Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kaye korma curry

February 19, 2012

Kaye korma curry

Page 74, Henry

Sitting here , the house still full of delicious spicy smells from dinner, the last load of laundry in the dryer, kid and kitten snuggled on the bed and playing the wii, wife crafting on the couch,  Downton Abbey on in a few minutes, in the midst of such plenty. Trying hard to just be in the plenty, in the moment, grounded in the goodness of right now. I am so bad at it, despite my belief in the importance of such mindfulness and presence. My brain is so often galloping ahead to the next thing, planning for the next hour, day, or week, worrying in advance at all of the bad things that might happen. It is something that I am trying hard to let go of this year — instead to fully BE in the moment of plenty that exists right now with a snuggly 11 year old and a belly full of delicious Indian food in a house full of warmth and love. Whatever else may happen in an hour or a week or a month, I can soak this in right NOW and feel full and joyful.

Kaye korma curry

Serves 4

2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

1.5 tsp black mustard seeds

2 onions, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 1/2in fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

7oz tomatoes, cut into chunks

9oz carrots, cut into chunks

12oz waxy potatoes ( there’s no need to peel), cut into chunks

1 can coconut milk

4 oz green beans, halved

1 cup frozen peas

juice of 1/2–1 lime, to taste

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, add the onions. Fry over a medium heat until the onions are good and brown, but not burnt. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 5 minutes, then add the ground spices and cook for another minute to release their fragrance. 

2. Add the tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. Stir and cook for 4 minutes to soften the tomatoes, then add enough water just to cover, followed by the coconut milk. Season and bring to just under the boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook until almost tender (add more water if it looks dry). The sauce should just coat the vegetables.

3. The beans and peas need to cook for only about 3–4 minutes, so add them towards the end of cooking. Taste and add half the lime juice, then taste again, adjust the seasoning and decide whether you want to add more. Stir in the chopped cilantro just before you serve the curry


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Swiss chard, chickpea and tamarind stew

February 15, 2012

Swiss chard, chickpea and tamarind stew

Page 148, Ottolenghi

Have Plenty, will travel!

I took my year of Plenty on the road tonight and made dinner for one of my favorite families – the Moores at Many Hands House. I knew that the occasion called for tasty vegetarian goodness, and the swiss chard, chickpea, and tamarind stew seemed perfect. I showed up at their house with a few bags of groceries and the *amazing* Zojirushi rice cooker that a group of friends got me for my 40th birthday. The rice cooker sang us it’s little song and got to work on the rice, while Melanie and I consulted Ottolenghi’s Plenty to see what needed to happen first.


Well, first meaning after I had a chance to meet the bunny Atticus, smooch on all the kiddos that would let me, observe the rats, discuss politics and other important things with Chris and Melanie, watch the boys make a stop-action test film for their upcoming competition (fabulous and totally blue-ribbon worthy), and marvel at the amazing life that they all continue to create.

As their blog puts it : “What do you get when you have two people madly in love, 7 children, one giant dog and heaps of fun? Many Hands House! Check back often and watch us cook vegan food, home school, catch babies, role-play, belly dance and practice that Old Time religion, all in a log cabin in Iowa.”. I do so love getting to be a part of their world for an evening, so the cooking was interspersed with all kinds of good conversation, a brief appearance by Annie, and some kids so cute that it almost hurts.

The cooking was fairly easy and the flavors were bold. The whole house smelled delicious and the stew came together pretty quickly. And a pretty bowl of stew it was. We added cilantro and greek yogurt to it at the end, and served it over rice. Morgan had never had greek yogurt before, and decided it tasted like goat cheese – a fairly fabulous comparison for an 10 (11?) year old to make.  All of the kids seemed to love the dish — a testament to palates that are used to trying new things regularly, one of my favorite family traits. 



Thanks for a fabulous night, Moores! I look forward to more Plenty with you all soon. ❤


Swiss Chard, Chickpea and Tamarind Stew
Serves 4, adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty


  • 1 lb swiss chard (stalks and leaves), cut into 3/8-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz canned chopped plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and boiled (or 2 cans chickpeas)
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • cilantro
  • rice
  • greek yogurt
  1. Put the onion, caraway seeds and olive oil in a large heavy pan and saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.  Add the tomato paste and stir as you cook it for about a minute.  Add the canned tomatoes, water, sugar, chickpeas, ground coriander, chard and some salt and pepper.
  2. Add the tamarind.  Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.  When ready, the dish should have the consistency of a thick soup.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the juice of two lemons just before serving.
  3. While the stew is cooking, cook rice and chop cilantro for serving.
  4. When ready to serve, spoon the rice into shallow soup bowl and spoon stew over it.  Finish with greek yogurt and cilantro.

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Smoked cheddar and apple omelet

February 14, 2012

Smoked cheddar and apple omelet

Page 312, Henry

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A holiday derived by corporations to sell things to people indoctrinated that they must prove their love with gifts.  And yet….. While I need no excuse to celebrate love,  I will TAKE any excuse to celebrate love and my girl. What I will not do is go out for dinner on the actual night of Valentine’s Day. Instead B and I had reservations at our favorite fancy restaurant in town for a special night -before Valentine’s Day 4 course tasting menu on Monday.  And it was delicious and celebratory and lovely and aphrodisiac and everything a special date night should be – including paired with perfect wines and capped off with a police searchlight right into our living room (read bedroom as the project is still under way) windows a few hours later. More on that story for those brave enough to ask. ; )

As for our *actual* Valentine’s Day, we opted for a more low-key dinner of salad and omelets. In this case, smoked cheddar and apple omelets out of  Diana Henry’s Plenty. The tangy cheddar and sweet apple slices made a perfect omelet with Jaime’s fabulous farm eggs. Eggs that I still marvel at  – the bright yellow of the yolk and the perfect viscosity of the whites seen almost never in store-bought versions. Eggs are inherently sexy, and therefore perfect for a mellow and delish Valentine’s dinner. Pair them with a salad and toasted farm bread and call it a night. Hopefully a night without a police cruiser in front of the house.

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Beef and carrots in stout with parsley and horseradish dumplings

February 11, 2012

Beef and carrots in stout with parsley and horseradish dumplings

Page 200, Henry

Oh, friends. I have been obsessed with the Ottolenghi version of Plenty and have not given Diana Henry her due lately. But a 2nd weekend of project bedroom remodel, culminating in the installation of the new flooring today changed that right quick. Since the project would largely fall to the floor-laying skilled wife of mine, I decided to have her choose a dish she was interested in and make it for her. So my job, in addition to the chop saw and any heavy lifting and hammer getting and such, was making sure that we had a lovely pot of beef and carrots in stout with parsley and horseradish dumplings waiting for us when the floor was complete. Check and check.  The floor is gorgeous (as is the new closet build-out and the fresh paint job) and was completed in time for B to have a quick 30 minute nap before dinner, as the dumplings got added and the stew thickened for the last of it’s 2 and 1/2 hour cooking time.

Our celebratory dinner was well-deserved, and the finishing touches will go quickly tomorrow on the floor, and soon we will have to move our bed back to the bedroom after weeks of sleeping in the middle of our living room and I will only be slightly sad about that. But tonight? Celebration and a slow braised stew of beef, leek, and carrots in stout – simple and flavorful. Add the dumplings made from bread crumbs, horseradish, parsley, and egg and the simple stew is taken to a whole new level of celebration and plenty. We practically licked our bowls clean. And then collapsed into the bed in the middle of the living room.


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Baked eggs with yogurt and chile

February 9, 2012

Baked eggs with yogurt and chile

Page 140, Ottolenghi

When I need a total comfort meal that is guaranteed to make the work stress melt away from my baby’s shoulders, nothing works better than poached eggs. Well, except for baked eggs. Who knew? This easy-peasy weeknight dinner had me saute a TON of arugula (14 cups wilts down to *nothing*) and then just nestle some eggs into the pan and toss it into the oven for about 15 mintes. While it cooked, I made the yogurt and garlic mixture and melted some butter with chiles and paprika. Once the eggs were done (whites set and yolks still a bit runny) I dolloped on the greek yogurt/salt/garlic combo and then drizzled the butter sauce over the whole dang thing and served it with toast. Can we all say YUM together now?  Comforting and yet not too heavy, and full of a nice bitter arugula/sweet butter kind of contrast – all piled on toast and served with a hearty dose of ‘you’ll get through this’ and love.  Plenty, indeed.



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Sweet winter slaw

February 8, 2012

Sweet winter slaw

Page 102, Ottolenghi


A quick lunch with friends was the perfect occasion for this sweet winter slaw and some bbq tofu sandwiches. The slaw had a surprising dressing instruction – Ottolenghi has you boil the maple syrup, sesame oil, and lime juice, with some chopped lemongrass, and then once it is cool, you strain it and add the oil to finish the dressing. Add that to the chopped red cabbage, savoy cabbage, and mango strips – chop up some cilantro and mint and BOOM – deliciousness. I definitely strayed off on my own, leaving out the sugared macadamia nuts that he calls for, but I knew those would not be a hit in this house. The slaw though? Big hit, indeed. 

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Crusted pumpkin wedges with sour cream

February 6, 2012

Crusted pumpkin wedges with sour cream

Page 72, Ottolenghi


 ready to bake – use the parchment if you know what’s good for you!

I have been on an Ottolenghi streak the last few weeks, and tonight was one of our favorites so far! I made these crusted pumpkin wedges with the leftover squash that I had used in the couscous last week, and what a fabulous way to use squash. Wedges topped with fresh herbs, parmesan, bread crumbs, and lemon zest provided the perfect main dish alongside our braised collard greens with raisins and almonds. AND this was the first recipe where my version really did look JUST like the picture in the cookbook. Beautiful and delicious. And really easy. This one is highly recommended, you all!


1 1/2  pounds pumpkin or squash

1/2  cup grated Parmesan

3  tablespoons dried white breadcrumbs

6  tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 1/2  teaspoons finely chopped thyme

  Grated zest of 2 large lemons

2  cloves garlic

  Salt and white pepper

1/4  cup olive oil

1/2  cup sour cream

1  tablespoon chopped dill

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the pumpkin into 3/8-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together in a small bowl the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, the garlic, a tiny amount of salt (remember, the Parmesan is salty) and some pepper.
  3. Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.
  4. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender: stick a little knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
  5. Mix the sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the sour cream on the side.

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