thai and vietnamese inspired coffee granita

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita
thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

Labor day might officially mark the end of summer but I really don't want to give two hoots about the start of fall yet. It always seems too soon, especially when you love one season more than the others. It also really doesn't help that some of the television channels are running Christmas movies right now (what happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving?). Thankfully, the warm weather and I are on the same wavelength with neither of us wanting summer to leave, I know summer will put up a decent fight. So until autumn boots summer away, I'm going to happily chill out with these coffee granitas and think about all things . 

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

I love Thai and Vietnamese iced coffees, each of them unique in their own special ways, one flavored with spices such as green cardamom while the other, sweetened with condensed milk. You can't go wrong with either of them, at least that's what I think. Since, it's hard for me to pick a favorite, I decided that the best thing to do, would be to create a granita, that represented the personalities of both of drinks. Double the inspiration and double the dose of flavor as the name suggests! 

Since this is a double granita, let's start with the first one, the coffee! I recommend using a chicory type of coffee but if you have a personal favorite, feel free to try that out in this recipe. The coffee granita is mixed with a sugar syrup infused with freshly crushed green cardamom pods that makes this simply amazing! The second granita is a little different, instead of using condensed milk, I decided to use sweetened coconut milk that is infused with vanilla, I find that it freezes well and tastes great. Condensed milk would give a more ice cream like texture that I didn't want for this dessert.

This coffee granita is going to be my buddy this weekend while I enjoy the long holiday. Have a great weekend!

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita
thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

thai & vietnamese inspired coffee granita

yields: 6 servings

ingredients

6 green cardamom pods

1 cup water

2 cups brown sugar 

3 cups of double strength (brewed) coffee (preferably chicory, I used Community Coffee but Cafe du Monde is good too)

4 cups full-fat coconut milk

1  vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract)

1. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the green cardamom pods to release the seeds and crush the seeds. Add the crushed cardamom (the green shell with the crushed seeds) to a medium sized saucepan with the water and 1 cup of the sugar. Bring the contents to a boil on a medium-high flame. Once it begins to boil, remove and stir in the coffee. Remove from stove and keep aside. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the coconut milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Using a sharp knife slit the vanilla bean across its length. Scrape the seeds and add the seeds and the bean to the coconut milk. Heat the mixture over a medium-low flame for about 10 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and the milk just begins to boil. Remove from stove and allow to cool temperature. (If you're using vanilla extract, then add the extract after the liquid is removed from the stove).

3. Once the coffee mixture is completely cooled, stir and pass it through a tea strainer to get rid of the cardamom. Pour the liquid into a flat pan that is freezer-proof (I used a cake pan). Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. 

4. If you used a vanilla bean in the coconut milk, remove the bean and discard. Pour the rest of the coconut  is freezer-proof (I used a cake pan). Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. 

5. After 1  1/2- 2 hours remove both pans from the freezer. The mixture in each pan should resemble a frozen slush. Crush any large frozen chunks that might have formed and stir the contents. Cover each pan with cling film and place back in the freezer. After 30 minutes crush any large chunks and stir the contents, cover and place back in the freezer. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the mixture in each pan will be frozen, remove the cling film and scrape the surface with a fork to create flaky crystals. At this point the granita is ready to serve. Serve in chilled glasses filled generously with half of the coffee granita and half of the coconut milk granita. 

indian walnut curry

Indian walnut curry #indian #curry #walnut #food #foodphotography #foodstyling

This is one of those recipes where it's easy to make, there are a few "shortcuts" and the end result is delicious. But before we get to the recipe, let me just take a moment to talk about the mathematical wonder that is a Romanesco broccoli (technically it's a cauliflower and not a broccoli). But those damn fractals, they get me every single time! (for some reason they remind me of pine forests on a globe)

Indian walnut curry #indian #curry #walnut #food #foodphotography #foodstyling
Indian walnut curry #indian #curry #walnut #food #foodphotography #foodstyling

Now let's get back to this curry, this is definitely a very different type of Indian curry that I've shared with you. The base of the curry is made with walnuts and then seasoned with a melange of spices to create a rich and creamy sauce. Arkhot (walnuts in Hindi) curry is a rather easy dish to prepare, I use a few shortcuts here because it makes life easy and when you're short on time, you can use a rotisserie chicken like I did. Since rotisserie chicken is precooked you don't need to cook it for too long in the walnut curry base which is helpful because ground nut pastes can burn quickly so stir it carefully and often.

I realize that it might be hard for some of you to find a Romanesco but you can substitute the same amount of cauliflower or broccoli florets in the recipe. I decided to boil the Romanesco because I wanted a tender texture to go with the soft chicken otherwise I felt it might be too complex. If you're vegetarian you can skip the chicken and chicken stock (use vegetable stock) and add a couple of chopped carrots and peas as the meat replacement. 

Indian walnut curry #indian #curry #walnut #food #foodphotography #foodstyling

I ended up serving this with some left over walnut bread that I picked up from the Tartine bakery but if you want to keep the dinner Indian themed, serve it hot with Indian rotis, naan or plain rice.  

Indian walnut curry #indian #curry #walnut #food #foodphotography #foodstyling

walnut (arkhot) Curry with romanesco and chicken

yields: 4-6 servings

ingredients

2 teaspoons kosher sea salt

1 lb romanesco, cut the florets

1 lb rotisserie chicken

2 cups (4 7/8 ounces) chopped raw walnuts 

4 cups low sodium chicken (vegetable) stock

2 cloves of garlic

1 inch root of ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 green Thai chili peppers (use one if you prefer it less hot, you can also leave the seeds out)

2 cloves

4 black peppercorns

1/2 " piece cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons walnuts toasted for garnish (optional)

1. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt to a large pot of water to boil. Add the romanesco florets to the water and boil for about 8-10 minutes until tender. Test with the tip a knife to make sure the florets are tender but not overcooked. Remove the florets and drain the excess liquid. Keep aside.

2. Separate and shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken, discard the skin. Keep aside.

3. In a food processor, add the 2 cups of walnuts, 2 cups of the chicken stock, garlic, ginger, onion, cumin, chili, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Pulse until you get a fine and smooth paste. You might need to add more stock to keep things moving in the blender. 

3. Add the vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan or cast iron skillet and heat on a medium-low flame. Add the ground walnut paste and cook for about 1 minute with constant stirring. Add the remaining chicken stock and remaining salt and stir together. Bring the contents to a boil and constantly stir the contents of the pan as the walnut paste can burn easily. Immediately reduce the flame to a gentle simmer, fold in the chicken and romanesco florets, cook for one minute. Remove from flame and garnish with toasted walnuts and serve immediately.

Note: You can adjust the consistency of the curry to suit your preference by adding a little more stock. Don't make it too thin or it will be very runny.

carrot and rhubarb soup

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

One of my self-appointed goals in life, is to make rhubarb popular as a savory ingredient. Don't get me wrong, rhubarb is amazing in desserts and I love a good rhubarb pie and crisp with fresh strawberries (and other berries) but it is also a wonderful addition to savory dishes. It's high in acid which helps it contribute a touch of sourness to several dishes. This year with all the crazy moving, I didn't get to cook a lot with rhubarb, so I figured before the warm season leaves us, I should make you one special dish that would be bold, bright and colorful!

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

This is really a very simple recipe, a few ingredients with a few steps. Prepping the carrots and rhubarb is probably what takes the most of amount of work, after that it is pretty much a matter of "dumping" things together to make it all come together. 

I started off this soup by oven roasting the rhubarb and carrots together and blended them to form one thick and creamy soup. I have a batch of purple basil growing in my container garden whose flowers I normally just pick off and toss into salads, they made a nice colorful contrast against the bright orange color of the soup. Of course you can garnish this soup with any of your favorite ingredients, so play around and keep it colorful!

carrot and rhubarb soup #food #foodphotography #foodstyling #carrot #rhubarb #soup

carrot and rhubarb soup

yields: 4 - 6 servings

ingredients

2 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup rhubarb stalk, diced 

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves

4 black peppercorns

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt 

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 liter low sodium vegetable stock

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or any other sauce you like, you can also leave it out)

a few fresh purple basil flowers, to garnish (optional)

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.  Toss the carrots, rhubarb, olive oil, black peppercorns, and cloves together in a large mixing bowl and spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the contents to a large stock pot. 

2. Add the turmeric and stock to the vegetables and bring to a boil on a medium high flame. Remove from stove and then using an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth (alternatively, use a blender and blend the soup in batches until smooth). Return the stockpot to the stove and cook for another 15-20 minutes on a medium-low flame. Stir in the sriracha sauce. Taste and adjust the amount of salt if necessary. Stir occasionally during cooking, serve hot and garnish with fresh basil flowers.