Monday, July 31, 2017

Simple, Spicy, Eggplant Curry.

 
   We had a wet and cold Winter here in Sonoma, and our Spring was the same. It has taken forever for a lot of the things that we usually plant to bloom and ripen. I'm still waiting on a mass of green tomatoes to turn red. Meanwhile after a couple of super hot weeks the eggplants started to produce. I usually plant about 4 different varieties of eggplant so that almost anything I want to cook is covered. My little baby globe eggplants which are traditionally used for this Indian dish are still not ready but the Japanese eggplants were, so I decided to work with what I had and make a hot Summertime Eggplant Curry, using them and some of the Serrano chilies from my garden.


   This is a dish that cooks up pretty fast and also is great as a make-ahead, reheat tomorrow dish. Giving everything time to mellow is one of the best features of Indian cooking, and why not do most of the heavy lifting on a cooler Summer evening, and just simply reheat the next day?  This is a vegan dish, and the gravy is made of a mixture of nuts and seeds, you won't miss the dairy. So without further ado....

Spicy Eggplant Curry In A Nut Gravy

 

Here's What You Need: 

5 medium sized Japanese eggplant cut into pieces
3 Tbs vegetable oil, I use coconut oil
1 small onion chopped
1 and 1/4 tsp shallot ginger paste (1 Tbs chopped fresh ginger, and 1 Tbs chopped shallot blended together with a bit of water in a grinder)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp black onion seed
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
5 curry leaves (if you have them)
2 serrano chilies chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp tamarind pulp
water
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish

For the Nut Gravy:

4 tbs peanuts
3 Tbs dried unsweetened grated coconut
2  tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds


Here's What To Do:

In a small pan dry roast the coconut, peanuts, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
When they start to toast take them off the fire and place them in a blender or spice grinder with a little bit of water if needed.


Grind the nuts and seeds to a thick paste and set it aside.


In a skillet or or kadhi heat 2 Tbs of the vegetable oil.


When the oil is hot add in the cut up eggplant pieces.


Cook on medium heat until the eggplants are a bit soft,(10 minutes or so.) Don't overcook them.
Take the eggplants out of the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain.
add 1 more Tbs of oil to the pan and when it's hot add in the mustard seeds.


When they start to pop add in the onion seed and fennel seed...


...the chopped green chilies and the curry leaves if you have them.


Stir everything around and then add in the chopped onions.


Cook until they're translucent then add in the ginger shallot paste.


Cook the paste for about 3 minutes or so,then add in the cumin, and coriander powder, salt to taste, and the Kashmiri chili powder.


Cook the spices for about 3 minutes then add in 1/2 cup of water to make sure they don't burn.
Add the seed and nut paste to the pan.


Add the turmeric and cook the paste for about 5 minutes on a medium low heat.
Add in the cooked eggplants...


...and two cups of water.


Stir everything around, cover the pan and cook on a medium low heat for 15-20 minutes.


When the 15-20 minutes are done the mixture will be thicker, add in the tamarind, and sugar, and the garam masala.


Stir everything together well, sprinkle in some fresh cilantro...


...and serve it up!


This dish is hot and spicy with a touch of sweet. Serve it with a simple rice dish, and some chapatti for a tasty Indian lunch or supper. Coming up next...tomatillos in  an Indian dal. Follow along on Twitter @ kathygori

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gluten Free Chocolate Lemon Tart...Plus A CocoaPlanet Golden Ticket Giveaway!


   For years I never knew that chocolate and lemon went together. I've always been a chocolate orange, or chocolate strawberry kind of person. Boy was I wrong. Working with the people at CocoaPlanet Chocolate I've learned a lot about what one can do with some really good chocolate, and the options are many. I've put somethings together with chocolate that I never thought of doing before, but was I late to the party on lemon.

   We were sitting around a few weeks ago and talking about some cool desserts that might be good on the CocoaPlanet menu. I was thinking lemon and Anne McKibben owner of CocoaPlanet and chocolate maker said  "how about something chocolate?"

   "Chocolate, check!"

    "And of course lemon..."

   "Say what! Lemon?!!" I was immediately intrigued about trying this combo, and then Anne said, "And make the crust chocolate too!"

   "Hmmmm, chocolate, chocolate, and lemon."  Why the hell not?! We'll just go to hell in an ultra large hand basket in that case.

   I have had a huge lemon crop this year, so finding delicious Meyers was no problem and I sure enough had all the chocolate I needed. As to the gluten free crust I turned to the Queen of Chocolate Crusts, my friend Alice Medrich . Alice, has a recipe for a killer-diller chocolate crust that anyone who's on a gluten free diet should know about. This tart is easy to make and keeps well in the fridge.

   At the end of the recipe is a total Chocolate Giveaway , so stick around and enter.

Chocolate Lemon Tart

 

Here's What You Need:

 

 Alices' Crust
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs Teff Flour
3 Tbs white rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter slightly soft and chunked up
2 Tbs cream cheese
1 and 1/2 tsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk mixed with a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp of water for the egg wash

Here's What To Do:
Put the teff flour, cocoa powder, rice flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor. Pulse to blend
Add in the butter chunks, cream cheese,water, and vanilla.
Pulse until it forms a soft dough

Transfer the dough to a 10 or  11 inch greased tart pan.
Press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides....
Alice's trick (and now mine) for working dough, is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the bottom and sides of the dough, place a paper towel over that and press the dough flat and even with a straight sided, flat bottomed cup.
Get rid of the paper towel but leave the plastic wrap in place.
Put the tart pan into the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight is best. It can also be refrigerated for 2 days before you use it.

When the crust has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap from the tart crust. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and  bake for about 35 minutes.
Check the crust after 15 minutes and if you see it puffing up on the bottom press it down carefully with the back of a fork.
Bake the crust until it is a slightly deeper shade of brown and the crust has pulled away from the sides of the tart pan.
Take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool.


  The Filling: Chocolate Ganache

Here's What You Need:
6 oz CocaPlanet Deep Dark Truffle Chocolate, chopped
6 oz whipping cream

Here's What To Do:
Heat the cream until it's nearly at the boil, but NOT boiling.
Pour it over the bowl of chopped chocolate .


Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes when the chocolate is melted, whisk it into the cream.


Let it cool down at room temperature.
When it has cooled enough so you can still pour it, pour it into the bottom of the tart.


Place it into the fridge to chill until the chocolate ganache is set.

The Lemon Filling

Here's What You Need:
1 cup of sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup of lemon juice
4 oz of cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 Tbs lemon zest

Here's What To Do:
Mix the egg yolks with the sugar in a small pot.
When you have a thick mixture, add in the lemon juice. Put the whole thing over a medium flame and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken.


You want to KEEP WHISKING so that your lemon curd does not turn into curdled lemon scrambled eggs.
When it has thickened, take the pan off the heat, whisk in the butter pieces...


...and the lemon zest.


Set the lemon curd in the fridge to chill and firm a bit.
When it has chilled for a while, and your chocolate ganache layer is firm, pour the lemon curd over it.


Spread it out evenly, and place it in the fridge until it's ready to serve.


Cut it up and have a ball!!!


This is great with a bit of unsweetened whipped cream, it's not a command but just sayin' ...it doesn't hurt.

So, there's the tart and here's The Giveaway

I have 3 CocoaPlanet Golden Tickets to give away.


Each ticket is good for two people for a tasting and a tour...so if you are planning on coming to Sonoma and you'd like a set of these tickets follow me and CocoaPlanet on Twitter @kathygori  
Leave me a comment here telling me you've done so.

I'll be announcing the winner Next Fri July 21st. So if you're planning on getting up to lovely wine country please enter!!!!

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