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Cabbage Salad with Carrot, Apple, Cilantro and Sunflower Oil



When you are not sure what to serve, this cabbage salad provides the perfect solution, suitable for an informal meal with your family, working lunch with colleagues where a full meal is not required, or perhaps an after-theater supper with friends. Fresh, light and easily digestible, this salad is attractive, easy to prepare and sure to please.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 apple 
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
  • hard boiled quail eggs for garnish

Cabbage Salad 3
Directions:

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, pepper and salt. Whisk in the sunflower oil. Set the dressing aside for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Cabbage Salad 4

Core and thinly shred the cabbage halves. Using a mandoline if desired, peel and thinly julienne the carrot. Very thinly slice the apple. In a bowl, combine the apple, carrot, cabbage, cilantro and poppy seeds. Toss thoroughly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the dressing, toss and garnish with hard boiled quail egg.


Cabbage Salad 2

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Onion Marmalade with Fig Balsamic Vinegar served over Chicken Liver Pâté


ONION "Rose Among Roots"from The Spice Cookbook, 1964

Had robert Louis Stevenson been a modern advertising man, and been offered a fee to glorify the onions, he couldn't have done better than in his poem on salad making:

First let the onion flourish there,
Rose among roots, the maiden-fair
Wine-scented and poetic soul
Of the capacious bowl!

Then there was the eighteenth-century clergyman and wit, the Reverend Sydney Smith, who initiated a salad with a bit of minced onion. His rhymed recipe prescribed:

Let onion's atoms lurk within the bowl,
And scarce suspected, animate the whole.

The early nineteenth century seems to have produced a quantity of recipes written in rhyme, or what seemed to have passed for rhyme in those days. There was one recipe for roast stuffed swan which reads, in part, "…an onion, will heighten the flavor in gourmand's opinion."

All cooks agree with this opinion-
No savory dish without an onion.

Onion Marmalade 3

The onion has been used for so many centuries by so many people throughout the world it is hardly possible to determine its origin. Most likely it was in Asia Minor, the home of so many Old World vegetables. We know that the Egyptians ate onions in great quantities. Even the pyramids seem to be indebted to the onion. For the manpower that built them was fortified with onions, according to history as recorded by Herodotus. He noted that in his time there was an inscription on the Great Pyramid of Cheops saying that 1600 talents of silver had been spent on onions, garlic, and radishes for the workmen in 2900 B.C.

Onion Marmalade 7

This sweet and tangy condiment is perfect for grilled meats, burgers, sandwiches, pizza or on a crostini as an appetizer. I like to serve it over Chicken Liver Pate with butter, for pate you can find the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp  fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Onion Marmalade 2


Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; then add the onions, and brown sugar, and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Continue to cook the onions over medium heat for about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, translucent, and light brown.  Add the balsamic vinegar and thyme, turn the heat to low, and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 10 more minutes.  When they are done, they will be deep, dark brown and will have absorbed all the vinegar.


Onion Marmalade with Fig Balsamic Vinegar served over Chicken Liver Pâté

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use over chicken liver pate with toast.

Onion Marmalade 4

6 Comments

Four Grains Soup and Potato Stuffed Flatbread (Aloo Paratha) and Mint, Yogurt Dressing



"He who controls the spice, controls the universe. Such were the words uttered by the main character of the movie Dune based on the Frank Herbert science fiction epic of the same name. In the story, the spice was the lifeblood of a vast empire. For the leaders of this empire, it was essential that at all times the spice must flow.

The spice trade of the Dune movie was no doubt inspired by the historical trade in aromatics from ancient times to the present. At various periods in history, spices have been as valuable as gold and silver. According to a 15th century saying: No man should die who can afford cinnamon."

I love to cook with spices lately. Here is a perfect lunch or dinner, full of exotic ingredients and yet healthy, vegetarian dishes.

Lentils and Chapattis 3
Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • 1/2 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 yellow split peas
  • 1/2 barley
  • 1/2 lentils
  • 1/2 alphabet pasta bits made from wheat flower, spinach and tomato (or pasta of your choice)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 potato, diced into small cubs
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chiles, chopped (seeded if you like)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lentils and Chapattis 4
For the potato stuffed flatbread:
For Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour  
  • 1/4 tsp salt  
  • 3 tsp oil 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • more flour in a plate, for rolling
For Filling:
  • 2 large potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp or to taste red chili powder 
  • salt to taste
  • 5 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
  • oil for pan frying

Lentils and Chapattis 9
For the yogurt dressing:
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • fresh mint, to taste, finely chopped
Lentils and Chapattis 5
Directions:
For the soup:

Put the grains into medium saucepan. Add the water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and skim of the foam. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the grains do not stick to the bottom of the pan as they  thicker. Stir in the salt and potato. (If you add salt too soon to the grains, they will take longer to cook.) Let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, but not smoking, add the mustard seeds, followed by the cumin seeds. Add the shallots and chiles and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, then add the turmeric and ground cumin. Add the tomato and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Fold the shallot mixture into the cooked grains. Stir in the cilantro, remove from the heat, and serve.

Lentils and Chapattis 2
For the flatbread:

If you are planning to cook Aloo Paratha for the first time, please visit the very helpful video of this recipe here. That's what I did-)))

Lentils and Chapattis 6
For the yogurt dressing:

Peel the cucumber and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into bite-size pieces and set aside. Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat with a fork until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and mix well. Add the cucumber, garlic, mint and paprika. Mix well and serve over flatbread.


Lentils and Chapattis 8

5 Comments

Roasted Beets, Turnips and Carrots with Fennel


FENNEL - Venerable Panacea  from The Spice Cookbook, 1964
This aromatic herb, whose smell is very much like that anise, was believed by ancient scholars to be among the nine sacred herbs that could cure the nine causes of decease. It was considered a rejuvenator, an aphrodisiac, a fortifier, and an aid to slenderness. It restored and sharpened the eyesight, stopped the hiccups, freed one from "loathings," cured wheezing, and improved "the ill color in the face after sickness," according to Culpeper, who added that "Both leaves, seeds and roots thereof, are much used in drink or broth, to make people lean that are to fat." On the other hand, the very poor of the seventeenth century, who could seldom eat enough to grow fat, drank fennel tea to allay the pangs of hunger!

Very few herbs can boast of having had their varied virtues eulogized by a poet as famous as Longfellow. The following is from his "The Goblet of Life":

Above the lowly plants it towers,
The fennel, with its yellow flowers, And, in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore.
It gave new strength and fearless mood;
And gladiators fierce and rude,
Mingled it with their daily food;
And he who battled and subdued, 
A wreath of fennel wore.

Roasted Beets and Turnips 2

"The Carrot," wrote sixteenth-century herbalist, J. Gerarde, " serveth for love matters; and Orpheus, as Pliny written, said that the use thereof winneth love…." If nothing more, a dish of Roasted Carrots may get you a pat on the head and a few kind words.

Carrots are such a marvelous source of Vitamin A that should be served regularly.

Roasted Beets and Turnips 4
Ingredients:

  • 3 red beets, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 turnips, peeled, if desired, and cut into wedges
  • 3 carrots peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 small fennel bulb, greens only
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fig balsamic vinegar
Roasted Beets and Turnips 1
Directions:

Roast the vegetables:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Place the beets, turnip and carrots on a baking sheet. Pour the butter over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the sage, salt and pepper. Toss until the vegetables are coated, then spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Continue to roast, without stirring, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Roasted Beets and Turnips 5
Finish the vegetables:

Using a large spatula, transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Pour any remaining pan juices into a small bowl and whisk in the fig vinegar. Drizzle over the vegetables, toss and serve. Sprinkle with chopped fennel greens.


Roasted Beets and Turnips 8

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Quince Cardamom Tapioca Pudding with Homemade Crumbles - Have a Sweet Weekend!



Forgive me for posting a winter dessert today. I was looking for quinces all winter, unable to find them; a couple of days ago finally I got lucky, and here it is.

This recipe comes from many inspirations and memories. I remember one aroma from my childhood when my mother made compote from quince and it was so magically wonderful. I remember eating crepes with quince jam, the best breakfast ever. I never cooked tapioca before so I like to experiment with it and recently I discovered that I love cardamom-)))

This dessert is scrumptious, It takes some time to prepare, and worthwhile every minute of it. I hope you like it as much as I did, save it for next year when quinces are in season or you can make it with pears or peaches, which is certainly going to be  a summer dessert!

Tapioca Quince Dessert 1

Serves 6
Ingredients:

For the poached quinces:

  • 3 quinces, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1/2 lemon
Tapioca Quince Dessert 2

For the vanilla tapioca:
  • 2/3 cup large tapioca pearls
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp  ground cardamom
Tapioca Quince Dessert 3
For the crumble:
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup white oatmeal flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • OR 3/4 cup all purpose flour instead if not baking gluten free
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons almond milk
Tapioca Quince Dessert 13 Tapioca Quince Dessert 14

Directions:

Prepare the cardamom tapioca:
In a medium bowl, soak the tapioca pearls in the water for an hour. Drain and discard the water. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the tapioca, milk, honey and cardamom to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until the tapioca looks translucent. Remove from the heat and place a piece of plastic wrap right on top to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.

Tapioca Quince Dessert 7

Prepare the quinces:
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the quinces. Bring the content of the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, place a lid halfway over the pot and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour, or until the quinces are soft when you poke a knife through them. Mash the quince with syrup and reserve.

Tapioca Quince Dessert 9

Prepare the crumble:
Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your fingertips or a fork until the mixture resembles large beads. Spread the beads on the prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing them every so often as they become golden brown for 20 minutes. Let the crumbles cool.

Tapioca Quince Dessert 6

When ready to serve, spoon the quince mixture into the bottom of each of 6 glasses, dividing it evenly. When the tapioca is completely cool, divide it in between the serving glasses on top of the quince mix. Sprinkle with crumbles, again dividing evenly.


Note: You might have leftover crumbles, you can crumble it up over oatmeal for breakfast or over ice cream.

Tapioca Quince Dessert 11

7 Comments

Kiwi Ricotta Cheese Tart, Lemon Almond Crust

Kiwi Ricotta Tart 5

The Art of Pastry Making from best-ever Pastry cookbook

"There's a lot of truth in the old adage - as easy as pie. Making pastry isn't difficult if you follow a few simple rules and master the basic techniques. Any good pastry cook knows that practice really does make perfect. You don't need fancy equipment: a bowl, a set of scales or measuring cups and a rolling pin are all you need to begin with, plus one or two pie plates or dishes in sizes to suit your style of cooking. As you become more proficient and discover how satisfying and creative making pastry can be, you may want to expand your range of utensils, but remember, when it comes to good pastry making, cool, competent hands are the cook's most valuable assets."



It is well worth taking your time arranging the kiwi fruit topping in neat rows for this exotic and impressive-looking tart.

Kiwi Ricotta Tart 1

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 2 Tbsp ground, blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar 
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp rum
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (for the glaze)
  • 1/4 cup honey (for the glaze)
  • 5 kiwi fruits (for the top)
For the pastry:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 sticks salted butter, cold in pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Kiwi Ricotta Tart 6

Directions:

Place almond meal, flour and sugar in a bowl and mix. Add the butter and work it into the flower with your fingers. The result should be grainy. Add egg and lemon zest and fast work the doughy together. If it seems dry, just add a few tablespoons iced water. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thin crust and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Crimp edges. Use a fork to prick the bottom with.

Bake at 375F for about 10 minutes.

Kiwi Ricotta Tart 2

Reduce the heat to 350F.


With an electric mixer, beat the ricotta until creamy. Add the yogurt, egg, yolk, sugar, corn flour, salt and rum. Beat to combine. Stir in the ground almonds until well blended.

Pour into the shell and bake until golden, about 1 hour. Let cool, then chill, loosely covered for 2-3 hours. Unmold and place on a serving plate.

Combine the honey and the lemon juice for the glaze, set aside.


Peel the kiwis. Halve them lengthwise, then cut horizontally into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange slices in rows across the top of the tart. Just before serving brush with honey glaze.


Kiwi Ricotta Tart 4

4 Comments

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach and Walnuts on Toast



What is your favorite Stuffed Mushrooms recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 12 large button mushrooms, scrubbed clean, stems separated from the caps
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, minced 
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 5 Tbsp chopped and toasted walnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp grated cheese
  • bread for serving
Stuffed Mushrooms 3

Directions:

Scrub the mushrooms well first, then just snap out the stems. They'll come out easily, no need to use a knife. Finely chop the mushroom stems. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems and onions for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add spinach and garlic and sprinkle with salt. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.

In the large bowl mix together mushrooms mixture, toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, thyme and a little seasoning.



Stuffed Mushrooms 1

Heat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush over with a little olive oil. Place the mushrooms, cap side down, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a small pinch each of salt and pepper.

Spread a teaspoonful of the mixture on the top of each mushroom, then drizzle over a little olive oil and grated cheese of your desire. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.

Lightly toast the bread in the meantime. Place a couple of slices on each warm serving plate and arrange the mushrooms on top. Serve warm. Equally good on a leafy salad as an appetizer.


Stuffed Mushrooms 4

8 Comments

Gluten Free Hearty Whole Grain Bread



Usually, I don't buy ready-to-use bread mix, I cook everything from scratch. But, first time for everything. I got this bread mix from Bob's Red Mill company and actually it is good. This bread similar to pumpernickel with nuts and seeds that add to its nutritional value. I very much enjoyed it, it toasted well. Very good with jam. Only, I wish it didn't have caraway seeds, not a big fan.

Moist, delicious and bursting with whole grains and seeds. The flavor and texture are complex and deeply satisfying. Specially designed for those sensitive to wheat or gluten, this mix contains: whole grain buckwheat, garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, cornstarch, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour, evaporated cane juice, cocoa powder, fava bean flour, molasses powder (molasses, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide), xanthan gum, caraway seeds, active dry yeast, sea salt, whole grain teff, potato flour, onion powder, guar gum and soy lecithin.

Whole Grain Bread 4

Makes: 1-1/2 lb loaf

Ingredients:

Whole Grain Bread 2

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Dissolve enclosed packet of yeast in 1 3/4 cups warm (110°F) water and let stand for 5 minutes to foam. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Put dry mix in large mixing bowl (preferably use a stand mixer). Add eggs, oil, cider vinegar and yeast-water mixture.

Whole Grain Bread 3

With mixer on low speed, blend all ingredients until smooth. Turn mixer to medium and beat 15 seconds or until mixture thickens slightly. Pour into generously greased 9 x 5-inch nonstick pan. Smooth top of dough with wet spatula. Cover pan with plastic wrap and put in warm place (75° to 80°F) to rise for about 40 to 45 minutes or until dough is level with top of pan.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until internal temperature of bread reaches 205°F, covering bread with foil after it starts to brown. Remove pan from oven and cool bread in pan for 5 mintues. Remove bread from pan and finish cooling on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.


Whole Grain Bread 5

6 Comments

Country Pate with Pistachios



There is nothing more delightful than a complete luncheon of hors d'oeuvres, especially on a hot day in in summer. The color and variety of the various dishes, particularly when accompanied by well-chilled bottle of fine white wine, reawakens the most heat-dulled appetite.

This country pate with pistachios may be served as a first course with a light entree and a fruit dessert to follow; or a luncheon may be made up entirely of various hors d'oeuvre dishes. In the latter case you would want to serve some vegetable dishes, fish hors d'oeuvre, and certain accompaniments.

Country Pate Pistachios 3

Recipe from “Cuisine Rapide” by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb veal liver, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 3/4 lb lean veal, cut into 1-inch cubs
  • 1 lb lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubs
  • 1/2 lb cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, toasted
  • 1/8 tsp groung allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Country Pate Pistachios 6

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add the shallots. Cook briefly, stirring. Add the liver and sprinkle with the thyme and bay leaf. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the veal in a food processor or blender and blend it slightly finer than store-bought hamburger. Empty the veal into a mixing bowl. Put the pork in the food processor or blender and blend it a little coarser than store-bought hamburger. Add the pork to the veal.

Country Pate Pistachios 4

Put the liver mixture in the food processor or blender and blend it as finely as possible. Pour and scrape it into the bowl with the pork and veal. Add the ham and pistachios.  Add the allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, wine, salt and pepper and blend well with your fingers. To test the mixture for seasoning, shape a small portion into a patty and cook it, turning once, in a nonstick skillet until cook through. Taste the patty and add more seasonings as desired.

Country Pate Pistachios 5

Pack the mixture in a 5- or 6-cup loaf pan. Smooth the top, rounding it slightly. Cover tightly with foil and place the pan in a heatproof baking dish. Set the dish on the stove and pour in boiling water around the loaf pan. Bring the water to a boil.  Place the pan in the water bath in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.


Country Pate Pistachios 2

Remove the pan from the oven and carefully drain off any excess fat. Let stand until ready to serve. The pate is excellent hot or cold. You may cool it in the dish and chill until cold, preferably overnight. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve with pickled vegetables.

Note: In France, cornichons (small dill pickles) and mustard are traditional accompaniments for pate and terriines along with slices of crusty baguette. Serve it for an elegant picnic or a cold buffet.

Country Pate with Pistachios

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