Monday, September 12, 2011

What's A Girl To Eat In Vermont?

Well for starters, she can eat crepes . . .
J.'s Crepes in Her Own Words:
Crepes are 1 cup flour, 2 beaten eggs, 3/4 c milk, 3/4 c beer, pinch of salt.  Mix.  Preferable to let it rest for a half hour or so.  Fry in buttered pan.  Flip once.  Easy peasy.  Oh, I like to put freshly toasted coconut and walnuts, slivers of banana and a dash of cinnamon inside, then roll them up and pour some maple syrup on top, but you can do absolutely anything.  Good savory or sweet.

And on the night when welding class is over, she can eat big thick steaks fro Yuskak's Supermarket in Shushan, NY.  - put J.'s mother's potatoes and squash and onions on the side - share a bottle of red with J.'s mom, talk too much and forget all yer troubles . . .
Squash & Onions
Slice three or four small yellow squash from the garden. Slice up one large sweet onion. Melt a big gob of butter in a fry pan, add the onions, cook them til their soft, add the squash, add a teaspoon of sugar, plenty of salt and pepper, cook til the squash are soft.

She can eat pizza made in a fiery oven on a NY State hilltop among the Utopians . . .

She can make J. a meal of black bean ful which will not only suffice for dinner with lots of crusty bread, but will travel well to welding class the next day for lunch with chocolate zucchini bread . . .
Moosewood Restaurant's Black Bean Ful slightly abridged:
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup olive oil
5 or 6 smashed garlic cloves
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup chopped parsley
several boiled eggs in wedges
one lemon in wedges
Drain and rinse the beans, put in a sauce pan with enough water to cover and heat them gently over medium heat - don't bring the water to a boil, you just want the beans warm enough so that when you add them to a large bowl containing the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper that the heat of the beans bring all those flavors together. Let them sit for ten minutes, then add the tomatoes and parsley and mix carefully. Arrange the boiled egg wedges around the edge of the bowl and serve with lemon wedges. Great warm, even better cold the next day!
If she remembered to pack her tagine, which she did, and if J. happens to have some spring lamb in the freezer, which she did, and if J.'s mother genersously provides an exquisite eggplant from her garden, which actually happened, well then, a tagine of lamb with apricots served with buttery couscous and a side of roasted sliced eggplant can be made pretty easily . . .
Mishmishiya - Tagine of Lamb with Apricots
from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
Serves 6 -8 The dish derives its name from the Arabic word for apricot -- mishmish. Only a tart natural -- not sweetened -- dried or semi-dried variety will do. Fresh apricots may also be used, in which case they should be added at the end and cooked for few minutes only, so that they don't fall apart. The reason why there is fresh gingeroot rather than the ground spice which is usual in Morocco is that the recipe come from Paris. Serve with bread. [J. and Wolfy served it with buttery couscous, recipe to follow]
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Good pinch of ground chili pepper, to taste
2 pounds leg or shoulder of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and plenty of pepper
1 1/2 inches fresh gingerroot, cut into slices
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound dried apricots
A 14-ounce can chickpease, drained (optional)
Fry the onions gently in oil until soft.
Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, and chili powder, and put in the meat. Turn the pieces over, add salt and pepper, ginger, and garlic, and cover with about 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours [this is where using a genuine tagine really makes all the difference!], turning the meat over occasionally, and adding water if necessary.
Add the apricots and cook for 1/2 hour or more, adding water if necessary.
Add the drained chickpeas, if using, 10 minutes before the end.
Roasted Eggplant:
Slice eggplant in half inch thick slices. Salt and let sit for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Rinse and pat eggplant dry, rub with generous amount of olive oil, arrange on a metal baking pan, roast until golden brown and soft.
Plain Buttery Couscous
from Gillie Basan's Tagine, Spicy Stews from Morocco
1 2/3 cups traditional couscous, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons safflower or olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, in small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degress F.
Tip the couscous into an ovenproof dish. Stir the salt into the water and pour it over the couscous. Leave the couscous to absorb the water for about 10 minutes.
Using your fingers, rub the ol into the grains to break up the lumps and air them. Dot the butter over the surface and cover with a piece of foil or wet, greaseproof paper. Put the dish in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through. 
Fluff up the grains with a fork and serve the couscous from the dish, or tip it onto a plate piled high in a pyramid.
Note from Wolfy: This couscous is extremely addictive - once you have eaten it, you will figure out that just about any meal you make goes with couscous - you will find yourself making every excuse to make couscous . . . you have been warned.

And finally when she goes to the races in Saratoga for the day, she can eat fried chicken with cranberry coleslaw at Hattie's Chicken Shack.

 yes, one of those customers is Wolfy,
photo by J.

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