Thursday, October 30, 2014

Zucchini Tahini Dip

This is quite simple--and I believe it's even vegan! Everything is tossed into a blender and should amply serve a reasonable number of guests, depending on their voraciousness.

Zucchini Tahini Dip
Makes about two cups

An admirably sized zucchini, chopped--or 10 oz frozen vegetables of your liking, thawed. I found a great zucchini and summer squash frozen mix
1 cup tahini
Juice from one whole lime
1 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsps paprika
2 tsps cumin
2 tsps mustard seeds or powder
1 tsp salt perhaps, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup good olive oil

Throw everything except for the olive oil into a blender and push play. Then drizzle the olive oil in as well while the motor is still running. Place in an attractive vessel and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and suggest that your guests spread the dip on crackers, such as Ryvita wholegrain rye crispbreads topped with pumpkin seeds. Perfect for the season--do enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin It Up!

How festive it all looks, does it not? This distinctly autumnal cocktail perpetrated by pumpkin puree makes an appearance as time-appropriate as changing leaves at the wonderful Cuba in Manhattan, via veteran bartender Eduardo Tavares. Instead of the panela syrup, which may be difficult to find, I used Crown medium amber maple syrup. How fall-tastically novel! 

Here's what to when creating this seasonal sipper, with a few of my suggestions slipped in:

Pumpkin Raspado Cocktail
2 oz Appleton estate rum
2 oz pumpkin puree
1 oz fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz splash of lemon juice
1 oz panela syrup
Wet the rim of a gorgeously fashioned, chilled martini glass with half of a lemon wedge and roll it gently over the rosemary. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a shaker filled with crushed ice and shake well. Strain into glass, garnish with a sprig of rosemary perhaps, as well as a wheel of lime--and do enjoy! 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Murdery Delicious Duck Breast

I'm sure I've said this before--it is truly amazing what you might discover lurking in your very own pantry, cupboards and freezer. There it was before me, a perfectly good duck breast in my freezer! But what to do with it? I thought of my novel, The Murdery Delicious Hamwich Gumm Mystery that features a number of creepily written recipes that anticipate the action in the unfolding fiendishly hilarious drama. I wrote them with tongue firmly planted in cheek but they are actually viable dishes to make. So here I present a variation of A Recipe for Bloodcurdling Duck Breast with Red Wine Sauce that I created from ingredients I that I already had on hand. It was so delicious indeed and utterly fowl-tastic. A soupcon of ingenuity is always the best ingredient in any kitchen concoction.

Murdery Delicious Duck Breast
(Figure on one duck breast per ghoulish guest)

Several Barolo wine-soaked figs from a jar, quartered
1 cup or so of dry white wine from an already opened bottle
1 cube of porcini broth dissolved in two cups of hot water
1/2 TB ground cinnamon
4 TB butter
1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fistful of dried Polish mushrooms
1 tsp ground ginger
1 6 oz duck breast
1 TB olive oil

Melt butter and add olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic gently. Add figs and mushrooms. Pour in broth and simmer, reducing the liquid. Pat the duck breasts with a generous amount of salt and pepper on all sides a put in skillet, skin side down. Flip once until duck has achieved an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium-rare. Let duck rest for ten minutes, covered in foil and then serve perhaps with roasted potatoes and green beans. And don't neglect the rest of the wine!