Crispy Castiron Chicken

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , ,


Crispy castiron chicken. Say that 5 times fast!  I hadn’t tried this before but now that I did, I’m probably going to replace all of my fried chicken recipes with this. Probably. The thing is, it is so easy to execute that crispy skin while keeping a really juicy interior. And it’s done in 30-35 mins.  And it isn’t fried which makes it healthier. So yea, no brainer.

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Time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil (or any high heat oil)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Recipe:

  1. Get your castiron nice and hot on high heat. Yes, you need to use a castiron skillet for this process.
  2. Add the safflower oil & give it 1 min to get hot.
  3. Sprinkle salt & pepper on the chicken.
  4. Use tongs to place the chicken skin-side down into the castiron.
  5. Let it brown for 2-3 mins then turn the heat to medium. Leave it about 8 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is cooking on the stove, preheat your oven to 475.
  7. When the oven is preheated & the chicken is finished from the stove, place it into the oven. Leave the chicken skin-side down.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes then take the castiron out and use the tongs to flip each piece over so the skin is on top. It should be nice and golden brown.
  9. Place it back in the oven for another 3-4 minutes. This is just to ensure the other side is cooked through.
  10. Remove & serve! At this time you can sprinkle on that cayenne pepper if you want it to be spicy. 

It is really tasty with a mixture of white vinegar, chili pepper (we used wiri wiri) and a little fresh ginger sprinkled on top. 

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Butter Chicken Masala

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


All I want when it’s cold outside is creamy, hearty, warm meals! I got sick of eating soup variations so I tried a recipe for Butter Chicken. It’s a little spicy, really creamy, packed with flavor, and I can have it with cauliflower rice which has been my new thing. Here’s my take! 

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Time: 30 mins plus time for the chicken to marinate  

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly sliced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chili pepper, I used jalapeño
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, unseasoned
  • 1 cup half & half (can use heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch (optional) 
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)  

Recipe:  

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes, removing any fat or skin, then add it to a large freezer / zip loc bag.
  2. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, fresh ginger and salt. 
  3. Close the bag removing any air, and use your hands outside of the bag to move the chicken around the mixture so it coats evenly. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the bag with as little of the marinade as possible. Put it in a bowl & set it aside.
  5. In a pressure cooker, add the butter, garlic and jalapeno. Let it sauté for a bit so the butter melts & the garlic cooks. 
  6. In a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, salt, tomato sauce and heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pressure cooker and cook for 5 mins. Let it release steam naturally for another 10 minutes before removing the lid. Hint: if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can slow cook the mixture for 4 hours. 
  8. If using cornstarch to thicken the sauce, stir it into one tablespoon of water and add the mixture to the pressure cooker.
  9. Stir to combine.
  10. Garnish with cilantro and serve!
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Spatchcock Chicken

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , ,


Ok so here’s the deal with this one: you can cook a whole chicken, incredibly juicy & tender, in 45 minutes. Whole chicken. On a weeknight. Yep! You’ll even have time for seconds. 

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Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients:  

  • 1 whole chicken, about 6lbs  
  • 2 tablespoons softened (not melted!) butter  
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt  
  • herbs of your choice, I used sage, thyme & rosemary  
  • lemon slices (about 6) 
  • veggies for roasting (optional)  

Recipe: 

  1. Wash the whole chicken, remove the gibblets & pat dry with a paper towel.  
  2. Lay the chicken out on a cutting board so that the backbone is facing up. 
  3. Starting at the tailbone, use kitchen sheers to cut along one side of the backbone first, all the way to the top of the neck. Repeat on the other side.  
  4. Pull out the back bone, you can make an extremely flavorful stock with this! Or just discard. 
  5. Turn the chicken over so the belly side is up.  
  6. Press your palms on the chest of the chicken & press down hard. The chicken should flatten slightly.  
  7. Use the kitchen sheers to cut off the tips of the wings. The wing tips cook faster & will burn if you leave them on. 
  8. Mix the butter with the herbs & salt.  
  9. Lift up the skin and slide your hand in there to make room for the lemon slices. Then, slide in a lemon slice with a little of the seasoned butter under the skin for the breasts and thighs.  Rub any leftover lemon around the skin on the outside of the chicken. Same with any extra butter. 
  10. Use a large cast iron pan (or roasting pan if you don’t have a cast iron).  Lay your chicken in the pan with the belly side up.  Sprinkle with sea salt. 
  11. Place the chicken in a preheated oven at 450 for 30-40 minutes.  Make sure the internal temp of the chicken is at 165 degrees before you eat it!  
  12. If you’re adding in vegetables, keep an eye on the timing. Add them when the chicken has already cooked for 15-20 minutes, depending on what veggies you’re using/how long they take to roast.  
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Dark Chocolate Almond Cups

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , ,


Halloween's got me surrounded by free candy and I am not likin it! Anyone else trying to cut their sugar intake? Welp, we gotta get creative.  I tried making my own Reese's cups since I'm in love with them & I needed a healthier version.  I'm so happy I did! Check it out, let me know what you think?  

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Time: 30 mins 

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cups unsweetened cacao 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar  
  • 1 cup almond or peanut butter  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  

Recipe:  

  1. Melt the coconut oil then mix it with the cacao until its dissolved. 
  2. Add in the agave, sea salt, and vanilla extract. 
  3. Pour about 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.  
  4. Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Microwave the almond butter for 1 min so it melts.  
  6. Pour 1 tablespoon of the almond butter into the cups on top of the chocolate mixture.  
  7. Pour enough of the remaining chocolate mixture over the almond butter to cover it.  
  8. Refrigerate for 15-20 mins until the "Reese's" harden. Enjoy! 

Potato Leek Soup

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , ,


Oh the subtle onion taste of leeks! You never disappoint! I haven't made this soup before but I'm really excited with how it came out. It's super easy and super impressive. Check out my take, below!

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Time: 30 mins 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 leeks, trimmed & cleaned
  • 5 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 tablespoons butter

Recipe:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot 
  2. Wash the leeks thoroughly, removing any sand. Then, chop them into smaller pieces & add them to the pot.
  3. Smash the garlic cloves & add them in with the leeks.
  4. Peel & dice the potatoes into small pieces, add them to the pot.
  5. Add the thyme, salt & bone broth. Stir to combine, then cover the pot. 
  6. Let the soup boil until the potatoes are tender, about 20 mins.
  7. Use an immersion blender to smoothen the soup.  Test for salt, then serve!  
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Vegetable Raclette

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , , ,


What's better than sautéed squash, mushrooms & carrots coated in melted gruyere? Not much. This vegetable raclette is wholesome, filling, and a little spicy. In other words, it's perfection. 

Time:  1 hour 

Ingredients

  • 2 large zuchini  
  • 2 summer squash  
  • 1 pack portobello mushrooms
  • 1 serrano pepper  
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (or diced) 
  • 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese  
  • salt & pepper to taste  
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil  

Recipe

  1. Dice the zuchini & summer squash, roughly chop the mushrooms. 
  2. Slice the serrano pepper & set it aside. 
  3. Sauté the vegetables (including the carrots) in a bit of olive oil so they will cook through. I did mine one by one so that everything cooked evenly & didn't get too soggy. You want them crunchy. 
  4. Pour the cooked vegetables into an oven-safe Pyrex, add the serrano slices & season with salt & pepper. 
  5. Sprinkle the shredded gruyere on top of the vegetables & broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly.   

Enjoy as a main, side, or in tacos!  

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , ,


Homemade ice cream can officially be crossed off my list of fears. Hahah I'm almost kidding! I don't have an ice cream maker so this was pretty intimidating for me. I made this recipe eggless, surprisingly not all ice cream is, so it's great for me on fasting days when I don't eat meat, fish, poultry, or eggs. After trying it, and being excited with what it tasted like, I'm here to tell you that you can put those fears to bed. Get em out of your house alltogether. I'm serious, it was so easy! I want to explore all the flavors now!!  

Here's my Mint Chocolate Chip:

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Time: 6.5 hours  

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cans coconut milk (full fat) 
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk  
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
  • green food coloring (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar (as a sweetener) 
  • dark chocolate chunks  

Recipe:  

  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine the coconut milk & condensed milk.  
  2. Mix in the food coloring, a couple drops at a time until you get the desired green.  
  3. Let the mixture come to a boil then drop in the extracts and turn off the heat.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool completely before mixing in the chocolate chunks. I chopped my chunks smaller so you get a bit of chocolate in every bite.  
  5. Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container & press clear wrap over the top. Then, freeze for at least 6 hours.  

Enjoy with a warm fudge brownie for an extra sweet treat! 

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Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , ,


Fasting for Navratri has never been easier! We had guests this past weekend, my cousins from Orlando [heart emoji] and they love football. So you can imagine the desire for wings & football food. I was determined to make a bunch of snacks that would satisfy the wings cravings but be meatless, eggless, and somewhat healthy. Challenge accepted.  

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Time: 30 mins  

Ingredients:  

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup Franks red hot sauce  
  • 3 tablespoons butter (we used a butter substitute)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour  (can use rice flour for a glutenfree version) 
  • 1/2 cup water  
  • salt & pepper to taste 

Recipe:

  1. In a large basin, mix the flour & water together, seasoning with salt and pepper.  You want it to be a batter, so add more flour or water as needed. 
  2. Dip the raw cauliflower into the batter & place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  
  3. Bake the battered cauliflower on 450 for 10 mins.  
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, mix the hot sauce & butter together.  
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, then liberally brush the buffalo sauce on each one using a pastry brush. 
  6. Place the cauliflower back into the oven for another 20 minutes.  

Enjoy at room temperature, they're not as good when super hot.  These are great with ranch dip! 

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , ,


Who else loves the hearty, creaminess of Spinach & Artichoke dip? Want an eggless version? Look no further!! This recipe will take you 20 mins tops & has 5 simple ingredients.  

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Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup plain unflavored yogurt (can sub sour cream) 
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Recipe:

  1. Strain the spinach in two layers of towels, you want as much moisture out of it as possible. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, cheese, and the spinach. You don't need to add salt because the cheese is salty.  
  3. Pour the mixture into an oven safe bowl & bake on 375 for 15 - 18 minutes.

Sprinkle paprika if you want but it's delicious without it! Enjoy with tortilla chips, pita bread, plantain chips, whatever you like with your dip! 


Calabacitas

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


Here you are, folks! Another Meatless Monday miracle. I first tried calabacitas in Colorado last week, from this awesome restaurant, Kachina. They offer it as a side dish. It's really spicy so adjust the recipe to your taste!  Here's my take.

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Time: 20 mins 

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini 
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 red chilis
  • 1/4 cup corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Romano cheese (or whatever you have on hand that will melt well)
  • 1 whole tomato
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Recipe:

  1. Dice the zucchini, squash, tomatoes & onion.  
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the butter. Chop the chili peppers into little slices.
  3. Then add the onion when the butter is slightly melted.
  4. Sauté the onion for 1 min before adding in the chilis.
  5. Once the onion is slightly golden, add in the corn, tomatoes, squash & zuchini. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  6. Stir to combine then cover the pan, leaving the heat on low. You should check on it & stir every so often so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. 
  7. After about 10 mins, remove the cover & turn off the heat (the squash & zucchini should be cooked but not mushy). 
  8. With the heat off, sprinkle some cheese & stir it in while it melts. This will help offset the spiciness of the chilis & also give the calabacitas a creamy taste. 

Serve as a side dish or in tacos as a veggie filling!

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Fresh Oysters

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , ,


It may be September but summer isn't over yet. Not until the 22nd. So today we hunt for fresh oysters. 

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Did you know Wegman's in East Hanover stocks Kumamoto's? Kind of expensive, $2.25 a piece, but well worth it. However, for 6 of them, we paid the same amount as a dozen Bluepoints from Freeman's!  

 Freeman's Fish Market is in Maplewood, right down the street from where I get acupuncture :) and their seafood is incredible. I make a lot of dishes but this post is dedicated to the non-cooked seafood: oysters.  Head to Freeman's and pick up your dozen, fully shucked, fresh Bluepoints on the half shell for $14.99 a dozen. 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , ,


Soft, chewy, melt in your mouth goodness that are both eggless & glutenfree!! 😱 Yes, we did. Check it out below. 

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Time: 1 hour  

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons sweet cream (salted) or butter. You can use a butter substitute if you want these to be vegan. 
  • 1 tablespoon Lactaid
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce  
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar  
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder  
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips if you want this to be vegan)
  • coarse sea salt (optional) 

Recipe

  1. Melt the butter & apple sauce together in the microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. 
  2. Add in the lactaid & the vanilla extract. Stir in the brown sugar, let it dissolve, and then set the mixture aside. 
  3. Using a food processor, grind the oats into a flour. Pour it in a large bowl.  
  4. Add the corn starch and baking powder, using a spatula to combine. 
  5. Pour in the wet ingredients mixture & stir until incorporated. The dough will be wet, that's what we want.  
  6. Add in the chocolate chips.  
  7. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. This helps your cookies turn out chewy. 
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  9. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or foil wrap & spray with cooking spray.  
  10. Form 2" balls of the dough and press them into flatter cookies, then lay them 3" apart on the cookie sheet. 
  11. Sprinkle with sea salt.  
  12. Bake for ONLY 10 minutes.  They will continue to cook on the cookie sheet as they cool and you don't want them to be too dry.  
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Methi Thepla

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , , , ,


Theplas became one of my favorite Gujarati snacks when I started college & met my BFF. She is Guju & her mom would make her these divine, paper thin, loaded with flavor, incredibly complex tasting snacks. I learned that they are called theplas & they are not so complex to make!  The cooler thing is that they are pretty healthy because of the fenugreek (methi) leaves. Fenugreek is known to help lower blood sugar, so it's great for diabetics. 

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Heres my take, don't be afraid to try it at home!  

Time: 1.5 hours, yields 30 theplas

Ingredients:  

  •  2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup besan (gram flour) 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh methi (fenugreek)  without the stems
  • 2 green chilis, sliced 
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground jeera (cumin)
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander  
  • 1.5 teaspoons haldi (turmeric)
  • ghee or butter for cooking 
  • 1 cup half & half (can use dahi / plain yogurt, or simply water) 
  • water for kneading  

Recipe

  1.  In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients & the methi leaves, mix to combine. 
  2. Add in the half & half slowly, kneading a bit at a time.  
  3. Add in the yogurt & knead until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough.  
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 15 mins.  
  5. Form golf ball sized pieces out of the dough, this mixture should give you about 30.  
  6. Roll out each piece with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle whole wheat flour down first to ensure the dough doesn't stick.  
  7. On a shallow pan or taawa, heat 1 teaspoon of butter or ghee. Use medium-low heat.  
  8. Place the round, flat thepla on the pan or taawa & butter the top side.  
  9. When you see a bunch of bubbles forming, flip the thepla over using tongs or a spatula. Let it brown slightly on the other side. 
  10. Put the cooked thepla in a container lined with paper towel to soak up the excess butter.  

Enjoy with achaar or spiced yogurt & chai!  

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Baked Tofu

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , ,


Tofu is so versatile that it can stop you in your tracks when trying to think of what to do with it. The possibilities are endless! I usually leave it raw & cube it up for a dish. Or grind it down in the food processor to make veggie patties. But I tried baking those cubes this time & I was pleasantly surprised! Here's my Asian spiced baked Tofu, you can go ahead and choose whatever seasonings you like.  

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Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 pack extra firm Tofu
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce  
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper  
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic  

Recipe

  1. Drain the Tofu well before transferring it to a small hand towel.  
  2. Cut it into cubes and place another hand towel over the cubes, press down to drain further. Use a can of vegetables or tomato sauce or something heavy to weigh it down. Leave the can on top of the towel for 10 mins to 30 mins (30 is better if you have the time!). This will help the moisture leave the Tofu.  
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  4. While the Tofu is drying, get a medium mixing bowl & add the other ingredients to it. Stir to combine, allowing the honey to distribute.  
  5. When the Tofu is dry, add a few cubes to the mixture & toss with your hands to coat every side of each cube. Using your hands helps the Tofu to remain in a cube & not break apart like it would with a fork or spoon.
  6. Place the coated Tofu on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper so it doesn't stick to the pan.  
  7. Repeat for all the remaining cubes, then bake for 25-30 mins.  

Enjoy with your favorite noodle or rice dish!  

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Dal Makhani

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , ,


When we visited London a few months ago, this amazing Indian restaurant had black dhal. The restaurant is called Dishoom and it is well worth the trip to London :)!  Anyway black dal one of my hubby's favorite Indian dishes to date & I had to try making it. Very excited with how it came out! Check it out below.

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Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup black dhal 
  • 1/2 cup half & half or cream
  • 3.5 cups water  
  • 1 handful methi leaves (fenugreek) 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced  
  • 1 can tomato purée  
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  • 3-4 cloves freshly chopped garlic  
  • salt to taste  
  • 2-3 wiri wiri peppers (can use regular chili peppers as well) 

Recipe:  

  1. Soak the dal overnight in water.
  2. In a large, deep pan, heat 1.5 tablespoons oil & cumin seeds. Wait about 30 seconds before adding in the diced onion. Add the tablespoon chopped garlic as well.
  3. Add all of the spices  & sauté for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Pour in the tomato purée & the peppers. Let the mixture come to a boil then add in the black dal & the methi leaves. Add in 3 cups of water. Add the cream or half & half. Add salt. 
  5. At this step you can cover it & let it simmer so the dal softens. This will most likely take 2-3 hours depending on how high you set the heat. I kept mine on medium low. Alternatively, you can put all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker for 18-20 minutes! Super quick way to make it. 
  6. Once the dal softens, test for salt, etc. Add spices as needed. 
  7. If you have a gas stove: In a metal (don't use plastic!) ladle, add 1/2 teaspoon oil, the freshly chopped garlic cloves, & another pinch of cumin seeds.  Hold the bottom of the ladle over one of the burners  & allow the garlic to brown. 
  8. Next, carefully move the ladle & submerge it into the dal. When you do this, have the lid for the pan handy so you can use it as a shield as the dal might splatter & it will be hot. This step isn't necessary but it adds a burst of flavor to the dish! 

Enjoy your Dal Makhani with naan, roti, or rice! 

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Tabouleh

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , , ,


Gotta have a fresh side dish (or main!) for your summer outdoor table? Look no further! Tabouleh is light, fresh, refreshing, yet filling at the same time. It bursts of flavor leaving you wanting more & more.  Here's my take, enjoy!

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Time:  10 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls flat leaf parsley
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful spinach  
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 slice red onion  
  • 1 small cucumber
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon  
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil  

Recipe

  1. Carefully remove the stems then roughly chop the mint, parsley & spinach. 
  2. Cut the tomato, cucumber & the slice of red onion into small dices. Add it to the greens. 
  3. Drizzle on the lemon juice & olive oil.  
  4. At this point you can add in couscous or any other grain if you like. Toss to combine, refrigerate for 10-15 mins if you like it chilled.
  5. Enjoy!  

Baked Clams

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


An amazingly fancy appetizer that is sure to impress your guests! Baked clams has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. I remember my mom making them for special occasions / family parties. I'm excited to have my own recipe to share with you all! 

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Time: 1 hour  

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen cherry stone clams (can use little necks) 
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter  
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder  
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley  
  • salt & pepper to taste  
  • 1/2 cup white wine  
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon  

Recipe:  

  1. Scrub the clams under cold water to remove any sand. 
  2. In a large pan, bring the wine to a boil, then add the clams & cover the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer.  
  3. Allow the clams to cook just enough to open up, about 7 minutes.  
  4. Remove the clams from the heat, remove the meat from the shells, and set the shells aside.  
  5. Use a knife to chop the meat into smaller chunks. 
  6. Peheat oven to 450. 
  7. Transfer the meat to a mixing bowl & add in all the other ingredients above. Mix to combine. Tip: use whatever you feel like using to spice this up! I added chopped Jalapeño slices for a little kick.
  8. Fill the half shells with the mixture, then place them on a cookie sheet & bake for 10 mins or until the filling is golden brown. Voila! 
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French Macaron

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , ,


Oh em gee... probably my favorite dessert ever! And I finally built up the confidence to try making it. The process for macarons is tedious because you need to be really precise & careful at every stage or you'll mess them up. But, if you do follow the process correctly, you'll end up being so happy with the results! Here's my take, enjoy!

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Time: 1 hour total for about 25-30 macarons 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour, finely ground  
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar  
  • 3 medium egg whites (or 2 large)
  • food coloring if desired  

Recipe:  

  1.  Combine the powdered sugar & almond flour then sift them together into a bowl. Set the mixture aside.
  2. Mix the egg whites in a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Increase the speed to high then add in the sugar, half at a time. If you are using food coloring, pour that in now. I used 3-4 drops of color for mine. 
  4. Leave the mixer on high until you see stiff peaks start forming. Stop the mixer. 
  5. The wet ingredients are ready when you can take some into a spatula & the batter falls off in the consistency of lava.  
  6. Slowly, half at a time, mix in the dry ingredients. Fold them in slowly, careful not to over mix. After half the mixture is incorporated, add in the second half and do the same folding.  
  7. Once the mixture is combined, you can scoop it into a piping bag.  
  8. Pipe the batter into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, using a macaron template (I got mine on Amazon with a silicon piping bag)  or just average about a quarter size for each round. You want to give them enough room to expand slightly as the batter settles. 
  9. Once all of the rounds are piped out, lift the cookie sheet & drop it down hard, so it bangs on the countertop a few times, turning it on each bang. This will get rid of any excess air bubbles.   
  10. Leave the macarons out for 15-30 minutes until a slight shell appears over them. To test this, gently press your finger on one of them and if no batter comes off onto your finger, they're ready to go!  
  11. Bake on 300 for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are hard but not browned.  
  12. Allow the macarons to cool for 20 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Then, let them cool completely on a cooling rack before filling them. 
  13. For the filling, I made salted caramel, dark chocolate ganache, cream cheese icing, and a pistachio filling made by boiling butter, half & half, ground pistachios, and confectioners sugar.  

 

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Strawberry Basil Crostata

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo


I'm not usually a dessert maker but I really love the combo of strawberries & basil, so I tried a little concoction. It's not too sweet, the crust is buttery & flaky. Really excited to share this one with you all! Enjoy :)

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Time: 1 hour plus time for the crust & jam to cool

Ingredients:

Jam:

  • 10-15 strawberries, ripe 
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Dough:

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.25 sticks cold unsalted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons ice water 

Recipe:

  1. Pour all of the dough ingredients into a food processor except the ice water.
  2. Pulse until a crumby mixture forms, then slowly pour in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Continue to pulse until a dough forms. 
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap & put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 
  4. Use a small pot to make the jam. Cut the strawberries & add them to the pot. Turn the heat on to low & cover the pot.
  5. After about 10 minutes, add in the salt & tear the basil into smaller pieces & add them into the pot as well. Stir continuously to ensure the strawberries don't burn.
  6. The jam should be done after about 20-30 minutes. Just make sure it thickens & and looks like jam! You can add more sugar if your strawberries don't seem sweet enough.
  7. Let the jam cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Once the dough is finished cooking, take it out & put it on a lightly floured surface. I broke off a chunk of it to use on top of the crust but you can use all of it if you want.
  9. Roll the dough out to about 2mm thick.
  10. Transfer it to a tart pan or you can make a more rustic look and leave it on a cookie sheet. 
  11. Pour the jam into the crust & spread to an even layer. If you reserved some dough, rip off chunks & drop them around the crostata. 
  12. Bake on 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  13. Remove the crostata & sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Enjoy!
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