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Showing posts from October, 2009

Chili Rub Me

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Suggested use: sprinkle on everything.

What do you get for a $3-4 bottle of chili powder? An ancient 1.5 oz of dull powder, a nice label with food recommendations "use with poultry, sprinkle on salad," at very least a nice sized glass jar that can be refilled with your own home-ground spices. Grocery store spices are about 1/4 of the flavor and way more dollars. I say, grind your own. Chili powder/rub is divine freshly ground with an intense color. Depending on your combinations flavors can range from fruity(guajillo) to smokey(chipotle) to severely spicy (aribol). Its fun to experiment with different dried chilies available in the latin section of your grocery store. You can find the peppers bagged and labeled with little more than its name, or by the pound in latin groceries. I like to add a few other whole spices to marry all the flavors. Cumin adds a savory-earthy flavor not to be missed. Coriander contrasts with an orangey taste.

Everyday Chili Powder

2 dried pasilla (aka…

Chocolate Monster Cookies

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Crisp outside, thick and goopy inside.

A frightening amount of chocolate goes into the batter for these bad boys. 24 oz! Two bags of chocolate chips. I am not sure who could conceive a cookie recipe made up of more chocolate then sugar and flour together. A suicidal diabetic? More likely a BonAppétit writer. This recipe is based on their Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies. Also tummy rubbing good, but I can not consistently locate toffee in my neighborhood. Throw some orange MMs on top, and boom, Halloween cookies!

Chocolate Monster Cookies

1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 bags of high quality chocolate chips (12 oz each) divided semi-sweet or bittersweet
1/2 stick (2 oz) of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp molasses
4 eggs
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt, heaping
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flour

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread chopped walnuts on a cookie sheet or pie pan and toast for 20 minutes. Cool.

Melt 1 1/2 bags (18 oz) of chocolate chips and butter together. You can do this in a microwave. I don'…

Mole Poblano

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Brick-colored building block of a good meal

Mole, in Spanish it means mixture. The Mexican sauce varies from verde (tomatillo) to Cacahuate (peanut) to the more variety popular in America poblano (notably with chocolate). Mole consists of pantry items, nuts, seeds, bread, spices, dried chilies and fruits, to make a spectacular complex savory sauce much greater than its parts. The rich flavors of mole suit chicken and turkey. When drizzled over roasted vegetables (roasted pumpkin and squash, plantains, eggplant, grilled onion etc.) or eggs mole adds a good kick.

Mole Poblano

Mole Base
5 dried anchochiles
3 dried pasilla negro (or negro) chiles
2 dried guajillo or mulatochiles
3 tblsp black raisins
1/4 cup almonds
3 tblsp raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 3-4 inch piece of french bread, crust cut off
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp dried oregano
2 oz of unsweetened Mexican (or regular) chocolate
1 tblsp molasses

Rinse the dried chilies under cool water.…

CSA Week 18 & Anyone Want to Buy 2 Weeks of CSA Veggies Off Of Me?

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The broccoli is bigger then my mixer.

No evening sunset to light my bi-weekly CSA share photos. I watch the sun go down as I walk home from our pick up site in Ditmas Park. This week brought gigantic vegetables, and I laid the entire share out so you could see just how much food it is. It must be harvest time.

Good news! Jorge, my farmer, has planted extra crops, and is extending the season by 4 weeks. I bought the extended share today, and need to split it with someone. Anyone interested in picking up a full share every other week? Just off of Cortelyou in Brooklyn, near the Q train. $50 for 2 weeks of full share including a dozen eggs a week. Leave a comment, or email me NaomiDonabedian (at) hotmail (dot) com.

1 enormous bunch of kale
1 enormous head of broccoli
4 ears of corn
4 large tomatoes
4 lbs of potatoes (I bartered my cauliflower for extra potatoes)
6 apples
5 beets
1 big onion
1 turnip
1 large hunk of butternut squash
1/2 lb of spinach
1 lb of yellow wax beans
11 medium and small jalapeno…

Moujadara Power

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I am made out of lentils

Lentils, cheap, fast, healthy, and hardy enough for an army. Add to bulgur wheat (de-branned whole wheat) and you have my moujadara power dinner. I like to make it on the weekends and eat it for dinner during the week. Lentils are versatile, and they buddy up to vegetables and grains without causing any trouble.

Growing up we would have moujadara made with rice. Cook the lentils for 30 minute, add the rice, cook another 30 minutes. But if your lentils were fresher, then they go limp, and if your rice is stale then it turns stays hard. Its a fine balance, and I often burn both ingredients regardless. On the other hand bulgar, has 75% fewer calories then both white and brown rice, more fiber, and only a little less protein. Bulgar brings a nutty taste to the pot with a fluffy hard to ruin texture. Its parboiled, so you slip it in towards the end. No special timing rituals.

Moujadara with Bulgar

1 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Lip Smacking Tongue

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You don't even have to tell your guests its a tongue, it just tastes great.

I don't often try something this different. I don't often make meat heavy dishes, and I have never eaten tongue. I have become intrigued by Latin tongue dishes (this is based on a Brazilian recipe) in planning my fall dinner party. I needed to know if I could successfully cook up a tongue, and I needed to know how it tastes. It tastes (grass taste, in the past(ure) and in the future like my dinner) like mighty strong beef. A big cut of meat, with lots of rich flavors similar to a pot roast. And tender, despite that it is medium to lean cut. Unpleasant to handle, but worthwhile.

Silence of the cows


Tongue Stuffed with Bacon on Polenta

3 lb beef tongue
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
8 garlic cloves, peeled coarsely chopped
2 parsley stems with leaves
1 tsp sofrito
3 cups fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash) cubed
1 red or yellow pepper, cubed
1 large tomato, cubed
2 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
2 tblsp olive …

Kale Chips

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Kale snacks, a dramatic presentation at any party.

Read it, believe it, and then eat. Kale can be made into satisfying chips! Shockingly delightful news. Far astray from the average nutritional identity of potato chips, kale chips are baked and super healthy. The rich, earthy-iron flavor of the chips made salted and crunchy are a major improvement. Consider this fast recipe as a terrific way to use up late summer all the way thru early winter's abundant bunches of kale.

Kale Chips
1 large bunch kale
2 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread kale over cookie sheets, with space between the leaves. Crowding the kale will result in limp chips. Drizzle with oil, and rub onto the front and backs of the leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-60 minutes, flipping the leaves every 15 minutes. It may take more or less time depending on the size of the leaves and the thickness of the kale stems. I found a few of the small kale leaves became crispy more read…