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(Serves Four to Six)
Dried, pitted Turkish apricots are best for this dessert, and you may find them at a specialty store or a health food store. When cooked, the apricots plump so you can see the seam where the pit was removed. This becomes the pocket where you will place your cream stuffing. In Turkey, a thick, clotted cream made from water buffalo’s milk (kaymak) is the most common stuffing ingredient. Italian mascarpone cheese, creme fraiche, or even cream cheese may be substituted.
1/2 lb whole dried Turkish apricots or dried apricot halves
1/2 cup honey
2 cups water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup kaymak or other cream substitute (if you are using cream cheese, soften to room temperature and whip with beaters, adding a little water until mixture is fluffy.)
1/2 cup shelled and finely chopped pistachio nuts
Place the apricots in a bowl, add water to cover and let stand overnight to plump. Drain.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, honey and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer about ten minutes until the mixture thickens. Add the apricots and cook about 25 minutes, until the fruits become tender. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer another minute.
Using a slotted spoon, place apricots on a baking sheet, a large plate, or a clean countertop for working. Reserve apricot syrup in the pot, allowing it to cool and thicken. If the syrup won’t get thick, cook it a little longer over medium heat until it is reduced.
If you are using apricots other than Turkish, carefully cut each apricot along the seam to create a little pocket. Be careful not to cut completely through. A small, sharp knife works best. Then with a small spoon, stuff your cream filling into each pocket. If you’re using apricot halves, spoon the kaymak or other cream onto the centers of half of them. Top with the remaining apricot halves.
Arrange the stuffed apricots on a festive, pottery serving platter. Spoon the thickened syrup over the apricots, then refrigerate until the syrup is set, about 30 minutes to an hour. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle generously with the pistachios. This dish is traditionally served at room temperature, but may be served cold. Eat with your fingers for a sticky, sensual treat!
Original recipe can be found here on Mind Caviar.
Cook up this sexy pot of goodness and enjoy it on a cold fall or winter evening (or on your patio during spring and summer). This vegetarian chili can be made for under $10.00, requires virtually no prep time, and can feed up to six people. Serve with cornbread (we love Larry the Cable Guy mix from 99 Cents Only Store) or corn tortilla chips. All ingredients are on the shelves at most 99 Cents Only Stores.
1 – 28 ounce can stewed tomatoes.
1 – 14.5 ounce can tomato sauce.
1 – Bell pepper (diced).
1 – Package firm or extra firm tofu (in cardboard boxes near the sardines section in most 99 Cents Only Stores).
1 – Onion (diced).
3 – Cloves garlic (diced).
1 – Package sliced mushrooms.
3 – Tablespoons sugar.
3 – Tablespoon chili powder.
2 – 14.5 ounce can kidney beans (or one 28 ounce can if you can find it).
1 – Teaspoon cayenne pepper.
1 – Cornbread mix or other type of bread for dipping (we like Larry the Cable Guy mix).
Crumble up the tofu in a large pot and saute in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium/high heat, allowing as much moisture as possible to boil off. Add the bell peppers, onions, and sliced mushrooms and cook for about five minutes, then add everything else and stir, leaving it on the lowest flame possible for a minimum 45 minutes. For an extra kick, throw in a diced jalapeno pepper with the rest of the veggies. Serve with corn bread, corn chips, pita, or dipping food of choice.