This refreshing gazpacho--made with apples, grapes, almonds and cucumber--is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
1 cup stale, crustless 1/2-inch white country bread cubes
1 cup white grape juice
1 1/4 cups blanched sliced almonds
1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 cup buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper
Shredded mint leaves, for garnish
1 large cucumber
2 cups plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Pita wedges, for serving
Slice the cucumber in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, then grate it onto paper towels. Squeeze the cucumber in the paper towels to remove the excess moisture, then set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, cumin, coriander, cayenne, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the cucumber and stir to combine, then stir in the mint. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you desire.
Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to combine. Serve as a dip with pita wedges.
Dairy-Free Panna Cotta with Poached Rhubarb
You’d never believe this silky smooth panna cotta is dairy-free, it’s so delicious. Coconut milk makes this with poached rhubarb very creamy, with just a hint of coconut flavour. When rhubarb is in season it makes a lovely topping to this dessert but poached plums or mixed summer berries are equally as good when in season. Panna cotta is set with gelatine so you need to make it at least 3 hours before you want to serve it, or the day before, to allow plenty of setting time.
6 sheets of leaf gelatine
2 ea. 400ml cans coconut milk
50g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
For the poached rhubarb:
500g rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
25g caster sugar
If serving this dessert to vegetarians change the gelatine to a vegetarian alternative such as agar agar. It’s used in a slightly different way to gelatine so follow the packet instructions.
Soak the sheets of gelatine in a small shallow bowl of cold water for 5 mins to soften.
While the gelatine is soaking, heat 1 can of coconut milk in a pan with the sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the softened gelatine in your hand to remove excess water, add to the hot coconut milk and stir until dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and the remaining can of coconut milk and stir until evenly mixed. Divide between six glasses or bowls and chill in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight until set.
For the poached rhubarb, place the rhubarb in a shallow pan with 3tbsp water. Sprinkle over the sugar, cover and cook gently for about 5 mins until the rhubarb is tender. Allow to cool. Just before serving spoon the rhubarb and juices over the panna cotta.
Saag Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
12 ounces paneer, (Indian cheese, either store-bought or made from my recipe, recipe follows), cut into 1-inch cubes, see Cook's Note*
1 (16-ounce package) frozen chopped spinac
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green serrano chili, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don't like it spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon store-bought or homemade garam masala, recipe follows
2 teaspoons ground
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup plain yoghurt, stirred until smooth
In a large bowl, whiskt ogether the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons oil. Gently, drop in the cubes of paneer and gently toss, taking care not to break the cubes if you're using the homemade kind. Let the cubes marinate while you get the rest of your ingredients together and prepped.
Thaw the spinach in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, 5 minutes on high, then puree in a food processor until smooth. Alternatively, you can chop it up very finely with your knife.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the paneer as the pan warms. In a couple of minutes give the pan a toss; each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. Fry another minute or so, and then remove the paneer from the pan onto a plate.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chile. Now here's the important part: saute the mixture until it's evenly toffee-coloured, which should take about 15 minutes. Don't skip this step - this is the foundation of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin. If you haven't already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off.
Turn the heat off. Add the yogurt, a little at a time to keep it from curdling. Once the yogurt is well mixed into the spinach, add the paneer. Turn the heat back on, cover and cook until everything is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve.
1 + 1/2 ENVELOPES unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 Tbs)
2 tablespoons cold WATER
2 cups HEAVY cream
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla EXTRACT
1 tsp vanilla bean gel
In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and REMOVE pan from heat.
In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half, coconut milk and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. REMOVE pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla and vanilla bean gel.
Divide cream mixture among eight 1/2-cup ramekins and cool to room temperature. With Coconut Spray, SPRAY & Chill ramekins, or inside Popover Pan until covered very grenerously, at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve:
Dip ramekins, or Bottom of Popover Pan - 1 AT A TIME, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.
Garnish with Fruit Compote, I used Passionfruit, Fruit Salsa, Coulis, Mint sprigs, or whatever
Filet Mignon Green
1 3/4 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
3 tablespoons butter
4 6- to 8-ounce filet mignon steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
2 tablespoons drained green peppercorns in brine
Boil stock in small saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plate (do not clean skillet).
Add chopped shallots to same skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add reduced beef stock, 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons Cognac and green peppercorns. Boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Season sauce to taste with pepper. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve.