pistachio and olive oil basbousa

We are down to the last week and a half of filming season 2 and I miss it already! I love this crew so much. Right now they’re in my kitchen filming a conga line gif of sprinkly rice krispies treats and it is the silliest. The past few days have been warm enough for us to sit outside and eat lunch together (with Sven and Ole, who also are going to miss the crew dearly when we wrap). And over the weekend we went out and ordered all of the pizza at the best dive bar in town, Judy’s, but because they only have one pizza oven it came coursed out like a fancy tasting menu, which was a great new way to eat pizza. While we ate we sat anxiously waiting for the lottery numbers to be announced because we all went in on tickets together… we didn’t win. Or maybe we did and I just can’t tell you because we all made a pact not to tell anyone if we won. (I guess you’ll know I won if I start using whole vanilla beans and manuka honey in everything.)


In Eggboy news, sugar beet harvest is chugging along! The weather is so conventionally beautiful that at this rate all of the beets will be out of the ground by the end of the week. Then we party!!! Then Eggboy catches up on sleep. Then it’s Thanksgiving, then it’s Chrismukkah, then it’s 2019. It’s all smooth sailing from here! 

So, like, let’s eat cake about it??

This is my new favorite cake, Basbousa! Basbousa is a Middle Eastern semolina cake that has a coarse texture, not unlike that of cornbread. When it comes out of the oven it gets covered in a sugary syrup, so even though it’s crumbly, it’s very moist. I first met basbousa at Zahav last year, when I tried their carrot hazelnut version. It was nutty and almost pudding-y, and I immediately fell in love with its ability to be rustic in texture and sharp angled all at the same time. Like a structured tweed blazer, for lack of a more relevant comparison. 

This version is based on Janna Gur’s recipe from Jewish Soul Food and combines roasted pistachios with coconut and olive oil for a toasty, tender, and comforting snack cake. Its flavor is so complex that “frosting” isn’t even in its vocabulary, and because of the syrup, it will stay fresh for a good few days. If it lasts that long. 


pistachio and olive oil babousa

makes one 8” square cake

ingredients

1/2 c (50g) shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut

1/2 c + 1 tb (80g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c + 2 tb (125g) semolina flour

1/4 c (28g) ground roasted unsalted pistachios, plus more for decorating

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp baking powder

6 tb (75g) olive oil

1/4 c (60ml) heavy cream

1/2 c (120ml) whole milk

3 large eggs

3/4 c (150g) sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract


Syrup

3/4 c (178ml) water

3/4 c (150g) sugar

1 tsp rosewater, optional

clues

Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line an 8x8” pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, flour, semolina, pistachios, salt, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, cream, and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and almond extract on high for 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Fold the egg mixture into the semolina mixture and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes.

While the cake bakes, make the syrup: combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in rosewater, if using. 

When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup all over it and let the cake cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with additional pistachios, cut into squares, and enjoy.


french yogurt "malabi"

Happy Friday everyone!!!!! Are you on your way to recovering from post-Olympic blues? We put in a great effort this week by taking up a Westworld habit and partying for Purim! I thought we’d be partying just the two of us but then we last minute found out about a little Purim party with a rabbi from Fargo and it was so fun! I dressed up as a hot dog and brought a weenie whistle for my noisemaker but then I dropped it on the ground and didn’t want to get cooties so I chickened out. I was also just way too sheepish to take out a weenie whistle in front of people I’d never met before. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Next year, with a weenie whistle!

Now I’m making bagels and getting ready for Mackenzie’s baby shower, but they’re cooling now so I thought I would bop in and post another quick little yogurt recipe! 

This is another recipe that was cut from Short Stack Yogurt. It is *so* simple, (and follows a similar format as another recipe in the book, which is why I think we ultimately decided to cut it) but the flavors aren’t anything you’d find in a typical yogurt section. At least not in America. It’s a recipe inspired by Malabi, the Middle Eastern milk custard that is commonly topped with rose syrup, crushed pistachios or other nuts, and shredded coconut. (I’ve got a version in Molly on the Range!) It’s refreshing and fruity and floral and also so pretty!! Pistachio + rose is easily one of my favorite combos ever, for looks and taste.

With this version, I’ve put these same flavors onto my new obsession, French style yogurt. French style yogurt is that yogurt that comes in the cute glass or ceramic jars. It’s not that way just for show, it’s actually cultured within those individual jars, as opposed to other styles of yogurt which are cultured in big batches and then portioned out. French yogurt is so rich and custardy and not at all tangy, so if you’ve been avoiding Greek yogurt because you don’t like its sourness then this is 4 u. (Yoplait’s French yogurt, Oui, came out recently which meant that I could suddenly for the first time buy French yogurt in Grand Forks and my life has been better ever since. But St. Benoit is another brand that I’ve had in California that is really good, and I’m sure if you live in New York or another big city you can find some various brands pretty easily.)

This is a healthyish dessert but also a passable breakfast I think because not only do you get yogurty probiotics, but you can also assemble it in a rush because it takes all of six seconds. Just make your syrup on a day when you have a little time and then keep it in your fridge to use throughout the week. And it comes together directly in your yogurt jar! How easy is that. Fit for a morning when your dumb alarm clock didn’t go off.

French Yogurt "Malabi"

makes 1 serving; easily scaleable

ingredients

1 tb Pomegranate Rose Syrup (recipe follows)

1 jar (~5 oz) plain French yogurt*

2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp toasted pistachios, almonds, or another nut, coarsely chopped

2 tsp pomegranate seeds

A small pinch of cinnamon

A large pinch of lemon zest, optional but recommended

*I use plain yogurt here since the syrup is quite sweet, but vanilla or coconut flavored yogurt could certainly also work. 

clues

Spoon 1 tablespoon syrup over the yogurt and top with shredded coconut, crushed nuts, pomegranate seeds, a small pinch of cinnamon and a bit of lemon zest, if using, and serve. 


Pomegranate Rose Syrup

Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

1 c pomegranate juice 

¼ c (50g) sugar

1 tb fresh lemon juice

2 tsp rosewater

clues

In a small saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and sugar to a simmer over medium high heat and cook until reduced by half and syrupy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and let cool (this can be made up to a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge). 

 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett!


Short Stack Yogurt, available here

labneh grilled cheese

Since I was in middle school, Tuesdays have been ingrained in my brain as grilled cheese and tomato soup day, thanks to my summer camp and its weekly celebration of American cheese and glorified tomato juice. No matter how hot it was outside or how strict we were being about our preteen “diets” in advance of the 4th of July dance, on Tuesdays at lunch time it was universally understood that we would take no prisoners as we ravaged through platters of buttery Wonderbreaded triangles of grilled cheese dunked in styrofoam bowls of tomato soup. It’d all get washed down with ice cold bright blue punch and then we’d roll ourselves Violet Beauregarde-style back to our bunks for an hour of digesting and writing letters home on Hello Kitty stationary. 

It was the life. 

Ah, I love a good camp memory and you know I’ll take any chance to relive it. But now 15 years later, since blue punch has been replaced by kombucha (ok fine, and wine) and Hello Kitty stationary has been replaced by emails littered with emojis, I’ve updated my grilled cheese game. It might not have the nostalgia of butter and American cheese, but it’s got the nuttiness of seedy wheat bread, the tanginess of labneh and za’atar, and the sharpness of white cheddar and parmesan. Which is to say that it’s fancy enough to eat as a grownup and good enough to write home about. And obviously it’s not complete without a little swim in hearty tomato soup. 

You can use homemade or store-bought labneh here, or in a pinch you could also sub out plain full-fat greek yogurt. It doesn’t melt down like a harder cheese, but when it’s sandwiched between melty cheddar and parmesan, you get a nice oozy center in your toasty grilled cheese.


Labneh Grilled Cheese

Makes 2

Ingredients

Olive oil
4 thick slices seedy wheat bread
2 ounces shaved white cheddar
2 ounces shaved parmesan
1/4 cup labneh
Za’atar
Sumac
Tomato soup, for serving

Clues

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the bread slices on one side until lightly browned and then flip them over. Top two slices with cheddar and two slices with parmesan and then spread two of the slices with the labneh and sprinkle with a pinch of za’atar and sumac. Carefully sandwich them together, cover with a lid, and cook until the bottom is toasted. Flip, cover, and cook until the bottom is toasted and the parmesan and cheddar are melted. Transfer to a plate, cut diagonally, and serve with tomato soup. 

 


-yeh!

The soup in this post is Progresso’s Hearty Tomato Soup! Thank you, Progresso, for sponsoring this post! 

ful medames with hummus

ever since eggboy read an article about how people in blue zones eat a lot of beans, we’ve been trying to eat more beans! well, he doesn’t actually need to try because a typical snack for him is literally just a can of beans drained and sprinkled with sesame seeds. but i need to put some effort into my bean intake. i need lots of added flavors, like garlic and lemon and spicy stuff, and it all needs to be accompanied by that bean song, 

beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!

or maybe you’re more used to this version:

beans beans they’re good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you fart!

(which one are you?)

and in a wild turn of events, we happen to be very on trend with this bean business since 2016 has been named the international year of pulses! yessss. (what is a pulse? pulses include lentils, beans, dry peas, and chickpeas!) so to kick off this glorious year, i’m making ful medames! 

ful medames is a popular dish in north africa and the middle east that consists of warm mashed fava beans and tons of garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, it is so good you’ll sing. it’s often served for breakfast and topped with onion, parsley, and possibly an egg, but i like it at all times of day, especially plopped on hummus and sprinkled with cumin and red pepper or la boîte’s izak blend. unlike my firm beliefs that hummus must must must be made by soaking and boiling dried chickpeas, making ful with canned favas is totally acceptable. which is good because dried favas can be very hard to find. so next time you’re in the bean section, grab some favas and cook up this tasty thing!


ful medames with hummus

makes about 6 servings

ingredients

2 (14-ounce) cans fava beans, drained
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
4 large cloves garlic, smashed or very finely minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 batch hummus 
Chopped onions, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Hard boiled eggs, for serving
La Boîte’s izak blend or cumin and crushed red pepper, for sprinkling
Fresh pita, for serving

clues

in a large skillet, combine the beans and olive oil and bring to a simmer over medium heat. simmer for 5-10 minutes, until soft, mash them up with a wooden spoon to your desired consistency, and then mix in the garlic, lemon juice, and salt. taste and make adjustments as desired. to serve, spread a plate or shallow bowl with hummus, top with a plop of ful, a sprinkle of chopped onions, fresh parsley, and a hard boiled egg or two. drizzle with a coating of olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin and crushed red pepper or izak. serve with warm fresh pita and enjoy!


-yeh!

this post was sponsored by usa pulses & pulse canada! hooray for 2016 being the international year of the pulse! pulses are good for the health as well as the environment, so all year long (and beyond!), eggboy and i will be challenging ourselves to eat pulses at least once a week and throughout the year i’ll be sharing recipes for all sorts of pulses. if you’d like to join in on the fun, head over to pulsepledge.com and take the pulse pledge with us!!