muhammara

bell pepper

For the last six months or so there has been a recipe (a clipping from Bon Appetit or some such publication) stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet. I guess I somehow thought that if it was out in plain sight I would actually make it – sort of a triumph of optimism over experience. Turns out that staring at something every day doesn’t necessarily inspire you to do something about it…

muhammara

I did make it, finally, for a middle-eastern themed dinner party we gave recently. Sort of a miracle, really. The recipe was for muhammara, a Syrian puree of roasted red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses, and it seemed so completely up my alley that I can’t believe how long I waited to try it. I’m usually such a sucker for anything with pomegranate molasses.  Continue reading

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Turkish vegetables

dinner

A couple of months ago we had a nice splurge at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. One of our more exciting acquisitions was a copy of Greg Malouf’s Turquoise, a gorgeous production that immediately made me want to go to Turkey (not something that had ever happened to me before). Despite its beauty, I had completely failed to make anything out of it until this week, when I was suddenly feeling adventurous.

feta

We decided to try two new side dishes during the week: a salad of grated celery root, peppers and mint, and a dish of baked mushrooms and chiles in a paprika sauce. I thought they both sounded interesting, and used vegetables that are at least somewhat in season.

salad Continue reading

Chorizo-poblano quiche

Chorizo-poblano quiche

I can’t remember when I started making quiche. In the early years of my marriage when I was vegetarian I made lots of things out of the Moosewood cookbooks, especially things like the ricotta-spinach pie and big gooey casseroles. Eventually I discovered the “quiche formula” in the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and I was converted.

Basically, the idea is that as long as you have the right proportions of egg and milk for the size of pan you’re using, and plenty of cheese to coat the bottom and protect the crust from sogginess, you can put whatever the heck you want in there. It’s easy to make and easy to remember (I made two quiches from scratch, from memory, for a wedding in Knik, Alaska, and felt very smug about it). I have tried many things, from chard and mushrooms to broccoli and ham, and they all come out pretty good. But the winner in our household, especially in the late summer when peppers are in season, is my patented Chorizo-Poblano Quiche. It’s rich and spicy with lots of cheesy goodness, set off by the whole-wheat flavor of the crust. We make this as often as possible every fall while we can get beautiful fresh poblano peppers from our friend Steve at Dunbar Gardens. The loose Mexican-style chorizo comes from a local producer as well, Hempler’s in Bellingham. Continue reading