February 26, 2012
I made a whole mess of black-eyed peas and had plenty of leftovers. And to me, black eyed peas are already so creamy, that they almost just beg to be made into a hummus. With only four ingredients, aside from the aforementioned peas and saltpepperoliveoil, it’s a snap to fix.
And I have to say, this batch came out even more velvety than I could imagine. I think it was the generous use of tahini along with an already willing bean.
It was all gobbled up in no time flat.
Black-eyed Pea Hummus
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
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February 24, 2012
This is truly and honestly my most favorite soup of all time. It is creamy and comforting, spicy and flavorful. It is African-influenced. It is at once modern and familiar. And while you’ll need a handful of spices (have you been building your spice cabinet?), the technique is simple and fairly quick.
I first came across this soup years and years ago when I lived in New Jersey. Montclair, with its “winter views” of Manhattan, had an outpost of what was, for a brief shining moment, a wonderful little soup shop. Initially, it was really great. But then, the original owners dropped out after making a cookbook, someone else took over. You know the story. This shop was in a teeny what-used-to-probably-be-a-closet-for-maintenance-equipment underneath railroad tracks.
But this soup. The combination of leeks and curry and peanuts and spice and goodness, well, it was worth it what I seem to recall being like nine bucks a bowl.
Here’s my take on all the warm toasty soup goodness with none of the pesky cost. Enjoy it when it’s chilly and you want to skip the meat for a night or four. This makes plenty.
Spicy Senegalese Peanut Soup, makes a whole bunch (inspired by a recipe in The Daily Soup Cookbook)
1 12 oz bag of roasted, salted peanuts (this is the size of a bag from Whole Foods)
2 T vegetable oil, (or preferably peanut oil)
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February 19, 2012
I have a new pastry crush.
It’s on Michelle from Pâtisserie Lallier. She is a French-taught (Le Cordon Bleu, natch) pastry chef that has an almost mystical way about guimauves (that’s marshmallows to you and me). Her Crème de Violette ones are particularly swoon-worthy. The chocolate ones already have a loyal following.
And wouldn’t you know, she is lovely in every way else, too. I met her recently when she and I judged at Taste of OSU, and after that I just seemed to keep bumping into her. She is bright, kind and amazingly hard-working (she’s a full-time banker) all the while making marshmallows and pâtisseries and all manner of laminated doughs practically in the middle of the night for her Pâtisserie. She also has a penchant for local ingredients, even making pawpaw Madelines each September. She’s a girl after my heart.
She is debating a jump to full-time Pâtisserie work because it’s what’s in her heart and
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February 16, 2012
In Georgian cooking, Khmeli Suneli is a spice mix that can be used as a dry rub or as an enhancement to soups and stews. It is essentially a curry, since it’s just a mix of spices. You can choose to use all dried ingredients, or include some fresh, if you have it or it’s in season.
I used this in a mixed braise with lamb and short ribs (expect a post about that soon). But it would also be great mixed with some olive oil and bread crumbs as an herb crust on chicken or fish. Or sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon once you’ve sweated down some onions as a base for soup.
It’s fragrant, beautiful stuff, with forgiving measurements.
Persephone’s Khmeli Suneli
Mix equal parts dried of (I used a tablespoon each):
Whole fenugreek seeds
Bay leaf (I used 2 huge ones)
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