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Floyd Cardoz, chef and co-owner of New York City's Tabla restaurant, is one of the most exciting innovators working behind a stove today. And now, for the first time, he shares the extraordinary recipes that have established his reputation. In them Cardoz is able to make the quantum leap between the American palate and his taste memories—the food of his childhood in Bombay and Goa. The collection, One Spice, Two Spice, is an amalgam of two cuisines by a man who has mastered the ...
Floyd Cardoz, chef and co-owner of New York City's Tabla restaurant, is one of the most exciting innovators working behind a stove today. And now, for the first time, he shares the extraordinary recipes that have established his reputation. In them Cardoz is able to make the quantum leap between the American palate and his taste memories—the food of his childhood in Bombay and Goa. The collection, One Spice, Two Spice, is an amalgam of two cuisines by a man who has mastered the flavors of each.
This volume of more than 140 recipes is a gift to all home cooks who enjoy the flavors of India but are intimidated by the unusual and numerous spices required to prepare these dishes. Here, Cardoz renders those spices user friendly in a down-to-earth primer and glossary. Then, in the recipe notes, he shows you how to easily integrate these new flavors into everyday meals and dinner-party fare. The techniques—sautéing, panfrying, braising, poaching, and roasting—are not new. The results, however, are astonishing.
Imagine crisp panfried black pepper shrimp, meaty sea scallops seared and served in a satiny sweet-sour glaze, asparagus and morels sautéed in a spicy blend of shallot, ginger, and chile—all of which can be made in no time flat. Other recipes—steak rubbed with crushed peppercorns and coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds, duck bathed in an aromatic orange curry, lamb meatballs filled with an herbaceous combination of fresh figs, cilantro, and mint and then napped with a lush, lustrous green sauce—may require more marinating or cooking time, but the trade-off is Cardoz's three-star-restaurant cooking at home.
One Spice, Two Spice is more than a cookbook. It is a gateway to a different way of thinking about the food on your plate, and it brings Indian flavors into the modern American repetoire.
Parsis are members of the Persian religion called Zoroastrianism. One of their culinary techniques is to coat fish with chutney before cooking it. Rather than putting the chutney on the outside, I tuck it inside. The mahimahi's savory juices mingle with the chutney and create a light, fragrant sauce.
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
½ cup Coconut Coriander Chutney (page 232)
Six 5-ounce pieces mahimahi
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Finely grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns together in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Stir the ground spices and chutney together in a small bowl.
Starting at a narrow end of each piece of mahimahi, cut a slit in each piece with a small paring knife, cutting almost all the way down to the other narrow end. (Don't go all the way through.) Stuff each piece of fish with a generous tablespoon of stuffing. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper and let sit for 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until itshimmers and sauté the fish until golden on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula and transfer the skillet to the middle of the oven. Roast the fish until just done, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve the fish in wide shallow bowls or soup plates with the sauce.
While I was growing up, my family lived near fishing villages in both Bombay and Goa, so we were able to get the freshest shrimp imaginable. As a child, I looked forward to Fridays because we always had shrimp for lunch. (We Cardoz children didn't eat lunch at school like many other children but went home for the midday meal.) The sweetness of the shrimp, the heat of freshly ground black peppercorns, and the citrusy flavor of the coriander seeds make a great combination. I serve this with Watermelon Lime Salad (page 31) or cucumber and onion salad. For a first course, simply halve the recipe. The shrimp can be grilled, too, but first brush the rack with oil so they don't stick. I call for extra-large shrimp, but use whatever size is local or freshest and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
30 extra-large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled and deveined
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup canola oil
Juice of 1 lime (2 to 3 tablespoons)
Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds separately in an electric coffee/spice grinder until medium-fine. Combine the ground spices with the olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Add the shrimp, tossing to coat well. Marinate the shrimp, covered and chilled, for at least 1 and up to 24 hours.
Season the shrimp with the salt. Heat ½ cup of the canola oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until the oil just begins to shimmer. Carefully put half the shrimp in the skillet and panfry them until crisp, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain the shrimp on paper towels or brown paper and drizzle with the lime juice.
Cook the remaining shrimp in the remaining oil and drizzle with lime juice in the same way.
Excerpted from One Spice, Two Spice by Floyd Cardoz Copyright © 2006 by Floyd Cardoz. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted October 28, 2006