Monthly Archives: November 2007

An Absolute Must!: Rachel & Louis’ Apple Cake

I wrote not long ago, that I was pining for the Puopolo’s Pesto recipe. Well….I got it. And let me just say – it was worth waiting for (and lived up to the hype!) I need to be born Italian in my next life. In any case, I am sworn to secrecy (Louis is serious about this) and in deference to Helen & Lou Puopolo who perfected the recipe over the years (they even snubbed the Pesto they had in Italy compared to their own), I accept my vow of silence.

Having said that – Rachel and Louis quite simply exceeded expectations yesterday. It is actually a recipe that they found in the NY Times – which reprinted this recipe from 1973. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bundt pan (and in an Italian kitchen no less!). All I have to say – this cake is heavenly. Pure perfection. Moist and rich, yet light and velvety. Rachel and Louis added pecans to the mix – and I am going to follow it word for word. I was going to make some apple pie for the Holy American Thanksgiving, but I think Teddie’s – I mean Rachel and Louis’ – Apple cake just bumped it out.

To see the NY Times article (with a gorgeous picture of this cake) click here.
1973: Teddie’s Apple Cake

This recipe appeared in The Times in an article by Jean Hewitt.

Butter for greasing pan

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins

Vanilla ice cream (optional).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.

2. Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins and stir until combined.

3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serves 8

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under desserts, Links

Fancy Bourekas: Phyllo Triangles with Basil, Zucchini & Pine Nuts

This recipe is for when you have a little bit of time on your hands – and I promise, it’s worth every second. If you haven’t worked with phyllo dough before, remember that patience is a virtue. I used olive oil instead of butter – and much less than the recipe called for. A pastry brush is helpful to have on hand, and garnishing the ‘bourekas’ with sesame seeds is a nice touch. You can use the oil to glaze the bourekas, or a beaten egg will do nicely as well. These are great for a dinner party – and truly impress. I brought them to a tapas party last year and they went quickly.

I got the recipe from Epicurious.com. Click here to see it on the site.

Ingredients

12 ounces zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 chopped onion
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup packed grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 egg
6 sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
Sesame seeds

Preparation

Toss zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain zucchini well; roll in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in basil, parsley and garlic; add wine. Cover skillet; simmer 3 minutes. Uncover; stir until any liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer zucchini mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in both cheeses, then pine nuts. Season filling with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface with 1 short end parallel to edge of work surface (keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and damp kitchen towel.) Brush phyllo sheet lightly with butter; cut lengthwise into 3 equal strips, each about 4 inches wide. Place 1 generous tablespoon filling at bottom end of 1 strip. Fold 1 corner of phyllo over filling. Repeat folding down length of strip as for flag, brushing twice with butter and forming triangle. Place pastry on prepared baking sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic and chill.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush pastries with egg white. Sprinkle pastries generously with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Links, Middle-Eastern, sides, Veggies

Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

This one is care of Jessica Monty of Bikram Yoga NYC. It’s easy to make, healthy and delicious. Perfect for the upcoming US Thanksgiving – or just a cold Canadian winter day.

Click here to see Jessica’s Website.

Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro:
This recipe is an eye-operner for those who find sweet potatoes cloyingly sweet or who are tired of eating them smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar. Japanese sweet potatoes, with their pale flesh and delicate flavor, are a treat if you can find them.Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2-3 limes
butter and salt, optional

Directions:
1. Wash the sweet potatoes and bake them whole, in their skins, at 375 until tender.
2. Wash and chop cilantro leaves.
3. When sweet potatoes are done, slit open the skin and place on serving plate. Season with salt and dots of butter, if you like. Then squeeze fresh lime juice all over, and shower with cilantro leaves.

Leave a comment

Filed under Links, sides

Martha’s Chicken Soup

It’s cold outside. My space heater is on and I can hear the rush of the wind through the trees outside, who are holding on to their colored accessories – the leaves – with determination. It’s Friday today and one of those afternoons when I wish I would be home tonight for the Shabbat Crew – Martha returning from Israel, Levi and Zoe running around and Liat and Sari chasing them, while somehow, those of us that got bumped into being the ‘older’ generation, sip wine and argue politics and laugh.

A standard staple of Shabbat in the Shem-Tov setting is Martha Shem-Tov’s chicken soup. You’d never know how quick and easy it is – with the help of course of the brilliant modern-day invention of the pressure cooker. A must have. Shabbat Shalom.


Ingredients

  • 3 carrots – chopped in big chunks
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 cooking onions
  • garlic cloves (optional – Martha doesn’t include them, but I love the kick)
  • 1 parsnip
  • parsley & dill
  • a slice of green cabbage (secret ingredient outed)
  • chicken – I use chicken thighs – about 4. I take the skin off, but you could leave it on
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse everything. Clean chicken.
  2. Place chicken in pressure cooker, and then situate the veggies etc all around it – but placing the dill and parsley on top. [we don’t chop the celery parsely or dill because we remove them at the end – but you could chop up the dill and parsley and leave it in]
  3. Add the salt and pepper
  4. Add cold water to the line indicated on the pressure cooker; close and seal
  5. Bring to a boil; wait for the little thingy to pop up ; cook for 20 minutes on med-high; once the pressure cooker makes the sounds of a “choo-choo” train (sorry – it’s the best way I can explain it) reduce the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes
  6. Turn off heat; Let it cool. Once the red thing on the pressure cooker goes down it means its safe to open.
  7. Strain it as you like it – taking out the things you don’t like in it and leaving in the things you do (I chop up the chicken pieces and include them in the broth)
  8. Serve with Mazto Balls and the Osem Soup Croutons. I season with ground black pepper and garlic salt – but I have a bit of a garlic addiction.

DISCLAIMER: BE VERY CAREFUL USING THE PRESSURE COOKER: read and watch the accompanying video for directions if you are not experienced with it – otherwise can be rather dangerous. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never make chicken soup without it.

Additions: you can add boiled potato (don’t cook it in the broth – makes the broth cloudy); Martha used to add lima beans, a throw back from her Poland days. But don’t knock it – they are surprisingly delicious.

B’Teavon!

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Shabbat

Flavors of the Middle East in Brooklyn

Minus the slightly orientalizing tone of the article (“exotic oasis in Brooklyn”) I was happy to see this in the NY Times Travel section today. And so close by..,

 

Moustapha helps a customer at the Oriental shop. [Matthew Weinstein for The New York Times]

I guess to the author of the article Middle-Eastern folks are still “exotic” and “other,” but that of course would be the subject of a whole other post – and it’s too early in the AM for that one. Keeping it light….

Check it out here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Links, Middle-Eastern

Sharmula – Morroccan Marinade

“Moroccan cooks, to cook thicker cuts of fish, use a kind of relish-marinade of finely sliced or torn herbs and spices called chermoulla, tchermila, chermoula, or charmoula, which are various transliterations for sharmula, derived from the word meaning “to tear lightly.” Some cooks gently heat the sharmula in a pan or liquefy everything in a blender. The marinade can also be used with chicken. The suggested amounts in parentheses are in case you decide to put everything in a food processor.”

Thank you to www.cliffordwright.com – a James Beard Awar-Winning Site!

Yield: Makes about 1 cup
Preparation Time: 1:15 hours

1/2 cup very finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves (1 1/2 cups lightly-packed whole leaves)
1/2 cup very finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (1 1/2 cups lightly-packed whole leaves)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped (1 whole small onion)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 to 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron or a pinch of saffron threads, lightly toasted in an oven, and ground in a mortar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Video: Dr. Shakshuka in Yaffo

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Israeli, Middle-Eastern, Uncategorized, video