June 28, 2004

Sabra mothership

Had lunch today w/ RWW at Sabra in Newton Center, on Union St across from the T stop. Vastly superior to the other Sabra branches I've been to. This one has a lunch buffet full of delightfully tangy sour salads. Skip anything with rice in it, because they refrigerate the rice and it gets all hard and dry, but vegetable salads are all winners. Raw spinach w/ a lemony dressing, cooked string beans in tomato, cabbage slaw, cooked greens (possibly escarole), tabbouleh to die for (mostly parsley, as it should be), fattoush with lots of sumac. And some kind of delicious appetizer made of what seemed to be sorrel cooked and wrapped up in pita, then sliced into bitesize bits. And a very nice grilled chicken in some runny, savory sauce, and sauteed chicken livers, and a lovely soft bean soup.

Posted by foodnerd at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

juan canary melons

Found a tasty new melon yesterday -- approximately cantaloupe sized, a bit more oblong, and bright canary yellow. Very sweet whitish flesh. Apparently you should look for ones that are softish on the end and fragrant -- mine was a touch overripe, but it was so juicy and sweet that spleen and I just stuck our faces into the melon slices and gnawed. Yum.

Posted by foodnerd at 10:14 AM | Comments (5)

June 10, 2004

a tale of two slaws

Several years ago, I found a great article in Cook's Illustrated about coleslaw. Their main point was to salt the cabbage and let it sit an hour in a colander first, to wilt it and drain the extra water out, thereby gaining two admirable coleslaw attributes: 1) slaw floppy enough to get into the mouth without incident, and 2) no runny dressing sitting in the bottom of the serving bowl. They had a normal mayo-style recipe, but I got hooked by the sweet-and-sour purple slaw, with carrots, granny smith apple, raisins, celery seeds, and a simple cider vinegar/oil dressing. You drain the cabbage with both salt and sugar, and don't even have to wash off the salt. People love it when I bring it to picnics and cookouts, I think both because it's sweet and because it's just so damn pretty and purple. *I* love it, but it doesn't go with every menu because of the sweetness. So I've been on the lookout for a savory slaw recipe of equal fabulousness, and I think I just found it.

The newest issue of my favorite food-porn mag, Saveur, has an article about Rick Bayless's family, who were barbecue restaurateurs in Oklahoma. Never mind about the dill pickles stuffed with mayo and shredded cheddar (yum), it's the Hickory House Sour Slaw that turned my head. It uses equal parts veg oil and white vinegar, plus raw garlic mashed to a paste with salt, a bit of sugar and black pepper, and the secret weapon: a good dash of dry sherry. The slaw is just green cabbage and chopped parsley, maybe a bit of carrot. You let it sit an hour, to let the dressing do its work. Dang. YUM.

You don't bother salting the slaw ahead, because the water that comes out dilutes the dressing just right if you leave the water out of the dressing recipe. I made it again last night from memory, and I forgot the sugar, and probably upped the sherry a bit, and it's delicious. I'd probably use less oil, but then I love vinegar. I put some celery seeds in just now, which was quite nice, but not necessary. It's so garlicky and salty and crunchy and pickly, I can hardly stop eating it.

Posted by foodnerd at 08:46 PM | Comments (1)

persian omelet

From a recipe in the Globe. Turns out a green puck barely bound by the egg -- dee-lish! Apparently a favorite treat of persians, especially for breakfast with bread and -- wait for it -- feta and sour cherry jam!

1/4 cup canola oil
1 bunch each parsley & cilantro (substitute mint or dill), finely chopped
1 lb fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions
8 large eggs, lightly beaten, salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup currants
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt (or labne)

1) Heat oil in a 12-inch, nonstick skillet

2) In a large bowl, combine the parsley, cilantro, spinach & scallions. Add the eggs, salt, pepper & turmeric

3) Stir in the walnuts & currants

4) Pour the egg mixture into the pan and smooth it so it completely covers the bottom. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium high. Cook for 6 minutes. Use a long, metal palette knife to check the underside to see if a crust has formed.

5) When the kuku (yep, that's what it's called...) is golden on the bottom, cut it into quarters to make flipping it easier. Flip each section carefully. Re-cover the skillet and continue cooking for 6 minutes more or until the golden crust has formed on the other side.

6) Remove wedges and let cool for 10 minutes on a platter. Cut into three pieces each to serve. Serve w/labne and pita wedges.

Posted by littlelee at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)

June 06, 2004

like baklava, only better

As a dessert for littlelee's central-asian-style dinner party, we tried this recipe for Passover honey-nut cake in soaking syrup. Holy moly. Yum! Easy, easy, easy, and as one person at the party said, tastes just like baklava only with a better texture. And frankly, a lot less hassle on the part of the cook. Moist, gooey, nut-citrus-cinnamon goodness, with a rough, chunky texture. It's not just for Passover anymore. *grin* We served it with cardamom ice cream, but it'd be good with orange sorbet too, or whipped cream, or just plain.

Posted by foodnerd at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004

You have 99 cents and you're in downtown Las Vegas. What do you eat?


This is so excellent it makes up for the fact that I haven't blogged in a while.

Posted by foodnerd at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)