June 29, 2008

Lemon Ricotta latkes

Lemon Ricotta latkes
This recipe WILL work!

The name "ricotta" means "cooked again" in Italian, referring to the second processing of the liquid to produce the cheese and is available in whole milk and part-skim milk versions.

Yields: 16 latkes/pancakes

1 1/2 cups cup all-purpose flour, 1 Tbs. baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 eggs, 4 Tbsp melted butter or vegetarian margarine, 2/3 cup milk, juice and grated rind of one lemon

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, butter, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.
Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Brush the griddle with butter. Pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Top with fresh berries and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Лимонные оладьи из итальянского сыра "Ricotta".

Рико́тта (Ricotta) — итальянский сыр, приготовляемый из молочной сыворотки (а не из молока, как традиционные сыры), остающейся после приготовления моцареллы или других сыров.

На 16 оладий.

1 1/2 чашек муки, 1 столовая ложка разрыхлителя, 1/2 чайной ложки соли, 1 чашка сыра Ricotta, 2 столовые ложки сахара, 2 яйца, 2/3 чашки молока, 4 столовые ложки размягченного сливочного масла или маргарина, сок и цедра из одного лимона.

Перемешать муку, разрылитель и соль в небольшой посудине. В отдельной миске перемешать яйца, сыр, молоко, масло, лимонный сок и цедру. Добавить мучную сухую смесь и все хорошо перемешать.

Подогреть масло на сковороде. Выпекать блины на горячей сковороде, смазанной растительным маслом. Дать остыть, посыпать сахарной пудрой. Подавать со свежими фруктами.

June 28, 2008

What Makes a Good Cookbook?

What Makes a Good Cookbook?05.23.08

There was a moment of shocked silence when executive editor Doc Willoughby said he’d given away most of his cookbooks. Then all hell broke loose. “You did what?” Ruth Reichl exclaimed. Someone else asked, rather testily, why he hadn’t had a tag sale. Another colleague literally put her head in her hands, while executive food editor Kempy Minifie went straight to the heart of the matter. “How on earth did you choose?” she said.

And that, of course, led to a freewheeling, spirited (and still evolving) discussion about the definition of a good cookbook. Doc wasn’t remotely defensive, but he was adamant: “The recipes have to work,” he said. “Otherwise, I’m not interested.” There should be a Shelf of Shame, we agreed, for books with bad recipes. You might attempt, and fail, at one several times before realizing you’re not to blame—but being disappointed (or disappointing others) at mealtime is no fun.

Sloppily written recipes are one thing, but the overall tone of a cookbook is rather like architecture: You respond to it whether or not you’re aware of it. Want to be taken by the hand and shown how to do something step by step? Julia Child’s your gal. Her great enthusiasm is always corralled by very rigorous, very correct, very French technique. One has to be in the mood. Marcella Hazan’s recipe style is also informative; her reserve stands in contrast to Julia’s ebullience, but at the end of the day, her tone is charming and relaxed in a way that’s typically Italian. This isn’t to say that Marcella isn’t formidable in her own right, but she is more about sharing than teaching. A conversational tone can also take the anxiety out of cooking something that is generally thought of as difficult. Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore do that beautifully in Fish Without A Doubt, the inaugural offering in our Gourmet Cookbook Club. Economical, even terse, recipe writing has its place as well. Take The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book: Although it presupposes a certain level of knowledge (“Make a dough with 2 cups flour and 1 egg, ½ teaspoon salt and water”), it also makes you feel as though you have been invited to a fabulous dinner party—and that’s long before you reach the recipe for a friend’s Haschich Fudge, “which might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR.”

But there is more to a good cookbook than recipes. When pressed, Doc found himself conceding that there are some he treasures simply for the inspiration or sound advice they contain. What speaks to me, I realize, are cookbooks that almost subconsciously have taught me how to understand food, and what flavors and ingredients work together. My enjoyment of food descriptions stretches back to a childhood spent with the Little House on the Prairie series (those books are full of wonderful meals), and continues to this day: The prose has to make me want to eat that food. The author must convince me, for instance, why his or her recipe for panna cotta is better, or more interesting, than all the others that exist in the world. The author should evoke a sense of place, and above all, evoke how people live.
Often, the unsung star of the show is what causes you to stop and read a recipe in the first place: its title. Think of the timeless appeal of Edna Lewis’s books; all it takes is “Thin-Sliced Cucumbers Marinated in Sugar and White Vinegar,” “Skillet Scallions,” and “Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce” to capture the essence of a hot summer day. New York caterers Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, authors of the 1980s blockbuster The Silver Palate Cookbook, were brilliant at giving you a sense of what a dish should taste like with a few well-chosen words—“Chicken Breasts Baked on a Bed of Wild Mushrooms,” “Creamy Pasta Sauce with Fresh Herbs,” “American Picnic Potato Salad.” These are the sort of cookbooks I like to read, prone on the sofa, on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

An imaginative cookbook might lead me to a novel, and sometimes I find myself greedily absorbed in both, practically simultaneously. The Silver Palate, for instance, always makes me think of Laurie Colwin, whose work I discovered at the same time. Another perennial favorite, Jane Grigson’s masterful Good Things, reminds me of the plain, elegant writing of Barbara Pym and even that of Eliza Acton, in Modern Cookery for Private Families—as engaging today as it was in 1845, when it was first published. “Cut the cauliflowers into small handsome tufts, boil them until three parts done, and drain them well,” Eliza writes. “…When they are quite cold, dip them separately into the batter … fry them a light brown, arrange them neatly in a dish, and serve them very hot.”

Even if you have never picked up a cauliflower before, you know you are in the hands of a friendly, capable cook, yet you don’t feel bossed around—and that might well be the most important hallmark of a good cookbook. We all want to learn something, after all, but writing that’s full of intimidation—or, worse, condescension—can drive a person out of the kitchen in no time flat. And that would be a tragedy, because everyone deserves a delicious homemade meal.

Article from Gourmet

June 26, 2008


Savory Meat Strudel (FLEISCHSTRUDEL)
This is one of my favorite HOMY dishes.

Dough Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!" Random House, 2000

1 package active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F, 3 cups all-purpose flour (my note: 2 1/2 cups of flour - 3 cups of flour), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
In a food processor, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and process until the mixture forms a ball. (The pizza dough can also be made in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook).

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 2 hours. (You can leave a dough overnight in refrigerator).

Work dough by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Filling: 1 lb boiled veal, 1 egg, 1/2 cup chopped fresh onion, salt, pepper, garlic. Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Spread meat filling over stretched dough. Fold edges inwards so that filling does not spill while baking. Brush edges with butter. Roll the dough, using the dish towel to help. Place strudel on a greased and floured pan with the edge on the bottom.

Prepare the egg wash and brush entire strudel with the egg wash. Transfer sheet to preheated 350 F oven and bake 45 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Transfer strudel to cutting board, allow it to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with a salad for a delicious taste treat. Makes a great luncheon or brunch dish, too.

Note: you can use a meat leftovers for filling.

June 23, 2008

Yiddish from Moscow

Watch, cry, smile, and enjoy!

Yiddishe mama

Gefilte fish

Sholom Aleichem


Eggplant Caviar

Eggplant Caviar

Makes 3 cups

2 medium eggplants (1 1/2 lb.), 1 large red bell pepper, 1 large yellow bell pepper, 1 red small onion, finely chopped (1 cup), 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 2 Tbs vegetable oil, salt, pepper, 2 gloves garlic, 1 Tbs lemon juice (optional)

Preheat oven to broil. Prick eggplants several times with fork. Place eggplants and bell peppers on baking sheet. Broil 20 to 25 minutes, or until eggplants and peppers are blackened on all sides, turning occasionally. Place bell peppers in plastic bag to cool and steam skins. Cool eggplant and bell peppers 20 minutes, or until easy to handle.

Peel eggplants. Place in a food processor. Add onion, garlic and process together. Then place in large bowl. Peel and remove core and seeds from bell peppers. Chop into 1/4-inch dice, and add to bowl with eggplant. Stir in vinegar, oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Баклажанная икра.

2 средней величины баклажана, 1 большой красный перец, 1 большой желтый перец, 1 небольша головка красного лука, 2 столовые ложки винного уксуса, 2 столовые ложки подсолнечного масла, соль и перец, 2 зубца чеснока, 1 столовая ложка лимонного сока (по желанию)

Включить духовку в режиме "broil". Разрежать баклажаны пополам, положить баклажаны и перцы на дечку, проколоть вилкой несколько раз. Запекать в духовке 20 - 25 минут, пока шкурка потемнеет. Перевернуть несколько раз. Вынуть из духовки, остудить. Аккуратно снять тонкую кожицу.

Положить баклажаны, лук и чеснок в кухонных комбайн и прокрутить, выложить в посуду и добавить мелко нарезанные перцы. Заправить солью, перцем, винным уксусон, маслом и по желанию лимонным соком.

Поставить в холодильник на 2 часа.

June 22, 2008

The intimate Yiddishe shpiel: cheap or inexpensive cooking

Food does not have to be a high-priced. I did not say anything new, I just repeated the words of Jewish rationality. All of us remember the times, when Yiddishe mama had to cook and bake on a limited budget. So, sometimes we learn from the history lessons.

Healthy Eating Need Not Be Expensive, Even in a Bad Economy. I hope, we can learn something new.

Remember an old Jewish proverb: "Worries go down better with soup."

June 20, 2008

Another accepted Jewish dish

Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip (Паштет из белой фасоли)

I would like to reintroduce a very friendly dish we used to eat a lot. I think, Mark Bittman is one of the best ones, who masters this dish to perfection.

Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip

Yield 2 cups
Time 10 minutes using precooked or canned beans

Mark Bittman Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

This takes less than 10 minutes if you start with canned beans, but is best made with freshly cooked dried beans: Cook them in water to cover, with a couple of bay leaves, until very tender.

2 cups cooked white beans, like cannelini, drained but moist
1 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Grated rind of 2 lemons

1. Put the beans in the container of a food processor with 1 clove of garlic and a healthy pinch of salt. Turn the machine on, and add the 1/4 cup olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until the mixture is smooth. Taste, and add more garlic if you like; then, puree the mixture again.
2. Place the mixture in a bowl, and use a wooden spoon to beat in the rosemary, lemon zest and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Use immediately, or refrigerate for as long as 3 days.

The puree can form the basis of a wonderful sandwich. For example, combine a thick layer of puree with grilled vegetables and a little olive oil on rolls or between thick slices of crusty bread. It can be used to thicken and flavor cooked beans. Just stir a few spoonfuls of the puree into simmering white beans (if you have pesto, add some at the same time). Thinned with the cooking water from beans or pasta, it makes a good pasta sauce.

A small mound of the puree served next to braised chicory or other bitter greens (both drizzled with olive oil) makes a fine side dish. Similarly, serve it at the center of a plate of lightly and simply cooked vegetables: carrots, green beans, turnips, asparagus, potatoes or cauliflower.

Layer the puree with grilled eggplant or zucchini and bake or broil to form a simple vegetable napoleon.
You can make this dish even more elaborate by incorporating thin-sliced toast and grated Parmesan cheese in the layers. Or roll smoked salmon or thin-sliced cooked vegetables -- again, zucchini and eggplant are good candidates -- around a bit of the puree, and serve as hors d'oeuvres.

Recipe from NY Times

June 18, 2008

The Garlic Eaters

The Garlic Eaters

Today NY Times posted a lot of info about garlic. I think, it's good to know as well as good to use for cooking and even for baking.

Enjoy some really healthy reading.

I also found a really interesting article for Russian-speaking readers. Enjoy!

Plus one more good book

Let me know if you have any questions.

June 14, 2008

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else

Just a typical Jewish law student who returned to New York to study playwriting, Roberts forsook torts and all things dramaturgical for tarts and all things culinary. In order to better share his discoveries and enthusiasms, he eventually launched a Web site—amateurgourmet.com—replete with recipes, marketing and cooking tips, restaurant reviews and overall winsomeness.

Now he shares his experience with us how to write a book.

I wish one day my dream will come true.

June 12, 2008

A Turkish monarch...

Eggplant holds an esteemed place in many Mediterranean cuisines. I think that the Turkish kitchen has exploited its versatility to the fullest. Turks use eggplant in hot and cold dishes, cubed, sliced, layered, puréed, stuffed, wrapped around meat, and wrapped in pastry. For me, the smell of eggplant cooking in olive oil on a summer evening is one of the most evocative memories of my homeland. The absence of eggplant from any summer meal would be unthinkable.

Full Article

More info: Learning to love Eggplant"

June 11, 2008

Cinnamon Nut Twists

Cinnamon Nut Twists (Крученые булочки с корицей и орехами из готового теста

Yield: 16 servings.

2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls, 2 tablespoons reduced-fat stick margarine, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Unroll both tubes of dough; press perforations and seams together to form two rectangles. Spread with margarine. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with walnuts. Fold each rectangle in half, starting from a short side. Cut each into eight strips. Twist each strip and tie into knot. Place on non-greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Universal Lemon drizzle: 1 tbsp margarine, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 c icing sugar. Mix together completely softened margarine with 1 tbsp of lemon juice and the icing sugar.Make a thick paste, add more lemon juice to make a thick but pourable drizzle. Pour over completely cooled twists.

Recipe from "Taste of Home"

June 10, 2008

Look and Feel YOUNGER....

Definetely, no matter of age every woman wants to be attractive. There is only ONE problem is to find a reputable source of advices.
Here're some of them.

By surpise, one of them is a president of Technology Conceps, a Web design and e-marketing company, professor of e-business for the University of Phoenix Online; and the author of more than a dozen computer books. So, Dr.Eileen Buckholtz recommends


Second is Dr. Leslie Baumann, chief of the Division of Cosmetic Dermatology and a professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine. and her famous blog

June 05, 2008

Holishkes (stuffed cabbage) with mexican twist

Holishkes (stuffed cabbage) with Mexican twist

Makes 8 pieces.

1 pound chopped meat, 3/4 cup precooked white rice, 1/3 cup finely chopped onion, 1 eggs, beaten, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

1 (1 lb) can medium salsa, 5 tbsp barbeque sauce, 2 medium size carrots, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, hot water1 medium green cabbage.

In a large bowl, combine all the stuffing ingredients. Stir them with a fork, then mix thoroughly with your hands. Cover and refrigerate.

Peel the carrots and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all sauce ingredients, add carrots.

Remove about 8 large leaves from the cabbage; cut off very thick part of each leaf. Pour boiling water over the cabbage to wilt the leaves. Drain the water and set leaves on a plate. Stuff with 3/4 cup of the meat-rice mixture each leave, roll very tightly along the spine, and close both sides by tucking them in with your fingers.

Pour sauce into a large, wide-bottomed stockpot. Arrange the cabbage rolls carefully on top of the sauce, and pour the hot water over. Place a couple chunks of fresh apples on a top (hint from Martha Stewart). Cover pot and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.

June 04, 2008


"It might be more worthwhile if we stopped wringing our hands and started ringing our congressmen."

5 Federal blogs worth reading ("Federal Computer Week")

1. The Impact of IT on Businesses and Their Leaders By Andrew McAfee, associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School

2. Department of Health and Human Services blog

3. Congressional Budget Office Director’s Blog

4. DipNote, the State Department’s public blog, started in September 2007 and offers a different take on U.S. foreign policy information.

5. Navy Department CIO blog. Robert Carey, the Navy’s chief information officer, is the first federal CIO to regularly write a publicly posted blog

Remember, democracy is a government where you can say what you think even if you don't think.

Mushroom challah pudding

Mushroom challah pudding

Servings: Makes 8 servings

4 cups (1/2-inch) fresh challah cubes (about 5 ounces), 1 1/2 pounds mixed fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelle, cremini, and oyster, trimmed, 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2 cups half-and-half, 4 large eggs, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Bake bread cubes in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.

Tear or cut mushrooms lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.
Cook shallot in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in mushrooms and bread cubes until coated well and let stand 10 minutes for bread to absorb some of egg mixture.
Mushroom bread pudding can be baked in a buttered 2-quart shallow baking dish (not lined with parchment).Spoon mixture into dish and bake on a baking sheet until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes.

Грибная запеканка
На 8 порций.

4 чашки свеже нарезанных хлебных кубиков, 750 грамм свежих грибов, 1/2 чашки мелко нарезанного лука, 2 столовые ложки сливочного масла, 1/2 чашки мелко нарезанной петрушки (по желанию), 2 зубца чеснока, 2 чашки сливок, 4 яйца, 1/2 чашки натертого сыра "Parmigiano-Reggiano", соль и перец по вкусу.
Нагреть духовку до 350Ф.

Выложить хлебные кубики на деко и подсушить в духовке в течении 10 минут. Тем временем нарезать грибы.
Нагреть сковороду на огне, предварительно добавив сливочное масло. Домавить лук и грибы. Жарить на среднем огне 15 минут. Посолить, поперчить. В конце добавить чеснок.
В небольшой посуде смешать сливки, сыр, соль, перец, яйца. Добавить пожаренные с луком грибы и подсушенные хлебные кубики. Дать постоять этой смеси около 10 минут.
Приготовить деко. Выложить смесь и запечь в духовке в течении 30-35 минут. Остудить и в теплом виде подавать со сметаной.

Recipe from GourmetDecember 2007

June 01, 2008

Pear Cake with Pine Nuts

Pear Cake with Pine Nuts

Many bakers believe, that pears are an underutilized fruit when it comes to baking and dessert. So, I decided to try something new and light.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream, 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 large egg, cooking spray, 2 cups thinly sliced peeled pear.Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove 1/3 cup flour mixture; place in a small bowl. Stir in pine nuts and cinnamon; set aside.
Combine the remaining flour mixture, sour cream, and the next 6 ingredients (sour cream through egg) in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Pour the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray.

Arrange the pear slices evenly over the batter. Sprinkle with pine nut mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely on a wire rack.

Летняя шарлотка с грушами.
На 8 порций.

1 1/4 чашки муки, 3/4 чашки сахара, 1/8 чайной ложки соли, 1/4 чашки холодного сливочного масла, порезанного на маленькие кусочки, 2 столовые ложки мелко нарезанных орех, 1/4 чайной ложки корицы (по женланию), 1/3 чашки сметаны, 1/4 чашки молока, 1 чайная ложка свеже молотой лимонной цедры, 1 чайная ложка ванильной эссенции, 1/4 чайной ложки соды, 1/2 чайной ложки разрыхлителя, 1 яйцо, 2 чашки мелко нарезанной груши.
Нагреть духовку до 350Ф. Приготовить круглую 9-дюймовую формочку для выпечку тортов.
Смешать муку, сахар и соль. Добавить кусочку масла и растереть. Отделить 1/3 чашки смеси в отдельную посуду.
Остальную мучную смесь смешать со сметаной, молоком, цедрой, ванилью, разрыхлителем, содой и яйцом. Все хорошо взбить миксером. Былить тесто в приготовленную форму. Выложить кусочки грушы на поверхность торта, посыпать мучной смесью и орехами.
Запекать в духовке 45 минут. Вынуть и остудить полностью.

Recipe from Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2001