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Oops!

24 Jun

You may be scratching your heads about my last piece. I mistakenly posted it here instead of on my travel blog. At least it had to do with cooking!

Apologies, and I’ll try to be more careful.

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Everett Eats!

24 Jun

EverettEatsFrontCover20180523It’s opening week at Chautauqua, and the opening night concert last night was by Allison Krause — wonderful! Most of the other weekly people arrived yesterday, and most of the all-season people have arrived by now. Our first guests arrive today. The only reason we ourselves can enjoy Chautauqua is because the Everett House week starts and ends on Sunday instead of Saturday — but I think in all our time here we’ve only met one other Shabbat-observant couple.

Last year, our first as the Everett House host couple, we had a lot of requests for breakfast recipes. Since Joe knows a thing or two about book production, over the winter we produced a little cookbook we called Everett Eats, with about 60 recipes — not all made here, but all made by me at some point and good for breakfast or brunch. We’re selling them for $18 (with the expectation that those with only $20 bills will say “Keep the change”!) The book was introduced this morning at a meeting of the program committee, and by the end of the meeting we had sold three copies!

I wanted to continue baking and freezing today but a couple of Everett machers had a huge “welcome back” reception for 70 of their closest  friends at lunchtime (plus they invited us). Luckily we don’t have to do that. Tracy, who runs I Can Do That, the company that does our housekeeping and maintenance, is also a caterer, so she’s had the kitchen tied up until mid-afternoon. The upside of events catered by Tracy is that we usually get great leftovers. And we sold two more cookbooks!

I baked a cake for today’s program committee meeting and only half got eaten, so I have enough (almost) fresh cake for tomorrow’s breakfast.

One of the program committee members shared an interesting story — two, actually. Last summer, she became very ill and had to leave early. Turns out she had an aggressive form of cancer and ended up spending significant time at Sloane-Kettering. She was assigned both a psychologist and psychiatrist who were interested in her decision not to learn any details about her illness or proposed treatment — and she is a “Type A” person. She says she turned everything over to her kids, and all she wanted to know was what she had to do day by day, so she could use all her energy for that and not have to think or worry about what was coming later. The psychologist was so taken with her decision that he is using her story in his training classes for all the psychologists and psychiatrists at the hospital, so that they will learn not to argue with other patients who make a similar choice.

She also said shortly after she returned home from treatment her little poodle started vomiting and diarrhea, and he was never sick. After a day or so, she realized he had been licking her and ingesting enough chemo through her skin to make himself ill. She stopped letting him lick and he got better without having to go to the vet. Who’d a thunk?

Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread

15 Jun

Rhubarb breadIt’s rhubarb season! We have just a little bit of rhubarb (one struggling plant) in our garden, but we had a half-dozen stalks and were wondering what to do with it. Then I moved a folder in the kitchen rack where I collect coupons and menus and such, and out popped this recipe that I don’t even remember clipping. It was developed by the Heart Smart folks at Henry Ford Health System and printed in the Detroit Free Press, probably last year. I had just enough rhubarb (though I felt it could have used a little more). The best thing is you don’t have to cook the rhubarb first, just chop it up.

I didn’t have any whole-wheat flour so I used all-purpose. Maybe that’s one reason the bread seemed so light.

Ingredients:

¾ cup diced rhubarb
1 cup plus 2 Tbs.  sugar, divided
1 container (5.3 ounce) low-fat plain Greek yogurt (about
⅔ cup)
¼ cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp.baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
⅛ tsp. salt

Strawberry Glaze:
1 Tbs. strawberry jam
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tsp. water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with baking spray (or use a parchment-paper pan liner); set aside. In a small bowl, toss rhubarb and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together remaining 1 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until just moistened, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in rhubarb and its juices. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

To prepare glaze: Heat jam until easy to stir. Add powdered sugar and stir. Thin glaze with 1 to 2 teaspoons water. Spread glaze over top of bread while warm.

Cool bread in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread  from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 12 slices

We’re in Wisconsin!

30 May

Pharaoh’s Wheel

17 Apr

Pharoah's wheelPharaoh’s Wheel: Tagliolini colla Crosta

Adapted from King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan

I wanted to make something new and impressive for my luncheon study group and found this recipe by Joan Nathan, whose recipes are almost invariably wonderful. I’m posting it below as she wrote it, but I’ll tell you about all the things I changed and/or screwed up first.

This is a very old Italian Jewish dish. It’s basically bolognese sauce mixed with pasta and baked. It’s typically eaten on Purim, when the Torah portion is about how Pharoah’s chariots were destroyed during the Exodus.

The idea is to bake the casserole and then invert it onto the serving plate, as Joan does in the video below. I lost my nerve on this part, because it was the first time I’d made it, so I served it in the casserole. I probably could have turned it out with no problem.

I didn’t have any cans of whole tomatoes but I had lots of cans of diced tomatoes, so I just used those.

My cans of tomato paste are 6 oz. (who ever heard of a 3-oz. can?) and I didn’t have any plans for the leftovers so I just used the whole can (but I didn’t scrape it out carefully as I usually do).

I wasn’t sure whether to use powdered cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.  I used the powder, and a scant half-teaspoon seemed to provide the right amount of heat.

And I couldn’t find tagliolini in Trader Joe’s. In the video Joan uses what looks like fairly wide pasta strips, so I bought pappardelle, which turned out to be wider than ideal. If I can’t find tagliolini when I make it again, I’ll probably use tagliatelle or fettuccine. (I Googled tagliolini, and it looks thinner than what Joan uses in the video.)

The important thing was that the study group raved about the dish. We had some leftover, and it was good reheated a couple of days later too.

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½  cup chopped Italian parsley
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup dry red or white wine
14.5-oz. can peeled whole tomatoes
3-oz. can tomato paste
3 cups beef broth or water
Salt to taste
½ tsp. dried hot red pepper, like cayenne
1 tsp. oregano
1 lb. tagliolini pasta
½ cup dark seedless raisins
½ cup coarsely ground whole almonds
½ cup pine nuts
¼ lb. kosher pastrami, salami, or pickled tongue, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan and add the oil. Toss in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and most of the parsley and lightly brown for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Pour in the wine and raise the heat, allowing the wine to evaporate completely. Cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break apart the tomatoes.

Add the beef broth or water and cook, covered, over very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be nice and thick. If it is too thin, cook a few minutes longer until it loses its excess liquid. Add raisins, almonds, pine nuts, and pastrami, salami, or tongue. Add salt to taste and the hot red pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a round, 12- to 16-cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish.

Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the tagliolini, bring the pot back to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain and put the pasta into a large bowl with the meat sauce. Toss everything together to thoroughly distribute.

Put the pasta mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 to 1/2 hours, or until a nice crust has formed. Invert onto a platter and serve warm with the remaining chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 8 to 12

 

Joy’s Pineapple Kugel for Passover

27 Mar

Passover pineapple kugel

This is a very easy Passover recipe from my machatenista Joy Gardin. If you are not Jewish, you may not know that very useful Yiddish term for the mother-in-law of your child. A child’s father-in-law is a mechutan and together they are the machatunim. 

Anyway, this makes a nice change at Passover because it doesn’t contain any matzo meal, farfel or anything else to give it a distinctive Passover taste. It would be a good recipe for gluten-free people as well. Serve it as a side dish or even for dessert, because it’s sweet enough.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
½ cup oil
½ cup sugar
4 Tbs. potato starch
1 Tbs. vanilla sugar (optional)
1 tsp. baking powder (optional)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients except pineapple and stir well. Add drained pineapple and mix. Bake in a 9-inch round pan for about 40 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.

Serves 6 to 8

 

Egg-Lemon Soup for Passover

19 Mar

Passover Greek Egg Lemon Farfel SoupTime to start sharing some Passover recipes!

Here is a nice soup if you’re tired of the usual matzoh ball variety. Though who could ever tire of matzoh ball soup?

I usually make this one for the Shabbat dinner during Passover. It’s easy and a nice change.

The soup tastes like traditional Greek egg-lemon-rice soup, but because rice traditionally wasn’t used at Passover, at least not by Ashkenazi Jews, the recipe substitutes matzoh farfel.

Greek Egg-Lemon-Matzoh Soup

Ingredients:

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups matzoh farfel
4 Tbs. chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the matzoh farfel and parsley and simmer until the farfel is soft, at least 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste; the broth should be highly seasoned. Remove the pan from the heat.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork and strain them into a heatproof, medium-sized bowl. Beat in the lemon juice. Beat a half cup of the hot soup into the egg mixture, little by little. Very gradually, stir this mixture back into the remaining soup.

(Be careful not to add the hot soup to the eggs, or the mixture to the soup pot, too quickly because the eggs can curdle.)

Return the soup to medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not let the soup boil or even simmer because that could curdle t eggs.

Add salt to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 8