Now that A Recipe a Day for Seven days is over, what’s next for us here at Kitchen Shaman?
Starting September 1st, on Mondays I will be posting articles on Food Knowledge and History. There is information out there about where food comes from, how it traveled and entered world cuisine. My goal is to take the information that is scattered, and exists in thick texts, condense it, and post it here. It’s not easy to absorb 7,000 years of human culinary adventures. I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you.
Wednesdays will be Recipe Wednesdays. You can count on something delicious and yummy from the Kitchen Shaman on these days.
Fridays I’ll post a column called Perspectives. This will be about my culinary journey in becoming a chef, and my thoughts and expressions about food, cooking and the culinary industry that I work in.
If you have questions about food, want to know something in particular, or would like to see a recipe, or read a certain story about Kitchen Shaman, please send us your questions using the Contact form. I’ll be happy to find the information, come up with a recipe, and write a story about my growth as a chef. I can also answer questions about equipment, kitchen gadgets, and processing machines that can be the most useful in a kitchen.
And at any time please feel free to contact me with any questions.
This is the recipe for the video Apple-Poblano chutney. Use it as a condiment on tofu or quinoa recipes. It goes really well with a variety of Sonoran and Southwestern dish. Take it to potlucks and people will rave over how good it is just by itself. Don’t be surprised about how fast it disappears.
Heat up a large skillet, and add the margarine. Let it melt. Add the cumin seeds, and wait until you hear them crack. Add the onions, and saute for a few seconds, add the poblano chilis, and stir into the onions. Let this cook down for 4 or 5 minutes. Then add the apples. Stir, let cook for 15-20 minutes. Add cayenne, salt and lemon juice just at the end of the cooking stage.
These Tofu Bites are a great make-a-head snack for the family. They last up to a week, and puts a smile on everyone’s face. They are delicious in salads, stir fry, and even Pasta sauce if you are willing to be that bold. Send the kids to school with them, they’ll ask for more because they shared with their friends.
Remember, the spice mix is a suggestion. Experiment and come up with your own. You can also use different citrus juices. I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet pineapple juice would be excellent.
Toast the seed spices individually. Combine them and grind, either in a spice grinder, or pound to a pulp in a mortar and pestle. Put in an airtight container. You can store the Garam Masala for a few months on the shelf.
After pressing the tofu, cut it into cubes.
In a bowl, add orange juice, olive oil, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and pomegranate powder. Mix thoroughly, then add the tofu. Set aside to marinate overnight. (the frying process in this recipe will help the flavors come out faster, but you can’t always rely on this trick).
Fill a deep skillet with oil to a quarter inch depth. I use a stove-top wok. Heat the oil, and carefully add the tofu into the oil. Cook until tofu bites start to get nice and brown. When done, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Once cooled, serve as a snack, or as a meal.
What I love about Tofu Scramble is it’s versatility. This is by no means the be all and end all recipe for this dish. Experiment with the base, and come up with different vegetables and spices to put in it. I like jalapenos and chili powder, so it goes into the one I make here at home, but you can add any thing, really, that you want to, it all depends on your palette.
The important things are the turmeric for coloring and some kind of aromatic vegetable base. That’s what gives the tofu its flavor.
Drain tofu into a colander, let drain for 15-20 minutes.
In the mean time prepare the vegetables for sauté.
Heat up a skillet, add oil when skillet is hot. Add vegetables (except for spinach) when the oil starts to sizzle. Sauté until tender. Add Tofu and spices, sauté. Turn down heat and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Check periodically and stir.
Flip tofu scramble and add spinach. Sauté until tofu takes on scrambled egg consistency.
I’ve been making these Cutlets for several years now. You can use just about any marinade that you want, but in the process I discovered that the Orange Cumin Marinade is the best for these juicy and delightful cutlets. My family loves them even just to snack on.
It’s great to get everyone out gathered by the grill, swimming, and anticipating this dinner.
Heat up orange juice in a sauce pan, and reduce by half. This will intensify the orange flavor and bring out the sweetness in the juice. Cool before blending.
Place onion, cumin, and rice wine vinegar in a blender, with a few drops of water and puree. Add in the cooled orange juice. Slowly, a few drops at a time add the Olive oil. Once the dressing begins to emulsify, you can start a steady stream until all the oil is blended.
To prepare tofu cutlets:
Cut in half, wrap in paper towel, and place heavy objects on the tofu to press the water out.
Once pressed, place tofu into a container, add marinade, dress tofu thoroughly, let marinate overnight, if not, give the tofu at least 2-4 hours to absorb the flavors of the marinade.
When the tofu is ready, fire up a grill and oil it down. Get it nice and hot. Place the cutlets on the grill, it will take a few minutes for each side, turn the tofu to make diamond marks if you are feeling creative. The act of grilling will lock the juices of the marinade into the tofu. Remember to baste the tofu with the remaining marinade while it's cooking.
Serve with grilled veggies, or even a snappy salad.
I love creating salads in the summertime, especially salads that have the ability to refresh you and cool you down.
Jicama is a Sonoran Desert root that is fiber and water. It absorbs the flavors of almost anything else. It also adds a great crunch to otherwise squishy ingredients like papaya.
I went to the Market the other day, and they had just brought in fresh Hawaiian Papayas. I knew I had to bite. I thought I was just going to eat one by itself, but no…no treat for me. I was having a culinary experience in the kitchen, and in that exact creative moment, this salad was born.
1 tsp of your favorite chili powder (can be hot or mild, you decide)
Juice of several fresh limes. If you can't find fresh, find the lime juice in the refrigerator section that says fresh (not from concentrate).
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Cilantro for garnish
Julienne all the ingredients, except for ginger. You can use a Japanese mandolin, also called a Benriner. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Chill for several hours before serving.
Take this salad to your favorite BBQ gathering, they'll beg you for more.
I love coleslaw, and there are so many different ways to make it, though the dressing aspect remains the same, vinegar, a little sugar, and, in the modern version, mayonnaise. Reportedly the Romans ate it with eggs added to it, whether cooked or uncooked, it doesn’t say. (Source: The Food Timeline click on “Coleslaw”).
I’ve chosen to include Veganaise in this recipe. Though it adds a bit more fat, this vegan version of mayonnaise includes apple cider vinegar, giving the Slaw a bit of a punch.
I’ve been on a culinary quest to make good food even better. Of course starting out with quality ingredients is a key element in cooking. But what can make your food even better then what it is? Technique. In this recipe I sweat the peppers, onion, and garlic before adding them to the quinoa. The trick is then to add salt to the vegetables that are sweating. This brings out more of the natural flavor in the vegetables.
Quinoa is considered a super-food. Extremely high in protein, 0% fat, and easy to cook and season. If you haven’t been introduced to this little seed, commonly classified under grains, give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how versatile it is.
And of course, because I live in the Southwest, and learned to cook here, I’ve got to put my Sonoran spin on these tasty little treats.
2-3 jalapenos, diced (less if you want mild, more if you like the heat)
3-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp coriander, ground
2 tsp lime juice
3-4 tbsp Besan Flour (chickpea/garbonzo bean flour), for gluten-free version
2-3 tbsp all purpose flour for non-gluten free version
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Heat up a skillet, and add safflower oil. When the oil is hot, add the peppers, onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Sweat until they are translucent. Cool them down and add to the prepared Quinoa. Add all the spices, lime juice, flour, black beans, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Lay out a sheet tray or cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Make patties approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and place on cookie sheet. Put in the freezer to set them up. This prevents the cakes from falling apart during the cooking process.
Heat up a heavy bottomed skillet. Add the cooking oil. Fry patties on both sides to a golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Ginger-Lime Jicama salad, and fresh fruit.
Serve these to your family, they’ll fall in love with you all over again.
Here’s a sauce that took me some time to create. There was a time that I was afraid of coconut milk. As a Fearless Chef, I must face these ingredients, and let them teach me what they want to become. I used the spices I love to create food that I love.
This sauce has a tendency to thicken as it cools in the refrigerator (that is if you have any leftover). I use just a little vegetable broth to thin it out when I’m reheating it.
Curry leaves can be a hard ingredient to find. If you have a Farmers Market or Asian Grocers in your area, look there. If not, you can order them online. I buy mine fresh, and then dry them out on a sheet pan for a few days.
Heat a skillet and add the oil. When the oil is hot drop in the curry leaves and chipolte. Saute for a few seconds so the oil is infused with the spices.
Add coconut milk. Stir well so the oil and the milk are blended. Add all the other spices except for Mango. Cook for 8-10 minutes until all the flavors infuse into the coconut milk. Add mango powder, stir for a minute longer. Remove from heat.
Serve with any curry dish of your liking. It goes particularly well with Aloo Gobi and Rice.
How to Prepare Spices:
Method 1: Using whole spices, toast on a low heat in a skillet for 4-5 minutes. Don’t let the spices burn. Grind in a spice grinder or a mortar & pestle. (I like hand grinding my spices, gets a bit of anger out). Sift the spices to separate out the chunks. Use the Garam Masala at your discretion.
Method 2: Add whole or ground spices to the cooking oil. If using whole, I recommend straining the oil first through a metal mesh strainer. If using powdered, be careful not to burn the spices in the oil.
Here at the Kitchen Shaman I am dedicated to bringing you recipes that I have created, and tested on Family and Friends. If made properly, they will ensure good food at your table for a very long time. With that in mind I am posting a recipe a day through the first week of August, and since I started out late, I will post recipes through August 10.
So come back every day to see what’s cooking with the Kitchen Shaman.