Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pistachio Sauce

I have been getting excited about making all kinds of nut-sauces since it has been getting cold. A few weeks ago I made a pistachio sauce for spaghetti. As I recall, all I did was toast a cup of shelled pistachios and then grind them up in the processor with two tablespoons of butter. Add some of the pasta-cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste. I don’t even know if people should be allowed to get away with making something this easy.

Nicole has a more sophisticated pistachio sauce here, and I will be trying it soon, but it will require two hands. So far I have added cream to the pistachio paste, and that is a wonderful idea.

Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegan, vegetables, antioxidant-rich foods, yu choi, pistachio sauce, one-handed cookery

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yu Choi and the One-Handed Cook

There are many things to love about yu choi, , but here’s one that might not be immediately obvious. Because the stems are so tender, you can clean, cook, serve, and eat yu choi with one hand. Most of you do not have any need for recipes one can prepare one-handedly and I hope very much that you never will, but just in case, this is something to keep in mind. About two years ago I had an operation on my right hand and had it not been for yu choi I might have had nothing but caffè latte and pizza for the two weeks until my cast came off. Maybe that would not have been so bad. I just found out I may have to go through all this again, but at least this time I will be armed (armed!) with some recipes friendly to the mono-manual.

Yu Choi with Walnut and Garlic sauce

1 or 2 bunches yu choi or other tender greens

1 cup shelled walnuts

1 bunch parsley (about 1 cup minced leaves)

3-7 coves garlic

Wash the greens and trim the bottoms if they are a bit rough, but otherwise leave the vegetables whole. Cook them for about 7 minutes in boiling salted water. If you will be making pasta as well, you can cook it in the pot-liquor.

Toast the walnuts in a moderate oven (350 F) for fifteen minutes. Grind the walnuts in a grinder or processor with the peeled garlic cloves and chopped parsley leaves. Add salt to taste and enough pot liquor to reach the desired consistency. Toss the yu choi with the walnut sauce. Serve this on its own or over or alongside some wonderful noodles to catch every drop of the nut sauce. I encourage you to eat the yu choi with your fingers so that your one-handed hostess will feel at ease eating with hers.

See Sweetnicks for more choices for variously-abled vegetable-lovers.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tsimes, Incorporated

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Torn Shreds

I have been having great fun using my new Japanese rotary shredding device to make mile-long linguine of carrots, beets, radishes and anything else I can find at the sparsely stocked stands at the farmers’ market. At this coldest and darkest time of the year the bursts of color and flavor at the centers of those sturdy root vegetables are welcome and restoring.

I have been having almost as much fun reading the box and the enclosed instructions, which promise that my new gadget, made of “brinforced glass,” is “joyful beautiful sharp edged,” and that it will “help your cooking fast joyfully with wonderful edged strings.” The instructions are easy to follow:

Cut various vegetables into a piece of about 8 cm with kitchin knife. Thrust the vegetable by the center to the spike at the blade and also thrust pins of the rotating disc supporting it by hand from the above as shown in the photo.

In this case it will be all right if the vegetable just out from the table.

Even when it is this cold (We got down to nine degrees Fahrenheit in New York this week, and it was thirty below in Deering, fifty-two below with the wind chill, or “below fifty-two as they say up there) you still sometimes need salads.

Salad with Herbs and Torn Shreds

For each serving:

1 handful salad greens, washed, dried, and torn

1 fingerful snipped dill, parsley or cilantro

as much shredded (or grated or shaved) carrot, turnip, radish and/or beet as desired

oil, vinegar and salt

Toss together the greens, herbs, and shreds. Dress with oil, vinegar and salt.


Oh, you know what I bet would shred up real pretty? One of these stormily pink inside-out radishes—I will try to remember to pick one up on next time they are in Union Square.

“Torn Shreds” was the name of a character based on Rip Torn played by Sid Caesar. I could not find any YouTube clips of Torn Shreds, but you could have look at Mr. Bigsby ordering lunch: “ ‘Are you going to engulf that entire pickle?’ ‘Why, yes, sir. I can’t eat a sandwich without engulfing an entire pickle’”

Ed will be gathering together the shreds of this week's Weekend Herb Blogging at Tomato, in Melbourne, where I am guessing it is toasty warm.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mango Pudding, and the Situation So Far

I realize there is nothing in the photo to provide scale, but I assure you, this thing was huge.

It looks like an ostrich egg fried sunny-side-up, but this is in fact the mango pudding at Buddha-Bodai on Main Street in Flushing. The center is a jelly made with mango pulp and probably set with agar-agar. The circumferential element is a delicious soymilk mousseline. I would love to know how they make this. It is flowery, mildly sweet, and has none of the harshness regrettably common in soy desserts. This enormous pudding serves six to eight, but on this occasion, our merry band of four girl geeks flew through it like hot potatoes being fired through a wall of butter into the Tsar’s mouth. We do work hard, you know.

I wrote the previous paragraph almost six weeks ago, just before my hard drive was overcome by the Catalepsy leaving me with very spotty access to my various writing projects, not to mention my own brain (lavender tea does not seem to work on computers). When I made the unfortunate generalization about soy desserts, I did not yet know about Kyotofu, the soy dessert restaurant enthusiastically reviewed in the Times last week. I have not yet been, but I am intrigued. This might be just the place to restore one feeling much better and back at work.

I will be trying to make one of these, and if and when, you will read about it here. For now, over to Sweetnick's for more satisfying, if visually misleading, dishes.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

שפּריכװערטער װעגן ברויט און פֿרויען בײַ ײדן

װען אַ קאָלעגין האָט מיר געזאָגט אַז זי טוט איצטער פֿאָרשונג װעגן ברױט און פֿרױען בײַ חז"ל, האָב איך זיך דערמאָנט אַז בײַ ייִדן װערן פֿרױען און ברױט אַ מאָל פֿאַרגליכן. בײַ בערנשטײנען האָב איך געפֿונען די פֿאָלגנדיקע שפּריכװערטער׃

מען טאָר ניט עסן די חלה פֿאַר דער המוציא.
You mustn’t eat khale before the “hamotsi

איבער אַן אָנגעהויבענער חלה איז ניט גוט קיין המוציא צו מאַכן.
It is not good to make a “hamotsi” over a khale that has already been started.

װאָס טוט מײַן כּלה? זי קנײט זיצנדיק חלה.
What is my kale doing? Sitting kneading khale.

אַן אויסגעגעבענע טאָכטער איז װי אַן אָפּגעשניטן שטיקל ברויט (זי קאָן זיך מער ניט צוריק צוקלעפּן צו די עלטערן).
A daughter who has been married off is like a piece of bread that has been sliced off (She can no more return to her family than the slice can get stuck back on the loaf).

די ליבע איז זיס, נאָר זי איז גוט מיט ברויט.
Love is sweet, but good with bread.

דאָס ערשטע איז פֿאַשטעדלעך, אָבער דאָס צװײטע געפֿעלט מיר נישט אַזױ פֿיל, און באמת, מאַכט מען יאָ המוציא אױף אַלע ברױט, אַפֿילו דעם „אָנגעהױבענעם“. דאָס דריטע פֿאַרשטײ איך נישט–אפֿשר זאָגט מען דאָס נאָר צוליב דעם גראַם. דאָס פֿערטע און דאָס פֿינפֿטע קאָן מען געפֿינען אין כּמעט אַלע שפּראַכן.


Among the proverbs collected by Ignatz Bernshteyn in Yidishe shprikhverter un rednsartn (Warsaw 1908) are these five linking women and bread. I'm not sure what the third one means.

ייִדיש, Yiddish

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Friendly Reminder

The midwinter moon is waning.

And you know what that means.

Only three short, fleeting, meltingly brief months until peyeskh.