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Gobble Gobble: Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

Gobble Gobble: Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

Gentleman Jack kicks up this ginger pumpkin cheesecake a full notch!

Time is nigh for setting the table and facing that big ole mess we call family…and all that that entails. This seems to be the one holiday when everyone descends on the same day and comes with baggage instead of picnic baskets. But let’s be real – we are indeed so lucky that we can in fact gather, break bread and give thanks. I am hoping the biggest debate your gang faces on Thursday is sweet potato or pumpkin. (I’m looking at you Val – duh, pumpkin!) And my picnic basket this year is loaded with a secret weapon – a dessert that you can make a day or two ahead. Check that box. Move on. Worry about the Beaujolais Nouveau and who will do the dishes.  Dessert is mission-accomplished. This pumpkin ginger cheesecake falls smack in the middle of  the “consider it done” category. That of course assumes you can keep it safeguarded til after dinner on Thursday. It’s tempting.

Fall in Northern Michigan

Thanksgiving dinner often gets a bad rap for being a brown meal. But I love the vibrant colors of fall squashes, pumpkins and gourds. Use them for table settings, roast them for a side or salad,  make a quick bread, or whip them up in a dessert.
Setting The Table

Cheesecakes are pretty flawless desserts to prepare even if you haven’t made them before, as long as you follow a few simple tips. They are super sturdy, so you don’t need a deft hand. I would argue quite the opposite. You really don’t want to be dainty with the batter – don’t incorporate lots of air, do bang the pan, get aggressive. Be bold. If you follow my instructions and read the accompanying notes, you will be a star performer – dare I say, a pastry chef. Start with your ingredients at room temperature, use a good quality springform, and use a food processor, not a mixer. A processor will combine the ingredients without incorporating air which will cause the cheesecake to puff and fall, leaving a crater in the center. Allow all the time needed for cooling to room temperature and then refrigerating. It takes time, but not active time. And know that if all else fails – craters or cracks – you will be slathering a cream  topping on and that can cover a multitude of mistakes. Yes, indeed. You are definitely a pastry chef.

Gentleman Jack Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

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Pumpkin ginger cheesecake

Tennessee Whiskey Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x

Description

This pumpkin ginger cheesecake is surprisingly light, yet creamy. The nutty crust has that I want more-ish quality! And, a dose of Gentleman Jack Daniels keeps the party rolling.  


Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Filling:

  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 ounces Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, and melted butter and mix until crumbs adhere. Press into a 9 or 10″ sturdy nonstick springform pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove and cool. Wrap pan in heavy duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Make the Filling:

In food processor, puree pumpkin until smooth. Add cream cheese and puree until smooth. Add Gentleman Jack, sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg and pulse until mixed. Add eggs and pulse 2 – 3 times only until just combined. Do not overprocess.

Pour filling into cooled crust and bang pan on the counter to eliminate extra air. Place in a roasting pan and fill with hot water, halfway up the side of the springform. Bake for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours or until set. It may still be a bit wobbly in the center, but it will firm up as it cools.

Turn oven off and leave the cheesecake in the water bath in the oven for 30 minutes more. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and carefully remove the springform from the water.  Remove foil and cool on wire rack until room temperature. Refrigerate until fully chilled.

Make the Topping:

Combine sour cream, Gentleman Jack, and powdered sugar and spread on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.

Gently run a knife or thin metal spatula around inside edge of pan. When cheesecake has released, open outer pan ring and remove.

Notes

Feel free to substitute a dark Rum or Bourbon if you prefer. 

Tips to cheesecake success:

  • Room temperature ingredients
  • A sturdy springform pan
  • Combine the filling without beaters or a whisk. I use a food processor
  • Wrap the springform pan in foil and bake in a roasting pan filled with hot water half-way up the cheesecake pan
  • Cool slowly and refrigerate well before serving
  • More tips on how to remove the pesky springform bottom below in comments
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 min (plus chilling time)
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American

Happy Thanksgiving and Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving bounty

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Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin & Ginger Plum Salsa

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin & Ginger Plum Salsa

Asian Marinated Pork

So many plums, so little time. The countdown is on for the end of the stone fruit season, but right now you can find perhaps a dozen plum varieties at both your local farmers’ market or supermarket. A recent stroll down the grocery aisle revealed Pluots of the red, green, and dinosaur varieties, as well as Sunrise Reds, Midnight Moons, Damson, Greengage, Mirabelle and Stanley Rubies. The colors both outside and in reflect the rainbow. I love buying a few of each so that chopped and mixed you can create a colorful salsa with tastes that run from tart to sweet, then pump that flavor further with fresh lime, crystallized ginger and loads of fresh mint. 

Plum Varieties

Plums are an essential flavor in many Asian cuisines, but especially Japanese and Chinese. While neither the salsa nor the pork marinade are authentic, they reflect my modern update on classic cuisines using the palate of flavors and pantry staples that represent their birth regions. I first traveled to both Japan and China shortly after my year-long stint in four kitchens in France, where I drilled down on classic techniques. That travel, more than anything else in my life, transformed both my palate and thoughts toward technique, opting for less reliance on fat-first flavor and relying more heavily on quick cooking techniques and bold aromatics, like ginger. It has been said I am a fiend for ginger. That is no lie. 

Grating Ginger

I found this bamboo ginger grater on one of my trips, and it is much easier to clean and gives a higher yield of grated ginger than a microplane. If you ever see one, snag it. The two recipes in this post rely on crystallized ginger for the salsa (love the little texture contrast that crystallized gives when mixed with fruit) and fresh for the marinade. Fresh ginger is also a terrific meat tenderizer, so this marinade works well with less primo cuts of meat. 

Asian Marinade Ingredients

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

This marinade recipe in its first iteration came about from a bet with the great Josh Wesson, lord of all things food and wine pairing. Once during Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic, he smugly dared me to serve up blue fish in any possible way that would EVER pair with a wine. Once thought to be too oily to be wine-friendly, the pesky poisson was handily tamed by this robust marinade. I WON. I don’t remember where we landed for the wine, but believe it was a Gewurztraminer or something in the Alsatian family.  The marinade went on to earn me a spot in the Gourmet Magazine Healthy Menu Awards final round, and in yet another reboot it was featured  in Great Women Chefs. Until I saw the parade of plums this week, I had not thought of the marinade in quite a while, but dusted it off and tweaked a few ratios and ingredients, and it’s just as full of flavor (and simple to prepare) as I remember. And as is required to qualify for my list of favorite “dump and stir” recipes, this Asian marinated pork lets some of the store-bought ingredients like black bean garlic paste and hoisin do the heavy lifting, flavor-wise.  

Marinating Pork

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Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin & Ginger Plum Salsa


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Description

With all the plums in season right now, it’s the perfect time to whip up a little Asian-inspired Ginger Plum Salsa. And what could be better than serving that with this flavor-rich and a snap to prepare Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin?


Ingredients

Scale

Ginger Plum Salsa

  • 2 cups pitted and diced plums (assorted varieties, about 4 or 5 plums)
  • 1/2 cup diced, peeled cucumber
  • 2 Tablespoons minced red onion or 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of one lime (about 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chiffonade (thin ribbons) of fresh mint

Asian Marinade

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon hoisin
  • 1 Tablespoon black bean garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and fat


Instructions

Make Ginger Plum Salsa

Combine the plums, cucumber and red onion (or scallions) in a small bowl. 

In another small bowl, whisk together the fresh lime juice, honey, crystallized ginger and red pepper flakes.  Pour over the fruit and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Add the mint just before serving.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Make Asian Marinade

Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate the pork at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.  If you are marinating for more than 1 hour, refrigerate, covered.

Grill Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Remove meat from marinade and pat dry.  Start over a hot grill to mark, then cook on a cooler part of the grill (with the lid down) about 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145oF.  Alternatively cook in a 425oF until meat reaches temperature, 20-35 minutes.

Remove from the grill or oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Serve alongside ginger plum salsa. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Asian

Ginger Plum Salsa

Fresh mint and lime juice really elevate the flavors in the salsa and brighten the whole plate. 

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Ginger Plum Salsa

This post contains affiliate links. For more of my must-have items, please visit my shop.

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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Easy Lime & Ginger Rhubarb Chutney

Easy Lime & Ginger Rhubarb Chutney

Spoonful of Rhubarb Ginger Chutney

Who are you ugly-looking, cardoon-like stalk hanging out in my farmers’ market? Why are you catching my eye now? Are you a fruit? A vegetable? What can I do with you? You look absolutely flavorless from here! Why why why would I want to take you home?

Rhubarb Stalks

Well, friends, I am here to tell you how this homely VEGETABLE – yes, not a fruit – can change your life. Like right this very minute. Only 5 minutes of chopping and 7 minutes of stirring and you have the hottest condiment of the season – a zesty gingery dried cherry and lime rhubarb chutney flavor-bomb.

Despite being a vegetable which grows from rhizomes (think ginger), rhubarb is most often treated like a fruit – jams, pies, cobblers, and crisps. That’s because its super tart acidity begs for the addition of something sweet. The large triangular leaves look a bit like the Caribbean vegetable callaloo or even taro. However they are generally considered poisonous. You won’t see them at the market (that would be a mean farmer), but you will see them if you grow your own.  Best to steer clear. They are only a problem if ingested so don’t worry about harvest.

And, you might be wondering about the wide range of color. Sometimes it’s kind of baby diarrhea green, and sometimes its ruby red. In general, the red comes out first in the season and is from a hot-house, and the green is more likely to be field grown showing up later in the season. But color also varies by variety. There are dozens of varietals with flashy names ranging from Egyptian Queen to Prince Albert. The variety German Wine has pink speckling on green stalks, while Fraulein Sharfer Torte has very fat, red stalks. The taste will not vary much, but the appearance of the end product depends on produce selected. Choose stalks that are firm and crisp. Since I got a color combo when purchasing recently, I divided the pieces, while chopping, by color. I cooked the greener pieces down first to get the creamy base and then added the redder pieces in later to add a bit of texture and the bright color.  Whether or not you separate by color will not impact taste, just the aesthetics.  

Simmering the Rhubarb Chutney

One way to heighten and set the color of any red or blue fruit (or vegetable) is to add acid. Often chutneys call for vinegar, and as I was perusing my cabinet for the perfect choice, I saw the two limes I had purchased just for this purpose and forgotten about. Genius! It was a maiden voyage using lime in chutney prep and oh-so-delicious. I served this gingery rhubarb chutney on fresh goat cheese the other day and the first cry from the crowd was “limey deliciousness!”  It is a match made in heaven.

Making Rhubarb Chutney

I also chose dried cherries to add both to the redness of the finished dish and to add a pop of rich dark fruit. Dried fruit in chutney is classic, but golden raisins wouldn’t have done either of the twin duties that dried cherries took on. Chutneys are all about balancing tart and sweet and contrasting textures, often with a touch of heat. This rhubarb chutney recipe combines tart rhubarb with sweet dried cherries and balances the perkiness of lime juice and zest with sugar.  Crystallized ginger adds both heat and texture.  And adding the chopped rhubarb in two stages further adds contrasts in texture.  Because of all the acidity in the dish, be sure to store in a non-reactive (glass) airtight dish.

Jar of Rhubarb Ginger Chutney

If you find yourself with an abundance of rhubarb stalks, trim and chop the stalks and spread out in a single layer and freeze.  Once the pieces are frozen, you can place them in a Ziploc bag and store more compactly. This will give you an off-season supply to make fresh rhubarb chutney to go with your Christmas goose or Easter ham.  I love to top fresh cheeses like goat or fresh ricotta with this chutney or serve with grilled or roast meats like pork, chicken or game. Enjoy!

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Spoonful of Rhubarb Ginger Chutney

Easy Lime & Ginger Rhubarb Chutney


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x

Description

Chutneys are all about balancing tart and sweet and contrasting textures, often with a touch of heat. This rhubarb chutney recipe combines tart rhubarb with sweet dried cherries and balances the perkiness of lime juice and zest with sugar.  Crystallized ginger adds both heat and texture. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of two limes (1/3 cup juice)
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick (about 4 cups)

Instructions

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add lime zest and juice, dried cherries, and crystallized ginger. Return to heat, and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Add sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved. Add about half the rhubarb (see note) and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the rhubarb dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the remaining rhubarb. Simmer until the rest of the rhubarb just begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

Taste and adjust flavor, adding additional sugar or lime juice to balance to your desired level of sweetness.

Notes

I saved the reddest pieces for the second addition of rhubarb to boost the color of the finished dish. 

This can be refrigerated in a non-reactive container, covered, for several weeks.

Serve with cheeses from Brie or fresh Ricotta to Manchego and Parmesan. Also pairs well with grilled meats like chicken and pork. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Rhubarb Ginger Chutney on Fresh Goat Cheese

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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Spiced Cranberry Ginger Kumquat Chutney

Spiced Cranberry Ginger Kumquat Chutney

Spicy Chutney

 

Nothing screams holidays like cranberries, citrus and spice. Mulled wine, orange pomanders (that’s fancy talk for oranges poked full of cloves), and cranberry garlands. So imagine my delight when the good people from the healthy living site Mambo Sprouts shot me a box of the finest spices to review. Squealing! I like to make edible gifts for the holidays – are you with me? We really don’t need one more thing to dust or store. But devour? Hells yeah! Last year I made cheese wafers and put them in a nice little cracker dish (okay, one more thing to store).

Last Year's Cheese Wafers with Cardamom

This year I have on my radar some spice blends and chutney. What’s that you say? Chutney is weird? No, no. Ain’t so. Yes. You are right. But only if you are referring to the more traditional, pungent (read: medicinal tasting) versions that are fortified with mustard oil and strong vinegar. This Anglo spin balances its tarts with equal measure sweets (sugar, dried cranberries and candied ginger), and the acid from kumquats (unlike strong vinegar) borders on sweet. It’s practically dessert, wink wink. It can be the perfect foil to too-rich-double-crème brie or the right amount of sweetness to tangy goat cheese. One chutney can do both! Spicy (think turmeric, allspice and cinnamon), zippy (crystallized ginger), tart (kumquats and crans) and sweet (yeah, there’s some sugar – but not as much, by half, of what you would normally see.)

Kumquats, Crans & Ginger

Palate. Passion. Purpose.

You already know I’m all about this, right? But I have met my match in partnering with Frontier Co-op. A purpose-driven company, Frontier’s theme is Cook with Purpose. Every bottle contains products with a story and the label tells that story. Frontier, as one of the earliest to advocate organics, firmly believes that social responsibility is the foundation for great products and that sustainable agriculture and ethical sourcing yield quality. Since their 1976 Iowa founding (in a river cabin!), they have worked with growers worldwide to build a safe food supply. A large part of that is education and they have created charitable funds (three to be exact) that train farmers and co-ops on how to protect themselves and the environment. The turmeric, sourced in Sri Lanka, was produced by a co-op that benefited from a Frontier grant which enabled an organic training center for the farmers. The cinnamon is Vietnamese. Frontier provided its producers with educational supplies, beds, room & board so the children in these remote communities can be educated. Worldwide, producers are blessed by the generosity of Frontier providing so many basics, ranging from clean water to roads to medical care. Frontier is on a mission – responsibility to people and planet. And btw interesting timing…our paths crossing now. I’m a month away from joining the board of CWS, a global agency with key initiatives in sustainability, hunger, development, and advocacy, among other important work. #fullcircle  Frontier had me at Purpose!

Spicing It Up!

Armed with my box of Frontier Co-op goodies, and knowing it’s the time of year when warm spices soothe the soul, I decided to dose this chutney with Vietnamese cinnamon, turmeric, and allspice. The great thing about warm spices is they can flow from sweet to savory, and in fact this chutney does a bit of both. I spent some time a few years ago in southern India and learned more about Ayurvedic cooking. (I also learned a thing or two – first hand – about Ayurvedic massage. Ever have a massage by two people with a whole lotta oil and choreographed moves? Inner-resting! But, that’s for another post.)

Ready to Cook with Purpose!

A word…or two…about the star ingredients – the spices!

  • Quality cinnamon is different from supermarket cinnamon (generally cassia) due to its super high oil content, a result of specific harvesting techniques. This Vietnamese (fka Saigon) cinnamon has at least a 5% oil content, which makes it more than double the regular stuff. That results in an abundance of flavor, but especially the pungent, sweet and spicy notes. It also means a little bit goes a long way. The difference in color compared with supermarket brands is remarkable.
  • You may remember that Buddha Bowl post with fresh turmeric from the winter. While it’s lovely to source fresh ingredients, chances are that rhizome has been on the road a while. If you want real flavor, reach for a quality dried spice. Often called Indian saffron, turmeric – a member of the ginger family – not only gives curry its bright golden color, but it also adds a pepperiness that makes it a regular in Asian cuisine.
  • And our old friend allspice – I just used it in that yummy pumpkin chia pudding recipe.  While it seemingly combines cinnamon + clove + nutmeg and has a very big name, it’s just a single spice and it hails from Jamaica. No doubt you have seen it as an essential ingredient in jerk chicken. It is in fact the unripe berry of a small evergreen. How very Christmasy!

Let’s get to it!

Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Spiced Cranberry Ginger Kumquat Chutney

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine the cranberries, kumquats, sugar, applesauce, and lemon juice. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to pop, about 5 minutes.

Add the dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Continue simmering until the fruit is softened and the chutney is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.

Remove from heat and let cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, and serve at room temperature.

Makes 3 cups.

Serving Suggestions:  This is great with roast meats, slathered on a sammie, or served alongside or atop cheeses. If you warm it up,  it will thin a bit and it makes the best glaze for your Christmas ham.

Chutney & Cheese

Serving and Giving Notes

The chutney can be made up to 1 week in advance, and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. It will easily last several weeks, but I’m just not going to tell you to prepare it weeks ahead.  Scraping the last bit out of the bottom of the jar 3 weeks in? Well, that’s a different story. By all means!

If you are making this to give as a gift, make sure to sterilize the jars (glass only, please), and let your giftee know this has not been canned, needs to be refrigerated, and is for current consumption.

Chutney & More Cheese

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2016. All rights reserved.

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Turmeric: It Cures What Ails You and Makes a Mean Curry

Turmeric: It Cures What Ails You and Makes a Mean Curry

You know a movement has had its awareness sufficiently raised when a blithe reference slips into a throw-away line on a sitcom. After two posts on food waste last week, imagine my squeals when I heard this from a waiter at a hip millennial launch party on a newish sitcom: “The bruschetta has been made with rescued tomatoes and date of expiration burrata”. I’m squealing. Really. Yipeeeeeeee!

Unfortunately summer bruschetta is the last thing on my cooking mind today. A girl can dream. But as I moped through the grocery looking for anything to lift the gloom of winter’s darkest days, I was thrilled to see fresh turmeric. I didn’t even know you could get this in a mainstream grocery – in the Midwest. It used to be relegated to special trips to Asian markets in big cities. Or more likely it could only be sourced dried and ground. Honestly, I was never a fan of turmeric when I only knew its dried self. I thought it tasted – well, yellow. It didn’t really register much on my palate. But while doing guest chef stints on culinary cruises in the Caribbean, I would gather up ever fresh market item that was a bit unique and had a story and introduce our passengers to these new world treats. I even spent one week being followed by the Food Network, and we hit the Grenada spice market hard.

Fresh and Ground TurmericTurmeric was just one of the many spices I found bears little resemblance to its dry spice counterpart. Mace was another. It makes sense that I love turmeric because it’s related to ginger – and I’m well documented as a “fiend for ginger”. Both are rhizomes, along with galangal, lotus, bamboo, and many more. They spread laterally (called creeping rootstalk) and send shoots up. Many have culinary uses.

Like ginger, turmeric when fresh has a pungent and aromatic taste that can be quite peppery (HOT!), especially when used in excess. It is a key player in many South Asian (Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian) dishes – both for flavor and color; you’ll find it in American food as a colorant that can range from subtle to supreme. Vanilla products like yogurt and pudding turn creamy, not stark white, and mustard turns bright yellow.

But turmeric’s real claim to fame is its medicinal properties. Like ginger, turmeric has powerful anti-nausea (turmeric tea, just boil it up), anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. If only this miracle worker could clean the bath!! (Nobody wants a yellow tub, I know, I know). It’s even being studied for treatment of IBS, Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer. Rock stah!

Infographic courtesy of  Cognitune Smarter Health.

So I grabbed a handful and headed home, determined to make a spicy vegan curry. It doesn’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian, but that is what I had on my mind. Tucking in for the night with a Buddha Bowl of Spicy Goodness.

Start by making a Yellow Curry Paste – this will make four times what you need and freezes well.  You can add a lot of different ingredients or leave out some of these, but this is what I had on hand and so what I used. Roasting the aromatics and toasting the spices, while a bit more time-consuming, will elevate the taste and develop a real depth of flavor that you simply can’t get by just pureeing all the ingredients. It’s worth the commitment.

Oven Roasting Aromatics

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Turmeric Yellow Curry

Chock-full o’ Turmeric Yellow Curry Paste


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x

Description

Many curry recipes are simple purees, but this one roasts the aromatics and toasts the spices. While a bit more time-consuming, this extra step develops depth of flavor that you simply can’t get with dump and whirl. It’s worth the commitment. And bonus – it freezes well!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 pieces of turmeric
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (plus more to drizzle on aromatics)
  • Spice Blend:
    • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
    • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon clove
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 Tablespoons lemongrass paste (a tube usually found with herbs in produce section)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400oF.

Wrap the aromatics, each in their own foil pouch, and place on a sheet pan to roast. (20 minutes for the turmeric; 1 hour for the shallots and garlic)

  •  Shallots – peeled, placed in a foil pouch and drizzled with olive oil
  • Turmeric – well scrubbed, placed in a foil pouch and drizzled with olive oil
  • Garlic – loose outer “paper” removed, tops of each head trimmed, placed in a foil pouch and drizzled with olive oil

In a small sauté pan, heat one Tablespoon olive oil and add all the spices. Sauté, stirring, for about two minutes until the spices start to release their aroma. Transfer to the work bowl of a food processor.

Once the aromatics are cool enough to handle, transfer the shallots and turmeric to the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the processor, picking by hand any that linger behind. Discard the garlic “paper”.

Add the lemongrass paste and sea salt. Puree until desired consistency.

Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate or freeze.

Notes

This will last longer than if it were made with raw herbs or aromatics, and it also freezes well.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blender/Processor
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: turmeric, curry

Yellow Curry Paste

Now that you have that tasty curry, how about whipping up a Coconut Curry Buddha Bowl, filled with hearty and soul-warming sweet potatoes and earthy greens and topped with pumpkin seeds. It’s vegan and you can feel great about that for so many reasons. 

Coconut Turmeric Curry with Winter Vegetable Buddha Bowl

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 inch piece of ginger, trimmed, grated
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow chock-full o’ turmeric yellow curry paste
  • 14-ounce can coconut cream
  • 1 cup (chicken or) vegetable stock
  • 5 ounce bitter salad greens blend (kale, chard, spinach)

Garnish:

  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Serving suggestion – rice or brown rice* (See note below)

 

Start the rice.

In a wok or deep skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the ginger for 2-3 minutes until soft.

Add the sweet potatoes, curry paste, coconut cream and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring periodically, for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and sauce is thickened.

Sweet Potatoes and Bitter Greens

Add the greens and stir until wilted.

Divide rice among bowls and top with sweet potato curry. Garnish with scallions, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

*Brown rice note: I really prefer brown rice but you’ve likely heard the bad news about arsenic. Because it is a whole grain, it has more potential for danger than white rice which has been stripped of its outer hull (and for that matter its nutritional value). Truth be told, I really don’t eat it very often – once a month or less – so I’m not that worried but I do take a couple precautions. Brown basmati from California, India and Pakistan are the best choices – about 1/3 less risk than other brown rices according to Consumer Reports. The other thing I do is rinse it several times, and then cook it like pasta in a 6:1 water ratio (instead of the normal 2:1) and drain the excess water. That will help wash away the evil-doers lurking in your lovely whole grain. My Grandmother always said “you’ve gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die”. I’m guessing she wasn’t talking about arsenic, but she did make it pass 90. Just sayin.

Coconut Turmeric Curry with Winter Vegetables

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