After this challenging year filled with so much uncertainty and anxiety, we are all hoping that 2021 brings with it an abundance and infusion of fresh energy to our kitchens and renewal of our spirit.
It is always fun to look back at the recipes that appealed to my loyal followers. In addition to posting your favorites, I am also including 2021 food-based rituals to help you bring in the new year to your kitchen. Wishing you good health, prosperity, and good luck in 2021.
Ichiban Japanese Eggplant
I love the silky smooth texture of eggplant especially in this Ichiban Japanese Eggplant with Ginger and Garlic. The deep, dark, long and slender Japanese eggplants are perfect served as a quick appetizer or a vegetable side either hot or at room temperature.
This recipe for Hamachi Carpaccio was inspired by Nobu’s fusion cooking style and blends his Japanese heritage with an influence from Peru. This sashimi or carpaccio is typically prepared with “hamachi” or Japanese amberjack known as yellowtail. You can also make it with salmon or sashimi-grade tuna.
Mosca’s, an unpretentious New Orleans institution since 1946, is a Louisiana Creole Italian restaurant in a remote area of the city. Mosca’s offers an adventure in eating and is not for the faint of heart or for those that may require gluten-free or fat-free diets. Robust Italian flavors permeate the Oysters Mosca. This recipe is my family’s adaptation and interpretation of the garlicky baked oyster dish.
Peruvian Quinoa with Vegetables
Here is my interpretation of a Peruvian quinoa salad or Peruvian Quinoa with Vegetables with beans, peppers, and tomatoes. Check out my “Pollo a la Brasa” (Peruvian Chicken) recipe for a complete Peruvian menu.
Creole Stuffed Bell Peppers
I love multicolored stuffed peppers with meats, rice, exotic herbs, and nuts. Most of the recipes I seem to crave for stuffed vegetables are middle eastern in origin. However, these Creole Stuffed Bell Peppers come straight from my family kitchen in New Orleans.
Crawfish Bread, a springtime ritual on the bayou and in New Orleans.
Spiced Kumquat Chutney
Thanks to my friend Debbi Berger and my over-productive kumquat tree, I am never at a loss for enough of these sweet and sour winter citrus. Chutney, cocktails, salads, sauces, and upside-down cakes….can you think of anything else for the adaptable kumquat? Check out the recipe if you missed it here.
Mardi Gras Punch
There are many versions of rum punch throughout the Caribbean and in New Orleans…the Hurricane cocktail at Pat O Brien’s is the most well known, of course. Rum punch does not need to be a sweet red insipid concoction guaranteed to give you a headache. Use the standard formula (1 of sour, 2 of sweet, 3 of strong, and 4 of weak) from the islands or my variation of Mardi Gras Punch and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Smothered cabbage is an essential component of the New Year’s day menu or for any time of the year. It can be vegetarian or for you, meat lovers, add a little bacon for that southern smoky flavor. More comfort food in one pot! Make this with or without my black eyed peas recipe. To your health and prosperity! Happy New Year!