slow food is a movement sweeping the nation that I personally love, I have always made an effort to keep it real. two nights ago I came home from COACHELLA music fest in palm springs. I barely had anything in the fridge, but since it was only a week, I had the basics; garlic,onion, a few lemons, box a cherry tomatos in the fridge. Freezer contained the usual popsicles, premium vodka and a couple of kosher rock hens I keep on hand for easy access.

My sis Melanie makes all her own baby food! Kudos… check out how easy it is. and how could you want to feed anything else to this (or your) little cutie??

Does your dad cook? Damn, mine sure does. He can make anything from the tastiest chopped salads to butter chicken, to israeli bourekkas and anything in between. My whole family cooks really, and we love to do it together. check out these pics, this fish is SO easy, I dont really need to write a recipe about it. You can make it with the flavors you want, and the fish you want (Chicken or shrimp would work well too) using a wok or pot, a bamboo steamer and an appetite.

for this variation: 1 whole fish (bass, striped bass, red snapper, anything that fits really) a handfull of green onions (whole), black bean paste and fresh corriander. Boil water in wok (make sure the bamboo doesnt touch the water when you place it over to steam your fish). Cook for about 20 minutes or so. Dont open it too much coz you’ll let out the steam 🙂

I really love to make the classics I watched my meme and parents prepare growing up. Taking the time to do the details are always worth it – things like roasting your own eggplant (the easiest thing to do in the world) to blanching tomatoes and roasting garlic before using it. Traditional recipes change from generation to generation, I see this in my family’s recipes from one house to the other. I think its a lot of fun to bring your personal stamp to a dish but if you love tradition & cooking, be sure to ask your elders what they enjoy or enjoyed cooking, and try to keep their legacy alive. honor their recipes by making them as close to the originals as possible, chances are you’ll enjoy and appreciate the simplicity. If you’re lucky the recipe will come with a story & nostalgia that you’ll taste in every bite will be worth the trouble, I know it is for me 🙂

shexy snackin’

April 13, 2009

an inviting apero

an inviting apero

who says we cant create fancy treats at home (that don’t cost) restaurant prices yet have the same lustrous appeal?

go down to your local fish stores and ask about their caviar choices. You’d be surprised to find that it doesn’t have to cost 100$ per gram to enjoy that little popping sensation. I’ve tested out a few and its really a personal preference as to what you prefer on the fishy scale, so go ahead and sample em up. make it a fun mini party over wine with friends. If you have the budget, get the good stuff!

Grab an original serving dish (look around your city for cool spots to buy in expensive and original serving dishes & things you can use to create serving platters with (i.e. slab of bamboo from china town) Then get your favorite organic multi grain bread, toasted if you like (which I do) and brush it with a little olive oil. drape your favorite smoked Salmon on each slice and cut on the diagonal to make triangles. (looks pwetty!) take the time to prop them up and add some fresh pepper. a dollop of the caviar and one of your fave cream cheese (or creme fraiche) mixed with chopped fresh chives on the side & a lemon wedge to garnish.

mmmmmmmmmmeat a ballsa

April 11, 2009

aiight, recipe #2. Veal boulettes with mushrooms and zucchini, lemon rosemary salt.

((I make lemon rosemary salt in a pestle & mortar by grinding up a handful of kosher salt (or any coarse salt) with two or three twigs of fresh rosemary and the rind of one lemon. once its all completely mashed up, spread it on a baking sheet and dry it out in the oven for a half hour at 250. basically get all that moisture out but dont cook it…its soo good! you can sprinkle it on potatoes or fries too. This makes more than enough for this recipe and more, and it keeps like regular salt. for the texture of it, I like to leave it as is but if you prefer, you can buzz it up in a grinder. (if you’re in a rush, feel free to just add salt and finely chopped rosemary to the boulette mixture below))

for the sauce:

3-4 zucchini’s, sliced in big rounds

10-15 mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, sliced or chopped, whatever you prefer

garlic cloves, minced- again as much as u like

vegetable or veal stock, or water of coarse

for the meat balls-

1 pound of lean veal mince

1 onion, minced

rind of half a lemon

1 egg

1 potato, grated

2 garlic cloves

chopped parsley & coriander

paprika & cumin (a pinch of each)

**I like to add cayenne pepper to mine coz I like it hot

mix it all up and make ya meatbawls, then brown them in a pan on all sides..the potato grated in this variation really adds a layer to the boulette when its browned, which is why we do it. woohoo

remove from pan and add a bit of olive oil (there should be no residual fat in the pan seeing as its lean meat and you’re using and a non stick with a light oil spray, but in the event there’s excess, just remove it)

fry up the onions and mushrooms, add a minced garlic clove or two after a few minutes (so it doesnt burn) then add large rounds of zucchini and continue to saute for a bit. ( you want the veg to half cook only) salt and pepper to taste

when you’re satisfied with the golden colour, de-glaze gently with a d ladle full of your stock. Once you’ve stirred gently and picked up all the yummy bits at the bottom of the pan, Switch to a pot that can hold both the veg and booo-lettes and add about a litre of your stock, or just enough to barely cover the both, not makin soup so shake the pot a bit to make sure everything sinks a bit and you’re not overadding liquid. cook on med-low for about 45 minutes, careful not to cook it too high or stir too aggresively..you’ll stress the boulettes.

serve ohhh so many ways, with rice, with pasta, with veg, with toast, in a bread bowl, with a salad…you get the idea!

a baguette for lunch is defiantly a good leftover story…a little Dijon…lettuce…yum.

Peace of cake ;)

April 10, 2009

It is to cool to make peace, and a peace…of cake, to make a peace cake! say that three times. My sis Mel gave this one to me as a gift, so I made a passover friendly cake it in the other night, which didnt turn out so bad! specially after I slathered it in vanilla icing and sprinkled chocolate shavings over it. oh yah, and caramel chips. yummm.

Silicon cake moulds are awesome.

Ahhh the meat ball. I decided to start this food blog with an old-school recipe (da meat bawl) because I like to revisit and reinvent it on a regular basis. Boulettes, known for their tenderness and saucy qualities, are misunderstood. They are banished to living a life as bolognese pasta toppers, very few eat them as an appetizer or a side, and of coarse most of you’re granny’s out there must have a killer recipe (of 5 ingredients at most) that have left you thinking of a meat ball on a bed of under seasoned peas. I’ve gotta say my mom does make great fish balls. she likes these so we’re cool. I think you’ll enjoy them too.

Today I made two new twists on the classic, one using fresh TILAPIA and the other using lean veal mince. Both recipes are super easy and VERY healthy, but most importantly, insanely delicious. served with some fresh grilled country bread, (*or a side of salad or veg, like I do, coz i don’t usually mix my carbs & proteins) these are sure to wow your family or your friends. Oh, and they are a great way to fashionably & tastefully keep food cost down , recession cooking baby, no need to save flavor, just money!!

take a look:

Recipe #1: Tender Tilapia boulettes with Fresh tarragon in a tomato Jus.

RECIPE:

1 pound of fresh tilapia fillets, minced

1 egg

2 onions, minced (keep onions separate, one for in the fish mix, the other for the sauce)

2 green onions, chopped

1 table spoon of minced ginger

1 pinch of fresh parsley, chopped

fresh tarragon, chopped (essentially, as much or as little as you want, but I like to feature it in this dish)

1 litre of fresh tomato juice, strained (or your handy tomato sauce with fish or vegetable stock <or water> to thin out)

3 cloves of garlic

a handfull of panko japanese bread crumbs

2 table spoons of olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh tarragon (use sparingly, its delicious but potent) and voila!

Bon Appetit!

P.s. You can adjust the size of your boulettes, I like them relatively small, I like the size that fits perfectly in the palm of my hand when rolling them.. if you preffer bigger ones then just keep in mind they cook slower, in which case I’d use a pot rather than a deep pan. This would help distribute the heat more evenly to cook your big fsh balls. HA!

variations/cheats:

  1. ask you fish monger to mince the fish for you
  2. use a different fish, and season to your tastes with different herbs and ingredients
  3. think outside the boulette and remember the big picture is marrying the right flavors and textures to get a fluffy, moist ‘ball’ . your wet ingredients (onions etc) and your dry ones (panko or regular breadcrumb, or matza meal for that matter) are the ying and yang to balance with the meat or fish of your choice and joined by the egg. the possibilities are endless! just dont choose fish that falls apart easily, like sole.
  4. make the boulettes teeny and serve as a cocktail tapas
  5. use a thicker poaching sauce & add vegetables (see next recipe for veal boulettes) and serve with wild rice and salad for a complete meal