Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
1 cup wheatberries
1 red bell pepper
1 green apple
Raisins and slivered almonds (to taste)
Curry powder (between 1 and 2 tablespoons)
3 tbsp Olive oil
3 tbsp Honey
3 tsp Apple cider vinegar
Soak wheatberries overnight.
Boil wheatberries, cover and cook until tender.
Boil raisins and lightly toast almonds (for extra flavor, otherwise this step can be skipped).
Cut apple and red pepper into cubes.
Mix oil, honey, vinegar, and curry powder to taste.
When wheatberries are done cooking, toss everything together.
Tastes great right away. And even better as cold leftovers the next day.
This dish is confused about its origins and lands about halfway between an Indian curry and a Thai curry. Since it’s very much coconut-based, I expect it would drift Thai-wards more easily than India-wards. I think it’s delicious as it is.
- Two medium young onions with green tops (each smaller than half your fist)
- Kernels from 2 ears sweet corn (about 2 cups)
- One small japanese eggplant (the length of your hand)
- Two medium yellow squash (the length of your hand)
Spices to toast:
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 3 or 4 whole cardamom pods (or about 1/2 teaspoon seeds)
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
Spices to add without toasting:
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 4 whole curry leaves, fresh or dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
The other stuff:
- One 400-mL can coconut milk
- Several tablespoons vegetable oil for sauteing
- 2 tablespoons gin
- 1 cup cashews
- Slice the onions into slivers, keeping the greens separate. Cut the corn kernels off the ear. Slice the eggplant and the yellow squash into chunks around 1/2” thick.
- Toast the whole spices in a dry pan over medium-low heat until they smoke, darken, and pop very enthusiastically. Have a container ready so they can come out of the pan immediately when they’re done.
- Grind the spices thoroughly in a mortar and pestle or a very clean coffee grinder.
- Saute the white portions of the onion and the ground spices with a generous splash of oil over medium heat until the onion is about halfway tender.
- Add the eggplant. Saute more, until the eggplant is halfway tender.
- Add the squash, cayenne, onion greens, and salt. Saute another few minutes.
- Add the corn, curry leaves, basil, coconut milk, and gin. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until everything is barely tender.
- Adjust the spicing to taste.
- Serve over jasmine rice, topped with cashews.
Notes to the Protocol:
(1). Feel free to substitute zucchini for the yellow squash. Just don’t use too large a specimen of either one, lest you suffer The Bland.
(3). If your mortar and pestle is like mine, grinding large volumes of spices can be a bit of a hassle. I like to work in several batches that fit comfortably in the mortar, and also to pour each batch through a sieve when it’s halfway ground, letting the fine material fall into the pan and returning the chunks to the grinder. Don’t worry about making every fragment fit through the sieve, just repeat a couple times until you can see that all the tooth-breakers (e.g. intact fenugreek seeds) are gone.
(5). Eggplant will pretty much absorb all the oil you can give it. Add more iff needed to prevent sticking.
(6). If the cashews are salted, leave the curry a touch under-salty so they balance (and in case your guests are like me and want to, y’know, taste something besides the salt once in a while).
(9). I actually love this over corn chips, but L maintains that it’s too chunky for that. Try your favorite carb and tell me if it works.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
"Take up the White Man’s burden—Send forth the best ye breed—Go send your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child"
Monday, July 27, 2009
This is a quick and easy spanakopita recipe...
10 -14 sheets Phyllo Dough
8 oz Feta
Olive Oil (a generous amount)
Layer phyllo dough, brushing with oil (I recommend 5-7 layers). Mix feta (about half a pound) with three eggs. Stir in spinach (if you are using frozen spinach, thaw it first, if you are using fresh spinach, cook it first). Pour mixture over bottom phyllo sheets. Add top sheets (brushing with oil, of course). Cook at 350 until the top is golden brown (about 30 min).
One problem with cooking with phyllo dough is that you always end up with a lot of leftover... What better to do than make dessert? In an earlier entry, we introduced you to mockla. Here is another delectable (and slightly lighter) option.
Phyllo dough, in long strips
Mix honey (amount depends on how many puffs you are making, but start with 1/4 cup) and cinnamon to taste. Take three long strips of phyllo dough, layer, brushing generously with butter. Fold in half. Spread honey mixture over phyllo dough. Keep it pretty thin for a more delicate taste. Fold down top and bottom (the long sides) and roll. Brush top with butter. Repeat until you have used all your phyllo dough (or have made as many as you want...). Bake at 350 until golden.
And, if you are still looking for something to do with all that phyllo dough, I highly recommend this recent Leek and Yogurt Pie recipe from the New York Times.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Peanut Butter and Honey Cookies
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen.
1/2 c natural peanut butter-- chunky or creamy
1/2 c honey
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
Mix peanut butter and honey together. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg, mix. Add peanut butter-honey mixture. Cream together. Mix in separate bowl flour, salt, and baking soda. Add half at a time to wet ingredients, mix. Portion into 1 1/2 inch balls on to baking sheet, flatten and cross the tines of a fork across the top.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here is some Harebrained Fusion at its best. I was pulling out ingredients for a batch of molasses-ginger cookies a few nights ago, and I had to shuffle aside some currying supplies on my way to grab the molasses. I saw the tamarind concentrate and thought "Hey, this is dark-colored and viscous like molasses is. Why not try it in cookies?"
My proof-of-concept batch was promising but unbalanced. LaBrehm sampled them, prescribed a spicing that worked, and made batch two. The results were delightful: chewy and satisfying, with a lot of flavor but a light citrus character that keeps them from landing too heavily, although I don't promise this will hold if you eat the whole plate at once. For your summer baking pleasure, we give you...
- Cream together:
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 generous tablespoons tamarind concentrate
- Juice and zest from 1 key lime (or half a regular lime)
- 1 tsp finely-grated fresh ginger
- Mix in a separate bowl:
- 1 C flour
- 3 pinches ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
Stir the dry and wet ingredients together to make a wet, sticky dough. Drop tablespoonfuls about 2" apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until they're set but not crispy (8-10 minutes at 375° F). Cool them on a rack or towel and put them in an airtight container as soon as they get to room temperature; if they're left out too long on a humid June evening, they will absorb moisture and turn from chewy to floppy.
Makes about 3 dozen very thin 3" cookies.
A note about the tamarind: I used Tamicon brand concentrate, which is an extremely thick, dark, smooth-textured, very sour goop that looks a lot like molasses (hence my inspiration for this whole project). It comes in an 8-oz plastic jar with a red lid and it costs less than $2 at every Asian or Indian grocery I've checked, so don't rush to order it off the Internet unless that's how you roll anyway. I've also purchased tamarind by the whole pod and by the brick of pressed, unprocessed pulp. It's possible you'd get a slightly fresher tamarind flavor from these, but you're on your own for concentrate ⇌ pulp conversion factors.
1/2 pint (1 cup) strawberries, de-stemmed
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I'm Chris, the other author. Expect to see quite a bit less of me than of the Brehm here, but I will sometimes contribute recipes, photos, and various other kinds of food porn. In keeping with L's mission statement, I hope you will enjoy most of my flavors, but I'll make a couple of disclaimers up front.
First, I want to pay some attention to the other side of eating for all: I want to use flavors from everyone, including some ingredients or combinations that aren't usually found in the All-American Kitchen. Consider the number of people who have stared into their refrigerators (or iceboxes, or goat-skin knapsacks) wondering what to eat; Every one of them did eventually find their meal, and the more of those meals I know about, the more often (barring choice paralysis) I like the results of my own fridge-staring moments. I will try to make these recipes as accessible as I can, but I do enjoy novelty and I hope you'll push your comfort zone to try something strange sometimes.
Second, I'll often be playing the iconoclast. My native cooking style is what you might call Harebrained Fusion, e.g. "What if I made a marinara... WITH LEMONGRASS!?" This wild-eyed approach is where my most memorable dishes, both successful and disastrous, come from. Although I'll limit myself to the successes and do my best to guarantee edibility in the posted version of every recipe, you should always feel free to refine and develop my recipes in the same spirit. Consider ignoring my categories and trying a recipe out of context, or turning a summery fresh-tomato dish into a wintery canned-tomato dish, or otherwise thumbing your nose back at my suggestions. Hey, that's how I do it.