Israeli Couscous and Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gelee Recipe

I think Israeli couscous and lentils are a great combination. Lentils are often eaten with rice, and couscous is really just a grain shaped semolina pasta, so it's a perfect replacement.  

I added a roasted red bell pepper gelée for texture and flavor. It is basically a red bell pepper and walnut caviar, un caviar de poivrons aux noix in French, that I mixed with a little agar so it would hold its shape when I stack the layer of lentils, bell pepper and israeli couscous in a circle cutter for a nice appealing presentation.


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Kaju Pista Rolls (Indian Cashew and Pistachio Sweets) Recipe

Kaju pista rolls are Indian sweets that are very similar to marzipan. It's almost like edible Play-Doh. Kaju and pista respectfully means cashew nuts and pistachio in Hindi. I guess there is a similarity with French, we called cashews, noix de cajou. I'm just thinking out loud.

Anyways, these cylinderical shaped mithai (Hindi for sweets) look very playful and are absolutely delicious. I find many Indian desserts too sweet for my palate, but these treats are just perfect.  I can never eat just one, and if you make this recipe, you won't be able to either.


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Tarragon Sweet Potato Roast Bell Pepper Soup Recipe

I recently posted the garlic parmesan bread. Per Anna's request, this is the recipe of the tarragon sweet potato roast bell pepper. It's a very soothing soup, especially when you are as sick as I am today. It's my version of comfort food.  But don't wait until the next time you have a cold.  It's super easy to make, so try it out tonight!

I roasted the sweet potatoes to bring out their natural sweetness. And of course, I added some heavy cream to give it a richer mouth feel. It's always nice to infuse a strong herb into a soup, and I chose tarragon for its peppery and sweet liquorice flavor. I have a ton in my garden; it's an easy to grow perennial, and if you're looking for something to add to you herb garden, tarragon is a great choice.


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Pan-Seared Korean Beef Short Ribs with a Maple Glaze (Maple Syrup Kalbi Marinade) Recipe

My cousin took me to a Korean Buffet a few months ago and I just got hooked on Korean beef short ribs ever since. The meat is very tender and delicious. This dish is meant to be eaten with your fingers. If you try and eat these with a fork and knife, you'll never get all the goodness and flavor out of the meat near then tendons and bones.

The key to making good Korean short ribs is to maintain a balance of sweet and savory flavors. I picked maple syrup and soy sauce for the sweet and savory agents in this dish. 


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Stir-Fry Pea Shoot Tendrils in Garlic and Black Bean Sauce (Rau Muong Xao) Recipe

Rau muống xào tỏi, literally fresh stir-fry pea shoot tendrils in Vietnamese is my favorite Asian vegetable. It is a staple that can be found on almost every dinner table in Vietnam. This is mostly because it is very easy to grow and very cheap in Vietnam.

In America, pea shoot tendrils can be quite expensive. I always find it interesting that foods that are considered working-class fare in their country of origin can be so expensive in other place. Maybe it's because they are not grown in great abundance here or maybe it's because immigrants crave the foods of their childhood and are willing to pay more for the memories.

In terms of preparation, pea shoots couldn't be easier. Just stir-fry the vegetables very quickly over high heat. Blend in some garlic and black bean sauce and you're set.


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