Friday, August 26, 2016

Celery Juice Marinade

Celery juice marinade working on grass-fed flank steak,
a good example of meat that benefits from marination.

     Celery, besides contributing flavor, contains enzymes which can tenderize meat.  This makes it a useful marinade ingredient for most people allergic to soy sauce, vinegar, wine, and other common marinade ingredients. (I say most because there is such a thing as an allergy to celery.)

     2 stalks of celery
     2 cloves of garlic
     2 Tb. oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1/4 tsp. celery seed

     Juice the celery and garlic in a juicer. Stir the oil, salt and spices into the juice. I recommend marinating at least overnight.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Grated Turnip Salad

      In American cooking the turnip most often appears as a strong-tasting vegetable people try to hide in mashed potatoes. I prefer to borrow an idea from Korean cooking, in which its ability to stand up to other strong flavors and be complemented by them is an asset.  Turnip kimchi, for example, is sour, spicy, garlicky, intense and wonderful. It is also a yeasty, fermented food, which is a problem for those of us who have yeast allergies.

     This salad is not a substitute for turnip kimchi, but it is delicious. It is also intense enough to double as a condiment.

     1 cup of peeled, grated turnip (approximately one large turnip)
     2 large garlic cloves, crushed
     1 Tb. freshly squeezed lime juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. salad oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1/4 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     I recommend a food-processor for grating the turnip if you have one. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the turnip by handfuls.  In a small bowl stir together the garlic, lime juice, salad oil, pepper flakes and salt. Stir this dressing into the grated turnip.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Corn-Free Mint Jelly

These two jars of mint jelly are identical
except that the one on the left contains
a fraction of a drop of green food coloring 

     Mint jelly is delicious with lamb (as is mint gelatin), but grocery story mint jelly generally contains quite a lot of corn syrup.  If you need to avoid corn, you can make your own jelly using beet or cane sugar. Be aware that most "fruit pectin" contains corn: if you need to avoid corn very stringently, use Pomona's Universal Pectin, which is corn-free. (The recipe here is based on the one on this page. That recipe allows for the use of apple juice in place of the water; note that bottled juices can contain traces of yeast or mold, if that is an issue.) 
     I don't know whether my food coloring contains corn or not. I am all right with one drop of it in a batch of jelly. 
     This mint jelly is less sweet than most, even if you use the full cup of sugar. In my opinion this is actually desirable for a condiment to be eaten with meat.

      1 cup tightly packed mint leaves (preferably without the stems: they aren't 
           as tasty) See Produce in the Glossary
      1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
      2 tsp. calcium water (The calcium for this comes in the package with the 
      1/2 c. to 1 c. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
      2 tsp. Pomona's Universal Pectin
      (optional) 1 drop green food color
     First make a mint infusion. Chop the mint leaves, add 2-1/4 c. water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Using 2 c. of this infusion, follow the directions on the package insert from the pectin to make jelly and can it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Favas with Olive Oil and No Major Allergens

     Favas are a vetch, not an actual bean. Allergies to beans, peas or lentils do not necessarily mean an allergy to favas. My grandson, who was violently allergic to every kind of bean, pea and lentil, ate them with impunity.  Note that there is a rare genetic enzyme deficiency (not a true allergy) that gives some people, especially of Middle Eastern or African descent, gastrointestinal distress when they eat favas.

     This recipe is a classic in Turkish cuisine, which has a whole category of vegetables cooked with olive oil and lemon juice and served cold. (Another is leeks with olive oil, zeytinya─čl─▒ pirasa). It required no doctoring on my part: thus, it does not suffer from missing or substituted ingredients. 

    3-4 Tb. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
    1 pound favas (young pods, not more than 6 or 7 inches long and sliced into 
         a few chunks, and/or seeds from larger pods.  These should also be 
          relatively young, not more than an inch or so across. If you do use larger 
          pods, you need to pull the "strings" off from each side of the pod.)
     1 small onion, chopped
     (optional) 2 cloves of garlic, minced
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     fresh squeezed juice from 1 lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     sprinkle of black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. washed, chopped fresh baby dill (See Produce in the Glossary)

     Heat the olive oil in a pan.  Add the favas and onion. Sprinkle with salt and saute on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the favas are somewhat tenderized and the onion is translucent.  Do not brown. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. stirring constantly. Add  the lemon juice, sugar, black pepper and baby dill and a cup and a half of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until the favas are nicely tenderized but not mushy. Most of the water should boil off, but do not allow the favas to get dry. How long this takes depends on the size of the favas, how thoroughly they were sauteed, etc. The ones in the picture took about half an hour. Adjust salt to taste. Chill.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rice with Favas

     Beans are excellent with rice. So are peas. If you're allergic to both beans and peas, it's time to remember that favas are a vetch, not an actual bean. Allergies to beans, peas or lentils do not necessarily mean an allergy to favas. Note that there is a rare genetic enzyme deficiency (not a true allergy) that makes some people, especially of Middle Eastern or African descent, sick when they eat favas. 

     In this classic pilav recipe, fava "beans" (not the pods) are cooked into rice.  If possible you want to use fava beans that aren't much bigger than baby lima beans. The herb that complements favas the best is baby dill.

     4 c. water or chicken broth (See Broth in the Glossary)
     2 c. long-grained rice (See Rice in the Glossary)
     1 c. fresh young fava beans (not in pods)
     2 Tb. washed, chopped fresh baby dill (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. salt, more or less, depending on the saltiness of the broth (See 
          Salt in the Glossary)

     Bring the water or broth to a boil in a medium-sized pot.  Add all the other ingredients, bring back to a boil and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.