Food Friday–New! different!!!!
Sometimes as I write these posts I think about how often I cook variations on the same theme. I wonder if it’s boring for you to see yet another photo of challah or of chicken or meat balls cooked dead.
This week, I made something new, at least new for me.
I figure that you are smart enough to figure out which vegetables are in the bowl. I didn’t cook the cauliflower though, I made an old fashioned marinade and poured it over. When I pass the bowl I stir the bottom vegetables to the top. I didn’t follow a recipe but this is inspired in equal parts from my older Jewish cookbooks from the 1930’s and 40’s and from Claudia Roden’s excellent chapter on Sephardi vegetable cooking in her terrific book “Jewish Cooking'”.
I love that these vegetables are both Eastern European and Middle Eastern.
This is a really old fashioned way to prepare vegetables. You can use essentially the same marinade to pickle fish. Clearly you can change the spices to suit your taste or use a fancier vinegar than the plain white.
1 c white vinegar
a couple of tablespoons of sugar
1 tsp salt
cloves, coriander, black pepper, a bay leaf if you have it ( I didn’t) caraway , if you have it, ( I did)
boil marinade until the sugar is complety dissolved
pour over cut up hard vegetables
serve several hours or a day later.
Our main dish for tonight is chicken cooked with fennel,celery onions. Meyer lemons, Arak and a Russian spice mixture that our guests bought us last year. I don’t know what is in the mixture, because I don’t read Russian but it’s khaki green and smells earthy. I think that there is a fair amount of sage and thyme in the mix. It’s quite wonderful.
I made a pan of jasmine rice with cardamom. I also made yet another spicy stewed eggplant in tomato.
I also made two of these.
They are something between a pie and a tart. I made an oil crust scented with orange blossom water. The crust is lined with canned apricot pie filling that I had bought a while ago when I was trying to make apricot ice cream. I was hoping for that wonderful tart taste you get from California apricots. Unfortunately the canned stuff captured the flowery fragrance of apricots but not that tart kick. I cheated /adapted and added some lemon juice. I sliced the apples in the food processor. I suppose if I were a more refined cook I would have peeled the apples. I like the red color and I hate peeling apples.
As I was making the pie/tarts my older son asked if I had thought to add cinnamon. I answered my son in a snotty way, because I don’t think it is possible to cook apples without cinnamon. I also then apologized to my son. I also added some ginger booze to both the crust and the filling.
What I did not add to the pie/tarts is nuts. Pecans would have been wonderful, but my nut allergic nephew will be eating one of the pie/tarts tomorrow so I left them out.