Sunday, July 12, 2020

fudge babies

I can always count on Elana's Pantry to provide me with good and easy recipes with ingredients I usually already have. These fudge babies were outstanding and so simple to make.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup dates with pits removed
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 sea salt
Do this: 

Throw it all into a food processor until it becomes a paste and then roll into balls. That's it! 

They taste dark, rich, and almost alcoholic. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

my egyptian friend sally's chicken, mahshi, and molokhia

I had to go looking for these treasured photos and finally found them in our July 2017 folder! All that time I had been wanting to blog about my Egyptian friend Sally's absolutely delicious chicken, mahshi (rice-stuffed vegetables), and molokhia dip for bread made with moroheiya (mallow leaf, which is amazingly grown in Egypt and Japan both). It was a fabulous meal, but what is more, they are fabulous friends and we really miss them now that they have moved back to Egypt. 

Sally generously made a feast for all of us that day! 

I still have my notes that I took, but it's been three years so I hope I got it all down correctly.

Take out the innards from a whole chicken, wash the chicken with water, then pat it down with flour, salt, and vinegar. Boil the chicken in water with two onions (one chopped, one halved) and two carrots (peeled and cut in big chunks), salt, black pepper, garlic, and 5 bay leaves. Boil about an hour, until you stick the chicken with a fork and no juices come out of the chicken. 

Rinse 3 cups of rice. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan, then fry with 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon white sugar, then add in the rice with black pepper, coriander powder, and Magic Garlic Salt. 

Wash and take all the leaves off the stems of the moroheiya. Set aside.

Add 1 can of tomato sauce to the rice and stir. Turn off the heat and add fresh chopped and washed chervil and coriander leaves. 

Prepare your vegetables for the mahshi: two big tomatoes, 3 eggplant, 8 small Japanese green peppers (piman). Cut tops off the piman but leave a bottom on each, cut eggplant in half and hollow out. Stuff the piman and eggplant 7/8 of the way up with rice mixture. Stand up in the rice cooker. Take the 2 firm tomatoes and scoop out the inside over the piman and eggplant in rice cooker. Stuff the tomatoes 3/4 up with the rice mixture and then put the tops back on. Put the two stuff tomatoes on top of the piman and eggplant. Add about 10 ladles of chicken stock from the pot that you cooked the chicken in. Set on normal rice cooker setting.

Put the moroheiya in the food processor and pulse till very finely chopped. 

Take the chicken out of the pot and drain. Put on a plate. Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock to a small pot and add the moroheiya, salt if needed, and whisk over very low heat. Whisk in two minced cloves of garlic and then take off the heat. 

Save the rest of the soup stock for other things.

Add 2 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a small frying pan. Add in about 6 or 7 minced cloves of garlic and cook until dark yellow, but not brown. 

Add crushed (but still chunky) dried coriander in with the garlic then add to the moroheiya. Whisk again over low heat. 

After the chicken has cooled a bit, cut it into chunks and remove the skin. Rub with ketchup, sprinkle with lemon pepper, put the chicken pieces in an oven-safe pan, and cook at 200 C for about 15 minutes. Then grill/brown the top for 10 minutes. 

Serve the chicken on a platter, the stuffed vegetables on a plate, and the moroheiya dip in individual bowls for dipping bread slices. 

I'm warning you--it's absolutely delicious. And writing all this up has really made me miss Sally. Sally, friend, thank you for your generous heart and your warm friendship. 

sirniki: russian cottage-cheese pancakes

One of our sons did a project for his geography class, and he included a recipe for these Russian cottage-cheese pancakes called sirniki. He and his brother made them together, and they were so good that they wanted to make them again the other day for a second time. They served them with butter and jam.

You'll need:

  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 g butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • jam and/or sour cream
Do this:

Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, salt, and flour (the boys used an electric mixer), then drizzle in the butter and mix again. Stir in the raisins, heat up a frying pan, toss on a pat of butter, roll each pancake into a ball and roll in flour, then fry and smash down with a spatula as you go. Serve with sour cream and/or jam, or butter and jam.

Dad's evaluation: "Very delicious! The contrast between the sweetness and the saltiness of the cottage cheese was great!"

Eleven-year-old brother (he just recently turned twelve): "Very addictive."