Monday, August 17, 2009

Shave-Ice האָבל-אײַז

OMG shaved ice! When was the last time? I don’t even remember. You see, this is why you have to stay in New York all summer, even when the heat index is 108.

The shaved ice man uses a small hand-plane to scrape the ice block,

Then the back of the plane forms the ice-needles into a perfect cone when he scoops it into a cup,
and pours on the syrup. I chose tamarindo. Tam-gan-eydn-arindo!

I wish I could have made a sound file of the ice-planing process, because a large part of the pleasure of having the shave-ice is hearing the khromtshe, khromtshe, khromtshe of the plane scraping across the ice-block.
The Yiddish word for shave-ice is האָבל-אײַז (hobl-ayz), or plane-ice


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Non-Cooked Escarole

Arguments for cooking the escarole are well known:
  • Braised escarole is one of the best things in the world.
  • Raw escarole is bitter.
  • Raw escarole is hard to chew.
  • You are going to get another seventeen pounds of greens from your CSA tomorrow whether you cook this week's greens or not.
The overwhelming iron-clad logic of these arguments, however, wilts into a soggy heap on days like today when our very brains are fricasseed in the 90-degree heat. Of course you can make salads, but just as you need raw salads even in the coldest days of winter, you need vegetables in some way relaxed, if not quite cooked, even in the hottest days of summer. Viana La Place has a recipe for Smashed Salad, for which you put your salad greens in a clean pillow case, and then smash them against the side of your counter, bang, boom, whap! I would love to try this some day, but I was not quite up to that today. What I did was combine two processes for relaxing raw greens. I rubbed them between the palms of my hands with kosher salt to break down the cell walls, and then let them marinate a while in olive oil and cider vinegar. The resulting dish is pleasantly mellow, but with the live vital flavor of raw food. I learned about marinating raw greens, even the really tough one like collards, from Lillian Butler, founder of Raw Soul. I will have to tell you more about Raw Soul soon, no solemn vow implied.

OH, and don't be scared about washing your greens. It is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey.

This is my submission for Haalo's Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by our fearless leader Kalyn, and hosted this week by Anh at A Food Lover's Journey.

Non-Cooked Escarole

1 bunch escarole
kosher salt
olive oil (be liberal)
about 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
black olives or tapanade (optional)
orange juice or zest or both (optional)
lemon juice or zest or both (optional)
sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
a pinch of cumin (optional)
fresh or dried chiles (optional)
a tiny bit of sugar or agave (optional)

Wash the escarole and spin dry. sprinkle the leaves with kosher salt. using your hands, massage the salt into the leaves. Chop the kneaded leaves as soarsely or fine as desired. Drizzle a liberal amount of olive oil over the leaves and mix well. add the vinegar and minced onion and garlic and optional aroamtics and mix well again. Taste for seasonings. You can serve it right now if you just can't wait, but it will be even better in half an hour

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Chocolate Kernik שאָקאָלאַדער קערניק

אַ סך פֿון ענק האָבן מיר שױן געפֿרעגט אַ היפּש פּאָר מאָל װען איך זאָל שױן אָנבלאָגעװען אַ שאָקאָלאַדער קערניק. נו? קומען װעט נאָך אונדזער אױסגעבענקטע שעה. אָט איז רעצעפּט װאָס װאָלט געקאָנטברענגען דערלײזונג.

שאָקאָלאַדער קערניק
½ טעפּל רױע פּעקאַן־ניס
½ טעפּל שאָקאָלאַד
מישט'ץ אױס שאָקאָלאַד מיט ניס אין אַ פּראָצעסירער. טו זײ אַרײַן אין אַ בעקל פֿון 6 צאָל
12 אָנצן אָונצעס האַלב־זיס שאָקאָלאַד
12 אָנצן (1 פּושקע) קאָקאָנוס מילך
1 לעפֿל אַגאַר
2 לעפֿל װאַסער
2 לעפֿל ראָם
¼ טעפּל אַגאַװע
װאַרעמט'ץ אָן דעם שאָקאָלאַד מיט דער קאָקאָנוס מילך. אין אַ קלײן טאָפּ, װאַרעמט'ץ אָן װאַסער מיט אַגאַר דער אַגאַר זאָל צעגײן. מישט'ץ אױס שאָקאָלאַד־מילך מיטן אַגאַר־װאַסער, ראָם און אַגאַװע. גיסט'ץ אײַן אינעם בעקעלע מיטן שאָקאָלאַדן טײג, און קיל עס אָפּ אַ פֿיר שעה.

A number of you have been wondering when I was going to make a chocolate kernik, already. I was planning to try something last Friday, but you know, even when the days are long, shabes just comes rushing up at you unawares, so I thought, I’ll just throw together something really fast and easy this week, and work on the real chocolate kernik recipe next week. You can’t expect such a strategy to yield sublime recipes consistently, but wow, this is clearly the kernik that was meant to be.

Chocolate Kernik

½ cup raw pecans
½ cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate, chopped
grind the chocolate and nuts together in a processor and press the crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan. (It will be easier to unmold the cake if you place a cardboard disk in the bottom of the pan and form the crust on that. Since the kernik does not get baked, it will be fine).
12 ounces (1 can) coconut milk
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon agar
2 tablespoons dark rum
¼ cup agave, if desired
Heat the coconut milk with the chocolate to melt. Swish the water in the can to get out the last drops of coconut milk. Heat the coconut water with the agar to dissolve. Combine the agar with the chocolate mixture and rum and agave if desired. Pour the filling into the chocolate crust and chill for four hours.קערניק

kernik A vegan cheesecake made from nuts or seeds

See pistachio kernik, Strawberry kernik, and Bamboo Honey Vanilla Kernik

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