November 30, 2007 at 6:03 pm (Jewish, Other, Root vegetables, Starches, unrated, Vegetable dishes)

I’ve never been a big fan of Tsimmes. The carrots often seem completely extraneous. However, a friend of my mom’s brought this dish to a potluck and both my mom and my sister really enjoyed it. So my sister suggested making it for Thanksgiving. The recipes originally comes from a series called The Chosen Cookbook Series: More Best Recipes from Jewish Cookbooks. The title of the volume is Jewish Cooking Made Slim, The original recipe was published in Sharing our Best Canton Chapter of Hadassah, Canton, Ohio.

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 6 ounces pitted prunes (or 6 oz. dried fruit bits)
  • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks in their own juice
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300 F. Oil a 2 quart covered baking dish.

Peel carrots and sweet potatoes and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Bring 1 cup water to a boil and cook carrots fro 15 minutes. then add sweet potatoes and cotinue boiling for 10 minutes or until vegetables are barely tender. Drain vegetables, reserving liquid. Arrange carrots and sweet potatoes in baking dish.

Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Add reserved vegetable cooking liquid to pineapple juice, to equal 1 1/2 cups. Cook prunes or dried fruit bits in this liquid, simmering 20 minutes for prunes or 10 minutes for dried fruit bits. Then add pineapple chunks and brown sugar. Dissolve cornstarch in lemon juice and add to fruit, stirring until fruit looks glazed.

Spoon fruit over carrots and sweet potatoes. COver and bake at 300 for about 1 hour, basting occasionally, if possible. Serve hot.

Serves 10.

My Notes:

My sister doubled the prunes because she said they’re the best part, and it wasn’t too many. I forgot to add the cornstarch, but I reduced the liquid so much it wasn’t all that soupy. The carrots took longer to bake than one hour. Overall this is a simple dish but I think people enjoyed it as a side for Thanksgiving. It has a lot of sugar in it but doesn’t actually taste that sweet.

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Cherry “Nice Cream”

November 3, 2007 at 6:22 pm (Alma's faves, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Quick weeknight recipe, Website / blog) (, )

This is a great “nice cream” recipe. I make it often for Alma when she has a friend over and asks me for a treat. They happily scarf it up. It’s also my go-to recipe when I want something sweet and refreshing, but have no frozen desserts in the house. I almost always have bananas and sour cherrie sin my freezer, and chocolate in the pantry. Read the rest of this entry »

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White bean rosemary spread

November 3, 2007 at 6:00 pm (Beans, B_minus (2.5 stars), Cook's Illustrated, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, restaurant inspired)

I had a white bean rosemary spread on crostini at a restaurant recently, and really enjoyed it. I looked in my cookbooks for a recipe, but couldn’t find one. I figured I’d just wing it–how hard could it be?

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 Tbs. chopped onion

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

My Notes: This is approximately what I did–I didn’t measure that carefully. It had a good texture, not too thin or runny, and it tasted good, but the rosemary flavor wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. I bet it’s going to be really strong tomorrow though, after a day of sitting in the fridge, and I’m going to regret putting in so much rosemary. The final product is surprisingly similar to hummus, despite the lack of chickpeas and tahini. I enjoyed it on my Lebanese flat bread.

In Cook’s Illustrated Best Light Recipe they say they tried a number of different beans for a simple bean puree preparation. They claimed that frozen limas produced a puree with off flavors and a chalky texture; edamame puree was bland and gritty; black eyed pea puree had a muddy flavor and was even more gritty; chickpeas tasted thin and tinny; navy beans had a stale, canned aste; great Northern beans had good flavor but weren’t as creamy as they wanted. In the end, they said they preferred Cannelini beans over all others, since they easily break down into a silky, rich puree. I hadn’t read this when I chose cannellini beans for this recipe. They’re just what I happened to have around. If I ever try one of these other beans instead I’ll be sure to come back and write a comparison. Also, in their comparison of different brands of canned white beans they preferred Progresso over the others they tried.

I compared the cook’s illustrated light recipe for white bean puree with rosemary to my improvised recipe. They add 1/3 cup of water to their beans, and use only 1 1/3 tsp. of olive oil, 1 1/3 tsp. garlic, and 1/3 tsp. of rosemary per 1 can of beans! Clearly their recipe would be much more mild than my version. Their recipe does not use any lemon juice or onion either, although it does call for a bit of pepper flakes. The technique is also different. They have you puree the beans with the water, the saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in oil briefly, then add the bean puree and cook for about 10 minutes, then drizzle a bit of oil over the top to finish it off.  I’m curious how much of a difference cooking the puree makes.  I know that in my recipe I felt the raw garlic was a bit sharp tasting, and cooking would mellow it.  But other than that I’m not sure what it accomplishes.  Perhaps it allows their puree to be flavorful even with such small amounts of all the seasonings.

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