Saturday, January 30, 2010
We had quite the bizarre weather here in Tel Aviv today. Despite it being January, warm and dusty air filled the city and we decided to stay home in bed. Around mid-afternoon we started to get hungry and cooked up this light summery (and weather appropriate) dish of tofu and rice noodles. This delicate sweet-sour-spicy dish also makes a great "take it to the office" lunch.
For the caramelized tofu:
300 gr tofu
4 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sugar
For the noodles:
250 gr cooked rice noodles
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp finely chopped red chili
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped coriander
Prepare the tofu. In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Slice the tofu into 1cm slices and add to the bowl. Mix well, making sure the tofu slices are completely covered in thee soy sauce mixture.
Place a grill plate over very high heat and wait until it is very hot. Place the tofu slices on the hot grill plate and grill for a 5 minutes on each side. Lower the heat and let grill until the tofu browns. Set aside and let cool. When the tofu cools, slice into 1cm slices.
For the sauce, fry the garlic and chili in the vegetable oil for a couple of minutes in a small pan. Add soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Throw the chopped coriander, tofu and cooked noodles into a large bowl. Add the sauce and mix well.
Serve in personal bowls with a slice of lemon.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 12:14 PM
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A few weeks ago, we came back from a weekend brunch at E+D's overloaded with lemons straight from their lemon tree.
We sat staring at a huge pile of lemons and decided: we will make a lemon jam experiment. We asked ourselves: lemon jam?
The result turned out to be a bit bitter since we threw the lemons in with the peel intact. It goes very well with meat or on bread with sesame paste.
We ended up making a very large amount of jam (since we dragged home so many), storing it in glass bottles in the refrigerator.
This recipe should be enough for one jar.
1 cup lemons, cut into four and then sliced, with the peel
1 parsimon, cut into four and then sliced
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbs white wine
Place the ingredients in a pot on medium heat, stirring often.
When it starts to thicken remove from heat and pour into a sterilized jar. Close well, and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
In order to store the jam for a longer period of time we followed Dorie Greenspan's advice on canning.
Another great canning information source is Saving the Season.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 2:13 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
2-3 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs honey
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160 C.
Mix all of the ingredients together and then spread the mixture on the meat to cover all sides.
Place the meat in a roasting pan with the fat part facing up and stick a meat thermometer. (We added some garlic and carrots to the tray. It's not a must but they cook so well with the roast's juices...)
Using the thermometer is important. It helps with getting the meat exactly how you want it done (rare 60 C - medium 70 C).
Stick the pan in the oven and let cook for about 1.5 hours. No need to touch it, only check occasionally to see it reaches the preferred temperature.
When it's done, take it out of the oven and let sit covered in foil for 20 minutes more.
That's it! The roast can keep in your fridge for up to a week, and it even gets better with time.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 2:09 AM
Monday, January 18, 2010
The Lobios Chorba, is a hearty bean soup that is a bit tangy and is very good for a cold evening. Since we had many more courses to go, we served it in small coffee cups (not in the pictures).
We adapted this recipe from "The Georgian Feast" by Darra Goldstein:
1 1/2 cups dried red beans
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 carrot. peeled and chopped
2 leeks, sliced thinly
3 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 small minced hot pepper
ground black pepper
6 sprigs each of parsley, coriander and dill, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Simmer the beans with water, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt on low heat until tender (about 2 hours).
Meanwhile, saute the onions, carrot and leeks in the butter until soft.
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic with the remaining salt.
When the beans are soft add the sauteed vegetables, garlic, hot pepper and black pepper. Simmer for 15 more minutes, then stir in the minced herbs and vinegar and serve.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 2:36 PM
Monday, January 4, 2010
Here's a recipe we adapted for new year's eve from another excellent and famous cookbook we sometimes use: "The Book of Jewish Food" by Claudia Roden. Roden has traveled far to collect traditional recipes from Jewish homes around the globe. The result is a historical masterpiece on Jewish cuisine with an abundance of successful recipes.
Gefilte Fish was traditionally served as stuffed fish skin with chopped fish inside. Today only the stuffing is prepared by poaching fish balls in fish stock and serving them with stock jelly and carrot. It's not difficult work, but it takes a while as these balls need to go through several procedures.
(for the stock)
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 fish heads
2 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
(for the fish balls)
1 medium onion
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
75 gr matzo meal
1 kg fresh water fish fillets, skinned. Try to get carp for this. We used a mix of cod and halibut, but the balls didn't turn out firm enough.
Put the stock ingredients in a saucepan, add 2.5 liters water to cover the fish. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
For the fish balls put the onion, eggs, salt, sugar and pepper in a food processor and blend to a cream. Pour into a bowl and stir in the matzo meal. Next, cut the fish into pieces and mix in the food processor, making sure it is finely chopped but not paste. Add the fish to the eggs and matzo meal, mix well and keep covered in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
Shape the mixture into fist size balls with your hands wet, lower to the fish stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool, then take the balls out and arrange in a serving dish in one layer. Reduce the fish stock and strain it over the fish. Finally decorate with the carrot slices.
Leave to cool overnight in the refrigerator to let the jelly to form.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 9:54 AM
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Did we mention we like Geogian? Well, here is another recipe we adapted from "The Georgian Feast" cookbook. It's a very simple and tasty dish, but the leftovers will be even tastier for lunch the day after.
2 tbsp butter
One 1.5 Kg chicken cut into pieces (with skin or the chicken will turn out dry)
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
8 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Generous 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (prsley, coriander, tarragon, basil, dill)
1/8 tsp dried hot chili
Ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a very large pan and brown the chicken pieces on all sides.
Stir in the chopped onions and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes longer before serving.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 2:03 PM
Georgian cuisine has recently become one of our favorites (it is also especially excellent when you share a meal with a happy Georgian crowd and a few shots of homemade vodka). A basic dish served almost every meal is Mkhali, a garlicky walnut spread with herbs and always mixed with some sort of vegetable. Lucky for us we have a recipe in "The Geogian Feast" cookbook by Darra Goldstein, which we own, and that turns out so good it makes us go "wow" each time we taste it.
This recipe uses beets for the vegetable part, but regarding which vegetable you use, the options are endless. We tend to adapt it with something new every time.
500 gr beets (on different occasions we also used spinach, celery and cauliflower)
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried summer savory (if you can't find it - use dried sage)
1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp red wine vinegar
First prepare the beets. The best way is to bake them in the oven until they get soft (1-2 hours). You can also boil them but then the beets lose a great deal of their taste. We usually steam them in a steamer which also works well for other vegetables. This makes the process quick and the fresh taste of the vegetable is preserved.
While the beets are cooking, grind the walnuts, garlic and salt finely. Then, add the fresh herbs and continue grinding to make a fine and smooth paste (very important). Transfer to a bowl.
When the beets are soft, peel and grate them in a food processor. Mix the beets with the walnut paste and stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste. The Mkhali should be slightly tart and you might want to add a bit more vinegar.
Keep in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving, but serve at room temperature.
Posted by Rena and Tom at 12:45 PM