Monday, August 10, 2015

Fave Recipes

1) 'Twas Thursday night, and an unexpected guest called for a Shabbos meal. Yet there was no cake in the house! What with the last-minute preparations needed, Ma's standard gigantic brownie, complete with complex parchment paper manipulations, was not an ideal choice. 

I tackled my sluggish internet, and after a 30 minutes of frustrated browsing, found these Whole Wheat Brownies. Smaller pan, less prep, plus interesting information: The biggest factor in brownie consistency is the mixing process. Mix them a little, they are low and fudgy; mix the batter more, more air is incorporated, the consistency is more cake-like. The baking time is also important: slightly raw brownie = ideal, as opposed to overdone.
Ma muddled with the recipe a little—she happened to have a few sips of the morning coffee leftover, and she cut back a little on the oil and added unsweetened applesauce instead. 

Results? OMG. I am officially a brownie person. As for Ma's previous recipe . . . what recipe?

Since the bulk of the brownie is cocoa, consider the healthy-ness! Iron for the borderline anemic (such as myself), fiber (depending on the cocoa, it could run from 1 to 3 grams per tablespoon), magnesium, calcium, potassium, antioxidants, antidepressants, and yummy material for the good bacteria in the gut.   

We keep our cake in the freezer. That just makes it . . . oh so good. So good . . . 

2) Years ago, I saw an ice cream maker on sale and in naive expectation, snapped it up. That thing has only been a millstone around my neck. My plan was to never make it milchig, but to rather concoct pareve frozen delights.
Well, all my attempts fell flat. I experimented with it sporadically, but never had any success. 

One day a recipe popped up in my FB feed. I had a can of coconut milk in my pantry, and a package of my new-found sugar-crack bliss, dates. What the heck? I put the bowl of the ice cream machine in advance. Maybe I'll entertain the kinfauna on a Sunday with that.

Well, how we plan. I ended up on the floor with a bag of frozen edamame on my neck, my mauled finger clamped in bloody paper towel. I had been stupid with the immersion blender. My finger survived—thank God—but I was in no state to oversea the churning process, so just poured the mixture into the various popsicle molds I have about the house.    

Results? Shazam. As she says in the recipe, because of the dates (and the alcohol based vanilla extract helps too) the concoction doesn't freeze rock-hard; the results are soft and spoonable. I couldn't squeeze it out of the molds because the results were so malleable.
Via, Coconut Date Ice Cream
There are a plethora of similar recipes available; this one doesn't call for an ice cream machine. Ironically, I tried the ice cream maker yesterday, and I think the consistency is a lot better than when it wasn't churned. 

I would leave the cocoa out, like I did with my first try, using only coconut milk, dates, and vanilla. While I HATE the taste of coconut, the flavor was diminished to the merest echo with the blended-in dates. 

3)  I have posted before about fish patties, but I upon reflection the method I shared was unnecessarily complicated. During the 9 Days, I threw together in five minutes a fish patty that actually elicited a "Wow!" from Ta while he was reading the paper. High praise indeed.
For binder, instead of oat bran or corn meal, I used ground flax seed, an idea I got from the paleos (I'm not paleo, but they sometimes provide a good recipe). To make flax seed even more palatable, I put mine through a spice grinder; the results are a fluffy, pretty powder, all the more so if using golden flax seed as opposed to the standard.  

6 oz.-ish canned salmon  (or tuna), drained
Dollop of mayo
A spoonful or two of ground flax seed
Squirt of mustard (I like Dijon)
Finely chopped scallion 
Garlic powder 

Mash altogether, should form a cohesive mush. Heat frying pan with a little oil. Form patties (a small can like I used results in three), and when the pan is hot, fry for a minute or so on each side. 

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