Sweet and Savory Galettes 
dough from Baking with Julia (Child)

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EASTER EATS – Sweet and Savory Galettes 

dough from Baking with Julia (Child)

INGREDIENTS, makes enough for 2-8″ galettes
3T sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk – sub buttermilk powder 1:4, powder: water)
1/3c ice water (approx)
1c AP gluten-free flour
1/4c yellow cornmeal
1t sugar
1/2t salt
7T cold unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces

PROCEDURE
1. stir sour  cream, yoghurt or buttermilk powder and ice water together – set aside
2. mix flour, cornmeal,  sugar, and salt
3. cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry knife – pieces should range  between breadcrumb sizes and small peas. I usually take the super easy path and put into my food processor and “pulse” to cut the butter.
4. sprinkle cold water sour cream mixture, 1 T at a time until moist enough to stick  together when pressed
5. divide the dough into 1/2s and press  each in disk shape,  wrap in plastic, and
6. refrigerate for at least 2 hours (keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge or in the freezer – perfect for galettes on demand when you feel like dressing up a meal or being the culinary hero at your community brunch)
7. roll each disk to 11″ round, 1/8″ thick
8. dough will be soft; toss flour on board and keep turning and adding additional flour as you roll it out, in order to prevent  sticking
9. transfer dough to sheet pan, should slide easily; otherwise lift incremntally with a very flat wide spatula or pastry scraper
10. fill with the fruit of your choice (drizzle the rolled out dough with honey or maple syrup, fan layer with sliced fruit and top with a few slices of butter ) OR vegetables with salt and herbs (saute the veggies lightly first). Suggestions: SWEET – 1). peaches, 2). plums, 3). a blend of apples with dried fruit & nuts – dates, apricots, almonds, pecans SAVORY – 1). potatoes with rosemary, 2). sweet potatoes, beets and carrots, sage and pine nuts
11. fold  over edges of galette
12. bake on cookie sheet at 400 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.
13. savory galette makes for an impressive brunch baked with an egg sunnyside up and a side green salad; sweet galette with vanilla ice cream or cashew cream.

Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup

Passover starts tonight, April 14, at sundown and is the Jewish holiday that lasts 8 days and commemorates FREEDOM.

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At Passover, families, extended families, friends and friends of friends come together for a ceremonial dinner, called a seder, in which we eat symbolic foods and read from the Haggadah – which is a libretto that tells the story of the  the Jews flight from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
We eat a bread, that is not leavened and resembles a cracker, called Matzoh, to signify the bread that was eaten in the desert while the Jews were in flight and had no time for bread to rise.
You know it’s close to Passover, when stores have big displays of matzoh crackers and other related matzoh products.
I grew up on Chicken soup, referred to as “Jewish Penicillan”, and especially loved Chicken Matzoh Ball soup, which is a mainstay of most seder menus. Matzoh balls are delicious dumplings made from matzoh meal, vegetables and spices and elevate any bowl of chicken soup to treat status. Maztoh balls usually come in 2 forms – floaters (light and fluffy with just a bit of chewy at the center) and sinkers (dense and resembling cannon balls). You generally get ridiculed (just a bit and lovingly) and wear the passover seder badge of shame if you’ve made a pot of sinkers. SO…that’s why I recommend using a boxed mix and following the instructions. Mazel Tov! – that’s good luck in yiddish.
Regarding chicken soup and me, I have a sorted relationship. Since we ate waaaay too much chicken at my house growing up, and since the poultry industry has inhumane standards that make me really sad, I’ve come up with this great stand-in recipe made from red lentils sans chicken.  (Think chickens raised with hormone injections, living in cages with no room to move around freely, their nails growing around the wires, no access to the outdoors, the tips of their beaks being burned off…yep, that’s what really happens at Foster Farms and most chickens sold)
What I love about my Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup is that it does no harm to any animal and does benefit to ME and to YOU for all it’s healthful ingredients – top ones to mention – lentils, onion, burdock root and seaweed.
I confess that recently I had chicken soup which I made from a $25 raw whole chicken raised hormone-free in a pasture, eating organic feed. It is tasty, I confess but pricey. I’m still working out my ethics. I’ll let you work out yours.
The matzoh balls do use eggs, which I recommend buying organic pasture raised eggs – they are more expensive, about $1.25 per egg,  but you’ll notice the difference in taste and if you really pay attention, energetically. I no longer take eggs for granted – they are laid one at a time, often one egg per day. Remember – it only seems like eggs come ceaselessly out of a  lottery ball blower.
Now for the SOUP –
Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup
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Ingredients
 
1 cup RED lentils, (the red one’s dissolve to create a nice body)
1 medium onion
2 carrots
2 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 stalk fresh sage, or 1 T dried sage
1 3″ strip of kombu seaweed
2 T olive oil
fresh parsley
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Burdrock root is one of the more obscure ingredients that will give this recipe depth and power-charge your health – great for your kidneys, tonifies the blood, builds chi. It’s sold at local stored dried & diced or in it’s root form raw. Either is perfect to use and if you can’t find it, don’t sweat.
 
Instructions:
 
  1. Mince or pulse 1/2 the onion in a food processor
  2. Heat up light pour of olive oil in a 8 QT soup pot
  3. Saute the onion til it starts to clarify and brown slightly
  4. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and add to the pot with 10-12 cups water
  5. Add bay leaf, sage and kombu
  6. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer and periodically skim off the foam that will spread over the top of the broth.
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  7. Chop the carrot, celery, garlic and remaining onion – a uniform medium-sized dice or a larger rough cut that are bite sized, your preference.
  8. Add veggies to the simmering lentils.
  9. Cook until veggies are tender, and lentils are well-broken down.
  10. To finish this off: ADD vegetarian “chicken” broth powder, to taste or red miso paste, add approximately 1 teaspoon per cup of soup, diluted first in a small amount of water and then added to each serving. (when you boil miso, it kills the live pro-biotics that make it such a soothing healer for you digestive track).
AND THE MATZOH BALLS PLEASE: 
Last year I experimented with making gluten-free, egg-free matzoh balls. They were more like sticky gnocchi than fluffy matzoh balls, so I’m sticking to my mom’s recipe – aka A BOXED MIX. This year I am using Manishewitz Low-Sodium Matzoh Ball Mix (Streitz is also a great brand) – follow the instructions on the box. Here’s where you’ll use 2 eggs and 2 T oil. 
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If you need a vegan matzoh ball – experiment with substituting flax meal and baking powder for the eggs.
 
Serve one or two matzoh balls into each bowl and enjoy with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley.
 
Here’s to your freedom, (and the chicken’s – “Buk buk buk buk bukkaaaaa”).
 

 

PALEO HORCHATA – Frothing at the mouth!

One of the activities that I do that puts me in an instant state of celebration is singing in a Gospel choir. The other is going to Oakland’s Ethiopian restaurant, Cafe Colluci.
The other night, driving home from choir rehearsal, craving for Ethiopian food sweeps over my mind and taste buds. I call in to order some Buticha to go –  which is kind of like hummus in consistency – creamy & thick – made from chickpea flour, olive oil, diced jalapeño peppers and tomatoes and oh!, so delicious.
As soon as I hang up, I realize that I also have a hankering for their flax seed drink. Since I know it’s made with honey, flax seed and water, I decide I’m going going to use up some of my flax seeds and experiment with making this myself.
And OH! How glad I am. It’s like getting a blood transfusion to drink this bevvie, which I soon learn is called TELBA, the Ethiopian word for flax seed.
I don’t know if I’m chronically dehydrated or if my body just loves the creamy, lightly sweet rich beverage. I think back to how much I used to LOVE thai iced teas, until I started eliminating sugar and caffeine from my diet and low and behold thai iced teas have become part of my past.
BUT TELBA – oh so good, oh! so healthy. And OH! SO EASY TO MAKE.
AND OH! How with a little added cinnamon, it resembles HORCHATA, which I love except it’s also generally made with sugar  and if you’re paleo, grains are a no-no.
OH! We have solutions, to all these forbidden fruits!
Here’s what you’ll need for TELBA / PALEO HORCHATA:
Ingredients, 4 to 6 servings
  • Flaxseed — 1 cup
  • Water — 6 cups
  • Honey — 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon

Method

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add the flaxseed and dry roast it in the skillet, stirring, for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the toasted flaxseed in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Sift through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  3. Add the water to the flaxseed in a blender, stir and let set for about 10-20 minutes to allow the seeds to soften.
  4. Blend and serve.
  5. Note: You can also strain into a pitcher if you want a very smooth drink. I often skip this step to keep it simple.
  6. Add honey, a pinch of salt and cinnamon.
  7. Chill before serving or blend with ice.

Variations for Flavor Fun

  • Telba Firfit: Mix telba with broken up pieces of (injera) bread and heat. Serve as a sidedish. Almost like bread pudding.
  • Toasted grains, unhulled barley and sunflower seeds are sometimes added to telba for additional flavor.
  • Experiment with varied different spices, a few together or one at a time: cardamom, ginger & turmeric is another fave of mine.
  • Use this instead of milk: poured over cold or hot cereal or with a piece of chocolate cake.

April Fools Chocolate Genie Cake

SURPRISE! April Fool’s – this gluten-free chocolate cake is made with VEGETABLES. It will fool even the most veggie-reluctant husband or 8 year old. Plus it’s low fat – made with no oil or eggs!
You can use any cake mix, but I love using a chocolate mix. I used Pamela’s Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe, available at The Food Mill or most health food stores, some big grocery chains and certainly online. If you must, this recipe works with Duncan Hines…or if you’re concerned with sugar content, use your favorite cake recipe from scratch where you control the amount and type of sweetener.
INGREDIENTS
makes 8-12 slices
1 box cake mix, any flavor
2 Tbsp baking powder (for a chewier cake replace 1 T baking powder with 1 T flax meal)
3 cups fresh fruit and vegetables, shredded, (I used the grater adapter on my cuisinart)
parchment paper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Precut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the electric skillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. While oven is preheating, combine dry cake mix with baking powder and flax meal into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Shred and add veggies and fruit. Stir vigorously into the cake mix.
  5. Pour into baking pan or oven-safe skillet and cover. Cook 25 minutes or until done. Cake is done when it does not jiggle when skillet is shaken.
  6. Once cake is cooled, give  an easy shake to loosen. Place cake platter over top of skillet and invert cake onto platter.
  7. May be frosted if desired.
TIPS
  • Here are some other great combinations:
  • celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, apple (what I used today)
  • carrots, celery, pears, potatoes, apples
  • yellow squash, zucchini squash, bananas, orange
  • Cooking time varies slightly based on moisture of the fruit or vegetable mix you choose, but 25 minutes is normal.
  • If you check the progress of the cake by lifting the lid often, you will lengthen cooking time.
  • If you happen to burn the bottom of the cake slightly, simply use a serrated knife to cut off the burned bottom. The flavor of the cake will still be perfectly in-tact.

One favorite and easy frosting is:

Chocolate Mousse

Made with a ripe avocado, raw cacao powder, a pinch of salt and your favorite healthy sweeter. Blend it all together in the food processor til it’s smooth, then place in the fridge to let it set before spreading.

For fun flavor combos: you can add almond extract, ground almonds and cardamom to the cake batter.

April’s Holidays make The Food Mill Recipe Line-Up

We have a great line-up for April recipes and food demos all in honor of April holidays.
April 4&5 – April Fool’s Day – Chocolate Cake
April 11&12 – Passover – Vegetarian “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup
April 18&19 – Easter – Sweet Beet & Carrot Gallete
April 25&26 – South African Freedom Day  20th Year Anniversary of the first free elections after the end of apartheid – We’ll feature one of Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Foods
Come in to The Food Mill and enjoy some tastes, learn some new cooking techniques and take home customized chef recipes for cooking tasty meals to improve your health and increase your energy.