Author Archive

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ragda pattice (crispy mashed potato cakes with bean curry)

July 11, 2018

Everyone loves a potato pancake. Crispy outside, creamy inside, hearty… but all that grating can be time-consuming. Well, have you ever made a mashed potato pancake? These patties are like hash brown patties, but better. This is one of the best comfort foods I can imagine. If you have never tried ragda pattice (ragda patties) before, now’s the time.

FOR THE PATTIES:
potatoes – 3 or 4
corn flour, breadcrumbs, or anything to hold together the potatoes – about 1/4 cup
chopped green chili (to taste)
chopped cilantro (optional)

FOR THE RAGDA:
a can of white beans, or whatever you have in the house
1 t garam masala
red chili powder to taste (recipe says 2 t… mine was spicy with less than half of that)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
water from a soaked tamarind pod, about a quarter-cup (I used maybe 2 tsp of paste)
1/4 t turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
chopped cilantro (optional)

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PATTIES: Cut potatoes into chunks and boil. Remove skins. Mash with the chilis and some salt. Add corn flour or breadcrumbs, a pinch at a time, until consistency begins to resemble dough and not mashed potatoes.

RAGDA: Start oil in a pan. Add ginger and garlic, stir-fry for a minute or two. Add spices and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add tamarind and beans. Turn down heat and simmer for about eight minutes, or until it tastes great. Salt to taste.

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from raks kitchen

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My favorite fish cake recipe is a little steamed fish mixed into mashed potatoes – it’s basically a mashed potato pancake. But I’ve never made them vegan, with hot chilis instead of fish. This is a real winner. The sauce is easy to throw together. The crispy, golden potato cakes satiated my craving for deep-fried junk food, and making it low sodium was no problem because of the great garam masala flavor. I’m even adding this recipe to the “rotation” tag so I can remember to make it again soon. A really great way to mix up the standard “rice and beans”.

Serve with veggies – like sesame peanut eggplant/baghara baingan, or sweet-and-sour eggplant/khatta meetha baingan, or eggplant with tomato/mughlai baingan masala, or palak paneer/spinach with cheese.

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tarragon mustard citrus butter

July 8, 2018

Lots of tarragon in your garden? This takes less than five minutes to come together, with no cooking or blending required, and you’ll thank yourself for having this in the house.

Chop tarragon finely.
Add whole-grain or dijon mustard.
Add some lemon zest.
Add all ingredients to room-temperature butter.
Mix well – you can use a blender, but can be blended easily by hand.

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from tastemade

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I didn’t measure – used about 3 T of butter to about a half-teaspoon of mustard, the zest of about half a lemon, and a maybe a tablespoon of chopped tarragon. One of my favorite compound butters by far. Complicated flavor. I loved it with whole-grain horseradish mustard. Can’t wait to try this with chicken. I expect this to become one of my new favorites.

So far, it’s amazing:

– brushed onto corn
– fresh tomato and tarragon mustard butter sandwiches
– fresh radish and tarragon mustard butter sandwiches

I was always more into infused oils, like  la jiao jiang (hot pepper oil) – but this might be converting me to the world of compound butter. What is your favorite compound butter?

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roasted eggplant dip with yogurt (yoğurtlu patlıcan salatası)

July 6, 2018

A lighter baba ghanouj with yogurt instead of tahini? The perfect summer snack! A great lunch served with hummus and crackers or veggies to dip, and maybe some olives and cheese on the side. This Turkish dip is similar to melitzanosalata (greek eggplant dip) but the addition of the yogurt makes it taste more like a true dip than just a puree.

No blender necessary – mashing it with a fork works just fine.

If you like baba ghanouj, you’ll love this recipe from Almost Turkish.

 

2 long Asian-style eggplants, or one Italian-style eggplant

juice of half a lemon, or more or less to taste

yogurt to taste, about a quarter-cup

half-clove of raw minced garlic, or less if you don’t like garlic

splash of olive oil and pinch of salt

optional – fresh parsley and mint, minced

 

roast eggplant at 425 until black outside and mushy inside.

discard eggplant skin. mash up eggplant with the rest of the ingredients, using a fork or a blender. serve.

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recipe by Almost Turkish

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roasted sweet potato and middle eastern couscous salad

May 30, 2018

This combination of orange carrots with tahini drizzle and a simple pasta salad is surprisingly good.

roastable vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, whole cloves of garlic, etc.
1.5 cups stock or broth
1/2 t cinnamon or middle eastern spice blend
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup middle eastern/israeli style couscous (it’s bigger than regular couscous!)
olive oil
fresh cilantro or chives (optional)
orange juice (optional)
salt and pepper
dressing (i recommend a simple lemon vinaigrette or a tahini lemon sauce)

If you have oj in the house, you can drip a bit over the veggies. Otherwise, just cut into chunks, or leave whole if small veggies, like whole garlic cloves. Toss in olive oil and roast on 425 til sweet and soft. Cool and chop into bite-sized chunks.

In a pot, caramelize half an onion in olive oil. Add cinnamon and stock, lower to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes (don’t overcook!!! they will turn to mush!)

In a big bowl, combine all the couscous, veggies, herbs, and dressing, with salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.

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salad recipe by friedsig and tahini sauce by syrian foodie

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Not bad! I didn’t finish the whole recipe, so I might cut it down next time. Not a bad way to add some veggies to your Israeli / middle Eastern style couscous! Make sure you love the dressing to give this the sour kick it needs!

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sourdough quickbread

May 23, 2018

How do you use the extra starter from rye bread? For dessert?

Strangely, this comes from r/Sourdough, but I read the recipe on Bakers and Best.

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⅓ C butter, room temperature
½ C sugar
1 egg
1 C unfed sourdough starter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl use a fork to cream together the butter and sugar. Once combined add in the egg, starter, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
Add the flour mixture to the starter mixture, stirring just until blended. If the batter is too thick add water 1 tsp at a time until it can be easily stirred.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan; let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

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Like most quickbreads from zucchini bread to Irish soda bread, the texture is a bit crumbly and dense. It looks just like a beer bread made with a light beer (which I’d recommend). Unlike beer bread, though it has enough sugar in it that it tasted weird with artichoke hearts and poached eggs. So this is a good dessert, but not a dinner bread.

Using a non-onion sourdough might make this a really interesting sweet and sour dessert. I really would not recommend using onion caraway rye starter for this recipe. It’s not as terrible as I feared it could be – the rye actually gives a really interesting flavor to the quickbread, enough that I’d consider using a rye and apf blend for dessert again. But not ideal with raw onions.

If you like a dessert, give this a try! If you want a quickbread with a savory taste, this rosemary and brown butter soda bread has been my go-to recipe this year. If you want something a little more neutral, this Irish oatmeal soda bread recipe is a great not-quite sweet-or-savory oatmeal bread. And if you love dessert-y quickbreads, this molasses brown bread I just discovered is pretty awesome, and this sweet mini lemon bread was a huge hit with my poetry class!

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bauernbrot (healthy buckwheat rye bread)

May 20, 2018

It’s…. healthy. Really interesting recipe:

bauernbrot

bauernbrot – Austrian buckwheat and rye loaf – @ friedsig

RYE STARTER (sauerteig):

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 cups rye flour
3.5 c warm water
2 packages dry yeast
1 T caraway

wrap onion pieces in cheesecloth. combine other ingredients and push the onion-bag into the goo like some kind of weird onion tea.

leave overnight at room temperature, no more than 24 hours. scrape the sour off the cheesecloth. discard onions. good luck getting the onion smell out of your cheesecloth. refrigerate the rest and use for future breads. make sure to feed it like any starter, by removing some, and replacing it with flour and water.

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BAUERNBROT RECIPE:

1 cup rye sour starter (recipe above)
4 cups buckwheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package dry yeast
1.5 c warm water
2 t salt
1 T caraway seed (or less, to taste)
1/4 molasses, dark preferred

1 T salt mixed with 1/4 c water (to brush)

in a large bowl, blend buckwheat and all-purpose flours and set aside.

in another large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1.5 c warm water and add 2 cups of the buckwheat-apf mix. beat with a wooden spoon or mixer until smooth and porridge-like.

cover bowl and let stand 1.5 hours at room temperature.

stir down dough and add starter, 2 t salt, caraway, and molasses. add remaining flour til dough pulls away from the bowl. don’t add too much flour. this bread is dense enough!

knead 8 mins.

divide into two loaves. set them on a cookie sheet. brush tops with water and let sit 40 mins.

preheat oven to 350.

brush loaves with saltwater, put in oven. brush loaves every 10 mins with saltwater.

bake about 40 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the loaves comes out clean.

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from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton

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wow! what a healthy tasting bread! dense and dark! the salt crust is like a pretzel party on the outside! this is not a loaf for the faint of heart. give this a shot if you like hearty, healthy, winter-y, peasant-loaf-type breads. it reminds me a bit of those wildly dense “fitness breads” in the german and polish markets. it’s a little much for me. if you love sweet, soft white breads, you might find yourself trying to give away the second loaf. but if you love heavy, hearty breads, trying to get more whole grains into your diet, wanting to stay fuller longer (seriously! one slice and i’m full,) or looking for something really different, this is the bread for you!

best of all, buckwheat is gluten-free (although the bread calls for all-purpose flour too and therefore the bread itself contains gluten). buckwheat is high in fiber and low to medium on the glycemic index, which makes it suitable for some people who cannot eat white bread. it’s also high in magnesium, manganese, thiamin, B6, and many other vitamins and minerals.

good with a strong sandwich spread, like a creamy balsamic, with tomatoes.
good with strong cheese.
good for teatime sandwiches with butter and radish, or ham and cheese.
and strangely good for dessert with a simple homemade compound butter of sweetened sorghum molasses and a pinch of cinnamon mixed into unsalted butter.

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lemon dill mushroom pot pie

May 14, 2018

Delicious, hearty, and satisfying! Not too heavy with the lemon dill sauce replacing a traditional heavy cream sauce. Never made a pot pie from scratch before. I’ll give an approximation of what I did, with both a vegetarian and chicken-y option.

-1 package mushrooms cut into small chunks (I used portobellos)
-a pound or two (or more) of potatoes (I used maybe 12 baby red potatoes)
-a few carrots, parsnips, celery, peas, leeks, or whatever veggies you have
-a tablespoon or so of flour (can use gf or apf or whatever you have)
-vegetable or chicken stock
-olive oil or chicken schmaltz
-onion and garlic
-one to two fresh lemons
-fresh dill to taste
-1 sheet frozen puff pastry, or any flaky pastry recipe from scratch
-dried thyme, sage, or other dry herbs (optional)
-splash of milk or cream (optional)
-chicken or veg meat-substitute (optional)

This is a really flexible recipe. You can poach everything together in the stock, or cook things separately and add them at the end. You can cook everything on the stove and then dump everything into an oven-safe casserole dish if you don’t have a dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. I’ll just share how I did it:

1. (optional: roast a chicken and set aside the meat, torn into small shreds, like for chicken salad. or use a rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, whatever you have. veg folks can use leftover chunks of meat substitute, or just leave this out. )
2. In a dutch oven or oven-safe deep pan, caramelize an onion in olive oil or schmaltz.
3. Add minced garlic and raw vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, leeks, potatoes, or whatever you have. (You can also boil the potatoes the day before to save time. Add them towards the end if you choose this.)
4. When veggies are almost soft, add a tablespoon or so of flour, until veggies are lightly coated. Cook til flour is browned. (May want to preheat the oven to 425 around now.)
5. Add a cup or two of vegetable or chicken stock until things look saucy, stirring well. Add any soft ingredients like peas, and dried herbs like thyme (optional).
6. Simmer until everything tastes perfect, maybe 5 or 10 minutes, longer if the potatoes were raw. (If you like it creamy, add a splash of milk or cream here.)
7. Turn off heat. Add the juice of a lemon or two, to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add back in the cooked chicken and a bunch of minced fresh dill to taste.
8. Lay the pastry on top and bake for a half hour or until pastry is golden brown.

recipe by friedsig and adapted from potato, leek, and pea pot pie from epicurious

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I am really into lemon dill lately. My go-to soup is avgolemono with lemon and dill, and my go-to chicken salad is this chicken salad with spinach, apple, and dill. This is not dissimilar from a Greek chicken soup – carrots, dill, lemon – but the pastry really makes it feel special. Next time I will tackle a homemade pastry, but the frozen one I used made a flaky and beautiful crust. Fed some friends over graduation weekend and they all said it was amazing – one said it’s one of the best things she’s ever eaten. I think she was just being nice, but either way, I will definitely make this for a crowd again.