Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2twerps AnTwerp

title to be revised.
We were de-lighted, as in our faces lit up when we saw the salad arrive at Restaurant Den Antigoon on Oudevaartsplaats, by the Vogelenmarkt.

It was a TOWER constructed of a cucumber wall, filled with salad dressed with salad cream, topped with lardons or some smokey porkey things,  topped with a crouton, which supported a thick but melting goat cheese round,  baked? with honey and topped with crisp apple slices set off with parsley, and buffeted by tomatoes.

We had to try it, even if
1. Carel doesn't (sob) eat meat


2. it is impossible to just eat... it has to be de-constructed {Fred has ideas for this),


3. there were things we just could not figure out. Like,how did they get the cucumber to hold itself in a circle without toothpicks  um,


Saturday, July 29, 2017

July Cacik (or Culy Jajik) Cucumber Yogurt soup 7/29/17

It's JULY.
We wanted something easy and cool, or, better, 

 Fred said: 
                        Yogurt+Cucumber Soup!  

How it looked in Oakland...
How it looked in Chicago -- grated cucumber being added to yogurt and garlic mixture.

The Turks, like the Greeks and the Armenians, 
are pretty straightforward about it:  
         yogurt, cucumbers, a little garlic, 
         fresh dill and or mint,
                     and maybe a bit of olive oil.   
The Persians add jewels: 
                    golden raisins, pomegranate seeds, 
                    walnuts, rose-petals....  

                                                      We decided to try everything.
Here is Carel trying the mix...before we thought of adding ice cubes to make is colder and more soupy.  As seen from Chicago.

Persian style CACIK: cold yogurt soup
4 cups Greek yogurt
2 cups grated Persian (TJ’s) or pickling cucumbers
                        (I grated most, chopped some
¾ cup seedless yellow [Carel] black [Fred] raisins.  Black currants are really good, too, actually Carel’s pref.
2 small cloves garlic, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup finely chopped walnuts [Carel], lightly toasted if you want.
1 tb, minimum tablespoon minced fresh dill
2 Tb minimum tablespoon minced fresh mint

Beat the yogurt in an electric mixer or with a rotary beater.
Combine the yogurt, cucumber, raisins and garlic.   Add dill and mint.
Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least one hour or over night.
Taste for salt,
Add the walnuts. This can be done while making, or at serving.

Thin with ice water or add ice cubes.

Garnish with
pomegranate seeds
[dried rose petals] Carel [really pretty but did nothing for the flavor]
dried mint

the pomegranate seeds were a terrific flavor addition!
Cousin Vicky says this lasts in the frig, garnish and all, for several days.

And here we are eating it together...Carel in Oakland (on screen), Fred in Chicago (on table)...
and vice versa:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage?

Your worst computer nightmare:
                                  You are being watched!

Actually, it turned out all right, 
as it was a friendly voyeur 
and we had dinner together.

And it almost felt like the real thing.  Lots of time to talk over cabbage.  Perfection.

"Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage"  By    

The cabbage caramelizes like onions and melts down to way too little, so make more.  

A wonderful side, but with more possibilities.  It's nothing like sauerkraut, but it would be great on a bun with a hot dog or in a Reuben (says wistful, not wurstful, vegetarian Carel).  

It might be good with tomato paste in it, too. (Fred.)

  We both agreed that we should have gone heavier on the ginger.  Ginger+cream is inspired.   

Why suspicious?  Apparently it's odd that anything without meat could be this good.

••1 medium green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
••1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
••2 garlic cloves, minced
••1 tablespoon (heaping) grated fresh ginger
••2 tablespoons butter
••3/4 cup heavy cream
••salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

••In a very large pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and starting to bubble a little. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

••Stir in the ginger and cook for about a minute. Then, add in the cabbage, stirring well to coat it with the butter and other flavors. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, until the cabbage has softened and caramelized.  (It should look like caramelized onions.)

••Turn the heat to low and stir in the cream making sure to scrape any browned bits up from the pan bottom. Cover and cook over low for about 10 minutes.

••Uncover, add salt and pepper to taste. Then cook for a few more minutes, stirring once or twice, to let some of the liquid evaporate. Adjust seasonings as desired and serve.

Next time, make more!

Friday, April 28, 2017

APRIL Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and, maybe, Cream :) 4/28/17

The simultaneous kitchens

in an "instant,"
The Great Simultaneous Saute!

Butternut Squash, ginger and sage soup: 
10 minutes in the Instant Pot
-----but an hour and a half start to finish.  Prepping the squash was the time-consumer,  though we were having fun, not racing.

Here's the recipe:
2 kilos (4 lbs) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1-2sprigs sage
1 larg e onion, chopped
2 cm (3/4 inch) fresh ginger  [1 TB fresh. Carel used 1 Tb Gourmet Gardens “lightly dried” ginger.  Perfect]]
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 cups vegetable stock [better than bouillon
olive oil
salt and pepper [Carel added 1/4+ tsp allspice] to taste
Cream :)
Garnish possibilities
toasted pumpkin seeds
sage leaves fried in butter or ghee

a drizzle on some sage infused butter
a drizzle of coconut milk

Pre-heat cooker (Saute). When hot, add onions, sage, salt and pepper, [and allspice
When onions are soft, push them to side and add handful of squash cubes to cover the bottom of the pot and let brown for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add rest of the squash, ginger, nutmeg, and stock.

Close and lock the lid. Press Manual and set for 10 minutes pressure cooking time.
When done, release steam, fish out sage stem, use immersion blender to puree soup.  

the sage seemed to almost disappear.  we found bits and pieces of leaves and pulled them out.
• add cream :)
• neither the flavor of sage nor ginger were identifiable, but the result was intensely flavorful.
• I toasted the squash seeds.  They were awful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MARCH FabaMousse and our 1st Cook-By-Skype.. 3/29/17

 Cooking Together on Skype with Two 'mad" Chefs

                                        Chef d'équipe "White Hat" & Sous Chef "Red Head"

We lined up our similar ingredients and came up with totally different results. Go figure!


We tried to follow this  Faba-Mousse recipe. 

the liquid of 1 can of chickpeas (ca125ml)
100 grams dark chocolate (get a good quality for this) – melted (bain marie)
1 TB  confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar
1 tsp  or +vanilla (or rum or?)

a pinch of salt

adapted from "Mousse au Chocolat with Air Bubbles ! (Chocolate Mousse)"at Mouthwatering Vegan, where we read all the "accolades & caveats" {perhaps the title of our next blog..or post ?}

Fred's first can of chickpeas yielded only 1/4 c of  Aquafaba. 
and neither his trusty egg-beater  
nor his immersion blender whipped it up.

A can of Canneli Beans' Aquafaba was called in to pinch hit.   It also would not whip.
So Chef Fred forged forward anyway,  adding his [double boiler-melted)
 chocolate and vanilla to the frothy mix.

CHICAGO: Double Boiler

OAKLAND Microwave

It set up in the frig and was delicious.

Chef Red Head's  
can of chickpeas
 yielded 3/4 C Aquafaba 

It whipped up like merengue.

XXX Sugar and vanilla were added. 

 Some of this whipped stuff was added to the chocolate 
(melted in microwave), and then returned to the rest of the merengue.

the chocolate "seized" and complained, yielding a mousse with hard chocolate slivers (like choc chip ice cream.)
It did not harden in the frig, but stayed air-y and mousse-y.

BUT next time I'll add vanilla and a bit of Aquafaba to the chocolate to temper it, before combining.   


3 to 5 calories per tablespoon,
(not a significant source of carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, or minerals)

61% carbohydrate
14% water
9% protein
6% lipids