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Cooking for your loved ones

Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry

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Serves 4

Preparation 20 mins

Cooking 15 mins

Skill Level: EASY

 

Ingredients

1 lb of beetroot tops cut and removed, washed and peeled (about 2 large beets)

¼ onion yellow or red onion, sliced

2 green chili or 1 serrano pepper, sliced (deseed to reduce heat level)

2 cloves of garlic chopped finely

5 – 6 curry leaves

½ tsp Sri Lankan curry powder or ¼ tsp each of ground coriander and cumin

¼ tsp heaped turmeric

½ tsp cayenne pepper optional

¼ tsp heaped salt more to taste

½ cup coconut milk more if you like a thick gravy

½ cup water more if you like a thin gravy

 

Method

  1. Slice the beetroot into slices that are about 3 mm in thickness. You can do this with a knife, or using a food processor with a slicing disc.
  2. Once sliced, julienne the beetroot slices into batons. Place the julienned beetroot in a saucepan, along with the onions, sliced green chili, garlic, curry leaves, ½ tsp curry powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, and ¼ tsp salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and water. Heat the saucepan over medium high heat, while stirring occasionally, until the coconut milk/water comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let it cook covered, for about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes while stirring frequently, until the beetroot is cooked to al dente (i.e. cooked through but not soggy). The cook time will vary depending on the thickness and sizes of the beetroot.
  5. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, you can add more water or coconut milk. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve with cooked rice.

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Cooking for your loved ones

Italian White Mushroom Pizza

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Serves 8

Preparation 15 mins

Cooking 15 mins

Skill Level: EASY

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

16 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought

8 (1-ounce slices) Wisconsin fresh mozzarella cheese

1 cup Wisconsin ricotta cheese

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza pan with olive oil. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in mushrooms, thyme and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5-6 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Working on a surface that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the pizza into a 12-inch-diameter round. Transfer to prepared baking sheet or pizza pan.
  4. Top with mozzarella, dollops of ricotta and mushrooms. Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheeses have melted. Serve immediately.

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Cooking for your loved ones

Lebanese Date Cookies

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Serves 48

Preparation 45 mins

Cooking 30 mins

Skill Level: EASY

 

Ingredients

2 cups semolina flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground mahlab

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup clarified butter, at room temperature

5 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

4 tablespoons orange blossom water, or more as needed

10 tablespoons date paste (such as Ziyad®), cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste

 

Method

  1. Mix semolina flour, all-purpose flour, mahlab, and salt together in a large bowl. Work clarified butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until thoroughly incorporated. Cover bowl and let dough rest at room temperature, 8 hours to overnight.
  2. Pour milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until just warm, about 15 seconds. Stir in sugar and yeast until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour yeast mixture and orange blossom water over the dough and mix until evenly moistened. Pinch off a piece of dough and roll into a ball; it should hold its shape without cracking. Add more milk or orange blossom water if needed. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Sprinkle some flour over the ma’amoul molds and tap out the excess. Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Press your thumb into the ball to create space for the filling. Work the edges with your fingers so the sides are even and fairly thin. Drop in a piece of date paste and pinch dough over it to seal.
  6. Place cookie into the mold cavity seam-side up. Press down so that the top is flush with edges of the mold. Trim off any excess dough. Invert the mold and tap it against your work surface to release the cookie. Repeat with remaining dough and date paste, arranging cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven, 1 baking sheet at a time, until edges and bottoms are golden but tops are still mostly pale, about 15 minutes.
  8. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies while still slightly warm. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Cooking for your loved ones

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

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Serves 6

Preparation 15 mins

Cooking 20 mins

Skill Level: EASY

 

Ingredients

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Private Reserve Greek olive oil)

½ to 1 cup finely chopped carrots

½ to 1 cup finely chopped celery

½ to 1 cup finely chopped green onions

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 cup rice

Salt and pepper

2 cooked boneless chicken breast pieces, shredded ( about 6 to 8 oz store-bought rotisserie chicken will work)

½ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

2 large eggs

 

Method

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high. Add the carrots, celery and green onions, toss together to saute briefly then stir in the garlic.
  2. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves then raise the heat to high. Once the liquid has come to a rolling boil, add the rice, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Now stir in the cooked chicken.
  3. To prepare the egg-lemon sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and eggs. While whisking add 2 ladles-full of the broth from the cooking pot (this helps temper the eggs). Once fully combined, add the sauce to the chicken soup and stir. Remove from the heat immediately.
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley, if you like. Serve hot with your favorite bread. Enjoy!

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