Ingredient Spotlight: Papaya Chutney

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papaya chutney pineapple champagne cocktail 8

So, my bestie Ananda sent me the most amazing jam from her vacation in Hawaii. (Luckyyyyyyyyy)

It’s my new favorite ingredient. It’s actually a chutney, so it’s sweet and spicy, which is one of my favorite flavor combos.

At first, I used it as a spread with cheese and crackers (which was ahhhmazing).

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Now, I’m thinking of using it in a very unusual way.

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Mystery Ingredient: Week 5

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Oh my. Whatever could this be? The bumps indicate it may be some kind of citrus, Watson.

Let me zoom out a little and see if that helps.

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It’s a lemon … It’s a grapefruit … It’s superman!

Actually no, it’s pomelo!

pomelo avocado crab salad

Pom-who-o? You ask. Or maybe you already know what a pomelo is, in which case touché. According to the guy at the farmer’s market, pomelo is an Asian grapefruit that tastes just like regular supermarket grapefruit except a bit sweeter. He said it’s great in savory salads, so I decided to let that guide me in my recipe.

Then I asked him to pick out two good pomelos, which he so graciously did. For someone like me, who doesn’t like grapefruit, that was a big mistake. I should have just bought one because it yields so much fruit there is no way I could eat it all without my tongue burning off.

Anyway, I got home, opened up a bag of Easter themed chocolate and started googling pomelo and saw that the skin is sometimes used as a container for salads and then I got excited, and off my ass, and began cooking.

If you wanna make a pomelo bowl, start by making a zig zag shape with a knife into the upper part of the pomelo to create a lid. Hard to explain with words, so here are some photos:

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Once you’ve zig-zagged all around the pomelo, use your thumb to dig in between the skin and the flesh to separate them. Do that all around the pomelo a few times until the top comes off.

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Now you want to get the fruit out of the skin. It’s the same process as the top lid except you need to dig deeper, physically and emotionally, and go around a few more times.

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It looks like a pumpkin. 

Now you want to peel and separate the segments like you would an orange. Except you don’t want any pith at all, just the inner flesh.

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As you can see, all that flesh is just from half a pomelo. This fruit is a giver.

Now you have the pomelo all prepped. I decided to make a lump crab salad and a pomelo and avocado salsa to go along with it. Here it goes!

This is what you need:

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To make the dressing for the crab salad you need some mayo, a few dashes of Worcestershire and a bunch of spices (found in the recipe card at the end of the post).

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Mix it all up.

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Add some green onions and cilantro.

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Stir and add the crab.

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Season with S&P

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Gently mix, leaving pure chunks of crab still intact. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Next let’s make the pomelo & avocado salsa. You need avocado. Obvi.

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Slice it into a grid, make sure you don’t cut through the skin and into your hand.

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Spoon it into a bowl.

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Mix in the pomelo.

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Squeeze lemon on avocados to prevent them from browning, then add cilantro and S&P.

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To make the dressing, squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl.

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Add in some honey.

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Trusty rusty S&P.

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A drizzle of oil. I used grape seed oil, that’s why it’s neon greenish.

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Whisk, whisk, whisk, until the dressing emulsifies.

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Pour onto your salsa.

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Add some chia seeds for good measure, if you have them.

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Place the salsa into a bowl, or hollowed out pomelo.

(Side note: I should have added some lettuce to fill up the pomelo a bit more. It still looks ok, but I think it could be better, so if you’re gonna go the hollowed-out-pomelo route, add some romaine lettuce to the “salsa” and call it a salad.)

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The next part is optional also. I chose to mold the crab salad. You can use a small bowl for a rounded top or a ramekin for a more spherical shape.

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Turn it over on top of the salsa in the bowl and pray like you’ve never prayed before. (The mayo dressing should help it slide out easily).

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Add a little garnish for shits and giggles and decoration as well.

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Awwwww. How cute is that?

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If you enjoyed any part of this post then you should really type your email in the box below to subscribe to my blog. Jus’ sayin’. 


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Mystery Ingredient: Week 4

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This week’s mystery ingredient is one that I’ve loved in things other than food. Particularly, in soaps, candles, perfumes and hand sanitizers. I love the citrusy-floral smell. So when I saw it for the first time at the farmer’s market I instantly knew it was going to be the mystery ingredient.

Want to know what it is?

Here’s a picture:


Did you figure it out? 

If you did, good for you! You get a golden star that I can’t give you right now!

If not, it’s ok, I still love you.

Here’s another photo:


It’s lemongrass!

Lemongrass (a.k.a cymbopogon) is a tall, perennial grass with a subtle lemon flavor native to India and Asia and is used in lots of Asian cuisines. I got that from our lord and savior Wikipedia.

So I decided to make a lemongrass infused simple syrup to use with the spiced rum (click here for the recipe) I made the other day. 

All you need is sugar and water. And lemongrass, of course. I used unbleached sugar, but you can used any kind of sugar you want, suga. 

First, peel the outer leaves of the lemongrass and rinse it thoroughly to remove any grit. Cleaning and prepping lemongrass is very similar to cleaning and prepping green onions (a.k.a spring onions, a.k.a. scallions). Then, chop up the lemongrass and pound them a little to release some more flavor.


Cut them short enough to fit inside the pot you will be using. Oh, I almost forgot, you need a pot.


Place the lemon grass in a pot.


Pour the sugar.

I use a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar. Traditionally, it’s 1:1 for simple syrup. So if you like things pretty sweet, go for 1:1. That’s 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water.


Pour the water.


Turn the heat on at medium/high. Stir until sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to simmer.

Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to cool down in the pot on the stovetop. Once cooled, strain into an airtight container.



Store in the fridge for up to a month. 


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Mystery Ingredient: Week 3

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This week’s mystery ingredient was a tough one for me as not only have I never cooked with this ingredient, I’ve never eaten it as well. At least I don’t remember eating it before. I feel like it has become a pretty common ingredient so I may have eaten at some point in my life. 

So, are you ready to find out what this week’s ingredient is???

It is………..

Bok Choy!


Bok choy is Chinese Cabbage, but it’s not at all like the cabbage that looks like iceberg lettuce. Taste-wise it doesn’t have a very pronounced flavor, I decided to make a sweet/salty glaze to go with it. This recipe is fully vegan, paleo, gluten free, and whatever else diet is in right now.

Basically, it’s guilt free. And the glaze is great to put on many other things. Other things like meat, seafood and veggies

So this is what I used for my glaze:


That there on the left over there yonder is honey with saffron. Uh huh. Get into it.

Plus you need 3 cloves of garlic and two little pieces of ginger:


Slice the garlic into slices.


Slice the ginger into discs. No need to peel the ginger for this.


Pour 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of mirin, 2 tablespoons of honey, the garlic, ginger and a sprinkle of sesame seeds into a small saucepan.


Stir and bring to boil then reduce to simmer. You want it to reduce down to glaze. Thin enough to drizzle and thick enough so that it’s not watery like broth.

While that happens, heat up some oil in a large pan and then cut your bok choy in half, lengthwise.


Sprinkle on a little S&P.


Once the pan is hot, lay the bok choy in, cut side down and cook for a few minutes on high heat until golden brown and then flip over.


By now, your glaze should have thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. I tasted it and felt it was a bit too potent to I added a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten everything up and it was perfect. 

If it’s too intense for you add some lemon juice or a touch of water. If it’s too salty add a bit of honey. If it’s too sweet add a dash of soy sauce. You get the idea. 


Once the flavors are to your liking, strain out the garlic and ginger and sesame seeds. They have done all they could for you and now it’s time to set them free, into your trash can.


Place your bok choy on a plate and drizzle on the glaze and another sprinkling of sesame seeds. Enjoy alone or as a side dish with any protein. 


I had it with a fillet of white fish. It was great. I gotta say though, the glaze made it. I’m not a huge fan of bok choy. I wanna try using this glaze on other things and seeing how that turns out.


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Mystery Ingredient: Week 2

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So, I missed last week because I was out of the country and wasn’t going to be able to visit a farmer’s market to get a mystery ingredient. If you are just tuning in, I decided to buy something I’ve never cooked with from a farmer’s market each week and try to make something delicious out of it. Last week was daikon. This week is turnips. 

I never buy them and I’m trying to branch out and eat more veggies so I picked them because they looked fun. I remembered that the only time I ever ate turnips was when I would have shawarma and they would have pickled turnips in the sandwich. They’re fuchsia and taste like pickles, except crunchier. So I decided to make some with this little bunch of turnips I got.

If you like pickles, you will like these. If you love pickles, yep, you guessed it. You will love these.

This is what you need:


Chop off the tops and bottoms of the turnips.

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Peel and slice them. I sliced them into discs to look like the pickle chips that usually go in sandwiches to make this more familiar. Traditionally, they are cut into short, chunky strips.

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Elephant garlic. My new obsession. It’s bigger but milder. Sweeter. I need to roast a whole head of elephant garlic…. 


This photograph is for size reference purposes. I am very professional and business-like. 

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Cut the elephant garlic into strips, and cut the turnips and beet into discs. 

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Layer the turnips, garlic and beet on top of each other in a jar. Repeat until the jar is full.

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 Then fill the jar with a mixture of the water and vinegar.

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Seal and store in the refrigerator for about a week. You want the liquid to look like the jar on the right and the turnips to turn look bright fuchsia. Also, use less beets than I did. A thin slice (or two max) should do it.

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Excuse my disgusting thumb nail polish situation. 


Pickled Turnip (Kabees El Lift)

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