Veggie Vixen's Recipes for a Good Life

Food is Love

Loumas’ Authentic Falafel 10/03/2009

Filed under: Date night meals!-Vegetarian entrees,Recipe share — romancingthestone @ 1:37 pm
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This recipe was submitted by a dear friend who is currently  working in Palestine. In the time that I have known her, she has offered me the love and wisdom usually afforded only to family. We met many years ago, at a divey hotel in Notting Hill. Seeking solace from bedbugs and fawn eyed boys, we became fast friends and explored London together. For many years we have experienced the charms and losses that accompany growing up. We have reunited in many places around the world, often with great news of the future, or a broken heart, or a newfound cherished love. She is currently working with the Swedish, Israeli and Palestinian governments, in the hopes of restoring some peace and order to a ravaged land.

This recipe is from her Mother. A woman of Iraqi heritage with the most beautiful eyes. I have never met my friend’s mother, but I honor her because I know she has produced  beautiful, caring daughters who are trying to give back to the world….

 

Loumas

Loumas

 

Loumas´ authentic falafel

 

Ingredients:

500g dry chickpeas

4-5 garlic wedges – cut/ pressed into small pieces

3-4 onions

1 cup of finely chopped parsley

1 tea spoon Bi-Carb soda (baking soda)

2 tea spoons black pepper

1 tea spoon salt

 

(1 tea spoon curry for those who like to add some spice)

 

Cooking oil for frying the falafel

 

 

Preparation:

Soak the chickpeas in water from the evening before start cooking (aprox 8hours).

Grind the chickpeas in a grinder/ mixer until very finely minced.

Place the mix and all above ingredients, minus the oil, in a large bowl.

Mix well using your (clean) hands and then cover the bowl with a towel and leave for aprox 30minutes.

When the time is up, wet your hands and make small croquettes with your hands.

When the whole mix has been made into small croquettes, then they’re ready to fry.

Put oil into a frying pan and heat up for 5 minutes.

Fry the falafel until brown, and then turn to fry the other side until brown.

Place a serviette on a large plate and put the fried falafel on the plate, the serviette will then absorb the excess oil from the falafel.

 

Serve falafel on Arabic bread and hummus, tabbouli, fresh cut up tomato and onion.

Enjoy!

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Veggie Vixen’s Drunken Chicken 09/24/2009

Filed under: Date night meals!- Poultry — romancingthestone @ 1:03 pm
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blog drunken chickenI love the idea of drunken chicken. it makes it seem as If the chicken had a happy life before you devoured it.

Serve this main dish with a light salad, some fresh corn or papas caliente (see my new recipe!)

Drunken Chicken

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The Goods:

3 skinless chicken breast, each piece sliced in half

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion

oilve oil

fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary,oregano, sage or cilantro

1/3 cup of red wine

1/3 cup cold water

1 lemon, you will used chopped lemon zest as well as the lemon juice in the recipe.

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The way:

Add 2 tbsp oilve oil to a hot skillet. Add onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sautee for 2 minutes more. Add chicken. Be sure to brown each side about 2 minutes each side (The inside is still uncooked, but the searing locks in the flavor). Add the lemon zest to the 1/3 cup water and pour over the chicken to poach it. Add the lemon juice and the 1/3 cup of red wine. Simmer on medium heat until most of the liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes, flipping the chicken occasionally. Check to see if chicken is cooked thoroughly by slicing a large piece in half. It should be opaque and cooked through.

The chicken will have a rosy glow, like your cheeks after you eat this!

Enjoy,

M

 

Prismacolor… and Papas Caliente

tomatilloThere are a zillion wonderful recipe blogs out there, some have fancy photos and a vast following. In many ways, it makes no sense to start a new blog when there’s so much competition for your attention (and taste buds). But I realized, as I searched the vast ethernet for inspiration, that it’s the STORIES of the women and men who crafted the meal that I find so compelling.

Close your eyes, and think about a happy family memory (I know it’s hard to read on when your eyes are closed, but just take a moment….)

I bet there is something in that recollection that feels like prismacolor. Something is exaggerated, heightened… It often has to do with our sense memory. The  sound of your mother’s voice, a laugh. The smell of the kitchen at Christmas. Your grandfather’s scratchy cheeks. That’s what I want to write about.

The recipe is only half the story.

Tell me yours…I’m listening….

M

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PAPAS CALIENTE

This is a family recipe that has been passed down several generations. I think every family has a simple dish like this. It’s the comfort food the kids ask for when they come home from college, or the starchy bookends to a casual family meal.

This recipe was handed down to my mother from her best friend. They were two women with seemingly very little in common. One was a very warm, Jewish mother who could not cook. Her friend was a loud, dramatic Italian who owned a butcher shop and had five equally energetic children. 

My mother’s best friend was tall, with full hips and thighs. She seemed to use the force of her whole body when she chopped vegetables or prepared meat. I was very intimidated by her. Still, she was a great cook and one I must pay tribute to.

This recipe was first called “Guido Potatoes” as that was the name of the family who originated it. It originally used more oregano and onions. Then it became our families namesake potatoes as my father (the cook in the family) adapted it to his liking with a little paprika and more oil. Now, from memory, I have altered it again, based on what arrived in our CSA farm share this week. I call it Papas Caliente which can be translated to “hot potato” or  in Spangish  to “hot daddy” as per your liking.

The Goods:

8 med sized white potatoes, cut into chunks

2  med sized onions, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

olive oil

fresh herbs (I used cilantro, but dried oregano and rosemary are equally nice)

8 tomatillos, (halved and husked)*

salt and pepper

***For those of you that have never cooked with a tomatillo I must say that they are a kitchen’s “best kept secret”. I had never seen one before they arrived in our farm share. They look like small green tomatoes with thin paper husks. If you have ever had salsa verde, you’ve enjoyed tomatillos and perhaps didn’t know it! I am a convert.

If you don’t have fresh tomatillos you can used a mild crushed green chile or just some fresh salsa.

If you want to add some heat, sprinkle potatoes with cayenne pepper.

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The way:

Preheat oven to 425

Add 3 tbs olive oil to a roasting pan. Add potoatos and onions, and seasoning and mix together. Arrange tomatillios so they are cut side down along sides of dish. (This will help them to roast).Cook for about 25 minutes or until browned and softened. Stir once and turn pan to evenly cook. Cook 10-15 minutes more, moving the pan to the top of the oven to brown the potatoes. Finito!

Serve along side your favorite meat (Check out my recipe on drunken chicken).

 

Olga’s velvet cupcakes or two layer cake 09/14/2009

Filed under: Olga's Legacy,Vixen Sweets! — romancingthestone @ 9:02 pm
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blog chocolate cupcake

This recipe was found in Olga’s vintage wooden box. It is typed on an index card and has the word (Swell) written on the top right corner. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 3/4 cup cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Cream the butter. Add sugar and continue beating until very light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks. Then add the dry ingredients sifted together, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in vanilla and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.Fill pans 2/3 full of batter and bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes. Yields 18 cup cakes.

If baking a 2 layer cake , use 2 round cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes.

 

Olga’s Scandinavian Nut Cookies

Filed under: Olga's Legacy,Vixen Sweets! — romancingthestone @ 8:46 pm
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blog scandinavian nut cookies

This card was found in Olga’s vintage recipe box. It is typed onto an index card and looks for be from the late 1960’s. Please let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 cup nuts ground

1 tsp. vanilla

4 cups sifted flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

 

Directions:

Cream butter. Beat in sugar gradually. Add eggs one at a time then the nuts and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients 3 times. Add to creamed mixture.Roll in loaf and chill. Cut in thin slices. Bake 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.


 

Who’s Olga?

Filed under: Olga's Legacy — romancingthestone @ 8:32 pm
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I don’t know OLGA, but I love her. She was a mother and a cook. I don’t know what time she lived in, or why her box of handwritten recipes was discarded, and sold on ebay for a pittance. If she were my mother I would treasure her words and her labor with a tender grace. 

I rescued Olga’s box because I knew it would be something special. I knew I would value it and do her words proud. Opening her tiny wooden box was like stepping into another time. A little treasure trove of tastes and smells.

There are several different kinds of recipes in Olga’s box. Some are handwritten in a careful, educated script that seems thoughtful and elegant. Others are typed on to file cards, the letters slipping and uneven. When the cook would misspell something, she would simply turn the card over and begin again.

There are a few clippings from a ladies magazine. It says “TESTED IN THE AMERICAN HOME KITCHEN” at the bottom of the paper. The tablecloth on the black and white photo on the front looks like something from the 1950’s or 60’s. It has a lovely cherry print tablecloth with a gorgeous peach crumble a top the yellowed paper.

Some of the cards seem to be given to her from friends or family. There are many different handwritings. Olga, Juanita, Lill Batts. My favorite, beautifully written, from “your loving daughter”.

Food IS Love! And looking through this box makes me think of the legacy of flavors and traditions we pass on to those we love.

Your box is not lost, Olga. I am not sure why it landed in my hands, but I hope some of your meals can live on with us!

 

Calling All Vixens! We Want Your Recipes!

Filed under: More About Veggie Vixen,Uncategorized — romancingthestone @ 11:26 am
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vixenblog

 

Veggie Vixen would like to hear from you!

We are collecting special family recipes and would love to add your contributions to this site!

Interested? If so, please email me at this site or at shellysugarpie@yahoo.com with your recipe.

Please include details about the creator of the dish, or other memorabilia such as an old photograph or a memory about this meal.

One lucky participant will receive a VERY SPECIAL GIFT (nothing too fancy, but FUN)! Plus it’s always fun to share delicious recipes…

Remember, food is LOVE!