Food & Drink

WEEKLY RECIPES

BUNGALOW KITCHEN RECIPE

Bhindi Masala

1 pound okra, stems removed, chopped into thirds

3 medium ripe tomatoes, medium diced

1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons butter

5 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon red pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Start by making the spice mix. Press the garlic and place in the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Add the spices to the bowl and mix until all the garlic is incorporated and the mix forms a thick paste. Set aside.

Heat a large pan to medium-high heat. Melt butter and add onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook about five minutes until they soften.

Add the spice paste and stir, cooking another minute. Add the okra and tomatoes and stir until all the okra is coated in the spices.

Cook five minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, cooking another 15-20 minutes (until the okra is tender), stirring occasionally.

To serve as a main, serve over basmati rice. Dish can be used as a side, pairing well with pork or lamb.

WATERMELON RECIPES

Watermelon Molasses

4 small spring onions, all but about 2 inches of greens trimmed off

Pinch kosher salt

1 generous tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

5.3 ounces chopped seedless watermelon (no rind)

Scant 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) heavy simple syrup (see note; may substitute cane syrup)

2 teaspoons crumbled saffron threads

Serves 12.

Place the onions on a plate; salt them and let them sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well, then coarsely chop or slice the onions.

Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir to coat; cook for about 10 minutes, until wilted. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Combine the watermelon and heavy simple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring and mashing, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the melon has liquefied. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the saffron and the onions; let sit for 30 minutes, then strain, returning the liquid to the same saucepan. Discard the solids. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a molasses-like consistency. Cool before serving or storing; the molasses will thicken further as it cools.

NOTE: To make the heavy simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat; cool completely before using.

Compressed Watermelon Salad

FOR THE SALAD:

One 16-ounce block peeled, seedless watermelon

Kosher salt

4 cups torn frisee

1 cup cubed whole-milk mozzarella

2 tablespoons raw, shredded coconut

FOR THE DRESSING:

1/4 cup plain rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Serves four.

For the salad: Cut the watermelon into 2-inch squares that are 1/3-inch thick. Sprinkle them lightly with salt on one side. Lay the squares on flat surfaces that can fit inside the zip-top bags. Seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Place something on top of the bags that will provide gentle, even pressure, such as a plate with a few 15-ounce cans or a few bags of frozen peas on top. Freeze for 2 hours.

When the watermelon is ready, it will look flatter and have a denser texture. Transfer to a serving bowl; add the frisee and toss gently.

For the dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and oil in a liquid measuring cup to form an emulsified dressing.

Pour half of the dressing over the watermelon and frisee; toss gently to coat. Scatter the mozzarella cubes and coconut on top.

Serve right away; pass the remaining dressing at the table.

Two-Melon Shake

2 small bitter melons (about 5.3 ounces total; may substitute peeled seedless cucumber)

3 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon

1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk

12 to 14 small ice cubes

Pinch kosher salt

Ginger ale

Serves two.

Cut away some of the bumpy outer skin of the bitter melon, if desired. Cut the fruit open; scrape out the seeds. Coarsely chop to yield 1/2 packed cup.

Combine in a blender, in order from bottom to top, the watermelon, bitter melon, coconut milk, ice cubes (depending on how thick you’d like your shake) and salt; puree until smooth.

Divide between tall pint glasses; top with ginger ale. Serve right away.

Bacon-and-Cornmeal-Fried Watermelon

FOR THE CHIMICHURRI:

1 medium jalapeno pepper (seeded or unseeded), cut into chunks

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1/2 cup packed, coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Kosher salt

FOR THE WATERMELON:

3 cups vegetable oil, for frying

2 cups flour

Kosher salt

3 large eggs

1/4 cup regular or low-fat milk

2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup cooked, finely chopped bacon

Twenty 2-inch cubes seedless watermelon (no rind)

Serves five.

For the chimichurri: Combine the jalapeno, basil, parsley, olive oil and vinegar in a blender or food processor; pulse to the desired consistency. Taste, and season with salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl or airtight container; refrigerate until ready to use (up to a few days).

For the watermelon: Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

Meanwhile, place the flour in a medium bowl and season it lightly with salt. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a separate medium bowl. Combine the cornmeal and bacon in a third bowl.

Working in batches, dip and coat the watermelon pieces in this order: the seasoned flour, the egg-milk wash and the cornmeal-bacon mixture. Each piece should be completely coated. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or just until golden brown. Immediately transfer to the paper towels to drain; sprinkle lightly with salt right away.

Discard any used egg-milk mixture, bacon-cornmeal mixture and flour. Serve with chimichurri spooned on top.

BAR RECIPES

Blondies

2 cups flour, plus extra for pan

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

11/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for pan

2 cups (approximately 12 ounces) roughly chopped dark or white chocolate

Makes 24 bars.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and reserve.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Add butter and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate and spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

Blueberry Cheesecake Crunch Bars

FOR STREUSEL TOPPING:

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)

FOR CHEESECAKE FILLING:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups fresh blueberries

FOR SHORTBREAD CRUST:

2 cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice, plus extra for pan

Makes 24 bars.

To prepare streusel topping: In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. Add 12 tablespoons butter and, using a pastry blender, cut until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in oats and reserve.

To prepare cheesecake filling: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add 3 tablespoons flour and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and mix until creamy and smooth, about 30 additional seconds. Carefully fold blueberries into filling and reserve.

To prepare shortbread crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Place 2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add 1 cup butter and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and, using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal). Spread crust evenly into prepared pan, and pat down lightly with your hands. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately spread blueberry filling carefully over top of baked crust. Sprinkle oat streusel over filling. Return pan to oven and bake until streusel is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer pan to a wire rack and cool.

Cherry Squares with Crumble Topping

FOR BATTER:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (see note)

4 eggs

14 ounces pitted cherries

FOR CRUMBLE TOPPING:

10 tablespoons (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Makes 24 bars.

To prepare batter: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, granulated sugar and vanilla sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and distribute cherries evenly over batter.

To prepare crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine 10 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 cups flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, combine in a food processor and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse meal). Distribute topping evenly over cherries. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer pan to a wire rack and cool.

Note: To make vanilla sugar, bury a vanilla bean in granulated sugar for about a week, then remove vanilla bean (bean can be re-used). The vanilla gives it a nice fragrance and flavor. No time to make before baking? Just sub regular sugar and use the vanilla sugar another time.

Chocolate-Glazed Honey-Nut Bars

FOR BOTTOM LAYER:

2 cups flour

2/3 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes, plus extra for pan

FOR TOP LAYER:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 cups chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or almonds

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Makes 24 bars.

To prepare bottom layer: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse meal (alternately, pulse a few times in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal). Spread dough evenly in prepared pan and pat down lightly with your hands. Bake until firm and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack.

To prepare top layer: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 12 tablespoons butter, honey, brown sugar and sour cream and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and ingredients are blended. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in nuts.

Spread nut mixture evenly over bottom layer and return pan to the oven. Bake until firm and puffy on top, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over bars as they cool, then let bars cool completely.

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