Tag Archives: Greek yogurt

Summer Squash Pancake with Dill Yogurt Sauce (Gluten-free)

Recipe VERY scientifically experimented from: various zucchini fritter recipes 

squash fritters

Have you seen a dead cactus?  I have, because I managed to kill one before. And it’s truly one of the saddest sights you would ever see. It was given to me as a souvenir from my co-worker’s Santa Fe vacation – The entire office was horrified and dismayed when they discovered a brown shriveled shell looping over a tiny Mexican clay pot on my desk months after. I was immediately declared to have “toxic black thumb”, never to care for any living things EVER.

squashesThe fact that I now live with 3 dogs and grow vegetables is not because I am sufficiently rehabilitated, but because animals let me know when they need to be fed, and also I have, over the course of years, haphazardly yet continuously developed a catalog of plants that can survive my gardening skills (or the lack of).

Squashes definitely make the cut in my short list, and every year I plant at least a couple of different kinds – This year I settled with yellow crookneck and pale green pattypan types.  They did not disappoint, and in my opinion, now deserve to be made into something spectacular – Like these yummy fritters.

Of course they are hardly my innovation but rather traditional and popular Mediterranean snack. But I did tinker with various recipes to find the balance that would strike a sweet spot for me every time. Continue reading

Za’atar Spiced Beet Dip with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Recipe adjusted from: Food & Wine Magazine (Contributed by: Yotam Ottolenghi)

za'atar spiced beet dipI *adore* beets. It is my typical weekend routine to buy and roast a bunch so that I can enjoy them throughout the coming week. Whether with a quick lemon-balsamic vinaigrette and toasted nuts on the bed of greens or in creamy yogurt sauce with fresh herbs and spices, their intense sweetness always comes through even in simplest preparations and never ceases to amaze me. As if that is not enough, I also tend to order a beet appetizer when I eat out if the restaurant has one on the menu. I feel by now I have tried every possible combination of ingredients when it comes to eating beets.

So when I say this may be my favorite way of eating beets – You should know it’s not just good, it’s CRAZY good. Do consider yourself warned; Ever since I discovered this recipe, I have been making and eating it non-stop. I may have possibly exceeded my lifetime quota of beet consumption at this point. Continue reading

Mushroom Stroganoff with Cardamom Basmati Rice

Recipe adapted from: Feast – Food to Celebrate Life (by Nigella Lawson)

mushroom stroganoff

I didn’t like mushrooms when I was growing up, and I was a fool.

I thought they were slimy and kind of gross, and they always seemed like a “filler” or even an afterthought in sautéed veggies or meaty pasta, which I felt was rather pointless and unnecessary. The idea of truffle being one of the world’s most precious and sought-after delicacies perplexed me more than fish roe and duck liver being the others. Of course I had never tasted truffle at that time, I only knew it was a type of mushroom. And people train pigs to find them in the forest. That sounded as bizarre as “Where the wild things are” to a 9-year old Japanese kid.

Fortunately, my taste bud had caught up to be able to appreciate the fantastic world of fungi by the time I was introduced to this version of mushroom stroganoff.  Still, I was absolutely shocked by how delicious this dish came out despite of the recipe’s simplicity when I made it for the first time. Since then I have made this for many, many occasions, but every time, I’m amazed and almost confused as to how only mushrooms and a couple of spices (paprika and nutmeg) can deliver such a deeply rich and complex flavor. And every time, it makes me regret about all those years when I diligently picked out any mushroom slices I could find from my plate to avoid eating them. Continue reading