Although I like potatoes, I don't tend to eat them very often, as I prefer to limit my consumption of carbohydrates. I recently had a craving for potatoes though and decided to make these baked potato wedges which also gave me an excuse to warm up the kitchen with the oven. This recipe turned out better than I imagined and I even went back for seconds. The addition of egg adds a bit of extra crunch to the wedges. A half cup or so of Parmesan cheese would also be a nice addition to this recipe. Dip the baked wedges in sour cream or salsa if desired.
The combination of black pepper and sharp extra-old Cheddar cheese make these savory muffin-type dinner rolls a particularly flavorful addition to any winter meal. I made a batch to go along with Christmas dinner. The vegetarians at the table enjoyed these alongside sour chickpeas, brown rice and millet and some vegetables. Though not a traditional Christmas meal, it was a very satisfying and warming vegetarian alternative.
|Cracked Black Pepper Cheddar Muffins|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on December 28, 2007
Easy, fluffy and delicious savory Cheddar cheese dinner muffins with fresh cracked black pepper seasoning
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Indian khichris — also known as kidgerees or kitcherees — are simple rice and split bean pots flavored with herbs, spices or vegetables. They're a favorite of mine for very quick, easy and nourishing lunches or suppers. Not surprisingly, the full texture of cooked chana dal makes it a popular variety of split bean to use in khichris alongside the delicate texture of rice, and while I've already posted one chana dal and dill khichri, that particular combination of split beans and herbs is worth another recipe.
I made these rum balls a few years back for a Christmas treat and have made them every Christmas since. They are somewhat like truffles, only stronger in taste because of the rum. Yum! I suggest you use a nice dark Jamaican rum for this recipe. If you want to include crushed nuts, substitute 1 cup of the wafers for 1 cup of nuts, such as hazelnuts. And use 4 1/2 tablespoons of chocolate chips to equal 1/2 cup of chocolate.
If you are looking for a spicy and warming soup to ease the winter chills, I would highly recommend this hot and sour soup that I came across at Food and Fun. As usual, I've made a few modifications but I believe that I've captured the unique flavor of this vegetable soup that Mansi describes as "Chinese, Indian style". Unlike most soups, this one is best enjoyed shortly after its prepared.
There's a popular school of thought out there that romanticizes a White Christmas as something very much to be wished for every year. Well, speaking as someone who lives in a part of the world where there is rarely any other alternative, I can say that all those people who spend their time listening to Irving Berlin songs can have my White Christmas … I'd much rather be spending my Christmas on a tropical island. So this tropical twist on the traditional steamed Christmas pudding can at least let me imagine a little bit sitting on a sandy island beach at Christmas-time surrounded by warm tropical breezes as I watch the snow drift outside my window.
If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant in North America, you've probably seen "tarka dal" on the menu. Almost always a bowl of yellow lentils cooked and mashed to a thick soup-like consistency, the name "tarka dal" is actually a generic term for any cooked dal tempered with a a final addition of seeds and spices fried in hot oil — the "tarka" — to give it a simple but elegant finish.
This version of tarka dal uses toor dal, otherwise known as toovar dal or split pigeon peas, which I find are a slightly sweeter and more full-textured dal than most. These and other ingredients in this recipe are easily available at any Indian or Asian grocer, but you can substitute yellow split peas for the toor dal. With very little preparation or cooking time, this tarka dal is an excellent addition to a full-course Indian meal, or makes a quick and simple but lovely Indian supper by itself with rice and a green salad. If you'd like to serve it in bowls almost as a soup, as I find most Indian restaurants do, add another 3/4 cup of water to the dal while cooking to thin the consistency.
For all their lovely creamy textures and rich flavors, I suspect that risottos would be a far more popular part of everyday dinners if it weren't for all the fuss and stirring of their traditional reduction-based cooking methods. But as it turns out, slow baking controls the release of the starches on the outside of the risotto rice grains that give risottos their creaminess almost just as well as the typical slow and repetitive stop-pour-and-stir methods, and of course it makes cooking them so much easier that there should be almost nothing to deter you from trying it.
Or, Booze for Breakfast!
Stopping at the local Portuguese bakery the other day to pick up a loaf of their wonderful Portuguese bread, I found that I had arrived too late and had to settle for their day-olds. That was no real loss, because the bread is still soft and delicious after a couple of days, but when the lady at the counter suggested that the day-olds are perfect for French Toast it got me thinking…
Earlier in the day I'd picked up some eggnog, and as I was driving home with my groceries thinking about the bakery lady's idea to use my loaf of Portuguese bread for French Toast, it occurred to me — why not use eggnog instead of milk to make French Toast? And as everyone knows that eggnog just isn't quite the real thing without a little tot of rum added, the idea of an eggnog & rum French Toast kept sounding better and better until I had to make it the next morning. I'm glad I did — the gentle hints of rum and winter spices made it about the best French Toast I'd ever tasted.
This chickpea and cabbage soup has been a winter favorite of mine for years. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, the stewed flavors of chickpeas and vegetables combined with just a little spice makes for a very simple, nutritious and delicious cold weather beater.
I'm always on the lookout for nutty flavor and crunchy texture and this recipe for chickpea, quinoa and mushroom croquettes from Pig in the Kitchen turned out to be as satisfying as it sounded and looked. Composed of a grain, legume and vegetables, theses croquettes are a meal onto themselves. Consider serving them with a chutney or tomato based sauce or as a vegetarian burger. I served them alongside butter paneer masala.
Lucy from Nourish Me's re-working of a "revolting" cookbook recipe for mung beans to create what she calls an "inauthentic dal" looked to me so wholesome, attractive and tasty that I figured nothing could be wrong with adding my own little tweaks to make it even more inauthentic!
Calabacitas is a traditional Pueblo Indian squash and chili pepper casserole that's become very popular in its many spicy American Southwest variations. Often baked and usually made with chicken or beef, this colorful vegetarian version uses pinto beans to add heartiness and protein, and cooks on top of the stove in just 20 minutes. While it makes a wonderful vegetable side dish for any Southwest or Mexican style dinner, I like to serve it up as a quick and filling breakfast wake-me-upper, although the beans should be cooked the night before if you're going to do this to speed up the morning preparation.
This is a very easy and tasty rice dish that would complement any Indian meal or any other meal that you would serve with rice. I suggest you serve it with chana masala or moong dal and a vegetable dish.