Cranberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients:
1 TBS butter
3/2 c almonds, blanched and slivered
1 lb spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 c dried cranberries
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
1 TBS poppy seeds
1/2 c white sugar
2 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c vegetable oil

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

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Almond Sauce Chicken Breast

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 c water
2 c finely chopped almonds
1/4 c butter
3 TBS olive oil
1 lb fresh mushrooms
1 onion, sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c almond paste
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Directions:
1. Pound chicken breasts to flatten; Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, beat together egg and water to make egg wash. Place almond crumbs in a shallow dish or bowl; dip chicken in egg wash, then dredge in almonds.
2. Melt butter with olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Brown coated chicken quickly, then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4. In same skillet, brown the mushrooms and onions with the garlic. Mix together and spread mixture over the chicken.
5. In same skillet, combine the cream and almond paste and mix together; heat through, then stir in nutmeg. Pour sauce over chicken, mushrooms, and onions.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

Butter Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons neutral oil, like vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium-size tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red chiles, like Anaheim, or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • cup chicken stock, low-sodium or homemade
  • 1 ½ cups cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds, or finely chopped almonds
  • ½ bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin in a large bowl. Put the chicken in, and coat with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate (for up to a day).
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, and cook until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chiles and salt, and cook until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add the almonds, cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with the cilantro leaves.

Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 c sliced almonds
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 2/3 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 c confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
1. Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add the butter and process until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse. Add flour and salt. Pulse to create dough. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 15 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
3. Cut the chilled dough into 1/2 inch pieces and roll by hand into balls. Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheets and bake until slightly golden, rotating the sheets once, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Briefly cool the cookies on a rack, then gently toss in the confectioner’s sugar until evenly coated.

Cake Yazdi

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Ingredients:
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 1/4 c white sugar
1 1/2 c melted butter
1 c plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp rosewater
1/2 c blanched slivered almonds
1 1/2 TBSP chopped pistachios

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Grease the cups of a cupcake/muffin pan. You will need 24.
2. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and set on top of a pan of simmering water. Beat constantly with a whisk or electric mixer until thick and pale, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue to beat until cooled, about 10 minutes. Mix in the butter, yogurt, cardamom and rosewater. Stir in the flour mixture by hand and fold in the slivered almonds. Spoon into the prepared cupcake molds, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios over the tops.
3. Bake until firm to the touch and golden brown. About 25 – 30 minutes.

Bastilla (Moroccan Chicken Pie)

Ingredients:
For the almond sugar:
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted and cooled
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
2 tablespoons hot water
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds chicken parts (about 1 whole breast, 2 thighs, and 2 legs)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
18 sheets (about 1 1/2 packages) phyllo (preferably Number 4 ultra-thin)
confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons ras el hanout
For the ras el hanout: (moroccan spice blend)
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
8 whole allspice berries
seeds from 8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
15 whole black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cuminseed
a pinch dried red pepper flakes
a pinch ground mace
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Directions:
To make the almond sugar:
In a food processor grind fine almonds, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Almond sugar may be made 1 day ahead and kept covered in a cool dark place.

To make the filling:
In a small bowl combine saffron with hot water and let stand 10 minutes.

In a heavy 4-quart kettle sauté onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add ginger, ras el hanout, and pepper. Cook mixture, stirring, 3 minutes.

Add chicken parts, broth, and saffron mixture and simmer, covered, turning the chicken once, until chicken is very tender and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Let chicken stand in cooking liquid off heat 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, reserving cooking liquid and solids, and, when cool enough to handle, shred chicken, discarding skin and bones.

Measure reserved cooking liquid and solids and if necessary boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 3/4 cups. Reduce heat to moderate and add eggs in a stream, whisking. Cook mixture, stirring, until eggs are set, about 3 minutes. Remove kettle from heat and pour egg mixture into a coarse sieve set over a bowl. Let mixture drain undisturbed 10 minutes before discarding liquid. Transfer egg mixture to a bowl. Stir in chicken, parsley, coriander, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and chill. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and kept chilled, covered.

Preheat oven to 425°F. and butter 2 large shallow baking pans.

In a small saucepan melt remaining 9 tablespoons butter and keep warm but not hot.

Cut phyllo sheets in half lengthwise and stack between 2 sheets wax paper. Cover wax paper sheets with a kitchen towel. On a work surface arrange a half sheet of phyllo with short side facing you and brush with melted butter. On this, layer and brush 3 more half sheets of phyllo in the same manner.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon almond sugar on short side of phyllo nearest you to cover about 2 1/2-by 4-inch area, leaving a 1-inch border on 3 edges. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture over almond sugar and spread out slightly. Top chicken mixture with 1 more tablespoon almond sugar and roll up filling in phyllo, folding in sides after first roll. Transfer b’stilla immediately.

Form 8 more b’stillas in the same manner with remaining phyllo, butter, almond sugar, and chicken mixture, chilling each b’stilla as it is made. B’stillas may be prepared up to this point 4 hours ahead and kept chilled, covered lightly with plastic wrap once cold.

Bake chilled b’stillas in oven until tops and ends are puffed and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool b’stillas slightly on a rack. Sprinkle b’stillas with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and serve warm.

To make the ras el hanout:
In a spice grinder or cleaned coffee grinder grind fine aniseed, fennel seeds, allspice berries, cardamom seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cuminseed, and red pepper flakes, In a small bowl stir together ground spice mixture, mace, ginger, and nutmeg until combine well. Ras el hanout may be stored in a tightly closed jar in a cool dark place up to 6 months. Makes about 1/4 cup.