Stuffed Eggplant

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I have made this a few times using wheat berries.  This is a recipe I found online from the New York TImes Cooking section.  It is amazing.  And it's vegetarian.  I didn't use the parsley and didn't miss it.  I used pesto I had in the freezer instead of basil and that worked great.  I copied this and pasted into this blog making a few changes which I highlighted in red.  If you like eggplant,  please try this.  

 

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Long-Simmered Eggplant Stuffed with Farro or Spelt

AUG. 25, 2014 From New York Times Cooking

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

This is a riff on imam bayildi, the long-cooking eggplant dish bathed in tomatoes and onions that is one of the great achievements of Turkish cuisine. I added cooked farro to the tomato-onion mix, making this more like a stuffed eggplant dish. The active cooking time is minimal, but the smothered eggplant must simmer for about 1 1/2 hours to achieve the intense, syrupy sauce and deep, rich flavor that make this dish such a wonder. Make it a day ahead for best results, and serve at room temperature on a hot night.

Time: 2 hours, including 1 1/2 hours mostly unsupervised simmering ( Mine was done after an hour)

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 to 3 medium or 6 small eggplants), cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin

Salt to taste

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 pounds (3 large or 6 medium) tomatoes, grated or peeled and chopped or small diced tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil ( I used frozen pesto instead of fresh basil)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup cooked farro, spelt or wheat berries.

1/4 cup water

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar ( I used less)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Additional minced parsley for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil. Slit eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size, until outer skin begins to shrivel. Remove from oven and transfer, cut side down, to a colander set in the sink. Allow to drain for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet and add onions. Cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 8 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the cooked farro or spelt. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt.

3. Turn eggplants over and place in the pan, cut side up. Season with salt. Gently pull apart at the slit and fill with the onion, tomato and farro mix. Spoon any mix that couldn’t fit inside the eggplant over the top. Mix remaining olive oil, remaining sugar, water and lemon juice. Drizzle over and around the eggplants. Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding water to the pan if it becomes too dry (this shouldn’t happen; in my experience, the eggplant releases water as it simmers). By the end of cooking, the eggplants should have collapsed significantly and the liquid in the pan should be syrupy or even slightly caramelized. Spoon this over the eggplant. Allow to cool in pan, sprinkle with parsley and serve at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: This is best if made a day ahead. You can roast the eggplant through Step 1 and make the filling through Step 2 several hours before stuffing and cooking the eggplant. Once cooked, the finished dish can sit for several hours, or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving. Cooked farro and spelt keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and freeze well.

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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is my new favorite.  It combines smooth with crunch since the French lentils keep their firmness.  The red lentils and butternut dissolve into a lucious creaminess.  The sweet and spicy flavors meld together beautifully.  And I love the orange and green colors of this soup.  It improves after each reheating and MUST be made the day before.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3  tsp curry powder ( I use a combination of Japanese and Indian curry blends)
  • 1-2  tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth or water or combination
  • 14 oz light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, also known as Lal Masoor Dal (Goya sells this)
  • 1/4 cup Spanish Pardina lentils (Goya sells this) or French Puy lentils
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 TBS brown sugar ( or to taste)
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or about two cups after stemming and chopping

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until onion becomes tender. Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Stir for about a minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the squash for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until beginning to brown or fry over high heat.  This caramelizes the squash and heighten the flavor but if you are in a hurry just throw it in without browning.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to darken in color, stirring constantly. Add the water, coconut milk, red lentils, and squash (either quickly roasted or  fried in or just cut up and not roasted). Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash are falling apart and the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes. The red lentils will have dissolved and the French lentils will still have a little
  4. Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
  5. This soup is better refrigerated and warmed up and eaten the next day.

RYE SOUR DOUGH BREAD

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  • Difficulty: moderate
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  RYE SOUR DOUGH BREAD

¾ cup sour dough starter

½ cup water

2 TBS molasses

1 TBS olive oil

1 ½ tsp salt

1 TBS toasted caraway seeds

2 ¼ cups Bread flour

¾ cup rye flour

1 ½tsp yeast

Combine in bread maker and check to make sure the consistency is correct after it has kneaded for a while. Once it has become a ball,   poke it with your finger.  You should have a tiny bit of stickiness but mostly it needs to be dry and in a ball. You may need to add more flour or water to adjust.

1.      Let  the bread maker do the kneading and first rise,

2.       Remove the dough and put it into a bowl lined with parchment paper.

3.       Let it rise again until double: one to two hours.

4.       Half an hour before preheat oven to 450° .Place empty large enamel pot  with cover (Le Creuset works great) that will just hold the bread in the oven to heat.

5.      Slit the top of the bread and carefully place in the enamel pot.  Don't burn yourself lifting the lid (spoken from multiple experiences).  Cover the pot and cook the bread for 25-30 minutes.

6.      Remove the pot from the oven.  Carefully remove the bread and unless it is already evenly browned, place it as is, without parchment, in the oven and bake a few more minutes, checking regularly, until uniformly brown and crisp. Remove and cool.  Serve with butter.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon almond estract

2 cups flour

Raspberry jam

 

Glaze:

½ cup confectioner sugar

¾ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon milk

 

1.  In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar

2.  Add almond extract and mix

3.  Add flour and mix quickly

4.  Form about 36 balls and place them on a baking sheet

5.  Make a thumb print in each ball and fill with a little raspberry jam

6.  Bake 14-18 minutes  and  cool

7.  Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cookies.

 

 

Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs

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Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs

 

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

350 Grams dark chocolate (I use 3 bars of Lindt 70%) 

50 grams butter ½ stick

45 ml brandy (3 Tab

1 tsp Nescafe or espresso powder

¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup finely chopped almonds (.3 pounds) I chop them in a food processor

Granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

1.     Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes in a mixer.

2.     Melt chocolate and butter carefully in the microwave.  I don't melt the chocolate completely because it is too easy to burn.  Instead I melt it almost all the way and stir it to melt the last little bit of chocolate.

3.     Add coffee and brandy

4.     Fold chocolate mixture into eggs

5.     Add dry ingredients and mix quickly

6.     Fold in almonds

7.     Refrigerate 3-4 hours or for several days

8.     Make snowballs by rolling into 1-2 inch balls, dipping into granulated sugar and then into powdered sugar so that each is completely covered.

9.     Bake in preheated 360 ? oven for 8 minutes.  Do not overcook.

 

 

Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I'll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You'll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.

Vietnamese Cabbage Salad

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Vietnamese Chicken Salad

(Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

Special note:  You need to taste and adjust this salad before serving.  Some like it spicier, some like it sweeter or saltier and some like it with more sour flavor from the limes.  Don't add salt at first since the fish sauce is salty.  Remember that adding the peanuts (and you need lots) adds to the flavor so when you taste it, try it with the peanuts and basil and mint. 

 

For salad:

·         1 ½ -2-pound  green cabbage, shredded, but not too finely:  I don't use the mandoline

·         2  carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Optional:   ¼ cup dried shrimp from Asian market boiled for 5 minutes in water and then drained and chopped.  It adds a very fishy shrimp flavor that is very authentic but not to everyone's taste.


For dressing :

·         1/3 cup Asian fish sauce  (Nuoc Mam)

·         2 teaspoons  cup brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon (or to taste)  Thai or Vietnamese chili garlic sauce

·         2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

·         1 tablespoon  garlic clove, finely chopped

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

 

·         For  topping:

·         2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

·         1/2 cup packed torn basil leaves

·         1/2 cup packed torn mint (optional)

·         ½  cup bean sprouts

·         ½ -1 cup  leftover boned  shredded, cooked chicken (optional)

 

1.    Combine salad ingredients

2.    Make dressing by combining ingredients by hand or in a blender

3.    Toss salad: Mix dressing with cabbage and carrots and shrimp

4.    Assemble salad: .Arrange chicken and bean sprouts over tossed salad and sprinkle with peanuts, basil, and mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled. You can pass around extra peanuts and lime juice for people to add to their salads.

Corn and maple syrup panna cotta with seasonal fruit

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Corn and maple syrup panna cotta with seasonal fruit

This is an incredibly easy dessert to make and quite elegant.  It isn’t quite as smooth as regular panna cotta but my guests liked the texture.  If you want it really smooth you’ll need to put it through a sieve. 

 

5 ears of corn taken:  kernels taken off the cobs

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 envelope gelatin

2 Tbs maple syrup

 

Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

 

1.      Put the gelatin in a bowl with 2 Tbs water to soften gelatin

2.     Heat the corn kernels up in a heavy skillet for a few minutes so that they become fragrant.  Add the heavy cream and simmer until the corn is cooked: 5-6 minutes.

3.     Add the gelatin and stir together until the gelatin is dissolved

4.     Put gelatin and corn mixture and maple syrup into blender and blend until very smooth. You will need a good blender for this.  I have a Vita Mix which does a good job.  A food processor will not make it smooth enough.  If you want it smoother you will have to put it through a fine sieve after you add the milk. Add milk and pour into individual dishes.  A good amount is about ½ cup per person which will give you  6-7 servings.

5.     Chill in fridge until set.  You can make this the day before.

6.     Garnish with mint and serve with fruit cut into little pieces:  blueberries, nectarines, peaches, kiwis or strawberries.

[r/recipe]

 

Arugula and grilled corn salad

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Arugula and grilled corn salad with pistachios, cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes and a preserved lemon dressing

 

Salad

Baby arugula or mixed baby greens

2 ears of corn, grilled until beginning to brown and then kernels removed when cool

¼ cup pistachio nuts

1 cucumber

cherry tomatoes

Dressing

1 preserved lemon without the peel, chopped finely

1 Tbs. chopped chives

Juice of one meyer lemon

pinch of sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1.       For dressing mix everything together, preferably in a small food processor or chopped and add olive oil gradually. Add salt and pepper to taste

2.      Toss with greens

3.      Arrange the lettuce, corn, pistachios, tomatoes and cucumbers attractively on each plate.

CHILLED CORN VICHYSSOISE

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CHILLED CORN VICHYSSOISE  

3 Tbs. olive oil)

3 medium leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed

2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

4-6 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob. Put corn from one ear aside.

32 ounces or 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup ½ and ½ (optional)

Salt to taste

Snipped chives for garnish

1.  Using heavy casserole, fry the onions in butter until soft and lightly browned.

2.  Adds sliced leeks and cook slowly with onions for another 10 minutes, stirring

     occasionally.

3.  Add chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Simmer gently, covered for

     20 minutes or until leeks are soft.

4. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.  When slightly cooled, pureed the mixture in a blender or food process until very

      smooth.  Add ½ and ½ if desired at this point and mix together.

6. Fry the last ear of corn kernels over high heat with a little oil and some salt until beginning to brown.  Set aside to use for garnish. (This step is optional)
7.  Refrigerate 24-48 hours.

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