All posts filed under: cookery

Vibrancy & Vigor: An Ode to Vegetables

I currently reside in a shoebox apartment in the urban area of Austin, Texas. Though my space is a small one, I do try to keep a sensible garden. I’m not an expert gardener but slowly I have noticed my pale thumb turning increasingly green… leaving me thirstier for a bigger area to try my hand at seed and soil. “The word vegetable comes from the root that means the very opposite of immobile, passive, dull, or uneventful. Vegere means to animate, enliven, invigorate, arouse. Vegete means to grow, to be refreshing, to vivify, animate. From these roots come words such as vigil, vigilant, and vigor, with all their connotations of being wide-awake, alert, of keeping watch. ‘The understanding…was vagete, quick, and lively,” observed one critic in 1662. Ben Jonson described what he saw as desirable characteristics in woman, ‘faire, young, and vegetous.’ Such respect for the vegetable soul was not confined merely to a robust sensual life, but extended into the religious dimension. ‘Man is righteous in his Vegetated Spectre,’ proclaimed Blake when commenting …

Pickle Soup (Zupa Orgorkowa)

A lovely, light, spring or summer soup. *Note: It is important to use brined cucumbers (sour cucumbers) as opposed to the sweet, vinegar based ones you find in the grocery store. You can easily make your own using this recipe. Ingredients 20 g (3/4 oz) Butter 300 g (10 1/2 oz) Polski Ogorkie (those brined dill cucumbers) thinly sliced, or grated (reserve the pickle juice to add to broth.) 2-3 Potatoes (russets or yukons work great,) peeled, diced 1-2 Carrots, peeled, diced 1 liter (35fl oz/4C) Soup stock (I use chicken stock or bone broth…. but you can easily make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by substituting for veg. & using sunflower oil instead of butter). 60 ml (2fl oz / 1/4 cup) cream (for pouring) Fresh, chopped dill Instructions  Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat, after foam separates add in sliced cucumbers. Reduce heat,  stir and wait until softened. Remove cucumbers and reserve. Add potatoes, carrots, and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook veg until soft. Add pickles and cook for another …

Ogórki Małosolne

These Polish-style, slightly salted cucumbers are a bit different to regular pickled cucumbers, the vinegar based ones you find in stores or make at home. They don’t use vinegar at all and contain less salt in the brine therefore they ferment faster and have to be eaten within weeks. These are also the ones that are used for cucumbers soups (zupa orgorkowa) These pickles do no require vinegar as the preservative method, but instead, use a salted water solution (brine) allowing for a natural fermentation process. I’ve talked to several Polish women, my mother-in-aw included, who claim these are much healthier than vinegar based pickled cucumbers (though I’m not a nutritionist, so I can make no such claims.) These salted cucumbers are a traditional Polish dish but other countries have similar marinated cucumbers recipes: Danish syltede agurker, Estonian soolakurgid or German salz-dill Gurken just to mention few. INGREDIENTS – Garden cucumbers / pickling cucumbers – About 4 liters of boiled water – One TB Kosher salt (per jar you want to fill) I usually do …

Rainy Day Recipes: Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a savory eggplant dip that is as simple to make as it is delicious to eat. If you’re a fan of hummus I urge you to give this dish a try! Ingredients  1 large eggplant  (I make large portions of this dip to eat throughout the week, feel free to double or triple the recipe if you so wish!) 3 gloves of garlic 2-3 TB of tahini (Make your own, it’s super simple!) Sea sale/ Kosher salt (TT) Lemon juice (TT) Instructions  Cut eggplant in half and score. Don’t waste your time dicing the eggplant as it will be much easier to remove the skin if the eggplant is left in bigger pieces. Salt and lay skin side down on sheet tray. Drizzle a oil over eggplant (I generally put the garlic on the sheet tray along with the eggplant and a couple of Serrano peppers… the peppers aren’t necessary, I just like the kick) Let the eggplant roast in the oven (350 degrees) until soft. Take sheet tray out of the …

Rainy Day Recipes: Kimchi

Ingredients VEG. 1 Napa cabbage, around 1000g (2.2lbs) 2 bunches of green onions, washed with bulb removed 1/4 medium size daikon, julienned (or whatever is your preference) 2 medium carrots, julienned (or whatev.) 6 garlic cloves, peeled 1 meduim piece of ginger, peeled 2 aisian pears, peeled OTHER 1/3 cup kosher salt 4 tb Korean chili powder (ground chili flakes or sambal can also work) 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1-2 tablespoon Korean salted shrimp (you can also buy shrimp in chili flakes for an extra kick) 1 cup water 1-1.5 tablespoons sugar Instructions Clean cabbage and remove any browned leaves and quarter it. From here you can cut it into strips or larger pieces. Salt the pieces of cabbage evenly, mixing with your hands so that all pieces are lightly coated with salt. Let this sit overnight (generally for eight hours). You’ll wake up to find the leaves softened and wilted. Now rinse the cabbage (I like filling up my sink and soaking it) and squeeze out the excess water (you don’t want super salty …

Simple & Savory Pumpkin Soup

Most pumpkin recipes I’ve come across feature the sweet, rather than the savory side of pumpkin… but this fall favorite can be as diverse as it is delicious! Here’s a recipe for a savory pumpkin soup with just the right amount of spice. P.S. This is entirely vegan  Savory Pumpkin Soup 3 Serrano chilies (this can vary depending on your spice preference) 4 cloves garlic 1 tsp grated ginger 1 large onion, chopped 1 c olive oil .75 l of vegetable stock 1.5 tbsp tamarind paste 2 tbsp coconut milk   0.5 Kilograms of pie/ sugar pumpkin (the ones used for baking not for carving) 0.5 Kilograms delicata squash 2.5 tsps coriander seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds 1/4 tsp nigella seeds 1/4 tsp mustard powder   Preheat the oven to 450°F. Dice onion and 2 cloves garlic. Saute in a pan until translucent. Put this off to the side. Place the coriander, cumin  and nigella seeds in a dry frying pan and brown over medium heat until they golden & smell nice and toasty. Grind in a mortar and pestle with mustard powder. …