Monday, November 29, 2010

a parade of holiday kitchen! kitchen!....

A Parade of Holiday Desserts
Clockwise: Maple apple cake with sugar frosting, pumpkin cheesecake
with maple pecan glaze, chocolate truffles, chocolate cupcakes
with edible gold leaf, and almond butter crunch.
(Sorry, the red christmas balls are not edible!)

pumpkin cheesecake with maple pecan kitchen! kitchen!...

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Maple Pecan Glaze
Absolutely light and decadent!
 Special order only
at Tarts and Quiches.
For information email:
This is kitchen! kitchen's! version of Paula Dean's pumpkin cheesecake and Anne Thorton's maple pecan glaze all done with a twist to make it kitchen! kitchen's! own repertoire of desserts for Tarts and Quiches. The crust is our original.
It is light and decadent !!!!

Abegail's chocolate cupcakes with gold kitchen! kitchen!...for Tarts & Quiches!

Abegail's Chocolate Cupcakes With Edible Gold Leaf
This chocolate cupcakes with edible gold leaf
are available only by special order at
Tarts & Quiches

Maple apple bundt cake... at kitchen! kitchen!.....

Maple Apple Bundt Cake with Sugar Frosting and Sparkles
Giada's maple apple bundt cake as interpreted by kitchen! kitchen! with sugar frosting and a sprinkling of sparkles for the festive occasion! It is delicious and great for breakfast next day!!! Google for her recipe and make it your own just as we did at kitchen! kitchen!

gravlax kitchen! kitchen!...

Gravlax Galette
A flaky crust with cream cheese and topped with delicately thin slices of
cured salmon, dill and a scattering of thin slices of
red onions.
The gravlax (cured salmon) galette was served as an appetizer at our thanksgiving dinner. This is so easy to put together.
Google the web for recipe on GRAVLAX (a Scandinavian cured salmon) or you may use smoked salmon that is readily available and already sliced.
A package of frozen pie dough (the one that gives you a flaky crust) - follow the instruction in rolling out and preparing the dough on the package or (google for a pate brisee dough recipe on the web).
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
Bunch of dill roughly chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
Half of red onion- thinly sliced
Combine the cream cheese and chopped chives in a bowl and spread evenly on the baked dough. Arranged all the salmon slices on top; add the chopped dill and onions. Chill until ready to serve. You will wow your guests!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

my blond pork chop...... kitchen!!

Blond Pork Chop
Smothered with a sauce of sweet onions and mustard.
 A sprinkling of pomegranate balsamic vinegar
added another layer of sweet vinegary taste to the dish,
then... a wonderous burst of flavour comes to your mouth!!!
What makes this my "blond pork chops? Simply by........
6 medium size 1" thick pork chops
Amazing dry rub
Extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
Chopped parsley for some "geenery"
1 large sweet vidalia onion sliced
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of pomegranate balasamic vinegar (or any sweet fruity flavour balsamic vinegar)

Preheat oven to 275 F temperature
Prepare a cast iron pan (or a large non-stick oven proofed pan) large enough to fit all six chops and brush the pan with some olive oil.
Season the chops with the amazing dry rub and line them in your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Half way through, flip the chops.
Continue cooking on the stove top for another 8-10 minutes until cooked through without browning them.
Set aside and cover with foil for the juices to regroup.
In the same pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in the onions. Give it a pinch of salt and cook until soft (if the pan starts to dry up - add a little water). Add the mustard stirring for another 2-3 minutes. By then the pork chops that you set aside have released some of their wonderful juices, add them to the pan, and stir in the pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Let simmer for a minute and add some chopped parsley.
Sliced the pork chops thinly and pour the onion and mustard sauce over them. Any leftovers will be great for sandwiches the next day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

almond butter crunch kitchen! kitchen!

Almond Butter Crunch
This whole almond butter crunch is drizzled with tempered chocolate.
We certainly don't skimp on almonds when it comes to our butter crunch.
The roughly chopped almonds are almost left whole for that big chunk of a bite. 
We want you to savor the wonderfully toasted almonds on every bite and
the decadence of the drizzled chocolate will have you
 reaching for another, and another.
Be warned, it's ADDICTIVE.
Great for the holidays.
Only by Tarts and Quiches at kitchen! kitchen! email:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just as good and easy as the yellow kitchen! kitchen!

Chicken Over Brown Rice
Drizzled with pomegranate balsamic vinegar
Just as Good and Easy as the yellow rice.
 I had some leftover brown rice from the previous night and made it exactly as I did with yellow rice. It is just as good and easy.
For recipe - follow the recipe on "baked chicken over yellow rice" posting and drizzle with pomegranate balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

curried vegetable & red rice kitchen! kitchen!....

Curried vegetable and red rice nestled on a bed of lettuce with baked chicken.
Simply delicious and satisfying.
It's simply easy to do......

1-1/2 cups of cooked organic red rice (any red rice will do-follow cooking instruction in the box). **also see previous posting of" black rice**

For the VEGETABLES.......
1 red sweet bell pepper diced/cubed
2 small carrots cubed/and precook in the microwave for 2 minutes covered with a wet paper towel.
3 small Yukon gold potatoes (precook in the microwave for 2 minutes like the carrots)
1 medium size zucchini cubed
1/4 cup any dried fruit
1/4 cup raisins
1 small red onion chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoonful of Greek plain yogurt
1 tablespoon of GARAM MASALA
1 teaspoon curry powder
A sprinkling of red dry crushed pepper
Kosher salt
Olive oil
**Follow instruction on the "Butternut squash vegetable curry" on previous posting ** Put in the potatoes and carrots (these veges needs to cook a bit longer) first before putting in the rest of the vegetables. Garnish with scallions or cilantro
For the baked chicken......
Your favorite chicken parts
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
Season with Amazing Dry Rub generously and coat with with Greek yogurt - allow to marinade for an hour,. Sprinkle some paprika and Garam Masala on top and baked for 1 hour at 350 F until golden.
**Great for curries are any root vegetables, cauliflower, or broccoli - make this your'll love it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

comfort food....of collard kitchen! kitchen!

Delicately sauteed collard greens with  thick diced ham and smoked kielbasa
 Its' slight bittter will surely delight your palate
I was first introduced to this simple dish of collard greens served as a side dish, in a restaurant in some small town in Kentucky on a road trip with friends. Collard greens has a slight better taste and normally served with barbecues. Well, not at kitchen! kitchen! This simple vegetable was the main attraction that evening at my kitchen. The dish reminds us of the simple life at the farm, of animals tucked in for the night in the barn, of the good earth and its' bounty. Nothing fancy, just a simple wonderful comfort food.

Here's what you need.....

2 bunches of collard greens
1/4 cup of browned bacon (thick bacon or ham) in my case, I had some left over thick ham slices that I cubed and browned.
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
A pinch or 2 of dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup of stock/water

Simply do this......
Wash the collard greens and removed the tough stems; roughly chopped the greens.
In a large deep pan, cook the onions and garlic until soft for about 2 minutes. Throw in the ham or bacon, stirring for another 2 minutes. Then add the greens and the stock. Season with a little salt and dried red pepper. Cover and cook on medium low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft and all the stock has been absorbed. This wonderful vegetable is not to be rushed. It needs to be slowly simmered, and you will be rewarded with the soft, velvety taste in your mouth.
Serve with fork tender boiled meat or kielbasa and DIJON MUSTARD. It's all the comfort you need.

Monday, November 15, 2010

a simple pleasure of red cherry tomato kitchen! kitchen!

A simple pleasure of red cherry tomato salad
All you need are.......
A quart of red cherry tomatoes cut in half
A diced of one jalopeno (seeds and mambrane removed - only if don't want the heat)
Chopped cilantro - as much or as little as you want
1 small onion diced (red onion or shallots)
A pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
Mix and let the juice of the cherry tomatoes be its' own dressing
Its' spoonful is simply a pleasure!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Almost a paella but not quite...baked chicken over yellow kitchen! kitchen!..

Baked Chicken OverYelllow Rice
Almost a paella, but not quite, but just as delicious.
Your ingredients are.......
6-8 pieces of chicken thighs
A pinch of dry red crushed peppers
Amazing Dry Rub (see previous September posting)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup of diced ham  OR
(1/2 cup of diced Spanish chorizo) - *if you are using a real Spanish smoked sausage (Palacios chorizo), there is no need for the turmeric powder. The rich annatto spice in the sausage will color the rice*
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of raw white rice (1 cup raw rice to 2 cups water or follow the instruction on the box-best if rice is cooked a day ahead or let the rice cool completely).
Chopped scallions or cilantro for garnish

And this is how you start..........
Season the chicken generously with the amazing dry rub and bake at 350 F for an hour until golden....
In a large deep pan, cook the onions, red dry crushed pepper, and garlic until soft with olive oil for a minute, then add the diced ham or chorizo stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked rice and mixed thoroughly, season with a pinch of salt; and add the turmeric powder. Keep stirring for 2 minutes until the rice takes the color of the turmeric spice. Correct the seasoning and sprinkle some cilantro or scallions.
Serve the chicken thighs on top of the yellow rice and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.
*For the next posting - "what to do with your leftover yellow rice" ...that is if you will have any leftovers of this delicious dish* 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

pork chops....another pairing - another winner ! kitchen ! kitchen!

Wonderful golden brown pork chops with caramelized
onions and capers
A pairing of carmelized onions and capers- perfectly appetizing.

I had 3 pieces of 1" thick pork chops
Season with salt on both sides and bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees F to seal in the juices.
Take out of the oven (save the juices from the pan), wipe dry with paper towel and season with amazing dry rub on both sides.
Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil on a large skillet and brown the pork chops for 4-5 minutes on each side, drain and set aside.
On the same pan throw in a medium size sliced vidallia onion (sweet onion) sprinkle just less than a  pinch of  salt, stir until caramelized, add the juices from the pan; and scatter a tablespoon of drained capers. Simmer for 1 minute and serve with the pork chop. It is absolutely moist and delicious!
3 pieces 1" pork chops
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium size vidallia onion
Kosher salt
Amazing dry rub
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed and drained- and if you love capers make it 2 tablespoons)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My "chicken schnitzel" kitchen! kitchen!......

My Chicken Schnitzel
A wonderful golden, moist, and crunchy chicken scallopini
will twirl around your taste buds asking for more.
Chicken schnitzel warming a whole grain pesto penne pasta
topped with white anchovies.
What is a "schnitzel" after all without the anchovy!
A perfect Sunday dinner to end a perfect weekend.
I will never forget my first "vienner schnitzel" on my first trip to Europe with my parents right after my high school graduation. I thought to myself, what a strange dish - meat with anchovy. As soon as I tasted it, my palate was transported into another world. I loved it! A German/Austrian dish of veal scallopini but pork and turkey would be lovely too.

For the Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Pesto Sauce- please see previous postings for the recipe.
2 medium size boned chicken breast without the skin - thinly sliced (for a quick browning) - this will yield about 10-11 scallopini
Amazing Dry Rub (for a generous massaging)
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tablespoon of buttermilk
Marinade the chicken in a bowl with the above ingredients for half hour to an hour.
In the meantime......
Beat 1 egg with a tablespoon of milk 
Prepare 1/2 cup of flour with a pinch of salt in a bowl for dredging.
In a separate bowl prepare 2 cups of Panko crumbs (or bread crumbs) add more if necessary.
Heat 1/4 cup of canola/vegetable oil in a large pan until really hot....
You need to do an "I Love Lucy"assembly line of sort on this. Start by dredging each chicken piece in the flour shaking off the excess, next dip the piece in the egg batter shaking off some of the drip, then dredge in the PANKO crumbs making sure each piece is completely covered and slowly put in the pan with the very hot angry oil. Cook and brown each side for about 2 minutes on each side or turn the pieces as soon as you see the sides start to turn golden. Do not crowd the chicken pieces in the pan to avoid steaming.
Drain on paper towel or on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath (not to cool it but to let the oil drip down - this keeps the pieces crispier). Serve with some sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. This recipe serves 2-3 diners.
hint! hint! hint! - double the quantity if you want some leftovers for sandwiches the next day. My 11 pieces were gone in a blink of an eye!
Other serving suggestions: serve with roasted, boiled or mashed potatoes with butter/lemon sauce.
Melt slowly in a pan 1 stick of butter with a squeeze of 1/2 a lemon and a pinch of salt or microwave for 20 seconds.

Monday, November 8, 2010

south meets east...a red velvet kitchen! kitchen!

A red velvet cupcake drizzled with chocolate glaze
and a dusting of confectioners sugar

South Meets East Red Velvet Cupcake
The chocolate glaze gives this an eastern subtle elegance, while
the bold red velvety of the cake makes one think readily
of the beautiful, bold, warm, south. 
It is moist, and deliciously sweet.

Only  @ kitchen! kitchen!
This makes one think of the southern hospitality - the delicious red velvet cake is part of  TARTS & QUICHES repertoire of goodies.

It's shrimps and vegetable kitchen! kitchen!

Great as an appetizer served with
mojito vinaigrette. You will be wanting for more.
This is my spin of a Philippine dish called "okoy" or ukoy" that originated in the northern part of the island.
So Let's Start Spinning...the ingredients are......

  • 14 pieces of small shrimps coarsely chopped
  • 2 small zucchinis shredded (squeezed dry)
  • 1 small sweet potato shredded
  • Half of a poblano pepper slivered (seeded)
  • 4 scallions slivered
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of canola or vegetable oil for frying

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and aerate mixing well. ( you may use self-rising flour and if you do, there is no need for baking powder).
In a separate large bowl combine well the rest of the ingredients with the flour mixture.
Heat the oil in a large pan (oil must be smoking hot). Form a small thin patty and brown each side until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle some salt.
Serve with the MOJITO VINAIGRETTE (see previous posting " cranking up the guacamole").
great for appetizer or as a side dish!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A delightful surprise!!! kitchen! kitchen!

A dish of whole wheat penne pasta with
pesto sauce and shrimps blushing with pride with a surprisingly
delicious addition of smoked canned oysters, topped with chopped
cilantro and parmigiano reggiano cheese.
3  cups whole wheat penne pasta and cooked al dente
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
Pesto sauce (see previous posting for recipe)
1 can of smoke oysters (or canned smoked mussels will be lovely too).
16 medium size shrimps
Kosher salt
Heat olive oil and stir in the onions and garlic until soft. Add the shrimps until they start to blush. Pour in the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly. Add the pesto sauce and the canned smoke oysters. Mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro and parmigiano reggiano cheese. Surprisingly delicious!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another night of "lamb expression" at kitchen! kitchen!...

A simple salad of roasted beets, cucumber and Boston lettuce.
Honey mustard vinaigrette completes it. Great with
"Lamb Expression Dish"
A wonderful starter to tease the palate of your guests.

Wild /Brown Rice Combo Pilaf.
 A fantastic side dish
 With sprinkling of dried cranberries,
white raisins, dried sour cherries, and chopped cilantro.

the versatile "Lemoned Rice" with a heavenly aroma from the
cinnamon stick, whole cardamon,  fresh lemon juice and lemon zests..
Am I really eating rice???!!!

Another night of "Lamb Expression" to share with friends & family
like Livy, Chris, Halina, Mieszko, Abigail, and Jens at
kitchen! kitchen!
This dish is so delicious and versatile that you want to
make it over and over.
For a little variety,  I added some slow roasted potatoes and grape tomatoes.
See recipe from previous posting.
It was another night of " lamb expression" at kitchen! kitchen! And this time, I decided on having a simple beet and lettuce salad to perk up the palate, with a side dish of wild/brown rice combination and lemoned rice. It's quick and easy too!....
"LAMB EXPRESSION" - please see recipe from previous posting.
Beet and Boston Lettuce salad......
Roast beets with skin on and wrap completely in aluminum foil and roast at 350 F for an hour until cooked though. Peel skin off then cubed and sliced some after it has cooled.
Wash Boston lettuce leaves and tear or leave as whole - sprinkle the beets around with some slices of cucumber and a garnish of grape tomato. Serve with honey mustard vinaigrette dressing. See recipe on previous posting under "Grilled shrimp barley pasta salad a la Terry".

WILD RICE/BROWN RICE Combo pilaf..........

  • 1/2 cup wild rice cooked (follow cooking instruction on the box)
  • 1 cup brown rice cooked (follow cooking instruction on the box)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried sour cherries (or any dried fruit that you have)
  • 1/4 cup white raisins
  • 1 small onion coarsely chopped
  • A handful of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon GARAM MASALA
  • Kosher salt

Heat olive oil on a large pan and saute onions until soft. Add the GARAM MASALA, stir for a few seconds, then add all the dried fruits, mixing and stirring for 2 -3 minutes until all the dried fruits start to fatten up. Stir in the cooked wild and brown rice, mixing thoroughly for 2 minutes before adding the chopped cilantro. Check for seasoning.

You may google the recipe from the Internet....and this is an Indian dish so normally Basmati rice is used. However, I used what I have on hand and it happens to be a "Thai jasmine rice".

  • A juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups rice ( follow cooking instruction in the box- 1 cup rice to 2 cups water).
  • 4 whole cardamon with green husk and smashed a little
  • One cinnamon stick
  • A generous sprinkling of kosher salt

Mix all of the above with the rice and try to bury the cinnamon stick under the rice and cook according to instruction.
This dish is so aromatic and delicious that you will ask I eating rice?? Nobody may call it PLAIN RICE  anymore!

" queso verde fundido".... served in so many ways! kitchen! kitchen!

This is my spin on Ricky Bayless recipe on his show "Mexico, One Plate at a Time".  He is one of my favorite TV chefs.  A dish that's so versatile that it's great filling for tortillas, tacos, corn chips or as lettuce wraps. So easy for the home cooks like us..
Okay, let's mosey on down the Mexican lane with......
1 pkg. of ground turkey (any ground meat will do or loose sausage without the casing)
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic crushed and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
3 tablespoons beer (stop your husband and get 3 tablespoons before he drinks it - or better yet you drink the rest). Don't panic, white wine or tequila will work too.
1 or 2 pkgs. spinach or prepared baby spinach/arugula combination for salad (prewash)
8 oz. of Monterey Jack cheese shredded
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of SOFRITO (this is a good thing to have on hand - it enhances any dish or stew you make). You could google the recipe from the Internet...however, here is my version. way.....
1 red bell pepper -seeded and chopped coarsely
2 cubanelle peppers -seeded and chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic peeled
1 large poblano pepper (seeded and chopped coarsely)
A handful of cilantro
1 large onion chopped coarsely
Combine everything in a food processor. (I make a lot of this and store them in small quantities in individual small Ziploc and freeze them). They last forever.
Okay, now that we have all the flavorings.....
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, season with salt, stirring and breaking up any clumps, until the meat is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Make a little well in the middle and add the onions and garlic stirring and mixing. Add the beer, SOFRITO , and the spinach or spinach/arugula, (you might think there is too much spinach - don't panic they cook down), stir until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is dry looking. Taste and correct the seasoning.
Reduce the heat to medium low and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mixture stirring slowly until just melted and take it out of the heat immediately - you don't want to end up with stringy and tough cheese.
Serve on tortillas or soft tacos and add some store bought salsa. I don't blame you if you start doing the macarena - but leave the hat!!....
Queso Verde Fundido Lettuce Wrap
Serve as an appetizer - let your guests
decide if they want some salsa on top or not.
One of the many ways to serve the dish.

Queso Verde Fundido Lettuce Wrap with Salsa
Who can resist such an appetizer!

A Simple Tomato Salsa
What could be more simpler than grape tomatoes cut in half;
chopped red onion, minced garlic clove, minced jalapeno for heat, salt, pepper,
olive oil, and let's not forget chopped cilantro and squeeze of 1 lime.

The star of the show of course is

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

chocolate on chocolate kitchen! kitchen! by Tarts & Quiches...

Chocolate on Chocolate Cupcake
By Tarts & Quiches
It's light yet moist and irrisistibly so decadent that when you
reach for your second, it's just you and the cupcake
that matters.

Special order only at Tarts & Quiches

a one pot meal of curried butternut squash & broccoli with grilled kitchen! kitchen!

Curried Butternut Squash and Broccoli
With Grilled Turkey Fillet

Serve with a dollop of sour cream
When we buy vegetables like butternut squash, cabbage, broccoli, or any greens, we usually end up buying more than what we really need it for because of the way it's packaged. So, I keep the leftover sealed and safely tucked in - in the vegetable drawer of my fridge. You'll never know when you need it.
I still have some butternut squash, leftover when I made soup and some broccoli that is anxiously trying to push itself to the front of my fridge, saying "I'm still here and you better do something before I turn yellow". Well, I listened to my broccoli and pluck the leftover butternut squash for a "ONE MEAL POT". So here goes.......

1 pkg. of turkey fillet (or any meat or fish fillet that you might have) Season well with the Amazing Dry Rub and a sprinkling of olive oil to keep those fillets moist and happy- set aside
2 cups of butternut squash cubed
2 cups of broccoli florets
1 small chopped onions
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 stalk of leek minced (green and white part) or scallions
1 teaspoon of spicy paprika
1/4 - 1/2 cup stock or water
and the 4 C's......a teaspoon each of the AROMATIC SPICE POWDERS......
Curry, Coriander, Cumin, Cardamon, and the Martha Graham of spicess...drum roll please....GARAM MASALA!
3 tablespoons of Sour Cream
Kosher salt
Olive oil
Heat some oil on a large deep pan and stir in the garlic, ginger, and onions and a pinch of salt mixing until soft. Find a hot spot on the pan and get all the aromatic spices in and stir for less than a minute or you'll scare them!. Get the butternut squash in next, stirring, and add a little of the stock at a time to steam and cook the squash. Continue stirring and season with a pinch of salt, then add the sour cream, stir and put the cover and let simmer on medium low for 5 minutes until cooked. Test the butternut squash with a fork for doneness and throw in the broccoli next. Keep stirring for the vegetables to soak in the sauce that is developing in the pan and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add more stock if necessary and don't allow the pan to dry up. I always want a little crunch in my broccoli. Correct seasoning and keep on warm half covered while you attend to the TURKEY........
Brush your grill pan with a little olive oil and heat on medium high until smoky hot. Spread each fillet on the pan without crowding them and grill for minute on each side (my fillets were very thinly sliced). Don't over grill them or they'll get dry. Top the pan of curried vegetables with the grilled turkey and spinkle the dish with the minced leek. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and watch your family enjoy the dish!  Please adjust the recipe for 4-6 servings.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"short and sassy butternut squash and potato soup on a chilly night"! kitchen!

I added butternut squash to this soup for some sweetness- but for the potato soup "purists"- skip the squash, instead use 2 Idaho potatoes. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's start.....with..
  • 1 large peeled Idaho potatoes cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (roasted)
  • 1 large leek bulb white part only 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or half & half)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken or beef broth (vegetable broth for the vegetarians) to boil potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper
Start by......
Wash the leek bulb thoroughly to get the sand and dirt out and chopped coarsely (use the white part only and reserve the green part for garnish). Combine with the chopped onion in a bowl.  Boil the potatoes in broth/or water until fork tender and let cool (make sure you salt the potatoes very well...they just love salt)! Save some potato water for use later.
Drizzle squash with a tablespoon of melted butter then wrap in foil and roast until tender at 350 degree F. until fork tender..........
**Or cooked potatoes and butternut squash together until fork tender in a chicken or vegetable stock**
Heat the olive oil and butter in a deep pan or casserole and saute the onions and (leek bulb) until soft. Season with salt and white pepper. At this point you may add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little "kick". Cool and pour into a blender in batches adding some liquid. Return the blended potatoes to the deep pan or casserole on low heat stirring. Add the heavy cream and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Check for desired consistency or thickness, add some potato water if necessary. Taste and correct seasoning. Scoop into a soup bowl garnish with the chopped green part of the leek/or scallions and a sprinkling of lemon zest. Serve with a crusty baguette.

the many faces of the black rice kitchen! kitchen!..

Black Rice Pilaf
Serve to partner any dish.

Black Rice Pilaf With Anchovy
Serve as an appetizer with Spanish white anchovy.
Garnish with miniature cubed cucumbers and minced leeks.

Black Rice PIlaf With Anchovy
Serve with my Drunken Ribs added another dimension to the dish.
The Many Faces of BLACK RICE PILAF......I made this dish the day before halloween. How appropriate! As I was browsing around my neighborhood asian store, I came across a package of black rice (it looks like wild rice) and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked the guy what it is, and how to cook it. "This particular rice is a little sticky and you cook it the way you would like any normal white rice", was the reply. Okay.....I wasn't really too happy about the answer, however, I bought it anyway. So, based on the limited information I have on the black rice, I tapped my good old reliable "kitchen angel"- my cooking instinct - and it works! here goes..

1 cup Black Rice
1/2 cup brown rice (as a "loosening ingredient" - I didn't know how sticky the black rice would be).
(follow the cooking instruction on the brown rice package.The black rice do not have any instruction so, I cooked it the way I would a brown rice). The brown rice took the color of the black rice when cooked. Other option: USE WILD RICE
Before cooking the rice, season with 2 teaspoons salt, 3 whole cardamon with husk and smashed a little, 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder.
For the next combine the cooked black rice with ......
1 medium red sweer pepper minced
1 medium orange sweet pepper minced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup white raisins
1 small carrots cubed thinly
olive oil
1/4 cup of minced leeks (both green and white part -  chives will be good too).
2 pieces of Spanish white anchovy (or regular anchovy)
Follow the cooking instruction for this next step as on previous posting for QUINOA. or BROWN RICE with BARLEY.
Garnish with miniature cubed cucumbers and minced leeks
**To shape the pilaf as per photo - use a large cookie cutter on a plate and spoon the pilaf onto the inside of the cookie cutter gently compacting it and slowly lift the cookie cutter up.

Drunken short ribs with black rice kitchen! kitchen!

Drunken Short Ribs
happily resting
on a bed of fennel and cucumber salad with
black rice pilaf.
This dish is just dancing with flavor!
THE DRUNKEN SHORT RIBS is a dish that is just dancing with flavor and sure to please any palate.

What made it dance with flavor.....
3 pkgs. of short beef ribs
1 onion quartered
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon GARAM MASALA
1 teaspoon mustard seed or powder (if you don't have either - get a teaspoon of dijon mustard)
Kosher salt/course salt
Amaizing dry rub (see previous posting)
4 whole cardamon with husk and smashed a little
A squirt of tomato paste
Olive oil
1 bottle of beer
1/2 cup orange juice
Heat the oven to 295 degrees F (I will tell you later why).
Season the ribs generously with the AMAZING DRY RUB and set aside for 10 minutes or so.
Heat olive oil in large oven proof braising pan and brown each ribs until golden and set aside.
Take out the oil from the pan and leave the bits that the ribs left behind.... add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic on the same pan until soft. Add the teaspoon of GARAM MASALA and mustard stirring for a few seconds, then add the tomato paste and continue stirring. Make sure that you scrape up the those lovely bits on the pan and slowly add the beer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol evaporates then add the 1/2 cup of orange juice. Correct the seasoning, simmer for another 2 minutes. Cover and pop in the oven for 3 hrs. and forget about it until your timer rings. Check the seasoning and serve warm.
Some suggestions to partner this dish: boiled potato, a salad or vegetables. I served this with fennel and cucumber salad, and the black rice pilaf. Recipe for the black rice pilaf is posted.
This dish serves 4 people.