Jun 172007
 

 

 

Rosa at Rosa’s Yummy Yums tagged me for the Sunday Brunch Meme. I will have to call this a Saturday Brunch because our workday begins on Sunday in Israel.

First I want to thank Rosa for tagging me. This photo is for Rosa, it is my favorite coffee mug which my husband bought for me in Zurich:

My husband and I love having a leisurely brunch on Saturday mornings. We always have a herbed omelette, fresh squeezed orange juice from oranges that grow three minutes walk from our home, fresh brewed coffee, various Israeli soft and semi-soft cheeses, jam and homemade bread or scones.

This morning I made whole wheat scones. See Israeli Breakfast – Us Time for the recipe.

I served the leftover fruit salad from last night.

And we had cottage cheese, labane and Bulgarian cheese spread as a choice to put on our scones

Hope all of you enjoy a nice leisurely brunch with your family. It is a great time to talk about life.

Jun 162007
 

I know I misspelled the word “Plaice”, but I did it on purpose. We had Plaice for dinner last night. I like this delicate fish because you can season it just about anyway you like and is a great entree for a hot summer night.

I served this fish with corn on the cob and sauteed zucchini with thyme and yogurt.

To close, my husband made a lovely fruit salad to which he added minced fresh ginger and topped if off with a small scoop of the remaining cardamom ice cream.

Lemon-Ginger Plaice

Serving Size: 3

6-9 small plaice, depending on the size

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon ginger, julienned

2 large cloves of garlic, julienned

2 spring onions, julienned

2 tablespoons chives, chopped fine

Place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan.

Lemon Zest_Ginger_Garlic

Add the ginger and garlic and saute on low heat for a couple of minutes.

Plaice

Spring Onion and Chives

Add the fish, spring onion, chives and lemon juice and cook for approximately five - seven minutes or until done. Sprinkle on the lemon zest, cook for another minute and serve immediately. Plate and place a generous amount of the sauce on top.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/06/16/mise-en-plaice/

Jun 102007
 

The Hebrew word for Cardamom is הל or hel. I love the flavor of cardamom and sprinkle it on apricot or peach tarts before I put them in the oven. It adds a nice spicy touch to the fruit.

It was suppose to be 40C (now they say 36C) tomorrow, so I decided that this is a good time to pull out the ice cream machine and make some cardamom ice cream. I have never made it before.

The best version I have ever had is at the best fish restaurant in Israel, called Uri Buri in Acco (Acre). They make all of their own ice creams and they are creamy, flavorful and lovely. In fact, all of their dishes are amazing. I promise I will blog about the restaurant.

This recipe has an incredible creamy luscious texture, a subtle taste of cardamom that explodes onto the palate after you get it into your mouth and it is totally sinful. This is a very rich ice cream, so a little goes a long way.

Cardamom Ice Cream

Yield: About 1 liter (quart)

20 green cardamom pods

425 ml (approx. 1 pint) double double (heavy) cream

6 egg yolks

6 tablespoons caster (granulated) sugar

1/4 cup mascarpone

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Crush the cardamom pods, tip them into a saucepan and mix in the cream. Set over a low heat, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for one hour. Meanwhile, find two large bowls, one of which will sit comfortably inside the other. Fill the larger bowl with ice and rest the smaller one on it. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they become pale and fluffy, then slowly stir in the cardamom cream. Return to a clean pan and place over a low heat. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the mix forms a thick custard. This will take between 10 and 20 minutes. Do not let the custard boil or leave it unattended at this stage, as it can easily split.

As soon as it forms the thick custard, remove from the heat and tip into the bowl sitting on the ice. Keep stirring until it is tepid, then strain into a clean container, cover and chill.

Once cold, process the custard in an ice-cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/06/10/hellish-ice-cream/

Jun 082007
 

People always seem to ask me why I moved to Israel and I always had a really hard time explaining why until two nights ago.

I didn’t have some religious experience or fall in love with someone or hear a heavenly voice calling my name on Masada. I just came to visit for the first time at the age of 34 and something felt right. I really felt at home in Israel, so I came for a second visit and moved here two years after my first visit. I found a job and my future husband four months later. I am a real aliyah success story. What I haven’t told you is that I came at a very difficult time….. ten days before this Intifada. Then, a year later my birthday was never the same and is now known as 9/11.

So, now you are asking what does all of this have to do with the title of this entry…..

Wednesday night my husband and I went to Jerusalem to hear a concert performed by students of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (formerly known as the Rubin Academy), to whose board of governors he has just been elected. And as I was listening to variety of music styles, I finally realized why I moved to Israel. It was because I could have a taste of everything in a very small space without having to travel all over the world to search for it. Israel is a melting pot with easy access to the best that different cultures have to offer, especially when it comes to food and music. This concert was an excellent example of the beautiful cultural mix and I decided to describe the music by using a food or spice that best described it:

Foie Gras: Gabriel Fauré‘s Requiem, Opus 48, for baritone solo, soprano solo, choir and orchestra

Goose Schmaltz: Klezmer music and a Porgy and Bess Suite for clarinet and string orchestra with the one and only Giora Feidman

Baharat: Middle Eastern Music for Kanun, Oud and Violin by the Turkish composer, Tanburi Cemil Bey, Egyptian composer Riad al Sunbati, and one anonymous piece called Longa Sakiz which I assume is Turkish. The academy’s Oriental Music Department is regarded as the best in the Middle East and one of its graduates recently won first prize at an international oud competition in Cairo.

Baharat (arabic word Bahar means pepper) is a Middle Eastern spice mixture whose base is black pepper. There are many different types of Baharat, depending on what you are using it for: kebab, soup and kubbeh and also where it is from: Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, etc. I like to mix it into ground meat and stuff a butternut squash or aubergine.

My husband has been abroad for the past three weeks and could only eat fish, so he has requested a stuffed aubergine for Shabbat dinner. This is one of my improvised dishes, so I am guessing on the measurements. Feel free to play around with the recipe. I substitute couscous with cooked rice, bulgar or quinoa. I also use ras al hanut instead of baharat. Sometimes I add garlic, sometimes not.

Stuffed Aubergine

Serving Size: 4 to 6

1/2 kg (1lb) ground meat (beef, veal or lamb or mixture)

1 large aubergine (eggplant)

1/2 cup medium grain raw couscous

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons baharat

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon coarse mustard

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts

2 cups of crushed tomatoes plus 1 cup of water or red wine

Preheat oven to 190C/275F.

Aubergine raw

Cut the top off the aubergine and cut it in half. Drizzle olive oil in a baking dish and place the aubergine cut side down in dish. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the aubergine is soft.

Meat mixture

Meat Mixture II

While the aubergines is roasting, mix the ground meat, raw couscous, onions, baharat, pomegranate molasses, mustard, parsley and pine nuts. Set aside.

Roasted Aubergine

When the aubergine is ready, turn the halves over and break up the aubergine flesh by cutting it with a knife, but do not cut through the skin on the other side.

Stuffed Precooked

Fill the aubergine halves with the meat mixture and cover with the crushed tomatoes and red wine.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes until the couscous has plumped up.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/06/08/foie-gras-goose-schmaltz-and-baharat/

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