I tried the most amazing recipe last week for challah… or 50% of it, since I divided the recipe in half. It yielded a truly authentic challah texture and crumb… my mouth waters remembering it. The dough itself is made in the bread machine, which is a wonderful way to achieve the perfect rise at high altitude. Breads baked at high altitude also require an additional rise, a touch more liquid and a lower baking temperature.
I modified the recipe slightly by adding some freshly ground cardamom and using floral, organic honey in place of plain, white sugar. Of course, the bread is best lightly toasted and slathered with creamy, sweet Meyenberg goat butter (now sold at Sprout’s Farmers Market) and drizzled high-quality honey.
Oh, and Meyenberg doesn’t pay me to rave about their butter. I am simply utterly enamored by all things milky and goat (or sheep, for that matter).
Another fabulous recipe comes from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Her hummus is divine. I added a bit of fresh parsley and lemon zest to my batch and used a homemade tahini recipe. I recommended buying sesame seeds in bulk if you plan to make your own tahini! The hummus is fantastic on salads.
The salad above incorporated lovely leftovers, such as roasted butternut squash, curried quinoa, French green lentils, fresh red pepper, roasted wasabi tofu and a few slices of amazing Carr Valley Billy Blue Cheese.
I have accepted no dinero from the folks at Carr Valley. Once again, my enthusiasm relates to my goaty obsession of all things bahhhhhhh.
The kids and I bake breads often. We make a whole grain bread recipe on Sunday for the week’s obligatory sandwiches and toast. I adapt the dish to include all whole-grain bread flour and a variety of new, fun seeds. Snu Magoo’s current favorites bread toppings are turkey, Manchego and hummus – or a simple layer of raspberry jam. Littlest Guy just wants lots and lots of honey on his slice. I usually enjoy toast first thing in the morning, topped with homemade jam or honey (or both!) and (of course) goat butter.
We’ve been experimenting with lots of different whole-grain, seeded bread recipes. If you have a favorite that you stand by, please feel free to share it in the comments below.
Also popular in our house is the Roasted Root’s recipe for black bean brownies; we add earthy cocoa nibs, pure vanilla extract, mounds of imported, chopped 70% dark chocolate and a full 1/2 cup of organic cocoa. Ironically enough, either the brownies or bread make a great breakfast (of champions!), provided coffee is involved.
Now, to touch on grandmother’s (and their ravioli). Mo Rocca’s (or if you tuned into last week’s episode, his name is now “Mo Rocco“) show, My Grandmother’s Ravioli, is an excellent way to spend thirty minutes (or twenty, if you have a DVR and fast forward through commercials) of your week. It is cooking/reality television meets feature journalism meets hilarity at its best.
My own Grandmother Martha made a mean scalloped potato and any salad containing lots, and lots, of mayonnaise. An immigrant to this country, she was sophisticated in a purely European way. She was elegant, thin (despite all of the mayonnaise), cultured, well-educated and oh-so-poised. Occasionally, I would visit her in Kansas City, Missouri.
My grandfather, a judge, passed away in the late 1960’s, and my grandmother never remarried. Still, she was a lively, vivacious women, and she was not one to sit at home – or lack a male companion for her nights out. And, oh, did she have the most spirited parties, where she played upbeat music on her piano with a drink (scotch, on the rocks) in hand. Most importantly, during my visits, she bought me my favorite (soft, sugar-filled and glucose-coated) fruity candies at her local market. What a treat it was for a little girl.
I no longer have parents and am one of three of Grandma Martha’s grandchildren. She is my only direct living relative, other than my little love bugs, i.e. children. This week, she suddenly passed away, taking her upbeat music with her.
Martha (Muriel) Sinclair Koenigsdorf was nearly 100 and lived a full life, enriched by frequent travel, art, music, mayonnaise-based salads (alternated with fine-dining on the town), myriad good friends and a loving extended family. Ale-ha Ha-shalom.
Grandma Martha, this soup’s for you. If it weren’t for this “tumor” (my husband’s unfortunate comparative phrase from medical school) growing in my ever-expanding belly, I’d have a scotch (or two) in your memory. You may be gone, but your DNA lives on in our three children (and scalloped potatoes half as good as yours in their happy tummies).
Zichrona Livrocho. May her memory be a blessing.
This week, the love bugs and I prepared a recipe for miso soup from My Grandmother’s Ravioli. Mo, you had me at kabocha squash. The vegetable is rich, creamy, buttery and sweet. It boasts a most velvety, smooth texture. Scrumptious!
The soup includes kabocha squash, cabbage, wakame (seaweed), miso, scallions and tofu. YUM: what can go wrong with those delicious, Japanese-inspired ingredients?
Last night, the soup accompanied our dinner, which included other recipes from the episode. Snu Magoo and I both devoured leftovers today for lunch. I could really take a swim in this soup (mouth open, of course).
No, that’s not weird at all.
I will admit, I went a bit astray from the grandma’s recipe during the cooking process. I roasted my cabbage, tofu and kabocha squash in the oven for extra flavor. And, yes, a touch of chile, garlic, ginger and lime each found their way into the soup. Hey, how did you guys get there? True to the recipe, fresh scallions make a spectacular finish to the soup, along with a scattering of lightly toasted sesame seeds.
Do try this recipe – or tune into the heartwarming, funny and delectable show My Grandmother’s Ravioli -and eat with your eyes.
No, Mo Rocca (or The Cooking Channel) did not fund this blog in any way (nor have they provided Curls and Carrots with any products containing goat milk or goat derivatives).
Wakame, Kabocha and Miso Soup
Adapted from the recipe at My Grandmother’s Ravioli
1, 12-ounce block of extra firm tofu, cut into small squares
1 small to medium kabocha squash (MMMMMM), seeded and diced into small, 1-inch squares
1 small to medium head of savoy or Napa cabbage, halved and thinly sliced
1 small Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 bunch of scallions, white parts only, sliced
1/2 cup wakame seaweed, rehydrated, rinsed if containing added salt, roughly chopped if strands are large
1 Tablespoon finely chopped, organic garlic
1 Tablespoon finely chopped and peeled ginger
1 chile, preferably a Japanese variety, seeded and chopped
The juice of 1 lime
2-3 quarts of dashi or stock of choice, to taste. Use two quarts for a hearty soup, three for a lighter soup.
1/2 cup light or dark miso paste
4-6 Tablespoons bonito flakes, to taste
Ingredients for Garnish:
White or black sesame seeds, roasted or furikake blend if prefered
1 bunch of scallions, green parts only, very thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400•F.
- On individual sheet trays, toss the onion, white parts of the green onion, squash, cabbage and tofu in a fairly generous amount of (peanut, canola or light olive) oil.
- Roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables halfway through, just until light golden and soft.
- Over medium heat, sauté the chile, garlic and ginger in a touch of oil (of your choice) just until soft, about a minute.
- Bring the dashi or stock to a simmer in a large stockpot.
- Stir in the lime juice and whisk in the miso until it is fully incorporated and no lumps are visible.
- Add the roasted vegetables and tofu, the bonito flakes and the wakame to the pot and stir well.
- Allow to gently simmer over very low heat for at least an hour, or a few hours, if time allows.
- Taste and season with a touch of soy sauce to add salt or cracked black pepper to add spice, if needed. Garnish individual bowls with roasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.