We have almost no family here in the US, meaning my parents, cousins, relatives, in laws live back in India. But I must say this: what we do have are friends whom we have made along these years, some of whom have turned into family and are very special to us!
So I invited a special couple who are like family to us for lunch on July 4th. I decided to make something different that they would enjoy too! The last time we had them I made this traditional Indian flat bread with Indian Cottage Cheese Curry and Lentil Soup and so forth. This time, I put a lot of thought into the menu.
We started with a chilled Lemonade drink topped with some cumin and “chaat” mix! My husband decided to take this up since he is very good at it:)
For starters, we planned on making a pesto which is made of basil and pistachios. I came across some fresh corn at my Farmers Market and decided to pick some a few days back. So why not use the corn to go with the pesto!!!!!
I grilled some fresh corn in the grill till I saw beautiful char marks on them and then sprinkled some salt, pepper, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon for acidity!
Then, I take a knife and cut off the corn into a bowl and mix my pesto thats filling up the room with its fragrance:)
My husband had also gotten this Crostini bread from the store so we cut slices and serve my “Corn Pesto on top of my Crostini”
Now for the main course! For a very long time, I have been looking to find whats called as King Mushrooms. I have a blog friend Tim and we exchange comments and feedback on our posts and he had mentioned to me that “King Mushrooms” were very flavorful. I had finally picked some from the Farmers Market and was contemplating on making a dish with these gorgeous looking King Shrooms!
So I decided to roast some garlic with these mushrooms in a pan and to place them on what I call a “Beet Carrot Puree”. I love the color that you get when you puree some beets and carrots!!! Its phenomenal and tasty too. The key here is to counter balance the sweetness by the beetroot- and this I accomplished by roasting some garlic (and I mean a good amount of garlic cloves)with some cayenne, salt, cumin, coriander and lemon pepper. Then I blend this roasted garlic infused with my spices along with the carrots and the beets. The cayenne and the spices in the garlic render some heat which knocks out the sweetness of the beets and the carrots and balance them in such a beautiful way!
“Our family” who was visiting us yesterday also wanted to taste my Baked Cauliflower dish. Every single time I make this dish, I always try to make it different, change up ingredients a little bit to see how it turns out! So this time, I made “Baked Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions, Pistachios in a Yogurt Cilantro Basil Sauce”
I baked the cauliflower with my special blend of Indian spices in then oven along with the pistachios. I caramelized some onions and garlic and plated it along with my baked cauliflower!
We also prepared some “Quinoa with Onions, Tomatoes, Jalapeno’s, Slivered Almonds and topped with Pomegranates” that went really well with both my dishes and my guests were introduced to something new that they have promised to learn and cook once they go back.
They simply loved everything and my day was fulfilled and efforts paid off by the smiles that lit up their faces topped with some absolutely wonderful conversation around the table!!!
I hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making them for special people close to heart!
With much love as always………