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Siniya Will Become Your New Best Friend

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So Rosh Hashanah is tomorrow and I have been debating on what to make…stick to the classics?!? or try something new and fun?!?…what do you think I am going to do?? 

I am obviously going to serve the honey, apples and challah (to celebrate a sweet new year). But I feel like Jewish food, as good as it is, can be a little old school and since you are bringing together family and friends, why not try out a new recipe and bring something fun and fresh to the table?!? 

I love this recipe..it is bold, EASY TO MAKE, colorful and full of flavor. Also, it has an exotic feel without having to use ingredients that you cant find at your local supermarket. This is my version of Siniya, a Palestinian dish of ground lamb baked in tahini sauce. I actually had it for the first time just a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant in Jaffa… I LOVED it and was obviously inspired. It may seem a little complicated, but to be honest…it is just a combination of easy recipes that you bring into one.

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Siniya W Roasted Cauliflower, Preserved Lemon & Tomato Salad

Step 1-

Roasted Cauliflower-

1 whole head of cauliflower, stems and leaves kept on

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt to taste

Directions- pre-heat the oven to 420 d F

Bring a large pot of water to boil, than place the cauliflower in the boiling water. Cover and let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and let steam dry. When the cauliflower is almost dry, cut into even sized pieces and drizzle with a nice amount of olive oil, season well with the salt. Place in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden all over. Remove and place on the side.

Step 2- Ground lamb and beef patties- NOTE -If you can not find all these spices, than just use the ones you have on hand…the lamb is so flavorful, you can make this dish even without the spices.

1/2 pound ground lamb

1/2 pound ground beef

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely grated

Kosher Salt to taste

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper 

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cardamom powder

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 

1 tbls finely chopped parsley and cilantro- plus extra for garnish

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts- for garnish

Directions-

in a bowl combine the ground lamb, beef, onion, garlic, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, all spice, cloves, cumin. cardamom, nutmeg, cilantro and parsley. Mix well and form into 2-inch patties. Let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge and get a grill pan or a frying pan very hot. Season the patties with salt and sear them on both sides, just to get some color. Remove and place in a baking dish. Make the tahini.

Tahini sauce-

1 cup of tahini

1/2 lemon squeezed

salt

1 garlic- grated

water

directions-

In a bowl combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water…add water until the tahini is a liquid state…like 1/2 cup. Season with salt and assemble the dish.

Assembling and finishing the recipe- Pre-heat the oven to 425 d F

Place the cauliflower into the baking dish, around the lamb and beef patties, drizzle the tahini all over. Place into the pre-heated oven for about 10-15 minutes, than remove. Place the tomato salad all along the top with the toasted pine nuts and the freshly chopped parsley and cilantro. Serve hot.

Tomato And Preserved Lemon Salad

2 cups of cherry tomatoes sliced

1 preserved lemon, washed and finely chopped

salt to taste

1 drizzle of olive oil

directions-

In a bowl place the tomatoes with the preserved lemon, olive oil and salt, toss and check for seasoning.

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.


OMG!!! This Banh Mi is insane!

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I am really excited about this one guys!

There is nothing I love more than creating a dish that-

A-reminds me of a trip that I have taken or a dish that I LOVE and…

b- can be made at home and will easily impress and make any sandwich lover happy.

The first time I tried a Banh mi was when I went backpacking through Vietnam 6 years ago… I have been hooked ever since. Crunchy, fresh, spicy, porky…this sandwich has got it all…

There are many different variations, some have grilled pork, pork belly, vietnamese sausage, pork liver (pate) etc. The bread is traditionally lighter than a classic french baguette and has a really crunchy crust (this is because they use a combination of rice flour and wheat flour in the dough), it is hard to find this bread so I just used a classic french baguette (it totally does the trick.)

I am SO excited about the flavor and texture combination in this sandwich. I just know you are going to LOVE IT!

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Garlicky Sriracha Mayo

1 whole head of garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup mayo

2 tablespoons sriracha

pinch of salt

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

directions-

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top part of the garlic off and place on the tin foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the garlic and wrap the tinfoil around the garlic. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the garlic is soft. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a bowl squeeze out all the garlic from the skin, smash it with a fork to break it up. Place in the mayo, sriracha, lemon juice and salt. Mix and keep in fridge until ready to use.

Quick pickled carrots and jalapenos

2 carrots, julienned

1 jalapeno, finely sliced

2 1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup water

directions-

in a bowl place the carrots and the sliced jalapeno, set aside.

in a small pot heat up the vinegar with the sugar and the salt. When the sugar and salt are dissolved pour the vinegar into the bowl with the carrots and the jalapeno. Pour in the water, stir and let sit for at least 30 min.

Spicy/Sweet GROUND PORK

1 ½ pounds ground pork 

½ pound ground smoked bacon (if you cant find it ground, then just buy regular bacon and finely chop)

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

5 scallions, finely sliced

5 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 jalapeno, finely chopped (keep seeds in if you want it hot)

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

directions-

Heat up a large pan and place in the ground pork and ground bacon. Season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the ground coriander and cumin on top and saute until nice and golden. Remove the pork from the pan, keeping some fat in the pan and place the pork in a bowl on the side. In the same pan add the sliced scallions and the jalapeno, saute for a minute then add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the pork back in and stir together. Add in the honey, fish sauce, sugar and rice wine vinegar, bring heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning. The sauce should be dark, sweet and slightly spicy. The meat can go in the sandwich hot, warm or cold…I like it warm.

To assemble the sandwich-

1- 1 fresh baguette (or you can buy individual buns and make mini sliders?!?!? great for a party!)

2- 2 persian cucumbers (or whatever kind of cucumber you can find…i just love the Persian cucumbers), peeled and sliced lengthwise

3- fresh cleaned cilantro

4-  quick pickled carrots and jalapeno

5- garlicky sriracha mayo

6- spicy sweet ground pork

directions-

Cut the baguette into whatever size sandwich you like then cut in half lengthwise keeping one side intact so that the filling stays in. Place a heaping spoonful of the pork on the bottom bun (making sure you get some of the fatty sauce with it…that shit is gold!), spread a nice amount of the garlicky sriracha mayo on the inside of the top bun. Place some cucumber slices, pickled carrots and jalapeno (only if you want it hot) on top of the pork and then STUFF a nice amount of cilantro inside the whole sandwich. Grab it with both hands and take a monster bite! ENJOY!

 

Curried Carrot And Lentil Soup. It’s soup season everybody!

I love Fall. The flavors, the weather, the spices…It’s just such an exciting time when you start to make lots of braises, stews and soups. It’s comfort season. Time to put away the shorts and tanks and to whip out the muumuus and onesies ;) I can’t even write that with a straight face. LOL!

 This is my first official soup of the season. I hope you enjoy. I love this soup because it is spicy, rich, filling and has lots of vegetables…plus, it is so easy to make.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 head of fennel, roughly chopped

3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped 

1 cup lentils

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

6 cups low sodium vegetable stock/chicken stock/ or water

1 tablespoons tomato paste

cilantro to garnish

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot heat up the olive oil and saute the onions, fennel, carrots and ginger. Season well with salt and pepper and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the lentils in with the curry powder, ground coriander, and cumin. Saute for another couple of minutes. It should smell very aromatic and there should be a little color on the vegetables. Pour the stock in with the tomato paste and stir well, check the seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil on high. Once boiling turn down the heat and simmer with the lid on for 35-40 minutes. Don’t forget to stir every 10 minutes. The lentils should be tender and the soup will thicken. Serve hot with fresh cilantro on top.

Moroccan Comfort Food!

I am obsessed with Moroccan cuisine! I think the idea of slowly braising your meats in earthy, aromatic spices turns me on.;) When I find a chicken dish that inspires me, I get seriously excited! Tried out a new recipe last night. Chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives.

Preserved lemons are one of my new favorite ingredients to work with. Tart and intensely lemony, they add a nice kick to stews, dips and salads. Preserved lemons are literally whole or sliced lemons covered in salt, sometimes spices, and are allowed to ferment at room temp for weeks or months before it is used. All the flavor is in the peel. I actually give it a little rinse before I use it. This stuff is heavenly! 

1 whole chicken cut up into 6-8 pieces, plus a couple extra drumsticks, keep bone and skin on 

salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 large pinch of saffron

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon harissa

3 pieces of preserved lemon, chopped

couple handfuls of green olives, pitted

1/2 cup currants

2 cups water

1 handful of freshly chopped parsley

1 handful of freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

Get a heavy-bottom pot heating (preferably a dutch oven). 

Place in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken to get a golden color. Remove the chicken and set aside. Pour the rest of the olive oil in. Place in the onions, garlic and saffron. Saute until the onions are translucent and have released some of their flavors. Place the chicken back in with the fresh ginger, cinnamon, harissa, juice of 1 lemon, and the 2 cups of water. Mix together and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and cover. Let the chicken simmer for 12-15 minutes until the chicken breast is done. Remove the chicken breast and continue simmering on low for another 20-25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender and falling off the bone. Place back in the chicken breast with the preserved lemons, olives, currants, cilantro and parsley. Simmer on high with lid off. You want the sauce to have thickened and lightly coat the chicken around 5-10 minutes. Serve with couscous and garnish with more freshly chopped parsley. This dish is so simple yet so flavorful and delicious. Perfect meal any night of the week.