Hungarian Cabbage Strudel

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
1 very small head cabbage or half a medium cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a large baking pan and spread cabbage evenly in pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut up 4 ounces (1 stick) butter into small pieces, and sprinkle over cabbage. Cover with foil, sealing edges. Bake until tender and golden, 45 minutes to 60 minutes, occasionally lifting foil and mixing cabbage, then resealing.

Remove from heat, uncover and allow to cool to room temperature. (May be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 24 hours; use chilled.)

Set oven temperature to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt remaining 4 ounces butter. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface with the narrow end closest to you, and top with a sheet of phyllo dough. Brush lengthwise (up and down) with a little butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo, and brush again with butter. Repeat until all 10 sheets are buttered and stacked.

Arrange cabbage on top sheet, at end closest to you, in a thick layer 2 inches deep. Spread evenly to side edges. With the help of the parchment paper (and rolling as if for sushi in a bamboo roller), roll phyllo starting at the end with the cabbage. As you work, adjust parchment paper so that phyllo is rolled, enclosing cabbage, without the paper. Brush top of roll with butter, place on baking sheet and bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: 4 servings

Vanilla Blackberry Crisp

For blackberries:
4 cups fresh blackberries, divided
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar, depending on berry tartness
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla

For crisp:
1 3/4 cups quick oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed


Crush blackberries to measure 1 cup.
In a saucepan, add crushed blackberries, water, sugar and cornstarch.
Heat to a boil, cook 2 minutes while stirring.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and remaining blackberries. Let cool.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and baking soda.
Cut in cubed butter to make crumb mixture.
Add a few tablespoons to the bottom of buttered 8oz ramekins.
Spoon blackberry mixture over crust.
Top with remaining crumb mixture.

Mango and Tomato Relish

1 cup fresh diced mango
1 cup diced tomato, heirloom preferred
pinch of salt, pink Himalayan or kosher
1/8 cup, thinly sliced sweet white onion, optional
1 small jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced, optional
@8 basil leaves
juice from 1 fresh lime and 1 tsp. optional zest
light drizzle of EVOO, first press preferred

Combine the mango and tomato, as well as optional onions and pepper in a bowl. Add the salt. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll up the herb leaves very tightly. Snip these finely into the salad.
Optionally grate a teaspoon of the lime zest into the salad. Juice the lime over the salad. Toss gently. Finish with a light drizzle of EVOO.

Mango and Coconut Milk Sorbet

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 large ripe mangos, peeled & chopped
1 13.5 oz. can Lite coconut milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar and ginger to a boil. Reduce heat and keep at a low boil for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Puree the mango with the cooled ginger syrup until smooth. Add the coconut milk and lime juice and mix well. Add more lime juice to taste.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow freezing instructions.
At this point the sorbet can be eaten as a softer sorbet or put it in the deep freeze for a more frozen consistency.

Mango and Goat Cheese Puffs

2 sheets pf commercial frozen puff pastry (such as pepperidge farm, enough for 30 2 inch diamonds)
Baking spray
2 medium sized mangoes, peeled and diced (1 and 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 small tomato, diced
1-2 green chilies, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh bruised cumin
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
3/4 cups goat cheese, crumbled

Heat the oven to 400 degrees or per puff pastry package instructions.
Grease a baking sheet with the baking spray.
Cut the pastry into triangle shapes and spread on the baking sheet.
Place in the oven for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, in a mixing bowl toss the mango, scallion, green chili, cumin and the cilantro and toss well.
Remove the baking sheet and place some of the mango mixture and some goat cheese on each puff pastry triangle until they are all topped.
Place back and bake for another 7-8 minutes, until the cheese has softened and the pastry is crisp.This usually is indicated by the smell of crisp pastry.
Serve with a glass of chilled white wine.

Mango Shrikhand

1.5 cups plain greek yogurt
6 fresh mango slices (3 whole peeled, Champagne or ataulfo mangoes preferred here, just the ‘cheeks’)
4 teaspoons confectioners sugar
8-10 strands of saffron plus few more for garnish
seeds from 4 cardamom pods (powdered)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Juice of one Meyer Lemon
Pistachio halves for garnish

In a small food processor, blend the mangoes, cardamom powder, saffron, confectioners sugar & whipped cream until the mixture has the thick texture of pancake batter.
Keeping the processor on, add the Greek yogurt (and extra sugar, if desired). Once the yogurt has been incorporated, Add the Lemon juice. Allow the processor to run for 30 seconds more until the citrus completely mixes. Transfer the yogurt into a serving bowl (or individual cups), Chill until set (the texture should be similar to pudding). Garnish with Saffron & Pistachio halves. Serve chilled.

Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs & Red Onion

1 1/2 cups wheat berries
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped finely
1/2 medium red onion (about 1/3 pound)
3 large stalks celery
1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 2 lemons
1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
Handful fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Put the wheat berries in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and partially cover the pot. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the wheat berries are soft yet still chewy.

While the wheat berries are cooking, whisk the rice vinegar, orange juice, and honey together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the raisins and chopped figs. Turn off the heat and let the fruit steep in the juice and vinegar mixture.

Finely dice the red onion; you will end up with between 1 and 1 1/2 cups. Finely dice the celery as well; you will have between 1 1/2 and 2 cups. Mix them in a large bowl.

When the wheat berries are tender enough to be chewed easily, drain them, then pour them into the large bowl with the red onion and celery. Toss with the olive oil and lemon zest. Add the vinegar and juice mixture, and all the fruit, and mix. Toss with the almonds, chopped parsley or mint, and with the salt. Add pepper to taste.

Let the salad stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving, to allow the flavors mix and soak into the grain. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The salad can also be refrigerated for up to three days.