Everyday Mediterranean! Sneak Peek..

Coming up in our next cooking class.. Join us!

Homemade curry hummus with a roasted sesame tahini… Complex yet flavorful..
The roasted sesame seeds and curry bring some density
but the lemon juice just brightens the flavor!

“Like” us on Facebook and get updates!! 

Let’s go shop !

Wanted to share my latest grocery store expedition … I heart Earthfare. Unfortunately we don’t have one closer to where we live but since I had some time in the morning today, I decided to make the trek to an Earthfare across town.I love the concept of the store. Organic and healthy. I carried my own shopping bag too (which I normally do). I love their produce section, their assortment of grains and not to forget the vast refrigerated case of exotic cheeses. Mmm.. I am a bread and cheese kinda gal.. Hand me a fresh baguette and some fresh fromage (and a glass of pinot) and am golden! 🙂

Grains, seeds, lentils and such!

Say Cheese!

They also have a cafe and a juice bar inside the store along with a section of pre-made food ready to go. So convenient.. I picked up a beautiful veggie juice and my juice whiz (below) was more than happy to customize it for me. (This is their red radiance juice. I added beets and spinach and EXTRA ginger).. umm.. delish!

The cafe and juice bar!

That’s some serious juicing happening here!

Ummmm fresh veggies.. wheat grass too!
Juice anyone ?!

The juice whiz!


Look what I found!! Lentil soup!!
Try Freaky Curry’s own version.. here.. 

So I got a cart full of groceries! I got Bulgar, quinoa, barley, pumpkin seeds, two kinds of beets, herbs, cheese galore, juices and SO MUCH MORE!! but you know what that means right ?

You all are in for a treat! I can’t wait to experiment in the kitchen soon.. Watch this space for some cool stuff. !

Edamame burgers! with cherry ketchup.. Yes please !!

Edamame – Young soybeans in pods.. so delicious and chalk full of protein.. It’s good stuff.. Throw some steamed shelled Edamames on your salads, stir fry with tofu or just eat with a sprinkle of sea salt..or try them in a burger as below.. Enjoy!

1 cup of veggies like mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers chopped
1 cup of Edamame steamed and shelled
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1/4″ ginger root peeled and grated
1/2 cup of boiled wheat berries/barley
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 Tsp of roasted cumin powder
1/2 Tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder
Sea salt, black pepper to taste

Pulse in the food processor till everything is incorporated 

Form patties

Bake (375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, flipping over once)
or shallow fry (3-4 minutes on each side on medium heat with 2 Tbsps of OO)

Enjoy hot ! with a cherry ketchup.. Recipe coming up soon.

Salmon Patties.. Two ways….

To serve 4
1 pound of salmon fillets (skinless and dressed)
1 small onion chopped
1 Tbsp cilantro chopped
1 cup of roasted veggies roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1/2-1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp coarse ground mustard
Salt, black pepper and cayenne if you dare 😉
Chunky Sweet potato fries! Ready to be baked in the oven

Organic fatty salmon chopped roughly for the burgers
Salmon, sweet onions, roasted veggies, garlic, cilantro,
panko breadcrumbs & seasonings

Shallow fry or bake in an oven 

Roasted veggie salad with salmon patties with
homemade coarse ground mustard vinaigrette

Open face Salmon burger
with avocado mayo, onion and tomato relish
Sweet potato fat fries dressed with maple syrup, sea salt and chili

Eating Uptown Series… Part Four – BLT Steakhouse

Happy Friday folks! Today I lunched with our MBA interns at work (their last day!) at the fabulous BLT Steakhouse located inside the Ritz, here in the Queen city.. BLT is one of my husband and my favorite restaurants. We love their food, the service and the ambiance of the space. The mood usually at dinner at BLT is very refined.. You are bound to see men in jackets and women in heels and fancy attire.. If you know me, yeah, that’s my kind of a place…. 
My husband and I usually enjoy a steak dinner but we also love the chef’s concept on veggies. Their asparagus and the jalapeno mashed potatoes are one of my favorites. Not to forget they do a fabulous job on their hen of the woods mushrooms too..  I have NEVER had a bad meal with them.

So, I was very excited to have lunch there today. As always they brought in the Gruyere popovers as  complimentary start to our meal. (One per person ONLY please! It’s $2 if you want to get extra). If you have never tried these beauties.. I highly recommend wearing a button down shirt just for these.. They are AMAZING!.. Light, Egg-y, and so delish!  A light smear of butter and a lil sprinkle of sea salt and you’ll be in Heaven.. Food heaven. I’m planning on making these soon ..Will share the recipe when I do so.

Complimentary Gruyere popovers for the table

Served with butter and sea salt. 
 The 3 men I was lunching with ordered the Moody blue burger. Look at the picture below. I didn’t taste it but the guys DEVOURED that thing in minutes.. I did however try the fries.. We had what I call “skinny” fries which were tossed in garlic and herbs.. Very flavorful. .and then we also had the steak fries which were plumper, shorter more starchier version of the skinny ones.. I believe they were coated in simple salt..Very good.. Hey, you can never go wrong with fried potatoes..  🙂

Moody Blue burger.. looks so good.
7oz. Grilled CAB Burger / Moody Blue Vein Cheese 
Balsamic Caramelized Onions / Mushrooms   

Ahmm.. I am not a big fan of the pink center in my burger but the men devoured it!

Chopped vegetable salad
With shrimp… 
Chopped Vegetable Salad / Oregano Dressing  

The salad was HUGE!! Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, frisee lettuce, corn, avocado, radishes, olives, .. The list goes on.. The dressing was very light.. tangy and I really didn’t taste the oregano.. refreshing anyway. The shrimps (2 shrimps on the salad) on top were very plump and fleshy.. Grilled and chilled.. Lightly seasoned with Cajun spices.. I enjoyed them.. I was bummed though after eating both my shrimps under 10 sec.. I wanted more.. Especially since the salad cost me about $19.. 🙁

Oh well.. Still not disappointed with the food or the service.. BLT steakhouse is definitely on the higher end of restaurants here in the city but let the prices not scare you away. You will be in for a treat when you do decide to go there… Check them out around restaurant week when they have specials.. If you are looking for a fancy dinner date space or even a business lunch, you will be well taken care of at BLT.


Next up —- Finding hidden gems uptown.. Send me your suggestions and I will check those out for you..

Come cook with me at Amelie’s!! Scrapbook

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.. I hope this scrapbook of pics and posts convey the energy, the excitement and the fun we all had at Amelie’s (THE BAKERY in town) where we gathered to cook together.. 

Happiest when my hair is up and am cooking 🙂

Our fabulous class!

Setting up !
Garam masala and Saffron
Let us begin.. 

Chopping.. and then some more

Smelling the delish saffron!

Chop away!
Grinding the saffron and sugar

Mixing with the mascarpone cheese
Chop chop chop away

Hamming it up for the camera!

Did not get the memo on closed toe shoes.. hmmm.. 😉

Chopped.. finally!

Well.. hi there!
The spice box..

umm… spices… 

Big pot means BIG THINGS are happening!! 
The Indian spicebox.. 
Mixing it up.. 

Stefanie showing us how to grate ginger
Let the cooking begin.. 


Saffron pilaf
Say Pakora!!!
When you cook, you shall taste!! Love the spirit of our “Home Chefs”..

Chicken makhani cooking away.. yummm

Did I mention, it was “them” who cooked and not me  ?? 😉
Shahi tukda stuffed with saffron infused mascarpone cheese

Frying pakoras.. delish!
Nothing like enjoying garam garam (hot hot) pakoras..
These ladies were so cool.. 

Chicken Makhani and Saffron pilaf

Loved these kids.. so much fun.. !

Dessert time !
Some heavy conversation happening there.. 
Enjoying the fruits of our labor..
Fun times!
 A heartfelt Thank you for cooking with me!

Q&A time at the dinner table.
Let’s eat!

Come cook with me !! at Amelie’s!! Sneak peek..

So, Freaky Curry had an opportunity to cook with some of Amelie’s fans last night.. 
What’s Amelie’s you ask ? 
SHUT UP!! (That’s the 13 yr old in me).. 
You don’t know ? It’s like the best bakery in town.. It’s like heaven on Earth.. It’s like the best coffee in Charlotte.. It’s like.. you get the picture.. It’s Amelie’s for crying out loud!! Salted carmel brownies ? 
SCB babies!! They make them.. It’s all Amelie’s!! 
I cannot talk about them enough.. 
So, I finally had a chance to cook at Amelie’s as a part of their cooking series that they host at their special catering and events location off of Plaza rd… At the Annex.. 
The Annex is a beautiful venue.. Great space for church gatherings, book clubs, showers and even weddings!
Do check them out the next time you are looking for a cool and a funky space to host your event. Stefanie Haviv and team are a pleasure to work with. 
Here I am.. Getting all set up for the class !

The menu and recipe cards for all the “students” to take home

Lil Amelie’s goodie bags.. filled with leftovers !
Umm.. Vino.. 

Something to nibble on with their wine and beer.. So thoughtful.. 

Battle ground.. lol .. The kitchen.. 

Our fabulous sous chef.. ..

Me just posing.. The folks below did all the cooking 🙂

Our fabulous class!! Really enjoyed everyone’s spirit in class..
What a treat to cook with you all..

Detailed post with pics coming up soon!! Watch this space closely 🙂

Eating Uptown Series… Part Three – Levant Mediterranean Cuisine

All right party people!! So this week, a colleague of mine and I decided to make a trek down to Levant. Well when I say trek, it was more than 5 blocks away and yes, that’s a trek in my “high-heels” world. But we were on a mission. Christophe and I had been planning to go to lunch for a while now and with this week being his last (sad face), we had to “make this happen”.. We had a couple of options we wanted to try out for lunch. The BLT steakhouse (which I have had for dinner and it’s divine!! and then Levant). Both of us love Mediterranean food and after last time’s episode, we really wanted the cuisine to redeem itself. so Levant was decided upon!
It’s a beautiful, cozy space for a restaurant with seating available inside and out on the patio.We chose to sit inside.. the humidity in the Carolinas these days is unbearable. Our hostess and server were very prompt in getting us seated and sharing the menus with us. 
Fancy water carafe’ and glasses as my lunch mate pointed out…  I like details like this. Especially in an ethnic restaurant. The restaurant is very neatly decorated. Very middle eastern.. Beautiful carved chairs inlaid with what looked like mother of pearl.. gorgeous heavy drapes, and fancy framed mirrors all around.. Looks like my home.. 🙂

I ordered some hot tea as I had a sore throat. I love it when restaurants serve hot water in individual pots. I was raised to drink tea like this.. my mom takes pride even now serving tea like this. Old habits, die hard 🙂
The service was very quick after we decided what we wanted to eat. Christophe and I ordered a lot of food.. but we had plans to share it … or I thought we did till we saw the spread.. 

My all veggie plate: Starting clockwise from left;
Baba Ganoush, fattoush,  Muhammara , Mujaddara

Baba Ganoush – loved the texture, not too watery, not too chunky. Low on the charred smoky taste which I love in an eggplant dish. Spices were just right..

Fattoush – Very fresh.. Beautiful flavors of mint and lemon juice.. The pita was nice and crunchy. Very light yet flavorful. I wanted more !
Muhammara– Oh soo complex.. Dense, rich and luxurious on the palette. It had a little heat to it.. The walnuts add to the richness of this dish and also the density. I couldn’t eat a lot of this just because it was HEAVY but could see it as an accompaniment to some pita points.
Mujaddara – Rice and lentils salad of sorts.. I liked this.. It was definitely on the heavier side but very simple flavors which I liked. Loved the caramelized onions on top.. sweet and a nice touch to the salad. (Try out Freaky Curry’s own lentil salad recipe).

Baba Ganoush
Falafel pita and potato harra

Close up of the falafel pita
Pita for the table which I apparently didn’t share..;)
My “Happy” Plate
His “Happy” Plate

Happy Chrisophe
Christophe who is actually an attorney has traveled quite a bit had this to share : 
Start with the pita: The highlight of the pita is the texture. It is varied in thickness providing a nice mix of crustier bits and doughiness, which helps it serve as every one’s favorite hummus conveyance without being too chewy. (I felt they keep the pita in the fridge and that’s why when it came to the table, it was a bit chewy for me)
Falafel wrap: The bright green falafels are earthy and warm and perfectly counter balanced by the salty tang of diced pickles. Fresh tomatoes and lettuce provide additional moisture and crunch. The potato fries that it came with were excellently seasoned with cilantro, parsley and pepper popping above the salted exterior. (I loved the potatoes!… Coated well in olive oil and the pop of lemon juice played well on the tongue) 

Baba ganoush: Great use of lemon and spicing to make the eggplant pop. Low on smokiness. (Agreed)

Hummus: Creamy and smooth (a rarity for Charlotte) with proper balancing of lemon, tahini and olive oil. (Loved the hummus.. not chalky or dense.. smooth and rich because of the sesame paste and OO.. Lemon juice brightened the dish..)

So full 🙂 .. taking a breather before the trek back to work ! Look at the decor.. so pretty.. Cannot wait to see how it looks at night.. 

 Cannot wait to go back with friends.. hmm maybe will try some of their exotic beers at Happy hour soon 😉 Yes, they do have a bar also..  🙂

Address : 
(704) 333-0930501 S Church St #120
Charlotte, NC 28202