Thursday, December 29, 2022

Cod With Thai Spices


These days the desire to eat something spicy drives me to distraction and invention. I fry nuggets of cod and dress them with a spicy Thai inspired sauce. 

The cod is lightly dusted with five-spice powder, coated with flour and fried. The sauce is a quick saute of garlic, onions, chiles, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and kecap manis. It is umami rich, spicy and a great contrast to the cod. 

Try it. It will surprise your taste buds!


Serves 4

3-4 Cod filets

Oil for frying fish

1/2 teaspoon Five Spice powder

AP Flour

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

2 Garlic cloves

1 Shallot

1 Green Chile

3 Kaffir Lime Leaves

2-3 Galangal coins or Ginger coins

2 tablespoons Kecap Manis

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

1/2 cup Water

Cut cod into 2 inch chunks. Wash and pat dry. 

Dust cod with five spices and salt.

Mince garlic, shallot and chile fine. 

Heat oil in a small saucepan.

Add garlic, shallot and green chile and saute till fragrant and light brown. 

Add kaffir lime leaves, galangal, kecap manis, sugar and water to pan. 

Simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Keep warm. 

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a wok or kadhai.

Coat fish with flour and deep fry till crisp.

Drain on paper towels.

Place in a bowl. 

Drizzle the sauce over fish and serve with rice or noodles.

Delicious and easy! 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Pan Roasted Chicken In A Mushroom Sherry Sauce

Lidia Bastianich has a treasure trove of Italian gems. This recipe is inspired by one of them. Boneless chicken thighs are seasoned and pan-fried in butter, then tossed in a onion, mushroom and sherry sauce. In our house it is always a crowd pleaser. 


Inspired by Lidia Bastianich

Serves 4 

4-5 boneless skinless Chicken Thighs

2 tablespoons Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup AP Flour

3 +2 tablespoons Butter

1 large Onion

3 cups sliced Mushrooms

1/2 cup Sherry

1 cup Chicken Stock

Kosher Salt

Ground Black Pepper


Cut chicken into bite size pieces.

Season with garlic, salt, pepper and flour. Mix well so flour coats chicken. 

Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a nonstick saucepan. 

Drop chicken into the pan and cook till the undersides are golden brown. Flip chicken and cook till the flipside is golden as well. They should be brown and a little crusty.

Place the chicken in a bowl and keep aside.

Chop onion into small dice. 

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the pan. 

When it sizzles add onion and saute till soft. 

Add sliced mushrooms to pan and allow them to turn golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Season mushrooms and onion lightly.

Pour sherry into the pan and boil till sherry thickens slightly.

Add the stock and remaining butter and bring to a fast simmer. Let sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste for salt, adding more if necessary.

Add cooked chicken to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes. 

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

When you take three superfoods and come up with a salad, it is bound to be delicious. All three mainstays are good for body and soul. When I make it for a friend, it carries even more weight.

Cooked quinoa is fluffed. Sweet potatoes are sauteed till soft and golden. Slivered kale is massaged, looking lustrous and limp. This triumvirate this then doused in a lemon mustard vinaigrette. An optional toss of almonds adds crunch and contrast. Off to the neighbors it goes.


Serves 4-6

1 cup Quinoa

2 Sweet Potatoes

1 cup Kale leaves, ribs removed

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

3 + 1 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon whole grain Mustard

4 tablespoons Lemon or Lime Juice

Kosher Salt 

Ground Black Pepper

 Sliced Almonds (OPTIONAL)

Rinse quinoa well. Place in saucepan and add 1 cup water. Bring to boil, cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Leave covered for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. 

Peel and slice sweet potatoes thinly. 

Heat canola oil in a saucepan and fry potatoes till soft and golden. 

Wash and dry kale leaves. Slice them into thin ribbons. 

Place kale in bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt. Massage well for 4-5 minutes till kale is soft, glistens and turns emerald green.

Mix sweet potatoes and kale with quinoa. 

Whisk the remaining olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Pour dressing over quinoa. Mix well. 

If you use almonds, add them at this point as a garnish.

Serve at room temperature. 

Superfoods that inspire simple flavors taste wonderful!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Tiramisu Chocolate Bombs

In the rare event that you have leftover tiramisu, you might contemplate on these nuggets. Ok not quite a nugget, but a large bonbon confection. Leftover tiramisu never happens. So when I see a significant amount left, the thought of covering small portions with ganache is tempting.

An ice cream scoop makes it easy to form small mounds. Freeze them till firm. Chocolate ganache coats the frozen mounds. They cool and set in the fridge.  Time to sample the wares!


Serves 4-6

Tiramisu, homemade or store bought

1o oz dark Chocolate

1/2 cup heavy Cream

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Use an ice cream scoop to make 8-10 mounds. Place the mounds flat side down on the parchment. 

Freeze for 4-6 hours till firm.

Chop chocolate into shreds. Place them in a heat proof bowl.

Bring cream to boil, then pour it over the chocolate. 

After 3-4 minutes use a spatula or spoon to whisk the chocolate till smooth. Let ganache cool a bit.

Dip the mounded side in the ganache. Place it on a fork. Dip the fork in the ganache so the flat side is coated as well. Place it gently on parchment. Repeat with all mounds.

Refrigerate for 2 hours till firm.

Enjoy the delights!


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Rib Eye with Soy Butter Sauce

Anniversaries are special. The meal we eat makes it even more so. Salad, steak, potatoes, veggies and a grand finish with a beloved dessert. 

Steak is our ultimate expression of love. Especially if it comes from my brother, the steak house expert. Heavily salted and peppered, it is grilled to medium rare perfection. Of late, we eat the steak slivered and drizzled with an appropriate sauce. This time the sauce is a quick simmer of butter, olive oil, soy sauce, parsley and capers. It has a piquant, fresh flavor.

The table groans. The anniversary couple dig in with relish. Love and good food always triumph.


Serves 4-6

3 Rib Eye Steaks, 1o-12oz each

Kosher Salt

Ground Black Pepper


1 tablespoon Butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons whole grain Mustard

1/4 cup Cream

3 tablespoons Capers, rinsed well

2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped fine

1 tablespoon light Soy Sauce

3-4 tablespoons Water

Season steaks well with salt and pepper.

Use a gas or charcoal grill to cook the steaks till medium rare. The steaks are 1" thick. Cook them 4 minutes on one side , then flip and cook for 2 min on the other. 

Remove steaks to a platter. Tent the steaks with foil and let them sit for 5 minutes. 

Make the sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add olive oil, cream, mustard, capers, parsley, soy sauce and water. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.

Slice steak and arrange on a clean platter. 

Drizzle sauce over steak and serve with veggies of your choice.

These are not slim pickings...just food we love....made with love!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Eggplant Moilee

There are foods that you might not eat in a decade but still resonate on your palate. Especially if you remember the last time your Mum made it for you. On our short visits from the US, she would manage to put out a string of specially crafted foods, ones she knew I would relish. This eggplant coconut curry was one I loved. In spite of a diligently penned recipe, I only made it once since then. So here goes.....years later, still resonating , now to the next generation, who love it in turn.

Japanese eggplant are thinly sliced and coated with  spicy green chutney. Plentiful onions, curry leaves, green chiles, garlic and ginger sauteed are till soft, then drowned in coconut milk. Eggplant slices cook in this aromatic curry till soft and pliable. An easy fix and very delicious to boot!


Serves 4

1 large Japanese Eggplant

3 tablespoons spicy Green Chutney -homemade or store bought

1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 tablespoons Canola Oil

1 large  Onion

8-10 Garlic cloves

4 Ginger Slices

8-10 Curry Leaves

2 Green Chiles

1 14oz Coconut Milk can

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Lime

Cilantro leaves

Trim the ends of the eggplant and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place them in a bowl.

Coat slices with green chutney and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt.

Slice onions and garlic cloves thinly. 

I like to slice curry leaves thinly so they are easily edible.

Slit green chiles in half.

Heat oil in a saucepan. 

Drop onions, garlic, ginger, green chiles and curry leaves into oil. Saute till soft and translucent. 

Pour coconut milk over onions. 

Season with salt.

Bring to a low simmer, then add the eggplant slices to coconut milk. Cover and cook over low heat till eggplant is soft and tender. 

Squeeze the juice of a lime over eggplant. 

Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

 The love of eggplant,  the love of food, loving your mother for making your favorites... all these emotions encompass one forkful. That enough for now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Tomato and Cucumber Salad and Thai Basil with Chile Crisp Dressing

When your garden gives you vine-ripened tomatoes, an explosion of cucumbers and a bushy Thai basil plant, you might feel compelled to come up with inventive ways to use the bounty.

I slice fire brick red tomatoes thickly. I pick my cucumbers small so they look like the Persian kind. Bite size cucumber slices and tomatoes line a plate. Scatter a few Thai basil leaves over the vegetables. Chile crisp is my new favorite condiment. This popular spicy mix is widely available with Heinz making one as well! Whisk up a dressing with chile crisp, soy sauce, kecap manis, garlic and toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle the salad liberally with this concoction. It is refreshing, rewarding and delicious! 


Serves 4 

1 large vine-ripened Tomato

1 small Persian Cucumber

A few Thai Basil leaves

2 tablespoons store bought Chili Crisp

1 tablespoon Kecap Manis

1 tablespoon light Soy Sauce

Pinch of Sugar

1 Garlic clove, minced fine

1 teaspoon toasted Sesame Seeds

1 tablespoon Water

Whisk chili crisp, kecap manis, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, sesame and water. 

Slice tomato and cucumber. Arrange on a plate.

Scatter Thai basil leaves over the slices. 

Spoon the dressing generously over the tomato and cucumber.


A salad on a hot summer evening is a well deserved treat!  

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Apple Tart

It has been a while since my Dad passed away. And almost every year on the day of his passing I try to make one of his favorite foods. He savored his whiskey, relished a good meal and salivated over dessert.  Ice cream was always on the menu, especially butterscotch, a flavor he inevitably ordered in spite of a plethora of flavors. Today's apple tart was another such pastry he loved. And so as today marks another year since he's been gone, I make one in his memory again. 

Feel free to use store bought puff pastry. Making the real thing is a labor, not quite one of love. Apple halves are splayed onto sugar dusted pastry. Baked in a hot oven, the tart is then slathered with apricot jam.  A sweet ending to remember my wonderful Dad. 


By Julia Child

Serves 4-6

1 sheet of store bought Puff Pastry

2 small Apples

4 teaspoons Sugar

1/2 cup Apricot Jam

Defrost puff pastry. 

Unroll it onto an upturned baking sheet.

Fold the edges inwards to form a rim. 

Press the times of a fork into the edges to make a border.

Place sheet with pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 375F/200C.

Cut apples in halves. Core and peel them. 

Slice each half into 1/8 inch thin slices.

Remove sheet from the fridge. 

Dust entire base of pastry with 3 spoons of sugar.

Use a large knife to gently flatten one half of the apple so it fans out long. Place this breadthwise on one end of the pastry.

Repeat with other halves. Place the next apple layer going the other way so you have contrasting columns of apples, as shown below. 

You might not need all four halves, depending on the size of the pastry. I used 3 big halves. 

Dust apple slices with remaining sugar. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes till the crust is golden brown. 

Remove tart from oven and cool on a wire rack. 

If the jam is not too smooth, heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave. 

Brush the tart with jam all over. 

The tart is best eaten the day it is made. Puff pastry tend to get soggy if kept overnight. 

Tart love is a surefire favorite with all of us. Dad must be beaming from the rafters!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022


Right now my mind is filled with all things Iranian, since I'm fascinated by the AppleTV series Tehran.  This excellent show has some culinary slants. Watching actors sip soup gets me going. I experiment with the kitchn version of this hearty soup.

Onions and garlic are sauteed with spices. Barley, rice and masoor dal is added and simmered till they are soft and creamy. Frozen spinach and lima beans simmer with grains. This risotto like dish is served with a topping of fried onions and garlic. 

This is meant to be a soup. But I prefer to serve it as a risotto-style side. Which ever way you eat it, enjoyment is guaranteed.


Adapted from

Serves 4

1 Onion

2 Garlic cloves

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder

1/2 cup Rice (Basmati, Short Grain)

1/2 cup Pearled Barley

1/2 cup Masoor Dal or French Puy Lentils

4-5 cups Water

1 cup cooked Beans (Lima, Cannellini)

1 cup frozen Spinach

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt


1 Onion

4 Garlic cloves

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon dried Mint

Chop onion into small dice. 

Mince garlic.

Heat oil in a deep large saucepan. 

Drop onion and garlic in to hot oil and saute till onion is translucent.

Add cumin, coriander and turmeric to onion. Saute for 30 seconds. 

Add rice, barley and masoor to onions. Stir well. 

Season with salt.

Add water and bring to a simmer. 

Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Add cooked beans and spinach.

Cook uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often. You should have a loose, slightly thick risotto type mix. 

Make topping but chopping onions and garlic fine. 

Heat oil and saute onions and garlic

till golden brown. 

Take them off the flame and add mint and a pinch of salt. Keep aside till needed. 

Heat the rice mixture. 

Ladle it into a bowl. 

Top with fried onions and  garlic.

Serve hot.