Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coconut Chips קאָקאָןוס טאַשםעלעך

קאָקאָןוס טאַשםעלעך

די טאַשמעלעך זענען געזונט און געשמאַק, טאַקע אַזױ גוט װי קאַרטאָפֿליע־טשיפּלעך.

מיט אַ שאָל־מעסער, הובלט'ץ אָפּ טאַשמעלעך פֿונעם קאָקאָנוס. באַזאַלצט'ץ זײ גוט און באַקט'ץ זײ אָפּ אױף 350 אַ 15 מינוט.

little ribbons (tashmelekh )

To plane, to shave (ophublen)

Coconut Chips

These are an intriguing surprise from Seasoning Savvy by Alice Arndt. Salty coconut chips might actually be as satisfying as potato chips. You know I would not say that lightly. These are a useful nibble to have on hand, especially during Passover, when low-glycemic, gluten-free, nightshade-free snacks are thin on the ground.

Heat the oven to 350. Shave fresh coconut into longish fettuccine. Lay them on a baking sheet, salt generously and bake for about fifteen minutes.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

פּסחדיק שאָקאָלאַד־קאָקאָסנוס טאָרט

פּסחדיק שאָקאָלאַד־קאָקאָסנוס טאָרט

7 אָנצן שאָקאָלאַד

1 קאָקאָנוס (אַן ערך 7 אָדער 9 אָנצן)

1 טעפּל צוקער (7 אָנצן)

7 װײַסלעך

אָנצוגרײטן דעם קאָקאָסנוס

װאַרעמט'ץ אָן דעם אױװן אױף 375. שטעכט'ץ אַדורך 2 פֿון די 3 לעכערלעך אין קאָקאָסנוס און גיסט'ץ אַרױס דאָס קאָקאָנוס װאַסער. טרינקט'ץ עס װי עס שטײט און גײט, אָדער מישט'ץ עס אױס מיט עפּעס אַנדערש. װאַרעמט'ץ דעם קאָקאָסנוס אין אױװן אַ 20-25 מינוט. װיקלט אים אײַן אין אַ האַנטטוך און צעשמעטערט'ץ אים מיט אַ האַמער. װען ער איז קיל גענוג, רײַסט'ץ אָפּ דאָס פֿרוכט־פֿלײש פֿון דער שאָלעכץ. עס װעט האָבן אַ דינעם, ברױנעם הײַטעלע, װאָס װעט גאָרנישט שאַטן דעם רעצעפּט, אָבער אױף אַ װײַסע קאָקאָנוס מילך אָדער עפּעס אַזױנס, קאָנט'ץ עס אָפּשײלן.

אָנצוגרײטן דעם טאָרט

װאַרעמט'ץ אָן דעם אױװן אױף 325. צעמאָלט דעם שאָקאָלאַד, קאָקאָסנוס און צוקער אין אַ מאָלער אָדער פּראָצעסירער. טו דאָס געמיש אַרײַן אין אַ שיסל. אין אַן אַנדער שיסל, צעשלאָגט'ץ די װײַסלעך אױף שנײ. פֿאַלדעװעט'ץ די װײַסלעך אַרײַן אינעם שאָקאָלאַד געמיש און גיסט'ץ אַרײַן אין אַ באַק־טאָפּ. באַקט''ץ אַ 45 מינוט.

דער טאָרט איז געשמאַק װי די װעלט. איך שעם זיך אַ ביסל ענק אױסצוּװײַזן װי גרינג ער איז אָפּצובאַקן.

װי עס שטײט און גײט
As is (vi es shteyt un geyt)

To pierce (adurkhshtekn)

To smash (tseshmetern)

to pry out (opraysn)

membrane (haytl)

This recipe appeared in English here

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eggplant with Herbed Walnut Sauce in Memory of Sher

Photo of Sher reproduced from What Did You Eat?

I am shocked and sorrowed by the sudden loss of Sherry Cermak, creator of What did You Eat?, one of the first food blogs with which I became acquainted, and one that has been a great source of support and inspiration. Some of Sher’s recipes, like this one for pasta with watercress (with one obvious modification) became staples of my repertoire, and others have taken up long-time residence on my to-do list, along with responding to this challenge (I have been thinking about a suitable menu for two years).

This week, food bloggers are remembering Sher by preparing her recipes. I made the Fried Eggplant with Walnut and Herb Sauce adapted by Sher from The Savory Way by Deborah Madison. This dish is vivid, pungent, fragrant, and thrumming with the flavors of midsummer, just like Sher herself. I used curly parsley from this week’s CSA pickup rather than mint, and I left out the fennel seeds called for in the original recipe, because I am very sensitive to fennel seeds.

Fried Eggplant with Herbed Walnut Sauce

1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/3 inch slices

olive oil (be liberal)

Lightly salt the eggplant in advance and let it sit for 15 minutes. Pat dry.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet and cook the eggplant slices on both sides to a deep golden brown

Walnut Sauce With Yogurt And Parsley

1 cup walnut meats (5 ounces)
1 garlic clove (I used an enormous clove; the original recipe calls for a small clove)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 to 1 cup boiling water
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley (about 3 sprigs)

cayenne pepper or paprika
lemon wedges

Toast the walnuts in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Put the walnuts, bread crumbs, and garlic into a food processor and process briefly until the texture of fine crumbs. Take a moment to smell the hot toasted nuts and garlic. Is that not the bee’s knees? With motor running, add 1/2 cup of the water. Stop and scrape down the sides and then add more water until it's the texture you want. Stir in the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the yogurt and herbs. Garnish with paprika and lemon wedges.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Dragon's Langerie Beans

Pretty snazzy eh? These heirloom beans are sweet and flavorful raw, and will lose their distinctive striations when cooked, but I still prefer cooked beans. On Sunday I will be preparing a recipe, possibly involving these beans, from What Did You Eat in loving memory of Sher,
whose remarkable work and generous spirit will continue to be an inspiration to me as long as I cook, write, and eat.

ETA: OK, Here's what I did. I cooked them in boiling salted water for eight minutes along with two large garlic cloves (and subsequently used the bean-water for pasta, ans then the bean-pasta water for sesame sauce for the pasta. When the beans and garlic cooled I sliced the beans, diced the garlic, minced half a bunch of curly-leaf parsley from Monkshood farm, and drizzled everything with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt to taste. Stripey they are not, but delicious and life-giving they are, this bean I had never seen. Have you sen these, Sweetnicks??We waited for shabes to indulge in these delicious tender beans so we could make a shehekheyonu. It truly is a remarkable this when life allows you to taste a new type of bean. Submit to the wonder.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blueberry Cake

A blueberry cake, as I understand it, ought to be more about blueberries with cake than cake with blueberries. My understanding of what a blueberry cake ought to be is based on a cake baked by Mrs. Rubashkin, the mother of the little girl who was my very dearest friend when I was eight years old. I remember the initial shock that anything could be so delicious followed at once by waves and waves of bewildering pleasure as every bite seemed even more mouth-filling, more melting, more surprising than the last. The blueberries, I recall, were held together by the barest matrix of buttery batter. This cake, or the memory of this cake, is the ideal towards which every blueberry cake (and really every cake) that I bake is striving. While I can’t claim to have reached blueberry Nirvana quite yet, I have been having great good fortune with this recipe, for a traditional blueberry pound cake.

Blueberry Cake

About 1 ½ pints blueberries

1 cup (8 ounces) butter

1 generously rounded cup (8 ounces) light brown sugar, or regular sugar

4 extra large eggs

2 cups (8 ounces) flour

Heat the oven to 350F. Prepare one ten-inch cake pan, or two six-inch pans, or one six-inch pan and some muffin cups with butter and flour. I line the pans with baking parchment as well. Wash and pick over the berries. Cream the butter and sugar by hand or in a mixer on the lowest speed. Add the eggs, and then the flour. You do not need any leavening or vanilla, but you can make a softer if less traditional cake by adding up to one teaspoon baking powder and I will permit up to one teaspoon vanilla, but only if you get the good stuff. Mix most of the blueberries into the batter, and scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle additional blueberries on top. Bake about 20 minutes for the six inch cakes, longer for the larger cake, less for the muffins or cupcakes. Invite over some neighborhood children and transform their lives forever.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bumpy Tomatoes

These look like they might be some larger tomatoes giving a piggy-back ride to their little ones, but they are in fact a variety of heirloom tomatoes that grow in this shape. No one at the market could identify them further than that. Does anyone know what these guys might be called?


Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh, Lordy

Look what they did to my poor innocent bicycle!

I am several hours behind schedule today because my bicycle got badly mangled in a failed robbery attempt. I am glad it was not worse. You know what I cannot believe? They stole the little rubber grippy things on my handlebars. Of what possible use could that be to anybody?

Fortunately, I had securely locked up according to the principles delineated by Hal in this video, and they could not get the frame or wheels, so I am considering myself lucky.

After rolling, dragging, and carrying the carcass to Bicycle Habitat, I was artistically smeared with some interesting black grease. They gave me some abrasive green Pro-Soap to clean up, and miraculously made my bicycle go again. I love you guys!

I wonder if there is a Yiddish word for those little rubber grippy things, or an English one, for that matter.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hemp Shtshav (Schav) שטשאַװ מיט קאָנאָפּליעס

There is nothing in the world like shtshav (I didn’t say there is nothing better; I just said there is nothing like it). The word shtshav in Yiddish refers both to the delicate lemony herb sorrel (rumex acetosa) and to the cooling and restorative soup in which it is most famously employed. Shtshav is high in oxalic acid, and is best enjoyed along with something high in protein and fat. In its most familiar version, shtshav is cooked with eggs. In this deconstructed version, hardboiled eggs are served alongside. I thought it was about time to try a vegan and non-allergenic alternative, and hemp seeds seemed to be the ideal medium to enrich a pareve shtshav. This worked even better than I thought—I will make it again even when I do not need to be keeping vegan. Other cooling herbal creations are to be found at Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging, this week at Briciole.

Hemp Shtshav (Schav)

2 or 3 bunches of sorrel (about 1 pound)

1 cup ( 6 ounces) hemp Seeds

about 1 tablespoon salt, more to taste

1 diced summer onion

diced Kirby cucumbers (about 5)

lemon wedges

Wash the sorrel well, and trim the stems. Even if you share my enthusiasm for stems in general, you need to remove stems from sorrel.

Put the sorrel, hemp seeds and salt in a pot with about two quarts of boiling water and cook for about forty minutes. Puree very thoroughly in a blender. Serve cold with, diced cucumbers, summer onion, and lemon wedges.

שטשאַװ מיט קאָנאָפּליעס

2 אָדער 3 בינטלעך שטשאַװ (אַן ארך 1 פֿונט)

1 טעפּל קאָנאָפּליעס

1 לעפֿל זאַלץ

5 אוגערקעס, צעשניטן

1 זומער־ציבעלע, צעשניטן

רעפֿטלעך לימענע

װאַשט'ץ גוט די שטשאַװ, און נעמט'ץ אַראָפּ די שטענגלעך. טוט'ץ שטשאַװ אַרײַן אין אַ טאָפּ מיט קאָנאָפּליעס, זאַלץ, און 2 קװאַרט װאַסער. קאָכט'ץ אַ 40 מינוט און מאָלט'ץ זײ גוט אָפּ אין אַ בלענד־מאַשין. דערלאַנגט'ץ מיט אוגערקעס, ציבעלע, רעפֿטלעך לימענע און אַ ביסל יאָגורט, אױב סע גלוסט זיך.

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Rivington Street between Clinton and Suffolk, Lower East Side, Manhattan


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Peas de Resistance

These peas are so named because even as part of a lavish menu, they really stood out as something unusual. Like my other favorite pea preparation, this recipe uses the richness of ground nuts as a foil for the tender juiciness of the peas. You can use English shelling peas, sugar snap peas, or a combination of the two.

Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, now more herbal than ever, is to be found this week at Sidewalk Shoes.

Peas with Pistachio and Parsley Sauce

1 cups shelled peas (from about 1 pound peas in the pod. You can double the amount of peas if you have more)

½ cup pistachios

1/3 cup yogurt


leaves from about 6 branches of parsley (loose ½ cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic scape, chopped (or one scallion, or a clove of garlic)

½ teaspoon salt

Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth or paper towels and allow the yogurt to drain while you prepare the other ingredients. Blanch the peas briefly in boiling water. Decorticate the pistachios, or skip this step, but it is lovely if you do. Place half the pistachios in a blender or processor with the yogurt, about ½ teaspoon salt, parsley, olive oil, and garlic scape. Blend, drizzling in a few spoonsful of water as needed to make a smooth sauce. Mix the peas and sauce in a shallow baking dish. Chop the remaining pistachios and scatter them on top. Bake until bubbly and slightly browned. The original recipe suggests 15 minutes at 500F. I gave them half an hour at 375F with a minute under the broiler.