Indian Saag Paneer

Indian Saag Paneer

 

Saag Paneer

Indian Saag Paneer

This dish became popular in the United States as Palak (spinach) Paneer. Saag Paneer is more flexible. You can use and combine any green leaves you like. Paneer is an Indian fresh cheese that doesn’t melt easily. Its taste is similar to unsalted cottage cheese. We included in this recipe plenty of options to substitute paneer for an even delicious dish. 
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 18 oz baby leaves from kale, spinach, chard, and/ or collard greens*
  • 12 oz paneer or halloumi cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 onion finely chopped or grated
  • butter or vegetable oil or ghee
  • salt & pepper

Saag Paneer Culinary Spice Kit

  • Cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, white pepper

Optional

  • 1-2 green chilies chopped
  • additional garlic to taste grated
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-4 tbsp heavy cream or yogurt

Suggested Sides

  • naan or other fresh flatbread
  • cooked Basmati rice
  • boiled potatoes

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • In a large POT, bring 4 quarts of water to boil.
  • Add leaves and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Drain and let cool.
  • In a FOOD PROCESSOR, grind leaves with a cup of water into a smooth puree.
  • Optionally, add green chilies.

Cook

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium-low heat.
  • Fry onions with a dash of salt until they turn translucent.
  • Stir in Saag Paneer spices.
  • Optionally, add garlic to taste.
  • Add leaves puree and salt & pepper to taste.
  • If using tofu, chicken, or garbanzo beans, add them now.
  • Add some water if you like the dish more liquid. Mix well.
  • Cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Add paneer cubes. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Optional

  • Optionally, finish the dish to taste with lemon juice, and/ or heavy cream or yogurt.

Serve

  • Serve with bread, rice, or over potatoes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

* Alternatively, use 3 bunch of green leaves, chopped.
Tip
▪ Fry paneer shortly before adding it to the dish.
Variations
▪ Substitute paneer with feta or cottage cheese. Don’t cook it. Add it to the plated dish.
▪ Substitute paneer with 1 lb cubed chicken or tofu, or 1 can garbanzo beans. Season & fry them shortly before adding them to the dish.
 
Keyword cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger
South American Carne Asada

South American Carne Asada

 

South American Carne Asada

South American Carne Asada

Get a new favorite for your grill party with Mexican-Venezuelan carne asada. The tender meat with a tangerine-chipotle flavor is served with the king of salsas. In Venezuela, there is no BBQ without guasacaca sauce. 
Optionally, serve carne asada over fries with rich toppings. This variation has its origin in San Diego, California. 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Venezuelan
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1.25 lb sirloin beef
  • 12 tortillas or taco shells
  • white vinegar or lime juice
  • vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Guasacaca

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic or more to taste

Carne Asada Culinary Spice Kit

  • Tangerine peel, cumin, garlic, chipotle pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper

Suggested Sides

  • baked beans
  • grilled corn or yucca
  • rice
  • fried plantains
  • salad

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • Cut beef against the grain into 0.25 inch thin strips.

Marinade

  • In a BOWL, mix soy sauce, sugar, 2 tbsp oil, and Carne Asada spices.
  • Add beef and mix well. Cover.
  • Let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

Guasacaca

  • Roughly cut all Guasacaca ingredients.
  • Blend them in a FOOD PROCESSOR with 1 tbsp oil and 2-4 tbsp water into a smooth sauce.
  • Season to taste with salt & pepper and 1 tbsp vinegar or more.

Grill

  • Grill or fry beef quickly over high heat to your desired doneness.

Serve

  • Serve beef in tortillas or taco shells topped with guasacaca and your preferred sides.

Variation: San Diegan Carne Asada Fries

  • Cut grilled beef into small cubes and serve it over French fries.
  • Top with shredded cheese, finely chopped tomatoes, and avocado slices or guacamole.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Variations
▪ Substitute beef with chicken breast.
▪ Substitute soy sauce with beer or 2 tbsp vinegar.
 
Keyword chipotle, tangerine peel
Filipino Chicken Inasal

Filipino Chicken Inasal

 

Chicken Inasal

Filipino Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal from the Filipino City of Bacolod has an earthy-peppery taste with a hint of nutmeg and a slight citrus flavor. The key ingredient is annatto or achiote powder. This spice from the "lipstick tree" colors the chicken orange-red and is very popular in Latin and Filipino cooking.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1.25 lb chicken tenders, thighs, or breast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2-3 lime or lemon for juice
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • oil
  • salt & pepper

For the Marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbsp sugar brown or white
  • 3 tbsp vinegar white
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the Salad

  • 2 mango ripe but firm, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced

Suggested Sides

  • Jasmine rice ,
  • chili vinegar dipping sauce see notes
  • pickled vegetables see notes

Inasal Culinary Spice Kit

  • Annatto, lemongrass, ginger, lime peel 

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • Season chicken with salt & pepper to taste.
  • In a BOWL, mix Inasal spices with the ingredients for the marinade and 2 tbsp lime juice.
  • Add chicken. Mix well. Cover.
  • Let marinate in the fridge for 3-24 hours.

Frying

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the chicken pieces on both sides until they are cooked.
  • Take chicken out. Cover. Let rest 5 minutes.

Salad*

  • In a BOWL, mix 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp oil.
  • Add mango and tomatoes. Mix well.
  • Season with salt & pepper and sugar (opt.) to taste.

Serve

  • Serve the chicken with your preferred sides.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Substitute chicken with sirloin beef or pork tenderloin or cutlets.
  • Optional:  Add a chili vinegar dipping sauce or pickled vegetables (go to recipes).
Keyword annatto, lemongrass
Laotian Larb

Laotian Larb

 

Larb dipping

Laotian Larb

This simple fresh dish is a specialty from Laos and one of our summer favorites. Larb or laap is an aromatic sour-salty salad with raw or cooked ground meat. We go with the latter and an exotic blend of lemongrass, amchoor (green mango), and dried herbs. We recommend adding fresh herbs for an extra flavor burst. It's best with rice and unseasoned salad.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Laotian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground meat beef, pork, or poultry
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 lettuce sliced
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 2-4 limes or lemons for juice
  • 4 cups rice cooked; recommended: jasmine rice
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

Optional

  • 1 tbsp jasmine rice uncooked
  • 1-3 tsp sugar palm or brown
  • 1-3 tbsp chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, and/or Thai basil)
  • 1-3 fresh red chilies sliced
  • 4 oz mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cashew or peanuts chopped

Larb Culinary Spice Kit

  • Lemongrass, amchoor, garlic, lemon peel, chili, coriander, ginger, star anise, cilantro, onion, basil, cumin, mint, white peppercorn, cinnamon, lemon oil

Instructions
 

Optional preparation

  • In a PAN, toast 1 tbsp uncooked rice over medium heat until it turns golden brown.
  • Transfer to a spice grinder and grind until fine. Set aside.

Cook meat

  • In a PAN, cook ground meat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s crumbled and fully cooked.
  • Turn heat off.

Season

  • Add Larb spices and onions. Mix well.
  • Add to taste: 1-3 tbsp lime juice and
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce. Mix well.

Optionally

  • Optionally, add chopped herbs (recommended), 1-3 tsp sugar, toasted ground rice, and/or chilies to taste. Mix well.

Serve

  • Transfer larb salad to a SERVING BOWL.
  • Serve with rice, lettuce, cucumber slices, and optional mung bean sprouts.

Optionally

  • Optionally, sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute 2 green onions with 1/2 red onion.
▪ Substitute soy sauce with 1-3 tsp fish sauce or add 1-3 tbsp anchovy paste.

Vegetarian Versions

Substitute meat and the 'cook meat'-step in the instructions as follows:
1) Cauliflower Larb
  • In a FOOD PROCESSOR, chop 1 head raw cauliflower into rice-size pieces.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Fry cauliflower until cooked but still a bit crisp.
  • Turn heat off.
2) Mushroom Larb
  • Chop 1 lb of your favorite mushrooms into about pea-size pieces.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Cook mushrooms until they are cooked.
  • Turn heat off.
Keyword amchoor, lemongrass, mint, star anise
Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

 

Casseroles: Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

Though Moussaka doesn’t origin in Greece, it became the best known of all Greek dishes. Authentic Moussaka is a casserole made with ground lamb and eggplant covered with a thick layer of béchamel sauce. The latter is quite tricky to master. Alternatively, try a combination with Kleftiko, a lamb dish baked in parchment paper. It’s easy to prepare, fun to eat, and has a rich Moussaka flavor.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping list

  • 1 lb ground meat lamb or beef recommended
  • 1/2 large eggplant cut lengthwise into thin 1/4 slices
  • 1/2 lb large potatoes cut lengthwise into thin 1/4 slices
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes fresh or from can
  • 1 cup grated cheese of your choice
  • 1 lettuce of your choice

You might have

  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 orange for juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Black pepper,thyme, cinnamon, bay leaves

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • In a BOWL, add eggplant and a pinch of salt. Cover with cold water. Let rest for 15 minutes. Drain and dry the eggplants with kitchen paper.

Fry Step 1

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  • Fry potatoes in several batches until all potatoes are almost cooked, but not brown. Careful! It is important that you don't brown the potatoes!
  • Fry dried eggplants in several batches until they turn slightly brown.

Fry Step 2

  • In the meantime, in another PAN, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add meat, onion, garlic, Moussaka Spices, and salt to taste.
  • Stir-fry until meat is crumbled.
  • Add wine and cook over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and cook over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed.

Prepare Sauce (shortly before baking)

  • In a POT, melt 2 tbsp butter over low heat.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp flour.
  • Slowly stir in 1 cup of milk.
  • Quickly stir in 1 egg.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a BAKING DISH, place single layers in this order:
  • - potatoes
  • - sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste
  • - eggplants
  • - sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste
  • - meat
  • - cheese
  • If you use a small BAKING DISH, you can repeat the layers.
  • Pour sauce over Moussaka layers.
  • Bake in oven for 40-60 minutes until the milk-egg-mix has set and the top turned slightly brown.

Salad

  • Mix 3 tbsp orange juice, 1 tbsp oil, salt & pepper to taste. Toss over lettuce.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword cinnamon, thyme
Persian Ghormeh Sabzi

Persian Ghormeh Sabzi

 

Persian Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh sabzi is a very popular Persian stew made with herbs, beans, and often lamb. The spice kit includes two ingredients that create the extraordinary flavor of this aromatic dish: Persian dried limes aka Omani limes and fenugreek leaves also called methi. Crush some leaves in your hand and note the scent of caramel. 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can red kidney beans 15 oz, rinsed
  • 1 lb leek sliced
  • 1 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper

Ghormeh Sabzi Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Methi (fenugreek leaves)
  • Pouch [2] Omani limes, turmeric

Optional

  • 1/2 lb lamb filet cut into 1/4 inch strips

Recommended Side

  • 4 cups cooked Basmati rice

Instructions
 

  • In a medium POT, heat 2 tbsp oil.
  • Fry onion and garlic over low-medium heat until the onions turn translucent.
  • Careful of splatters, add the leek and fry until it’s soft. Stir frequently.
  • Add herbs and Ghormeh Sabzi [1] spices. Mix well.
  • Continue to fry until the mixture has lost most of its moisture and starts to turn brown.
  • Stir frequently. Pay attention not to burn the herbs.
  • Add beans, 1 cup of water, Ghormeh Sabzi [2] spices, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover. Cook 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary.

Optional

  • Season lamb with salt & pepper to taste.
  • In a PAN, heat oil and fry lamb quickly over high heat to your desired doneness.
  • Add lamb to the finished stew.

Serve

  • Serve ghormeh sabzi with rice.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Variations
▪ Substitute leek with spinach leaves. Skip step 3. Add spinach together with herbs in the next step.
▪ Substitute cilantro with another bunch of parsley, or a bunch of chives or dill. If you want something extra special, we recommend Persian chives.
▪ Substitute kidney beans with black beans or cranberry beans.
▪ Substitute lamb with pork, beef, or chicken.
Keyword methi, omani limes