turkey meatballs

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Made these Ottolenghi meatballs from Jerusalem yesterday:


Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream *
2/3 cup lowfat plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey (white or dark meat)
1 large egg
1 large zucchini, grated
6 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

2 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for sautéing
* For a lower fat sauce you can swap out the sour cream for low fat yogurt. The taste is a bit more tart but still delicious.

Make the Sauce

Combine all ingredients. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days, until needed.


Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine turkey, zucchini, scallions, egg, mint, cilantro, garlic and spices. Using your hands, shape the meatballs (about 2 1/2 tablespoons per ball) by gently squeezing them and tossing them from hand to hand. Set formed meatballs on a large plate. (makes about 18)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Slice half the meatballs into the pan and brown them on all sides, about 4 minutes. Carefully transfer them to the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the meatballs, adding extra oil to the pan, if needed. Slide the tray into the center of the oven and cook for 6-7 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with lemony yogurt sauce.

Also roasted broccoli and a Moroccan chickpea-lentil soup from Cook’s Illustrated, and cooked some tongue in the slow cooker.



Written by orata

March 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

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Goju chutney

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Garlic to taste

Green chilis (7-8 fresh ones)

1/2″ piece of ginger

1 bunch coriander leaves

Tamarind to taste (3-4 Tbsp)


Brown sugar (3/4 cup)

Mustard seeds

Curry leaves

Cook the mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil until they sputter and add it.


Serve over pea shoots and chiwda/sev crispy vermicelli noodles, with radishes.


Here is what I put in this batch:
1 clove garlic
5 small green chilis
1/2 piece of ginger, peeled
1 1/2 bunches cilantro
3 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp hot water

1 tsp mustard seeds
4 curry leaves
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Blend together the garlic, chilis, ginger, cilantro, tamarind, sugar, salt, and water until smooth. In a small skillet, heat the coconut oil, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and cook until the mustard seeds pop and sputter. Remove from heat, and stir the oil mixture into the blended mixture (I removed the curry leaves since the ones I used were pretty large and coarse).

Serve with salad and desired mix-ins. So far I have had it with pea shoots, watercress, and baby kale, radishes, scrambled eggs, all pretty great, plus the crispy stuff we bought–bhel sev made of chickpea flour–high protein!

Written by orata

November 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm

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roasted eggplant and bean salad

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I combined two recipes from the Kitchn cookbook (roasted eggplant salad with smoked almonds and goat cheese, plus crispy pan-fried beans with wilted greens)

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 lb)

kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (I used feta)

1/8 cup chopped scallions

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes and sprinkle lightly with salt, set aside in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any water that has seeped out of the eggplant with a paper towel and toss the eggplant with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread it on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat and roast for 40 mins (stirring every 15 min) until very tender and lightly browned–check after 30 mins to make sure it’s not burning.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the beans and spread them into a single layer. Cook for 2 mins without stirring. The beans will sizzle and pop while they fry. Stir and shake them to redistribute, every 2 mins, till all the beans are blistered.

In the large bowl, mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, parsley leaves, goat cheese, roasted almonds, eggplant, scallions, and beans. EAT.

Written by orata

September 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

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scrambled eggs with peas and arugula

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I’ve been experimenting with the Saltie’s Scrambled Egg recipe from the Lucky Peach egg cookbook (break eggs into pan of melted butter as it’s warming up over medium heat, stir whites around but don’t break the yolks till the last minute, before whites are fully set, then fold yolks into whites to make a soft and creamy small-curd scramble) and came up with a really delicious combination last night that I made again for lunch today:

Scramble together:

2 eggs

1 cup frozen peas

Generous tablespoon of mascarpone

Zest of 1/4 lemon

1/2 green onion

Some chopped fresh parsley



Serve over a bed of fresh arugula. The sweetness of the peas and creaminess of the eggs and melted mascarpone is beautifully offset by the fragrance of the lemon and herbs and the bitter freshness of the arugula.

Written by orata

August 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm

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blood orange bounty

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Got a bag of blood oranges for a couple of bucks at Trader Joe’s! So I made:

Slow cooker carnitas: http://www.recipetineats.com/pork-carnitas-mexican-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

  • 5 lb / 2.5 kg pork shoulder (pork butt), skinless, bone-in (4lb/2kg without bone) (Note 3)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped
  • 2½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 oranges, juice only (or sub with ¾ cup fresh orange juice)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub in salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.
  3. Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion, jalapeño, minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the orange.
  4. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 hours (or 1h 30 m in an electric pressure cooker on high. If using stovetop pressure cooker, please see notes).
  5. The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred the pork using two forks.
  6. Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard the fat. Then if you are left with a lot more than 1½ to 2 cups of juice, then reduce it (either in the slow cooker on the sauté setting with the lid off, or in a saucepan). The liquid will be SALTY, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set aside.
To Serve
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan over high heat. Place shredded pork into the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
  2. Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) – don’t crowd the pan.
  3. Remove pork from skillet. Drizzle over more juices and serve immediately (if you are using defrosted carnitas, this is not applicable as the juices are already on the meat – see Note 4c).
  4. If you are reheating the carnitas (Note 4), then flip and cook the other side briefly just to warm through. I really recommend only making one side crusty and leaving the other side juicy and moist.
1. If you are using a piece of pork that is not the size I use, you MUST reduce the salt accordingly. If your pork is more than 1 lb / 0.5 kg larger or smaller than the prescribed size, ensure you adjust the other ingredients accordingly as well, not just the salt.

2. To make this in the oven, add 1 cup of water to the braising liquid. Place in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, covered, then roast for a further 1 to 1.5 hours uncovered. Add more water if the liquid dries out too much. You should end up with 1½ to 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking.

If you make this recipe in the oven, you could skip the pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork.

3. Use pork with the skin removed but leaving some of the fat cap on. The fat adds juiciness to the carnitas!

4. Taco Fixing suggestions: Diced avocado or make a real proper Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Restaurant Style Salsa or even just sliced tomato, grated cheese, sour cream. Sliced lettuce or pickled cabbage / red onions would also be great, but unlike other tacos, you don’t need it for the texture because the carnitas have the crispy bits!

a) For overnight or up to 3 days, the best option is to shred the meat without pan frying, keep the juices separate, refrigerate, then pan fry to make it golden and reheat the meat, pouring juices over while it is browning per recipe.

b) To brown the meat ahead, the meat actually holds up pretty well in terms of staying crispy. It’s even pretty good refrigerated overnight – but a) is definitely better. Keep the juices separate and pour it over just before reheating the pork. You can reheat in the microwave, quickly reheat in the pan or if you have loads, in a foil covered roasting pan in the oven at 180C/350F for around 8 – 10 minutes.

c) To FREEZE: This holds up great in the freezer. Pour the juices over the pulled pork (pre browning) and store in ziplock bags or airtight containers. Freeze in small batches for convenience. To use, defrost completely before following the recipe to brown the pork.

6. STOVETOP PRESSURE COOKER – use a rack to elevate it from the base OR add ¾ cup of water. Then once the pork is cooked, remove it then simmer to reduce to around 2 cups of liquid.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas recipe video! NOTE: My Slow Cooker (Breville Fast-Slow Cooker) is multi-functional and is also a pressure cooker, hence why it looks like a pressure cooker with the twisting top. The slow cooking function is no different to any standard slow cooker.

Blood orange-almond cake–I added extra almond extract, and topped it with slivered almonds and sugar crystals. Baked it in a pyrex. Everything just got blitzed in the food processor, no stand mixer nonsense. http://www.mattersofthebelly.com/blood-orange-almond-cake/

  • • 2 blood oranges, or 1 regular navel orange
  • • 300g almond meal*
  • • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • • 3 eggs
  • • 200g sugar
  • • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds from ½ a vanilla pod
  1. MAKE THE CAKE: Place the orange(s) in a large pot. Cover with water, place lid on the pot and place on the stove on high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the oranges for 1 hour, until soft and beginning to crack. Drain the oranges and let them cool for a few minutes until you can handle them easily. Remove the tiny tough green stub on the end of each orange where it was attached to the tree. Cut the oranges open and remove the seeds. Place the rest of the oranges, peel, flesh and all, into a food processor and blend until completely pureed & smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Place puree in a bowl, cover & refrigerate till needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (340F).
  3. Grease a standard 23cm (9”) loaf pan with a little neutral oil or butter and line with baking paper. Lightly grease the baking paper as well. You may alternatively use a muffin tin or small ramekins to make individual small cakes: grease 10-12 muffin holes/ramekins and place a circle of baking paper in the bottom of each. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine the almond meal and baking powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  5. In another bowl, crack the eggs and add the sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric or stand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add the orange puree and mix until just combined. Pour the egg mixture onto the almond meal mixture and fold gently until well combined. Try not to over-mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) until three quarters full. If there is too much batter, bake the rest in extra ramekins or muffin holes.
  7. Bake the cakes for: 45-50 minutes for the loaf size, 30-35 minutes for the muffin tin/ramekins, until golden brown & a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool completely in the pan(s).
  8. Once the cakes are cool, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate them for an hour (still in the pans).
  9. To un-mould the cakes, place them in a 200 degree C (400F) for just 5 minutes to loosen them up, then invert onto a plate, carefully remove the pan(s) and peel off the baking paper. Decorate with orange segments, flaked almonds & candied orange & lemon peel (method below), or simply dust with powdered sugar if you prefer.
  10. TO MAKE THE CANDIED CITRUS PEEL: using a vegetable peeler, peel large strips off the oranges and lemon, careful not to include the white pith. Slice them into thin (about matchstick width) strips.
  11. Blanch the peel 3 times: Place the shredded peel into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Boil for 10 seconds, drain, rinse & repeat with fresh cold water 2 more times.
  12. Place the sugar with ¾ cup clean water into the (clean) saucepan, bring to the boil and stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the blanched peel, reduce heat to low and simmer until strips are translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Leave the strips to cool in the syrup and then use or store with the syrup in a jar in the fridge for several weeks.
*Almond meal, also known as almond flour, is simply ground blanched almonds, and can be found in most health stores or even some big supermarkets. If you cannot find it, you can simply make it yourself by grinding up blanched almonds in a food processor until fine.

Recipe adapted from Jean Michel Raynaud’s Flourless Moroccan Orange & Almond Cake.

Written by orata

March 23, 2017 at 10:32 am

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tuna sweet potato paleo cakes

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Made these from an issue of AllRecipes magazine that came to my house for some reason. After a little Googling, I was about to be annoyed that they’d stolen the recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, but then turned the page and saw that the writer of that blog is the author of this recipe… so there you go. The only difference is ghee vs. olive oil, and specifying zest in teaspoons vs. per lemon.

  • 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 (10-oz) can tuna packed in water, drained
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, pierce potatoes and roast till soft, about 45 mins. Cool, peel, mash. Reduce oven temp to 350.

Combine all the other ingredients and spoon into prepared muffin tins (greased or lined, I used silicone muffin cups and had enough batter for 14 of them). Bake till a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 mins. Serve with lemon wedges.

Next time, I think I’d microwave the sweet potatoes (had to do this anyway since they were too firm to mash after I peeled them and put them in the bowl), add another egg since they seemed to be falling apart a bit, and maybe some fresh parsley. It all seemed like way too much in the way of fresh herbs but it was really nice, actually.


Written by orata

March 22, 2017 at 12:32 am

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cream cheese stuffed banana bread muffins

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For the bread:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream (Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the cream cheese filling:
1 large egg
4 ounces softened cream cheese (1/2 block)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
2. To prepare the bread, combine egg, sugars, butter, sour cream and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together. Add the bananas and mash together.
3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix lightly to combine. Set aside.
4. To prepare the cream cheese filling, mix egg, cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a small bowl.
5. To assemble the muffins, spoon a layer of bread batter into a greased muffin tin. Then spoon a layer of cream cheese filling, then top off with another layer of bread batter.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Baking times may vary. Muffins are done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Allow muffins to cool for 15 mins.
8. Enjoy!

from this buzzfeed article

Written by orata

March 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Posted in recipes