Please give a warm welcome to our very first guest blogger, our lovely sister-in-law Adele!
I LOVE CHICKPEAS. There. I said it.
I’m a sucker for anything with chickpeas in them – salads, hummus, curry – whatever it is, I’ll eat it. Chickpeas, or Garbanzo Beans, are super delicious, super filling, super healthy, and super cute! (Seriously – have you ever looked at one? It looks like a baby butt!) If you ever need a protein in your meal – a handful of chickpeas is generally the way I go. They are versatile like you wouldn’t believe and couldn’t be easier to store. (In the past, I’ve bought dried chickpeas, soaked them overnight, boiled them, yadda yadda yadda. The canned is way easier. Just make sure to rinse them off thoroughly first. Here’s what Mark Bittman has to say on the subject.)
Update: after you read this post and roll your yebra, go ahead and cook it!
Yebra, or stuffed grape leaves, is a traditional Syrian food that can be prepared in a few different ways. But before you can eat it, you have to actually stuff and roll the grape leaves with hashu (there’s a pareve version, too). To make a whole 16-oz. jar of grape leaves, you need to double the hashu recipe.
I actually used a slightly different recipe for hashu. This one is from a cookbook called Deal Delights, a pretty old book with traditional Syrian recipes.
The cold weather means it’s winter squash season, as you know. And everyone knows those are the best types of squash. I recently got my hands on an acorn and a butternut variety and didn’t know what to do with them. Soup? Roasted? Boring!
After a long brainstorm, I thought to make macaroni and cheese:
Originally, I wanted to make risotto, but then I realized that I’d have to go shopping, and I really didn’t want to go to the supermarket, so I had to pick something that I could make with whatever I already had in the kitchen. Then pizza came to mind (I always have mini pizza doughs in the fridge), but I wasn’t feeling it. That’s when I thought of mac & cheese; I’ve read about camouflaging cauliflower in it to trick kids into eating more healthily, so why not put squash in it? I wasn’t trying to make it healthier, just different, but I went with it, and my little experiment was a big success!
This is probably more appropriate as a breakfast/brunch food, but I decided to serve it for dinner. Everyone likes to eat breakfast for dinner!
This is where I would usually put a photo of the completed product if I hadn’t either forgotten to take one or virtually misplaced it. Please use your imagination.
It’s kind of an omelet, but made in the oven instead of over the stove. And the ingredients are mixed in, as opposed to folded in.
There are so many ways to eat a potato. Here is just one of them. It’s boring, we know, but it’s also easy and oh-so flavorful!
You can put almost anything inside two tortillas and pan-fry them. The insides get gooey and the outsides get crisp and you can cut them into tiny wedges and they will be delicious.
I prepared six of these in advance, fried them up a few hours before I was ready to serve them, and then heated them on a cookie sheet immediately before serving. Continue reading
Ina Garten’s Szechuan noodles are awesome, but I wanted to see if I could make my own version of sesame noodles. I’ve eaten them plenty of times at restaurants and I’ve tried out enough recipes to be able to reproduce them at home.
Last time I made them, Ricky Dweck mentioned that he likes to put coconut milk in his sesame noodles, so I made sure to try that out.
Remember when we made mehshi kusa and hollowed out all of that squash and zucchini? You didn’t think we’d just waste those precious insides, did you? Of course not. We popped those insides in the freezer for later use. And then gave them to our mom so she could make kusa jibben for lunch.
Kusa Jibben is a classic Syrian dish; kusa, as you know, means squash, and jibben is cheese. So basically it’s squash and cheese.
I decided to try out a new recipe for Asian-y peanut-y noodles and remembered seeing Ina Garten make some for a barbecue on the beach (don’t ask me how this fits in with a barbecue), so I searched for “sesame noodles” on the Food Network’s website and didn’t see it. I didn’t think I imagined this particular episode of Barefoot Contessa, so I narrowed my results by chef – and these Szechuan noodles were the first, third, and fourth hit (out of four).
Okay, so maybe the words sesame and Szechuan aren’t interchangeable, and maybe you don’t barbecue them, but I made them anyway, and I’m glad I did. The ingredients were overwhelming at first: Fresh ginger? Tahini? Sherry vinegar? But I ended up having many of them in the fridge/pantry already. I bought almost everything else from Whole Foods, and for the rest I left out or substituted with something I had lying around.
All of the spices and ingredients resulted in delicious layers of flavor, and although I made way too much (a whole pound of pasta for two people!?) I was able to enjoy leftovers, since this dish is just as tasty at room temperature, or even out of the fridge, than it is hot.
These baked egg noodles and kelsonnes (kel-SON-ess) are easy and delicious. We keep the ravioli-like envelopes in the freezer and boil them with the noodles for a quick dinner.
The crunchy and almost burnt parts are my favorite.