close your eyes.
what does childhood smell like?
can you travel there, in a blink of the eye?
take a deep breath, can you smell the past, can a scent take you home?
can you say, CARDAMOM?
When I smell cardamom, at heart I am still a little girl. My grandmother is still alive,
can you smell hope and possibilities?
Hmmm, you clearly need some cardamom in your life!
And so we dove into cardamom, by grinding our seeds in a coffee grinder, and discarding the green pod shell.
And no, ready ground will not do.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can just cut up and discard the shell and take the seeds out.
A little goes a long way.
Cardamom can be put into a jar of salt and sugar and it will get cardamom infused.
Cardamom salt is a great way to spice up your roast chicken, but today we were tossing the shrimp in it.
salt with a few cardamom seeds
oil or butter
First please do devein your shrimp, cause nobody really wants to look at the black string of goo hanging from the shrimps rear end….
Then season generously with cardamom salt, and grill or saute on high heat until just done.
1 small bunch of cilantro, stems and all
1 inch piece of ginger
1 small garlic clove
1 tablespoon onion (red or yellow)
juice from 2 limes
green chili pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil
Into the food processor we go, we go, whirl, whirl, taste, smell, is it too spicy?
Add more cilantro.
Cilantro, sorry Krishna (our class participant with a cilantro allergy), is a great heat reducer,
as in, if you have made something tooooo spicy, adding cilantro will make it less hot.
Does it need more salt?
It is done, when it taste just right.
You can use the sauce as a dipping sauce or pour it over your shrimp.
2 medium size potatoes, roughly cut up, boiled in salted water until just done
1/2 yellow onion sauteed in butter and oil, until just beginning to soften
then stir in:
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 clove garlic grated
2 teaspoons turmeric, or enough to turn your mixture yellow
finely chopped chili pepper, to taste, optional
1/2 bunch of chopped spinach
juice from 2 limes
Saute the whole shebang until the spinach is wilted and it is all a yummy half smashed potato mixture. Season with more salt if needed.
In a pan with a little oil add:
cinnamon (stick or ground), cardamom seeds (take it easy just a few) fennel seeds (a sprinkle), cumin seeds (a sprinkle) let me simmer for a few until I am fragrant, pour in some
red lentils, cover with water by 2 inches (or so).
let it boil until soft, about 20 minutes, and most of the water is absorbed.
While the lentils are cooking: saute together onion (let’s say 1/2) a knob of ginger, some garlic, some chilies, season with salt and pepper, add in cilantro or parsley (if your name is Krishna) and loads of lime juice.
Add to the lentils and blend with an immersion blender until it is semi incorporated.
Season with salt, and drizzle with some good oil.
Cause sun chokes, aka jerusalem artichokes, are all over the farmer market right now. Knobbly, and inconvenient to peel, not a potato, not an artichoke, not super interesting but interesting enough. For a change.
I prefer to eat them raw, thinly sliced into a salad, but we did that last year….so now we will roast them with some cauliflower.
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
3 sun chokes, peeled and chopped into medium chunks
a good squeeze of olive oil
Please roast us (cauliflower and sunchokes) in high heat (ok 400 or above) tossing every now and then, until we are browned and just beginning to soften then toss with some good salt and some lemon and olive oil tossed arugula.
While your cauliflower and sun chokes are roasting. Squeeze one good lemon into a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. If you got some extra time on your hands, grate in a clove of garlic. Toss in some arugula, season with salt, and toss into the roasted cauliflower sun choke mix.
1 large head of artichoke
Ok, an artichoke will turn brown when exposed to air, which is unappetizing, so once cut open you need to drop it into something acidic, such as water with a few drops of lemon juice, but hey, if you got $1 each organic meyer lemon, that is a waste of good product.
Then give the water a splash of cheap white balsamic or white distilled vinegar instead.
Acid = acid= green artichoke. Doesn’t matter which acidic product you are using.
So trim your artichoke. I like to cut off the top, then go around and trim off all the spiky angry bits of the leaves. Then split into half, then depending on the size of your artichoke, leave it in half, or cut into wedges.
Now boil them right into your acidified water with some salt until just done.
Drain and dry, then grill them on a BBQ or stove top on a grill pan.
Season with salt and pepper, and pour over some seriously lemon dressing.
You know, lot’s of lemon, some grated garlic and a splash of olive oil.
Serve with some aioli dipping sauce. Lemon. Or saffron. Or black olive.
Or anything you like to dip them in.
You could also do some melted butter. But that’s a little 1963.
I seldom eat plain rice, I am a total fan of rice blends.
Brown rice + wild rice, white rice+black rice, the possibilities are endless.
Today are items are highly seasoned so a mellow non flavored rice blend works well with the cardamom dishes.
Here we are simply blending:
brown rice, cooked
garbanzo beans, canned
Mix all together and serve.
No meal complete without some raw kale.
you know it.
So here we have curly kale, lightly massaged with olive oil, kosher salt, a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Once the leaves begin to soften, taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Sprinkle with some good balsamic and toss in a bunch of dried cranberries, clementine slices, and toasted pine nuts.
Or any dried fruit, and any dried nut.
Cardamom can be added to any baked dessert dish.
But as always when it comes to cardamom a little goes a long way.
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup of nuts
Melt the butter with the agave in a small oven proof skillet, add bananas and let them slightly brown. Scatter nuts around and pour clautofis batter, recipe below, over the bananas.
1/2 cup sugar, any (brown, white, agave is ok too)
a few cardamom seeds steeped in 1 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake until risen and baked through, about 35 minutes. Serve warm
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of any sweetener, could be agave and brown sugar, or maple syrup and agave, or corn syrup and honey.
It really does not matter, add your sweetener of choice to the cream, reduce under low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until it tastes delicsious.
Now add hard liquor of your choice. Brandy, sure, tequila, yeah, vodka, why not!
You can either stir it straight in, if you like your shots straight….
or pour it in a pan and burn off the alcohol first, and then add to the cream mixture.
Start with a small amount, pour in your shot, and let’s get the party started!!!