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April 05, 2015

Food Thread: Chag Sameach, Y'all [CBD]

(Or in J.J. Sefton's case....Gut Yontiff!)

It means "Joyous Festival" in Hebrew, and it is the appropriate salutation. Although the sentiment is far more important than the specific words, so "have a good Passover" is lovely too.

matzo ball soup.jpg

The classic recipe for matzoh balls is simple: matzoh meal (ground matzoh), eggs, salt, and a bit of water (use seltzer for added loft). And that is boring. No offense to your Bubbe, whose recipe has been passed down for generations, but as some of you may know, fat is flavor, so add some duck fat or chicken fat or hell, for you gentiles, even some bacon fat. And for added pop, toss in the cracklings or little bits of bacon.

Notice that these little beasts would be incomplete without soup. Make a good chicken broth....don't wimp out and use canned crap.

And I said "little." The modern conceit, especially in restaurants, no doubt to save labor costs, is to make them monstrous....the size of baseballs. That is a crime against nature, as anyone who has ever hunted and field dressed matzoh can confirm.


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In honor of OregonMuse's daughter
asterix.jpg
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What? You didn't know that we had a 29-state Salmonella outbreak last summer that was responsible for at least 275 confirmed illnesses and one death? Oh...the CDC decided that you are too stupid and hysterical to act of your own volition.
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I marinated the lamb for the Seder in a blended mixture of parsley, garlic, olive oil, S&P, dried Rosemary, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and my rationale was simple; all of those things are great on lamb, and nothing seemed discordant. A classically trained chef might say, "That's real retarded, sir," but it worked, so tough shit.
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This is exactly my current thinking about steakhouses. I love steak. I could cheerfully, happily, without any worry about some mythical health effect eat steak every day of my life. But the idea of spending an insane amount of money on a steak at a steakhouse gives me the vapors.
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Olive oil poaching seems counter-intuitive. I was always told that low-temperature oil will soak into the food and make it greasy. But I have had fish cooked this way, and it works. One suggestion; do not use a strongly flavored extra-virgin olive oil. The inexpensive ones are usually milder in flavor and won't dominate the fish.
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This is from the NY Times. Specifically, one of their most irritating and pompous food writers: Mark Bittman. He irritates me beyond measure, but this is a nice recipe. Just don't worry too much about using preserved lemons. I have made it using fresh, and it works well.

Roasted Chicken With Preserved Lemons

Ingredients:

2 3 1/2-pound chickens
4 preserved lemons
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

1.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the preserved lemons into quarters and remove the rinds from the flesh, reserving both. Create a pocket between the skin and meat of each chicken breast. Slide pieces of the lemon rind, pith side down, into each pocket, two pieces per breast. Then rub the chickens with the remaining lemon flesh. Sprinkle the ground cumin over the birds and season with the salt and pepper.

2.
Set chickens on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the chickens and spread butter over the breasts, then drizzle with the honey. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Roast for 30 to 50 minutes, or until the skin is a burnished brown.

3.
Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 15 or 20 minutes.

4.
Reduce juice from pan over medium heat. Pour over carved chicken.

Update:Commenter "Additional Blond Agent" made the excellent point that if the NY Times is so irritating just go to the source: Moroccan cooking. Here is Paula Wolfert's preserved lemons recipe. As he points out, she has a couple of excellent Moroccan cookbooks.


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posted by Open Blogger at 03:55 PM

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