Nov
01
    
Posted (Lori) in News

DIWALI

This Indian/Hindu holiday is as important to many who celebrate it as Christmas and Rosh Hashana are to their observers. You’ll find more information about it on these sites:

http://www.diwalifestival.org

kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/diwali/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/diwali

Food is a major element of the holiday, particularly desserts and snacks (many of which are made from vegetables). You’ll find many Diwali dishes here:

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/diwali-recipes-diwali-snacks-sweets/

and here:

http://www.sharmispassions.com/2014/10/diwali-recipes-diwali-sweets-recipes-2014.html

Dick Sandhaus sent this wonderful pumpkin curry and instructions on how to make your own curry powder–perfect Diwali dish. It’s from his fantastic blog, Better, Cheaper, Slower; if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should—great info on recipes, health, exercise and many other topics.

http://bettercheaperslower.com

Pumpkin Curry

Whether you carve it or curry it, your pumpkin’ll be ready for Halloween and Diwali. You know, the Hindu harvest celebration also known as the Festival of Lights. The Jack-O-Lantern’s not the traditional Diwali lantern, but it’s certainly festive. And yours could be ready for tomorrow’s celebration and Halloween.

Pumpkins and squashes of every size, shape, and color are abundant and cheap in Farmers Markets everywhere. They’re in markets all over northern India and Nepal right now, too. Hiking in Nepal, we saw squash vines climbing across rooftops in every village. Where they go into curries of all types. Be like them: make your own shockingly great curry powder in a fraction of the time it takes to carve your pumpkin.

Ingredients

4 cups of pumpkin and/or butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of grape seed or other neutral oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Fresh ginger, equivalent to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder

1 cup of water, milk or coconut milk

Anticipating torture by carving, your pumpkin will be surprised to learn it’s about to be curried. I used a baby pumpkin and a butternut squash. On the inside, they look and taste pretty much the same. Peel them; cut them in half; scoop out the fibers and seeds; chop into small bite-sized cubes.

Cook the onion in a big, high-sided pan over medium heat in the oil. When the onion’s soft but not brown, add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, homemade or store-bought. Stir for two minutes.

Now add the cooking liquid. I used coconut milk because I love the combination of curry and coconut. Vegetable stock, milk or water will work fine. Give it all a good stir, then add the pumpkin and/or squash. Stir for a minute, then put the lid on the pan.

Fifteen minutes later, remove the lid and inhale deeply. Good, huh? Now taste. If the pumpkin’s too firm for you, cover again and let it cook for five minutes more. Whenever it’s right for you, it’s ready. It’s sweet, it’s spicy. It’s mouth- and nose-filling. It tickles every taste bud you have. Serve as a thick stew or on a bed of couscous or farro. Yum.

HOME-MADE CURRY POWDER

Halloween Curry, Manhattan Style

Curry is a blend of spices. Which spices depends on which village you’re in. Or which household you’re in. Turmeric is always in the recipe; it gives curry its color.

In my household, I use whatever’s in the pantry. Right now, that means peppercorns, cloves, powdered ginger, powdered turmeric, fennel and cumin seeds. And a dried chile and coriander seeds from the garden. If you make your own, use whatever you have and like. If you want something a little more sweet-spicy and pumpkin pie-like, try cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. If you want to keep it mild, avoid the chili pepper and peppercorns. Make as little or as much as you like – it’ll keep for months in a sealed container. And still be Way fresher than any jar of curry powder you can buy at the market.

After you settle on your ingredients, toast the whole ones in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. When your entire home begins to smell like an exotic spice market, add the powdered ingredients and toast for two minutes more. No oil – just keep shaking the pan gently to keep it all moving. This is a little like roasting coffee beans; you can go for lighter or darker. Personally, I keep it light to avoid bitterness.

After toasting and a few minutes of cooling, grind it all. You can use a spice grinder if you have one. Or a coffee grinder – if you’d like your next cappuccino lightly curried. Or you can use a mortar and pestle like I did. As a last resort, you can use a hammer and a cutting board. It took about three minutes to grind eight tablespoons of coarse curry powder with my old-fashion mortar and pestle.

CELERIAC

I’ve been waiting anxiously for the celeriac to arrive. I have two main uses for this ugly but delicious vegetable: I add it to chicken soup, which makes it much better every time; and I make celeriac remoulade, one of my favorite winter salads. David Lebovitz’s Celeriac Remoulade, below, includes good instructions for preparing celeriac.

I’ve included a few other celeriac recipes—in case we get enough so that I don’t use it all on celeriac remoulade. And there’s a batch of interesting celeriac recipes here:

http://www.hellawella.com/9-mouthwatering-recipes-will-change-your-mind-about-celery-root-celeriac

CELERY REMOULADE (CÉLERI RÉMOULADE)

About six servings

Celery root is pretty easy to prepare, but does discolor a bit once sliced open and grated. So make the dressing before slicing and grating the celery root, for best results. I like mine really mustardy, so I use a fairly large amount. If you’re unsure, start with less; you can add more, to taste, when the salad is finished.

To peel celery root, lop off the root and opposite end with a chef’s knife. Then stand the round root on a flat end then take the knife and cut downward, working around the outside, to slice off the tough skin. In the states, celery root are often smaller, and have more complicated roots, and you’ll need to cut a bit deeper to remove them.

1 cup (240 g) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought

2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more, to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) celery root

1. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper.

2. Peel the celery root and grate it coarsely.

3. Mix the dressing with the celery root and taste, adding additional salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice, to taste.

Note: If the salad is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of whole or low-fat milk to thin it out.

Storage: The salad will keep for one to two days in the refrigerator.

SOME NOTES ON CELERIAC REMOULADE FROM NIGEL SLATER

The French can buy this classic winter salad from any corner shop, whereas we probably have to make it ourselves. It is the best use of the knobbly, ivory-coloured root yet devised.

THE RECIPE

Peel then shred a medium-sized (450g) celeriac. The shreds should not be too fine, nor should they be thicker than a matchstick. Toss them immediately in the juice of half a lemon. Mix together 4 heaped tbsp of good mayonnaise, 2 tbsp of smooth Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of double cream or crème fraîche and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley. Season with salt and black pepper, then fold into the shredded celeriac. Set aside for 30 minutes then serve with thin slices of ham.

THE TRICK

Toss the shredded roots quickly in lemon juice to stop them discolouring and to tenderise them. The dressing should be just thick enough to cling to the roots – in other words creamy without being soupy. Thin the sauce down with lemon juice if it gets too thick. Cream or crème fraîche sounds extravagant, but is essential if the salad is to be more than just roots in mayo. Don’t attempt to keep it overnight. It will become soft and claggy as the celeriac soaks up the dressing. Chop the parsley finely – this is not the time for roughly chopped.

THE TWIST

Beetroot remoulade has a more vibrant colour and a mixture of celeriac and beets is good, but should be lightly mixed so as not to turn the dressing raspberry pink. Poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds make unorthodox but welcome additions, as do chopped toasted walnuts. A lighter dressing can be made using fromage frais instead of crème fraîche.

CELERY ROOT POTATO MASH

3/4 lb russet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/4 lbs celery root, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

1/4 cup sour cream (use lite if you wish)

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (oruse another fresh herb)

salt & pepper

Place the potatoes, celery root onion & vinegar in a saucepan, cover wi th water, bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetable are cooked and tender. (apprx.25 minutes).

Drain the veggies, stir in the brandy, mash the vegetables. Leave them slightly chunky.

Stir in the sour cream & dill. Season with salt & pepper.

CELERIAC, CHICORY AND ORANGE SALAD WITH TOASTED CASHEWS

I love raw celeriac in a salad. Its flavour, both earthy and sweet, balances piquant, sharp or bitter ingredients beautifully. Serves four.

3 oz. cashew nuts

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp English mustard

2 tsp cider vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 oz/ celeriac

1 head chicory

1 large orange

Put the nuts in a dry frying pan, toss over a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly toasted, then set aside to cool.

Combine the olive oil, mustard and vinegar with some salt and pepper, and tip into a mixing bowl. Peel the celeriac and cut it into matchsticks. Toss the julienned root immediately in the dressing to stop it from browning. Trim the chicory and separate the leaves, then add to the celeriac in the bowl. Spread the dressed celeriac and chicory on a plate.

Cut a slice off the base of the orange and stand it on a board. Use a sharp knife to cut through the peel and pith of the orange, slicing it away completely, in sections. Working over the plate of celeriac so any juice that escapes will fall on to it, cut out the individual orange segments, letting them drop on to the salad as you go. Squeeze any juice out of the remaining orange membrane over the salad. Add some more salt and pepper to taste, scatter over the cashews and serve.

TURNIP QUICKIES—from RealSimple.com

Sautéed Turnips and Greens

Cook peeled and cut-up turnips and sliced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the turnip greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Roasted Turnips With Ginger

Peel and cut turnips into wedges. Toss with sliced fresh ginger, canola oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast at 400° F until tender.

Mashed Turnips With Crispy Bacon

Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.

Creamy Leek and Turnip Soup

Cook thinly sliced leeks in butter in a large saucepan until soft. Add peeled and cut-up turnips and enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer until very tender. Puree until smooth, adding water or broth as necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

And here are some slightly more complicated turnip recipes from TheKitchn.com

http://www.thekitchn.com/in-season-turnips-and-interest-67615

CAULIFLOWER RECIPES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://cooking.nytimes.com/68861692-nyt-cooking/3450320-our-20-most-popular-cauliflower-recipes



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