Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Menus and Memories on

Menus and Memories of Punjab has been featured in Ochef's Holiday Round-Up of New Books in the Ethnic/International category. See the review at!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chilean-Inspired Comfort Food for the Holidays

Daniel Joelson, author of Chilenismos and Tasting Chile, is with us today to share a hearty traditional recipe perfect for holiday gatherings. Daniel writes:

My wife and I are excitedly packing our bags for a trip in late December to beautiful Chile, where we will bask in the sun and celebrate the New Year with fireworks on the beach as the Southern Hemisphere’s summer explodes into full swing.

But first, we need to cook some good old-fashioned Chilean comfort food as we try to keep bodies warm and bellies happy in frosty Washington, DC. With family and friends soon to descend upon our home for the holidays, we have started to arm ourselves to the hilt with a wonderful array of shellfish and different types and cuts of meats. All of these will come together so that we can titillate our guests with one of Chile’s national gastronomic treasures, the Curanto, which is typically eaten during the wintry months at big family get-togethers and for special occasions.

The most traditional version of Curanto is prepared over hot rocks in a burning pit in the ground. In fact, curantu means “abundance of rocks” in Mapudungun, the language of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche peoples. However, for the Curanto recipe below, rather than digging up a big hole in your backyard and charging it with heat, you only need a large pot and a stove. With the hearty flavors and the rich pork in this dish I like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah, which can stand up to the mighty Curanto.

Curanto en Olla (Pork and Shellfish Stew)
Serves 6

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 chicken (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cut into 4 pieces
1 pound pork chops (about 3 medium chops), cut into several pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces semi-spicy sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped into thin 1 inch strips
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped; or half red pepper and half green pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh celery leaves
2 cups white wine
8 mussels, in their shells, cleaned and scrubbed
8 littleneck clams, in their shells, cleaned and scrubbed
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken and pork chops. Heat half of the oil in a pot over a medium flame. When hot, add the chicken pieces and lightly brown them on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and lightly brown the pork slices on both sides. Remove the pork and then brown the sausages on both sides.
  2. Remove most of the fat from the pot, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons, return the chicken, pork, and sausages to the pot and add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, celery leaves, 1 cup of water, and ¼ cup of the wine.
  3. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, shaking the pot, and adding a bit of wine every few minutes for a total of 20 minutes. Gradually add 1 ¾ cup more wine and ½ cup more water.
  4. Add the mussels, clams, and parsley, continuing to mix. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in a large bowl or casserole dish. Provide your guests with both a bowl and a plate so they can cut the meat.

Daniel Joelson is author of Hippocrene’s Tasting Chile: A Celebration of Authentic Chilean Foods and Wines

Monday, August 17, 2009

Veronica Sidhu wins Swanson Healthy Foods Recipe Contest

Hippocrene is proud to announce that Veronica Sidhu, author of the upcoming Menus and Memories from Punjab, has won the Swanson Healthy Foods Recipe Contest for the month of August for her sumptuous take on keema mutter. From the awards committee:

"A very popular dish in India, keema mutter is a main dish that packs a lot of spice. But just because it's spicy, doesn't mean that it's too hot for you to handle! It's jam-packed full of flavor to get your taste buds working overtime."

You can find the full recipe on the Swanson website.

Congratulations, Veronica!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Menus and Memories from Punjab book launch at the Rubin Museum on September 9!

Calling all gourmands: Come to the book launch and tasting for Menus and Memories from Punjab: Meals to Nourish the Body and Soul at the Rubin Museum of Art on Wednesday, September 9!

Author Veronica Sidhu will serve a sampling of the delicious recipes from her new book. A discussion on the "Health Benefits of Spices" with Dr. Leat Kuzniar, will accompany the tasting. The night will cap off with a classic bhangra folk dance.

Admission is $12, and includes a food-themed tour of the galleries beginning at 6 p.m.

The Rubin Museum of Art is located at 150 W. 17th (at 7th Ave.).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

from Menus and Memories from Punjab, by Veronica Sidhu

Most Punjabis like to eat ripe papaya for breakfast with a splash of lime. Here I have used it to bring color and flavor in a fruit chaat that will brighten a brunch or bring a light touch to a heavier meal. The enzymes found in papaya help digest protein.

Yield: 8 1-cup servings

3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crumbled gurd or brown sugar
2 teaspoons chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups peeled and cubed (1-inch) ripe papaya
1 cup halved red or green grapes
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes green or red apple
1 small to medium red onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup sliced cilantro leaves

Mix the lime or lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar, chaat masala, salt and pepper together until smooth.

Combine the fruit and the onion in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss carefully. Refrigerate until serving time and then add the cilantro just before serving.

Menus and Memories from Punjab, by Veronica Sidhu will be available in September 2009.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hippocrene in Publisher's Weekly

Hippocrene's international cookbook line was mentioned in Publisher's Weekly this week! Here's an excerpt:

Hippocrene’s international focus derives from founder and publisher George Blagowidow’s passion for travel and his personal history. Born in Poland of Russian parents, Blagowidow survived the Nazi occupation and escaped from communist Europe in 1945... The house began as a distributor and publisher of foreign language dictionaries. Its first international cookbook was The Best of Polish Cooking by Karen West in 1983. The simple paperback Polish cookbook has been one of Hippocrene’s perennial top sellers, selling more than 30,000 copies, and the house did revised editions in 1991 and 2000. Polish Cooking set the stage for Hippocrene to develop an extensive Polish-interest list, including dictionaries, other cookbooks, history and travel titles. It published Polish Heritage Cookery in 1993, and followed up with a revised, illustrated edition in 1997. On Good Morning America, Julia Child hailed the 875-page, $44.95 hardcover as, “An encyclopedia of Polish cookery and a wonderful thing to have!” In the late 1990s, Hippocrene was selling approximately 3,000 copies each year; today, sales are still strong (by its standards) at about 600 copies/year. In all, Hippocrene has sold about 24,000 copies of Polish Heritage Cookery. Publisher Blagowidow says simply, “We fill a small but important need in the market where resources were previously unavailable.”
Twenty-five years of publishing quality ethnic cookbooks, with many more to come! Thanks to all of our customers out there for being a part of our continued success!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Filipino sweet rice is not only a traditional New Year’s Eve treat; it is an easy-to-make dessert anytime. Malagkit, coconut cream, and monggo are available in Asian supermarkets.

2 cups malagkit or sweet rice
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 (15-ounce) can coconut cream

1 cup monggo or mung beans

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
Using a skillet, caramelize the brown sugar over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the coconut cream. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture.

Add the rice to the brown sugar and coconut mixture. Stir frequently over medium heat until the rice is soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Spread on a cookie sheet.

Boil the mung beans in 1/2 cup water for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly, and mash until the mixture is smooth.

Combine the mashed mung beans with the reserved brown sugar mixture in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Spread on top of the rice and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown. Cut into squares and serve with ginger tea.

Yields 18 to 20 squares.

Tip: Malagkit or sweet rice is also known as glutinous rice, sticky rice, sushi rice, Chinese sweet rice, waxy rice, mochi rice, Japanese rice, and pearl rice. Despite its names, this rice is neither sweet nor glutinous. It is a sticky, short-grain rice widely used by Asians.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pork Adobo


Filipinos often combine pork with chicken. Experiment with half pork and half boned chicken.

2 pounds pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 whole peppercorn, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste

1 tablespoon raw or brown sugar
8 cups cooked white rice

Sauté the pork and garlic in the vegetable oil for 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Add the vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorn, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pork is tender. Serve over hot, fluffy rice. Yields 8 servings.

Pork Adobo

Onion Garlic Pork Adobo

2 pounds lean pork, cut in 2-inch pieces

1/3 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, mashed

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1 bay leaf, optional

1/2 cup vinegar, or enough to cover meat

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 to 6 cups cooked white rice

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer with the cover slightly ajar until the pork is tender and all liquid evaporates. Be sure the pork is thoroughly cooked. If the meat is still tough or pink, add 1/2 cup hot water and continue simmering. When meat is tender, stir-fry the meat slightly in its own juices until light brown in color. Serve hot, with steamed rice. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.