Mangria with Malbec, Cruzan Coconut Rum, Mangos and Key Limes

The trick to making this sangria is freezing the mangoes first. Mangoes from your supermarket’s freezer section will work fine. As they defrost, they add their juices to the wine. For best results, allow the fruit to soften and separate before serving. If you like the taste of coconut, you can substitute coconut rum.



3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

2 (.75-liter) bottles Malbec red wine or Malbec rose wine, chilled

1 cup Cruzan Coconut rum

2 key limes, juiced

2 key limes, sliced

2 oranges, sliced

1 liter club soda, chilled

1 quart frozen mango, cut into bite-size chunks

Ice (optional)


  1. Make a simple syrup by combining 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat to cool. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Combine wine, rum, 1/2 cup chilled simple syrup and key lime juice in a punch bowl. Float lime and orange slices on top. Just before serving, add club soda and frozen mango. If the Mangria isn’t cold enough, add ice. Serve in punch cups with at least one or two chunks of mango per serving.



aarti kale salad 

Massaged Kale Salad  -  Serves 4 to 6


Watch here a Food Network video
1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.
Per Serving: Calories 269; Total Fat 17 grams; Saturated Fat 2.5 grams; Protein 6 grams; Total Carbohydrate 28 grams; Sugar: 14 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 170 milligrams
From AARTI PAARTI--An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul

 Listen to the interview with Chef David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen, Recipes and stories

croque monsieurIngredients:

1 tablespoon salted or unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons
(2 ounces/55g) salted or unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
Pinch of sea salt or kosher salt &  Pinch of cayenne  pepper
4 slices sourdough or country-style bread
4 slices prosciutto or thinly sliced dry-cured ham, or 2 thick slices boiled ham
2 thin slices Comté  or Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup (60g) grated  Comté  or Gruyère  cheese


1   Melt the  1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir  in the  flour.  Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Whisk in 1/4 cup (60ml)  of the milk,  stirring to discourage lumps, then whisk in the  remaining 1/2 cup (120ml) of milk.  Cook the  béchamel for about 1 minute more,  until it’s thick and creamy, like runny mayonnaise. Remove  from  heat and stir  in the  salt and red pepper; set aside to cool a bit and thicken.

2    Spread  the  béchamel evenly  over the  four slices of bread.  Lay a slice of ham  over two  of the  slices, top them with slices of cheese,  and then top with the  remaining ham  slices. Finish with the  two  remaining slices of bread,  béchamel side down (on the  inside),  and brush the  outsides of the  sandwiches without restraint with the  4 tablespoons (60ml)  of melted butter.

3   Turn  on the  broiler and heat a large ovenproof frying  pan or grill pan over medium-high heat on the  stove  top. (Make sure to use a pan with a heatproof handle, for broiling later.)  Place the sandwiches in the  frying  pan, drape  with a sheet  of aluminum foil, and then rest a cast-iron skillet  or other heavy pan or flat object  on top. Cook until the  bottoms of the  sandwiches are well browned. Remove  the  skillet  and foil, flip the  sandwiches over, replace the  foil and skillet,  and continue cooking until the other side is browned.

4    Remove  the  cast-iron skillet  and foil and strew the  grated cheese on top of the  sandwiches. Broil the  sandwiches until the  cheese melts  and serve.

variation: To make  a croque madame, while  the  sandwiches are broiling, cook a sunny-side up egg for each sandwich. Slide the eggs onto the  sandwiches  after  you plate  them up.

 Listen to the interview with Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian, authors of  In a Nutshell--Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds 



“Excerpted from In A Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Photography by Gentl & Hyers/Edge. Copyright © 2014 by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Gentle & Hyers/Edge. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.”

The Umbrian countryside is filled with sunflowers turning to face the arc of the sun over the course of the day. Although in Italy the seeds from these sunflowers are usually pressed for their oil, it seemed logical to us to pair them with farro, a nutritious hearty grain seen throughout that country. It can be found in most Italian grocery stores. The colors of the Italian flag are tossed into the mix—bright green asparagus, rosy red grape tomatoes, and creamy white ricotta salata.
PREPARATION: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour standing  COOKING TimE: 20 to 25 minutes
8 to 10 servings

2 cups farro
1 cup (5 ounces) sunflower seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled or chopped ricotta salata
11⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas  or one 15-ounce can drained & rinsed
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup sunflower oil
1⁄2 cup chiffonade of fresh basil
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half  lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, cut into small dice
  1. Place the farro and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 4 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl large enough to hold the remaining ingredients.
  1. While the farro is simmering, cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling water with 1 table­spoon salt for 2 minutes. Drain well, rinse in cold water, and add to the cooled farro.
  1. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Keep the salad at a cool room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.


eggplant napoleonEGGPLANT NAPOLEON

(listen to an interview with Chef Rawia Bishara)

3 medium eggplants (21/2 to 3 pounds total), stem and root ends trimmed , sliced into
1/2-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt for sprinkling
1/4 cup Basil Pesto (page 191)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg whites, beaten
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Corn oil for frying
3 cups Baba Ghanouj (page 40) or Mutabal (page 41)
For the Salad
8 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
7 tablespoons Basil Pesto (page 191)
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Arrange the eggplant slices on two sheet pans, sprinkle with salt, and set aside for
30 minutes or until they begin to sweat. Using a paper towel, pat the slices dry and
set aside.
. In a large bowl, whisk together the pesto, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Toss in the
eggplant to coat and let marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour or overnight
in the refrigerator.
. Dump the flour onto a shallow rimmed plate. In a medium bowl, whisk together the
egg whites and 1 cup of water. Combine the panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley
and pepper on a second shallow rimmed plate.
. Spread a sheet of waxed paper on a clean work surface. Working with one slice of
eggplant at a time, dredge it in the flour first, shaking  off the excess, and then dip it in
the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumbs. Gently press the breadcrumbs onto
both sides of the eggplant and place on the waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining
eggplant slices.
. Pour at least 2 inches of corn oil into a small, deep pot. Heat the oil over high until hot
but not smoking. Working in batches, fry the eggplant slices until golden, turning once,
3 to 5 minutes. Do not crowd the pot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant slices
to a paper towel–lined platter to drain.
. To serve:  Place an eggplant slice on a small plate. Spread with 2 tablespoons of the baba ghanouj, top with a second eggplant slice and spread 1 tablespoon of baba ghanouj on top.
Repeat layering in this order with the remaining eggplant slices and baba ghanouj to
make eight to ten eggplant stacks.
. Just before serving, toss together the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes
and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the pesto, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Drizzle just enough of the pesto mixture over the tomato-onion mixture to thoroughly
coat.  Spoon some salad around each napoleon and drizzle the napoleons with some of
the dressing left in the bottom of the bowl. Serve immediately.
Every country in the Levantine region claims this earthy, robust spread as its own.
And, in truth, it might simply be because there are many ways to season “baba.” On the West Bank and in Gaza, most cooks use red tahini made from sesame seeds that are roasted for a longer time than the white seeds. Many cooks use pomegranate molasses instead of lemon juice. Some garnish with parsley, others with pistachios, and still others with pomegranate seeds. And it goes on and on. My version is rather straightforward, intensely smoky and a touch more tart than most. In Nazareth, we call this spread mutabal (I had never heard it called baba ghanouj until I came to New York), a name used in other parts of the Middle East for an entirely different eggplant spread made without tahini.

3 medium eggplants (21/2 to 3 pounds total)
11/2 cups Thick Tahini Sauce (page 195)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh lemon juice or pomegranate molasses to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Arabic Bread – pita - for serving
COOKING TIP- My dad used to say that the key to making excellent baba is to begin with grilled eggplant made by setting the vegetable directly over hot coals or the flame of a gas stove, imparting a lovely smoky flavor. But if you want a milder flavor, roast the eggplants in the oven; directions are provided for both methods below. You can use any kind of eggplant you like, but ideally choose a variety with few seeds and avoid especially large eggplants, as they taste bitter. I prefer the black Italian eggplant; I find it has the least amount of seeds.
. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for grilling over high heat, or turn a gas burner to high.
Place the eggplants directly onto the coals or one at a time on the flame and grill, using
tongs to turn the vegetables as the skin chars, until blackened all over. Set aside to cool.
Alternatively, to roast the eggplants, preheat the oven to 500°F and line a baking sheet
with aluminum foil. Pierce the eggplants in a few places with a sharp knife, place them
on the prepared baking sheet and roast, turning every 5 minutes or so, until the skin is blistered and begins to crack all over. Set aside to cool.
. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, transferring it directly to a strainer to allow the liquid to release.
. Transfer the strained eggplant to a medium bowl. Add the tahini sauce to the eggplant
and mash them together with a fork, breaking up the larger pieces of eggplant with a
knife, if necessary. Stir in the garlic along with lemon juice to taste. Spoon the eggplant into a rimmed serving dish and, using the back of a spoon, make a well around the circumference of the dip, about 1/2 inch from the edge. Drizzle the oil into the well and garnish with the parsley. Serve with Arabic bread.
Basil Pesto
The first time I ever tasted pesto, I was hooked. I remember the first meal I made using it like it was yesterday—linguini tossed with pesto, topped with fried eggplant and served with fresh home-baked bread. When I use pesto this way, as a sauce, I generally make it with pine nuts. If I’m going to incorporate it into a dish, I use almonds, which are less expensive.
3 to 5 cloves garlic
1 cup pine nuts, slivered almonds or walnut halves
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 packed cups chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for storage
Juice of 2 lemons
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

. Put the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Toss in the nuts, Parmesan, if using, pepper and salt and chop until the nuts are finely crushed, about 1 minute. Add the basil, oil and lemon juice and pulse for 1 minute more, until smooth. Stir in red pepper flakes, if desired.

. To store, transfer the pesto to a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, seal and refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze up to 3 months.

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