Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Requested Recipes: Raw Vegan Macadamia Nuts

Jenn thinks she's got a stumper for me: she wants a raw vegan recipe using Macadamia nuts.

I'll admit I was a bit worried with this one - I don't have any Raw-style cookbooks and am an adventurously non-vegan eater. Still, we have a couple of excellent vegetarian cookbooks that we often refer to, and I was able to find this recipe in Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, by Didi Emmons. Obviously to make this recipe Vegan all you have to do is pick a favorite fruit granita or sorbet instead of the dairy ice cream, and I'm sure not roasting the nuts to make it Raw is totally legit.

I nearly had to use my "Phone a Friend" on this one; I would've depended on Terry Romero, a friend of mine who co-authored Veganomicon and has a new Vegan cookbook recently out: Viva Vegan. Jenn, if you do not own either of these books, you should! Terry, I'm going to tag you when this post makes its way to Facebook - do you have another raw macadamia vegan recipe that springs to mind?

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Requested Recipes: Strawberry Cupcakes

Long-lost Robinson Ram Katie asked for a recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes. Actually, Katie was never 'lost' per se, I just never knew her while we were at the old alma mater.

Usually I let M do all the baking - she's great at it, usually enjoys it, and I reap the full rewards of that combination. So this comes from one of M's cookbooks: The Cake Mix Doctor Returns, by Anne Byrn. It looks, if I may say so, scrummy. I have very high hopes that Katie is going to make these to bring into work one day soon!

Another fabulous place to go for baking recipes is my sister Kari's baking blog, The Virtual Goody Plate. There's even a section just for strawberries!

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Requested Recipes: Parsnips

Emily requested Parsnips - like Leeks, we always have a ton of these from our weekly veg box in the winter unless I turn them off in my preferences. Thus, it pays to have a lot of parsnip recipes while living in the UK. Likewise, all my recipe sources for these are British cookbooks.

Bacon and Eggs with Parsnip is from the Abel & Cole Cookbook, published by the same people who bring us our parsnip-laden boxes
The Roasted Parsnip recipe is from Betty's Cafe in Harrogate; published in A Year of Family Recipes, by Lesley Wild
Root and Cheese Soup is from Tender, Volume I by Nigel Slater - he has a whole chapter on parsnips actually!
and the Parsnip Cake is from Jane Grigson's English Food (even though it's adapted from an American carrot cake recipe).

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Requested Recipes: Pistachios

Rich requested Pistachios: "Not that I have any right now, but I will after I find an amazing recipe. Pistachios ftw!"

I love pistachios too. Remember to buy Preshelled for cooking! I made that mistake once. You can find them at Trader Joe's.

I originally thought of a pilaf I've made that has pistachios in, but the recipe turns out to be for a lamb pilaf, so that was not very Rich-friendly. Instead you ended up with a trio of desserts - I didn't think you'd mind that too much.

The crumble is from Tender, Vol II by Nigel Slater, the Phyllo is from the Joy of Cooking, and the ice cream is from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, by Padma Lakshmi.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Requested Recipes: Canned Chicken in Broth

Mark writes: "Dave, I have about four cans of canned chicken in broth that my mother gave me when she worked at the church cannery. I'm scared to death to open them. What can I possibly do with them besides donate them to homeless shelters, which they may find offensive? =o)"

I see your dilemma, Mark. There aren't a lot of recipes that call directly for "Canned Chicken in Broth from the Church Cannery" and let's face it, we wouldn't trust them if there were. So a bit of adaptation is called for. If I were going to use chicken already in broth I would sub it into this Pozole recipe from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook. Let me know how that works out for you.

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Requested Recipes: Szechuan Peppercorns

Dan said "How about Szechuan peppercorns? We have a huge bag that I don't think we could ever completely consume."

I, too, have a large bag of Sichaun Peppercorns from Penzey's spices, far too many to use a teaspoon at a time. Still, the only recipes I have only call for a tiny bit of this (until recently illegal in the USA) spice.

The Guinea Fowl is from Tender, Vol II by Nigel Slater, and the Poached Chicken is from the Spice Bible, by Jane Lawson.

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Requested Recipes: Leeks

Steph said "I think I want a good recipe that has leeks in it. Haven't made them in awhile."

I'm always on the lookout for good recipes for leeks too - we always get loads of them in our weekly veg box in the winter.

The Braised Leeks is from Classical Turkish Cooking by Ayla Aglar - I have actually made this and found it pretty pleasant.

The Leeks and Mushrooms is from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, by Jose Andres.

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Requested Recipes: Strip Steak

Andrew said "I'll start you off easy...I have strip steaks that I want to have a tasty marinade, I don't know if you need an ingrediant there or not, but the main dish is strip steak....10 ounce I believe (4 of em)."

To which I say I'm including two recipes; one for strip steaks and the other with a marinade. I'm sure the marinade would be just as good on strip steaks as on sirloin, just as I'm sure the roasted garlic butter would be good on ... everything.

Both are from Weber's Big Book of Grilling.

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Requested Recipes: Coconut

Requested by Amanda.

Coconut Pancakes from Thai: The Essence of Asian Cooking, by Judy Bastyra

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Requested Recipes: Ube (Purple Yams)

Requested by Kelsey.

That is indeed a tricky one. None of my recipes seem to feature specifically Ube, so you get one of the few recipes I have that calls for true yams at all. It's from The Joy of Cooking.

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Requested Recipes: Ground Fennel

Requested by Maren

Monday, December 06, 2010

I learned a new word.

So, while I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago, I picked a couple of the excellent Getty Imagery Guide books - Angels and Demons in Art (_not_ about the Dan Brown book), and Old Testament Figures in Art. Both extremely cool, fun to look through, and fascinating to me even though I've never been much of an artophile (whatever, that's totally a word now). Both guides are so excellent that I'm adding some other interesting ones from the same series onto my Amazon wishlist.

But! In the Angels & Demons guide, in the section about Charon, I learned a new word! An esoteric, rare word used to describe only a very particular thing, but a very interesting thing. This, for me, is the best kind of word. One that will set my heart to beating if I ever encounter it in print again, one that I will keep hidden in a side pocket in case I should ever chance to have a legitimate (ie not manufactured) opportunity to use it.

An obolus is a specific Greek coin, but it also means the coin put into a corpse's mouth during burial in order that they might pay Charon the passage across the river Styx. Obolus. I like it.