Appetizers Recipes

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Polenta Medallions with Turkey Recipe

Polenta Medallions with Turkey

06.19.13 by Jackie

Here's a gluten-free dish that won't leave you missing bread or pasta. I pan-fried pre-cooked basil and herb polenta medallions, then topped them with caramelized onions, turkey, eggplant and a small piece of goat cheese. I tied the dish together with tomato consommé and crunchy, coarsely chopped pistachios and 

Ground turkey can taste a little bland so I upped the flavors with Mesquite seasoning, oregano, tomato paste, dry white wine and eggplant. I turned the eggplant into a garlicky sauce and cooked the browned turkey bits. The result is a hearty and rustic turkey ragu. To balance the spices from the turkey, I paired it with a tomato consommé. It provided a nice contrast in flavor, texture and color, but you could always add a drizzle of lime juice instead, if you prefer.


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Grilled Zucchini with Chimichurri Recipe

You've probably noticed that recently I’ve published more zucchini recipes than usual. The reason is that we have so much zucchini in our garden that's begging to be harvested.

My favorite method by far for preparing zucchini is grilling. Since zucchini tends to be a little bland, in this recipe I flavored them with chimichurri sauce. This sauce consists of a combination of Italian parsley, pickled garlic, Champagne pear vinegar, lemon, lemon thyme, coriander and extra-virgin olive oil. I also topped the zucchini with a little queso fresco before serving.


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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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