Friday, March 4, 2016

Black Rice Noodles with Ginger and Chili

From Simply Nigella

2 T. chopped raw blanched peanuts
1 fat clove garlic
2 and 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice Chinese rice wine
1.5 T. hot sauce, such as Sriracha
2 T. cold water
8 oz. black rice noodles, or soba noodles
2 scallions trimmed
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro, with whole leaves for garnish

Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan until golden

Put garlic and ginger in a heavy pan with vegetable and sesame oil, heat gently, then increase the heat and let sizzle for a minute before taking off the heat.

Add the soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, hot sauce and 2 T. cold water. Put back on the heat and bring to a bubble, then take off the heat pour into a large bowl to cool.

Cook the noodles, refresh under cold water, drain and toss with the sauce.

Shred scallions, add to noodles, along with the chopped cilantro and most of the peanuts

Dive the noodles between two bowls, and top each with cilantro leaves and the rest of the nuts.


From Gjelina
Good on eggplant and with artichokes and pasta


1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped
1 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 shallot minced
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1 T. red wine vinegar - add this just before serving

In a medium bowl, combine the cilantro, parsley, oregano, paprika, shallot and olive oil and stir. Let stand at room temp for 20 minutes.

Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temp, season with salt and pepper, and stir in vinegar just before serving.

Preserved Lemons

You can keep these in a glass jar in the kitchen...from Gjelina

12 large lemons, well washed
3 T. coriander seeds
3 T. fennel seeds
2 cups kosher salt
1 dried guajillo chile
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed
2 bay leaves, crumbled

Starting at the top of each lemon, cut a deep X into it, stopping about 1/4 inch from the base, so you are left with a quartered lemon held together at one end. Set askide.

In a small, dry pan, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. In a medium bowl mix together the salt, toasted spices, chile, thyme, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

Working over a large bowl, stuff a lemon with a handful of the salt mixture, using your thumb to gently break into the flesh, allowing the juices to run out. Drop this lemon into the bottom of the bowl. Repeat until all the lemons have been stuffed. Pour any remaining salt over the lemons and gently toss.

Carefully pack the stuffed lemons and salt into a 2 quart glass jar with a lid, pressing down so they are completely covered in their own juices. Pour in any juice and seasoning from the bowl. Seal the jar and let sit at room temp until the rinds have softened, 3 to 4 weeks.

Store, tightly sealed, at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Swiss Chard Pancakes

Swiss Chard Pancakes [Farçous]
Adapted, just a little, from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table
As mentioned above, this is very flexible recipe. Once you have the milk, flour and egg base in place, you can add the suggested combination of onions, herbs and greens below or one more suited to your tastes/what you have in the fridge right now. We used a most of a bundle of scallions (white and green) instead of onion and chives. I used only one garlic clove.

2 cups (475 ml) whole milk
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
10 fresh chives, snipped
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
Leaves from 10 parsley sprigs
5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, roughly chopped
About 1/2 cup (120 ml) grapeseed, peanut, vegetable, or olive oil
To serve: Plain, thick yogurt mixed with a little lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, to taste
If you’d like to keep your finished pancakes warm while you cook them: Heat oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Make the batter: Put everything except the Swiss chard and oil in a blender or food processor and whirl until the batter is smooth. Scrape down sides. Add chard leaves and pulse machine until they’re chopped to your desired consistency.
Cook the pancakes: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in a good puddle (1/4-inch deep) of oil. Once oil is hot enough that a droplet of batter hisses and sputters, spoon about 3 tablespoons batter in per pancake. It will spread quickly. Cook until browned underneath and (the edges will scallop, adorably), then flip, cooking on the other side until browned again. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and then, if you’d like to keep them warm, to the foil-lined tray in the oven.
Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with lemony yogurt or another sauce of your choice.
Do ahead: Unused batter keeps in fridge for 3 days. Finished pancakes keep in fridge for a couple days, and will freeze much longer. Separate pancakes with pieces of waxed or parchment paper so they don’t glue together.

Warm Potato Salad with Lentils

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad with a Garlicky Mustard Vinaigrette
Adapted from a few David Tanis recipes
If you can find tiny dark green French lentilles de Puy or Italian lenticcie Castelluccio, you’ll be glad you did; they’re minerally, nutty and not starchy at all — nothing like your average “for your health!” lentil mush soup. I tend to grab two bags or boxes whenever I find them, and keep them in the coolest, darkest place I can find in my steam-heated sauna of an apartment. I’ve also ordered the French lentils online before from here, though I actually brought these inexpensive lentils — and the capers and olive oil, used here — back from Castroni, the greatest food store in Rome, last summer.
Before you ask, Can you put kale in this too? Of course you can.
Makes 4 lunch servings, 6 servings as a side dish
2 large shallots, 1 halved, 1 finely diced,
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils (see Note up top for varieties)
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (I use less)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed if salted, drained if brined, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cornichons or other sour gherkins, roughly chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a small/medium saucepan with the halved shallot, thyme branches, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes: In a separate saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 to 2 inches cold water. Set timer for 15 minutes, then bring potatoes to a simmer. When the timer rings, they should be easily pierced with a toothpick or knife. Drain and keep warm.
Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, cornichon and scallions.
Assemble salad: Slice potatoes into 1/2-inch segments and place in serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon parsley and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley.
Serve alone, with a soft-cooked egg on top, or as a side to a larger roast, chop or sausages. Reheat as needed. If you plan to make this at the outset of several meals and would like to eat it warm, I’d keep the dressing separate, warming only the lentils and potatoes and stirring in the cold dressing to taste.

Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts

Spicy Sugared Nuts

Sugar-and-Spice Candied Nuts

1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I might up this by a 1/2 tsp. next time for more of a sweet/salty balance)
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper (I swapped this with 1/4 teaspoon of hot smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

Lentil Soup with Lemon


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground chile powder or cayenne, more to taste
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Nutritional Information


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
  5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Vegan Lime-Cilantro Dressing for Enchiladas or Tacos or Yams

Vegan Cilantro-Lime Dressing

½ avocado
    1 lime, juiced (or 2 small limes)
    ½ cup cilantro
    ½ tbsp olive oil
    1 ½ tsp garlic paste (or 1 clove)
    ½ cup water
    ¼ tsp herbamere (or sea salt)
    Freshly ground pepper


    Place all ingredients in a large glass mason jar
    Using a hand blender, completely mix everything together until smooth and pourable