Great night last night – our good friends Stacey and Ruth are expecting their baby in the next four weeks and we got together last night celebrate.
Great friends, good food, good wine – does it get better?
Salmon with Chili-Mango Sauce
Killer Salmon above – was so delicious and easy to make. The recipe is simple and is a hit. We found it on Epicurious.com – it’s from Bon Appetit. Check it out here.
1 10-ounce mango, peeled, pitted, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced seeded serrano chili
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 6-ounce salmon fillets
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Combine first 7 ingredients in small bowl; mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season salsa with salt and pepper. Brush salmon with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Grill until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with salsa.
The best things in life are often the simplest ones. This is of course, also true for food. At friends’ Eliot and Rebecca’s last night, we had a great dessert composed of a winning combo: watermelon and fresh lime juice. Who Knew?
Turns out, watermelon has been around a long time. Packed with Vitamin C and A, and some good B vitamins, evidence of this fruit and plant has turned up in the Nile Valley as long ago as the Second Millenium BCE.
Mark Twain once said that watermelon was “chief of the world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.”
Science Daily reports that watermelon may have a viagra effect, which the Jerusalem Report covered last week (reportedly setting off an unprecedented surge in watermelon sales in a country that already appreciates the fruit for its other delights).
Did you know that we are in the midst of “National Watermelon Month”? (Neither did I). Made up of 90% water, it’s no surprise that it’s a summer favorite and a favorite for those of us trying to shed a bit of our winter insulation. But have you tried it with lime???
According to the very trusted (!) Wikipedia entry on limes, the name for these little citrus fruits is derived from the Perian, “limu”, and was introduced to Europe during the Crusades. There are of course, many kinds of limes, but they are also a great source of Vitamin C, and have an “antibiotic” effect.
In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera. (Cholera is a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera). Researchers quickly began to experiment with the addition of lime juice to the sauce eaten with rice, and in this role, lime juice was also found to have a strong protective effect against cholera.
So now, to the point:
Cut up some juicy watermelon into little chunks and squeeze fresh limes all over them. For a stronger flavor, you can zest the limes as well. It’s a refreshing, delicious and surprisingly nutritious way to end a meal (or begin one).
For specifics, see this recipe in the San Francisco Gate.
In this great and thought-provoking video, NY Times food writer Mark Bittman, talks about as the title suggests, “What’s Wrong with What We Eat.” The website, TED.com, is full of thought-provoking videos and talks. Bittman points out that we (humans) consume 10 billion animals a year. He doesn’t advocate for vegetarianism (relax, carnivores) but like Michael Pollan the author of the great “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” of being more thoughtful, critical and informed about how the food we eat arrives at our table.
When you have 20 minutes to pay attention – this is well worth it.
Click Here: Mark Bittman, “What’s Wrong with What We Eat”
In an email sent last night at 12:59 AM, Liat Papular (above, center) reported on deliciousness on the web. The recipe below is from a great blog called “eat me, delicious” (now featuring chocolate souffle bars), a “vegetarian based exploration of food including lots of baked treats.”
These do indeed look delicious – check ’em out below.
From eat me, delicious:
Earl Grey White Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground Earl Grey tea (or more if you dare)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup white chocolate chunks
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground Earl Grey tea.
- In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter together until well blended.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter.
- Stir in the white chocolate chunks. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
A fresh take on roast chicken, this recipe leaves the meat tender, moist and perfectly infused with a citrus-flavor, nicely complemented by the mingling tastes of sage, rosemary and thyme.
The colors are beautiful, and this goes really well with a side of quinoa (see Martha’s Recipe) or a dark veggie green.
This is a perfect recipe for a shabbat dinner chicken, or for a holiday, or just for having a nice, belly-warming simply delish meal. Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken, Shira has made a few changes to this recipe to make it her own. Bon appetit!
- One 5-6lb. roasting chicken
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- large bunch of fresh thyme
- large bunch of fresh rosemary
- large bunch of fresh parsley
- 2 lemons – cut in halves or quarters
- 1 large orange – cut in half
- 1 head of garlic – sliced in half, crosswise
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (or adjust to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425
- Rinse chicken well; pat dry
- Place chicken on large roasting pan or cookie sheet
- Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken
- Stuff the cavity with most of the thyme, rosemary and parsley (no need to chop), lemons and orange; be sure to mix it around so the flavors will be distributed evenly
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under
- Brush outside of chicken with the olive oil
- Liberally sprinkle outside of chicken with salt and pepper
- Roast the chicken for approximately 90 minutes; check on it occasionally
- The juices should run clear when you put a cut between the leg and the thigh
- Remove the chicken to a plate or serving platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and let sit for 10-15 minutes
- Carve and serve with remaining sprigs of herbs and any remaining lemon, orange or garlic slices. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
As part of our award-winning breakfast- I’m convinced the closer was Shira’s homemade pita.
Whole-wheat, warm and delicious, this pita was made from scratch (!) and was ready in under an hour. During the competition, we were given active yeast – the real deal (not the stuff in a paper packet)- and we’re convinced it made the difference.
The pitas puffed up right at the end – and clarified, there is no need for store-bought pita anymore. Try it. (Would be especially good with Eli Shem-Tov’s Chummus).
1 package yeast or 2-ish teaspoons active yeast
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1 1/2 white flour
- Set oven to 500 degrees
- Proof yeast with lukewarm water and sugar
- Once yeast begins to bubble (15-20 min), add oil and honey; mix well
- Add both flours, fold and incorporate
- Knead dough for about 5-8 minutes
- Place in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes
- After dough has risen, break off handfulls of dough and form into pita circle/shapes
- Put each onto an oiled cookie sheet and let sit for 5 minutes on top of oven
- Bake pita for 4 minutes on each side; should puff up while in oven
I made these strawberries for dessert after a big dinner party and they were a serious hit! They became an even bigger hit when my guests found out that I got the recipe from my 16 year-old niece who had just done a job-shadowing day with none other than Bonnie Stern!
Sari said, “They’re really good.” That means….they’re really good. Sari says to use more chocolate than you need, so that way “you can lick the bowl…dip your fingers in it.”
Baker’s White Chocolate 6 squares
2 pints of strawberries – rinsed and dried
skinless, unsalted, roasted pistachios
Make sure strawberries are “like really dry.”
Melt chocolate in a double-boiler. Sari says, “be careful because you can burn the chocolate. watch it”
Pulse the pistachios in a food processor or just crush ’em in a ziploc bag; “You don’t want to make them like sand.” Liat is throwing in her two cents (finally!) and offering “you want to make sure they’re kinda chunky.”
Use a skewer to dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate
Roll the strawberry tip (or as much as you want) in the crushed pistachios
Lay out on parchment paper; put them in fridge to cool
Serve same day
Yes…it has been a while. But what a way to make a comeback…
Last Friday morning, my friend Shira and I competed in our first round of NYU’s Master Chef competition. We had to submit an original, creative and healthy recipe for a great breakfast, and voila….this is what we came up with.
Team Ta’im, as we are called, won over the judges (to our surprise!) with a simple but healthful breakfast – inspired by our taste for Martha Shem-Tov’s Quinoa recipe (listed elsewhere on this site).
Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!
Breakfast Tabouli with homemade whole wheat pita bread
With a slight reinterpretation of tabouli, we decided to use this protein rich seed as the base of our breakfast dish, chocked up with some freshly ground golden flaxseed (for the omegas) and full of fruit, dressed with chopped mint, toasted almonds and some freshly squeezed lemon, and a tiny hint of honey.
We served this alongside FRESHLY made whole-wheat pita bread (all in under one hour!) made by our new bread chef, Shira (recipe forthcoming), and two side options: yogurt with berries and honey, or yogurt with zaatar (made from scratch!) and touch of olive oil. This makes for a great breakfast, snack or even dessert!! You could also crumble some feta on top – the sharpness of the feta would cut nicely into the sweet taste of the fruit.
And stay tuned for our lunch recipe – we compete this Friday!
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups liquid – we squeezed the juices of fresh oranges
- tiny bit of orange zest
- salt to taste
- 1 pint blueberries -diced
- 1 pint strawberries – diced
- 1 mango – finely diced
- 1 avocado – finely diced
- handful of fresh mint – rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of golden flaxseed – freshly ground
- 1/2 cup (or more!) of toasted almonds
- juice of freshly squeezed lemon
- dash of honey (or to taste)
Bring the quinoa and liquid to a boil; reduce and let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; grate in zest of an orange and a bit of salt
While it’s cooking, chop up all the other ingredients
Remove quinoa from the stove, cool;
Add all the ingredients; dress with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon and honey to taste.
Serve and enjoy!!
Okay – had dinner last night at hands-down the best Middle-Eastern restaurant I’ve been to since I moved to NYC. Nestled on Third Avenue in neighboring Bay Ridge, Tanoreen is a must.
Owned by chef Rawia Bishara, who circulates the restaurant throughout the evening checking to make sure every table is happy and enjoying themselves, Tanoreen has been reviewed by the NY Times and listed in the “Best of NY” in New York Magazine on more than one occasion.
One of the great dishes we had last night was Muhammara – a delicious blend of walnuts, pomegranate and red peppers. While we can’t get our hand’s on Rawia’s recipe for it – here is Paula Wolfert’s (from the great website: Leite’s Culinaria), the author of “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Paula Wolfert’s “The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean”
2 and half pounds of sweet bell red peppers
1 small hot chili pepper
1 and 1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup wheat crackers
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (If you search at the top of the page, I’ve included a recipe for this elsewhere on this site)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
Click here for directions.