I like to have it for breakfast on a winter morning, garnished with a pickled mustard greens and a little sesame oil.
Makes 6 bowls of delicious congee.
3/4 cup jasmine rice 1/4 cup dried scallops
Rinse and stir with cool water until it is fairly clear.
3/4 cup jasmine rice
Strain the rice and place in a pressure cooker along with
1/4 cup dried scallops
7 cups water
salt, to taste
You will probably need about 2 tsp salt, but if you are unsure of how salty you will like it, cook the congee and then add the salt.
Cook at high pressure for about 30 minutes and then let the pressure cook rest for another 15 before releasing the pressure. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
Serve with your favorite condiments: I like pickled mustard greens and a bit of sesame oil or something spicy, like chili oil instead. Dried scallops are available in most Chinatowns. Avoid getting the expensive ones (large) that go for about triple the price of the cheapest, small scallops. For this recipe it won’t matter that you’ve taken the budget route.
This recipe reheats really well. I usually make a batch and then reheat a bowl when I’m in the mood during the next few days.
Derived from https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/pressure-cooker-congee-rice-porridge-jook/
We're addicted to these and always order them whenever we go out for Greek food. Now we make them at home, too.
Makes 6 cups cooked beans
2 cups picked-over dried large lima beans
2 small onions
2 carrots 1/2 cup olive oil
2 small garlic cloves 3/4 pound vine ripened tomatoes
hot red pepper flakes 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cover
2 cups picked over dried large lima beans
with cold water by two inches and bring to a boil, skimming froth. Simmer beans, partially covered, until tender, about 30 minutes and drain in a colander.
In pan, cook over moderately low heat
2 small onions, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped fine
1/2 cup olive oil
Peel, seed and chop fine
3/4 pound vine ripened tomatoes
When carrots are tender, add in chopped tomatoes and
2 small garlic cloves, minced
Continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans and season with
hot red pepper flakes
to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. Stewed beans may be made three days ahead and chilled, covered. Their flavor improves during this time. Bring beans to room temperature.
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
dry them and chop finely. Stir parsley into beans before serving.
and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and the edges are brown. Put aside in a bowl to cool thoroughly.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9x9x2-inch square pan.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbl powdered sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, put
12 Tbl (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
and mix on low for 15 seconds. Add
1 tsp caraway seeds
and the cooled onions, and beat on medium-high for one minute. Scrape down the bowl. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until the dough holds together and all of the flour is incorporated. Press the dough evenly into the buttered pan. (Dipping your fingers in flour will help keep the dough from sticking to them when pressing it into the pan.) Brush the top of the dough with
1 large egg white, slightly beaten
(You won’t need all of the egg white.) Sprinkle
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
evenly over the egg white.
Bake about 25 minutes, until the top is pale golden and the edges light brown. Remove from the oven and cut into 6×6 rows (or sizes or your choice), cutting through to the bottom. Cool the shortbread thoroughly in the pan.
from “125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor” by Elinor Klivans
1 cup black lentils 1/2 cup kidney beans
1 medium onion
2 medium tomatoes
a 1-inch piece of ginger
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 TBL butter
2 TBL cream (optional)
cilantro (for garnish)
Soak all day or overnight
1 cup black lentils 1/2 cup kidney beans
Drain the beans and place in pressure cooker. Mince the following
1 medium onion 2 medium tomatoes a 1-inch piece of ginger 4-5 garlic cloves
and add to pressure cooker along with
4 cups water 1 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 tsp garam masala 2 TBL butter 2 TBL cream (optional) salt
Cook in instant pot 15 minutes on high pressure. Wait 5 minutes and release steam. Check if both lentils and beans are soft enough to mash with a spoon. If not done, cook with pressure for 5 more minutes, adding water if needed. Release pressure, add
1 tsp salt
Cook for 10-15 minutes more to get them to the consistency you want and adjusting salt to taste.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, lightly toast
1 3/4 cups sesame seeds
This will probably be easier to do in two batches. Set aside in a pie plate or similar.
In a stand mixer, beat
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 scant cup granulated sugar
until smooth and pale, about one minute. With the mixer on low, one at a time add
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbl milk
and mix a few seconds to incorporate. Add
1 Tbl baking powder
and mix. With the mixer running, gradually add
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky. Use a little more flour as needed.
Dust a board or your counter with
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Scrape the dough onto the floured board, knead it a couple of minutes, cover and let rest 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 375ºF and place a rack near the top. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 36 even pieces. You can use a one-ounce scoop if you wish — I cut it into quarters, then each quarter into thirds, then pinch off thirds from each third. Whatever works for you. Roll each piece between your palms to form 36 balls. Pinch off bits from the big ones and add them to the small ones and re-roll if you want to to get them about equal in size.
1/3 cup milk
into a small bowl. Take one dough ball at a time, coat it with milk then roll it in the sesame seeds. Pick up the coated ball and form it into a rectangle with your hands (try shaping it between your thumb and forefinger), getting the height between 1/2 and 3/4 inch. Place it on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Repeat for all 36 balls, 18 per cookie sheet, trying to keep the height about the same throughout. They don’t spread much, but do leave a bit of space between the cookies. After the first tray of rectangles is shaped, bake on a high oven rack for 14-15 minutes, turning once halfway through. Meanwhile shape the next 18 balls into rectangles.
With a spatula, slide the baked cookies onto a cooling rack.
Growing up in the Depression was bad enough (we hear), but feeding a household with 7 children, 3 or 4 adults on a meager income made it tougher. Nonetheless, my maternal grandmother kept her family fed. Potatoes were a recurring part of the menu.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
4 large or 6 medium potatoes
1 large onion
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping tablespoon flour
Combine in a large saucepan or small stock pot
4 large or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and pierced in several places with a knife
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
Cover with water, a couple of inches above the level of the other ingredients. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until potatoes are soft but whole pieces remain. This will take about 40 minutes.
When potatoes reach this stage, turn off the heat and remove the onion from the soup. In a small frying pan, melt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
over a medium heat. Continue to stir as it starts to darken. Add
1 heaping tablespoon flour
stir to make a thin roux. Cook this until it is brown, ♦ATTNbut do not let it burn, and then remove from heat. This mixture is called an “einbrenn” and it’s what gives the soup its flavor.
Carefully add a spoonful of soup liquid to the einbrenn because ♦ATTNthere is going to be some spattering. Add another spoonful of liquid and then start to mix the contents of the pan into the soup. You can wash out the last bits of the einbrenn from the frying pan by taking a bit more of the liquid from the soup pot. Return the soup to the heat, and cook for 30 minutes more. Stir regularly and ♦ATTN don’t let the heat get too high or soup may scorch.
Adjust the seasoning. I like to add black pepper although the original recipe had only salt. If you like the soup a bit less chunky, use a potato masher to break up some of the pieces of potato.
Make this soup the day before you plan to serve it because it will taste much better. When reheating the soup, you may find it has gotten so thick you need to add a little water. Reheat on a low flame otherwise the soup might scorch. Or, reheat in a microwave oven.
From my grandmother’s recipe, passed down by my mother, Rita. The recipe probably came from eastern Europe, where that side of my family originated.
First off, the amount of farmer cheese is a range because the primary producer of packaged farmer cheese, Friendship Dairies, has reduced the size of their packages from eight ounces to seven. If you can buy farmer cheese in bulk, buy the larger amount, but also, don’t bother buying 3 packages of farmer cheese just to get to 16 ounces. This recipe isn’t that precise.
Read the notes at the end of this recipe if you would like to flavor the cheese filling differently, as my mother did, or if you can’t find farmer cheese.
In a mixing bowl, combine:
14-16 ounces of farmer cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 TBL melted butter
2-3 TBL sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix thoroughly. Fill the Blintzes as described in that recipe, making sure you don’t overfill them. Cook them as described there. My mother would often serve these with a Blueberry Sauce although I personally prefer sour cream.
NOTE: My mother preferred a citrus flavor, so instead of vanilla, she used 1–1/2 tsp lemon juice and 2–1/2 TBL Curacao. I’d consider using some grated lemon rind if I wanted a citrus flavor.
NOTE: If you are unable to locate farmer cheese, don’t despair. My mother often had that problem in Colorado and came up with two substitutions. For the recipe above she would drain 2 cups of cottage cheese in a strainer to eliminate some of the liquid: it probably took a 2-3 hours. Alternatively, she’d use equal parts (8 ounces each, by weight) of cream cheese and dry curd cottage cheese, which is much drier than farmer cheese.
Generally used to fill blintzes or knishes, but you can also just eat it as is. It is very dense. If you want a lighter potato filling, look elsewhere.
This can make as much or as little as you like.
3 pounds potatoes (red bliss, Yukon gold, etc.)
1–1/4 pounds yellow or white onions 1/4 cup vegetable oil
This is a large recipe, suitable if you are making 3-4 dozen Blintzes, I would guess. My mother would often make larger batches of this filling with 5 pounds of potatoes and 3 pounds of onions. It is dense. Very dense.
Peel and dice
1–1/4 pounds yellow or white onions
In a large skillet, heat
3 TBL vegetable oil
over a medium-high heat. Add onions and stir from time to time as onions begin to brown. Onion pieces should brown (see photos). You might need to add a little water to remove the fond from the pan. Make sure the onions are sweet and tender. Add more oil if needed, because it’s what will give moisture to the potatoes.
In the meantime, peel
3 pounds potatoes (such as red bliss or Yukon gold)
and cut into large dice. Place in large pot and cover with well-salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until pieces are fork-tender, about 15 minutes once it comes to a brisk boil. Drain the potatoes and return to pot. Mash them thoroughly, tasting for salt. Add the cooked onions. If the potatoes seem dry, add a bit more oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. ♦ATTNThe mixture should have a distinct presence of black pepper.
My mother made blintzes, sometimes in batches of more than 100, for big family gatherings.
Makes 18 blintzes, but scaling instructions are provided.
1 cup flour
4 eggs 2/3 cup milk
3 TBL vegetable oil, plus more for cooking them
While this might sound like a big production, in fact you can throw these together pretty quickly once you’ve done it a couple times. The entire process consists of these steps: make the filling(s), make the batter, cook the blintz wrappers, form the blintzes, cook them, eat them. I prefer to make the filling first so it will be ready to use when as soon as the wrappers are done. Family favorites are Oniony Potato Filling and Cheese Filling for Blintzes.
Mixing the Batter
The recipe as given here is best made in a blender, but if you scale up beyond the 4-egg version, you will have to work in batches, mix it with an immersion blender, or use another appliance to mix it.
Combine in the jar of blender
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
3 TBL vegetable oil (♦ATTNDo not use olive oil or other strongly flavored oil)
Run blender to mix. Turn off, add
1 cup flour
and process again to mix, scraping the blender jar (when stopped) if any flour sticks to the side.
If you want to scale the recipe up or down, use these measurements. And yes, they are not exactly linear so pay attention to the chart.
scant 1/3 cup
scant 1/2 cup
Cooking the Wrappers
To make the blintz wrapper, you need one or two skillets that have a flat bottom about 6 to 7 inches across. It’s better if the sides curve up to a wider width (like an omelette pan) or the sides are very low, like a round, small griddle. It’s harder with a pan with straight vertical sides, but it can work. Two skillets will make the work go faster, but one is fine if that’s all you have.
Heat the pan(s) but when you start working make sure they’re on a low heat. If the pan is too hot, the batter will bubble and the wrappers will develop holes. While the pans heat, spread out a clean dish towel on a counter near the range.
In a small bowl, pour
2 TBL vegetable oil (or margarine or butter)
With a folded paper towel, pick up a little oil and spread it liberally on the bottom of the skillet. It takes a little more than 2 TBL of batter to make each wrapper and you can easily measure this by using a half full 1/3-cup measure, but whatever works for you is fine. If you’re lucky, you have a ladle that’s just the right size.
Grab the skillet handle with your dominant hand, quickly pour the measured batter into the center and start to move the pan in a tilting circle to spread the batter out into an ever-widening circle until it reaches the edge of the flat area of the pan. If you reach the desired size and there’s still some batter you can keep circling to distribute the batter or pour the excess back the bowl/blender jar containing the unused batter. Set the pan back on the heat and wait for the wrapper to cook.
If there’s a hole or two, you can always use a spoon to drip a few drops of batter to fill in the problem area. If the wrapper is dotted with many small holes, it means the pan was too hot. Don’t despair, such wrappers work for more solid fillings like potato, but will be problematic for moist fillings like cheese and fruit.
When it’s done cooking, the wrapper will have no wet areas on the surface. Run a butter knife around the edge of the wrapper to release it from the pan. Invert and knock the pan onto an empty spot on the towel. The wrapper should release easily and hopefully it has a bit of color to it. (If it doesn’t, just move on and let the next one cook a bit longer.) Return the pan to the burner immediately. ♦ATTNBe sure to remove any attached crumbs from the pan and grease the pan before making the next wrapper.
As the wrappers are made, you can overlap cooled ones on the towel, but don’t put them right on top of each other completely as it will be hard to separate them.
If you want to make a lot of blintzes or delay the filling operation to, store the wrappers. To do so, tear a square of waxed paper and place it on a dinner plate. Place 3 wrappers offset enough that they barely extend past the edge of the plate and don’t overlap completely. Repeat layers of waxed paper and 3 wrappers until they are all stacked. Put the entire plate in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. ♦ATTNDo not wait more than 24 hours to fill them as they tend to stick as they are somewhat moist.
Forming a Blintz
To roll up a blintz, follow these steps. Keep in mind that it’s a little easier to learn with a solid filling like potato rather than a looser filling like fruit or cheese.
Put one wrapper in front of you on a flat dry surface. ♦ATTNBe sure the browned side (the cooked side) is UP and the uncooked side is down. Re-read the last sentence!
If the wrapper has uneven edges or holes on one side, put that area closest to you as it will wind up on the inside of the finished blintz.
Put about 2 to 3 TBL of filling in an area about 1 by 3 inches crosswise, about 2 inches from the closest edge.
Lift the edge closest the filling and fold it over the filling.
Bring in the side edges making sure that as you do, it folds over the ends of the filling and that the longer edges are parallel or actually come in a bit. (If blintz gets wider as it rolls up, you will not be able to close the blintz completely: disaster awaits.)
Roll the entire assembly, gently and set it aside with the open edge down so it doesn’t try to unroll. If it tears as you roll, it means you tried to force too much filling into the blintz.
If you run out of space for the blintzes, stack them with waxed paper between layers and leave a little space between them if you can.
When you have formed all the blintzes, you have a couple choices. You can cook them immediately (see below), you can refrigerate them (wax paper between layers, space between the blintzes on each layer and stored sealed in the refrigerator for up to a couple days) or freeze them on wax paper-lined trays leaving space between each blintz. After they are completely frozen they can be transferred to bags (no wax paper needed). Frozen blintzes can be defrosted in the refrigerator before proceeding with cooking.
Cooking the Blintzes
To fry the blintzes, obtain an electric frying pan with a pink handle. Yes, an electric frying pan set to 375º F is ideal for cooking these, but if you don’t have one, use frying pan(s) on the range, but once they heat up, keep an eye on the heat so the blintzes don’t brown too quickly or burn. Use vegetable oil (or margarine or butter) to grease the pan, then add the blintzes, leaving space between them. I try to cook them on 3 sides (the ends never get cooked), which means after the first side cooks I have to prop them up against one another (see photos). I think my mother just cooked them on two sides. Once they’re nicely golden all around, serve them.
I like to eat the onion or cheese ones with sour cream, but my mother served Blueberry Sauce on the side with the cheese blintzes. You can eat them plain if you like. And I encourage you to try coming up with your own fillings. (But do not attempt to serve me a jalapeño, blueberry or other modern bagel!!)
From my mother’s recipe, who started with Jenny Grossinger’s classic recipe.
Simple and delicious. Best served at room temperature.
Makes one portion, but easily scaled up.
very small summer squash (generally one per serving)
1 glug olive oil
shallot (to taste)
fresh mint (generally 1-2 stems of mint per serving)
The measurements in this recipe are vague. Don’t let it throw you. When shopping, look for the squash with the smallest diameter. They should be cylindrical in shape more than bulging or the seeds will overwhelm the results.
Using careful knife skill, a mandoline or other gadget, cut
very small summer squash (1 per serving)
into very thin slices. Heat a large skillet on a high flame. Add
a glug of olive oil
and add the sliced squash although ♦ATTNcook in batches if you are making a sizable quantity (relative to the surface area of the pan being used). Stir to coat with oil and then let the squash brown a bit before stirring. When it’s cooked enough, set aside in a bowl. Cook additional batches of squash.
Lower temperature on heat and add
thinly sliced shallot, to taste
and cook without browning. Add to cooked squash in bowl.
Pluck mint leaves from
stems of fresh mint (1-2 per serving)
Combine the mint and salt to taste with the squash and cooked shallots. Serve at room temperature.
Inspired by several different restaurants in and around Bologna, Italy.
To be clear, the bananas are roasted, not the ice cream!
4 bananas, lightly speckled
2 TBL vegetable oil
2 TBL brown sugar 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1–1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice
4 bananas (ripe, with a few speckles), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 TBL vegetable oil
2 TBL brown sugar
pinch of salt
Spread on parchment paper and bake until caramelized, about 15-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
In a small saucepan, combine
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Heat over medium heat just until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool to room temperature. In a blender jar, combine the cooked bananas, sugar syrup and
1 cup coconut milk
1–1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
♦︎If your blender can’t handle all of this, just blend what it can accommodate and stir in the rest in a bowl. Alternatively use an immersion blender. Pour the liquid through a fine metal strainer or cheesecloth.
Lightly toast and reserve
3/4 cup walnut pieces, if desired
Chill the mixture for 2 hours and then process in an ice cream maker. Near the end of processing, before the ice cream is too hard, add the walnut pieces.
Inspired by a vegan banana ice cream recipe from the book Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.