Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cabbage With Tomatoes, Bulgur and Chickpeas

Cabbage With Tomatoes, Bulgur and ChickpeasLink

from here

This recipe is based on a Greek dish made with red cabbage. I’ve used both green and red cabbage, and I like it both ways. It’s a comforting vegan dish that works as an entree or a side.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 medium head green or red cabbage, finely shredded

1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, cider vinegar or sherry vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

2 cups water

1 cup coarse bulgur

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy lidded skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt and the paprika. Cook, stirring, until the onion is thoroughly tender and infused with paprika, three to four minutes.

2. Add the cabbage, and cook, stirring, for three minutes or until it begins to wilt. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, and add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the cabbage is thoroughly tender.

3. Stir in the dill and the water, and bring a to a boil. Add the bulgur and chickpeas. Stir to combine. When the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: Since this is good served at room temperature, you can make it several hours ahead. Reheat if desired. It will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per serving: 281 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 42 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams dietary fiber; 311 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein

Martha Rose Shulman is the author of "The Very Best of Recipes for Health."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

more ideas!

One of my goals right now is to eat more legumes, as meat's pretty expensive and I get it most days for lunch.

Skype chatting with the German brought up these ideas:

Nivik (chickpeas with spinach)

Lentil and chard soup: "Fry onion and garlic in oil, add chard or spinach, and 1/4 cup of cilantro, when wilted, pour into lentils (brown ones, 1 1/2 cups dry, 6 c water) with their cooking liquid, season with salt, pepper, lemon juice.
Soak up the yummy soup with khoubiz or your white bread, whatever its name.
Add spring onions for serving!"

Plus I just got red lentils for this soup.

And, what sparked the conversation is that I'm boiling garbanzos now to make harira - which is always a hit and freezes well if leaving out the pasta and not putting in much potato.

That's rather my goal - cooking now to eat later. It's so much easier and less time-consuming to make a big pot of something to freeze half than to make it all twice.

beef and quince plov

Plov is the national Azerbaijani dish, and it basically appears to mean (from what I've had) rice cooked with saffron and broth served with a stew of sorts. Our cook at work makes it and includes meat, dried fruits, and chestnuts. I love rice, and what's not to like about meat and fruit?

I also love quince, which I probably haven't had in the 23 years since I lived in Germany. It's a special, sweet flavor. So when my German friend who is an extraordinary international cuisine expert suggested a quince with beef plov, that sounded perfect.

I pretty much copied it from this site, and I'll make notes to remember for later.
Overall, it was really good - just really rich and a tad too sweet. I'd love to add more vegetables to it so I need to think about what would go well. Or maybe the answer is to have a good salad with it and reduce the portion size of the plov. It was quite a bit of work to saute everything separately, but I do think it made the taste really, really good. It was exactly what I wanted after a week of pretty "meh" food in Istanbul (don't know how we found the only blah places in town, but we did).

My beef was pretty tough but before it got tender the quince got a little too soft - so I'd probably add the quince in later and let the beef stew away first.

Persian beef with quince (Khoreshe behh)
(Blog: "In Erica's Kitchen" and adapted from a recipe by Haydeh Bina Motavasel)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds stew beef cut into smallish cubes (lamb or veal work also)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (definitely no more - this small amount is great)
  • 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 quinces, cored and cubed, not peeled (resist impulse to put in more - but do figure out vegetables to add in)
  • handful of prunes
  • 3 Tbsp honey (reduce or omit - the fruit is sweet enough)
Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches until it is seared well on all sides, then remove the meat to a plate. Add the onions and cook 6-8 minutes, until the onions are starting to brown nicely. Add the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the pot. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, tomato paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and enough water to come halfway up the meat mixture. Stir to combine and bring the pot to a simmer.

While the meat is coming to a simmer, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and saute the quince for a few minutes. You don't want to cook it thoroughly, just to start caramelizing the edges. Add the quince to the stew pot along with the prunes and honey. By this time the stew should be simmering; stir everything to combine, cover the pot, and let it cook a good three hours over very low heat. Check it occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, and if it looks dry, add some water. Shirin notes that the longer it cooks, the better it will be.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


This recipe helped me remember the bits, and then I made it my own. Super, super yummy!

First, turn on Rebirth Brass Band. Loud. Everything tastes better when cooked to Rebirth.

Saute together:
2 chopped onions (or more!)
6 cloves chopped garlic
1 bunch chopped dill (or more)
1/2 - 1 pound stew meat*

Once it's seared and browned, add water (I usually fill the pot about halfway full) and cook at low heat an hour or so. (If using fatty cut, skim off fat.)

When the beef is tender, add the following:

4 beets, peeled and chopped (add this before the other things and wait 15 minutes or so, if possible - beets take the longest to cook)
half medium head cabbage, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped (but they don't freeze well)
2 medium carrots, chopped (I'm not a big fan of this in borscht - leave out next time and see)
3 small-medium tomatoes, chopped (can of tomatoes works great)
1 lemon, squeezed (or a bit of vinegar)

Cook about 1/2 - 1 hour, until vegetables are tender.

Serve with sour cream and more dill, if desired.

*Note: Meat intimidates me, especially in a completely different culture where I don't speak the language. If I could chat up the butcher, I'd get a good cut of bone-in meat and make a rich stock and use that. Um, I can't. But I still put in beef to add protein and richness of taste. Just a bit over a pound was too much for me, though.