Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Archive for May, 2012

Pistachio Pesto

Posted by fourclankitchen on May 27, 2012

This is a wonderful variation on pesto.  You can use your favorite pesto recipe and swap out the pine nuts for the pitsachio nuts.  Or use the one below.  I had cilantro, so I used cilantro.  Parsley would have been fine too.  You just can’t sub out the basil, is all.   The pesto will keep in the freezer and if you add a film of oil on top, it will also mostly retain its color.  The pesto is great with pasta, as a dip, as a flavoring agent for soup, smeared on bread, you name it. So it is a really versatile little condiment to have in your repertoire.


2 cups basil leaves (tender stems and all), rinsed and drained

1 cup cilantro leaves (tender stems and all), rinsed and drained

2 sprigs mint

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/2 cup pistachio nuts (I used toasted, salted and shelled)

juice from 1/2 a lime

salt, to taste (you won’t need much since the pistachio nuts are salted)


1. Place the leaves, nuts, salt, lime juice, garlic  in a food processor and pulse till a paste forms.

2. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil till a smooth pesto like paste forms. Depending on how tightly you have packed the leaves, the amount of oil will differ.

3. Taste and adjust the salt.


Posted in Brunch, condiments, Main Dishes, pasta, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Butterscotch Brownies

Posted by fourclankitchen on May 19, 2012

I love caramel/butterscotch in any shape or form, whether on an apple cake or in a brownie.  I have no idea why caramel or butterscotch, which is a combination of butter, brown sugar and a little salt, is so delectable. These are simple butterscotch brownies that I have made forever from the Betty Crocker cookbook.  It is wonderful to bring to any shindig that involves a lot of kids or adults for that matter.  And it tastes just different enough from a chocolate brownie to stand out in a crowd of desserts.  The recipe as written is for a 8×8 pan, which makes somewhat thin brownies.  I like mine taller, so I use a 9×13″ pan and double the recipe.  You can a cup of  any of the following add ins if you like:  1 cup of chocolate chips or nuts or my favorite: dried sweet cherries.


 1  stick (1/2 cup) butter (I use salted)

2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup flour

2  teaspoons baking powder

1/2  teaspoon salt

2  teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of your  favorite add in (1  cup nuts, dried cherries, white or dark chocolate chips)


1. Preheeat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour  a 9- x 13- x2-inch baking pan.

2. Melt butter over ow heat. Remove from heat and blend in brown sugar. Cool. Stir in lightly beaten eggs.

3. Sift/mix together  the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in vanilla and any add ins that you might be using (optional).

4.  Spread in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25-35  minutes. Do not overbake.

5.  Cut into bars while warm.  Eat.

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almond sheesh kebabs (badami kebab)

Posted by fourclankitchen on May 12, 2012

Every recipe in Smita Chandra’s “Indian Grill” is a gem.  I have no idea why this book is not better known and used.  But if you can find it, you should grab yourself a copy.  These almond kebabs are among my favorite recipes from this book.  The kebabs are unbelievably well-seasoned and their taste lingers on your tongue long after you have eaten them.  A note about adding eggs to the kebab mix:  when it works, it really binds the meat and add flavor.  But depending upon the fat content of your meat,  an egg can sometimes add too much liquid, causing your kebab to fall off the skewer during grilling.  I start with 1/2 egg, adding the rest once I know that the meat is going to cohere.  You can also omit it, if necessary.  If your kebab insists on falling apart even if you don’t add the egg, just shape it into a hamburger and serve it with hamburger buns.


2 tbs. vegetable oil

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1 in ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup ground almonds, unsalted, unroasted

1/2 large egg

salt to taste

14-1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp gram masala

1lb ground lamb or beef (I buy 91% lean lamb or 96% lean ground beef)

lemon juice


In a skillet,  heat the oil over a high flame and add the cumin seeds, stir for a few seconds, until  fragrant.

2. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 5 min. until lightly browned.

3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

4. Transfer the mixture to a food process and process until smooth.

5.  Add half a beaten egg to the mixture and process again until incorporated.

6.  Now add the ground almond and all the spices and the salt and pulse to mix.

7.  Add the meat and process until the ingredients are fully mixed and the meat thoroughly minced.  If the mixture looks stiff, add the rest of the egg.

8.  Transfer the kebab mix to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour so that the flavors blend and the mixture firms up a bit.

9.  Heat the grill to a medium heat.

10.  Mould the kebabs onto skewers in sausage shapes about 4-6 inches long.  (Do not despair if they dont adhere to the skewer.  You can simply make patties out of the meat and eat as an upscale hamburger).

11. Grill covered for about 10 min.  turning once to ensure even cooking. Uncover the grill, turn up the heat and char for a few minutes.

12 Slide off the skewer and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice before serving.

13.  Serve with a rice pilaf, raita/yogurt dip or any Indian flat bread.

Posted in Asian, Indian Food, Main Dishes, Meat, middle eastern | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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