Fricassee of chicken with winter vegetables

The flavors in this dish are earthy and aromatic , but light and fresh . It is reccomened to use chicken thighs , as they retain moisture during cooking . The wine , oregano and fennel wafting through the air while cooking leave you salivating for what’s surely coming  !

Serves 6

Bon Appetit

6 large skinless boneless chicken thighs

3 tbs olive oil

3 cups sliced leeks ( white and pale green parts only )

3 cups chopped peeled parsnips

2 cups thinly sliced peeled carrots

2 tbs thinly sliced garlic

3 cups low salt chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp fennel seed

1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

Grated lemon peel

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper . Heat 2 tbs oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat . Add chicken ; brown on all sides , about 8 minutes . transfer to plate . Discard drippings from pot .

Heat 1 tbs oil in same pot over medium heat . Add leeks , parsnips , carrots and garlic; saute until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown , about 6 minutes . Add broth , wine , oregano , fennel seed and red pepper . Bring to simmer . Add chicken . Cover ; simmer until chicken is cooked through  , about 10 minutes .

Transfer stew to serving bowl . Sprinkle with parsley and lemon peel and serve.


Eggless Chocolate Orange Walnut Tart

This luscious tart recipe , originally without chocolate , was delicious enough , but …let’s face it , its chocolate !

Serves 8

Adapted from Bon Appetit


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) butter , chilled , unsalted , cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbs ( about ) ice water


3/4 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

6 oz bittersweet chocolate ( such as Lindt , or any other good chocolate )

2 Tbs orange liqueur

1 tbs grated orange peel

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1  3/4 cups ( 6  1/2 oz ) walnut halves


Combine first 3 ingredients in processor . Using on / off turns , process until mixture resembles coarse meal . Add water 1 tbs at a time , processing until moist clumps form . Gather into ball . Flatten into disk . Wrap in plastic ;chill 30 minutes ( maybe prepared 1 day ahead ) .

Preheat oven to 350*F . Lightly butter 9 inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom . Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan . Pierce crust several times with fork . freeze crust 15 minutes .

Bake crust until golden , piercing with fork if bubbles form, about 20 minutes .Transfer pan to rack and cool crust completely . Maintain oven temperature .


Combine cream , sugar ( and chocolate , if using ) in heavy medium saucepan . Bring to simmer , stirring until sugar and chocolate ( if using ) dissolve . Whisk in liqueur , orange peel , vanilla and salt . Remove from heat . Place crust in pan on baking sheet. Sprinkle nuts on crust. Ladle cream mixture over . Bake until mixture bubbles and top is light brown , about 35 minutes . Transfer tart to rack and cool completely .

Microwavable eggless brownies

Isn’t it just great how the microwave offers us almost instant gratification ? Tarla Dalal has creating a fool proof winning recipe to tickle your taste buds in a hurry …yea.

Tarla Dalal

Yield    1 large brownie or 8 pieces

1 cup All purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups dark chocolate , chopped

1/2 cup unsalted  butter at room temperature

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1/4 cup plain yoghurt ,beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup walnuts , chopped

Grease and line a 6 inch diameter shallow microwave safe bowl and keep aside.

Sift together the flour , Baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.

In a micowave safe bowl , add chocolate pieces and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir lightly to get a smooth mixture .Keep aside.

In another bowl , add the butter and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon till the mixture is soft and creamy.

Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and mix lightly

Add the yoghurt , vanilla , flour and walnuts , mix lightly.

Pour the mixture into the greased and lined dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Reduce the temperature to 70 % power and microwave for another minute. Remove and keep aside.

Peruvian Roasted chicken

Latino food is a hot cusine all over right now . This winning dish comes from acclaimed chef Lucio Medina , of El Pollo in Soho and the upper west side in NYC. He has been quoted as saying ” the Incas ate preety well : potatoes , corn and peppers are native Peruvian vegetables ……..” Go ahead try this roasted chicken , its really worth a taste .

Lucio Medina , El Pollo

Serves 4

2  1/2 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs plus 1 tsp ground cumin

4 tbs white vinegar

2  1/2 tbs paprika

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs white wine

3 tbs Soya or Canola oil

3/4 tsp salt

1   3 to 4 lb chicken

juice of 1 lemon , mixed with 1 quart cold water

In a medium – size bowl , mix first 8 ingredients . Wash chickens throughly with lemon water and remove excess fat from inside chickens .With a large carving fork , poke deep holes all over chicken , including under the wings . Rub the marinade throughly inside and outside the chicken . Seal chicken inside a large plastic bag and marinate for at least 2 hours ( preferably up to 24 hours ) in refridgerator . Remove chicken from bag and dilute marinade left behind in bag with a tablespoon of water . Place chicken on a rotisserie spit , and roast at a medium heat for 45 to 55 minutes . If broiling , cut chicken in half lenghtwise and broil 30 to 40 minutes , basting with marinade every 10 minutes .

Senegalese peanut soup

Leslie Kaul , formerly of Daily soup ( once a former chef of Union Square Cafe NYC and Gramercy Tavern NYC ) was responsible for creating this earthy peanut soup . Trust me , if peanuts are your thing try this vegetarian soup , it is wholesome and fulfilling .

Leslie Kaul , Daily Soup

2 tbs peanut oil

1 red onion ,diced

3 stalks celery , diced

2 leeks , roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic , sliced thin

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp curry

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

4 Beefsteak tomatoes , seeded , roughly chopped

2 cups salted roasted peanuts , plus 1/4 cup for garnish

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tbs sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup chopped chives

Heat oil in a soup pot. Sweat onions , celery , leeks and garlic until soft.

Add the cayenne , curry , cumin and coriander , cooking for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the tomato and 1 cup peanuts; cook for 5 minutes . Add the vegetable stock , bring to a boil. And then simmer , covered for about 20 minutes .Puree sugar , remaining peanuts and tomato in a food processor . Add paste to the soup and cook for another 5 minutes . Add the cream and bring the soup to a boil. Remove from heat , season to taste with salt , and garnish with chopped chives and peanuts .

Moroccan chickpea and root vegetable soup with charmoula

When I lived in NYC I loved visiting Mike Bergen’s soup cart in the shadow of the Metlife building , especially for this amazing vegetarian Moroccan chickpea and root vegetable soup topped with a fresh herb chermoula topping . I later found out he used chicken stock so I simply took the liberty of switching to vegetable stock.

2 tbs olive oil

3 cups diced onions

2 cloves garlic , minced

1 inch piece ginger , peeled and finely minced

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

pinch of saffron

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 cups  1/2 inch diced carrots

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup 1/2 inch diced turnips

2 cups 1/2 inch diced parsnips

2 cups 1/2 inch diced sweet potatoes

1 cup 1/2 inch diced celery root

16 oz canned chickpeas drained and rinsed

2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

Heat oil in a soup pot . Add the onions , garlic , ginger and salt , sauteing until onions are translucent. Add the red pepper flakes , saffron , cinnamon , thyme and pepper , sauteing for 1 minute . Add carrots and stock . Bring to a boil and simmer until almost tender ,about 15 to 20 minutes . Add remaining root vegetables , and simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender . Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes; return to a boil . Season to taste with salt and pepper , thinning with more stock if necessary . Serve with a spoon of Chermoula on top .


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped parsley

5 cloves garlic , minced

1 tbs paprika

1 inch piece of ginger peeled and minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and black pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl .

Circus NYC eggless Mango mousse

Circus is a fabulous Brazilian restaurant on the upper east side in NYC . This delicious mango Mousse , from Marcio Araujo , is simple and delicious . It makes a stunning presentation in a mango with the center pith removed . The recipe calls for gelatin , but , I often use Agar Agar in the same quantity .

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

4 large mangoes , peeled , plus 1 extra for garnish

2  1/2 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder , or agar agar

7  oz sweetened condensed milk

2 cups heavy cream

2 tbsp granulated sugar

Fresh mint sprigs and chopped mango

Cut 4 mangoes into medium-sized pieces . Puree in a blender until smooth . Strain through a fine sieve . Place 1/2 cup mango puree and gelatin in a small saucepan over low heat ; stir until gelatin dissolves . In a large bowl combine both puree and condensed milk . refrigerate for 15 minutes .

Whip heavy cream with sugar until stiff ; Fold into mango mixture . Pour into ramekins , and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving  ( or freeze for 20 minutes )

Garnish with mint and diced mango .