Grilled Corn with Cotija Cheese, Cayenne & Lemon

Hi my loves! This summer, you MUST get outside and grill some beautiful corn! This preparation of eating whole corn on the cob is a mix of my experience eating road-side roasted corn in India with my love for Mexican flavors (i.e. the salty Cotija cheese!). This is an easy appetizer to complement your grilled vegetables and meat at your next outdoor soiree. Enjoy!

Love,
Priyanka

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Ingredients
4 corn on the cob, husks removed but stem attached for easy handling on the grill
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (available at most mexican supermarkets)
1 lemon, cut in half

Directions
Grill the corn on the cob directly on the grill until done to your liking. Meanwhile, prepare your cayenne-lemon paste. In a small bowl, juice the lemon halves and add the cayenne pepper. Using one of the lemon halves as a ‘spoon’, mix these two ingredients into a paste and reserve this lemon half to apply the paste to the corn! Just leave it in the bowl.

Once your corn is grilled, apply the cayenne-lemon paste to the corn using the lemon half. Finish the preparation by sprinkling the beautiful cotija cheese on top and enjoy hot! 馃檪

Quick Padr贸n Peppers

Padr贸n peppers (also known as Spanish pimientos de Padr贸n), are my favorite kind of green peppers because they are crispy, mild-tasting, and occasionally give you a spicy surprise! These beautiful peppers come from the ‘capsicum’ family (better known as bell pepper in the US), and this preparation is my favorite way to eat them (and they are my husband’s favorite healthy snack!). Rumor has it that the peppers grown towards August/September tend to contain more capsaicin (spiciness) than the ones of June/July.

All I know is that when spring and summer comes around, I go hunting at local farmer’s markets for these gorgeous peppers. If any of you have kids, let it be known that I fed these to my 8-year-old nephew who was visiting from India, and he LOVED them. His mom claims that he usually doesn’t eat vegetables, so moms out there, maybe this is your answer to getting your kids to eat some greens.

Enjoy! 馃檪

Love,
Priyanka

Padr贸n Peppers PK

Ingredients
2 cups of raw padron peppers, washed and dried
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive-oil
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice

Directions
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and add padr贸n peppers. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice and cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring every other minute. You want to let the peppers blister a little, so don’t worry if some sides are blackened (that’s when they are most delicious!).

Take them off the heat, sprinkle with more salt, if desired, and enjoy hot! Note: Don’t eat the stems, but use them to hold the hot peppers while you eat 馃檪 Enjoy! 馃檪

Beet Salad with Yogurt

The experts say beets are a superfood, and greek yogurt is supposed to be good for you too – so what better than a creative salad that is creamy, tangy, robust in flavor, yet easy on your waistline? This is a Middle-Eastern recipe that I have had at an Iraqi restaurant. I fell in love with this dish so much, that I had to recreate it and I LOVE this salad! For me, this is a great one-bowl meal that works as a great lunch at your desk. However, This is also a great side-dish to kebabs, hummus, or anything else that has a middle-eastern touch 馃槈

The hardest part of the recipe is getting the beets cooked, so a quick cheat on this is to go to a store like Trader Joe’s and buy their packaged, pre-cooked red beet (can be found in their refrigerated section near their cut vegetables). Or, you can take the longer route if you have the time!

Enjoy this recipe, my loves. And enjoy the health benefits, while treating your stomach to deliciousness!

Love,
Priyanka

Red Beet Salad with Mint PK
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients

1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 red beets, washed and leaves removed (or you can use pre-cooked beets that are available at many grocery stores)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (e.g. Fage or Chobani works great!)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
the juice of one lemon (or one tablespoon of lemon juice)
Fresh-ground pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: sumac, lemon wedges, cucumber slices, pitted olives

Directions

Bring a large pot to a boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of Kosher salt once it is boiling. Add the whole beets and boil on medium-high heat for about 30 minutes, until fork tender (not mushy!). Tender, yet firm is the perfect consistency for these cooked beets.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.

When the beets are cooked, drain them and, while still hot, slip off their skins (if you are afraid of staining your hands, wear disposable gloves during this step!).

Place peeled beets in the ice water bath for 10 minutes. Drain and dry the beets. Chop the peeled and cooked beets into small, bite-sized cubes.

Add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch Kosher salt and pepper.

Mix gently with your glove-covered hands (or two spoons) until the mixture turns a fuchsia color. For a creamier salad, add more yogurt. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with sumac, serve with a lemon wedge and garnish with cucumber slices and pitted olives for an extra bite, if desired. Enjoy! 馃檪

Can be kept in the refrigerator for one day.

Spiced Grilled Carrots with Mint Yogurt

My husband and I recently discovered a DELICIOUS, new restaurant in Redwood City called ‘Vesta‘. All I can say is, WOW – their menu is creative, simple, yet delicious and fresh. We ordered a wonderful pizza, accompanied by some grilled carrots that were both a beautiful presentation and outright delicious. I had no choice but to replicate it at home for a get together recently, and they were a smash hit (and a healthy one too!). The natural sweetness of the carrots mixed with the paprika and cumin, dipped in a spiced yogurt sauce is perfect. Just when we almost forgot that grilling carrots in a beautiful manner was even an option, the perfect crispy, yet charred taste through this cooking method is divine. This is the perfect side dish to any meal.

I hope you enjoy this in your kitchen as much as it was enjoyed in mine! 鉂

Love,
Priyanka

Spiced Grilled Carrots

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

4 carrots, cut into strips (don’t worry about making these even – this is a rustic and beautiful dish!)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic paste
Kosher salt, to taste

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup of yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped mint

Directions

Heat up your grill or grill pan and make sure it is hot! Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the carrots, spices, and extra virgin olive oil. Make sure the carrots are well-coated with the spices.

For the yogurt dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Place in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Once the grill is hot, place the marinated carrots onto the hot grill and let them get a nice char by not moving them for 2-3 minutes. Rotate them to allow beautiful grill marks all over them and serve hot with the yogurt dipping sauce!!

Pri’s Out-of-This-World Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is exactly one week away, so I thought I’d share my unusual and outright delicious cranberry sauce/jam recipe with all of you! This is a ‘sauce’ yes, however it is chunky and nutty and sweet yet savory (the nutmeg and pecans make it feel spiced and warm!). I was truly experimenting when I used dried apricots and blueberries, but this sauce ended up being so unbelievably good, I couldn’t stop eating it. Just when you thought turkey’s sidekick wouldn’t steal all the limelight, it does. This recipe is stellar, a crowd favorite (trust me, I tried it at my company’s Thanksgiving potluck and people enjoyed it tons!) and not to be missed.

What to with this when there’s some leftover (unlikely, but possible!)…slop it onto some crackers with brie cheese or top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with this after heating it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. AMAZING.

Enjoy!



Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
1 orange, juiced (or 1/2 cup of orange juice)
1 apple – peeled, cored and diced
1 pear – peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chopped pecans (raw, unsalted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions
In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and stir in cranberries, juice of the orange, apple, pear, dried apricots, dried blueberries,pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the cranberries burst.

Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and serve alongside turkey and mashed potatoes for a fabulous Thanksgiving meal!

Note: Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week! Also, the sauce will be chunky because you’ve used fresh cranberries and other chopped ingredients, so don’t expect a liquid!]

Colorful Cole Slaw

Cooking is about details, and to me, details mean side dishes. We often overlook side dishes to our glorious, attention-grabbing main dishes and entrees. However, a corned beef sandwich sometimes really needs a fried pickle next to it or a little bowl of creamy cole slaw! This side dish is not only easy to make and beautiful to look at, but it’s tasty and family friendly too! The tanginess of the vinegar mixed with the creaminess of the sour cream and mayonnaise is blissful.

A good cole slaw can be used in so many ways – in a sandwich, mixed into cold leftover pasta for a pasta salad, as a a filling in grilled or fried fish tacos, and so much more. Would love to hear your favorite ways to serve cole slaw!

PS – Thanksgiving is around the corner. Here is another great idea to add to your spread!

Enjoy! 馃檪

Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
4 tablespoons grated white onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Mix both types of shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add your dressing to the cabbage mix and combine well. Taste for seasoning, and adjust salt, pepper, and/or sugar seasoning to your desired taste.

Chill in the refrigerator and enjoy! Can be made up to 1 day ahead.

Herbed Broccoli Potato Mash

Whether you are a parent trying to get your children to eat more green vegetables, or simply a mashed potato lover like me, this recipe is sneaky and delicious all in one! If you don’t like basil (or don’t have any on hand), feel free to leave the basil out, but do not skip the broccoli! You get some great nutrition in an otherwise heavy and calorie-loaded dish, and it really does taste just as delicious as regular mashed potatoes!

Serve it alongside a beautiful steak, grilled chicken, or my baked tofu parmigiana so that you have a perfectly balanced (and deliciously fancy) meal with protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables (broccoli!) :).

Enjoy! 馃檪

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients
~4 pounds (or approx 8-10 large potatoes) – Yukon gold or russet variety, peeled and quartered
~3 cups broccoli heads (remove florets)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter (or approximately 4 tablespoons of butter)
1/2 cup basil, chiffonade (here is a great pictorial on how to chiffonade basil!)
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Put scrubbed and cleaned potatoes into a pot of salted water (not heated yet!). Turn on the heat on your stove to medium high and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes in boiling water until very tender.

Now add the broccoli heads to the potatoes in boiling water for an additional 7 minutes. Drain and place broccoli and potatoes into pot.

Carefully heat the milk, cream, and butter in a small saucepan until simmering lightly. Now add the basil and cream mixture into the potatoes and broccoli, and mash together using a potato masher. Season, to taste, with Kosher salt and pepper. Serve hot with melted butter, if desired.