Thứ Ba, 6 tháng 8, 2013

Peaches and Cream Chamomile Tea Cooler

Sometimes your instinct and reasoning skills line up to tell you something.  A situation in which success should be guaranteed.

You see the way he gets all excited playing with a ball.  You know how energetic he is.  You are extremely aware of his inability to sit still.  Friends and family all said yes, he will love it.  Toddler soccer seemed like the perfect activity for Max.

But it was not.  To say the least.  In his defense, the soccer class was held on a patch of grass immediately adjacent to the big toys on the playground.  Like right there, calling out to him with its siren song of fun and climbing adventures.  A song that he could only hear, apparently, as none of the other tots seemed to be running off to play on it.

At first, everything seemed like it would be perfect.  Hilarious and adorable, with a happy little tot playing with the soccer ball.  But that scene was crushed after all of like thirty seconds (I'm not exaggerating), when he decided he needed to be elsewhere. The two train-shaped toys were especially appealing to his sensibilities.  After using various strategies to get my child back to soccer, I eventually had to admit defeat.  As soon as I would carry him over to the soccer balls he would just dart right back to the playground area.  Futility at its finest.

So that was that.

I was so wrong about his interest in soccer.

But I don't think I am wrong here.  I had a vision, instinct and reasoning, telling me that sweet cream and peaches and chamomile and lemon would come together to make a delicious summery drink.

Sometimes our instincts are wrong.  And sometimes they are spot-on.  Not sure what to make of that situation.

For the chamomile-black tea:
8 regular-sized chamomile tea bags
3 regular-sized black tea bags (I insist on my mom sending me packages of Red Rose brand of tea)
4 cups just-boiled water

4 peeled peaches
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons International Delight Cold Stone Creamery Creamer Sweet Cream Flavor
honey, to taste (depends on the sweetness of your peaches)

To make the chamomile-black tea:  Pour the water over the tea bags.  Steep for 4-6 minutes, remove bags. Cool.

To make the tea cooler:  Pour the tea, peaches, lemon juice, creamer, and honey (if using) in bowl.  Blend everything with an immersion blender (or regular blender) until frothy. Ladle into ice-filled glasses.

Tags:Peaches,Cream,Chamomile,Tea Cooler

Thứ Hai, 5 tháng 8, 2013

I Just Can’t Get Enough

There are some foods, some dishes, that I feel I could eat to infinity - dishes where I lose all self control.  Or at least, I don’t want to stop eating, and making myself put on the brakes requires a great deal of discipline. Usually salty crunchy things fall into that category; for instance, I could eat Doritos until I turn orange, but the other foods that put me in a state of compulsive gorging followed by a state of gleeful shame are less obvious. These foods may include, but are not limited to, mashed potatoes, spaghetti carbonara, uni (Well, I’ve never actually had the opportunity to eat my body weight in uni. I’m guessing I’d get my fill faster than I think), chicken fricassee, sausage biscuits, my mom’s cream of mushroom soup (I could drink it like a milkshake), pimiento cheese, tomato sandwiches, burrata, buttermilk pie, Cadbury Creme Eggs (made myself sick eating four in a row) and vichyssoise (made myself sick on that one, too), and pan gravy. I can power down some gravy. And I don’t need it to be on anything, either.

Some of these foods come from my childhood, but just as many don’t at all. Some are sweet and some are salty, some are solid and some are liquid. I don’t see a particular profile or pattern in them at all. That’s what is so interesting about all of us. And what’s so fascinating about food.

Recently, like a bolt of lightning, a dish zapped into my head from my childhood. It was from the era of my mom’s ‘experimental and/or ethnic food phase’ - I’d say this was the late 1980s. We called it Anuradha Rice. I remember exactly what it tasted and looked like, but I couldn’t recall its story or what the recipe was at all. So I called Mom.

When she used to work at an art gallery back in Richmond, she had a co-worker that had recently moved, with her husband, from India. Her name was Anuradha. My mom, Harland and Leslie - all Anderson Gallery people - were all going through this ‘experimental and/or ethnic food phase’ together and thought it would be really great to learn about some of Anuradha’s favorite dishes from home and how to prepare them here. Or rather, how to prepare them in Richmond, Virginia.

I don’t know what, if any, other dishes came out of these cooking classes, but I do know that one in particular stuck in our kitchen. It was a rice dish with some sort of yogurty-ness on top. No one ever found out the actual name for this dish, if it had one, so it has always been Anuradha Rice. My mom, Harland and I ate it all the time, especially in the warm months. It seems like it would be a side dish but it was our meal. And I tell you what, I could have eaten a mountain of it.

After finding out about the dish, and a loose version of how to prepare it, I set to finding the ingredients so I could go about bringing Anuradha Rice into my house, here in LA. When I was searching for the mustard seeds, I was chatting on the phone with Heather. I told her I “was trying to make a rice dish that mom used to m...” At which point she cut me off and stated, “Anuradha Rice!” That shows you how much of a staple it was back then.

I’ve made it twice in the past few days, both versions came out perfectly. The main reason for that is it is a breeze to make. Not only is it a cinch, but the ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive. It’s a bright, fresh, clean, velvety and incredibly satisfying dish. The simplicity of the ingredients and the way they marry perfectly together is uncanny. The smooth, cool yogurt with little crunches of cucumber on top of the warm, soft rice with the teeny-tiiny pops of the mustard seeds make for an eye opening journey in temperatures and textures. My mom came over to visit today and is literally eating a bowl of it while I type this.

So, I recently noticed that I have a lot of new readers of late, and I would love to get to know y’all. I was thinking it would be fun to get some dialogue going between us. After going through my brain and digging up all of those edibles I just can’t get enough of, it made me exceedingly curious to find out what everyone else’s may be. So, please, leave me a list of yours in the comment section. And who knows I may have to try them out to see if they get tacked on to my list. Because, really, all I need is one more thing I just can’t stop eating!

Anuradha Rice

Serves 4 as an entree
Serves 6 as a side dish


For rice:
2 cups Basmati rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
1 ½ tablespoon mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon oil or ghee

For yogurt:
2 1/2 cups plain yogurt
¾ cup red onion, diced
1 large (or 2 medium) ripe tomato, chopped
*1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste


*Toss chopped cucumber in a small bowl with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and let sit 10 minutes. This is to remove excess water from cucumber.

Place all ingredients for yogurt mixture in bowl and mix well. Set aside in refrigerator.

Heat oil (or ghee) in wok or large cast iron skillet. Add mustard seeds and cook on medium-high until they begin to pop. Be careful not to get hit in the eyeball by hot, oily, popping mustard seeds. Cook until a few of the seeds have popped, but don’t worry about popping them all.

Add the cooked and cooled rice, add turmeric and stir well. Once rice is mixed well with the oil and mustard seeds, and heated through with the littlest bit of crisp remove from heat.

Portion rice on to plates and top with a generous amount of the yogurt mixture and serve.

Karavalli Fish Fry

This is a recipe from coastal Karnataka amazing recipe the fish is perfectly spiced there is no over powering tastes its soft and flaky crisp oh my so yum...

Please watch recipe demo video...

250 Grams Fish Fillet 
1 Whole Lime Juice
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tbsp Pepper Powder
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
5 to 6 Green Chillies
3 Sprigs Coriander leaves
1/2 Cup Semolina
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Fish Fillets are available at Auchan hyper market, MG 1, Metro Bangalore
Marinate Fish:
  • In a mixer jar add chilly coriander ginger garlic paste turmeric and salt grind to a smooth paste do not add water while grinding if needed add lime juice.
  • Cut the fish fillets into cubes wash thrice drain excess water pat dry.
  • Add the prepared masala with lime juice in a mixing bowl add the fish pieces to the marinate and mix well cover and refrigerate for a hours time. 
  • Spread semolina in a plate.
  • Heat oil in a wok on medium flame.
  • Mix the marinated fish once more before dipping in semolina.
  • Dip the fish in semolina and tap of excess fry the fish in hot oil.
  • Gently flip the fish and fry till golden color drain oil and serve with lime wedges and onion...Enjoy...:) 

Thứ Bảy, 3 tháng 8, 2013

The Road Taken

I started writing this post over a month ago. Since then I have started and stopped quite a few times. Then I just stopped. And stared. Nothing. Then I started again, but didn't know where to take it. I wasn't sure why. Normally once I start something, anything, I stay right with it until I finish. But this one is different. Change is afoot.

Like many writers, I often grapple with how much, or how little, to expose about myself here. To you. I like to talk, I like to tell stories, I like to share. It helps me process. It helps me see. I used to be religious about writing in my journals, almost excessively some days. In a sense, this has become my journal. The big difference is there is now an audience. An audience with reactions I cannot gauge while I 'talk'. For the most part I keep things on the lighter side, but I assure you that this voice is mine and mine alone. If you met me, that would be clear within moments. This voice is more disciplined, however, and part of an identity I am able to control.

Here I tell you about me, but within the framework of food and within the realm of my kitchen, or, perhaps, someone else's kitchen. I will tell you about Fred, or Besito, or anecdotes about any number of members of my family and certainly friends that come in and out of the spotlight at any particular time. And from all of that, and the years we've known one another, I can imagine you have gleaned quite a bit about me.

I have been hinting about some big news and I'm finally ready to tell you about it. At the end of September, after twelve years in the City of Angels I will be moving back home. And by home I mean Richmond, Virginia. I will not be alone, however. My love, Fred and our pups, Besito, Eduardo and our newest addition, Byron, will all be moving together. Our little family is going to join my Richmond family and the horizon is enormous.

I am not sure if you knew this, because I know I've never told you, but I have owned a dog walking business for the past decade. It has been quite successful and very good to me. This business has been the most solid, consistent, dependable and reliable thing I have known during my life in Los Angeles.

So, at almost forty years old, I am selling my business and am moving clear across the country. To do what? I'm not entirely certain, but the idea is a lot more of this. Writing. Cooking. Eating. Food. Recipes. Pictures. With Fred.

And there you have it.

I feel a little bit naked now. But good naked.

And relieved.
One very, very fun and exciting part of all of this is the actual journey. We will be driving and taking our time. Specifically, this will be a culinary journey from California to Virginia with a huge focus on the South. In the cities where we don't know people, we hope to rely on folks we know via social media to assist us in finding our next meal, or interview, or as Fred wants to do, a place for us to cook with locals; both home and professional chefs, and in both homes and restaurants. Part of the thrill of our cross country trip is the serendipity involved. We know that we will have food adventure and discovery that we are not even aware of at this moment. The best part is that we will be documenting everything as we go along.

I hope all of you get involved. Tell us where to go and what to eat. Better yet, if our paths cross, let us meet! And cook! And eat! Let's all do this together, shall we?

And, OMG, what should our hashtag be?!

In honor of this post I thought long and hard about what dish to share with y'all. Fred suggested I make something I've never made before, in the spirit of the unknown road ahead (very Robert Frost of him). I wanted to do something that represents what is happening with food here in LA then and now, so to speak, and food that signifies where I'm from and where I'm going: The South.

I settled on what I will call a Low Country Benedict: fried green tomatoes with Smithfield ham, poached eggs and a pimiento cheese hollandaise. Oddly, I have never made fried green tomatoes. And this summer my fecund garden is bursting with tomatoes – red, yellow, orange and green. When I think of eggs Benedict I think of the LA from the eighties, think LA Story and people lingering over coffee, mimosas and bloody marys and fancy, bougie French fare wearing sunglasses, white linen and big hats. That said, southern food is so, so, very, very en vogue here in LA (and everywhere) right now. Think Willie Jane and The Hart and the Hunter's entire menu, , A-Frame's fried chicken picnic, Son of a Gun's pimiento cheese with Ritz crackers,Lucques' annual rib-fest, everyone's deviled eggs, and so on. And perhaps most obviously, fried green tomatoes are, and have been for quite some time, very prominent in the south.

And so without further ado...

Fried Green Tomato Benedict with Smithfield Ham & Pimiento Cheese Hollandaise

Makes 4 servings


4 thin slices of Smithfield ham
2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
4 eggs
2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
4 large slices of fried green tomatoes
Salt & freshly cracked pepper

Pimiento Cheese Hollandaise

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons powdered cheddar cheese (found in your standard mac n' cheese package)
1 4 ounce jar of pimientos, chopped
Dash of cayenne or tabasco
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste


Start with the fried green tomatoes. Recipe below. Once they're cooked, keep them in the oven on warm until you're ready to assemble the dish.

Next bring a large saucepan two-thirds-filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.

Make the pimiento cheese hollandaise. Vigorously whisk together egg yolks and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler); the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in powdered cheese a teaspoon at a time, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Stir in the pimientos. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs Benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving. Salt to taste

Poach the eggs. Here is  an easy method for poaching eggs. Essentially, working one egg at a time, crack an egg into a small bowl and slip into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you'll want to take it out first.) When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon. Note that the timing is a little variable on the eggs, depending on the size of your pan, how much water, how many eggs, and how runny you like them. You might have to experiment a little with your set-up to figure out what you need to do to get the eggs exactly the way you like them.

Gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl. 

To assemble the eggs Benedict, put two fried green tomatoes on each plate and top each with a thin slice of Smithfield ham. You can trim the ham to fit the tomato if you’d like. Put a poached egg on top of the ham, pour hollandaise over. Top with sprinkles of chives and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve at once.

Fried Green Tomatoes


1  large egg, lightly beaten  
1/2 cup  buttermilk
1/2 cup  all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup  cornmeal
1 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon  pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3  medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
Vegetable oil
Bacon drippings
Salt to taste


Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan.
Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.

Pour oil/bacon dripping to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.

Masala French Fries

This is an instant side-dish or snack recipe very tasty down side to this recipe it will not remain crisp for longer period of time masala french fries are super when served with any southindian recipe...

Recipe demo video...Subscribe+Like+Share+Follow...

2 Large Potato Chopped into Sticks
4 Tbsp Corn Flour
1 Tbsp Chilly Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tbsp Garam Masala
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying
  1. Wash the chopped potato thrice place it in a colander and allow the excess water to drip pat it dry and place it in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add chilly powder salt turmeric powder garam masala and corn flour toss the potato to coat with masala if needed sprinkle water to coat the masala.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and drop the masala coated potato into oil fry. place the flame on low to medium flame fry till all sides are crisp drain potato on tissue serve hot with lime wedges ...Enjoy...:)

Thứ Năm, 1 tháng 8, 2013

Pork meatballs with Lemon & Basil

A simple weeknight meal, flavorful but in no way spicy. Variations on this theme is definitely a favorite for me. I very often opt for pork rather than beef - not only is it cheaper, but I often find it much higher in quality.
lemon garlic meatballs with pesto

Eat these with whatever you'd like - we served it with a simple pasta tossed in pesto, with broccoli and tomatoes.

Any leftovers? They will keep well in the fridge, or in the freezer for that matter.

Pork meatballs with Lemon & Basil
serves 4

500 g ground pork
2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
handful fresh basil leaves
zest from 1 lemon
1 egg
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
50 ml milk
salt, black pepper

Finely mince the garlic, basil and shallots, and mix with the lemon, egg, breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Add a little salt and pepper, and the ground pork. Mix well, using your hands. When it's well combined, let it sit in the fridge for half an hour. (Less, if you're in a hurry - but it helps the mixture hold together.)

Shape round meatballs, and flatten slightly. Fry in butter on medium heat until cooked through.