Category Archives: Onions

Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to one of the family’s annual pool party. With that said, I needed to come up with something to make. I normally do a spin on one of my taco dips, but this year I wanted to make something different. That’s when I immediately turned to all of the mint growing in my garden. Let me just say this, I have a TON of mint. I normally use the mint in dishes such as larb, or give handfuls to my daughter when she picks fresh raspberries from the backyard, but here I wanted to make a dip, using mint, and that is when I came up with a feta cheese and mint dip. It was great.

Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

The great thing about this dip, besides all of the wonderful flavor, is that you can serve it with pretzels or chips, or better yet, some nice garden vegetables.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Pita chips

This recipe is super quick to make, so lets get busy.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add in one tablespoon of the olive oil.  Once heated through, toss in the onions, and cook just until they begin to caramelize. Remove from the heat and set to the side.

To a mixing bowl, add in the cheese, lemon juice and zest, mint, dill weed, and cracked black pepper. Using a fork, begin mashing all of the ingredients.

Slowly add in the olive oil, and half of the cooked onions.  Stir until you have a lightly creamy texture.  Scoop the mixture into a serving dish, and garnish with the remaining cooked onions.

How to make Feta Cheese and Mint Dip

Serve with pita chips and fresh cut vegetables.

The result is a well balanced dip that has that great punch of feta cheese, while the mint just takes it into a whole other direction. Give this one a shot if you are looking for something other than a taco dip to bring to a party, especially if you love feta cheese. I wish I would have made more as this would probably be great on a grilled burger. Hope you enjoy!

Chana Masala

Lately I have been on an Indian food craze. Well, maybe not so much a craze, but let’s just say I cannot get enough of the flavors of Indian cuisine. Maybe it is a phase that I am going through, much like when I go through a Thai craze, or a Mexican craze, but whatever it is, I’m cool with it.  A recent dish I made, the Indian green lentil curry with kidney beans, along with a recent posting from a friend of mine, sparked the idea of making the chana masala. Basically, chana (chick peas) masala is a very common Indian dish that is a bit spicy, and a bit dry in the sense where there is very little liquid. The dish can be eaten as a side dish, or topped onto rice. I prefer just eating it as a main dish as it is extremely comforting.

Chana Masala Recipe

What I love about this type of recipe is that many of the ingredients are already ones you have in your home, and if you do not have the basic spices, well, now is your opportunity.

Let’s get started.

  • 15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, diced
  •  1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste (or fresh ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by heating your oil on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add in your onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they have sweated through.

Next add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the garam masala, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, and turmeric. Stir, and cook until  you have a dry paste.

How to make chana masala

Next add in your tomatoes and cook until much of the liquid has absorbed, a few minutes. Add in the ginger paste, and stir. Cook another minute or so.

Add in the chick peas and water. Stir, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion.  Add in the chopped chili pepper, and stir again.

You are now ready to plate. Serve in a bowl and shower with some of the fresh cilantro.

The flavor is out of this world. This spice mixture, well, let’s just say it’s addicting. A bit spicy (which I love), and the great earthy flavor is just dynamite. Hope you enjoy!

Chana Masala
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, diced
  • ½ tbsp ginger and garlic paste (or fresh ginger)
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamon
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Instructions
  1. Start by heating your oil on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add in your onion and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they have sweated through.
  2. Next add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the garam masala, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, and turmeric. Stir, and cook until you have a dry paste.
  3. Next add in your tomatoes and cook until much of the liquid has absorbed, a few minutes. Add in the ginger paste, and stir. Cook another minute or so.
  4. Add in the chick peas and water. Stir, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion. Add in the chopped chili pepper, and stir again.
  5. You are now ready to plate. Serve in a bowl and shower with some of the fresh cilantro.
  6. The flavor is out of this world. This spice mixture, well, let’s just say it’s addicting. A bit spicy (which I love), and the great earthy flavor is just dynamite. Hope you enjoy!

Moroccan Style Eggs

If you are like me during any weekday morning, I’m on the run. My routine typically consists of working out, and heading home to make a batch of juice, greeting those who are still there (also on the move), and getting in my car to head to work. It’s rare that I eat much of a breakfast, and if I do it is typically a hard boiled egg and toast, or an egg of some sort for that matter. The weekends on the other hand tend to make a 360 with my normal weekday routine. I don’t work out, and I look forward to a hearty breakfast to start the day out right.

This past weekend was no exception to that thought, and I had my mind set on having a substantial breakfast that was loaded with flavor, simple to make, and would get me through my first commute to downtown Milwaukee. This is where the Moroccan style eggs came into the picture.

Moroccan Style Eggs Recipe

This pretty much all started because I was looking at a jar of marinara sauce, and also the realization that I had some great spices I wanted to use to really warm things up. This dish is typically known as Shakshouka, and can be eaten any time of the day. I’m thinking of it right now, and it would be perfect for lunch, or dinner, along with some crusty bread for swiping up the sauce. Did I mention how great the sauce is?

Let’s get started.

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 links Italian Sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot harissa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Moroccan style spice (cumin, curry, coriander, cardamon, cinnamon, salt)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Start by heating the canola oil in a small cast iron skillet. Bring to a medium heat, then add in the sausage, without the casing. Begin breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the sausage is fully cooked. Drain about half of the oil, leaving some in the pan.

Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the meantime, add the onions to the pan, along with the Moroccan spices. Stir, and let these sweat for about 4 minutes, then toss in the garlic. Stir again. Once you smell the garlic, add the sausage back in, along with the marinara sauce. Keep in mind that you could used crushed tomatoes if you want, but I did not have that in stock, so I used marinara which worked out just as well.

How to make Moroccan Style Eggs

Give a good stir, let the sauce come to simmer, then crack in two eggs. Cover, and cook until the egg whites have set, however you still have a warm yolk, about 8 minutes.

During this time, add the harissa powder and the olive oil to a small bowl, and mix until combined.

Uncover, drizzle on the harrisa mixture, and shower with the fresh cilantro. Serve in the skillet with some crusty bread.

Moroccan Style Eggs

These Moroccan style eggs are to seek after. You get the awesomeness from your classic onion, garlic, and marinara that you are so accustomed to, but then this great warmth from the Moroccan spice and harissa paste, that when paired with the creaminess of the egg yolks, and texture of the cooked sausage, well, I say no more. Hope you enjoy.

Indian Green Lentil Curry with Kidney Beans

I recently watched a show surrounding Indian culture, the northern part, and I was just amazed about the complexity, yet simplicity of their food. Much of the food on the show was focused on vegetarian dishes, and in all honesty, I was hooked. I’ve always been a fan of Indian food, and granted I am not eating it on a regular basis, probably once every few months, but when I do, I am in love. I love eating things like lentils, and butter chicken, scooping up the sauce with things like naan, or roti. The flavors are always complex. It is beyond a standard curry powder that you might pick up at th e store, and that’s what I really love about Indian cooking. Toasting spices, and building flavors as you progress in a dish. With that said, I set out to make a Sunday meal consisting of green lentils, and kidney beans. It was a dish that was so comforting, and made for great leftovers throughout the week.

Indian Green Lentil Curry with Kidney Beans

I began cooking this in the morning, and let it go throughout the early afternoon, tasting, and building along the way. This Indian green lentil curry with kidney beans rocked. My wife loved them, and well, sometimes that is all that matters.

Let’s get started.

  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 5 cups of water
  • 15 oz can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, smashed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 whole green chilies, smashed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder (reduce for less heat)
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cilantro, torn
  • Naan (optional)
  • Roasted Chicken (optional)
  • Indian Pickled Relish (optional, but recommended)

I’m a big believer in stocking up on spices and condiments for that matter. After all, when you have a hankering for a certain cuisine, you should have the arsenal to quickly get started. Well, as I had a handful of items, I needed to stock up on a few things as my masala dabba did not offer a few things I was looking for. This was good because it led me to a place in Milwaukee that I had never been, and I loved this place. It was called Best Food Store, located on 13th street in Milwaukee. It looked like a 7-Eleven from the outside, but was a really great grocery inside, and it was authentic. Let’s just say I was the only Caucasian browsing pickled relish in the store. They had everything though, from fresh vegetables, to flours, to an array of lentils, and frozen items. Let’s just say I’ll be back. I picked up my items, and quickly headed home to cook.

Indian Green Lentil Curry with Kidney Beans

Start by getting a saucepan on the stove. Combine the lentils, tumeric, and water. Stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, and cover, and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Check the lentils about 20 minutes in for tenderness. You don’t want them to be mushy, but you do want a little bite to them.

About 20 minutes in add the ginger, chilies, and the kidney beans. Stir.

During this time, heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Toss in garlic and onion, and let those sweat for about 5 minutes. Add in the cumin seeds, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. Mix and cook a couple of minutes, then add in the tomatoes. Give a good stir and set aside.

Remove the ginger and chilies from the lentil mixture and discard. Add in the onion mixture, and give a good stir. If you need to add a bit more water, feel free. Add in the cream, and stir again. Cover, turn off the heat, and prepare any other items you are going to serve, such as the roasted chicken, or naan.

Indian Green Lentil Curry with Kidney Beans

When you are ready to serve, Add the Indian green lentil curry with kidney beans, and serve alongside the pickled relish, roast chicken, and naan. The lentils pack the warmth and flavors that you would expect in an awesome curry, and when paired with the pickled relish (highly recommend), it almost cleanses the palette, along with some really great heat. Scooping up the curry with the chicken, and curry was just a hit. Hope you enjoy!