Category Archives: Winter

Curried Cauliflower & Potato Soup

Roasting the cauliflower first adds depth. Some tomato and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture.
Makes about 3 quarts
Shopping List

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

11/2 tsp cinnamon

11/4 tsp turmeric

pinch cayenne pepper

1 small head cauliflower

2 TBL olive oil

1 large onion

1-2 carrots (for 1 cup diced)

3 large cloves garlic

11/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp red chile pepper flakes

1 (14-16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, or no-salt tomato sauce

4 cups vegetable broth

2-4 russet potatoes (3 cups diced)

2-4 sweet potatoes (3 cups diced)

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

1 large lime

1 bunch cilantro

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

In a small bowl, combine

  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 11/2 cinnamon
  • 11/4 tsp turmeric
  • 11/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, toss

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1 TBL olive oil

Sprinkle with 1 TBL of the spice mixture and toss again. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower until the edges are browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the remaining

  • 1 TBL olive oil

over medium-high heat. Add

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrot

and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook a few minutes more, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Add

  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 11/2 tsp grated (or minced) fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp red chile pepper flakes
  • the remaining spice mixture

Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

Stir in

  • 1 (14-16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, or no-salt tomato sauce

scraping up any browned bits and breaking up the tomatoes, and simmer for 1 minute. Add

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups diced peeled russet potatoes (1/2-inch)
  • 3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes (1/2-inch)
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 TBL lime juice

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, partially cover and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Stir in

  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • the reserved roasted cauliflower

Return to a simmer to heat through. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Kiffling (Wedding Cookies)

Rich crescent-shaped almond cookies with a light, crunchy texture. Despite the powdered sugar, they're not too sweet. They're easy to make.
Makes 3 dozen
Shopping List

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

1/3 cup sugar

8 oz almonds (unroasted, skins on)

2 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

These cookies have a delicious crumbly texture. I’m not a fan of confectioners’ sugar, but the coating on the on the outside works perfectly.

Using a mechanical grinder (meat, nut, whatever), grind

  • 8 ounces almonds

I suppose you could use 8 ounces of almond flour, but leaving the skins on provides a darker result and more flavor.

In a bowl, cream

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

Add

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

When thoroughly mixed, add the ground almonds. Then blend in

  • 2 cups cake flour

to make a uniform dough. ATTN Using cake flour provides the cookies with a better texture. Place the covered dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325º F. After the dough has rested, measure out uniform pieces. I  used a scale and aimed for 22g pieces: they’re a little bigger than I’d have liked because (to my surprise) the dough rose a bit as it baked. You can just use a spoon or approximate uniform pieces with your eye: ATTN that’s better for your mental health.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Form crescents, making sure they taper down at the points. Place the cookies on the parchment-lined pans: they can be fairly close because they don’t expand much.

Kiffling waiting to go into the oven.
Kiffling waiting to go into the oven.

Bake for about 12 minutes and then check on them. If you need to rotate the racks or swap the racks top to bottom. Keep an eye on them until they are golden. At the size I made the cookies they took about 22 minutes to bake, but your timing may vary. You definitely want the cookies watch the cookies until they take on a nice color.

When the cookies come out of the oven, coat them in confectioners’ sugar. The cookies can break, so my approach was to dust them using a strainer with confectioners’ sugar right over the cookie pans. Then I used a spatula to move the cookies over a little to place the bottoms onto some of the spare sugar on cookie sheet.

Some people dust them a second time after they cool, but it’s more sugar than I like.

From my sister, Mindy, who probably got it from a family friend.

 

Rum Balls

Easy: no baking involved.
Makes about 30 cookies
Shopping List

about 11/2 cups vanilla wafers

about 5 ounces pecans

2 TBL cocoa

about 11/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

 

If you have a food processor, it will make chopping the nuts and pulverizing the vanilla wafers, but do each one separately. Next time I make this I’m going to grind the pecans instead of chopping them.

Measure together in a bowl

  • 1 cup (95g) of vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup (135g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 TBL (10g) cocoa powder

Stir to combine ingredients. Add

  • 1/4 cup rum or bourbon
  • 2 TBL corn syrup

Mixture should be refrigerated a couple hours (or overnight) to allow the dry ingredients to fully absorb the liquid. Roll into small balls. (I overthought this and weighed them to target about 14g each.) Roll in confectioners’ sugar. Store in refrigerator.

NOTE: The original recipe made double this quantity, and Betty suggested making half with cocoa and half without cocoa.

From a dear family friend, Betty Rosen. I get a smile on my face every time I think about her.

 

Chicken Pot Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Much better than those frozen pot pies of your childhood
Shopping List

1 pound cooked chicken meat or 4 chicken thighs

2 medium (or 1 large) turnips

1 parsnip

8 ounces mushrooms

3 medium or 2 large carrots

2 large onion

1 pound potatoes

3-4 TBL olive oil

5 ounces frozen peas

1 cup milk

13/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon chicken base (or 1 cube chicken bouillon)

1/4 cup cornmeal (we prefer the granularity of Quaker brand corn meal)

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

If you have some cooked meat and broth available, skip this step and continue with the mushrooms, below.

Place in saute pan

  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

placing

  • 4 chicken thighs on top of onion slices

add

  • 3 cups water

Bring to a boil, reducing heat to maintain a low, gentle simmer and cook ATTNcovered for 30 minutes. Remove chicken, reserving liquid, and let cool. Discard onion pieces. Strain liquid and measure: add water to bring amount to 3 cups. Discard chicken skin and bone the chicken meat, cutting into bite-size chunks.

Continue from this point if you already have cooked meat and broth available. Slice and saute on high heat:

  • 2 TBL oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms

cooking until well colored. Set aside. In the meantime, dice

  • 2 medium (or 1 large) turnips
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 medium-sized or 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion

In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat

  • 1-2 TBL olive oil

and saute vegetables for 10 minutes. Then add

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Continue cooking for 10 minutes stirring often. Stop cooking while vegetables are still a bit crisp, especially the potatoes. Add

  • chicken meat (1 pound or whatever you obtained from cooking the chicken thighs)
  • 5 ounces frozen peas

Spoon into a baking dish or gratin pan. Generally this is about the size of a 13- x 9-inch baking pan or a decorative dish. The pan should hold all the mixture with a bit of room to spare; broader is better because you get more crust surface.

In a small bowl, combine until smooth

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425º F. In a large saucepan, heat

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp chicken base or 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt

to a boil. Then add the milk mixture. Stir until it thickens. Stir sauce and pour over chicken/vegetable mixture in the baking dish

In a mixing bowl, combine

  • scant 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in

  • 1/2 cup shortening

When mixture resembles coarse crumbs, sprinkle with

  • 1/3 cup ice water

ATTN1 TBL at a time, mixing with a fork in each area where you sprinkle. Add only enough water for the dough to bind together. Roll it out on a floured surface into a shape about 2 inches bigger than the top of the baking dish. Position over filling, folding the 1-inch overhang into a flute. Brush crust with

  • Milk or 1 beaten egg

ATTNCut slits in top of crust. Place on a cookie sheet to catch any drips and transfer to the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbling. You may need to cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Dried Fruit Fruitcake

My mother found the basis for this recipe in Family Circle or Good Housekeeping magazine around 1970 and made it several times. Before eating this, I thought fruitcake was awful, but this is a real delight.
2 loaves or 1 large round cake

Combine

  • 2 cups dried apples, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
  • 8 ounces pitted whole dates, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup calvados (or apple juice)

(Note that this totals to about 8 cups of fruit but the volume will vary depending on how it is packed and how large the pieces are cut.)  Let mixture stand 1 hour.

Meanwhile, stir together and set aside

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Preheat over to 300º F. Make batter by creaming

  • 1 cup butter

Blend in

  • 1 cup sugar

One at a time, beating after each, add

  • 6 eggs

Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with a total of

  • 16 ounces applesauce

Stir in fruit after incorporating flour. Grease and flour pans: I use 2 9- by 5-inch loaf pans, but you may choose to make one large cake in a 10-inch tube pan.  The tube pan takes 2 hours to cook and the loaf pans take about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Cool cake(s) and remove from pan(s). Soak cheesecloth in

  • brandy as needed

wrapping cake(s) in cheesecloth, then in a plastic bag. Store the cake at room temperature, but avoid hot places. Check back on the cake every 2 weeks and if the cheesecloth has dried, be sure to re-soak the cloth and re-wrap the cake. The cakes will need about 6-8 weeks of aging before they are ready to eat.

ATTN The brandy you choose will change the flavor of the cake. A fruit-flavored brandy, such as Calvados or Grappa would probably be great. I’ve used Metaxa and been quite happy, but I’ve also had great results with cheap blackberry-flavored brandy, which is what my mother always used.

Maafe

Mah-fay is a stewed dish found in many countries of Africa with variation, but always having of ground peanuts in its sauce.
About 6 servings, depending on your appetites

Remove the skin from

  • 10-12 chicken thighs

You may wish to brown them in some

  • vegetable oil to coat bottom of 3 quart pot

If you do brown them, reserve the chicken after browning. If not, and I am inclined not to bother, put the oil in the pot and continue by cooking

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt

until it is softened. While it cooks, prepare

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 peeled butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers, stems removed and discarded. Cut peppers half, then slice crosswise. I leave the seeds in because I like more spice in the dish. You can omit the seeds or reduce the peppers according to taste.

When the onions are soft, add the vegetables, chicken and

  • the complete contents of 1 can (32 ounces) of plum tomatoes
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of peanut butter (I used smooth this time)
  • a few shakes of garlic powder or some minced garlic
  • 1 TBL grated ginger
  • 1 cup water

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Make sure the heat is just hot enough to keep it at a simmer. Move chicken around in pot after 20 minutes and again 20 minutes later.

You can serve the dish as soon as the chicken is cooked through (about 40-45 minutes total) but ATTN it will taste much better if you reheat it and serve it the following day.

Note: this dish can be made with goat, beef or probably even firm tofu instead of the chicken. You may wish to vary the vegetables to include potatoes or other root vegetables.

Italian Clam Soup

So delicious and clammy!
Makes four servings
Shopping List

3 dozen littleneck clams

1/4 cup olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

canned anchovies

1 cup dry white wine

28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

2 tsp dried oregano

dried basil

fresh parsley

Red pepper flakes

bread, for croutons

Scrub

  • 3 dozen littleneck clams

At some point, make the croutons, at bottom of this recipe. Heat in 2-3 quart soup pot

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Add, keeping heat low enough it does not brown:

  • 2 TBL finely minced garlic

Cook briefly and  add

  • 6 anchovy fillets

Cook until the anchovies break down into a paste.  Add

  • 1 cup white wine

and simmer for a minute. Open

  • 28-ounce can of San Marzano or other plum tomatoes

Chop up tomatoes a bit (you can remove the seeds if you care  to), discard a gross-looking piece of basil that seems to be hidden in every can and add all the tomatoes and liquid to the pot, along with

2 tsp dried oregano

11/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 to 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

ATTN Do not add salt: the anchovies have enough. Bring the pot to a boil and stir briefly. You may work up until this point and pause the recipe until 5 minutes before you with to eat. If you do so, turn off the heat.

Resume the recipe by bringing the soup to a boil. Add the cleaned clams and cover the pot for 5 minutes (or until all the clams open). Serve the soup, leaving the clams in the shells. Garnish with Garlic Croutons (see next paragraph).

To make the croutons, toast 8 slices of a baguette. When toasted, rub one side with the cut surface of a garlic clove you have cut in half.

Adapted from  More 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey.

 

Black Cake

Black Cake is made on many Caribbean islands around Christmas and New Year’s. I’d been wanting to make one since I first read about it in Laurie Colwin’s wonderful collection of essays, Home Cooking, but I never felt comfortable with her recipe —  something felt too relaxed, but that’s how most of her recipes are. When The New York Times published an article and recipe about Black Cake, I was inspired. From there, I made some adaptations.

Makes 2 9-inch cakes, 24 servings

At least two days before you’re going to make the cake, and more like ATTN two to twelve months before, combine

  • 1/2 pound prunes
  • 1/2 pound black raisins
  • 1/2 pound currants
  • 3/4 pound tart dried cherries (Montmorency preferred)
  • 1/4 pound dried bing cherries
  • 2 TBL dried citrus peel
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 3/4 cup Manischewitz Concord grape wine (or cherry brandy)

Place mixture in a glass or plastic container and cover until you are ready to bake the cake, stirring from time to time. There is no need to refrigerate this mixture.

When you’re ready to bake, grind the fruit, adding

  • 2/3 cup blanched almonds
  • additional rum if the mixture is too dry

I used a meat grinder with the finer of two grinding plates and there was no need for additional rum, but whatever you do, ATTN don’t overtax your equipment and burn out the motor. If you need to add extra rum, the cake will just bake longer.

Prepare 2 8- or 9-inch round pans by buttering them and lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 250 F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine and set aside

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

In the bowl of a mixer, beat

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

until fluffy. Add

  • 11/4 cups dark brown sugar (1/2 pound)

Then beat in,

  • 5 large eggs, ATTN one at a time
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Angostura bitters

In a large bowl, combine the batter and the dry ingredients. Add the ground fruit and

  • 3 TBL browning (see note below)

The batter should be a medium-dark brown: it will get darker as it cooks. Distribute the batter between the 2 prepared pans and bake at 250 F for one hour. ATTN Reduce heat to 225 F and bake for another 2 hours. Using a cake tester, check that it comes out clean. Depending on how much liquid was in your fruit mixture, the cake could take up to another hour to finish — but mine didn’t.

Remove the cakes from the oven. Place on racks, and immediately brush with

  • 2 TBL dark rum

Let rest for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pan and leave on racks to cool completely. Wrap in wax paper and then foil. They will keep, in a cool place for several weeks.

NOTE: Browning is a product that’s used to color gravy, but when you go shopping make sure you don’t purchase something that says “Browning and gravy flavoring” or something like that. The only ingredients in browning is caramelized sugar and water. Browning contains no salt and gravy flavoring does. If you can’t find browning, follow the directions for making burnt sugar in the recipe cited above from the Times.

Gedempte Chicken with Preserved Lemons

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Shopping List

2 tablespoons oil

3 cloves garlic

1 large or 2 medium onions

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Several shakes cayenne pepper

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and trimmed of fat

1 or 2 cans (16-ounce) chickpeas

1 preserved lemon

In a 2-quart stew pot, heat on a medium heat

  • 2 tablespoons oil

When the oil is warmed up, add

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped

Stir occasionally. After 5 minutes add

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Several shakes cayenne pepper

Let this cook for about 10 minutes until the onions become translucent and are browned at the edges. (We used to joke that it didn’t taste right unless you burnt the onions. We’re wiser: it’s no joke.) Be sure the onions are well browned in order to develop a good flavor. Cut up

  • 1 whole chicken, to make 8 to 10 pieces, trimmed of fat

Remove the chicken skin if you will be eating the food right after cooking and you are in a rush, otherwise you won’t have time to cool the liquid to separate out the fat. Push the onions aside and place the meat at the bottom of the pan, with the onions on top, thus allowing the meat to brown. As the chicken browns, turn the pieces over, and eventually get the rest of the chicken into the pan. When it is all browned, add

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 or 2 cans (16-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Peel of one preserved lemon, cut into small pieces

Cover the pot, reducing heat to the lowest flame to keep it at a low simmer.Occasionally move the pieces around as they cook. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. (If you want a more saucy result, add some chicken stock, but resist the urge to add more water.) If you did not skin the chicken, then you must remove the liquid from the pot and separate out the fat. Serve over couscous.

Pasta with Squid Ink Sauce

Inky black and tasting very fishy this isn’t for everyone, but we love it!
Serves 3, perhaps 4.

Boil some water to cook the pasta. A big pot full of salted water is best. Wait until the water is almost at a boil before starting because it will take a lot longer than preparing the sauce.

In a large frying pan, saute over medium heat

  • 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 TBL olive oil

Cook until the onion is translucent and tender, but don’t let it brown. Add

  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 generous teaspoon squid ink
  • 3 TBL chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Let bubble gently for a few minutes. Meanwhile clean

  • 1 pound squid

Cut squid into rings. Start cooking

  • 1/2 pound perciatelli (bucatini)

When the pasta is about ATTNa minute or two from being fully cooked, add the squid to the sauce and stir it from time to time. The squid will get tough if it overcooks, so don’t start this prematurely.

Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan. ATTNWhile wearing an apron or black clothes, stir until the sauce has thoroughly coated the pasta and the squid is cooked. The total cooking time for the squid is under 3 minutes or you will chewing an awful lot of rubber bands.

Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding a sprinkle of cayenne if it’s not as spicy as you’d like. Serve immediately. Even though there is only 1/2 pound of pasta, this will serve 3 or 4 people because there’s so much squid.

Adapted from FXCuisine.com.

 

Marmalade

Inspired by a recipe from The New York Times, I’ve adapted this for my own love of bitter marmalade.

For a batch I use 3 sour (Seville) oranges and 1 Meyer lemon, which makes about 5 half-pint jars of marmalade. You can easily triple the quantity and will have no problem. Feel free to switch the ratio of fruit or use other varieties of oranges or lemons.

Well before starting put 5 small plates in the freezer if you don’t have a candy thermometer. See note at end of this recipe.

Cut ends off the citrus fruit  until flesh is exposed. Slice in half lengthwise lengthwise, and then cut into 1/8-inch slices, removing seeds as you see them. Cut the pieces in half again or you’ll have long pieces that can be awkward to eat on toast.

Measure the fruit and juice. Place the fruit and an equal amount water in a very large saucepan. The bigger pan will help avoid having a boiled over mess. Boil the fruit and water for 25 minutes. Add as many cups of sugar as you had fruit. (3 cups fruit, 3 cups water and 3 cups sugar, for example). Bring to a boil until a candy thermometer reaches 222 degrees or use the cold-plate test described below. This will take about 25 to 40 minutes more, but start checking after 20 minutes. ATTN Keep an eye on the pot as you do this because it can easily boil up and over if it’s too hot, resulting in a huge sticky mess. Stirring can help reduce the chances of a boil-over, but just keep an eye on things.

When the desired temperature is reached, remove from heat, remove any foam that surfaces. Transfer to jars or let cool a bit longer and store in plastic containers. Keeps refrigerated for 4-5 weeks. Because the jars are not sterilized and processed in a hot-water bath, you must refrigerate this. I suspect you can freeze the jam without any problems. If you process canning jars (half-pint jars for 10 minutes) it can be stored at room temperature until opened.

Note: The Times recipe described a method new to me for testing the jell. Put a bit of the hot jelly on a plate that’s been chilled in the freezer and watch to see if runs down the plate or starts to jell as you tilt the plate. You don’t need a hard jell for this test to indicate it’s ready.

Red Onion, Parsley and Preserved Lemon Salad

Makes 6 servings

3 cups thinly sliced red onions

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 preserved lemon

1/3 cup preserved lemon juice or fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 large garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

a pinch cayenne

kosher salt

In a bowl cover

3 cups thinly sliced red onions

with cold water and soak 30 minutes. Drain onions well and pat dry between layers of paper towels. In a bowl stir together onions with

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

peel of 1/8 preserved lemon, cut into julienne strips

1/3 cup preserved lemon juice or fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

a pinch cayenne, or to taste

kosher salt to taste

Let stand, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1995 Edition

Seppie In Zimino

Served with salad and bread, this makes a rustic dinner.
Makes 4 servings as a main course, 6 to 8 as a first course

Shopping List

11/2 to 2 pounds fresh or thawed cuttlefish

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion

2 tablespoons minced parsley

A few leaves of minced basil

11/2 to 2 pounds fresh Swiss chard, beet greens, or spinach (or 20 ounces frozen spinach)

1 cup canned plum tomatoes

red pepper flakes


Clean and cut into bite-size pieces or strips (not rings)

  • 11/2 to 2 pounds fresh or thawed cuttlefish

Even if you have purchased cleaned cuttlefish, check that it is completely cleaned. In a pot (large enough to hold all the ingredients) on medium heat, place

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced

Cook until the onion is translucent. Add

  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • A few leaves of minced basil

Saute for another minute. Wash well to remove sand from

  • 11/2 to 2 pounds fresh Swiss chard, beet greens, or spinach

Cut across the stems of the the greens to make large strips, but only use the parts where there are greens. The strips are maybe 1/3-inch wide. Discard the stem-only parts of the greens and avoid including any really tough stems. ATTN If you’re not feeling motivated to use fresh greens you can substitute 20 ounces of thawed, frozen whole-leaf spinach that’s been coarsely chopped.

If using fresh greens, cook on high heat until it cooks down, stirring every minute or so. If using frozen spinach, cook until it is heated through. Add the cuttlefish and

  • 1 cup canned plum tomatoes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes, according to your taste for spicy food
  • salt and pepper to taste

Break up the tomatoes with a spoon. ATTN Go lightly with the salt as the flavors will concentrate as this cooks down. Adjust heat so the pot stays at a simmer. Keep the pot covered and stir every now and then, till the fish is cooked and the sauce is thick. You may need to add some hot water to keep the mixture from drying out or remove the cover towards the end if it’s too watery. This will take about 40 minutes to cook.

Check the seasoning and cook 5 minutes more. ATTN Serve with slices of crusty bread.

Dried Apple Cake

Makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf

3 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 cups dried apples

21/2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cloves

Allow

3 eggs

1/2 cup unsalted butter

to come to room temperature. Meanwhile soak together

3 cups dried apples

5 cups warm water

When the fruit has been rehydrated, about 30 minutes, drain fruit, reserving liquid. Chop apples and add

21/2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

1 cup currants

(Chopped figs, prunes, dates or dried cranberries can replace some or all of the raisins and currants.) Cook with very little water (you can use the reserved apple-rehydration water if any remains) until the apples are soft. Let cool. Preheat oven to 350°.

In another bowl, combine

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cloves

Beat eggs well. Add eggs and softened butter to the fruit mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and mix well. Bake in a greased and floured 9- by 5-inch loaf pan for one hour in a 350° oven.

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Cabbage

A few basic ingredients make a delicious dish
Serves 4 as a main dish

Shopping List

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large onions

4 large cloves garlic

6 cups thinly sliced cabbage

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 pound pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat in a large heavy skillet

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

over medium-low heat. Add

  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices, broken into rings
  • Salt and pepper

Saute until soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Do not try to rush this step. Add

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Stir well, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until very tender, about 45 minutes, stirring often and adding a little more water if it dries out. Meanwhile, cook

  • 1 pound pasta

in boiling salted water. Add drained pasta to pan when the cabbage is done, toss well to combine for about 5 minutes. Serve hot, with

  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Adapted from teriskitchen.com