2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice from half a lemon (if you’ve got one of those sad, juiceless lemons, use both sides for juice)
Couple good pinches of salt
A few grinds of black pepper, and/or pinches of red pepper flakes
A few glugs of olive oil
Mix everything but the olive oil in a small-to-midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher. You’re not looking for a hummus-like puree but something closer to a coarse chop with a few smaller bits to hold it together. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, a glug or two of olive oil, mix it lightly and enjoy.
This is also awesome as a sandwich on toasted bread. Technically, it needs nothing else on it. But, if you want to doll it up, here are some ideas: A slice of roasted red pepper (‘wichcraft’s way), a slice of pickled garlicky red pepper (our way), and a few leaves of sharp greens, such as watercress or arugula. Or, as shown right above this recipe, on an open-faced slice of toast first schmeared with a tahini dressing. Make tahini dressing with a big spoonful of tahini, one minced garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, and thinned with water to a loose but spreadable consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.
Three more delicious ingredients to add, if you have them: Harissa, mixed in, or dolloped on top. A small spoonful of minced, preserved lemon. A larger spoonful or two of olive tapenade, in place of the chopped olives.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans with flour-based baking spray, or grease and flour.
Place the cranberries in a medium bowl and add brown sugar; toss to coat and set aside. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together until incorporated. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and almond extract. Beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together on low speed until just combined. Use a large spatula to scrape down the bowl and fold batter together to make sure no pockets of flour or wet ingredients remain.
Divide half of the batter between the two prepared pans. The batter will be thick and sticky, so coat a rubber spatula with cooking spray and use it to press the batter evenly into the pans (re-spray as needed). Top each pan of batter with 1/4 of the brown sugar-coated cranberries. Cut almond paste in half and crumble one half of the paste into each pan over the cranberries. Divide the remaining batter between the two pans. Spread evenly with a greased rubber spatula. Divide the remaining brown sugar-coated cranberries between the two pans; sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown on top and a toothpick tester inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to the skewer. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and almond extract in a medium bowl. Add additional milk if needed to thin. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cakes. Serve.
Refrigerate leftovers. Bring cake to room temperature or warm in the microwave or oven before serving.
1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 large egg 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Chesapeake Spices, Old Bay could be substituted 1 tablespoon of lemon Juice 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 pound lump crabmeat, check for any shells without breaking up the lump meat 1 slice dried white bread broken into small pieces 1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and Chesapeake spices
Add lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl light toss the crabmeat with the bread pieces. Gently, without damaging the lump crab meat, fold the mayonnaise mixture into the crabmeat. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or until mixture is firm.
Using a scoop or just your hands gently firm 4 1/2-cup crab cakes, approximately 11/2 inches thick. Heat oil in sauté pan, add crab cakes and cook over medium high heat, approximately 3 minutes per side.
1 cup green peas 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1 lemon, juiced For the Cilantro Lime Chutney: 2 small bunches fresh cilantro with stems 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves 1/4 cup sliced green onions 1 serrano pepper, sliced 1 limes, juiced, or more to taste 1/2 cup plain yogurt salt to taste 6 flour tortillas, or as needed 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes. Transfer into a pot of cold water. Stir in salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over medium heat until cubes are tender but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook and stir until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne in a small bowl for the spice mix.
Add serrano pepper, garlic, ginger, and the spice mix to the onions. Cook and stir until mixture is well combined, about 2 minutes. Add peas; cook until heated through and slightly tender, about 3 minutes.
Transfer mixture into a bowl with the potatoes. Add cilantro and lemon juice. Mix with a spatula until filling is well combined, with some potatoes partially mashed. Add more salt if needed.
Combine cilantro, mint, green onions, serrano pepper, lime juice, and yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt.
Spread a few spoonfuls of the filling over one half of 1 tortilla. Fold in half. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook each quesadilla until browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer quesadilla onto your work surface and cut in thirds. Plate and serve at any temperature, alongside the chutney sauce.
Dry mix 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. To gift, you’ll need two pint jars with a screw-top lid. Place two cups of waffle mixture in each jar.
For waffles Yield: 4 Belgian waffles, or 6-8 standard waffles 2 cups waffle mix (above) 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Place waffle mix in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a heated and buttered waffle iron (capacities will vary). Cook for 5 minutes or until waffles are golden.
Notes: When I take this mix to-go, I include a vanilla bean in each jar of mix. Although it’s not necessary, I enjoy the extra layer of flavor. The bean can be split and scraped then added in with the wet ingredients. Buttermilk substitute – 1 cup sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup whole milk.