Friday, March 17, 2017

Fred instapotalizes his Lentil Soup


SO Fred called from Chicago to say he would arrivee March 13th!*  Really?  Yayy!
But how come??? 
Because we're married.. Because I'm your husband,,,  
Right. But was he secretly wanting to see the Instant Pot?
* However, due to weather,  he didn't arrive till late on the 14th.

Here's How to Make the Soup:
IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN INSTANT POT -or Pressure Cooker :(
just put it all in a large pot and simmer, covered, for about an hour.

Take out the Insant Pot BOWL.
PREHEAT the Instant Pot by putting it on Saute.

Add this to the BOWL:

1 cup legumes:  mostly lentils, but some yellow split peas or red lentils are nice.
                 Mather only had green and red.
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, unpeeled, chopped
1 can tomato sauce (sm)
2 fronds Swiss chard, chopped 
6 cups boiling water (just to help the pot heat up more quickly)
1 TB or +  Paprika
1 TB dried Basil
2+ TB dried Marjoram
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt-- to taste; probably at least 1 tsp
Juice of one lime
If you're not vegetarian--
Add 1/2 package of smoked turkey sausage, diced into small bits. (Butterball brand comes 2 sausages to a package, so use one; Ekrich is a sausage loop, cut it in half.)

TURN OFF the instant Pot
Put the Bowl back in
Set the Release gizmo to SEAL
Cover and lock the LID
TURN to MANUAL: 12 minutes

At 12 minutes  QUICK RELEASE, taste for salt, and eat.
                   OR let it release on its own.  No problem. it's soup, after all.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

PURIM! March 11 2017 14th of Adar, 5777

Hamantaschen, just like in Kishenev.
Mohn, Cherry-date, walnut-pecan-pistachio, raspberry, and, yes, fudge.
Iced by the boys, signed by Naveed ,and there you have it -
 Plenty to eat and plenty to give as Misholah Monas gifts (aka Purim Mitzva #3]

Misholah Monas for Flossie

"The  FAVORITE FILLING" REPORT:  you will need about 1.5 cups of filling, max, per recipe.
(max 2 favorites per customer.)

HONEY NUT .Rumeli and Mikej's Favorite
CHOCOLATE  from a fudge brownie mix.  Selim & Naveed's favorite
THICK RAPBERRY JAM Carel's favorite
MOHN  Mikej's ,and Carel's fave in general,  but whenever I make it, it tastes "stale".  
Maybe I'll resort to a can next year..
The best hamantaschen, hands-down, are these  from Dawn Perry, whoever she is :)  (though I should revisit Ronnie P's "Jews Are Best Hamantaschen" recipe from the 1970s.)  
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3½"-diameter cookie cutter {I used a mason j  ar lid.)
  • Whisk baking powder, salt, and 4 cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and form into two ¾"-thick disks. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 30 minutes.
  • Roll out dough on a very lightly floured surface to about ¼" thick, dusting with flour as needed (use as little flour as possible). Cut out 3 1/2" rounds with cutter and, using an offset spatula or bench scraper, transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather up scraps, reroll, and cut out additional rounds.
  • Lightly beat remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Working a few at a time, brush edge of rounds with egg, then place 1 1/2 tsp. filling in center. Fold sides up to make a triangle, pinching points gently to seal and leaving about 1" surface of filling exposed.
  • FOLD first, then  PINCH
  • Brush sides of folded dough with egg. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until bottoms are golden brown, 18–22 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
Do ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled. Cookies can be made 2 days ahead; let cool and store.  Or longer if you just happen to have a VacuVita  :)

DINNER was take out Pizza aka Purim Mitzva #4: eating a festive meal 
followed by a  
MEGILLA READING aka Purim Mitzva #1, which must include Greggoring out Haman's name
followed by some 
Rabbi Kermit the Frog 
and also by [ex-] Queen Vashti

       aka Felicia Sloin 

The Purim "players:"
"The Over-NIghter" 
with Challah FrenchToast in Bed..

"The Artist"
[see signed work, above]

"The TeenAger" 
in TeenAger pose

The Purim Queens
Alanya planning Pesach,
Rumeli finishing the work left by the escaped boys

and, "lest we forget:"
Traditional Purim Song, Composer Unknown
via the WWG (World Wide Genizah) of  the Kalashnikover Rebbe,
 who also provides the "Hallachic" commentary below.

                                     Oh once there was a wicked wicked man,
                                    And Haman was his name, Sir.
                                    He would have murdered all the Jews,
                                    Tho they were not to blame, Sir.

                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    And nosh some hamentashen.

                                    And Esther was the lovely queen of King Ahashveyrosh
                                    When Haman said he'd kill us all,
                                    Oh my how he did scare us.


                                    But Mordechai her cousin bold
                                    Said: "What a dreadful chutzpah
                                    If guns were but invented now,
                                    This Haman I would shoot, Sir."


The Kalashnikover Rebbe: There is a machloichis (disagreement) whether or not this verse (*) really belongs in the girsa (version). A vast majority of posqim (Jewish legal authorities) leave it out.

                                    *When Esther speaking to the King
                                    Of Haman's plot made mention
                                    "Ha, ha," said he, "Oh, no he won't!
                                    I'll spoil his bad intention."*


                                    The guest of honor he shall be,
                                    This clever Mr. Smarty
                                    And high above us he shall swing
                                    At a little hanging party.


                                    Of all his cruel and unkind ways
                                    This little joke did cure him
                                    And don't forget we owe him thanks
                                    For this jolly feast of Purim.

                                    From the sublime to the ridiculous.  Or was that  vv?

Got this far?  Still wondering about Purim Mitzva #2?  It is giving gifts to the poor.
My offering = Oakland homeless shelter.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Instant Pot Alert! March 8, 2017

Warning:  this posted by a New Convert

The occassion: Jamie and Alanya came by to do a basement-contents reconnaissance (as if they don't know the basement's contents by heart), in search of textiles to use at Jamie and Forrest's upcoming wedding.  --Something to give character to the hay bales on the hill, as if that weren't character enough.   As an excuse to not go down to the basement myself, I offered dinner.  Plus, it was a chance to try out my new Instant Pot, purchased in the flush of Alanya's enthusiasm.

 The table
set with three Glassie Babies, awaiting their emergence from the basement

I used the pressure cooker function for Sweet potato, turnip, & carrot Tagine,and the slow cooker function for Sütlaç.and in between was slaw with Orange Miso Dressing, decorated with eggplant boreks (see last post) and Quinoa Skillet Bread as introduced by Fred's niece, Christa.

Alanya sat opposite Jamie, who is Blog-shy.

The Sweet potato, turnip, & carrot Tagine is about as simple as it gets.  And so good.  worth making again or experimenting with.
      I used one of the turnips, none of the butternut squash, and more carrots than you see.

The cooking time is 3 minutes, but bringing the pot to pressure might take another 3-4. Impatient ones can speed things up by "preheating" by hitting "saute" for a few minutes while finishing the prep work .  You could even microwave the OJ and water..  But when you are really ready, turn the pot to off so so you can re-program after adding the following to the pot:
 Before and After

2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
2 cups carrots, not peeled because the peeler was broken
1 cup, peeled, diced turnip (one was enough) [parsnips might be good]
1.5 tsp “lightly dried” ginger or 1 tsp fresh grated
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup water

Place everything in the instant pot.  Cover and bring to pressure for 3-4 minutes (3 was fine, as the vegetables were in smallish dice.) Use quick release.  Stir and serve

Adapted from “Root Veggie Tagine”in Vegan Pressure Cooking: Delicious Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes by JL Fields

very adapted from
 Thank you, Jean, for the juicer.  I use it all the time.  
(I bet you don't even remember getting it for Mather).
This had a fresh tasting deliciousness, although over-powered by the cruciferous (but, as far as I know, not Christian) slaw. For that, it needed cream or mayo.  And worth a re-try.  However, for spinach.... it could be lovely.  I'll make this again.

Orange Miso Salad Dressing
Blend in a mini processor, or whatever you have:

  Grated rind of the orange

  ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  Grated rind of the lime
  2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1 small garlic clove, pressed
  2 Tb mellow/light miso 
      (I used garbanzo Miso.. especially mild and lovely)
  ½  teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  ¼ cup olive oil
  ground black pepper

Quinoa Skillet Bread A corn bread that tastes healthy till you get the hint of custard and remember pouring in the cream.  This is just plain fabulous.
as introduced by Fred's niece, Christa.from 101 Cookbooks.  

I lined my springform pan because it leaks..
If possible, weigh rather than measure for this recipe.

butter to grease pan, about 1 tablespoon

1 cup {pre sifted) or / 4 oz / 115g whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup / 4 oz / 115 g yellow cornmeal (coarse) (I used polenta)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional) Like Christa, I used herbs de Provence

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups / 7 oz / 200 g cooked quinoa, room temperature*

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted and cooled a bit

3 tablespoons sugar (or brown sugar) (I used white)

3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups / 475 ml milk (whole is best)
1 1/2 tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 cup / 240 ml heavy cream :)

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C degrees and place a rack in the top third. Butter a 10-inch oven-proof skillet (or equivalent such as a 9x9 inch glass baking dish. I lined a leaky 9” spring form pan.)

Roughly ten minutes before you are ready to bake the skillet bread, while you are mixing the batter, place the skillet in the hot oven.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and dried herbs.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, quinoa, and melted butter until well-blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and stir again. 

Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the batter comes together. It will seem very thin, don't worry.

Pour the batter into the heated skillet. Pour the heavy cream into the center of the batter. Have faith, and do not stir. Carefully place in the oven and check after 45 minutes, the skillet bread is done when the top becomes lightly browned and the center just set

Somewhere between 45-60 minutes typically. You can serve this warm or at room temperature, sliced in a grid, sprinkled with a touch more salt (if needed).  YES, it needed more salt.

Sütlaç   -experimenting with the Instant Pot's slow cooker.
It was good... but mainly, it showed promise.  Stay tuned

5 cups low fat milk
1/2 cup jasmine rice
cook on HIGH for 4 hours. 
stir occassionally
 Add 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tb cornstarch thinned with water.  Stir and cook another half hour.  Mixture thickens in the frig.
stir in 
1 t vanilla (I forgot this part)
pour into ramekins, sprinkle with cinnamon.

whole milk, rice flour to thicken (mixed with some cream).