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Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

So remember back when I talked all about how inspired I was by my new book?  Well, it took me forever, but I finally made a condiment.  The easiest condiment in the book.  Garlic-ginger paste. I made it last week.  It’s been sitting there ever since. Well, not quite.  I did slow cook some broccolini with a spoonful of the paste.  Wow.  Yum.

Well, since then I’ve been dreaming of a few different recipes. For one, Niloufer talks a lot about the Parsi obsession with eggs.  And since I have a habit of eating eggs for just about any meal, those recipes have been calling to me.  One of the methods she uses involves simmering a sauce (any type) in a wide, shallow pan, making little wells in the sauce, and cracking eggs into the wells to “poach” them.  So that idea has been dancing around my brain.  In another recipe, she utilizes onion tops.  Yes, the green tops from scallions, spring onions, leeks, and even garlic.  I practically survive on onions throughout the winter.  I just love their variety.  And each type can be cooked in a million different ways, producing such amazingly different results. So the onion top thing has been dancing in there too.

So tonight when did my daily scope-out-the-fridge-and-find-somethin’-for-dinner, I came across tomato sauce, spring onions, eggs, and my ginger-garlic paste.  Aha!  Dinner!

Have you ever eaten something sooooooo tasty that you didn’t even want to take a sip of water afterwards for fear of washing away the yumminess? That’s how I felt tonight.  And this is what I did…

Parsi-eggs with tomato, spring onions, and ginger-garlic paste
serves 1

  • 2 small spring onions or 1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (recipe to follow)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (or ghee, if you’re being authentic!)
  • 1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs

Place a small, 8-inch saute pan over medium heat.  Pour in the oil and allow it to warm.  Add the sliced onions and a pinch of kosher salt and turn the heat down to low to cook very slowly, covered, for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the lid, stir in the ginger-garlic paste, and continue to cook slowly for another 2-3 minutes.  The onions should be very soft.  Fold in the tomato sauce and continue cooking until the sauce is warmed through.

Make 2 shallow wells in the sauce (they have to be shallow because there isn’t much sauce here!), and crack one egg in each well.  Replace the lid and cook slowly until the eggs are “poached” to the doneness that you prefer.

Using a rubber spatula, slide the eggs onto your plate and gobble them up.

Ginger-garlic paste from My Bombay Kitchen by Nilourfer Ichaporia King

  • 1/2 cup peeled and roughly chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup peeled and roughy chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil

Place the ginger, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Process until it forms a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times, as necessary. Pack into a small jar or bowl and pour a thing film of oil over the top. Store in the refrigerator.

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These are every bit as fun as my buddy Nate whom everyone adores for his fiery character.  If he were a cookie, he would be a chewy, crunchy ginger-molasses cookie.  Hands down.  A little spicy and enough chew to keep you “jawin”.  And sweet enough to keep you comin’ back for more.  Yup, that is Nate in a nut-shell–not to imply that he could actually fit in a nut-shell…  But….well, we shorties gotta stick together!

Actually, Nate was the one who gave me this original recipe which I tweaked a bit to invoke his character!

Chewy, Crunchy Ginger-Molasses Cookies
yields about 20 large cookies

  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar for rolling (substituting regular white sugar will produce different results)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk the oil, white sugar, egg, fresh ginger, and molasses.  In a separate medium bowl, mix the flour, ginger, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.  Scoop into 2-Tablespoon balls and coat with the Turbinado sugar by pouring the sugar into a small dish, and rolling the balls around.  Place the  balls 2 to 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a sil-pat or parchment paper, 10 balls per tray, like this…

O    O    O

O     O

O    O    O

O    O

Bake for 12 minutes.   (At about 10 minutes the cookies will have puffed up but will be too soft and raw in the center.  Then they will fall, somewhat flat.)  Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.  The cookies will seem underdone, but will be nice and chewy, once cooled.

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Lamb Shanks

Alright, I know, I know.  I realize that a mere 4 months ago, I was begging for this, but I’m really wishin’ for a rainy day now.  So I’ve been doing the rain dance, turning off the sprinklers, and making “winter food” for dinner every night, hoping to bring forth the rain.  Despite my efforts, however, my herbs are turning brown (maybe I shouldn’t have turned off those sprinklers), and we’re practically sweating at the dinner table, choking down stews and soups!

But, hey!  I wanted to make lamb shanks.  And so I did!  I friend of mine works part-time at the restaurant, and helps his dad run their farm in Sacramento part-time.  He brought me a grocery bag full of goodies last week, including a huge bunch of lemon verbena.  I love lemon verbena, as you may remember.  He gave me so much that I’ll be able to use it for at least a few different recipes.  But I’ve been wanting to try braising with it.  My original idea was to make a quick fish fumet (a stock made with fish bones) using the lemon verbena leaves as flavoring, and then do a quick braise with some halibut or rock cod.  I was likening it to the use of lemon-grass in thai food.  But lemon verbena leaves are so tender that I was afraid their flavor would dissipate quickly.

Well, the day I had designated for my “lemon verbena braise” was so down-right grey and dreary, that I just couldn’t fathom a light dish.  So lamb shanks it was!  Boy, did it turn out fantastic.  I added ginger to compliment the lemon verbena and the two went together beautifully.

Lamb Shanks with Lemon Verbena and Ginger
yields 2 servings with some leftovers for soup, etc.

If you want to serve one lamb shank per person, look for lamb shanks that weigh about 1 pound each.  If you just want to let the meat fall off the bone and have leftovers, look for shanks that wiegh 1-1/2 pounds each.  Also, you can ask your butcher to “crack” the bone, whereby they will saw through the bone, allowing the marrow to be exposed, adding richness and deliciousness(!) to the dish.

If you’re very concerned about removing excess fat, you might want to make this dish a day in advance, then refrigerate the whole thing.  The fat will rise to the top and solidify over-night, allowing you to easily lift it off the top and discard.  Then simply re-heat, covered, over medium-low heat until warmed through.

  • 2 lamb shanks totaling about 3-1/4 pounds
  • 2 small red onions cut into a large dice
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock or low sodium broth
  • 2 fresh red tomatoes, or  4 pieces of canned whole tomatoes, cut in half
  • 7 leaves of lemon verbena
  • 1/2-inch hunk of ginger, sliced
  • 5 medium garlic cloves
  • salt

The day before cooking, salt the lamb using 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt per pound of lamb.  The next day, place a large stew-pot over medium heat and add 2 Tablepoons of pure olive oil or vegetable oil.  Brown lamb shanks until they are golden on each side.  Remove lamb and place on a plate. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the fat. Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the onions, whole garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt.  Sweat down until they are translucent.  Add tomato and ginger.  continue to cook for about 5 minutes allowing them to soften slightly.  Add the stock and simmer.  Place the lamb shanks back in the pot, cover, and simmer very slowly for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  The cooking time will vary, depending upon how large the shanks were.  The meat should be tender enough to fall off the bone.

And while I didn’t manage to snap any pictures of the braised shanks, I did manage to snap a picture of the yummy soup I made with the leftovers….

lamb shank soup

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Let me first start by apologizing for the fact that I don’t have any pictures of the ice cream sandwiches because, well, we ate them!  We ate them fast.  Real fast.  And they were good.  Real good.  I’m sorry.

But I do have this:

PA050038which proves that I did infact have the cookies.  So that’s something right?

So if you want to make ice cream sandwiches, this is what you’ll need to do.  Make these gingersnaps.  Find yourself some ice cream.  (I used coffee, but I really want to try it with that yummy brown-butter ice cream!) Temper the ice cream somewhat to soften it.  Place a scoop of ice cream on one cookie.  Top with the other cookie.  Wrap the whole-dang-thing in a little plastic wrap.  Freeze for a few hours.  Remove from freezer.  Eat.  Moan.  Go back to the freezer and eat another.  Yum.

Gingersnap cookies adapted from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook

The only thing I would do differently next time is to add a couple Tablespoons of minced crystallized/candied ginger to the dough.

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, allspice, white pepper, cardamom, and salt.

In a medium glass measuring cup, stir together the coffee, molasses, and fresh ginger.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture and the molasses mixture, in three alternate batches, starting with the flour mixture, and ending with the molasses mixture.  Finish the last few stirs by hand.

Chill the dough thoroughly, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Place the oven rack in the center-most position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (The original recipe states that these cookies bake best on parchment paper)

Using a 1-Tablespoon measure, scoop out rough balls of dough, and roll them into balls with the palms of your hands.  Space them two-inches apart on the cookie sheets, 12 balls per sheet.  Using the palm of your hand or the oiled bottom of a drinking glass, flatten the balls to 1/4-inch thick.  (Anyone have a tortilla press?  I bet it would work beautifully!)  Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about *11 minutes.  The centers will remain slightly chewy.  Cool on the cookie sheets for two minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*If you are using these gingersnaps for ice cream sandwiches, bake them so that they have slightly chewy centers.  If you’re baking them to be eaten as gingersnaps, bake them for two minutes longer (13 minutes).

And while we’re at it, a friend of mine from work has been munching gingersnap-wiches filled with ricotta cheese.  Oh gosh, they’re good.  Since learning that, I’ve also tried panir and fresh farmer’s cheese.  Yum.

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