recipes at random

Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him ramen noodles, and you don’t have to teach him anything. - Lawrence Downes

Monday, January 29, 2007



This recipe is from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. As long as you keep the ratio of liquid to grains pretty constant, you can mess with the nuts, spices, and fruit, and overall it's not particularly sweet or oily. My last batch had a teaspoon of powdered ginger in addition to the cinnamon, and it was pretty tasty - an excellent topping for vanilla ice cream, by the way. Mark Bittman points out that the longer you cook granola, the browner and crunchier it gets, so keep your preferences in mind while baking.

6 cups flaked or rolled grains
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup safflower or canola oil
3/4 cup honey, golden syrup, or maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Toss the dry ingredients, but not the dried fruit, together, then add the oil and sweetener and toss again to mix them thoroughly. Spread the mixture on two sheet pans and bake until golden, turning every 10 minutes so that it browns evenly. When done, after about 30 minutes, add the fruit and let cool. As the granola cools, it will lose its stickness and become crunchy. Store in a tightly covered jar.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Sesame-semolina bread

I combined the famous No-Knead Bread with the idea of the sesame-semolina bread I used to get at the former Wellspring Grocery in Chapel Hill, NC. And you know what? It's the best no-knead bread I've made yet.

It's very simple. I just used one cup of semolina flour with two cups of unbleached bread flour, and added 1 1/2 cups of water. Then I substituted sesame seeds for the flour or bran on the towel: lots of seeds on the bottom of the dishtowel, and then a generous sprinkling on top of the dough. I have taken to wrapping the whole dough loosely in a dish towel and putting it on a dinner plate; with 1 1/2 cups of water, the dough isn't too wet and sticky, and comes off the towel readily - I think the sesame seeds actually helped with this.

The bread is moist, holey, light, tasty (though a little bit salty through my own error), and a lovely ever-so-pale-yellow color with a tender, slightly crisp crust. The sesame seeds adhered well.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007



Here you go, Andrés... It does have rather a lot of weird ingredients in it; the only one that's in a small amount is that Marsala wine, though I imagine it's sweet enough that it'll keep for a while.


3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings (not unsweetened; made with a vegetable peeler) or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.

Stir together coffee and Marsala in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate.

Cooks' notes:
• The eggs in this recipe are not cooked, which may be of concern if there is a problem with salmonella in your area.
• Tiramisu can be chilled up to 1 day.

Makes 4 to 6 generous servings.

March 2003


Roasted eggplant with tahini

This recipe was easy and delicious. I think I used full-fat yogurt, but it probably matters little, and though I didn't measure it I'm sure I used less than half a cup of olive oil. I served it with some Israeli salad (simply chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, with a little olive oil and black pepper), a few falafel from a mix (by Nirav - very tasty), mixed olives, and whole-wheat pita sections toasted with za'atar: the perfect Israeli supper. (I did find a photo of eggplant with tahini on the web, but it looked rather gloppy... yours will be prettier, I promise, especially with the pine nuts.)

2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees F.

2. Remove the stems from the eggplants. Quarter each one lengthwise. Cut the pieces into thirds to make shorter lengths.

3. In a roasting dish, toss the eggplant with all but 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, pepper, and cardamom. Roast for 45 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and toasted.

4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt, tahini, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and all but 1/4 teaspoon of the thyme leaves.

5. Transfer the warm eggplant to the dressing and toss gently until lightly coated. Spoon onto a serving plate and scatter with the toasted pine nuts and the reserved 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves. Adapted from "The Kitchen Diaries, A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater" (via the Boston Globe).


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