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Showing posts from January, 2011

Sarma Grapeleaves

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Sour and savory grapeleaves filled with rice stuffing and steamed

Some of you know stuffed grapeleaves as dolma, but in my home (half American-half Armenian/ Lebanese) we called them sarmas. The reason? Sarma means rolled and dolma means stuffed. I have an ancient memory of my father telling me that. My sarma has shredded vegetables, white wine, and parsley. Not traditional ingredients, but flavorful. I hold no recipe sacred. No food is safe from my kitchen meddling.

This isn't an easy recipe. It involves multiple steps, and a little bit of a guessing game (How much rice goes in each leaf? How long to cook until the rice isn't chewy or too soft? Why is there extra water left in the pan) and time to manually roll each leaf. The good news is even if you mess up you will probably get something that tastes great. Make it for a special occasion, or a good party. If you're making grapeleaves, then you ought to show them off, er, um, I mean share.

SarmaGrapeleaves

1 medium onio…

Vanilla Extract

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Letters courtesy of the dollar store

Full disclosure: I haven't owned a bottle of vanilla extract in close to 2 years. I was annually buying a big bottle of Massey vanilla to last a year of baking. I fell out of that habit when I couldn't validate the extra expense during a tight year. So yes, I have been lying. Most of the recipes I've tested/written with vanilla actually contained almond extract, vanilla powder (an odd xmas gift from way back) or vanilla beans. Vanilla beans are $0.99 each at the Flatbush co-op, about half or less what you would pay at the grocery store or online. Planning for Christmas baking I decided it was time to end my vanilla drought. Vanilla extract isn't a magical elixir squeezed from rare plants. It's just cheap alcohol infused with vanilla beans. I can do that, so can you. You need 4 things: a bottle of cheap booze, vanilla beans, a dark place, and time. Two of those things are free.

$12 worth of vanilla beans

Small mouth glass bottles fo…

Venison Chili

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meal

January to February is chili season, directly following Christmas cookie season. Easy, fast, spicy, warming, and and easy way to feel like you've eaten a round meal with just one bowl.

Dangerously close to a year ago I was given venison loin by my cousin Mary-Tyler. The venison was hunted by her half of the family, likely in Virgina. Mary-Tyler will correct me in the comments if I'm wrong. I wasn't sure if the venison would be freezer burned (from a year in the freezer) or if the meat would be too strong. The venison was neither, and I ate a hunk hot off the stove. It was a little bit of a waste to cover up great meat in chili, but this is some outstanding chili. One thing to note, I defrosted the venison on a shallow plate in the fridge. The plate was brimming with blood when it thawed, and got everywhere. Gross. Watch out.

Venison Chili

1 lb venison
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tblsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1…

Jazz and Experimental Vinyl Club tonight at Sycamore

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Bring the jazz and the noise. Open deck spinning after guest djs

<<<*&%--> MNVC #32 - Jazz + Experimental Edition at Sycamore < ---*&%>>>

- - - - GUEST DJs - - - -
8-9:30 DJ Flail
10 -10:30 IMPOSE Selector

Monday January 3rd, 8p-12a
@ Sycamore Bar and Flowershop, 1118 Cortelyou, BK
F R E E