Appetizer Recipes

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Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe Recipe

Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe

07.16.13 by Jackie

I prepared lobster over the weekend because I wanted to cook something gourmet in honor of Bastille Day (the French equivalent of Independence day, but on July 14th). It's not a traditional thing to serve in France for Bastille Day, but it was a great excuse to make good use of our barbecue grill and cook up some seafood.

The dish is ultra easy. I simply grilled halved lobsters and garnished them with tarragon, chives, garlic and lemon, then drizzled them with truffle oil. It was almost too sinful to eat, but somehow I managed to find the strength!  


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Cauliflower Cold Soup with Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Cold cauliflower soup is a refreshing first course during the hot weather, especially with the heatwave that we've been experiencing these past few days. I blended cauliflower, sweet round rice, ginger garlic paste and crème fraîche with a few spices such as cumin, coriander and turmeric. I served it in bowls (you could also use chilled glasses) topped with grilled shrimp covered with mango and sungold cherry tomatoes.

My husband Lulu is a vegetarian so I simply omitted the shrimp and prepared a separate batch using flavorful homemade vegetable stock. That way Lulu and I were able to share the meal together.


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Paneer Masala Mushroom Appetizers Recipe

Paneer masala is pan-fried paneer cheese simmered in a spicy, creamy sauce. It is amazing with plain basmati rice or hot naan. But instead of serving this dish the traditional way, I used it as a filling for mushrooms. The bold flavor of the curry sauce marries beautifully with the earthiness of the mushrooms; they make the most delicious fusion appetizers.

The idea for these cute appetizers was inspired by my aunt, Ma Mười. She told me the first time she tried Indian food years ago at a restaurant, she was served a lot of little metal tins filled with colorful sauces. After a while, she asked the waiter when her main meal was going to arrive. She thought they were condiments and didn't realize that was her entire meal.

These appetizers showcase the wonderful flavors of Indian cuisine for those who are not really familiar with this culture. I've prepared pizzas, "naaninis" and other fusion dishes with Indian toppings in the past. Indian cuisine is boldly flavored, so pairing it with simple and attractive presentation techniques is a low-risk strategy for producing delicious new dishes.


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Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe Recipe

Smoked Eggplant Tart Recipe

06.05.13 by Jackie

I had one leftover smoked eggplant from the weekend. I used large, heavy, firm eggplants that I brushed with a bit of oil so the oil could absorb the smoky flavor from the hot charcoals. This evening, I peeled the paper-like skin and processed it with sesame chutney (til chutney in Urdu). I fried a shallot, added a little mound of butter, then added ground beef, fresh dill and tomatoes. This preparation made the perfect filling for a savory tart.

If you do not have a grill, you could replicate similar flavors using an Indian cooking method, which was my husband's grandmother's. Simply heat a piece of charcoal, preferably natural charcoal, directly over a flame until it's bright red and transfer it to small metal tin that you place in the center of a saucepan filled with the puréed eggplant. Drizzle a little oil over the hot coal to provide smoke, then immediately cover the saucepan with a lid to trap the smoke and let infuse into the spread.


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Taj Kebab Recipe Recipe

Taj Kebab Recipe

05.23.13 by Jackie

When I was first offered the Haute Potato project a year ago, I was asked to come up with 75 gourmet potato dishes. On that very same day, I probably already had hundreds of recipes lined up in my head. I tried featuring potato dishes from around the world, but as you can imagine, a lot were left out of the final product. So today here's a potato dish that would have been in the "Spicy" chapter.

I learned this dish from Mina, my husband's cousin. It's called "Taj kebab" and if you like meat and potato as much as I do, you will love this one. This potato dish consists of layers of spiced ground beef, sliced potatoes, and thick fresh tomato slices.  The recipe was developed in Agra, just where the Taj Mahal is, and it will transport you to one of the seven wonders of the world!


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