Once the holidays start rolling in, my mind goes to rice. Whenever we had a family holiday dinner, there was always rice. The yellow rice with raisins and almonds, which to be fully honest, I wasn’t a fan of. The yellow color of the rice was surely artificial and I only like raisins as a snack, not in my rice. This rice recipe stirs up from that holiday rice served at my family table, this time with great spices and better dried fruits (at least in my opinion…sorry, Grandma!)
This version includes powdered turmeric and Aleppo pepper for spices; plump dried prunes and chewy dates add texture and nutrients; the rice is infused with cardamom pods and cinnamon, which make your home smell glorious while it’s cooking.
Serve this as the perfect side dish to a holiday meal, bringing color and texture to the table. You can substitute the prunes and dates for any dried fruit you have on hand: apricots, mangoes, and even dried pineapple would work perfectly in this dish.
Photos: Marnely Rodriguez-Murray
With the warm weather slowly approaching, we’re always looking for ways to cool down and get our bodies bathing suit ready by eating our fruits and veggies. With that in mind, smoothies are always a great option for a snack on-the-go and a great way to pack in extra servings of fruit we need to stay healthy.
Pomegranates seeds are jam packed with antioxidants, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer, and their sweet tart taste make it a perfect ingredient for a smoothie without having to add extra sugar. While fewer and fewer pomegranates are available in the market, we don’t have to kiss the pomegranate goodbye just yet. Especially when we always have pomegranate juice at our reach!
Try this Pomegranate Blueberry Banana Smoothie for an extra healthful boost in the morning or a sweet treat at the end of your day! For a vegan version, use soy yogurt instead.
My mother is always accusing me of being “not Italian enough”. When I was younger it was because I didn’t like marinara sauce, but lately it’s been due to the fact that I refuse to chomp on raw fennel with her after every meal. She recently discovered that in Italy, fennel is used as a palate cleanser in between courses, so now she and two of my aunts fight over who gets the honor of bringing the bulbs to holiday dinners. Then, when it seems like the main meal is just about to close, they chop that fennel up and just about attempt to force it down everyone’s throats.
This is generally where I try to make a run for it. Take over clearing-off-the-table duty, absent myself from the vicinity, etc. I just can’t handle the texture and flavor of raw fennel. It’s so, for lack of a better word, stalk-like.
However, cooking it is a total game-changer. Read More
Remember those stories about the Garden of Eden that you have heard? Supposedly, it wasn’t an apple with which the serpent tempted Eve, but a Pomegranate. Maybe even a Pomegranate cocktail.
Originally native to parts of China, India and the Middle East, the pomegranate made its way into western civilization with the onset of trade. Celebrated by ancient Egyptians but purposely avoided by early meat loving Europeans, the word pomegranate means seeded apple. Pomegranates gained popularity in more recent years with its identification as an antioxidant rich “super fruit” and remains one of the few fruits that are nearly impossible to find out of season.
Lucky you, pomegranates are in season during November and December and serve as a great addition to a multitude of culinary adventures, from salad dressings, homemade jellies and that’s right, cocktails. Read More
Happy (Belated) Independence Day, Mexico! Though I cannot claim its heritage as my own, I am Mexican at heart. I love everything about it, from celebrating ancestry on Day of the Dead, to pastel de tres leches, and the melodramatics of Telenovelas. Like any culture, there are few traditions more precious than food and naturally it is the most enjoyed by even those who can’t share decent. Yesterday, September 16th was the Mexican Day of Independence and the day when, in my opinion, the best Mexican dish is served: Chiles en Nogadas. Read More
This weekend, I’m planning to toast the Jewish holidays with a new kosher vodka, L’Chaim. Hebrew for ‘to life,’ the phrase ‘l’Chaim’ embodies the spirit of the contemporary Hannukah holiday. The vodka is corn-based, from Israel and is from a “generations-old Russian recipe brought to that country by Jewish immigrants.” L’Chaim is also in the process of making kosher rum and tequila.
This year, I’m trying something new for my Thanksgiving turkey. I am making a marinade of coconut milk, buttermilk and pomegranate juice. I think this will ensure a really moist holiday bird.
You can make this recipe yourself! Start this tomorrow by brining the turkey in a saltwater mixture. Then, on the morning of Thanksgiving, transfer the turkey to a flavorful marinade that will seal moisture into the bird. With a 2 1/2 hours of roasting, you will have plenty of time to get your other dishes done in the kitchen. Read More
Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More