Sunday, August 11, 2019

In the Bag: Sometimes You Just Need A Coffee To Go -- Steeped Coffee Single-Serve Brews

Steeped Coffee individual brew bag in action 
Just a quick shout out to Steeped Coffee (which provided free samples) for their real coffee in single-serving brew bags (like large tea bags). I used several on a recent camping trip in the United Kingdom and found it convenient and flavorful, much better than instant. My favorites were the darker roasts, but I appreciated the decaf bags since many places we visited did not offer brewed decaf.

One tip, cover the top of your cup with a plate or napkin while the bag is steeping to keep the drink hotter.

A shout out, too, to Spaceships UK, the company we rented our compact camper minivan from (no freebies, there, we paid). Great equipment and great service.

Photo taken at a private campground in the Lake District in England.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Don't Pass Over These Passover Recipes -- A Round Up of Pesach Dishes from Column and Blog and Soup to Nuts

A variety of harosets celebrates the diversity of the Jewish food ways
It's that time of year again -- the time of year where families and friends gather around and ask the four questions -- what can I eat, why can't I eat that, when do we eat (said during the Seder) and how did I eat so much?

Seder Plate
Joking aside, it's a time of special meals and special ingredients and restrictions.  The recipes featured below follow general Ashkenazi traditions of no rice, beans, corn or other kitniyot, which are traditionally eaten by some Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews (and now by some Conservative Jews). If the recipes include processed foods such as tomato sauce they are available certified for Passover and are available on line if not locally.

Many of these recipes are from my j., The Jewish News of Northern California column, others are from Blog Appetit. Some are suitable for Seder, others for every day cooking, some work for both.  Enjoy.

Chicken Soup, Matzah Balls
Appetizers and Starters
Eggplant Garlic, Eggplant Almond and Roasted Vegetable Dips
Vegan Matzah Balls
Horseradish Stuffed Eggs
Baked Gefilte Fish with Beet-Horseradish Topping
Bitter Herbs Salad
Zucchini Fritters
Levana Kirschenbaum's Moroccan Fish Soup
Gluten Free Chicken Almond Dumplings for Soup
Matzah Balls with Fresh Herbs
Matzah Balls 101
Chicken Soup 101

Main Courses

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole (with ground beef)
Caramelized Balsamic Chicken
Paula Shoyer's Brisket and Roast Salmon
Paula Shoyer's Roast Salmon
Vegan and Gluten Free Moussaka with Two Sauces
 Saucy Eggplant Bake
Zucchini-Matzah Meal Crust Pizza and Oven Frittata with Peppers and Greens
Salmon Steamed in Foil
Grilled Lamb (note: many Ashkenazi do not eat lamb for Seder while many other Jews regard it as an important component of the Seder table.)
Lamb Stew with Tomatoes, Peppers and Dill
Gluten Free Chicken Vegetable Tagine with Quinoa
Cauliflower Matzah Bake, Apple and Vegetable Cobbler

Strawberry Chocolate Pudding
Lemon Ice and Strawberry Chocolate Pudding
Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Baked  Matzah Dessert
Tzimmes Cookies and Cake
Jeff Nathan's Poached Apricots with Lemon and Thyme
Almond Brittle
Lemon Pistachio Bars

Custard Matzah Brei
Matzah Granola and Pesach Crepes
Haroset Matzah Fry
Quinoa Berry Muffins
Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple, Moroccan Carrot Salad
Custard Matzah Brei
Passover Potato Gnocchi
Four Haroset Recipes from Around the World
One More Haroset Recipe

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Hostel Take on a Green Tea French Toast Recipe

Green Tea French Toast came about when I was faced with a limited palette of ingredients in a Japanese hostel’s well equipped kitchen and wanted something homey but still foreign for brunch.

The hostel, the Emblem in Kanazawa, Japan, had a large and well equipped kitchen and a nice seating area. I had bread, butter, eggs, and milk. The hostel provided sugar and salt. All well and good, I could make perfectly good but possibly bland pain perdu with those ingredients, but my custardary, rich take called out for some flavoring agent. At home I’d use cinnamon and vanilla or orange zest. They were not in my larder here, so to speak. What I did have was fresh ginger and a green tea bag. The bag was matcha (powdered green tea) mixed with finely ground green tea. Doing this again, I would use all matcha tea, but the combo worked well for flavoring the custard. I only had enough day-old baguette to make two generous servings with a taste for the curious hostel staff. Usually I serve my French toast with a choice of maple syrup, jam and or yogurt, here I just skipped the toppings, but if you have them, they would work well. I think it would also be nice with a ginger syrup and whipped cream.

For my traditional French Toast recipe which uses challah, vanilla and cinammon, please click here.

Green Tea French Toast
Serves 2-3

½ cup milk
1 matcha and green tea bag (matcha mixed with green tea) or 1 tsp. powdered matcha
2 Tbs. sugar
1 large egg
⅛ tsp. salt
½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
About 10 slices day-old baguette, sliced 1” thick (about 90 grams)
1 Tbs. butter for frying, plus more as needed
Extra sugar or powdered sugar for garnish, as desired
Green tea or matcha for garnish, if available and as desired

Simmer milk (do not boil). Remove from heat once simmering. Add tea bag (or mix in matcha). Let steep until cool. Remove tea bag if using, pressing on it with a spoon to make sure all the liquid returns to the pot. (If using all matcha, stir to make sure it is fully dissolved.)

Beat together sugar, egg, salt and ginger. Slowly pour in the milk, beating constantly, until well mixed. Place bread slices in a rimmed dish, pour milk mixture over bread, covering completely. Let stand, turning slices over occasionally, about 5-10 minutes until custard is mostly absorbed by the bread.

Heat butter over medium heat until sizzling. Fry slices until browned on one side then flip and fry other side until browned, working in batches if need be. Sprinkle tops of finished French toast with sugar or powdered sugar if desired. Sprinkle with additional 1 tsp. matcha or tear open a fresh green tea bag and crumble some of the tea to a fine dust and garnish with about a teaspoon of that.