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Oct 8, 2019 12:51 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Tumeric Is The Spice Of Life (And Asian Food)

Spicy Peanut Sauce. JANEEN SARLIN
Oct 8, 2019 12:51 PM

Turmeric fights inflammation and joint pain and according to health pundits, it may boost your brainpower. India‘s Ayurveda system has long used turmeric to improve digestion and promote GI healing. Some would call turmeric a “super spice/food” it’s been around for over 4,000 years and eaten by millions of people worldwide. Turmeric acts as an anti-oxidant, plus it adds a pop of bright culinary color to vegetables, rice, and sauces. Turmeric plays well with others such as ginger, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, cumin and garlic.

Serve this spicy peanut, turmeric, and coconut milk sauce with a roast chicken or pork loin. And why not update a fennel salad using this sauce? It’s delicious.

Turmeric transforms white cauliflower into a beautiful golden “non-carb rice” dish. I added shishito peppers, petit pois and parsley to the cauliflower, but feel free to add your favorite vegetables.

I love turmeric and cardamom flavored shortbread cookies. Once you taste them, you’ll keep them as a staple in your pantry. They are especially good with a cup of afternoon tea! Bon appetit!

Peanut Sauce With Turmeric And Coconut Milk

(Yield about 2 cups)

1 cup organic peanut butter (or tahini)

About 1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut cream (1/2 14 ounce-can)

1 slice size of a quarter, ginger root, peeled and grated

6 cloves confit of garlic or 2 cloves raw garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce, or more to taste

2 teaspoons sesame oil, or more to taste

1 teaspoon hot chili oil, or more to taste

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or more to taste

2 teaspoons turmeric, or more to taste

Grated zest of one large lemon

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

To prepare:

Working in a food processor, mini chop or blender add the peanut butter and coconut milk/cream and process until smooth. Add fresh ginger and garlic and process until smooth. Add tamari, sesame oil, chili oil, Sriracha sauce, turmeric, lemon zest and juice.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Can be made ahead of time, store in clean glass jar, cover, and refrigerate. Garnish the sauce with fresh herbs.

Shaved Fennel 
With Peanut Sauce

(Serves 4)

1 large head fennel, washed and fronts removed (about 4 cups shredded)

Pinch sea salt

Juice of half a lemon

5 scallions, trimmed and cut into thin slices

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

4 to 5 generous tablespoons of peanut sauce (recipe above)

Chopped fresh herbs for garnish

To prepare:

Cut fennel bulb in half, green stalks/fonts trimmed and remove core. Working with a mandoline, benriner, or sharp knife, cut into very thin slices or shreds. Transfer to a bowl, stir in salt and lemon juice. Add scallions and parsley and toss. Add peanut sauce one tablespoon at a time, tossing well after each addition. The sauce should lightly coat the fennel. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight. Just before serving toss, again add more sauce if needed, and sprinkle with chopped herbs.

Cauliflower Rice With Turmeric And Parsley

(Serves 4)

1 small to medium head cauliflower, washed and cored, cut into florets

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more if needed

1 medium white onion, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

About 1/2 cup good quality vegetable stock or water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons turmeric or more to taste

1/2 cup blistered shishito peppers, chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup extra fancy petit pois, defrosted and drained

About 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

To prepare:

Working in the food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, add the florets and process, working in batches, until the mixture resembles couscous.

In a large skillet over moderate high heat, coat the bottom with oil, add onion and shallots sauté until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and vegetable stock, stir well, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and “steam” cauliflower until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cooking time depends on the amount of cauliflower in the pan.

Stir in salt, pepper, and half of the turmeric. Taste and add more turmeric according to personal preference. Stir in shishito peppers and peas and saute until vegetables are hot. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with parsley.

Turmeric And Cardamom Scented Shortbread Squares

(About 4 dozen)

2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

To prepare:

Working in the food processor bowl fitted with the stainless steel blade, add butter, sugar, salt and process until smooth. Add vanilla and process about thirty seconds, add turmeric and cardamom and process until smooth. Add flour and process until the mixture is well combined. Transfer the dough to a gallon sized zip-lock bag. On a flat surface and with a rolling pin, evenly roll the dough out to the edges of the bag, eliminating any bubbles. Seal the bag and refrigerate on a flat cookie sheet until the dough is firm overnight or for several days.

To bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Slit open all three sides of the bag, exposing the surface of the dough. With a pastry cutter or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about one inch apart. With a table fork, prick holes through each cookie and refrigerate them until the dough is very firm at least 20 minutes.

Place the cold cookies in the center of the preheated oven and bake until set and light brown on the edges, about 20 to 22 minutes.

Remove from oven, transfer cookies to a rack and cool.

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