As soon as Passover is over, I get in the mood for trying new recipes, ingredients, and of course sweets; but mainly things for family and friends. I think you will like this selection.
Mose’s Moroccan Stew
Renowned jazzman Mose Alison’s vegetarian recipe is a family favorite that is based on the vegetables of his Delta youth. Great for the abundance of fresh produce available all around us too. From “Eat Drink Delta: Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South” by Susan Puckett (University of Georgia Press). This book (part travel guide and cookbook, part photo essays) is devoted entirely to the foodways of Mississippi’s Delta. The area provides a window to the region’s culture and history (from slavery to civil rights), and is a confounding culinary region where stuffed grape leaves are paired with barbecue, and your can find everything from tamales to fried green tomatoes, and kibbeh to lemon ice box pie.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups coarsely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup sliced carrots
4 cups cubed sweet potatoes
3 cups cubed eggplant
1 cup thin bell pepper strips
4 cups sliced zucchini or summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 cups freshly cooked or canned garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
pinch of saffron
3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, or 1/ 2 cup raisins
1/2 cup tomato juice, reserved bean liquid, wine, or chicken stock plus more as needed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a stew pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, stirring, until they begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne and paprika, stirring continuously. In this order so that the starchier vegetables can cook the longest, add the carrots, potatoes, eggplant, pepper, squash and tomatoes. Stirring, let each addition cook until it begins to soften before adding the next vegetable. Stir in the garbanzo beans, saffron, dried cherries and tomato juice or other liquid. If the stew is dry, add more liquid. Cover and simmer on low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chopped parsley just before serving warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Peanut Butter Waffles
A welcome addition to your culinary repertoire, a must have cookbook is “Waffles: Sweet, Savory, Simple” by Dawn Yanagihara (Chronicle Books). You will fall in love with your favorite childhood or adult breakfast treat all over again with this collection of mouthwatering recipes, which include a dozen sensational toppings to sprinkle, spread, drizzle and otherwise gild the waffle. Everything from tender Classic Waffles to savory for lunch or dinner to sweet waffles for anytime. Delicately crisp, perfectly golden, and light as air, these waffles will hold a special place in your kitchen repertoire.
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, and cooled slightly
To hold the waffles and serve them all at once, preheat oven to 225°F and set a large wire rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Preheat your waffle iron. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter and eggs. Add the buttermilk and brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk in cooled butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently just until batter is evenly moistened. It’s fine if small lumps remain. Batter will be quite thick.
Pour a generous 1/2 cup of the batter (or manufacturer’s recommended amount) into the center of the waffle iron. Use a rubber spatula to spread batter to about 1/4-inch from the edge. Close the lid and bake the waffle until nicely browned. Serve right away or place on rack on baking sheet and slide into the oven to keep warm. Repeat using remaining batter. Makes 8.
Crab-Hatch Chile Jalapeno Poppers
The jalapenos and crab mixture can be made ahead and stored in separate tightly covered containers in the refrigerator for up to one day. From The Great Pepper Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers by Melissa Produce (Oxmoor House) Blast through the fiery and flavorful and healthful world of peppers, from mild to wicked and everything in between. Pepper will become your new go-to ingredient! Lots of tips, shortcuts, techniques, and a heat guide to guarantee pepper perfection. Lots of wonderful photos too. www.melissas.com A great gift for people who like it with a little to a lot of spice.
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 lb)
1/2 lb lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shell pieces
3 fresh Hatch chile peppers, roasted, peeled, stems and seeds removed, diced (about 1/ 3 cup)
16 large fresh jalapeno chile peppers, halved (about 1 1/ 2 lbs)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil; lightly spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, gently combine cheese, crabmeat, and Hatch chile. Carefully remove seeds and veins from jalapeno chile halves. Spoon crabmeat mixture evenly into jalapeno chile halves. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake until jalepeno chilies just start to get tender and cheese browns, about 7 to 10 minutes. Makes 16 poppers.
In Ina Pinkney’s book Taste Memories: Recipes for Life and Breakfast, I found what looked like the ultimate chocolate recipe: Bloobs. Ina created these as a backlash to the brownie fad of the 1980’s and served them in her Chicago restaurant, until the New York Times wrote about them and she began shipping them all over the country. Unable to keep up production she retired the recipe and never shared it until she wrote this book. They remain her most requested recipe. There are a lot of great recipes in her book, and I am working my way through the book, delighting in every morsel and mouthful of her delightful, easy, recipes.
4 oz. unsalted butter
9 oz. dark (60 percent) chocolate
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2/ 3 cup (3 oz.) flour
1/ 2 teaspoon baking powder
1/ 4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/ 4 cups superfine sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups (12 oz. ) chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups (5 oz.)pecans, coarsely chopped
1 1/ 4 cups (4 oz.) walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper.
Carefully, in a micro-wave safe bowl, or in a double boiler over simmering water, melt together the butter, and chocolates. Stir to make sure everything is melted and let sit at room temperature until absolutely cooled to room temperature.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer fitted with a whip beater, whip eggs until light and lemony on medium/high speed. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until thick and lemony. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, mixing well, then add the vanilla.
Change the whip to the paddle beater and gradually add the flour on low speed. Add the nut mixture and stir in using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, make sure everything on the bottom is combined into the mixture.
Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, pack the mixture in with your hands, pressing down, and scrap off the excess. Drop onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes. My ice cream scoop was about 1 3/4-inches so 15 to 16 minutes should have been fine. If using a 1-inch scoop, bake only for 10 to 13 minutes. The tops should look dry and lighter in color, and may be beginning to crack. If possible using a turner/flipper or metal spatula, lift one and check the bottoms to see if they are browned. Do not let them burn.
If desired, you can freeze the unbaked bloobs and bake them right from the freezer. Makes 24 large bloobs.
Tip: Always check you oven temperature with an oven thermometer, especially when baking.
Tip: Remember eggs can never come near hot or warm ingredients/mixtures or they will curdle. Only disregard this if you are making egg drop soup!!!!
Editor’s Note: Follow Sheilah Kaufman at www.cookingwithsheilah.com.