Eggplant Fritters
Adapted from a recipe from the Restaurant Marie-Antoinette in Mahé, Seychelles, www.theworldwidegourmet.com

  • 1 medium to large globe eggplant OR
  • 1-2 japanese eggplants, sliced into rounds
  • oil for frying
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 c. water
  • A pinch of ground anise and turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Whisk together spices and flour adding water to a batter of a nice consistency, similar to pancake batter. It should be thick enough to stick to a test piece of eggplant and not run off. Coat each piece in batter well and fry in hot oil, turning so that each side is golden. Pieces will fry better if not touching each other. Drain on paper towel lined pan in a warm oven until serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. These are delicious served as a side or main dish with Anatolian Yogurt sauce and flatbread. Serves 4-6.
 

Star Recommends: Fattoria Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano
A predominately Sangiovese cuvee to which are added mostly Alicante and Malvasia Nera, Morellino di Scansano is a fruity, velvety and perfumed red wine. Tasty notes of black cherries, smoke and earthiness complemented by a nice sense of freshness on the finish round out this delicious wine, which is also a good value.


Anné Yalçîn’s Turkish Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Solmaz Yalçîn

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 medium onion, sliced in 1/2 rounds
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Anatolian Yogurt Sauce or 1 can of unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: In a glass dish, rub chicken breasts with oil. Then squeeze lemon juice over them and sprinkle thyme and spices so that they are fully coated. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, lightly brown the breasts on each side, adding oil if necessary. Add onions and garlic, cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 10-20 minutes or until tender and juicy, adding a little water to prevent drying. Remove lid and top with Anatolian Yogurt Sauce or tomatoes and parsley. Cover and allow to simmer on low for 5 minutes or until sauce becomes hot, but does not boil. Serve with rice or couscous and flatbread. Serves 4.
 

Star Recommends: Joel Gott Chardonnay
a Chardonnay that has flavors of citrus, pear and jasmine with bright acid structure. To preserve these characteristics and retain the purity of the fruit, they crafted this wine using stainless steel tanks for fermentation and aging, and prevented malolactic fermentation. This is simply a clean, crisp, delicious Chardonnay unfettered by toasty oak or buttery lactic acid flavors.


Taste of Spring Lemon-Dijon Salad
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets of uniform size
  • 1 small crown of broccoli, cut into florets of uniform size
  • 12 pre-peeled baby carrots
  • 3 oz. sugar snap peas, optional
  • 3 oz. arugula, watercress, tatsoi or dandelion greens
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch of radishes, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, minced

Directions: In a large pot of boiling water, blanch cauliflower for approximately 2 minutes, drain, rinse with cold water, blot dry and refrigerate. Repeat with the broccoli, setting aside with the cauliflower. In a second pot of boiling water blanch the carrots and snow peas, then pour this water over the greens in a colander to wilt them and then. Drain, blot and chill. Mix all the vegetables together with the radishes, scallions and parsley and return to the fridge. Before serving, whisk together mustard, lemon juice and garlic. Toss with blanched and raw vegetables; and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a sprig of parsley. Serves 4-6.
 

Star Recommends: Quinta da Avaleda Vihno Verde
This gently effervescent Portuguese white wine is an excellent value. Its high acidity makes it refreshing, and a bit of spiciness tempers the melon, green apple and peach flavors. This is a fairly straightforward, light wine, so reviews say it’s best served with light fish preparations, including sushi and salads.


Winter Soup
Adapted from a recipe from www.theworldwidegourmet.com
This recipe can be adapted to any winter vegetables you have on hand.

  • 4 c. stock or broth
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 wedge of squash or pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 white cabbage, cut into strips
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and diced
  • 3 Tbs. Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

Directions: Melt the butter in a large stockpot and cook the leeks, celery, carrot and turnip for about 10-15 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the stock, cabbage, potatoes and squash or pumpkin and simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until everything is nice and tender, adding water if necessary. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, transfer to a tureen and add a knob of butter just before serving. Serves 4-6.
 

Star Recommends: Badger Mountain Organic Syrah
Overwhelming, super ripe, almost jammy blackberry and blueberry with a dose of sun-baked earth and sweet oak. The flavors mimic the aromas exactly, with a huge, balanced mouthful of blueberry jam that carries into a long fruity finish tempered by blackberry bramble.


Anatolian Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from a recipe by Solmaz Yalçîn

  • 1 c. fresh plain yogurt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh parsley or mint, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. butter, browned with sumac or paprika (optional)

Directions: In a small glass dish crush garlic over yogurt. Add olive oil and salt to taste. Whip until light. The garlic flavor will strengthen if made in advance. Adjust to taste. Fresh parsley or mint may be added for variation. Use as a sauce for roasted vegetables, over baked chicken or rice pilaf. When plating, drizzle sumac browned butter over yogurt sauce.


Chocolate Ice Cream with Anise Scented Orange Carpaccio
Adapted from a recipe from www.theworldwidegourmet.com

  • Chocolate ice cream
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 oranges or other citrus fruit
  • 1 Tbs. chocolate shavings, optional

Directions: In a small saucepan, squeeze the juice of one of the oranges and simmer with the anise until reduced, remove the anise and set aside in the refrigerator to cool. Peel the other three oranges, removing any white pith and slice into thin rounds with a sharp knife. Arrange in shallow dishes with 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream. Pour the anise-flavored orange juice over the slices and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Serves 4.
 

Star Recommends: Warre’s Otima 10-year-old Tawny Port
The latest addition to the range of fine ports from Warre’s, Otima is an aged 10-year-old Tawny especially suitable for those with a preference for the lighter style of Port. Its delicate palate challenges the traditional perception of Port as a dark and full-bodied after-dinner drink. Great with chocolate.