Friday, 30 July 2010

Possibly purple pie, or perhaps purple pizza

I'm not sure what to call it. However, it's chickpea-based. Yum. That is all. You will need a well-seasoned cast iron pan for this. You will also need a well-seasoned cast iron pan for many other important events in life. This is but one example of the many, many times you will be glad to own one.

Batter (prepare first)

2c chickpea flour
2c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder (optional)
1 tbs ground flax seeds
1-2 tbs fresh chopped rosemary or other fresh herb (thyme would also be nice)

Mix everything together and let it sit for at least half an hour. Longer is better.
Meanwhile... preheat your oven to about 200C (this is not a precise kind of thing) and get going on the onions.

3 large purple onions, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped into a few large bits
splash vermouth
(if you're cheating: splash apple cider vinegar + 1 tbs agave)
pinch nutmeg
black pepper

In your cast iron pan, caramelize onions ie- cook over low heat for as long as you can stand (half an hour, minimum. Longer is better). If you don't know how to caramelize onions, the Google can teach you. If you know how, but don't have long enough to do it, then cheat thusly: cook 'em on high heat, then add the cheater ingredients, keep the heat high until the vinegar evaporates, and then proceed as if you weren't cheating. If anyone asks, say that that's how it's *supposed* be. Add the vermouth, nutmeg, pepper and salt to the caramelized onions. Turn off the heat. Smooth onions into a layer.

Pour the chickpea batter over the layer of onions. Bake for about 30 mins, or until you suspect it is done. This will depend on the size of your pan and how much water is left in your onions. The good news is that it's pretty hard to burn this if you're keeping an eye on it, since it browns slowly. If it's burning, you'll know with a quick look. I used a fairly large pan, either 10 or 12 inches. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then de-pan your masterpiece onto a cutting board or plate. Consume with gusto and green salad.

If you lack a cast iron pan, you can dump the onions and chickpea batter (in that order) into a well-oiled pie plate or whatever. It will still work, I promise.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

chickpea ravioli and tomato soup

It's raining and I'm feeling all quiet and chill and have time to actually spend on food prep tonight, which is a bit of an anomaly lately. So I indulged.

I've been having way too much fun playing with raw food recipes lately. Here is my latest creation, using what I had around from the veg box. I always think of this kind of thing as "kitchen-ninja" cooking. I mean, my kitchen is very well stocked, but I do make a point to use *everything* in the veg box every week, which leads to some interesting concoctions from time to time. I like this sort of food adventure. Now, let me just start by proclaiming my love of kohlrabi. It's crunchy and delicious and looks vaguely alien, all of which appeal to me. I didn't properly appreciate it until living in Germany for two years... now I squeal with glee when it appears in my veg box, or when I see it at the farmer's market. However, I also have some sprouted chickpeas, and for some reason, I couldn't shake the urge to make them into ravioli filling. Below is what happened

Kohrabi ravioli, raw kitchen-ninja style.

1 smallish kohlrabi, peeled and sliced supa-thin (I used a mandoline)

marinate the slices in juice from 1 lemon and about 1/3 tsp salt while you do everything else.

2.5 cups sprouted chickpeas (or use cooked ones if you'd rather)
2 tbs sweet white miso
1 tsp ume paste
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp tahini
1 tbs very finely chopped preserved lemon
1-2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
salt to taste

Put the chickpeas, miso, ume paste and nooch in a food processor or blender and blend! blend! blend! Add a bit of water if you want! Make it as smooth or chunky as you want. This is all about you and your smooth vs. chunky ravioli filling preferences. Just make sure the paste holds it's shape when you scoop it. Fold in lemon, rosemary, and black pepper. Taste, and then add salt or soy sauce. If you can wait a few minutes before salting, that's even better, as the miso, ume paste and lemon are going to make this pretty salty. Undersalt slightly, as the kohlrabi is also salty.

I made lots of the filling, and also just use it as hummous (it's especially good on pears or with mushrooms), or fold in chopped onions, grated carrots and some kind of grain, and then make it into burgers.

Nibble at one of the kohlrabi slices. Is it ridiculously salty? If no, proceed. If yes, rinse. It's nice if you don't have to rinse, because the lemon tastes good.

Make little raviolis by sandwiching a spoonful of chickpea mixture between two kohlrabi discs. Serve by drizzling with diluted pomegranite molasses and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs. You'd be surprised how well chocolate and rosemary go together. (I diluted with apple vinegar, but those who are less into vinegar than me may want to dilute with apple juice or sauce, or even olive oil, if you are into adding olive oil to things).

I had this with a tomato soup, which I suspect is the bastard love child of harissa and bouillabaisse. And no, I didn't measure any of the spices, so you're left to your own devices in terms of amounts. Add a bit, blend, taste and adjust. Or just use a tsp of ras-el-hanout. The soup was ungodly yum. I wish I had measured the spices for y'all, but I have confidence in your ability to wing it.

5 smallish tomatoes
1 orange worth of juice
1 stalk celery
2 sun dried tomatoes
fennel seeds
ground coriander
chili pepper
a tiny nub of fresh ginger
water to the consistency you want
salt to taste
handful sprouted (or cooked) wheatberries.

Blend! Blend! Blend! everything except the wheatberries together. You may need a pinch of agave, depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes and orange. Stir in wheatberries. Top with fresh basil and mint (or coriander, or parsley, but I seem to be out of both of those). You can also leave out the wheatberries and just serve this with bread or crackers. That might be classier. But we don't worry about "classy" here in the kitchendancing cave.

Music to chill out to: leonard cohen. the sisters of mercy.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

fava tarts

A friend gave me a bunch of stuff from her garden. Fava beans were in there. Oh yes. And we all know that I have a deep, deep looooooooove of fava beans. We all know this. Not only are they extra tasty, but Pythagoreas forbid his followers to eat them, because of something to do with hinges and beanskins and the doors of hell. Undaunted, I eat them at every opportunity.

We spent the day walking in the woods by Roslin, and finally, after living in Edinburgh for (ahem) almost three years, made it to see Roslin chapel. I enjoyed 1) the sculpture of the angel playing bagpipes, which I assume was ironic since I am convinced that the bagpipes are Satan's Instument and b) the gargoyles that looked like they were clinging to the walls for dear life. It was much more interesting than I assumed it would be. Huh. As a bonus, we could actually *see stuff* since the da Vinci Code tourists were mostly not out today because the weather was extra-super unpredictable, even for Edinburgh in July. We had both rain capes and sun hats (and a thermos of tea) and were just fine (though we used all of that equipment every single hour). These tarts, along with a giant green salad, were the perfect "summer" dinner. Note the copious amounts of garlic. As usual, my food is both delicious and vampire-repellent. It never hurts to multitask.

Tart shell:
1/2 cup almond pulp left over from making almond milk (or sub almond meal mixed with some kind of liquid)
1/2 cup ww spelt flour
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tbs white miso
pinch salt
1 tsp (or more) finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp coarsly ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped in half-moons

Mix all ingredients except onions together. Add more flour if the dough is sticky. It should be wet but not sticky. Divide evenly in half and press into two tart tins (if you are having them as a main dish) or 4-6 muffin cases (for starters). Cover tart shells with onions. Bake at 150C for 15 mins (until beginning to brown).

While the tart shells are browning, mix in a bowl:
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans
1.5 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
2 cloves smoked garlic, chopped very finely
1/4 c white wine
1 tbs soy sauce

Let these marinate until the tart shells are ready. Then divide the filling equally among the shells and bake for another 10 mins at 180C. Remove tarts from oven. Sprinkle with (in this order): lemon juice from one lemon (divided among all tarts, not per tart), salt, black pepper. Drizzle with a small amount very fruity olive oil (I used garlic-infused olive oil...). Don't go too nuts with the oil or it will overwhelm everything else.

angels and bagpipes and flaunting the possibility of the doors of hell: Pope and Antipopes: music for the courts of avignon and rome, by the Orlando Consort.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

rhubarb sorbet

Yes. Rhubarb sorbet. Very grownup. Very yummy. Ridiculously easy, and about 10 minutes of work.

5 slim stalks rhubarb
1/2 cup white wine (I used sauvignon blanc, but I think reisling would work better)
1/3 cup agave (or more to taste... i like the tartness)
1 tbs rosewater
pinch salt
2 drops lime oil or a bit of lime zest
5 mint leaves, chiffonaded
3 large basil leaves, also chiffonaded

Blend everything but the basil and mint. Press through a strainer. Discard pulp. Taste. Adjust sweetness. Stir in the mint and basil. Freeze, stirring every 2 hours or so until done. This won't freeze completely solid, because of the booze and agave. Make it before lunch to have it after dinner. You can also let it chill and drink it as a cocktail. In that case, I recommend mixing it with sparkling water, and doubling the wine.

sweet tart music: stockings, with Suzanne Vega