We both love spice and I regularly employ all sorts of hot peppers in the kitchen, but jalapeño receives the lion’s share of our attention. Never keen on letting fresh ingredients go to waste (nor exercising self-restraint in the garden or at the market when produce is in season + the price is right), I set off on an adventure to save the latest collection of chillies.
There is a definite seasonal urgency to cooking, especially this time of year. One minute you’re on top of the game, the next Mother Nature snatches away your favorite ingredients without warning. Removing her wrench from my plans is where you will currently find me.
Originally conceived to capture the final harvest of fresh figs, our tree took an early holiday, and has since been put to bed. But I’m a sucker for fig cookies, and darned if this setback was going to impede my weekly baking therapy — dried, it is!
By now you know that I take great pleasure dabbling in all manner of edible DIY projects that improve nutrition, enhance flavor, save money, or are simply fun + intriguing.
To appeal to my inner crunchy-granola-ness: Homemade sprouted mung beans.
Unlike garden sprouting, sprouting in the kitchen requires no green thumb, and is addictively simple. And fascinating!
Pâte à choux (pronounced “pah-ta-zhoo”) is what one might call the universal French dough. From only four main ingredients — butter + liquid (water or milk) + flour + eggs — comes the basis for many types of pastries.
There are the famously French éclairs and profiteroles, and the more American cream puffs and crullers. Gougères take the dough in a savory direction, and the towering croquembouche in its spun sugar cage is an edible masterpiece. But it’s sweet little chouquettes that are my personal favorite.
I call these fritters instead of falafel because, whereas falafel are usually deep-fried – often translating to greasy + heavy – these are sautéed in a lightly oiled skillet for a (healthier) bite that’s tender + fluffy inside with a light crisp on the outside.
Calling on Israeli flavors to pair with a colorful veg chop, I incorporated cilantro, mint, cumin, chillies and lemon into the black bean base — something a bit different and unexpected for summer. In keeping with the theme, ours landed atop a mixture of spinach and arugula, fresh mint and basil leaves. Lemon-thinned tahini sauce + a sprinkle of sumac to finish.