Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kosher Cooking Carnival - Adar

Welcome to the Rosh Chodesh Adar edition of KCC!

I want to welcome new blogger Miriam, writing From Miriam's Kitchen. She makes "Safta Cookies" from her kitchen in the Negev for her 13 Israeli grandchildren. She also posted some great looking "Yummy Salads and a Dessert" including a pareve Chocolate Espresso Mousse Recipe.

Yael's strawberry cake in progress
It seems like yesterday I was welcoming Country Mouse Cooks to the J-blogosphere, but now Yael seems like an old pro.  She recently baked "Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies" and a layer cake with fresh strawberries in "Strawberry Season."

Yael and I are both bummed we didn't post our Purim ideas in time to share them here, so I hope you'll come back and visit. (Better yet, follow me!)

The past few weeks I, Yosefa, have been making the BEST EGGPLANT EVER. Even eggplant haters love my traditional Eggplant and Tehina. I am also excited and scared about getting a new kitchen and having strange Israelis in my house for a week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New kitchen Coming! Excited and Scared

We signed the rental agreement for our apartment without seeing it in person. We were living in Florida and needed a place to land when we arrived in Israel. My husband's Israeli pen pal checked it out and sent us a video, and then we just exchanged a couple emails with the landlords and hoped for the best.  When our cab from the airport dropped us, our three kids, and ten suitcases and boxes off on that rainy day at the end of 2009, we were pleasantly surprised.  We had some bad experiences moving into dirty apartments in Pittsburgh and South Florida after the landlord had promised to fix things and clean the place. In Florida we had to leave a deposit and get on a waiting list without ever seeing a unit.  (The floor plan was much exaggerated.) But our apartment in Israel was CLEAN! The landlords had left us basics like tissues and toilet paper, and food and treats. They left us tables, chairs, a mattress, and arranged for us to borrow blankets and pillows from neighbors. They turned out to be the nicest people ever.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Eggplant & Tehina

See also: Key to Great Eggplant.

I think this is both the easiest and most delicious eggplant dish I've made in years.  It can be eaten with a fork and knife as a vegetable dish or spread on bread like a dip. The "recipe" for tehina follows. Plan ahead what else you can cook in the oven at the same time, or make several trays of eggplant and rotate them in the oven. If you are making this as a main side dish, plan about two large eggplants for every three people.
  1. Wash the eggplant and slice off the top. 
  2. Quarter lengthwise.
  3. Salt very generously and let sit for at least 15 minutes until they sweat.
  4. Rinse off the salt and pat dry. 
  5. Paint all sides with olive oil and lay skin-side up on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Roast in the top of the oven around 400 F / 200 C.
  7. When they start to get dark, pull them out and carefully flip them over. 
  8. Cover then with a thin layer of tehina (see below).  Lightly cover.
  9. Rewarm before serving.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Make Yogurt Cheese - No cooking required

I had some down time in a mall last week and spent about 45 minutes browsing a beautiful gourmet food and cooking store - Lagaat B'ochel. One thing I saw was a "Yogurt Cheese Maker."  The instructions seemed so easy - just pour yogurt into the mesh insert in the plastic container and put it in the fridge for a few hours.  I thought, "I can do that, and I don't need to buy this "uni-tasker" to do it!"

  1. You will need a clean, thin piece of cloth, cheese cloth, or extra fine mesh.  I used an old fashion flat cloth diaper or "mussy." Note, if you use cloth you may not have usable whey, just a very wet cloth.
  2. Lay the cloth in a container so it is not touching the bottom. Secure it with a rubber band.
  3. Add any yogurt. I used a small individual serving container to try this out and got enough cheese to spread generously on four pieces of bread.
  4. Set the cover or a plate over the container and wrap any extra cloth over the top.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweet Red Rice and Beans

I just wanted to share this delicious rice dish I made that was even great cold.  It started with a homemade stock that included three small bay leaves and a large stick of cinnamon.

In the pressure cooker I put half "red rice" (like a cross between brown rice and wild rice, very tasty) and half black-eyed peas with twice as much stock/broth as the rice and beans.  I added dried fried onions and a mixture of nuts and seeds and cooked under pressure for 15 minutes plus natural pressure release.

You can even add some extra raisins or chopped dried fruit to celebrate Tu B'Shvat - the birthday of the trees.  Happy Tu B'Shvat!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cauliflower Tabouleh

In honor of my Father-in-Law's arrival this evening I want to share a raw food salad made with his favorite food - cauliflower. I got the idea from the Good Eats episode "The Caul of the Flower." I combined it with my recipe for quinoa tabouleh, and got a delicious and very healthy salad, which only gets better after a day or two in the fringe.

Start with the dressing:
Using the chopping blade in the bowl of your DRY food processor, put salt and other seasonings of your choice like red pepper flakes and cumin. (I didn't use cumin this time because I was making it for someone with celiac disease and I wanted to be extra careful that none of my ingredients were contaminated with traces of gluten.)  Turn on the food processor and drop two cloves of garlic through the chute. Add the juice of two lemons (close to half a cup) and almost 1/2 cup olive oil.  Set aside in a large bowl for mixing. You do not need to wash out the food processor or the blade, but set aside this blade.

Gluten free "bulgur":
Using the shredding blade on your food processor, feed in only the florets (the outermost inch) of one head of cauliflower. Dump it into the mixing bowl with the dressing.


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