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Toasted Coconut String Beans…COCONUTTY!!!!!!

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I bought a mature coconut the other day from the local supermarket and was totally inspired. From one coconut I made coconut basmati rice, coconut shrimp curry AND this delicious toasted coconut bean dish. All these dishes and flavors are extremely influenced by my travels in the South of india. The coconut adds a rich nutty flavor and by toasting it in the unrefined coconut oil you really get that coconut flavor all throughout the dish. 

-I took the coconut, cracked it, removed the white meat (this is hard to do, but totally worth the work) and peeled (with a peeler) the brown skin off. I ground up the coconut meat (in a blender) and added in 2 cups of boiled water. (if you check out my instagram @edengrinshpan, you will see how some of these steps look) I then squeezed it aggressively through a cheesecloth and got 2 cups of incredibly delicious coconut milk out of it.
-I then used the shredded meat that was left in the cheesecloth for this bean dish. If you are not in the mood to fuss around with a whole coconut, then just buy unsweetend dried coconut.
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Toasted coconut string beans-
1 tablespoon of safflower oil- can use vegetable or canola as well
2 lb string beans- cut and cleaned
2 tbls mustard seeds
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbls ginger, finely chopped 
4 curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1 serrano chili- finely sliced
1/2 cup water 
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 lime squeezed
Cilantro to garnish- finely chopped
1 cup toasted coconut (recipe follows)
directions-
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and toast the mustard seeds, when they start to pop add in the garlic, chili and the ginger, sauté for 5-10 seconds and then place in the beans with the turmeric and toss. Add in the water and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5 minutes on medium heat until the beans are just cooked (you still want them to have a crunchy bite), remove the lid and season with salt and squeeze over the lime, toss and check for seasoning. Turn off the heat and add in the toasted coconut, garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately..
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toasted coconut-
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2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1 large pinch of kosher salt
2 large pinches of sugar ( I like unrefined)
directions-
In a pan heat up the oil, add in the coconut and toss. It toasts up quickly, so keep mixing. Add in the sugar and salt and keep on medium heat, tossing until light brown and nutty. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool on the side.


Mash it up!!!

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I have been seeing many variations of this dish and decided it was time to add my own…you know…put an Eden twist on it. Cauliflower is an awesome alternative to potato, a great base that can really take on any flavor and has a nice creamy lightness to it.

If the turmeric is too much then just leave it out. I just love the extra flavor and color it brings to this dish (plus turmeric is really good for you…it is an anti-inflammatory and has a ton of other health benefits).

For all you meat and potato peeps…or for all you women married to them…Try this out as the substitute for the mashed potatoes and let me know what he thinks.

Cauliflower puree with turmeric and confit garlic

Confit garlic…do not be afraid of this term,  all it really means is garlic cloves slowly simmered in a fat, in this case I used olive oil. Lightly smash and peel the garlic, then place in a small pot with the olive oil to cover, bring to a light simmer and then immediately turn to the lowest heat. Let simmer on low for around 30 minutes till the garlic becomes sweet and creamy- You can also just roast a whole head of garlic for 30 minutes at 350 D f. Cut the top of the garlic head off, place the garlic in a piece of tin foil and drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap up and place in the oven until the garlic is really soft, squeeze out of the skin and use that instead.

Ingredients-

1 head of cauliflower

6 cloves of garlic

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2-1 tsp turmeric 

1 tablespoon plain whole yogurt

1 tsp salt

directions-

Clean the cauliflower, remove the stems and the core, cut into even sized medium chunks. Place a pot filled with 3 cups of water on the stove and place the cauliflower inside. bring to a boil and then turn to medium low and cover. Let steam for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is really tender. Place in a blender and blend a little.

On the stove heat up the milk with the butter, once the butter is melted add it into the cauliflower with the garlic and blend, you want it to get really creamy. Season with salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Add in the turmeric and the yogurt, check for seasoning and serve in a big bowl with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter on top.

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I want some FRENCH TOAST!!!!! grilled cheese style.

I have clearly been in a grilled cheese loving mood (bathing suit season right! LOL).

Here is the second grilled cheese recipe I played around with this week. French toast grilled cheese…yeah…I said it….FRENCH TOAST GRILLED CHEESE!!!!

I had this at an event the other night and had to create it at home to share the love. This is the perfect weekend treat. Serve it up with some bacon for a killer brunch.

Very important- There are so few ingredients for this recipe that it is crucial to use good quality….crusty gorgeous bread, well made cheese and make sure you are using real maple syrup for this…I cant stress that enough! I am a purist when it comes to maple syrup (Canadian here!).

French toast grilled cheese with sharp white cheddar and maple syrup

recipe makes 2 sandwiches-

2 eggs

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 pieces of sourdough or white pullman (or whatever bread you have on hand…it is totally up to you)

Sharp white cheddar cheese- can also use fontina or gruyere

Pure maple syrup

directions-

in a bowl mix the eggs with the cream, cinnamon and vanilla.

Heat up a cast iron pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in it. Take the bread and dunk one side into the egg mixture, then place the coated side into the hot pan. Let the one side get golden and crisp around 1-2 minutes, then flip over and let the other side get golden and toasted, remove when it is done, wipe down the pan and then repeat with the rest of the slices. Only one side of each piece should have the french toast crust on it. When all the pieces are done assemble a sandwich, french toast crust facing out and place back in the pan. Take a heavy pan and lay it on top, then lay a kettle or something heavy on top of that. You want the outside to stay crunchy and the inside to remain fluffy and cheesy. Let toast like this for a couple of minutes and then flip over. When both sides are golden and the cheese is all melted remove from the pan, cut in half or into quarters and drizzle a little pure maple syrup, eat immediately.

This pic is of the grilled cheese assembled before I place the weight on top.

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Here you have it! Toasted, cut up and doused in maple syrup.

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#cheeseface

Starting the week off in the cheesiest way imaginable.

I put this recipe together based off of a trip I took to Saxelby Cheesemonger. An adorable cheese shop in the Lower East Side that has a fantastic assortment of seasonal, sustainable, cheese, butter, milk, yogurt etc. produced in Northeastern united states…pretty much their dairy products rock. They have a grilled cheese menu that featured a cheese curd grilled cheese and I was like…hell YEAH!!! I am making me one of those!

Cheese curds are basically what cheddar is before it gets pressed together and aged. it is fresh, lightly salty and when melted gets stringy and perfect for a grilled cheese (these guys are insane deep-fried…Wisconsin style).

Below is a couple of cheeses I was playing around with while grilled cheese recipe testing. The curds are the cheese nuggets in the plastic container. The top right cheese is like a fontina and the cheese underneath it is a 2 year aged cheddar. All of these would be perfect in the grilled cheese but the cheese curds to me just seemed like such a fun twist (the cheese curds and the fontina together are also amaze). 

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Sage, honey, cheese curd grilled cheese

4 pieces of bread- I love A white pullman or sourdough

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 sage leaves-kept whole or chiffonade

1/4 lb cheese curds 

honey to drizzle

finishing salt (only use if you are using the cheese curds as your cheese, since they are the most mild)

Directions-

Lightly brush one side of the bread with the melted butter and set aside.

Place a cast iron pan on the stove and heat on medium heat for 5 minutes. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add in the the sage leaves. (if you are keeping them whole then place them close together if you are chopping them then just scatter them in). Place one piece of bread in butter side down (if the sage leaves are whole place the bread directly on top of them) and them place a nice amount of cheese curds on top. Lay the second piece of bread on top, butter side up. Place a pan and a weight on top (i use my kettle). Let toast for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. When the bottom is golden flip over and place the pan and the weight back on top. Let golden on the other side for a couple of minutes. When the grilled cheese is completely golden, flattened and the cheese is all melted, remove from the pan. Cut into 4 pieces, drizzle with a nice amount of honey and sprinkle with some finishing salt. Serve right away.

This is a pic of the grilled cheese with the whole sage before it is cut up. Looks so cool right?!

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this is when you chiffonade the sage instead of keeping it whole. I love the way this looks too. You simply cant go wrong.

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A Match Made In Heaven

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I love these flavors together. 

Peaches, cardamom and coconut…they just seem to be doing it for me this summer. It started out with a fruit salad then a lassi and now a crumble. The sweet floral notes from the peach pair so well with the floral aromatic cardamom and the nutty coconut.

You usually buy cardamom in pods but I recently found the ground cardamom and it is a game changer. I really became obsessed with cardamom when I went backpacking through India. It is one of the major spices found in Chai Masala and I would down at least 5 a day…it was my fuel! 

I am completely drawn to flavors that remind me of a special time or bring me back to a great memory…cardamom and coconut are definitely some of those flavors. Plus… crumbles are just so bloody comforting and delicious! Sweet meaty fruit (especially when in season like these peaches) topped with crunchy buttery goodness…dreamy.

If you cant find cardamom than just replace it with cinnamon. This is a great crumble recipe and is an easy/delicious go-to for any occasion.

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Peach-Coconut and Cardamom crumble

crumble topping-

1 plus 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter-really cold, cut into chunks

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup oats

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unrefined sugar

1 tsp cardamom powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch of kosher salt

fruit filling-

10 peaches, skin on, chopped into medium chunks-make sure they are on the firmer side

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 lemon zested

1/2 lemon juiced

1/2 cup of sugar (I used unrefined sugar)

1 tsp cardamom powder

directions-

In a blender place the unsalted butter, with the flour, coconut, oats, brown sugar, unrefined sugar, salt and cardamom, pulse until it looks like wet sand. Place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

butter up a 9 by 12 inch baking dish that has high walls and set aside.

Toss the peaches with the flour, zest, lemon juice, cardamom powder and sugar. Place in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle the crumble on top…spread all over trying to cover all the fruit. Place in the oven and let bake for 40 minutes until golden and the fruit is bubbly. If it is getting too dark before it is fully baked then loosely cover the top with tin foil.

Serve hot with coconut ice cream….trust me…it is the best!

Babaganoushy! 

Made this last night… And I just had to share this easy and delicious recipe with you. 

Probably one of my favorite ways to cook eggplant. The roasting and blackening of the skin of the eggplant imparts so much smokiness into the meat and since you are whole roasting you don’t even need any oil. You are actually steaming the meat inside the skin of the eggplant….cool.
I grew up eating eggplant like this and it is always so much fun being able to create childhood favorites in my own kitchen. Hope you love it! 

Baba ganoush-
1 eggplant, lightly scored all over
1/4 cup raw tahini 
1 garlic grated
1/2 lemon, squeezed 
Salt to taste

 Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 425 d F or if you are grilling, get the grill very hot. Score the eggplant all over and place in the oven to roast or on the grill. Depending on how hot your oven or grill is keep  rotating it for 30-45 minutes until the skin on the eggplant is black all over and almost hard. Don’t be afraid of it looking burnt on the outside, this just means that the eggplant is soft and smoky on the inside…yum. 
Remove from the heat and place in a strainer while it cools down. The juice that will run out is a little bitter. Once cooled place in a bowl and mix in the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Check for seasoning. When serving make a little well on the middle and pour a little olive oil on top and serve with my last minute zaatar pita- preheat the oven to 325 d F and take a coupe pitas- mix equal parts zaatar and olive oil and shmear all over the pitas, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and roast for 5 minutes. Serve right away. 
Enjoy! X

Babaganoushy!

Made this last night… And I just had to share this easy and delicious recipe with you.

Probably one of my favorite ways to cook eggplant. The roasting and blackening of the skin of the eggplant imparts so much smokiness into the meat and since you are whole roasting you don’t even need any oil. You are actually steaming the meat inside the skin of the eggplant….cool.
I grew up eating eggplant like this and it is always so much fun being able to create childhood favorites in my own kitchen. Hope you love it!

Baba ganoush-
1 eggplant, lightly scored all over
1/4 cup raw tahini
1 garlic grated
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 d F or if you are grilling, get the grill very hot. Score the eggplant all over and place in the oven to roast or on the grill. Depending on how hot your oven or grill is keep rotating it for 30-45 minutes until the skin on the eggplant is black all over and almost hard. Don’t be afraid of it looking burnt on the outside, this just means that the eggplant is soft and smoky on the inside…yum.
Remove from the heat and place in a strainer while it cools down. The juice that will run out is a little bitter. Once cooled place in a bowl and mix in the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Check for seasoning. When serving make a little well on the middle and pour a little olive oil on top and serve with my last minute zaatar pita- preheat the oven to 325 d F and take a coupe pitas- mix equal parts zaatar and olive oil and shmear all over the pitas, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and roast for 5 minutes. Serve right away.
Enjoy! X

Sunshine On A Plate

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photo cred- Quinn Cooper Style

I love this dish! SO easy and a real crowd-pleaser. It really is all about assembly and great quality produce. I got together again with Quinn Cooper Style  and we were so inspired by this beautiful weather that we wanted to make dishes that were flavorful, light, bright and had a little decadence (keeping it sexy people!). The beets are so meaty and satisfying you could even prepare this dish with a side salad and keep it strictly vegetarian. For a lighter option, substitute the creme fraiche with a low-fat Greek yogurt. Both ways are seriously delicious! 

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Yellow beets with lemony creme fraiche, fresh basil and toasted hazelnuts
4 yellow beets
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup creme fraiche (you can substitute with greek yogurt)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed.
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt to tast
1 garlic, grated
directions-
preheat the oven to 350 dregrees f
wrap each beet in tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes until a knife runs through it easily.
Remove from the oven, let cool a bit and then peel the skin off. (I use paper towel…it wipes it clean and gives me a good grip), then cut the beets into 1/4 inch slices.
In a bowl mix the creme fraiche with the grated garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
In a wide serving bowl arrange the beets in a pretty way drizzle the beets with the remaining olive oil and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of them as well. season with a little salt, place a nice dollop of the creme fraiche in the middle of the beets. Scatter the toasted hazelnuts and fresh basil all over.