Potato-Leek-Cheese Gratin


I started making potato-leek-cheese gratins as a side-dish at Thanksgiving a few years ago. And while this year I am not roasting a turkey, I’m making this gratin again. There’ll be a slight change though. In the past I have always used crumbled local blue cheese; this year, however, I will be using goat cheese. This because I am not cooking a turkey at all this year: the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving gathering will be roasted leg of goat (two legs, to be exact), and it seems appropriate to goat it up elsewhere on the table as well. This is a really simple recipe—it’s not original: I’ve over time “averaged” a number of recipes I’ve seen online. There are some that have you boil the potatoes first, some that have you do complicated dances with temperatures. I, being a lazy bastard, do none of those things. But the results are tasty anyway.   Continue reading

Roasted Squash with Ghee and Garam Masala (Thanksgiving 2015)

Mashed Squash with Ghee and Garam Masala
As mentioned earlier, I am doing an Indian Thanksgiving this year (please construct your own ironic, historical joke). I’ve already posted the recipe I improvised for spicy cranberry chutney; in place of the roast turkey I’m going to do braised turkey drumsticks in the style of a Kerala “roast” (I’m going to do a dry run with a couple of drumsticks tomorrow, and if it turns out well I’ll post that recipe on Tuesday); I’m also making a Bengali-style sweet pulao in place of stuffing; and I’m making two dishes with roasted squash: one a spicy and sour soup with tamarind and coconut milk, and the other this mash with ghee and garam masala. I made a test batch today and it came out quite well. I might tweak it a bit for the main event but so that I remember what I did here’s the base recipe.  Continue reading

Cranberry Chutney (Thanksgiving 2015)

Cranberry Chutney
We host a dinner every year for our friends who are in town for Thanksgiving. I usually do the classic meal centered on roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce etc. (plus lots of add-ons). This year I”ve decided to Indianize the meal. My friend Sandra says that immigrants incorporating the flavours of their source cuisines into Thanksgiving meals is a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition in its own right, but the truth of the matter is after 22 years in this country I’m a little bored of eating (and in the last decade and more, making) more or less the same meal. Sure, I’ve brined and spatchcocked the turkey and improvised different spice rubs; sure, I’ve made various different stuffings and cranberry sauces—but this year I wanted to go further. And so here is the core of this year’s menu: turkey “roast” in a Kerala style; pulao in place of stuffing; spicy and sour roasted squash soup with tamarind and coconut milk; mashed roasted squash with ghee and garam masala; and this cranberry chutney. I made a test batch this week and it came out quite well. Continue reading

Kofta “Curry”

Kofta Curry

Beef Kofta Curry

I noted in my #GrapeGate post yesterday that I would have a recipe for turkey koftas today and here it is; or at least here’s a recipe for a kofta “curry” made with turkey. I guess you could serve it at Thanksgiving but frankly I don’t recommend making this with turkey at all (though don’t be surprised if you see this listed as Minnesota’s Thanksgiving dish in the NY Times next year). It’s what I used because ground turkey is what we had in the fridge. It’s much better made with ground goat or lamb or even beef; turkey is much too lean which can result in koftas/meatballs that are too tightly compacted or dry (there’s no bread or milk added to the meat in Indian meatball preps that I know of). I made this with what’s at hand because that’s what home cooks do—if you’re going to go shopping to make this then get fattier meat.

By the way, I put “curry” in quotes up top because it’s kind of a word of convenience. It’s not really used much, if at all, in Indian languages other than English, and even in English Indians usually use it only to refer to dishes with a lot of sauce. In the West, of course, “curry” or “curried” is used more broadly to refer to anything made with vaguely Indian spices. And, by the way, what is referred to as sauce in the West is usually called gravy in Indian English; “sauce” is mostly our word for ketchup. Anyway, on to the recipe! (This time with more pictures.)
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#GrapeGate 2014: Some Annoying Opinions

https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrapeGate?src=hash

What is grape salad, pa?

In as bad a case of pandering as you’re likely to see all week I will have on the blog tomorrow a recipe for a turkey kofta “curry”. If you serve it at your Thanksgiving meal you’re likely to provoke great outrage from your family and friends, and that’s before you try to sell it as an Indian recipe—then again, family conflict is one of the great Thanksgiving traditions and so perhaps this is indeed a proper Thanksgiving recipe. Before I get to the recipe, however, I want to say a few quick things about an actual recent, local Thanksgiving-related outrage. I am referring to #GrapeGate.

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