I have not been keeping up with posting my menus, recipes and recipe links. For one thing, my cooking is getting boring again, especially as I haven't been planning the menus in advance. This week the food was delicious, though, and I guess kind of typical of my Ashkenazi cooking.
red lentil soup (improvised)
carrot kugel (improvised)
baked tofu (improvised!)
rice noodles from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cookery
potato salad with pesto (improvised!)
fresh tomatoes (present from guests!)
The red lentil soup was a variation on the famous Claudia Roden recipe. I put a cup of lentils and four cups of water in the pot with a finely diced shallot, and cooked them together until the lentils were a fine purée, about 30 minutes. Then I added a teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin, a tiny pinch of powdered chili pepper, the juice of a lime (out of lemons!) and a can of the Muir Glen roasted organic tomatoes.
The kugel I also improvised using the famous "shit method." I grated about 6 carrots. I did it by hand because I just couldn't find the grater attachment to the food processor. I added a little less than a cup of wheat germ (of course, I am the wheat-germ-in-kugel person) a big spoon of tofu mayonnaise, four eggs, a dollop of honey and a big handful of yellow raisins. I baked it in my fabulous oval casserole dish on 375 (fahrenheit, because I am an American you know) for 40 minutes, until the top was nicely brown. My son really liked the kugel! He's often nervous about eating mixtures of things, but not this. Since it was little better than a carrot cake, it's not a surprise.
The baked tofu was two sliced cloves of garlic, sprinkle of soy sauce and sesame oil of random proportions, baked in oven with kugel. Why did it taste so great? Don't know. When the kugel and tofu looked done, I just turned the oven off and didn't take them out, so maybe that helped the tofu absorb more marinade.
I improvised the basil pesto for the potatoes (basil, walnuts, garlic, olive oil in food processor) and then the potato salad (boiled potatoes, pesto, champagne vinegar and more olive oil, salt.) But it was good. Better with the tomatoes from our guests' garden.
If you don't have the Julie Sahni book, it's not from my not having flogged it sufficiently. That rice noodle recipe is the best of a whole book of fabulous bests.
Sometimes I can cook well even when I don't feel like it.