Sunday, October 22, 2006

kookoo for kookoos

This is Abby the new genius here (although actually I'm old).
So, Rebecca has 12 hundred million bazillion amazing cookbooks and when she was packing up her life to move it to New York so she could go on her awesome journey, she gave me one. It is 'Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking'. It has many delicious sounding recipes. So far the only one I have tried is the Kookoo with Cauliflower and Parsley and it is quite delicious. It is, in Mahur Jaffrey's words, "a thick persian versian of the omelette, which sometimes borders on being a souffle". It could also be described as a light crustless quiche. Here is the recipe:

1 pound cauliflower
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup finely sliced scallions including green
ground black pepper
7 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons minely minced parsley
1 tablesppon unsalted butter

Break the cauliflower into florets.
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a 4 1/2 quart pot. Add 1 tbsp salt. When water is at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower. Boil rapidly for about 2 minutes. Cauliflower should be cooked through but still crunchy. Drain cauliflower and run it under cold water. Then mince it.

Heat oil in an 8 inch skillet over medium heat. When hot, put in garlic. Stir around for 20 seconds, add scallions and stir for another 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, 1/2 tsp salt and a lot of black pepper. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn off and let cool sliughtly. (I have not been precise with the timing when I've made this and it has been fine. Does anyone time 20 seconds?)

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper and the baking soda. Mixx well. Add the cauliflower and parsley and mix again.

Heat the butter in a nonstick skilet that is about 7 1/2 inches wide at the bottom over a low flame. When hot, pour in the eggy mixture. Cover, and let the kookoo cook for 20 minutes. It should be brown on the bottom and slightly crisp at the edges. Turn the kookoo over. You can use a spatula or, if that's too scary, put a plate on top of the pan and flip it upside down, and slid e back into the pan.
Cook the Kookoo on the second side uncovered for 5 minutes or until it develops brown spots.

Serve hot, warm or cold, cut into wedes.
It is quite easy to make and really good.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Genius

I'd also like to welcome a new contributor to the site -- Abby Genius, an expert on such wide-ranging issues as Persian frittatas (aka, "kukus"), raising mealworms, and making your own tortillas.

Baking the Blues Away

I've been a little aimless lately. Since coming back to New York, I've been on exactly one job interview, for a job that I liked and thought that I would be good at. While waiting to hear back, I'd stopped actively looking for jobs and started keeping an eye out for new furniture, and planning work outfits for my new, fabulous job. Then the other shoe dropped. I didn't get the job. It has occured to me for the first time that it might be really hard for me to find one, and that it might have been a bad idea to give up a steady, if not always interesting, job to pursue my still-nebulous dreams.

So I've turned to what ever distraught girl does in a time of crisis -- started baking. Constantly. (For those who are wondering, I have indeed managed to gain back the weight lost in India.) I've found the world's best scone recipe, which blows the pants of all those gross, heavy, doughy blobs sold in yuppy bakeries. I've also spent several afternoons baking leek- and pumpkin-filled Turkish turnovers that I then proceed to eat at all hours of the day. It's just about the yummiest form of depression possible.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Simple, Easy, and Cheap

I was horrified when I discovered, a few days ago, that a good friend of mine subsists entirely on Chinese takeout, leftover pasta with meatballs (from her mother), and toast. Although utterly broke, she generally buys her food from restaurants instead of simply buying groceries, and then, from time to time, actually cooking things.

Her excuses? She doesn't have time, there are no groceries in the house, and she doesn't know how. I have no real advice for those unable to go grocery shopping (except that there are now numerous online grocery services, but there are plenty of meals that can be made in a little time and with a minimum of skill.

And even those without a full pantry generally have eggs. I've posted a few egg recipes here before, but I've realized that it's not enough. The best place to start cooking for those of us without high cholesterol, large bank balances, or oodles of time, is with a couple of eggs. At about a dollar a pound they're cheap, full of protein, unintimidating, and able to take on any number of flavors or textures.

A few links to start us off:
*Martha Stewart's guide to boiling an egg and for another take, the Wikipedia take on boiling eggs
*Today's Mark Bittman column on the glories of eggs, complete with incredibly yummy-looking recipes
*A few basic recipes from Elise, such as deviled eggs, poached eggs, egg salad sandwiches, and spinach frittata.
*Delia Smith's egg recipes

More recipes will be posted later.