Tender seafood curry

Finishing up the California launch party photos on my phone. Basic process for making a tender seafood curry — make the curry sauce, get it to just the way you like it, slip the seafood in, and cook it just long enough, uncovered, to cook through. A little water will usually come off the seafood, thinning the sauce, but then as you cook it through, that will evaporate again, so you should end up with deliciousness in just a few minutes. Works for salmon, other fish, scallops, shrimp, crab, squid, etc.

You can also cook longer, and sometimes I do, esp. if I’m making more of a mixed seafood stew, and that’ll help get the seafood flavor to really permeate the sauce, but it also ends up making the seafood itself more firm, so there’s a bit of a tradeoff there.
I suppose you if you were being really fancy, you could make a stock first, with seafood that you planned to discard, and use that as your base, then only simmer a fresh batch of seafood a little while in the stock-based curry sauce. I do sometimes do that with shrimp shells, if I’m being fancy. But it would feel wasteful to do it with actual seafood. I don’t know if anyone ever does that at fancy restaurants. I kind of hope not.

Milk toffee

I was cooking this batch of milk toffee in Jed’s unfamiliar pan on his unfamiliar stove, so it got a little burnt, but if that happens to you, don’t fret — it’s still delicious, it turns out. Just with more of a caramelized, complex flavor. I still like classic milk toffee best, but I think some people would likely prefer it this way!

Pineapple marshmallows

Emptying my phone of photos from the cookbook launch party at Alex and Christa‘s place. This was pineapple marshmallows (use my standard recipe from Feast, but soak the gelatin in 1/2 c. pineapple juice instead of water), with a little passionfruit puree swirled in. Yum.

Lime-masala mushrooms

I don’t have a recipe for this yet — it’s a fusion dish I made up for the launch party I held at Alex and Christa‘s house last month, and I was doing feast cooking for a big crowd, so a little too frenetic to stop and write down measurements for recipes. But I wanted to post this, mostly to remind myself to make it again at some point and write it up, because it was VERY popular.

Essentially, it’s my lime-masala mushrooms (recipe in Feast), but with added cashews, and cooked down with heavy cream instead of coconut milk. If you’re looking for a decadent vegetarian dish that ALSO packs a decent amount of protein, here you go. πŸ™‚
You could also do it with coconut milk, of course, and vegan butter, if you wanted to do a vegan version.

(Did you know that you can buy signed copies of Feast from me directly, now on sale, AND add on curry powder (or masks) if you’d like? If not, now you know: https://serendibshop.com/…/a-feast-of-serendib…)

Salted Honey & Lavender Shortbread

If possible, serve warm, as the combination of honey and lavender smells incredible. They taste good too. πŸ™‚

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. jaggery or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. honey
1 t. culinary lavender

optional for decorating: luster dust, small grain flake salt, sanding sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and honey. Then add flour mix slowly; mix on low until dough forms. Stir in lavender.

3. Turn out dough onto floured board. Roll flat (to desired cookie height, usually about 1/2 inch). Chill 15 minutes, then roll with embossing pin if using. Cut out shapes, place on parchment-covered baking sheet, and chill for an additional 15 minutes (to help hold shape).

NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh.

Alternately, press into baking pan or shortbread mold, prick with fork. You can also cut shapes out after baking β€” shortbread is very forgiving that way β€” but then the individual cookie edges won’t be browned.

4. Remove from fridge and bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool. Decorate if desired with luster dust, flake salt, or sanding sugar.

Cookies Three Ways

Finished set of salted honey & lavender cookies — some sprinkled with flake salt, some sprinkled with sanding sugar, some gilded with luster dust. Cookies three ways. πŸ™‚ Recipe in next post.

Still Tasty

One more variation on yesterday’s cookies — sprinkled with a little yellow sanding sugar. I thought this might make them too sweet, but no, it’s still tasty.