Saturday, November 26, 2005

Moroccan Cassolita

here is a recipe i tried when i had Capay as my CSA. very winter!

1-2 lbs winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into
2” pieces
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1/4 C slivered almonds
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the squash in an ovenproof dish and bake until tender, 50 to 60 min.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and fry until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to paper towels to drain. Add the onions to the oil in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cinnamon, decrease the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the onions turn brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the raisins and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until heated through. Transfer the squash to a warm serving platter. Spread the onion mixture evenly over the squash, sprinkle with the fried almonds, and serve.

Monday, November 21, 2005

making soymilk for fun & tofu

we have a soyajoy.

this makes the whole process much, much, easier. however, if you do not have or want one, you can still make soymilk & tofu. here are directions to make soymilk and tofu without a soymilk maker.

wash dry soybeans, about 2 cups. soak well in plenty of water, overnight.
using a blender, juicer, grainmill, coffee grinder, or even a mortar and pestle, grind the beans slowly and finely into a paste. add soaking water so that the paste is like a smooth batter while blending. this puree is known as "Go", and must be cooked as soon as possible.

bring 7.5 cups of water to a boil in a large stainless pan. slowly add the puree. stir constantly. bring this to a boil then turn the heat off until boiling has ceased. slowly reheat to a simmer for about 8 minutes.

pour the solution through a cloth straining bag, over a colander and a bowl. the liquid left is soymilk. twist the straining cloth closed and squeeze the rest of the milk out with chopsticks or a pair of tongs. the leftover solids in the bag are known as "Okara". save this in the refrigerator to use as well.

you have made fresh, unsweetened soymilk. the website above is full of ideas for flavoring, sweetening, thickening this milk if you want. my husband prefers it ice cold from the fridge. this is where you would be in the process if you had a soymilk maker.

if you want to turn this milk into tofu, you must have Nigari. again, we purchased the complete tofu kit from the website above and an extra pound of natural nigari. mix one teaspoon of crystal nigari in a cup of warm water and set aside.

let the temperature of the soymilk fall from simmer to about 170 or 180. while stirring slowly, pour about 3/4 of the nigari solution in. wait 3 minutes and watch the curds form. the more the soymilk is stirred now, the firmer your tofu will be. if there is still milk in the whey add the rest of the nigari. if not, do not add it. in some cases you will need to mix even more nigari, depending on your water and so on. once there is a clear seperation between curds and whey, it is ready.

lay a cloth to line the tofu box (any container with holes, of any shape, will do, as long as you line it with the cloth and have something that fits inside like a lid to put a weight on and press the tofu) and ladle the curds and whey inside slowly, allowing the whey to drain away. once it is all in, fold the cloth in and put the lid over it. put a 2-5 lb weight (a bottle of water, etc) on the lid to press. in 20 minutes this tofu is ready to prepare. or, you can leave it to cool inside the press for a few hours before removing and dropping in cool water in the fridge. change the water every couple of days until you use it.

homemade nigari tofu is , in my opinion, magically delicious.

margo's molasses bread

i've only made this one a couple of times, and never since we moved across the country. i think i'll try it tomorrow, when i have plenty of okara left from making tofu. (it works well in place of the yogurt/ buttermilk) thanks, margo!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat yoghurt
1/2 cup molasses (I use blackstrap)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

oven temp 350. butter 9x5" (1 1/2 quart) loaf pan

combine flour, powder, soda seeds and salt.
in another bowl beat egg, add buttermilk/yoghurt, molasses, and oil.
Scrape wet mix into dry mix and stir until just combined
pour into loaf pan, bake 40 minutes or so. Cool on rack 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan and cool at least an hour before slicing. (hard to do -- but it does crumble into a big mess so very easily...)

buon gusto!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

karl's famous tofu

this blog was created soley for this recipe. but i do often need a place to post my favorite recipes for others to read, so it will be used beyond this one.

for the record, my 3 year old son (tristan) chose the name Garlic Pimpernel. you see, he's convinced that it is the name of a certain miniseries we've been watching.

a box of firm tofu, either handmade or storebought. Trader Joe's sells nice organic tofu.
soysauce of choice. we love Yamasa.
1/2 a cup whole wheat pastry flour.
1/2 cup dry hummus mix. we prefer Ali's Bazaar, but Fantastic Foods makes some, too!
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

drain tofu, cut in half, then in halves again, and again- 8 slices roughly the size of a business card.

return to box it came in. or a dish about that size. add soy sauce to cover and coat. let sit about 30 minutes, not more than 4 hours.

put both flour and hummus mix on a plate and blend with a fork. heat the oil in a cast iron or other large skillet. lightly bread tofu slices by setting them in the mix, patting them, flipping them. once the oil is nice and hot (a drop of water flicked onto it bounces in the air) gently set the tofus down in the pan. cook undisturbed until browned a bit. the time this takes depends on the heat of the pan: a few minutes.

once browned on the first side, use a spatula to flip them.

after the second side is browned nicely, remove the tofu to a plate. eat hot or cold, alone or on sandywiches. feed to small children. rejoice.