A weekend of Eastern eating

  
Long weekends are great for catching up on errands, cleaning, and gastronomic adventures. This President’s Day weekend I got to try my hand at some new recipes and enjoy take out dishes that I’ve never tried before.

I had a friend over for dinner and wanted to prepare a Moroccan feast. I made Lamb Tangine for the first time.  With this recipe I followed the instructions for making it in the crock pot. I went to three stores and I wasn’t able to get my hands on harissa so I used extra tomato paste as a substitute and it came out great. I also used Labneh cheese instead of Greek yogurt for the garnish. I made couscous with parsley as a side dish.

Another evening a different friend and I were hanging out and decided to order in. We got delivery from one of my favorite Indian restaurants in the city, Awadh.  When it comes to Indian cuisine I suffer from a bit of a food rut. I tend to order Tikkah and Paneer dishes because I love those flavors. I decided to branch out and try Taley Aloo Ka Korma which is a potato and saffron dish. It was delicious.

For my final Eastern culinary experience of the weekend I baked Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes. It is a nice alternative to vanilla or chocolate cake and is very light. Rosewater and pistachio can both be overpowering flavors but this recipe was well balanced. The next time you have a long weekend I recommend using it for a culinary adventure.

Cooking around the world: Osso Buco

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Winter is the time for soups, stews, and comfort food. Over the holidays I wanted to prepare a hearty meal that was a bit more elegant, so I took my first stab at Osso Buco.

Osso Buco is a Northern Italian dish of braised veal shanks. I followed Giada De Laurentis’s recipe. Most of the ingredients were things I had on hand. My local grocery store did not have veal shanks so instead I went to the butchers. If you’re in NYC I highly recommend Schatzie’s.

Traditionally the dish is served with pasta or polenta, but I made mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. It was the perfect compliment to the dish. I also served some roasted winter vegetables and a pinot noir.