Miso tahini soup with turnips and delicata squash

May 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm (101 cookbooks, A, breakfast, Cruciferous rich, Derek's faves, Fall recipes, Japanese, Miso, Quick weeknight recipe, Root vegetables, soup, Spring recipes, Winter recipes)

It’s turnip time! My farmer’s market here in Saarbruecken is full of beautiful bunches of white turnip, with the greens still attached. The name for these turnips is Mairübchen, literally “little May root” or “May root-let.” But they’re not little. Each turnip is about 2 to 3.5 inches in diameter. I’ve been buying lots of turnips just so I can eat the greens, but I had to figure out what to do with the turnips themselves.

I’ve never been a huge turnip fan, and I don’t have so many go-to recipe. I like them raw in salads, in soup (with leeks, potatoes, and chard), and in stews (like this tagine or Thai curry).  But I had one last delicata squash from the fall that was turning soft and needed to get used up, and some leftover brown rice int the fridge, so rather than making an old recipe, I decided to try a new recipe for miso tahini soup from 101cookbooks. I love Peter Berley’s miso-based tortilla soup with avocados, so the addition of avocado didn’t seem that odd. But a miso soup with tahini and lemon juice? I could not imagine it. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Adult chocolate cookies

November 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm (A, Alice Medrich, Cookies, Derek's faves, Necessarily nonvegan)

This recipe from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies is actually titled “Robert’s Chocolate Cookies,” but I call them adult chocolate cookies because they’re supposed to be  chocolate cookies for the “sophisticated palate.”   Medrich describes these cookies as “only slightly sweet, but rich and gooey, and laced with the chunks of the finest unsweetened chocolate in the world.”  Robert Steinberg created the recipe for his company, Scharffenberger, and thus they call for Scharffenberger unsweetened chocolate.  Medrich says if you can’t find it then use bittersweet chocolate of another brand, as most brands of unsweetened chocolate are too harsh and bitter to enjoy as chunks.   I first made these cookies in 2006, when I checked Cookies and Brownies out from the Pittsburgh library.  I adored them, but didn’t make them again until now.  Right before I moved to Germany, I toured the Scharffenberger factory in Berkeley, and bought a number of bars of their chocolate.  The Berkeley factory is now sadly defunct.  Hershey bought out the company, and closed down the factory, and consolidated Scharffen Berger production in Illinois with some of their other “gourmet” chocolate brands.  I haven’t tried the chocolate since the buy-out.  But I still had an (expired) bar of Berkeley-produced Scharffenberger  unsweetened chocolate in the pantry, and I decided it was finally time to try these cookies again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Spicy bar nuts with rosemary

November 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm (A, Derek's faves, Meyer & Romano)

Derek loves Sally Sampson’s recipe for hot candied walnuts, but they call for a ton of sugar, and they’re kind of messy to make.  So when I saw this recipe for bar nuts in the Union Square cookbook, I was intrigued.  They call for only 2 tsp. of sugar per 1 1/4 pounds of nuts,  and you just toast the nuts plain, then mix with the seasonings afterwards.  It looked much simpler, plus the nuts won the the New York Press award for best bar nuts in New York.  With that kind of pedigree, they had to be good! Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Annie’s tahini goddess dressing, a copycat recipe

December 17, 2008 at 5:20 am (A, Derek's faves, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing)

Both Derek and I love Annie’s goddess dressing.  It’s a tahini-based dressing that’s savory and rich, and very satisfying.  Annie’s is not sold in Germany, so I’ve decided to try to figure out how to make something similar myself.   I searched around on the web for a while, and came across this taste test from the San Francisco Chronicle that shows that Annie’s Goddess dressing is indeed better than knockoffs by other companies.  The result of the taste test didn’t surprise me, but it did worry me a bit—if big food companies can’t replicate Annie’s dressing, why do I think I have a shot?

I looked around some more on the web, trying to find a copycat recipe.  Although I found tons of posts where people were asking for the recipe, I could find only one post on recipezaar where someone actually attempted to replicate the original. Although the recipe is rated well, it doesn’t seem to follow the constraints given by the Annie’s ingredient list; I decided not to follow this recipe, but rather to try to figure it out on my own.  I looked at the order of ingredients in the ingredient list (ordered by weight) and the nutritional information to try to figure out how much of each ingredient to use.  My first few tries were pretty awful, but after ten attempts, I think I finally nailed it!  Now we can have Annie’s goddess dressing in Saarbruecken whenever we like.  Or maybe I should call it Fannie’s (Fake-Annie’s).

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 86 Comments

Baked Tofu

July 6, 2006 at 7:19 am (A, Alma's faves, Baked tofu, Derek's faves, Farm recipes, Mom’s recipes, Tofu) ()

This is my mom’s recipe, and it’s a crowd pleaser.  Everyone always likes it, no matter how much they (say they) hate tofu.  Derek and I served it at Thanksgiving this year and everyone raved about it (and these were not a bunch of tofu eaters!). Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 14 Comments

Black Bean Zucchini Quesadillas

July 6, 2006 at 6:45 am (A, Beans, Derek's faves, Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe, Summer recipes)

Based on a recipe from the cookbook Fresh Food Fast, by Peter Berley. This recipe is definitely one of my favorite quesadilla recipes. The zucchini adds a moist, sweet, delicate flavor, and the added moisture means that less cheese is needed to achieve the silky mouthfeel expected of a typical quesadilla.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment