Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 37: Along the Silk Road

As readers may have guessed, I like to experiment with different cuisines from around the world. Lately, I've been really craving Indian food, which I ordered last night (I was going to order Chicken Dhansak which is a Persian-style spicy stew with lentils and spinach, but I ordered Chicken Sabzi, which I thought was going to be a spicy chicken stew with mixed vegetables, but I guess the restaurant's idea of vegetables was mostly potatoes with a little bit of broccoli and carrots...not what I was expecting although potatoes are a root vegetable, they're not the healthy green variety I was hoping for--I would've substituted more broccoli for the potatoes). Later this morning, I had leftover condiments from the restaurant, so I used them to prepare my Indian brunch. Tonight I think I will travel to the Middle Eastern section of the Silk Road and make a combination of a crab cake and falafel. We'll see how it turns out and please don't hate me for messing with a traditional falafel recipe, because messing around with tradition is part of the reason why I love cooking. wink!

Indian Poached Eggs in a Lentil-Chickpea Stew with Swiss Chard and Garlic
Makes about 3 servings

Leftover Indian Condiments From The Restaurant (I provided some links if you want to make them yourself):
1 tbsp dhaniya chutney (this is a spicy cilantro, green chili sauce)
1 c. gunpowder chutney (this does not contain actual gunpowder for those of you who are wondering--it's a lentil-garlic chutney and is delicious)
2 tbsp sweet tamarind chutney (I'd substitute with agave nectar or stevia for a healthier alternative)
2 tbsp onion chutney

Indian Spice Mix:
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp sage
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp seafood seasoning (La Flor brand)

3-4 large eggs
4 bunches white Swiss chard
4 bunches of red Swiss chard
1/3 c. canned chickpeas
1 tbsp minced garlic
3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
black pepper to taste

1) Spray a large skillet with Pam olive oil and heat up to a medium heat level.
2) Pour in Indian condiments with the chicken broth, almond milk and minced garlic and stir for a few minutes until it starts to boil slightly.
3) Add swiss chards and chickpeas, stir them around, saturating them with the soup and turn down the heat to a medium-low setting to let the stew simmer for about five minutes.
4) When the greens look wilted, crack the eggs into the skillet, turning up the heat to a high heat setting.
5) Cover the skillet with a lid and poach the eggs for a 2-3 minutes until they're white on top.
6) Turn off heat and ladle some stew with 1 or 2 eggs into some bowls.
7) Shake some black pepper on top for a garnish, break apart the egg, letting the yolk run out into the stew and serve immediately! (*Note: If you accidentally cook the yolk, just mash the eggs up into the stew for another 'non-poached' egg dish.)

Enjoy, Bon Appetit and आप का खाना स्वादिष्ट हो (that's Hindi

Falafel Crab Cakes with Creamy Dill Sauce
Makes 4-5 cakes

1- 6 oz. can crab meat (I used Bumble Bee Premium Select Fancy White Crab Meat)
12 frozen shelled raw shrimp
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 c. garbanzo bean flour
1 tbsp seafood seasoning (La Flor)

3 tbsp EVOO (olive oil)

2-3 c. chopped Romaine hearts (lettuce)

Creamy Dill Sauce
Makes 1 cup of sauce

1/2 c. Tofutti sour cream
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1-2 tbsp light mayonnaise
2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried parsley or chopped cilantro
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice

1) Heat shrimp up in microwave on high for 3 minutes.
2) Shred shrimp with a knife and set aside in a medium bowl.
3) Add crab meat as well as the minced garlic and mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise to bind it together if necessary.
4) In a small bowl, mix together garbanzo bean flour with the seafood seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
5) Form balls about half the size of your fist with your hands and roll the crab cake in the garbanzo bean flour, until it's covered in flour.
6) Heat up EVOO on high heat in a large skillet and place crab cakes in the skillet, pressing them down slightly with a spatula to flatten them a little.
7) Cook crab cakes on each side for about 3-5 minutes, or until they're browned on each side.
8) Whisk together sauce ingredients in another small bowl and set aside.
9) Once all the crab cakes are done, let them cool on a plate covered with a paper towel or napkins.
10) Rinse and chop romaine hearts and arrange on plates.
11) Place the crab falafel on the lettuce and spoon some of the creamy dill sauce on top. Serve immediately!

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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