Saturday, February 17, 2018

Perfect Steak

We are still meat deprived from our trip to India. We saw a recipe in The New York Times for a Valentine Dinner of Rib-Eye Steak and Potatoes for Two  Interestingly we have never made an oven roasted steak before. You start by searing in a very hot cast iron pan. Then transferring the pan containing the meat to a hot oven. We decided to try this method rather than our traditional grilling outdoors. It was delicious! I am sure part of the success was we purchased a beautiful dry-aged rib eye from McCall's Meat and Fish. Loved it!

Rib-Eye Steak and Potatoes for Two
New York Times

For a special occasion with a sweetheart, sharing a simple, luxurious dinner at home is even better than going to a restaurant. Splurge on a cut like rib-eye or tenderloin and open a great bottle of wine. It’s a simple, no-fuss endeavor, yet very special.


1      large boneless rib-eye steak, cut 2 inches thick (at least 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2      cloves garlic, sliced, plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1      rosemary sprig, roughly chopped
1      pound very small potatoes, rinsed
2      tablespoons butter
¼     cup finely chopped parsley
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
Arugula or watercress, for serving (optional)


1.   Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sliced garlic and rosemary and set aside to marinate, 20 to 30 minutes.
2.   Heat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook at a brisk simmer until just done, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
3.   Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Remove and discard sliced garlic from steak. (If left on, it will burn in the skillet.)
4.   When pan is hot, put in the steak and let brown well on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Wait until steak forms a crust and comes away cleanly from the bottom to move it.
5.   Flip steak and transfer pan to oven, uncovered. Roast until juices begin to rise on surface of steak (you will see the droplets) and internal temperature is 120 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove steak from pan and let rest, tented with foil, for 5 to 10 minutes. (Residual heat will continue to cook the meat to medium-rare as it rests.) Warm a serving bowl for the potatoes and plates for the steak.
6.   Melt butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and toss to coat and heat through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 1 minute or less. Gently stir in parsley and lemon zest and transfer to serving bowl.
7.   Cutting on a slight diagonal, slice steak into 1/2-inch slices, then transfer to plates. If using, place a handful of greens next to the steak. Serve immediately, passing potatoes at the table.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Yams and Date Salad

We had left over Expatriate Chicken. With the Chicken we made two great sides.  We first had the Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad when Doshi brought it to our house. We thought it was delicious. Here is the recipe. Gjelina’s Roasted Yams is another great side. The tangy Yogurt based sauce is a perfect foil for the Yams.

Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad
If you don’t like your cabbage too crunchy, dressing it as directed and letting it rest in the salad bowl for a while before adding the other ingredients will soften and wilt it a bit.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side
1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds 
Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.
Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.
 Gjelina’s Roasted Yams
 New York Times

Time 1 Hour

These roasted yams are adapted from a recipe that Travis Lett, the chef and an owner of Gjelina in Venice, Calif., published in a 2015 cookbook devoted to the restaurant’s food. They are a marvelous accompaniment to a roast chicken, but they are maybe even better as a platter to accompany a salad of hearty greens, cheese and nuts. What makes them memorable is a technique Lett calls for during the cooking: tossing the tubers in honey before roasting them, which intensifies their caramelizing. The crisp, near-burned sweetness works beautifully against the heat of the pepper and the acidic creaminess of the yogurt you dab onto the dish at the end. It is a simple dish, but it results in fantastic eating.


3       large yams
2       tablespoons honey
1       tablespoon Espelette pepper, or crushed red-pepper flakes
3       tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½      cup Greek-style yogurt
4       tablespoons fresh lime juice, approximately 2 limes
2       scallions, both green and white parts, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish


1. Heat oven to 425. Cut the yams lengthwise into 4 wedges per yam. Put them in a large bowl, and toss them with the honey, ½ tablespoon of the Espelette pepper or crushed red-pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, tossing once or twice to coat, as the oven heats.
2. Transfer the yams to a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and then bake until they are deeply caramelized around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork at their thickest part, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
3. As the yams roast, combine the yogurt, lime juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. When the yams are done, transfer them to a serving platter, drizzle the yogurt over them and garnish with the remaining Espelette pepper or red-pepper flakes, the scallions and some flaky sea salt if you have any.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Expatriate Roast Chicken

Two of our favorites. We started with what we call The Hungry Cat Salad. I love the tanginess of the Lemon and Avocado topped with the CheeseYou can read about why it is called The Hungry Cat Salad on our blog post of: November 21, 2009. Click the date to get the recipe.

I love Olives, in cooked dishes, in Martinis and just eating them. Expatriate Chicken is winning recipe using Olives. You can get the recipe on our blog of: August 2, 2008. Click the date to get the recipe.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Vietnamese Ribs

We made the Vietnamese Ribs again. They are super tasty. You can get the recipe on our blog of: January 4, 2018. Click the date to get the recipe. With the Ribs we served the left over Dal (Spiced Red Lentils). You can find the recipe on our blog of: February 9, 2018. Click the date to get recipe.

Friday, February 09, 2018

An Indian Veg Dinner

We decided to make two new dishes, both variations of Indian Vegetarian cooking: Masoor Dal (Spiced Red Lentils) and Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower. Whenever we are in India, especially Delhi eating at Veda, I always order Manchurian Cauliflower. India has borrowed from the Chinese and created this very delicious Cauliflower recipe. This one was different then Veda's but it had the same taste profile. The difference was Veda used large florets and I think they deep fat fry them. We liked the dish. The dal was very interesting because of its use of Sweet Potato. I have never had that combination before. We would make these two dishes again

Dal (Spiced Red Lentils)
New York Times

What I have come to understand is that how food looks as you prepare it can make as much difference to the cook as it does, on the plate, to the person who gets to eat it. When the skies are drab and life feels a little gray, I am absurdly cheered by the fresh brightness of a vibrantly orange dal, a red lentil stew spiced with turmeric, chili and ginger, and colored with sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Just seeing that mixture in the pan lifts my spirits. It helps that a dal is simple to make: a bit of chopping and the stew all but cooks itself. And it can be made in advance and then reheated, always a bonus. This dal makes a wonderful, exuberant partner to broiled salmon, but I love it without meat, too, when I partner it with my rice.


2       tablespoons vegetable oil
1       cup finely chopped onion
2-½  cups (10 ounces, about 1 medium) finely diced sweet potato
1       tablespoon minced ginger
2       garlic cloves, minced
1       Thai or bird's-eye red chili
1       cup red lentils
2       teaspoons ground coriander
2       teaspoons ground cumin
      teaspoons turmeric
1       teaspoon ground ginger
1       cup canned chopped tomatoes
3       tablespoons chopped cilantro
 Pieces of coconut flesh from a fresh coconut (optional) (we substituted ¾ cup coconut milk.


1.   In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat oil, and sauté onion until softened. Add sweet potato, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add minced ginger and garlic; stir, and reduce heat to low.
2.   Finely dice chili, keeping seeds if you wish to add more heat. Add chili, lentils, coriander, cumin, turmeric and ground ginger to pan. Stir until lentils are well coated with oil. Add tomatoes and 4 cups water. Raise heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat until mixture is at a fast simmer. Cook uncovered until lentils and potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
3.   Season to taste with salt, and continue to simmer until mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk dal to amalgamate lentils and sweet potatoes. If dal is too soupy, increase heat and cook for a little longer.
4.   To serve, place dal in a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. If desired, shave thin strips of fresh coconut on top. Serve hot.


Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower

My Recipes

This side dish has origins in Chinese cooking (hence the name) and is typically fried. This version roasts the cauliflower instead to intensify the flavor, and the spicy tomato-based sauce reduces with the vegetables. Serve with a simple cooked spinach side, a mild curry with potatoes and peas, and plenty of flatbread (naan) to scoop up the sweet-salty sauce.


5-1/2  cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)
2         tablespoons Garam Masala
¼        teaspoon kosher salt
2         teaspoons canola oil, divided
Cooking spray
½        teaspoon black pepper
8         garlic cloves, minced
¾        cup ketchup
½        teaspoon ground red pepper

1.   Preheat oven to 425°.
2.   Combine first 3 ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a large bowl; toss well. Place cauliflower mixture in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.
3.   Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add black pepper to pan, and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until thick.
4.   Remove cauliflower mixture from oven. Stir in ketchup mixture. Bake at 425° for an additional 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring after 10 minutes.