Chicken Hekka

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c soy sauce
3/4 c mirin (japanese sweet wine)
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
3 carrots, julienned
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 (14 oz.) can shredded bamboo, drained
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 c trimmed and coarsely chopped watercress
1 (8 oz.) package rice noodles, soaked and cut into 2″ pieces

Directions:
1. Cut chicken meat into bit size pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, and mirin wine. Mix well, and set aside.
2. In a skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Squeeze juice from grated ginger into wok, add grated ginger, and stir fry until brown. Discard ginger fibers. Increase heat to high, and stir in chicken. Season with soy sauce mixture, and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. One at a time, add the carrots, onions, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and watercress. Stir after each addition. Add rice noodles; cook, stirring, for about 3 more minutes, or until done.

Gyroll

Ingredients:
1 TBS olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, sliced
1 TBS oregano
2/3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2/3 c chopped fresh parsley
1 lb pizza crust dough
6 oz. feta cheese
1/2 zucchini, diced
8 oz. chopped blacked olives
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meat with garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. When meat is almost done, add parsley and cook until the parsley wilts. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.
3. Roll pizza dough out into a rectangle (about 18″ x 12″), with the long side laid out left-to-right in front of you. Spread out feta cheese, zucchini, and black olives evenly over the dough, leaving 3″ from the edges of the crust uncovered. Spread the cooled meat mixture over the top, still leaving edges of dough uncovered.
4. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll up the whole thing until it is all rolled up. You can do this by using the uncovered edge of dough at the end as a ‘strip’ to stick to the roll and seal it, making sure both ends are pressed down and sealed. Sprinkle with garlic and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Beef Samosas

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes, peeled
1 C frozen peas, thawed
2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf, crushed
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 TBS minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
2 TBS chopped green chile peppers
1 quart oil for deep frying
1 (16 oz.) package phyllo dough

Directions:
1. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are tender but still form, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash together and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Brown cumin seeds and bay leaf. Mix in onions and ground beef. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, fresh ginger root. Season with black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir in the mashed potato mixture. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until cool.
3. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat.
4. Mix cilantro and green chile peppers into the potato and beef mixture. Place approximately 1 TBS of the mixture onto each phyllo sheet. Fold sheets into triangles, pressing edges together with moistened fingers.
5. In small batches, fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

ingredients:
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems

directions:
1. Combine the rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, chipotle and salt in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the machine running, gradually add the canola oil. Add the cilantro and process until the vinaigrette is smooth.

The recipe for Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette makes about 1 1/2 cups. Place extra dressing in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to three days to use on other salads. Shake well before using.

Shakshuka

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  •  teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  •  Chopped cilantro, for serving
  •  Hot sauce, for serving

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
  3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Challah Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, more for greasing bowl
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 to 8 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.
  2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading.)
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
  4. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.
  5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.
  6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking. Then dip your index finger in the egg wash, then into poppy or sesame seeds and then onto a mound of bread. Continue until bread is decorated with seeds.
  7. Bake in middle of oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.

Chickpea and Artichoke Tagine

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
salt and pepper
8 oz (1 1/2 c) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
4 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS all-purpose flour
3 c vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
9 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Dissolve 2 TBS salt in 4 quarts water. Add chickpeas and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
2. Heat 1 TBS oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, and their juice, and chickpeas.
3. Cook for 25 minutes: Lock lid in place and bring pot to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as indicator signals that pot has reached high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. Quick-release pressure: Remove pot from heat. Quick-release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add artichokes and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard lemon zest from stew. Stir in olives, cilantro, and artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle individual portions with extra oil before serving.

Variations:
Chickpea Tagine with Cauliflower and Almonds
Omit artichokes. Add 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets, to finished tagine and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds before serving.

Chickpea Tagine with Dried Apricots and Honey
Omit artichokes and substitute 1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives for kalamata olives. Add 1 cup chopped dried apricots and 2 TBS honey with olives.

Tips:
1. Soaking chickpeas in salt water the day before cooking them ensures that they cook through evenly and makes them less likely to burst open. Soaking also gives their skins a softer texture.
2. We build flavor by sauteing onions, garlic, and a few spices, and lemon zest. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in strips. avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. The zest perfumes the dish and can be easily removed before serving.
3. Since artichokes are delicate, we stir them in after cooking the chickpeas under pressure. To help bring out their flavor, we brown them first. Frozen artichokes brown more easily than canned because they are less waterlogged.