Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chicken Egg-Rolls: A paradox in food form

Chicken Egg-Rolls 
This is a good way to use up leftover chicken, soup chicken, or even fresh chicken. 

Slice finely- 
1/2 small head cabbage (I used purple) 
4-5 green onions 
2 carrots 

Shred the chicken, removing fat and skin and such, and add to the vegetables. 
Season meat/veggie mix with ginger, garlic, pepper, hot chile flakes or sauce, sesame oil, or sesame chili oil, and a bit of soy sauce. Add an egg and stir to combine. 

Egg roll wrappers are widely available- I used the kosher Nasoya ones. 
Peel off one wrapper and place on a large plate. Moisten the outside edges of the square. Place a small mound of the filling a bit down from the top of the square, leaving space on the sides. Fold the sides in over the filling, then roll the top down to create a neat package. The bottom should seal on its own, being slightly damp, but if it doesn't, seal it with a bit more water. Place seam-side down on a foiled and oiled cookie sheet. Repeat until filling or wrappers are gone, usually it won't come out exactly even, but the wrappers, unlike the filling, will keep for the rest of the week, so make smaller amounts of filling if in doubt.
Take a small ramekin and dribble a tablespoon of oil in it. With your fingers, moisten the tops of the rolls with a light glaze of oil. You shouldn't have to use more than a teaspoon or two altogether. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350F until crispy and browning at the edges.  Serve with apricot sauce- 

Apricot Sauce: 
Take some generous spoonfuls of apricot preserve. Mix in some garlic, hot chile paste, ginger, and rice wine vinegar. So much better than any "duck sauce" that its a travesty that people buy it.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to throw a Mikveh Party

A mikveh party is traditionally thrown for Sephardic brides from various communities. The basic plan is as follows: 
A party of the bride's close family and friends (females only) accompany her to the ritualarium. Traditionally, they present her with fancy soaps, perfumes, and bath accessories, such as robes, brushes, and towels. The bride prepares for the ritual bath by taking an ordinary, but very thorough bath while the family members and friends prepare a large cookie, or Ka'ak, as above, and bring aromatic spices to smell, delicate fruits to eat, sugared almonds, rose petals for throwing at the bride and a special tea, called The de Hamam in francophone Sephardic communities. After the bride completes her preparations, she is guided through her first ritual immersion either by a member of the family or a community appointed attendant, informally known as the "mikveh lady", or balanit in Hebrew. The bride emerges from the mikveh chamber in her new robe and is received with expressions of joy, and depending on the community, ululation; blessings from all in attendance, and showers of rose petals. The mother of the bride takes the special large cookie (baked in a shape of a star, or a crown) and places it on the brides head with blessings and prayers for a good healthy life and marriage for her daughter. The cake is then broken over the brides head, and pieces of the cake are eaten with the tea and fruit.

Recipe for Sweet Ka'ak (also called Roshka in Ladino for the large form, small bracelet-shaped ones are called Roshkitas) 
Combine 3 eggs with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and add a discretionary amount of vanilla, rosewater, or orangewater. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil. Stir with a fork until well combined. Add enough flour to make a workable dough. Shape ropes of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet into a star with a circle in the center or a tiara shape. Wash with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional). Bake at 350 until mostly done, then turn the oven down to 250 until the cookie is hardened and somewhat crisp. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Welcome back, Mrs. Hippo-Girl!

Soooooo I'm back. With a Husband. Thats right, we got all married and stuff. Now we cook dinner every night and I make lunches to take to work too. Now we have all sorts of fancy kitchenwares (like le cruset pots) and nice dishes ( and I have a hot new job that involves lots of biology-type stuff.
Last night I made Cannelini Beans with Mustard Greens
1 Chopped Shallot
1 can small Cannelini Beans
2 large handfuls torn mustard greens
olive oil
salt pepper and a bay leaf
This, along with some rice and cheese, was dinner and now is work-time lunch.
Might I add that Mustard Greens are greeny and sharp and a wonderful change of pace from kale or bok choy. This is my first time cooking with them and I love them to itty bitty bits.
Also, this recipe was inspired by reading Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's VEGANOMICON several times before midnight while falling asleep and casting vegetable spells backwards.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CSA Cooking, Part 1

My first CSA pickup this week contained
butter lettuce
red oak leaf lettuce
and a tiny plant of lemon basil
I've washed and checked many of these vegetables and placed them in the crisper in ziplocs for safekeeping- and I'm plotting how best to cook/eat these delightful gems.
Tonite, I've made a butter-lettuce and radish salad with a bit of lime, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Now I know why butter lettuce is called butter lettuce- it is, well, buttery-textured/tasting.
So much excited about all the delicious veggytubbles!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Grain, a Bean, and a Vegetable

This is the first (second if you count my soba/kabocha/tofu bowl) in a series of posts on the way I like to construct a veggie dinner or lunch, especially for lunchboxing- one grain, preferably of the whole variety, one bean or bean product, and one vegetable. However, the bean product might, on occasion, be replaced by an alternative protein, like tempeh or seitan, or maybe even fish or eggs- I am omnivorous, with veggie tendencies).
This one is bulgur wheat pilaf with a quick black bean and spinach stew. If this topic is successful, I'm thinking of turning it into a blog event. Any thoughts?

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf
Saute one small onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent. Add 1 cup bulgur wheat, stir to combine with onions and allow to toast slightly. Add 2 cups hot water or broth and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, lower to a simmer and let it steam about 25 mins or until all the water is absorbed.

Quick Spinach/Black Bean Stew
Open a can of black beans (or cook them yourself.) Place in a small saucepan with 1/2 a can of water and a few handfuls of spinach (frozen or fresh, chopped), a few pinches of thyme, a few grinds of pepper, and a bit of cumin. No salt needed. Bring to a boil to cook the spinach a bit. Serve on the bulgur, top with yogurt or a bit of olive oil if desired, and more pepper.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Simple Fennel Salad

I like fennel. It is cool, crunchy, and refreshing, and makes a delightful salad. The lightly licorice flavor intensifies and warms somewhat when roasted, and attenuates when boiled or steamed. It is, however, also delicious sliced up plain and raw, and eaten like celery sticks. Now, some might say this salad is Morrocan in origin, and I have certainly enjoyed it at the tables of Morrocan cooks, but I think this recipe is more of my standard method for dealing with any vegetable that is good eaten raw- slice thinly, toss with lemon or lime juice, a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, and a bit of garlic (processed as you choose). Now, I know I missed the deadline for weekend herb blogging, but had I made it, this would be it.