Monthly Archives: March 2017

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.

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This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.

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It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.IMG_5841

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime

1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
Salt
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.

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Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

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To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.

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Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.

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Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.

Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.

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Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!

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Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Maple Peanut Butter Challah

Now THIS was a really different challah! It was rich in texture and loaded with peanut butter flavor! It really cried out to be toasted and topped with jelly or preserves. First a banana rum preserve,

then a simple strawberry.

And look at the beautiful color of the loaf!

Not a challah to have with a meal, but a challah to have AS a meal!  I really wanted to make french toast with it – that would have been superb – but it did not last long enough. I take that as a good sign.

Maple Peanut Butter Challah

adapted from Peanut Butter & Company

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup maple peanut butter
2 large eggs + 1 egg for the egg wash (from Farmer Kim)
2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 6 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, teaspoon of sugar, and cup of lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.

Transfer to the base of your mixer with the dough hook attached and add the maple syrup, peanut butter, and 2 eggs. Whisk together until completely smooth, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it starts to come together and pull away from the sides. You may not need all the flour. Let the dough hook knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth, elastic, and not too sticky to the touch.

Grease a large, clean bowl with the oil and place the ball of dough in it, turning once to coat on all sides.Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and punch down the dough gently. Cover again and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball. Shape and braid as you like. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise a final time for 30 minutes.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375°F. Beat the last egg and use a pastry brush to lightly brush over the loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is glossy and golden brown.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf.

 

Categories: Bread, Kosher, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu

During my Levy Court campaign, pretty much the only type of cooking I did was in the crock pot – slow cooking.  The only free time I had was at the very beginning of the day, and that only for about 15 minutes. So, that meant it needed to be recipes with very little preparation before going into the crock pot.

This beef ragu was a great meal that, served with pasta, provided us with hearty meals for several days.

I was able to pick up some locally raised beef (flank steaks) at the butcher. Yes, we are lucky to have a butcher near our home.

And look at the colors (and flavors) that went into the sauce. The herbs all came from my garden.

Slow-cooker Beef Ragu

from PinchofYum.com

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 garlic cloves, smashed slightly

1½ pounds flank steak, cut against the grain into 4 pieces (locally raised)

salt and pepper

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup reduced sodium beef broth

1 carrot, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme (from the garden)

16 ounces pappardelle pasta

Parmesan and parsley for topping

Directions

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Pour the tomatoes and broth over the beef and add the garlic from step one, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Discard the herbs and shred the beef in the pot using 2 forks.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and add the sauce from the slow cooker. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the pasta and sauce are combined, about 1 minute.

Divide among 8 bowls and top each with Parmesan, ricotta, and parsley. Serve hot!…Yum!

Serves 8.

Categories: Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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