It probably comes as no surprise to most of you that I watch a lot of television. I tend to fall victim to teen dramas, NBC sitcoms and reality show competitions. And while I’ll admit that I do watch a lot of crap (as I’m often lovingly reminded so by the Husby), I’m proud to say that I’ve never seen an episode of Jersey Shore.
When the Fruitaholic was first born, we watched a lot of the Food Network. I’d listen to Rachael Ray rasp at me during feedings, wonder during diaper changes how Paula Deen was still alive as she used pounds of butter in her dishes and get lost in Giada’s teeth when the Fruitaholic woke during the night. We joked that with the amount of Food Network shows seen throughout his first few months of life, the Little Dude had no choice but to become a chef. It was then that I started watching the Next Food Network Star.
This past season, Aarti Sequiera was my favorite from the beginning. She had a great on-camera presence, a likeable personality, and an idea for a show that really hadn’t been done before. I’ve always been enamored by Indian flavors, but never really thought that a home cook such as myself would be able to recreate those dishes in my kitchen. Aarti has a great blog that she still keeps up with even though she’s a big star now.
This meal comes from Aarti’s first episode. I really loved that she took a familiar dish and added her own spin to it. We served this when we had friends over for dinner and everyone agreed that it was great. Even the babies gobbled it up!
Bombay Sloppy Joes – created by Aarti Sequiera, as seen on Food Network.
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced **TIP: keep extra ginger root in the freezer. It will keep for months**
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
- 1 tsp. Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
- 1 Cup Water
For the Turkey:
- 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 Cup Shelled Pistachios
- 1/4 Cup Raisins
- 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 Large White Onion, Finely Diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeds and Membrane Removed, Finely Diced
- 1/2 Serrano Chile Pepper, Seeds Intact (do not chop)
- 1 Lb. Ground Turkey
- 1/2 tsp. Honey
- 1/4 Cup Half and Half
- Salt, to taste
- Small handful Chopped Fresh Cilantro (soft stems included)
- Buns (I used Arnolds 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins)
Begin making the sauce. Over medium heat, warm the oil in a saucepan until it shimmers. Add ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add pistachios and raisins, and cook until the raisins plump and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from pan and set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and warm. Add the cumin seeds and sizzle for 10 seconds. Stir in the onions and bell pepper, saute until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add serrano pepper and saute for another few minutes, seasoning with salt. Stir in the turkey, break up any big lumps and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Once the sauce is ready, pour into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Remove the serrano pepper, add the honey, half and half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through until well combined. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro. Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve.
Massaged Kale Salad – created by Aarti Sequiera, as seen on Food Network.
- 1 Bunch Kale, stalks removed and discarded, leaves torn or thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, Juiced
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 tsp. Honey
- 1 Mango, Diced
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Small Handful Toasted Pepitas
In a serving bowl, add the kale, half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Massage with your hands until the kale starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil and whisk until a dressing forms.
Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.