CUCUMBER SALAD WITH HARISSA-YOGURT DRESSING

Simplicity hit again the Bewitching Kitchen. I used rose harissa because it is one of those ingredients I fell in love with a couple of years ago and now I cannot live without. If you don’t have it, use regular harissa and it will be wonderful too, it’s all about the delicate heat coupled with the soothing yogurt.  Perfect side dish for those hot days of Kansas summer. Have I ever mentioned I cannot get enough of summer?

CUCUMBER SALAD WITH HARISSA-YOGURT DRESSING
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

¼ cup full-fat yogurt
1 to 2 tsp rose harissa paste
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Persian cucumbers, cut in rounds, then quarters
yellow or red grape tomatoes, cut in half
black sesame seeds

Mix the yogurt, oil, salt and pepper, add the harissa paste and mix gently. Add the cucumbers and tomatoes to a bowl, mix with the yogurt dressing. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (if you have the extra time), sprinkle with sesame seeds right before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve shared quite a few recipes with rose harissa, one of my favorites involved chicken thighs. If you like to see the recipe, go back in time with a click here. I had never tried it in a salad dressing or any preparation in which it goes uncooked, so I am glad to report that it works well. You can adjust the amount according to your tolerance to heat. I find harissa quite pleasant, but you should play with it and see how it works best for you.

Surprisingly, leftovers were still quite good next day, I refreshed it with some additional black sesame seeds, and the flavors seemed to be even better. Cucumbers tend to release a bit of liquid, but not to the point of ruining the salad.   I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, it pairs well with salmon, chicken, pork, and if you have a nice bread, it can even stand alone as a light lunch.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sundried Tomato and Feta Cheese Torte 

TWO YEARS AGO: Hickory-Smoked Beef Tenderloin

THREE YEAR AGO: Spaghetti Squash, Revisited

FOUR YEARS AGO: Stir-fried Chicken and Cabbage in Spicy Almond Sauce

FIVE YEARS AGO: Fifteen Years!

SIX YEARS AGO: Light Brioche Burger Buns

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Sourdough Blues

EIGHT  YEARS AGO: Headed to Hawaii

NINE YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

TEN YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways

 

 

 

 

 

CORN FRITTERS

I have deep aversion for frying things, and since getting the air-fryer I almost never do it on top of the stove. This recipe appealed to me, and I could not quite see it working in the air-fryer, so I took a deep breath and embraced the job.  Absolutely worth it. And since it is shallow frying, it was not that bad at all.  It all starts with a can of corn. Yes, corn from a can. Trust me, it works beautifully…

CORN FRITTERS
(adapted from Tin Can Magic)

1 can (340g) corn in water, drained
about 1/4 cup parsley leaves, minced
zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
grapeseed oil for shallow frying

Stir together the corn, minced parsley, flour, eggs, zest and salt in a large mixing bowl. Reserve.

Heat a wide, non-stick frying pan over high heat, then pour in enough oil to coat the pan. When the oil is almost starting to smoke,  spoon the corn mixture into the pan, leaving enough space between the portions. You will have enough for about 8 fritters, so eye-ball the amounts.

Allow the fritters to cook on one side for 3–4 minutes, then carefully flip and fry for another 4 minutes. Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels, and keep warm in a low oven as you fry the second batch.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This is one of those recipes that I thought could have a high chance of failure. Most batters for fritters get some type of leavening agent for extra lift, this one did not. I was pleasantly surprised by the resulting texture. My only advice is to leave it alone as you pour the portions on the hot oil. You need that beautiful brown crust to form, that will set the cake and allow the interior to get all creamy. Could you use fresh corn? I am sure you could, but the beauty of this recipe is the simplicity. Plus, using canned corn makes this simple recipe easy to make the whole year.  We had it with shrimp in a spice tomato-based broth. A very tasty dinner.

ONE YEAR AGO: Minnie Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Air-Fried Mexican Meatloaf

THREE YEARS AGO: Mimi’s Sticky Chicken, a Call from my Past

FOUR YEARS AGO: Perfect Soy-Grilled Steak

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Devil’s Bread

SIX YEARS AGO: Heart of Palm Salad Skewers

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Potluck Frittata and Lavoisier

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Home-made Corn Tortillas

NINE YEARS AGO: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Peanut Sauce

TEN YEARS AGO: Brigadeiros: A Brazilian Party!

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Lemony Asparagus

 

ROASTED GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES WITH TAHINI SAUCE

When you need a side dish to impress, consider this one. Two simple veggies (contrasting colors is a must), joined with a delicious tahini-based sauce. Tahini, that component that makes so many recipes shine, does a great job here!

ZA’TAR ROASTED GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES WITH TAHINI SAUCE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

Cherry tomatoes (red or a mixture of colors)
Green beans, trimmed
about 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp za’tar (or to taste)
salt and pepper

for the sauce:
¼ cup tahini
juice and zest of 1 lemon
about 1/4 cup water (amount will vary according to your tahini)
drizzle of honey

to serve:
toasted sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 400°F. Coat the tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of za’tar. Place the tomatoes in a baking sheet in a single layer, large enough to hold them and the green beans later. Roast for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, coat the green beans with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining za’atar, salt and pepper to taste. Add to the tomatoes after they have been in the oven for 10 minutes. Roast all veggies together until the green beans are starting to brown (12 minutes or so longer).  As they roast, make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl, adjusting the amount of water to make it a nice drizzling consistency.

Transfer the roasted veggies to a serving platter, add the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Amounts are quite flexible for everything in this recipe, and I suggest you try the tahini sauce as you make it. Different brands, and also how well you are able to mix the tahini before measuring will have a big impact on the outcome. For my taste, lemon juice should be added with a heavy hand, but then a touch of honey mellows it beautifully. I almost added pomegranate molasses, but left that for a next adventure. When I brought it to the table,  I heard a “oh, wow!” from the husband. And as we enjoyed it with juicy chicken legs, life seemed almost normal. Which is as nice a feeling as one can have these days.

ONE YEAR AGO: Brazilian Pao de Queijo (re-blogged from the past)

TWO YEARS AGO: The Chignon

THREE YEARS AGO: Rack of Lamb Sous-Vide with Couscous Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO: Focaccia with Grapes, Roquefort and Truffled Honey

FIVE YEARS AGO: Moroccan Carrot Dip over Cucumber Slices

SIX YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Cilantro-Jalapeno “Hummus”

EIGHT YEARS AGO: A Moving Odyssey

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:
 
Shrimp Moqueca

CAULIFLOWER FOR COMPANY? YES, PLEASE!

Let’s imagine for a moment that dinner parties are still “a thing.”  Those days feel like a lifetime away, but I know they will come back at some point. When? I have no idea. But when they do, allow me to offer a recipe for mashed cauliflower as your side dish. I promise you, this one will please every single one of your guests, even those who twist the nose at anything low-carb. The secret is topping the mash with roasted grape tomatoes (you can use yellow or a mixture).  It turns into a luscious, satisfying, flavorful side dish that will go well with pretty much any protein you are featuring as the star of your show.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER WITH ROASTED GRAPE TOMATOES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 large head of cauliflower
squirt of lemon juice
salt to taste
1/3 cup yogurt (low-fat is ok)
drizzle of olive oil
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (or grated parmigiano-reggiano to taste)
smoked paprika to taste
grape tomatoes (yellow or red)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
drizzle of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Start by roasting the tomatoes. Place them as a single layer on a baking dish covered with aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until they start to get golden brown and release some juices. Reserve.

Cut the cauliflower in florets and cook in slightly salted boiling water with a bit of lemon juice until fork-tender.  Add to a food processor (ok if a bit of water goes with it), and add the yogurt, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and spices. Process until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning, or even a bit more lemon juice if you like. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with the roasted tomatoes, but don’t add too much of the tomato liquid, just a little bit.

Place in the 400 F oven for about 10 minutes to warm everything together. If the mashed cauliflower is looking more on the dry side, you can warm up covered with foil. If it seems a bit loose, warm it with no foil on top.

Serve right away with the main dish of your choice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was one delicious meal! The pork tenderloin is very similar to the one I shared recently, made in our smoker, with a bit less pepper. A little avocado and orange on the side, and we were ready to dig in. Felt like a dinner party…

ONE YEAR AGO: Coconut and Lime Macarons

TWO YEAR AGO: Flank Steak Carnitas

THREE YEARS AGO: Sesame and Poppy Seed Sourdough

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pecan-Crusted Chicken from Southern at Heart

FIVE YEARS AGO: Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Cauliflower-Celeriac Purée

SIX YEARS AGO: Chestnut Brownies and a Blog Award!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

NINE YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

TEN YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands

 

SMOKED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ROASTED PARSNIPS

You know those dinners you think might turn out pretty tasty and they go on to blow your mind in the deliciousness department? This was it. I had never smoked a pork tenderloin, but it sounded like a simple, new way to enjoy one of our favorite cuts of meat. Parsnips are the classical example of under-rated root veggie, but paired with maple syrup and harissa? Yes, please. Great dinner, and thanks to social isolation quite doable any day of the week.

SMOKED PORK TENDERLOIN
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
olive oil to rub, about 2 Tablespoons
coarsely crushed peppercorns, about 1 Tablespoon
1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar
salt to taste
applewood for smoking

Mix the peppercorns and sugar in a small bowl. Dry the meat well. Rub with olive oil, then coat with a small amount of the spice mixture. Season with salt to taste.

Place in smoker set at 225 F with a small amount of applewood chips. Smoke for 3 hours.

Let it sit for 10 minutes, tented with foil. Slice the meat and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

ROASTED PARSNIPS WITH MAPLE AND HARISSA
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

Parsnips, peeled and cut in steak-fries style
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 tsp Rosey Harissa (or substitute smoked paprika + harissa or other seasoning of your choice)
Salt to taste
(asparagus are optional)

Heat oven to 425F. Make a spice mixture with the olive oil, maple and Rosey Harissa or another seasoning of your choice.

Coat the pieces of parsnips with the mixture. Add to a roasting pan covered with aluminum foil, season with salt. Add a splash of water to the pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes. Remove foil, add asparagus (if using), mix well and roast for 20 minutes more, until veggies are nicely browned.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The Rosey Harissa spice has been on my list of things to try for a long time. I don’t even remember where I read about it for the first time, it’s been a while. I finally caved and ordered a bottle (it is a bit pricey), but I’m glad I did. It conveys a similar flavor of my recent passion (Ottolenghi’s Rose Harissa paste), but because it is dry, you can use it in different ways and it can sit in your pantry for a longer time. Smells wonderful.

The meat was tender, juicy, and with a nice hint of smoke. It went perfectly well with the roasted veggies.  I had some leftover asparagus sitting in the fridge, so I roasted with the parsnips, but you can omit that or even add other root veggies, just keep in mind their roasting times. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnips, they would all work great.

I know not everyone has a smoker, so you can do a similar preparation cooking the pork tenderloin in the oven, after searing it on the stove top. Use smoked paprika to season it, and you will be on your way for a delicious meal.

ONE YEAR AGO: Fresh Take on Farro with Roasted Veggies

TWO YEARS AGO: Secret Recipe Club Reunion 2018

THREE YEARS AGO: Parsnip and Tomato Soup

FOUR YEARS AGO: A Retro Dessert

FIVE YEARS AGO: Cauliflower Tortillas: Going low-carb and loving it!

SIX YEARS AGO: Clementines in Cinnamon Syrup

SEVEN YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2013 

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Thrilling Moments

NINE YEARS AGO: Maple-Oatmeal Sourdough Bread

TEN YEARS AGO: Pork Trinity: coffee, mushrooms, and curry