Mango Chile Sauce

I had two mangoes going bad, and thought I should do something with them....I altered a recipe from here.

Puree in a food processor:
2 mangoes, peel removed
1 jalapeno pepper
3-4 dried red chiles

Move that to a saucepan, and add:
1/4 C white onion, chopped/pureed (food processor is great here)
1 TB grated ginger
1/4 to 1/3 C sugar
1/4 C lime or lemon juice
1/4 or slightly less apple cider vinegar
1/2 C water

Bring to a boil and reduce sauce until it is thicker. I'm not sure what I'm going to use it on yet... perhaps shrimp and fried basil leaves, or salmon chunks, or over steamed veggies and rice.

Update! I used it on grilled fish! It was fantastic, really made the meal! I served it with quinoa, and roasted veggies topped in a balsamic reduction sauce (which I learned from Lori!) . Tasty!


Tex Mex Salad & Tomatillo Guac

With ideas from cookbook pictures, I put together a tasty salad!

I cooked some black beans in my pressure cooker, marinated and grilled chicken (Trader Joe's "cuban" style sauce is good), then made my own tomatillo-guacamole, and put it all together with romaine lettuce, red onion slices and tomato chunks. It would be even better with a little corn off the cob, and little chip strips...

Tam's Tomatillo-Guacamole
Through all this in a food processor with the 'ninja star' blade:
1 jalapeno pepper,
seeds included!
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 C cilantro

2 tomatoes

1 TB lemon juice

1/2 tea salt
1 tomatillo

1 jumbo avocado
(you'd probably need 2 of the little ones)


Favorite Cooking Magazine

I've finally subscribed to Cook's Illustrated, and I love it! Previously, I would stock up at the library on old issues... but to have my own copy- よかったですね!

They have great podcasts (FREE), with short videos and recipes, check it out:


You can also subscribe through iTunes :)

Anticipating good weather...

Yeah I know, it snowed today, during Spring Break, and yet I am thinking about summer fruit salads!

I made this recipe last year for a dinner party- total hit! The basic idea is making a reduction sauce (don't worry, not scary like it might sound!), and then dripping it over fruit-- easy right?!!

One caveat: the sauce is pretty flavorful, so don't put it on the fruit, store it in the fridge overnight and think you're going to eat it... bottom line, put the sauce on when serving!

Fruit Salad with Lime-Ginger Sauce
Simmer for a while until it is syrupy, reduced to 1/4 cup (15-20 minutes):
1 C lime juice
1/4 C sugar
1/4 tea salt

Then take off the heat and add:
1 TB lime zest
1 inch or 1 TB ginger, minced (you'll strain this later)
1 TB lemon juice

Steep 1 minute and strain it, pour over fruit:
honeydew melon
(or anything you've got on hand!)

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

With fresh hazelnuts from my grandmother's friend's farm, these are delightful! I started with this recipe, but made my own whole-wheat tweaks. Use a stand mixer, this dough is really stiff and sticky!

Toast 1.5 C hazelnuts in a dry pan, then rub with a cloth to remove skins, and chop coarsley. Set aside. You can toast and chop nuts in advance, just store in the fridge.

Cream in a standing mixer:
1 C butter
2 C sugar

Then add 3 eggs and beat until fluffy. Add 1.5 tea vanilla & 1/2 tea almond extract.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together:
1 C all purpose flour
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tea baking soda
1 tea baking powder
1/2 tea salt
2/3 C cocoa powder

Pour dry ingredients into wet in 3 batches, stirring in between.

Now add the toasted chopped hazelnuts and 1 C chocolate chips.

Refrigerate to chill the dough for 20-30 minutes. If you don't chill it, you end up with super flat large biscotti that aren't very pretty and much harder to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and mound the dough into 3 logs, about 2" wide by 2" tall and however long you can fit on the pan. They will flatten and spread a bit, so allow an inch or two on all sides.

Bake for 35 minutes, let cool. Move to cutting board and cut into 1" slices. Return slices to baking tray, but with one of the cut sides down. Bake for 15 more minutes at 350 F.

Serve with coffee or tea, or just dunk in milk.

Store in an airtight container, or freeze. These are extra good straight out of the fridge- even better than room temperature, I think.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • v

    Milk Tea Cupcakes with Vanilla-Rose Frosting

    My imagination actually worked today, these were amazing!! I took an old "silver white cake" recipe, and simmered jasmine tea leaves in the milk for it! Thanks Lori for putting it all together and taking amazing photos!
    Blend 30 seconds on low speed, scraping down the bowl, then beat on high for 2 minutes.
    2.25 C cake flour
    1.25 - 1.5 C sugar
    3.5 tea baking powder
    1 tea salt
    1/2 C shortening
    1 C milk, simmered in 1-2 TB black tea (darjeeling, black, jasmine)
    1 tea or more vanilla

    Add and beat 2 minutes at high speed:
    4 egg whites

    Pour into a cupcake pan with liners and bake in 350 F degree oven for 20 minutes (cupcakes), or 30-40 minutes for in a big pan.

    Beat in standing mixer until loose:
    8 oz cream cheese or neufatel (sp?)
    Then add & beat until all the clumps are gone:
    5 TB butter, partly melted
    1 TB milk
    1/4 tea vanilla extract
    3/4 tea rose water

    Add and stir until proper consistency for spreading:
    1 C powdered sugar (or more, but I don't like it too sweet)


    New Yellow (?) Shrimp Curry

    I tried this last night from a favorite curry book, but it didn't look a thing like the picture! Luckily it tasted amazing-- we gulped it down in 5 minutes! The flavors are perfectly balanced, you will have to experiment with the jalapeno to get the right spiciness, you could sub serrano peppers if you are adventurous. It tastes mostly like a yellow curry to me, especially because of the high quality coconut milk I used (I recommend A Taste of Thai's "Coconut Milk- Unsweetened/first pressing", it's got a nice layer of coconut cream on the top and makes a great coconut pudding...)

    It took about an hour to make, but that is probably because it was my first time making it. I would suggest doing the prep earlier in the day (measuring all the spices etc.), then it will come together quicker. Serve on basmati rice.

    Measure & prep:
    a. ½ tea mustard seeds; 10 curry leaves
    b. slice 1 onion (the food processor’s slicer disk is perfect), or cut up into smaller pieces if you want smoother texture
    c. 1 TB grated ginger, 3 or more garlic cloves chopped, 1-3 jalapeno peppers chopped
    d. 1-2 whole dried red chile sliced, 1 tea red chile powder, ½ tea turmeric, ½ tea coriander powder, ½ tea cumin, 2 TB water
    e. chop 2 tomatoes (or use slicing disk)
    f. Mix tamarind concentrate (1/4 tea – ½ tea) or 1 TB tamarind pulp with ½ cup water. If you are using pulp, then strain it before using (stringy curry is gross ok?)
    g. Peel 1 lb shrimp

    1. Heat 3 TB oil and add mustard seeds, they will pop and spatter (be careful!). Then add the 10 curry leaves, stir. Then add onions, sauté until golden (took me 10 minutes maybe on electric stove)
    2. Add “c” from above (ginger, garlic, jalapeno), stir, let cook 2 minutes
    3. Add “d” above (red chile, turmeric, coriander, cumin, water), stir and cook 2 minutes
    4. Add tomatoes (e), ½ cup water, and tamarind (f), simmer 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes are squishy.
    5. Add 1 can coconut milk (get the good stuff, not “lite” crap), and ½ tea salt; stir.
    6. Add the peeled shrimp (g), cook gently, 2-5 minutes until shrimp is pink.
    7. Optional garnish: You can add melted butter/sliced shallot/curry leaves mixture to the curry and let sink in for a minute, then serve.

    Home-made Chai Tea

    This is amazing! No more "chai tea" bags for me!

    Bring to boil in medium-large saucepan (must hold 4 cups):
    4-6 Cups water
    cinnamon stick
    1 TB minced ginger
    4 cloves, whole
    cardamom (I used about 1/4 tea of the seeds since I didn't have whole pods)
    1/4 tea black peppercorns, crushed (with a spoon or something)
    1/2 tea nutmeg, ground
    optional: 2 allspice berries

    Cover, reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes

    Add and bring to a simmer:
    2 cups rice milk (or you can use cow-milk...)
    4 TB sugar or less

    Then add 2 TB black tea (Lipton "yellow label tea" is my favorite), cover, turn off heat, let steep for 2 minutes (or less if you have really strong tea).

    Strain and enjoy!