January 8, 2012

Sichuan Fish-Fragrant Eggplant

Serves 4 as part of multi-course meal

1 1/2 pounds Asian eggplant
2 tablespoons chicken stock, or substitute water
2 tablespoons chili bean paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

  1. Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each length into quarters. Cut each quarter in somewhat substantial, but still bite-sized, cubes (about 1 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch cubes).
  2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken stock, chili bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl the pan to coat the base and sides. Add the eggplants and stir-fry until outsides become golden brown and insides begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppercorn and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce mixture and mix well. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the eggplant to full cook and the sauce to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, plate, and sprinkle scallions on top.

December 12, 2011

Spicy butternut squash curry


  • 1 tablespoons mango powder (amchoor) 4 tablespoons sugar (cheeni)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
  • 4 cups of sliced squash (kadoo)
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (dana mathi)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground funnel seed (saunf)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (pisi mirch) adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (dagi mirch) provides a nice color
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 4 whole red chili (sabut lal mirch)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger (adrak)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (nimbu ka ras)


  1. Peel and cut the squash into cubes.
  2. Save about ¼ of the squash peel and chop them.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, coriander powder, funnel, red chili powder, paprika, turmeric, and ¼ cup of water to make a paste.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready.
  5. Add cumin seeds and asafetida after seeds crack add fenugreek seeds and red chilies and stir for a few seconds.
  6. Add the spice paste and stir-fry for a minute until spices start leaving the oil.
  7. Add the squash, squash peels, salt, and ¼ cup of water. Mix well.
  8. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Squash will be semi mushy.
  9. Make sure to stir gently every 3 to 4 minutes. Check if more water needed.
  10. Lastly, add the mango powder, sugar and chopped cilantro. Mix everything and cover for a minute. Adjust the salt to your taste.
from http://www.manjulaskitchen.com/

September 19, 2010

Squirrel ravioli with wild mushroom sauce


1 Tassel-eared squirrel

for the brine:

2 liters of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cracked black peppercorns
5 dried bay leaves

For braising

one cup of white wine
herbs (thyme, lavender, sage, tarragon)

For ravioli dough:

100 grams of white flower
1 egg

For filling:

squirrel meat
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 lb of broccoli
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp grated pecorino cheese

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 white onion
1/2 cup of chopped porcini mushrooms
1 tsp flour

Cooking directions

Subdue the squirrel by whatever means available and quickly snatch away from the dog. Remove skin and eviscerate in the field. Bring water with salt, sugar and spices to near boiling; cool to room temperature. Brine squirrel in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse and pat dry.

Dust the squirrel with flour and pan-fry until browned on all sides. Place the squirrel in a dutch oven, add wine and herbs. Braise in the oven at 325 F for two hours.

Remove meat from the bones and chop coarsely. Add crushed walnuts and steamed broccoli (also chopped). Adjust salt and spices. Add grated cheese.

Prepare the dough and make it into thin sheets using a pasta maker. Place the filling on the dough and cover with another sheet; cut and seal the ravioli.

Put the stock from braising into the blender and blend until smooth; filter through a fine mesh strainer. In a frying pan melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent. Add porcinis and saute for another 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add 1 teaspoon of flour to the butter in the pan and fry until golden brown. Add the stock, cream, a pinch of brown sugar. Reduce until thickened. Adjust seasoning. Add the mushrooms to the sauce.

Cook ravioli in boiling water for ten minutes. Serve with the sauce.

August 24, 2010

Kadu Bouranee with Quima

Afghani sweet pumpkin stew with meat sauce

1.5-2 pounds fresh pumpkin, with skin and seeds removed, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 large onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup cooking oil

Sweet Tomato Sauce:
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
14 cup brown sugar
4 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1/2 of a large onion, finely chopped

1/2 lb of ground dead animal of choice

2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons of grated ginger root
1 lb ground beef or ground lamb
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup tomato sauce

Yogurt Sauce:
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Brown pumpkin pieces in oil, remove from the pan. Cook onion with coriander and salt until translucent. Add pumpkin and the rest of the sweet tomato sauce ingredients. Simmer covered for 20-30 minutes until pumpkin is tender.

In another pan, fry onion until translucent, add garlic, ginger and garam masala; cook for a couple of minutes. Add ground meat and cook on medium heat until it browns. Add tomato sauce and cook until all liquid evaporates. Pour the fat off the meat.

Serve Quima over Kady Bouranee, top with the yogurt sauce, sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

June 22, 2010


transcribed by Julie Brick. Cooking times at sea level; adjust for altitude if needed

The Stock:

Olive oil (for roasting animal parts and vegetables)

Animal Parts:

2 lbs Beef Marrow Bones

2 lbs Pork neck bones

1 lb Pig feet


1 med. Onion,

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

2 parsley roots

2 tomatoes

1 bell pepper


½ plastic standard package of rosemary

½ plastic standard package of thyme

½ plastic standard package of oregano

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 375-400ºF

Place the beef marrow bones, the pork neck bones and the pig feet in a roasting pan and cover lightly with oil. Baste them for 45 minutes, and basting as necessary to prevent burning. At the end of 45 minutes add the onion, carrots, celery stalks, parsley roots, tomatoes and bell pepper to the roasting pan and then baste the animal parts with the vegetables for an additional 35-45 minutes (until they soften). Remove the pan from the oven.

Place the roasted vegetables and animal parts in a stock pot (with the fat). Fill the pot with water until the water line comes about 1 inch above the top of the contents of the pot. Add the rosemary, thyme, and oregano (bundled), black peppercorns, and salt to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer (covered) overnight. In the morning, turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (a few hours).

Pour all the fluids slowly through a cheese-cloth into a container that can fit into your refrigerator. Discard the herbs, vegetables, peppercorns, and animal parts. Be sure to deglaze the bottom of the pan and also strain the deglazed portion through the cheesecloth. Chill the broth in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until the fat congeals, forming a layer on top of the stock. Skim off the layer of fat with a spoon and discard it. You can now use this stock for your borsch or store it for use at a later time in your freezer.

The Borsch

1 qt. of stock (see above)

1 qt. of V-8

½ lb slice of beef (inexpensive cut : e.g. round) that has been boiled in water for 45 minutes and cubed.

1 med-large potato cut in ¼ inch cubes

1 beet the size of a small apple, peeled and coarsely grated

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp white vinegar

2 medium carrots sliced in ½ circles

½ bell pepper cut in ½ inch squares

1/2 of a small head of cabbage sliced in thin (2mm wide) strips

1/3 of a head of garlic thinly sliced

Bundle of fresh dill

Put the stock, the V-8, and the beef in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add the cubed potato. Then sauté the grated beet in a pan for about five minutes (until it is cooked). Add 1 tbsp of white vinegar to the pan and then mix it (it helps preserve the beet color). Immediately add contents of the pan with the cooked beet to the stockpot. Deglaze the pan with stock.

Then in a frying pan, sauté the sliced carrots and ½ bell pepper in olive oil until they soften (about 10 minutes). Add them to the stockpot. Deglaze the pan with stock.

Next, add the cabbage to the stockpot. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

While the soup is finishing, brown the garlic in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add it to the garlic to the soup. Deglaze the pan with the soup.

Then add a bundle of fresh dill at the same time. Simmer for another 5 minutes (3 at sea level). Your borsch is done.

Can be served immediately but flavor improves if it sits for ½ -1 day. Discard dill bundle in the morning.

January 30, 2010

cuisines of the world

Translated from a Russian friend's e-mail.

Ukrainian: to make the filling for your cake combine two fried pork chops and bacon.
Russian: cook something, as long as there's enough vodka. Cover with mayo.
Georgian: cook something, garnish with cilantro, add Kinzmarauli (Georgian wine) and suluguni (Georgian cheese).
French: fry a piece of meat (doesn't matter how) and serve with a sauce you struggled to make for at least 3.5 hours.
Italian: gather all the leftovers from your fridge, warm them up and garnish with mozzarella. Serve on a pie or with pasta.
Chinese: gather some weeds in your back yard, then cook on high with a pile of spices and a quart of soy sauce.
Japanese: catch something live in the sea, immediately cut it into pieces and serve while it is still moving with wasabi.
Mexican: add chile. You don't have to add anything else.
Lebanese: Cover it with sesame oil and soak in lemon juice. Serve in about 20 minutes so that nobody really knows where the meat came from.
Indian: Mix curry with pepper, pepper and more pepper. Add to curry. Garnish with peas.
Greek: serve cheap foods simply cut into chunks, not even mixed together. Proudly repeat: "organic"
Romanian: steal a chicken and a cooking pot
Jewish: don't cook anything. Go to a dinner at a friend's house, eat like there's no tomorrow, and don't forget to take away any leftovers.

July 9, 2009

Cold cucumber soup

Cucumber Soup

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

  • Prep Time

    30 min

  • Level


  • Yield

    2 1/2 quarts; 8 to 10 servings


30 min
Inactive Prep
2 hr 0 min
2 hr 30 min


  • 6 pounds cucumbers (about 6 cucumbers), peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (12 cups)
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • 3 cups sour cream, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


Combine the cucumbers, bell peppers, green onions, jalapenos, cilantro, mint, dill, garlic, Essence, salt, cayenne, yogurt, 2 cups sour cream, olive oil, and white wine vinegar in a large bowl. Working in batches, puree the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Transfer the soup to the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup, with each bowl garnished with a dollop of the remaining sour cream and some of the minced chives.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.