http://get-cooking.answerstv.com/AnswersTV/index.aspx , recipe and get the Still Life with Menu Cookbook for the Mediterranean lentil salad recipe among other great gems.
*Please note I have made this salad on multiple occasions, with orange sections and orange and lime zests and without. My personal taste and preferred version is without!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
On a sunny beautiful day at FRESHFARM Dupont Circle market I found a vibrant, bountiful market today. With a bag full of organic produce, artisanal breads and cured meats, and a quick in and out of Kramersbooks, my morning was complete. The guys lunch today was a sandwich made entirely of the delicious and mostly organic findings at the market. Arugula, mache and two kinds of radishes from Next step organic farm, Nathan Anda's cured beef pastrami and bresaola, whole grain multi seed bread from one of the bakeries at the market, a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon and a touch of salt to brush the bread with and lunch was complete.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Majadra is an ideal vegetarian dish. A staple in every household in Israel as well as the entire Middle East. My apologies to the vegetarians among us for the pic...but a vegetable skewer will go beautifully with the Majadra just as well as the chicken one. I am marking this a vegetarian dish since the chicken skewer recipe will be in a separate post. With only handful ingredients you achieve big nourishing and pure flavors. Rich in protein! I could have it as a dish all on it's own!!
1 cup green lentils (brown lentils)
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (basmati)
2 medium/large onions, diced
Black pepper, freshly ground
2-4 tablespoons canola oil
3-3 1/2 cups water reserved from lentil water
Rinse rice to rid of impurities and starch and let it drain in a sieve. Rinse lentils in cold water, add to a pot, cover with 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, turn down and cook on low/medium until soft, but still retaining their shape. Save 3 1/2* cups of the lentil water liquid for the rice and drain lentils thoroughly. On medium heat saute onions in 2-4 tablespoons of canola oil until soft and translucent and add the rice to the onions. Continue sauteing rice and onions while mixing gently for few minutes. Add 3 cups of reserved water from lentils, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Gently mix lentils in with the rice and immediately reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until liquid evaporates. If you feel it needs more liquid as the lentils absorb some as well, sprinkle some of the leftover 1/2 cup of lentil water over the rice. Cook on low covered until all liquid is absorbed. Let sit for 10-20 minutes with lid on if you got time or serve immediately. Great reheated the next day as well. Serve with Eggplant, bell pepper and cherry tomato Moroccan salad from previous post and vegetable or chicken skewers.
*Cook's note: If you do not have 3 1/2 cups of reserved liquid left from lentil water you can add regular water.
Just delivered a meal to a friend of mine. I know this friend for twelve years now, since her days in Israel, when her husband was with the American Embassy there. Jonathan was on a two year project in Israel at the same time, and to me the opportunity to be back in Israel was coming full circle. Although my friend's kids aren't the same age as my kid, neither the same gender (not that you can't befriend the opposite sex but that is a whole different discussion altogether), a lasting family friendship was formed while our kids went to The American School in Israel. We picked up where we left when both found ourselves back in the DC area. This is first installment from a dinner of Mediterranean chicken skewers marinated overnight, Majadra (rice and lentils) and roasted eggplant, bell pepper and sauteed cherry tomatoes Moroccan salad. Can't shake that Mediterranean theme from my repertoire, just a second nature. I also made another batch of the chocolate chip banana muffins last night so I brought some over. Had broccoli as well, but broccoli is not exactly a signature Mediterranean veggie. Gave it a quick saute with garlic, salt and a twist of lemon. To 'Moroccanize' the broccoli I chopped some of my Moroccan preserved Meyer lemons and sauteed couple more minutes with the preserved Meyer lemons. Please find the cooked salad recipe in this post the rest of this aromatic meal is coming soon.
Eggplant, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes salad:
1 large eggplant
4 red bell peppers
1/2 cup plus cherry tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon
1/2 -1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cumin
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pierce eggplant all around with a fork and place on baking sheet. Half and seed bell peppers and place skin side up on baking sheet next to eggplant. Roast under grill mode in oven until skin of bell pepper is somewhat charred. Turn eggplant as it broils to broil all sides. If using outdoor grill obviously grill bell pepper skin side down:). Remove bell peppers from oven and place in a ziploc bag and seal, it will be easier to remove skin that way. Meanwhile remove skin of eggplant and chop to a roughly mashed consistency. Take one bell pepper at the time out of ziploc bag and peel skin off. Once done with the rest of bell peppers, slice into thin strips and add to eggplant. Half cherry tomatoes and toss in a bit of canola oil (2 tablespoons approximately), on high heat for couple of minutes until cooked but still retains it's shape. Add tomatoes to eggplant/bell pepper mixture. Add parsley, garlic, lemon and diagonally, thinly sliced scallion(s). Add couple more tablespoons of canola oil, paprika, cumin and salt according to taste. Keep in mind you can adjust proportions if ingredients according to you tatse, but this is to begin with is an excellent start.
Enjoy over challa or baguette, as part of your weekend or weeknight meal, or bring your sandwich to complete new heights by adding this cooked salad. Can also be perfect as a bruschetta. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Barley Minestrone (kid friendly too, mine liked it)
2 ribs of celery plus celery leaves, diced and chopped
2 large garlic cloves
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-4 tablespoons canola oil
2-4 springs of thyme
2 large potatoes, diced
2 cans of 15.5oz pink beans (or cannelleni), rinsed and drained, see tip on beans at bottom
4 grated tomatoes
1/3 bunch parsley, chopped
1 vegetarian bullion (optional)
1/2 cup plus barley
6-8 cups of water
Sautee onions, celery, garlic and carrots in canola oil until soft. Add tomatoes, potatoes and the rest of the ingredients and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to low medium for about an hour. Mix occasionally and adjust for salt and pepper. Serve with cheese on a fresh baguette, or just a fresh baguette.
Tip on beans:
If you do not wish to use canned beans, buy any kind of dry bean you wish to use in this soup. Cover in cold water in a bowl overnight. Next morning, drain and rinse and put in a pot covered with fresh water. Boil until soft. Drain, rinse and add to soup. The more traditional way is to bring to a boil once, cook for 10-20 minutes, drain and rinse and repeat process 3-4 times. I don't know if that is a old wives tale, but supposedly the process eliminates gastrointestinal issues related to beans by following this process:).
Pics will be coming out when I make the next batch. I was not happy with first round of photographs. Turns out although very delicious the soup was not too photogenic, or might be just me?! By the time I got around to shooting more pics, the soup was gone!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I am no expert on Chinese history, customs, beliefs, food and zodiac but know some about lunar calendars. I wonder about leap year in the Chinese calendar?! Any clue? Just read that the Year of the Tiger officially begins on Valentine's Day. We got a Dragon (me), a Snake and a Monkey in our house. From the shallow research I've made over the years, the three are harmonious and balance each other. If you know any differently, I hope you don't get an urge to enlighten us:).
Ingredients for filling:
1 lb ground chicken breast
1 tablespoon rice vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 head medium red cabbage, thinly sliced, sauted al dente in 1 tablespoon canola and cooled
4 scallions thinly sliced diagonally, green and white parts
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 finger (as a measuring stick) fresh ginger, grated on a small hole grater (watch your fingers and discard the shabby 'hairs' left after grating or use it to infuse tea)
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 tablespoons sugar, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
Directions for filling:
Mix all ingredients well and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
Ingredients for the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
Directions for dough:
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl and pour boiling water in. Mix with a wooden spoon and knead for about 8 minutes until forms a smooth round dough. I kneaded inside bowl. Cover with saran and let rest for 20 minutes. Roll into a long log and cup about 40 discs. Roll out each disc on a floured surface to a 4 inch in diameter circles. Flour top of each rolled out discs and stack on top of the other until ready to be filled and pleated. I use a small wooden rolling pin from India my mom gave me, but any rolling pin should work.
Ingredients for dipping sauce:
1/4 cup low sodium, soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce
1 scallion diagonally thinly sliced, green and white parts
Directions for sauce:
Whisk together all ingredients and keep in air tight container in fridge until serving.
Ingredients for frying:
4-6 tablespoons of canola oil
Directions for filling, pleating and cooking:
I could not have put this better than this excellent tutorial please see epicurious. You will also find the original recipe there if you wish to make a pork/dried shrimp/chive version.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
1/2 cup of mixed toasted unsalted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
1/2 plus cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup shredded dry unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of salt
2-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil (optional)1/2 plus cup dried cherries (dried blueberries, raisins or any other dried fruit)