Archive for April, 2011

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kasha varnishka with kishke

April 30, 2011

k. made this amazing meal tonight.

    KASHA VARNISHKA

sautee tons of onions and mushrooms
when soft, add kasha*:broth 1:2 with:
balsamic
soy sauce
dill
just a little coriander
salt
black pepper
and a little mustard oil
stir in cooked bowtie pasta

* = some people coat kasha in egg white before cooking to keep it separated. we didn’t, and it did get a bit mushy.

    KISHKE

we got some from the local sausage shop. fried slices until they got crunchy.

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sourdough gingerbread

April 30, 2011

also have a gluten-free sourdough starter to accommodate k and t, who are gf. (whew! it’s like code.)

i decided to do this sourdough gingerbread, and make it gluten-free..

Ingredients:

* 1 cup sourdough starter
* 1/2 cup hot water
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
* 1 large egg
* 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (we mix rice flour, besan/gram flour, corn and potato starches, and buckwheat flour, plus whatever other things are in the house.)
* 1 teaspoon ginger
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 cup butter, or shortening

1. 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. 2 Cream together the brown sugar and shortening.
3. 3 Then add molasses and egg, beating continuously; set aside
4. 4 In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and blend into hot water.
5. 5 Then beat this mixture into creamed mixture.
6. 6 As the last step, add the sourdough starter slowly, mixing carefully to maintain a bubbly batter.
7. 7 Pour into lightly buttered and floured 8″x8″ baking pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until done.

edit: tastes absolutely nothing like sourdough. cakey and sweet, like any good quick-bread like zucchini or banana. added fresh ginger and ground allspice and clove and doubled the ground cinnamon and ginger. the pan was gobbled up, but it wasn’t anything special compared with the other quick breads i’ve made. i may make it again, but i think i like gingerbread cookies better.

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sourdough rye

April 30, 2011

just set the sponge to sour. we’ll see… i suspect this will be delicious, and increasingly more delicious with each week the baby sourdough is alive.

* 1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups rye flour
* 1 1/4 cups warm water
* 1 (2 1/4 teaspoon) packet active dry yeast (NOTE: I REFUSE TO USE THIS!)
* 1 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1. 1 Combine starter, rye flour, and one cup of the water in a large bowl; let sour.
2. 2 Add whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds; stir until dough comes together.
3. 3 Knead 9-10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy; add more all-purpose flour, a tablespoon or two at a time during the kneading process as necessary to reduce excess stickiness (this particular dough will remain somewhat sticky); cover and let rise about 1 – 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until doubled.
4. 4 Punch down dough and knead a few strokes to release air; shape into a round loaf and place on a baking stone or a greasing baking sheet; cover loaf lightly and allow to rise about 30 minutes until almost doubled.
5. 5 Spray loaf with water and bake at 425° for 9 minutes, spraying loaf after 3, 6, and 9 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake another 20-25 minutes until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom; transfer finished loaf to cooling rack.

modified from this.

ED: too dense. maybe the extra yeast would have been helpful for an airy, holey loaf. this was… bagely. delicious, but too dense. we still ate the whole thing in less than a day. the texture was so bagely that i may turn it into bagels if the same thing happens next time.

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tamarind recipes to try

April 26, 2011

coconut shrimp with tamarind-ginger sauce

sweet tamarind chutney

baked bananas with tamarind sauce

tamarind and sweet potato bisque

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punjabi kadi pakora

April 25, 2011

some people at this house don’t do dairy, so i altered this recipe to make it vegan by adding vegan kefir and half a can of coconut milk until it was the consistency of buttermilk like the recipe says. i served it with cinnamon-coconut-milk grits. i’m absolutely doing this again.

it sounds weird – a sauce mostly made from FLOUR? but chickpea flour isn’t like wheat flour. combined with the coconut milk or yogurt, the chickpea flour takes on the same smooth consistency it does in mohanthal or besan burfi.

sick of the same old gluten-free thing? this is your new favorite dinner.

also, i threw a bunch of veggies into the sauce (along with parsley, sesame seeds, and a bunch of other healthy junk i was craving) and it was phenomenal, if not entirely authentic.

Ingredients

For Pakora:
1 cup Besan (gram flour)
Pinch of cumin seeds
2 teaspoon chopped onions
1 chopped green chillies
½ teaspoon grated ginger
pinch of turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon garam masala
red chilli powder (as per taste)
½ teaspoon jwayen/ajwain (optional)
water (to make a thick batter)
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For Kadi:
2 spoons vegetable Oil
1 cup Besan (gram flour)
1 huge onion (sliced in long pieces)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2-3 teaspoon garlic (minced)
4-5 dry red chillies
7-8 curry leaves
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2-3 cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 spoon tamarind paste (mixed with water)
2 cups yogurt (or coconut milk)
2 teaspoon dry kasturi methi powder (fenugreek powder)
Salt to taste

Preparation

Pakora:
1 Mix besan and all the other ingredients in a bowl.
2 Add enough water to make a very thick batter.
3 Make any random shape or balls and fry them in oil to make pakoras.
4 Deep fry them until they turn brown and crispy. Take them out on a paper towel so that the paper soaks all the extra oil. Keep them aside.
Kadi Prep:
1 Blend yogurt,double the amount of water, pinch of turmeric powder, salt, pinch of red chilli powder, besan. It should look like a butter milk (lassi) mixture with besan in it.
2 Keep it aside for half an hour before starting to make kadi.
Kadi:
1 Pour oil in a big pan (or any big cooking utensil) and heat it until it gets hot. Add cumin seeds mustard seeds, fenugreek seed, coriander seeds, cloves and let them pop.
2 Add curry leaves and dry red chilli to the above tadka (frying mixture)
3 Add onions to it and fry them until brown.
4 Add garlic, ginger to it and fry for 3 minutes.(watch that it should not stick to the bottom of the pan)
5 Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes.
6 Add tamarind paste to the pan and let it come to the boil for 4-5 minutes.
7 Add turmeric powder ,garam masala, red chilli powder, salt and fry until oil starts floating on the top and it gives out dark reddish brownish color.
8 Add the kadi mixture, which was kept for half an hour to this tadka.
9 Keep stirring the curry, as it will start sticking to the bottom. Keep it on a medium flame first, and let it come to a boil. Keep watching it stirring it. After 3-5 boils, lower down the flame to low and let it cook on low flame for 20 minutes and stir in between.
10 Stir for another 5 minutes and check if its thick enough and looks dark yellow. Again stir it for 5 minutes and sprinkle dry fenugreek leaves on it and let it boil for another 2 minutes and than add the pakoras in the kadi.
11 Boil more for 3 minutes and don’t stir too much as the pakora can break apart.
12 For garnishing, sprinkle cilantro and serve hot with rice.

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socca (farinata)

April 24, 2011

apparently, this is supposed to be cooked over a fire, which sounds like a fantastic idea to me… two pans (one onion and olive oil, one sausage and bacon grease) were eaten up completely in less than ten minutes. yay fermented skillet food! if we had more than two cast-irons, i’d triple this recipe next time. the crispy bits at the edges were like delicious crunchy chips.

gluten-free baked crispy chickpea skillet cakes (socca / farinata)

1 cup chickpea flour (besan/gram flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon, at least, ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional.

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. (ed: FERMENT THIS!) Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

2. If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.

3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges (ED: other websites say it is to be broken unevenly and snacked on while licking salt from the mediterranean off your lips – sigh) and serve hot, or at least warm.

Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings.

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mango burfi

April 15, 2011

this is also my first time doing burfi! i’m doing two separate versions – a half-recipe of a vegan burfi / barfi, and a half-recipe of a milk-based burfi.

VEGAN MANGO BURFI

1 cup ripe mango pulp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1 tsp mixed nuts for garnishing

Method

1. Mix sugar and water in a bowl and boil until sugar syrup is formed.
2. In another bowl, take the ripened mango juice and boil until the juice gets thickened.
3. Now, add the thickened juice to the sugar syrup and cook until the mixture gets more thickened.
4. Transfer the mixture to a greased plate and spread it to a thick layer.
5. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and dry fruits above it and cut into desired shapes.

MANGO BURFI

3/4 gallon milk
can sweetened condensed milk
cardamom
one packet mango pulp
dash corn syrup

boil milk down on low heat until reduced by half (this takes forever)
add can sweetened condensed milk and boil down
add mango pulp and corn syrup
boil til thick

the vegan one is a really strange texture – sort of like the thick squeeze-candy in squeeze-bottles. or actually, like hair gel. like candy hair gel. i’m not sure what i did wrong, but wow, is it ever wrong. it’s delicious, of course, as any candy hair gel would be.

the milk burfi is STILL cooking, hours later. it’s still liquid. we’ll see how it turns out.

edit: (next morning)
i cooked the milk burfi for hours, and hours, and hours. until 1am. it may have been six hours, i’m not sure. i should have cooked it for longer, because it’s only just too moist to cut into pieces. it sort of resembles a cheese; it’s curdy and clumpy. it’s not quite as bad of a texture as it sounds, but i still probably won’t cook this again. it’s overwhelmingly sweet, even for a cookie addict like me.

the vegan version ended up getting drizzled onto toast and added to brown rice and stir-fry. it was good, but not anywhere near solid candy.

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soft pretzels

April 15, 2011

this is my first attempt at boiled bread. i’m a little nervous. and i’m NOT using lye.

basic form taken from this and this

* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 package / 1 cake yeast
* 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons pretzel salt*

Preparation

Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.

Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes.

edit: they looked sort of funny, but definitely tasted like soft pretzel. i wouldn’t say they were indistinguishable from mall or nyc pretzels, but they were delicious and one batch is DEFINITELY not enough. i did four pretzels with an egg wash and four without, and they were instantly devoured. the egg wash made them more soft/chewy (in a good way, like a nyc pretzel) and the non-egg-wash ones got a crispyness on the bottom that was delicious, but unauthentic. i liked both. i’m definitely making this again and again. everyone was delighted by these.

edit two: i made them again two days later. and now i’m making them again today. i’m addicted. i regret nothing.

i was born in new jersey of south german descent, so i’m sort of genetically programmed into a love of soft pretzels.

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apricot-honey chicken tagine

April 14, 2011

i combined several recipes i found online to make this, but took most of the technique from this. it could use a little tweaking, but was probably one of the best chicken dishes i’ve ever made. the glaze is out of this world.

APRICOT-HONEY CHICKEN TAGINE

let chicken thighs sit in ground cinnamon, turmeric, ginger (fresh and powdered,) and fresh garlic. brown for about eight minutes and remove from pan. fry onion in butter, then add water, browned chicken, and a bundle of cilantro and parsley, and simmer.

in the meantime, start a saucepan with water, dried apricots, honey, and a cinnamon stick. simmer until apricots are tender and sauce has reduced to a glaze.

in the meantime, toast some nuts (i used a frying pan)
i used pistachios because i love them, but almonds would be great, too.

cook chicken for about forty minutes.

top with toasted pistachios and kalamata olives.
serve with a grain (yellow rice? quinoa? fresh grill-bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt? dosai?)

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