“What else can we make –beside orange marmalade and orange juice – with all the oranges we steal?” Continue Reading…
Cauliflower is such a boring veggie, right? It is – unless you roast it like this, or chop it finely and make a beautiful, rich salad, like this one. I promise, after you try these recipes, you’ll start cooking it more often. You can ask my friend Carin. She never cooked cauliflower until she had it at my house two weeks ago.
The secret is to prepare it with ingredients that have stronger flavors. For example, if you roast it use smoked paprika or curry powder (mixed with oil). If you eat it raw, make sure to cut the florets finely, so they absorb the other flavors.
Before you chop the cauliflower, wash it and dry it with a clean kitchen towel. You can slice the florets finely with a sharp knife or with a Japanese mandoline.
And don’t throw away the stalky part. You can chop it fine, then roast it as I mentioned above, or keep it whole, coat it with tahini butter and roast it in a 200°C or 400°F preheated oven. Continue Reading…
FYI, You do not need New York water to make New York-style bagels. It’s a myth. Any tap water will do. Bagels are not a New York invention. They were made by European Jewish immigrants long before they arrived in New York.
You don’t have to be an experienced baker or to spend a whole day in the kitchen to make proper crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside bagels. The process is pretty much the same as making bread, but it requires one extra step: boiling them in water before baking them. This is what gives them their fluffy, chewy texture.
I found two recipes online. One recipe called for 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of honey added to the boiling water, which was unnecessary, it made the bagels far too sweet. It also instructed to roll the dough into fat sausages and then join the ends to form a ring but it didn’t work well because the ends detached in the boiling water.
The second recipe, by Sophisticated Gourmet, was the best bagel recipe as he promised. The bagels tasted just as good as the ones we used to buy at David’s Bagels in the East Village.
Bagels might not be the most nutritious food but I strongly believe that anything that you make at home, using unprocessed, organic ingredients (this recipe doesn’t work well with gluten-free flours), and eat in moderation, won’t harm you. Especially if you eat them with avocado or nut butter, instead of cream cheese.
I’ve made a couple small adjustments to Kamran’s recipe. I added room temperature water, and let them drain on a cooling rack after I boiled them.
Makes: 8 medium-sized bagels
Total Time: 2 hours
Ingredients for the dough
3 ½ cups (500g) spelt or white bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons honey or cane sugar
1 ¼ cups / 300ml room temperature water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Oil (canola or vegetable oil) for greasing
1 egg white
Mixer or food processor (optional)
A large bowl
One baking sheet covered with baking paper
Small egg brush
Optional Toppings: Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh onion and/or caraway seeds
- Combine the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic for about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add some flour, if it’s too stiff add a few drops of water (the humidity levels in the air affects the dough, so if it’s humid in your kitchen you might need to adjust your water/flour ratio.)
- If you don’t have a food processor or mixer put the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them with your hands until you form a dough, then transfer it to a floured countertop and knead it for about 10 minutes or until the dough feels stiff and firm.
- Roll the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap or damp dish towel. Put the bowl in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down, and roll it into a loaf shape. Using a knife, divide the dough into 8 portions (you can use a scale to be extra precise – I didn’t) and shape them into balls. See pictures below.
- Lightly oil a surface such as a kitchen counter or baking tray (don’t wash your hands, you will need oily fingers to make the hole). Press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on the oiled surface. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough. Cover the bagels with a plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let them rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Fill a large pot all the way to the middle with water and bring into a boil. Arrange small plates with your toppings.
- Gently put the bagels, three at a time (or as many as you can easily fit) in the boiling water, I did it with my hands but you can use a slotted spatula. The bagels should float immediately. Boil for 1 minute, then flip them with a spatula and boil for 1 more minute. Remove the bagels with a slotted spatula and place them immediately on a cooling rack to drain. While the rest of the bagels are boiling, transfer the ‘drained’ bagels onto the baking tray.
- Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle with your chosen toppings. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They will keep for 3-4 days but they taste much better if you freeze them after they cool down. But don’t forget to slice them lengthwise so they can fit in a toaster.
After my mother confirmed that she was coming to visit in July, I immediately started to search for cheap airfare somewhere in Europe (I normally use Google Flights or Skyscanner). It’s been a while since Z and I travelled without our boys. I knew I wanted to fly to Italy but wasn’t sure where in Italy. I found a round trip ticket from Palma to Bologna for €60 so I booked it. I didn’t know much about Bologna, beside that it’s a university town and that it hosts a large children book fair. I had a feeling it would have good vibe and good food. I thought about Rome but I heard that the summer there it’s too hot and too crowded. Continue Reading…
A shower thought:
If there’s a Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, a Herring Festival in Denmark, a Pizzafest in Naples, and a Dumpling Festival in Hong Kong, then there should definitely be a Kubbeh Festival in Jerusalem. (I even have a name for it: “Kubbebah,” which is what Jerusalemites call the fried kubbeh dumpling.) It would be a gastronomical experience for locals and tourists. All the foodies I know would love to spend an autumn evening in Jerusalem, walking around the city and trying different variations of kubbeh and kubbeh soups. (There are many kinds in Israel, including Kurdish, Iraqi, and Turkish). These Middle Eastern dumplings need to be introduced to the rest of the world.
While browsing my pictures folder, I bumped into the photos from our trip to Florence last summer, which I had completely forgotten about. Although we were there for only a couple of days, we managed to see a lot, eat (mostly) Italian pastries and gelatos, and take quite a lot of pictures.
People who know me know that I am a serial city lover. I fall in love with any city that has a bit of culture and plenty of good things to eat. So, of course, I fell in love with Florence on my first visit – anybody would – but the difference between me and most people is that I immediately want to move in and spend the rest of my life there. If Z hadn’t insisted on sticking with the plan to move to Mallorca, I would probably have started to look for an apartment in Florence. Continue Reading…
I love potatoes and anything that is made with potatoes, from Russian potato salad to tortilla Española to Belgian pommes frites to campfire potatoes. Now that we have a fireplace – the second best thing you can have in the winter, a clothes dryer is first! – we roast them quite often.
Potatoes may not be as sophisticated as artichokes but they comfort like the 100% down comforter we bought last week at Ikea. Oh, by the way: We moved again! (in Mallorca!) We moved from our apartment in the old town of Palma to a cute Mallorquine townhouse in a beautiful village in the mountains (Serra De Tramountana), only twenty minutes away from Palma and ten degrees colder. Continue Reading…
When baking sweet potatoes, the high heat causes their moisture to evaporate, and leaves their skin caramelized like candy – which is delicious – but overly sweet for me, so I like to mix them with spicy, sour or nutty flavors to reduce the sweetness. Continue Reading…
I had started to write this post in the summer, while we where visiting Israel, but never finished it for the same reasons I haven’t been able to start or finish any posts since leaving Los Angeles back in June:
- lack of time
- lack of motivation
- lack of concentration.
Today I decided it would be a shame not to post it, because it’s the kind of recipe anyone who is looking to expand their vegetable repertoire should know about. Continue Reading…
I thought that by the New Year we would be settled down but unfortunately we are not. The apartment we found and rented (through Idealista.com) two months ago in the old town in Palma was only gorgeous at first sight. Two weeks after we moved in we saw it for what it was. A serious pluming problem and a domineering landlord who lives next door and breathes down our necks.
As much as we love the area and the idea of settling down quickly, we decided to look for a new place. Which now consumes most of our time. I had great intentions to post on a weekly basis, but until we find a new home, I don’t see how I can make it happen.
For now I am sharing with you some vibrant pictures I took one Sunday at the market in Santa Maria, which is my favorite outdoor market here in Mallorca.
Enjoy the rest of the week and the holiday break. If you had any.
I wish you an extraordinary year! May all your New Year resolutions come true.
Shelly Continue Reading…
Research has shown that moving is more stressful than getting a divorce or a new job. So why the f*** do I do it, on average, every three years? Because I always forget how painful it is. For me moving is like giving birth: I only remember the beautiful, exciting moments. If, each time we moved, we had made a child instead, we’d have twelve kids by now. But also because I’m addicted to the feeling of being enchanted by a new place, a new culture, new foods and produce, a new language, or just by having an opportunity to reinvent myself. Maybe to become a little less “Shoody” – a nickname a good friend of mine gave me, it’s a combination of “Shelly” and “Woody” (as in Woody Allen) and “should.” Continue Reading…
Again? Where to?
I can’t tell you yet.
You’ll have to wait for my next post.
But I’ll give you a hint…
It’s a small island in Spain.
But before we settle down, we will do some traveling, so stay tuned. Continue Reading…
Honestly, I don’t know what to call this dish. I think Kibbeh is the most appropriate name for it other then experimenting with black beans – I had about two cups of cooked black beans that I mixed with onion, herb and spices that I wanted to make veggie burger with but couldn’t because I over-processed the beans and added a large egg, which made the mixture too mushy to form patties. Continue Reading…
The first time I had a burger was in the beginning of nineties, in Israel. It was soon after I moved in with my twin friends. David, their New Yorker dad/excellent cook made them for lunch.
The first time I had a veggie burger was in 2000 at a restaurant in New York. I don’t remember in which restaurant but I remember it was disgusting. Ten years later I decided to give it another try. It was when we moved to Los Angeles, at a burger joint, The Counter. That time I wasn’t disappointed. Continue Reading…
I came back from Larchmont Farmers’ Market starving. I dug out an avocado, watermelon radish and microgreens from my shopping bags and in less then five minutes made myself this beautiful, nutritious sandwich. Continue Reading…
Alex: Mommy, if Anthony Bourdain came over to dinner at our house, do you think he would like your food?
Me: I think he would, but he might need to go eat some pork belly or lobster fat afterwards.
I actually have a few things I wanted to say to Mr. Bourdain: Continue Reading…
I came across this brilliant recipe while I was flipping through a beautiful cookbook in Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the title of the book so I can’t credit the author. I made this salad because I needed to do something with all the radishes and carrots I had in my fridge. I normally make a similar root salad but I felt like trying something new. Thank you, anonymous author, your salad recipe was a big successes. Continue Reading…
I think my purpose in life is to make chocolate bars. I would love to make honest good dark chocolate bars for living. Just like those crafty bars Dick Taylor or Dandelion make. I’m salivating just thinking about pure, rich, slightly bitter and mildly sweet chocolate. I prefer chocolate that is made with two or three ingredients, cocoa and sugar and without emulsifiers or artificial flavors. A high quality dark chocolate could easily convert you from being a milk-chocolate person to a dark-chocolate person. Continue Reading…