Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I'll Make You Pie, Baby.


This year, for the first time in decades, I am not baking pie.  But I have not forgotten that you need pie.

The boss of all pies is chocolate pumpkin pie.  It is chocolate.  It is pumpkin.  It is a pie. In the words of Lucy Long, every person and every second of life is a gift.

well I know you love sweet potato pie

Some pies to keep in mind are

Bamboo Honey Pecan Pie  

A Really Lovely Pumpkin Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lime Meringue Pie 


Skillet Pie (and some thoughts about crust)

Grape Pie  

While it is not a pie, and not from Boston (claims of the Omni chain to the contrary) this gesture toward Boston Cream Pie is worthy of attention.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

חלה־פּאַכע Challah Turtles

לכּבֿד ייִדיש־װאָך האָב איך דאָס יאָר געמאַכט חלה־פּאַכעס
In honor of Yidishhvokh, I made Challah-turtles this year.

קליינע פֿישלעך, טשערעפּאַכעס
קלײַבן קרישלעך, שעפּן נחת
װען די אָזערע איז אָפֿן
זײַנען מיר אַהינגעלאָפֿן

ייִדישװאָץ
אַלע יאָר
קומט מיט אונדז
צוזאַמען
קומט איר פֿרי
קומט איר שפּעט
זאָלט איר ניט פֿאַרזאַמען

Friday, June 09, 2017

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Recipe coming soon.  Gut shabes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rebooted Kharoyses (Haroset) and Over-Wintered What?

Overwintered spinach from Lani's Farm
 Overwintering is the practice of planting late in the fall and then covering the sprouts so that they hibernate over the winter and come up in the early spring, usually right in time for Peysekh.  Over wintered greens are sweet and intensely flavored, and I urge you to rush out and try some while they are here.  This Passover I used the spinach above from Lani's Farm in this African Spinach with Pumpkin Seeds, and in Sephardic Spinach (recipe coming soon, mertseshem).

Chickweed
I also got some chickweed.  Elizabeth Schneider recommends using chickweed in an apple and walnut salad that sounded a bit like rebooted kharoyses, so I served this along with the


red vine sorrel

Wow, is this the prettiest sorrel (shchav) you have ever beheld?  I bought a wjole bunch of this even before I read Jeffrey Yoskowitz's NYTimes  piece, which I heartily endorse, as you can well imagine.

wasabi greens
I got some of these too.  Wow.  Just wow.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Spinach with Pumpkin seeds Vegan Passover



Yes, yes, I hear you.  You need a vegan peysekh entrée; you need something without matzo, gebrokhts, or wheat in any form, and you also need to make something for your daughter-in-law who can’t eat potatoes, and your other daughter-in-law who can’t have tree nuts.  I know last year you had to make four entrees, and indeed, the four vegan entrees of Passover may well be ready take their place in the Hagaddah, alongside the cups, sons, questions, varieties of redemption, and other paschal tetrads, because what could there possibly be that everyone could eat that is also as amazingly delicious as the feast of freedom deserves to be? 

Aha, you know you have come to the right place.

I tried this first only two years ago, but now I can not imagine peysekh without it  The recipe is adapted from the Ghanian Spinach Stew with Sweet Plantains that appeared in the Times in March of 2015.  It immediately caught my eye for a few reasons.  First, it satisfies all the conditions above (as adapted herewith), and that by itself is worth remarking.  Second, I really like how the pumpkin seed cream makes the dish into a rich sort of vegan creamed spinach or shag panir.  Of course, I love the idea plantains as a side dish for peysekh (that’s three), and fourth (another paschal tetrad!),  I was also excited about the chance to use smoked paprika, which I had never tried.  As it happened, my kosher paprika emporium does not have smoked paprika for Passover, even though they have every other kind of paprika in the universe, so I ended up using sweet and hot paprika.  The recipe in the Times also called for fish sauce.  I am thinking some toasted norimaki might add the desired scent of the sea.

Peysekh Spinach with Pumpkin Seeds

½ cup coconut oil, or mix of coconut and vegetable oil
1 medium onion,
5 - 9 cloves garlic
1 pinky-sized piece of ginger, (based on a medium-sized woman’s pinky, about 2 tablespoons after chopping)
1 habanero chile, or other type of chile (If you are on a totally nightshade-free diet, omit the chile and add ground black pepper).
Kosher salt
2 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
¾ cup pumpkin seeds
 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika or a mix of sweet and hot paprika
1 pound spinach*

Dice the onion, mince or crush the garlic, and chop the ginger and the chile.  Clean and chop the spinach.
Cook the onions, garlic, ginger, and chile in the oil. and salt. Stir and fry , until the onions begin to color. Add the tomatoes and some salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and partly cover the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes, add paprika and simmer another two minutes. 
Pulse the pumpkin seeds to a fine powder in a food processor

Stir water into the pumpkin seed powder, a tablespoon at a time, until it is a thin paste. Spoon the pumpkin seed paste onto the tomato sauce, and spread it out. Cover the pan, cook for a few minutes, and stir.
Add water as needed, and increase heat to a boil. Stir in the spinach, and cook until soft. Add salt to taste, and serve with home-fried sweet plantains.

*over-wintered spinach is available briefly right around peysekh.  It is the most sublime spinach in the world.  Look for it at your farmers’ market.

The original recipe suggests serving the spinach with boiled plantains.  I love this idea, both because plantains seem to be an ideal foil for the spicy saucy spinach and because they provide a comforting alternative for folks who can’t eat too many potatoes or nightshades, for whom peysekh presents a formidable challenge.  To my taste, the boiled plantains were delicious when they were piping hot out of the pot, but aggressively bland very shortly thereafter.  When I make this next time, I am going to try home-frying the boiled plantains.

UPDATE:
I cooked the spinach in advance because I had five pounds of raw spinacsh taking over my kitchen, and that works just fine, possibly even better than the original method.


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Thursday, February 09, 2017

טאָ לערנט זיך שױן ייִדיש So Learn Yiddish Already

Remember the passage in The Gastronomical Me by M. F. K. Fisher about being crazy in love and tasting really good wine?

And we drank one of our best wines, a Corton 1929 sent from the Chateau for a present the year before. It was beautiful with the strong simple food. We all raised our glasses before the first sip, and then for a few seconds we could but stay silent, with its taste under our tongues. I looked down the long table through the candlelight and saw Chexbres, and all was well with me.

THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LEARN YIDDISH



Register right now for Spring classes at The Workmen's Circle, the best and most reasonably priced classes in town.

Spring registration is open for wonderful classes classes at YIVO too!

In April, you can study the world's most romantic language in the world's most romantic city.

I know it seems cold and wet right now, (See Rain in Yiddish, Snow in Yiddish, and Cold in Yiddish), but it is already time to start thinking about registering for a Yiddish summer program.  Summertime is Yiddish time!  Don't spend another summer standing there like a golem!  Enroll in a Yiddish summer program.  Yiddish is hot, hot hot.

The Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language Literature and Culture is the first, best, and most comprehensive program.  Six intensive weeks of bootcamp for your brain.

For college and graduate students, a wonderful deal is The Yiddish Book Center Steiner Summer Program.

My paternal grandparents, Helen and Jerome Jochnowitz, zts"l, founded a Yiddish farm 75 years ago to grow food for the war effort. Jochnowitz Farm is now the host of the Yiddish Farm Summer Program.

There are more, many more! The best round-up of Yiddish summer programs is to be found at In Geveb.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bukovina Buckwheat Cornbread





 

A few years ago I posted this dialog-poem by Yekhiel Shraibman about language, memory, and an intriguing recipe for  corn and buckwheat shortbread cookies.  I needed some buckwheat quick bread to make the topping for the Yiddish Mormon Funeral Potatoes I hope to be making today, so I adapted the recipe, adding milk, yogurt, whole eggs and leavening to the corn and buckwheat mixture

Bukovina Buckwheat Cornbread
4 ounces butter
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) buckwheat flour
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey (more or less, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 425F. Melt the butter in a nine-inch cast iron skillet or two smaller skillets.
combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and make a hole in the center.  Beat the eggs with the milk, yogurt and honey, and pour into the center of the mix. Fold gently to make a batter. Pour on the hot butter and stir to combine.  Pour immediately into the hot skillets and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to 375, and bake another 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

At this point I can tell you this bread is wonderful hot out of the oven with butter.  When I was putting this bread together, I was almost tempted to add some white flour, because I was nervous about working with buckwheat flour, with which I have limited experience.  I am glad I resisted.  This wheat-free, gluten-free bread is soft, light, and pleasantly crumbly, just as I hoped.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Red Corn

The first time I made these grits, the flavor was very rich and interesting, but they remained very tough even after cooking overnight in the Crock Pot.  For the coming week, I am soaking them overnight first, and will then give them a good long cooking, before baking them in a Fitzu pumpkin.  In spite of their name they are kosher and vegan.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

סעלעריע װאָרצעלעך Celeriac Tendrils

I was very excited to get hold of this celeriac from Lucky Dog Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket.  It differs from most celeriac you are likely to find in two related particulars.  It is really clean, and all the little roots are still attached.  Having washed and peeled countless celeriacs while translating, annotating and adapting Fania Lewando's Vegetarian Cookbook I can tell you this makes life much happier, and we need every tendril of happiness we can grasp.  I am planning to  to use the bulb of the celeriac in one of the stuffing/dressing dishes, and to make tiny little celery French fries with the roots.


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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

מיט װאָס עסט מען דאָס? ?What on earth are these

Did I buy these at the farmers' market, or did The We'an catch them playing Pokemon Go? 
I cooked some of them and connected one to the mouse-port on my computer, unless I made up that last bit.  I will update this post with a recipe soon, but first post your guesses in the comments.  If you are reading this on email, click here to comment.  In addition to immortal fame and glory, the winner will get a little lagniappe from me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Khreynbow Pride כרײנבױגן שטאָלץ


Romaine lettuce, Radicchio di Treviso, Belgian endive, beet khreyn, carrot khreyn, yellow pepper khreyn, avocado khreyn, pleyn khreyn, purple cabbage khreyn











This week was Shabes Koyrekh (Korach), a week to enjoy cherries, radishes and horseradish.

Peysekh, of course, Shabes Noyekh and Pride Shabbat are special khreynbow occasions

The recipes for all the horseradish preparations in the khreynbow are here .
I have not given up on finding an ingredient for blue khreyn, and I was momentarily cheered by this article, about the uses of the butterfly pea flower, but the flower turns purple when exposed to acid, and even without the vinegar, the horseradish itself would be sufficiently acid to trigger the change.  I might still try this.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread (And a Word About Cheese Sandwiches)





A few years ago I learned that one unit of rye and two of oats (by weight, I imagine) was called yuft'  in 17th century Russia.  Ever since I have been thinking of possible uses for yuft'.  Yuft' granola is a strong front-runner, as is yuft'meal porridge.  This year, while taking inventory for my pre-peysekh bottom-of-the-bag bread I found I had close to three pounds of yuft' and seized the moment to make this bread.
Have a shufty as well at Bottom of the Bag BreadBottom of the Bag Pancakes, Bottom of the Bag Muffins and Bottom of the Bag Cookies from previous years, and Lindy’s Something out of Nothing roundup.

This bread is milkhik and requires some sufficiently terrifying identification as such. 

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread

1 1/2 cups water
5 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal porridge
4 tablespoons salt (this seems like a lot of salt, but really, it needed even a little bit more)
8 ounces coconut oil, melted
8 ounces molasses
about 12 ounces kefir
2 cups yogurt
1 pound 9 ounces all-purpose flour
1 pound light rye flour
1 pound 6 1/2 ounces rolled oats
9 ounces whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups cooked kamut berries (3/4 cup kamut cooked in lavishly salted water for an hour)

An egg for egg wash
White and black sesame seeds
Coarse sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups water.  When it becomes foamy add the porridge, salt, and other liquid ingredients,  and stir to blend well.  knead in the flours and oats.  If you are using a mixer, this will need to be done in two batches.  The dough will be heavy and sticky.  Knead well for about twenty minutes and knead in the kamut berries.

Allow the dough to rise two hours .  Punch down and leave to rise overnight in the refrigerator.  Form the cold dough into six loaves and proof for about an hour and a half.

Heat the oven to 375.

Brush the loaves with two coats of egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt.  Place the loaves in the oven and lower heat to 350.  Bake for forty-five minutes or until they are well-browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

This made densely-textured bread that sliced up beautifully and was admirably suited to grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Since I have gone and brought up the subject of grilled cheese sandwiches, you must allow me to beg your indulgence on one small matter.  You will think that this is extra work and a bit of a bother, and you are right, but please pay heed.  If you are planning to add a slice of tomato, or some thin shavings of onion, or anything of that sort to your sandwiches, you must first grill the vegetables so that they are sizzling hot and only then assemble the sandwiches.  A sandwich with a slice of cold, raw tomato will never get completely hot and melty all the way through, and it is this that makes life worth living. 



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Peysekh Survival: Counting Down and Stocking Up




I do not know if I will be able to tough it out for the next nine days, but so far this year I have bought one (1) one-pound box of matzo meal.  This is all I need.  I almost never use more than that.  A few batches of matzo balls and enough leftover meal to dredge a few cutlets.  I am hoping that writing and posting this will keep me strong, because the awful truth is, I cannot wait to run out and buy more matzo meal.  I am so afraid of running out.  While I was congratulating myself on heroic self-restraint in the matzo-meal department, I ordered 12 liters of olive oil and four cases of wine.  Three and a half, really.  Three and seven twelfths.
 
Make lots of matzo balls. More than you think you will possibly need. You do not even need soup to enjoy matzo balls. Lora Brody suggests eating them cold with butter. I like them grilled. You may also cut them into cubes and use as a peysekhdik tofu-substitute.

Wonderful Matzo Balls

Break five lovely eggs into a bowl.  Season lavishly with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.  Add a a quarter cup water and ¼ cup melted butter or Spectrum extra virgin coconut oil. (I will permit olive oil, but for anyone privileged to make a milkhik feast I really urge you to try butter because, like, wow.)  Beat the egg mixture and while gradually sprinkling in enough Streits matzo meal (just about one generous cup) to make a loose, muddy mixture. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Bring a large pot of wildly salted water to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Roll matzo-batter into balls the size of walnuts. Lower them gently into into the water and cook, covered, with n o   p e e k i n g, for 40 minutes.

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