Friday, March 03, 2006

Resting on my Laurels

I apologize if sixty thousand Weekend Herb Bloggers have already used this title. This week I made a couple of things with bay leaves. For a long time I resisted cooking with laurel or bay leaves. The whole point seemed to elude me. I began to see reason when I started preparing beans frequently. The real turning point came when I started combining them with fruit, as I do in this tsimes.

I slice the carrots diagonally because I think the ovals look prettier with the shape of the prunes than plain circles. The slices are about 3/16” thick, or just shy of a quarter-inch (0.5 cm)

Lost and found Tsimes

Pitted prunes, equal to 2/3 the volume of the carrots (they will expand)
Tea (you may use water)
One large onion, cut into medium dice
Six slender carrots, about one pound, sliced into thin ovals
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 chile pods
1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges

Put the prunes into tea to cover and allow them to begin soaking as you prepare the recipe.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Use a larger skillet than you think you need so that everything can caramelize evenly. Add diced onions, lower heat and cook for several minutes. When the onions are about halfway there (light gold) add the sliced carrots, chile pods and bay leaves. Continue to cook and stir several minutes more or until onions are deep nut-brown and carrots are taking a bit of color. Add the prunes and tea and a bit of salt, and raise heat somewhat. Allow the tsimes to cook, stirring occasionally until the tea is absorbed and the carrots are done. Taste for salt and possibly a little sugar. Put the lemon wedges or slices in the pan just long enough before serving to warm them up. So pretty.

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Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Very interesting idea. Personally I love bay leaves, especially in beans and things with tomatoes.

10:17 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

Ah yes, tomatoes. The other thing I made with bay leaves was a white bean and tomato soup with bay leaves and lots of garlic. It was very nice, but I have been too busy to write up the recipe, and I guess everybody knows my soup-template by now.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Ilva said...

How interesting, I never tried bay leaves with fruit. I use them very little actually despite the fact I can get them fresh from a tree right next to my garden and the silly thing is that i LIKE it! So now you are guilty of having put me on the bay leaf quest!

12:58 AM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...


I look forward to reading about your bay leaf quest.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! Love your title! ;-)


10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much tea? What kinds of tea ? How many people does this recipe feed? Can I substitute something instead of chili pods if I don't like very hot ? Black pepper? paprika? A zis yor !

10:36 AM  

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