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Fall

Apple and Pear Loaf {Gluten Free}

Apple and Pear Loaf {Gluten Free}

This wonderfully light and moist Fall/Winter fruit loaf is one of those delights I have been making with simple alternate baking flours. Here I use my everyday staple mix of oat and almond flours for a nutty, robust and flavorful finish. Mixing cooked and grated fresh fruit makes for a moist cake that holds its flavor and suppleness for more days despite the use of naturally drier (compared to wheat) flours. The good thing about this recipe is that it does not need any binding agent other than egg and butter. So, no added gums or starches, which, for me is one of its elegant highlights.

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Apple Pie Brandy Pudding

Apple Pie Brandy Pudding

So! I am betting that this Apple Pie Pudding will go down in the anals of food history as an accident that was simply waiting to happen! And, when it did, brought greater joy than either pie or pudding could have in of themselves.

Here is what happened. I have been experimenting with different flours. Recently, I decided to test what wheat I am intolerant to. And, I have reading about how heritage strains of grain may not trigger the same issues as the mass produced, yield enhancing GMO versions. Einkorn has been one of those much talked about ancient wheat varietals that supposedly is less trigger happy than regular all purpose flour. The only problem is that it is more dense and less glutenous. Therefore, it because markedly unlike regular flour. Think, low rise and less flaky.

So, when I decided to make apple pie, using the regular pie recipe....

 

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Sweet Potato Jacket Tacos

Sweet Potato Jacket Tacos

Fall beckons. 

The leaves are turning, the air is ever so slightly brisk. A subtle rustle that you always hear now; that of the fallen leaves dancing on the pavement in tune with the crisp wind, a swish, a sway, a seduction...

For me, making the most of this time is particularly imperative, as soon, there will be Halloween. And, as much as it is a fun time, it clutters up this whole gathering of wool in the Fall experience. So, I have from the beginning of October (or if I am lucky, late September) to the 3rd week of the month to revel in this favorite season of mine. You can see, why it is all the more special! :)

And then, I came up with this dish! Sweet Potato Jacket Tacos.... Take that! Oh! and in the spirit of the season, a Pear Salsa. And then some garlicky kale. Also, did I mention Pomegranate? Yes, that too....

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Un-Shabbath-like

Shalom from Israel!

I feel not the slightest remorse in telling you that I am absolutely thrilled to be sitting beachside in 24 C weather and typing this out, even as I know that my home and most of the North-Western Hemisphere is being smothered by freezing cold. 

But, even if you are cursing me while snuggling into your fleeces, I have something warm for you in today's post in a spirit inspired by my location and my undying new-found love for tahini. So, if you are pissed off with me for being in  warm country and just want the recipe, scroll straight down. If not, let me regale you with what I saw in my first day in this interesting country.

To be specific, getting here is not easy. If anyone has ever traveled El Al Airlines, you must be painfully aware of the interrogation that you go through at check in. In my case, this almost-and-justifiably-paranoidal attitude began when I applied for a visa to travel. Nevertheless, since leaving India, I have had to put up and politely answer entirely intrusive, personal and politically incorrect, questions for the first time. It was rather amusing to be honest, as they were polite and apologetic to dig so much but yet persistent in the line of questioning. This entertaining bit of schizophreny I realized was to set the tone of the visit.

Let me start by saying that the people are amazing, in every way. Tel Aviv is a beautiful city! By that I mean, it is filled with stunning, gorgeous, sexy and amazingly fit people, of all ages. On a run along the promenade, I must say that I felt rather inadequate for the first time I can remember, watching all the nary-a-sweat-cracking toned Israelis happily running and chatting away. In perspective, I have never felt out-classed in fitness in NYC!

What makes this an interesting is that, the food is amazing! Or, perhaps that is the contributor to the above. While I find it hard to resist eating it all up because I don't think I am going get it all again, I feel people here true connoisseurs of moderation as, well, they have it everyday. Every morsel I have tasted so far, and there were far too many as you can see, has been fresh, flavorful and unfussed. The last is what impresses me. Nothing is overdone. Flavors are clean and vibrant and the food is all surprisingly local! Apparently, the country grows most of the produce it uses, and even some exotic Asian ones.

Well, today being Shabbath, I am going to take a leaf from the country and not spend too much more time here and spend it with life and exploring the city. I will do more on the country in a later post with more details on food experiences and my explorations of the culture.

As promised, I leave you with the recipe for a Leek and Turnip Soup with Cauliflower Croutons and Tahini emulsion. This soup gets a touch of sour spice with an added daikon, crunch from the flash sautéed cauliflower. And, of course the binding gel and flavor component of sesame. This is a region inspired dish in affirmation of the super flavor and versatility of the humble sesame seed. Tahini sauce is a great vegan alternative for many creamy  dishes and cheeses while adding amazing depth of flavor.


Roasted Leek and Turnip Soup 

with Cauliflower Croutons and Tahini Emulsion

The soup itself makes a little more than one meal for two people and the leftovers are fantastic for lunch. The croutons are best eaten immediately for the crunch. 

The soup is deliberately lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper, to allow unsullied flavor interaction between the vegetables. It also presents a clean canvas for the tahini itself to shine and do its magic in building up flavor into the meal.

As such, you can break this into two meals, with the soup on its own and making the cauliflower croutons a snack all by themselves served with the tahini emulsion.

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4 leeks, chopped

2 medium turnips, chopped 

1 medium daikon, chopped

1-1/2 cups, unsalted stock, warm

 

For the Crouton:

3/4 cup cauliflower flowerlets

1 tsp coarse ground aleppo pepper

salt, pepper and olive oil as needed

 

For the Tahini Emulsion:

2 T ground sesame seed paste

4 T cold water

1/2 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a baking pan, toss the leeks, turnips and daikon together with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 10 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.

Puree with all the roasted vegetables with the stock. 

Bring the soup back to a boil on the stove and adjust the seasoning.

The soup can be made ahead and actually tastes even better the next day.

To make the croutons, toss the cauliflower-lets in aleppo pepper and salt. Heat oil on high in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. 

When hot and oil is rippling, add the cauliflower along with a sprinkle of water and cook for 2 minutes covered. 

The cauliflower will be softened but still crunchy in the center.

To make the emulsion, whisk all the ingredients by hand, adding water to make it runnier if preferred.

Serve the croutons atop the soup with sprinkled parley and finished with a drizzle of the emulsion.

 


NOURISHED Issue #3 - Fall 2014

NOURISHED Issue #3 - Fall 2014

I am super thrilled to say that the next issue of the NOURISHED magazine series is now available for download. This issue is timed with Fall, the riot of colors, Holidays, festive spirit and loving life. For me, Fall breathes a new spirit into life as the cooling and swiftness in the air leads to a skip in the step and a spring on the feet! Fall for me is sounds of laughter spiraling up with the swirling leaves. Fall is the time when little children cry in joy unbidden and entranced by the glory around. Fall is the time when grown people reconnect with their inner child and don't feel foolish about it! Fall is when everything is allowed and nothing is the limit!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Summer for me is a frenzy of trying to squeeze in as many things as possible. But as Autumn rolls in, I learn to relax, enjoy and take in the scenery. I learn to live each moment more, to pause and appreciate, to take pleasure. Before Winter rolls in and whites everything out, these last months of the years are filled with brightness, joy, color, love and happiness!

So, as you can see, this is a rather special issue for me. In "COLOR FALL", I have tried to keep the spirit of Fall festive while not-so-subtly straying from the typically....

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