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

served1

Dinner is served! Chicken sous-vide, spaghetti squash, and roasted asparagus…

And now, for a second method, in which the chicken thighs are cooked with skin and bone-in. As the sous-vide will cook the meat perfectly but leave you with mushy skin, all recipes include a final step to crisp the skin up. If you search the net, you’ll certainly stumble on a recipe by Michael Voltaggio that is described by many as “the best chicken thigh ever”. I tried it, I really did, and the mess it made on my stove left me on the verge of tears.  Plus, the whole house smelled like fried chicken for weeks.  Ok,  for 18 hours. Chicken thighs were not going to meet the Anova gadget for as long as I was in charge of cooking.  But, certain ordeals tend to be forgotten as time goes by.  Since I really liked the texture of the meat, I decided to give it another try, using a very hot oven for the final step of crisping up the skin.  Worked like a charm!  The inspiration came from this cookbook by Jason Logsdon, which I own in its Kindle version, but I modified the recipe quite a bit, so I feel ok about sharing it with you. In his version, he crisps the skin on a cast iron pan, evidently, I didn’t.

Neat-freak + Drama-Queen = Cast-Iron-Repudiation

RoastedTomatoSalsa

CHICKEN THIGHS WITH ROASTED TOMATO SALSA
(inspired by Sous-Vide Help for the Busy Cook)

for the chicken:
6 chicken thighs, bone-in
salt and pepper to taste
New Mexico chile powder
1 lemon, juiced

for the tomato salsa:
7 Roma tomatoes, very ripe
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried thyme, about 1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Prepare the roasted tomatoes in advance, they will keep for several days. Cut the tomatoes in half, mix them with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in a 325 F oven for 2 hours. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Set your Anova or other sous-vide apparatus at 148 F. Remove excess skin and fat from the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle chile powder, and squeeze a little lemon juice over the flesh. Place inside plastic bags and vacuum-seal, three pieces of chicken per bag. Place in the water-bath and cook for a minimum of 2 hours. I like to cook chicken thighs for 5 to 6 hours.

Turn your oven to 450 F.  Remove the chicken pieces from the bags, pat dry.  Place in a baking dish and roast until the skin is brown and crispy to your liking. You can also run them under the broiler for a few minutes if you prefer.  As the chicken roasts, transfer the previously prepared tomatoes to a skillet, cook for a couple of minutes,  add the vinegar, brown sugar, and adjust the seasoning.  Mash the tomatoes lightly with a potato masher or a fork if you like it chunky.  You can also transfer to a blender or food processor, if so inclined.  I prefer my salsa to be on the chunky side.

Serve the crisped up chicken pieces with the salsa alongside.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Crisped

Comments:  So as I promised, here you have two completely different takes on the same type of meat using the Anova sous-vide. If you want to enjoy a saucy, stew-type meal, go for boneless chicken thighs, cooking them in liquid from the beginning. Obviously, in this case you’ll need to use the water displacement method, as vacuum won’t be feasible.  If crispy skin is more what you are looking forward to, season the pieces with dry rubs, and use your oven in the end. The meat will be perfectly tender, very moist, and the skin super crispy.

platedDinner is served!  Chicken sous-vide, cauliflower-spinach puree, and a salad…

I highly recommend Jason Logsdon’s book “Sous-Vide Help for the Busy Cook”.  The recipes are all geared for people who work all day and want to maximize the use of sous-vide to get a nice meal at dinner time.  The main advantage of this cooking method is the flexibility of timing: if you are late to arrive home from work, no problem, two or three more hours at the target temperature will not affect your dish.  Seafood is a bit more delicate and you should probably save that for weekends or weeknights in which you have a couple of hours to devote to dinner preparation.

compositetomatoes
I cannot resist including this photo of my oven-roasted tomatoes, they were absolutely delicious, with intense flavor, but not the unpleasant texture I find in most commercially available sun-dried tomatoes.   In Jason’s recipe, he uses a quicker method to deal with the tomatoes, so if you are at all interested, stop by amazon.com and click away!   ;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: Miso Soup: A Japanese Classic

TWO YEARS AGO: On my desk

THREE YEARS AGO: A must-make veggie puree

FOUR YEARS AGO: Vegetarian Lasagna

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Brazilian Pão de Queijo

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE

I rarely buy ground chicken, opting for ground turkey instead, but this time I followed the recipe exactly as designed by Giada in a recent show on FoodTV.  The chicken meatballs can be  prepared many hours in advance and kept in the fridge, uncooked. Or you can cook them, make the sauce, and re-heat everything together when you want to serve  dinner.  The mushroom sauce is a perfect complement, all that’s needed is a starchy side to soak it all up.  On her show, she suggested egg noodles.  I went with a golden cauliflower puree and green beans. Now, on a tangent, can I share a little pet peeve of mine? I get a bit irritated when people use “compliment” when they actually mean “complement”. I know, English is not my first language, who am I to point the finger, when I make mistakes on a daily basis?  But still…  the compliment thing annoys me to no end.  A compliment is a flattering remark, a complement complements. The mushrooms are not having a conversation with the meatballs saying “wow, you look gorgeous today!”…  Ok, stepping off my soap box. Back to cooking. ;-)

Pork Meatballs

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS IN MUSHROOM SAUCE
(slightly modified from Giada de Laurentiis)

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons almond milk, room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
1 pound ground white meat chicken
1/4 cup grated pecorino, plus extra for serving
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon cepes powder (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 cup chicken broth (slightly more if sauce seems too thick)
 .

In a large bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, almond milk and 1 tablespoon Marsala. Leave it soaking for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken, pecorino, egg, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Gently mix together the ingredients until just combined. Form the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are beginning to brown and are just barely cooked through. Flip them around and broil the other side for a few more minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
.
In a straight-sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms are brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots, the cepes powder, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the 1/3 cup Marsala and stir until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the chicken broth and simmer for a few minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to let the flavors blend, under very low heat.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

composite

Comments:  We both loved this meal!  One of the important tips for success is handling the meatballs as softly as possible. Wet your hands if you prefer, form the balls and do not pack them tightly, or you might compromise the texture.  I used regular mushrooms, but cremini or a mixture or wild mushrooms could be great.  Of course, having that special cepes powder to splurge only added a touch of sophistication to the meal.  A little bit goes a long way, the smell is terrific!  I know that it is a very unique ingredient I was lucky to receive as a gift, but even without it this will be a delicious meal.

served

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the yellow color of the golden cauliflower was preserved during cooking and mashing.  Shockingly yellow, like a burst of sun in the middle of the plate…

ONE YEAR AGO: PCR and a Dance in the Mind Field

TWO YEARS AGO: October 16th: World Bread Day!

THREE YEARS AGO: San Francisco Sourdough

FOUR YEARS AGO:  A Real Oscar Winner   (Oscar joins our home!)

FIVE YEARS AGO: Pane Siciliano

SOURDOUGH RYE BREAD WITH FLAXSEEDS AND OATS

This is that type of bread that begs for mindful eating. No sitting down in front of the TV grabbing one piece here, another there, or sharing it with friends in the middle of a loud party.  No, this is a bread that deserves attention. It is dense without being overly heavy, and its flavor is quite complex due to the use of assertive flours and flax seeds. The recipe was created by Rosa, from Rosa’s Yummy Yums, a food blog that not too long ago celebrated its 9th anniversary!  Nine years.  No small feat, folks, considering that each of Rosa’s post is a masterpiece: carefully composed text (with recipes in two languages, English and French), matched with her incredibly beautiful photography. Hers is the type of blog that just like this bread, deserves full attention.

Rosa Yum Yum BreadMade July 26th; Blogged October 13th

WHOLE-WHEAT AND RYE SOURDOUGH WITH FLAX SEEDS AND OATS
(from Rosa Mayland’s blog)

(for one round loaf; check her site for full version that makes 2 loaves)

1 heaping tablespoon of flax seeds 1/2 Tbs Flax seeds
150g whole-wheat flour
100g white flour
35g rye flour
35g buckwheat flour
100g active sourdough starter

188-200 g/ml lukewarm water
A pinch of dry yeast
1 heaping tablespoon of olive oil

20g Rolled oats
7g fine sea salt

Put the flax seeds in a small bowl and add 63g/ml of boiling water (this will make them slimy). Stir and leave to cool.

In the bowl of your stand mixer put the flours, sourdough, water, yeast, olive oil, flax seeds (+soaking water).  Mix until all the ingredients are just combined. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 2 hours.

Add the salt as well as the oats and continue mixing for about 5-8 minutes (add a little flour if the dough is too wet), until the dough reaches medium gluten development.  Transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment/rise, at room temperature, for about 2h30 (or until doubled in size), folding at 50 and 100 minutes.

Shape it as desired (sandwich loaves, boule, bâtard, banneton, etc…). Sprinkle your loaves with flour and cover them with plastic wrap let proof for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake at 230° C (450° F) using your favorite method to generate steam during the initial 20 minutes of baking. Total baking time will be approximately 40 minutes.  Leave the bread in the oven for 5 minutes with the door ajar once you turn the oven off.  Cool it completely on a rack before slicing it.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

crumb
Now, if that crumb doesn’t make you sigh, there is something wrong with you… This was a very nice baking project, perfect for a weekend in which we had nothing planned, no social commitments, no need to go to the lab, just taking each hour as the hour shaped up.   If you stop by Rosa’s original post, you’ll see that she coupled this recipe with a text about the importance of slowing down, a praise for idleness. Food for thought, as usual for her posts. It is nice to be able to take a step back and do nothing. Or, if doing nothing seems like too much of a shock for  you ;-)  grab your flours and make this bread. Then, slowly slice it, and close your eyes when you taste it.   Yes, it is that wonderful!

Rosa, thank you for a great recipe, and above all, for the effort you put into your blog, a pleasure to visit every single time!  See you around the blogosphere ;-)

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting event…

ONE YEAR AGO: Apricot-Raspberry Sorbet: A farewell to Summer

TWO YEARS AGO: Marcela’s Salpicon

THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Kebabs

FOUR YEARS AGO: Fondant au Chocolat

FIVE YEARS AGOGot Spinach? Have a salad!

ZUCCHINI “HUMMUS”

Once more I shall commit the sin of stretching the name of my favorite dip, traditionally made with garbanzo beans, tahini, and very few other additions.  I think zucchini is one of the most versatile veggies, and this dip proves the point.  Plus, it is delicious! I originally saw it at Angie’s blog Divalicious Recipes in the City, and tweaked her recipe ever so slightly.  Angie has a ton of creative recipes in her site, I actually linked one of her cauliflower concoctions in a recent post, and intend to make it soon. As far as this dip goes, you should definitely play with the amount of tahini, lemon juice, and feel free to even add some garbanzo beans in case you want to get one step closer to the title of the dish.   ;-)

unnamed
ZUCCHINI HUMMUS
(slightly adapted from Divalicious)

2 medium zucchini
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of half lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. I like to sprinkle a little smoked paprika on top of the dip before serving, but that is totally optional, of course!  Ak-Mak crackers are the perfect carrier for this dip.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

We had a pizza party the other day. My favorite type of get-together, in which I make plenty of balls of dough, and we take turns adding all sorts of toppings, some will be vegetarian-friendly, some loaded with meat, according to the mood of the moment. The house is kept cool because we grill the pizzas outside.   In this type of event, appetizers must be light, and for obvious reasons, cheese is out. Who wants to load up on cheese before facing a pizza dinner?   I prefer to serve hummus, either the traditional version or some variation, like my edamame hummus of the past.  This version with zucchini turned out super light and flavorful, a perfect option for our evening.

If you are a zucchini-lover, don’t skip this one. Winner!

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen – October 2013

TWO YEARS AGO: Bourbon and Molasses Glazed Pork Tenderloin

THREE YEARS AGO: Crimson and Cream Turkey Chili

FOUR YEARS AGO: Taking a break from the nano-kitchen

FIVE YEARS AGO: Chocolate Chip Cookies