Archive for November, 2010


to try: eel sauce

November 24, 2010



eel sauce (minus eels)


savory sweet-potato bread

November 24, 2010

i made this savory sweet-potato bread for a potluck at the buddhist monastery last night.

the author said the bread has a good but not particularly strong flavor, so we bumped up the thyme. left out the sage since we didn’t have any.

the bread was good – nothing spectacular, but a great twist on a typical french loaf. i’d say this is the perfect bread to bring kids and other picky eaters. it’s gorgeous, but not too challenging a flavor. and a good blank canvas to spice up.

the dough is a dreamy, easily workable consistency, and the mild orange color is interesting. we did one in a loaf pan and one on a cookie sheet, and the cookie sheet loaf  spread out to this big, beautiful, even loaf that looked very fancy. definitely impressive. the one in the loaf pan was a little unpleasantly dense, but makes good “toast bread”

you really can’t taste the sweet potato.

interestingly, we’ve discovered that only rising breads a third instead of a half beats the weird-rise-altitude problem. and a pan of water in the bottom of the oven gives a super-thick crust. every bread we’ve made so far has been amazing. the ciabatta was incredible, light and springy and crusty and sour.

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup cold milk.

2 T yeast

1 medium-large sweet potato, baked, cooled enough to handle, and peeled.

2 T unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

1  1/2 T salt

6-8 grinds of pepper (I didn’t measure it – it’s probably about 1/8-1/4 tsp.)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried sage

5  1/2 – 6  1/2 cups flour

proof the yeast in the warm liquids. smash it all together, knead ~5mins, rise, divide, re-rise and preheat oven to 375, and bake for an absurdly long time (~50mins, rotate pans halfway)

check out the link for a visually detailed recipe.


pumpkin gnocchi

November 22, 2010

this looks amazing. i definitely have to try it.

pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi


lamb apricot tagines to try

November 21, 2010

moroccan food. these are all from arabic food.


lamb apricot tagine

1/4 cup plain flour
8 (180g each) lamb forequarter chops, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
400g can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
2 small zucchini, thickly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
steamed couscous and yoghurt, to serve


1.  Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Place flour and lamb in a large snap-lock bag. Seal. Shake to coat. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over high heat. Cook lamb, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining oil. Add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, ginger and chilli. Cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Return lamb and juices to pan with tomato, apricot, honey and 2 cups cold water. Cover. Bring to the boil.

3. Transfer to oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Skim fat from surface. Add zucchini. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until lamb is tender. Stir in coriander. Serve with couscous and yoghurt.


lamb tagine with honey and apricots

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced onions
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
8 threads Spanish saffron, crushed
16 fresh cilantro sprigs, tied together with a cotton string
1 cup dried, pitted apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Cut lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Season the lamb with turmeric, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat a tagine or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and half of the seasoned lamb. Cook the lamb until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb from the pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and lamb.

Return the seared lamb to the pan and add the diced onions. Cook, stirring to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, saffron, and cilantro bundle and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the apricots and raisins and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain and set the fruit aside.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat, place it on a clean plate, and keep warm. Bring the remaining liquid in the pan to a simmer. Add the sliced onions, apricots, raisins, honey, cinnamon, ground pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Return the liquid to a simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until mixture is slightly thickened. Add the cooked lamb back into the sauce and cook to heat through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs. Serve with Moroccan Vegetable Couscous and Moroccan Yogurt with Preserved Lemon Dip.



November 21, 2010

i remember my mind being blown at the variety of condiments and cold salads at even the most broke-down falafel carts. in the middle east, they’ll put ANYTHING on a falafel – almost all of it laced with parsley and raw onions. this is my tried-and-true falafel recipe.


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour

    1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

    2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

    3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

    4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

    5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.




    serve with a cucumber-bellpepper-onion salad, pickled vegetables, chopped tomatoes-and-parsley, tahini sauce, baba ghanouj, hummus, hot pepper pickles, and about a million other kinds of cold vegetable salads.

    breads for thanksgiving?

    November 20, 2010

    breads we’re going to possibly try making for thanksgiving.

    pascha (ukranian eggy bread)

    pumpkin bread?


    sweet potato biscuits?

    kalamata olive and thyme rolls?

    brown bread (with molasses)?

    beer bread?

    one-a-day baguette (french)

    EDIT. we’re making a savory sweet potato bread, an armenian sweet bread called CHOEREG, and a ciabatta. i’ll keep posted on how they go – i’m in the boulder area for this month, and baking at 5000 ft. is a unique experience.


    apple pie with almondmeal crust

    November 19, 2010

    here’s the pie we’re making tomorrow. yay!

    (ed: we never made this pie.)

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
    • 1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
    • 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water, very cold

    for the filling, we’re following the ball blue book of preserving recipe for “apples studded with dried cherries and raisins,” but we’re using dried blueberries, currants, cherries, and more…

    8-10lbs. fresh apples
    2 c. sugar
    ~1c. dried fruit
    2T. grated lemon peel
    cinnamon, nutmeg (~3t?)
    2c. water
    1T. lemonjuice

    coat and let apples stand in sugar 20 mins. bring to boil and simmer five minutes.