Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Um, What's Up, Doc ?

Carrot Soup.

A local bistro, a longstanding establishment of 13 years (which is quite a bit, in our unstable culinary climate), called Orna Ve Ela (means - Ora and Ela - which are two women's names, named after the owners of the bistro), recently published a cookbook of all of its recipes.

I chose a relativly simple recipe - carrot soup. I'm quite ambivalent about carrots - I'm not a huge fan of them in my vegetable salad, I'm used to having them finely grated, then topped with a sprinkle of sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, sometimes with raisins. This was a popular lunch dessert at my Parents house, when I lived with them.
As far as cooked carrot, my immidiet thought is Tzimmes, a holiday specialty, which my mother makes with carrots and raisins, which is far too sweet to me. I'm not a fan of overly sweet as a side dish.

This soup, while quite easy to make, is spiced with curry, corrinder and ground corrinder.

It takes the complex taste of carrot, and pulls it as far as possible from the sweetness, leaving a carrot-ie taste, but none of the sweet. The color is unmistakeable orange, with a few sprinkles of green - fresh corriander. The serving suggestion was with homemade croutons and/or creme fresh. I had it with neither, and had a fab time.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My New 7'' Chef Knife

This here is my new Arcos chef's knife, which I got for absolutely free, winning an online quiz. Never thought you win anything online, did you ?
I picked it up from the store Thursday evening, and procedded to cut the salads for dinner with it. I learned 2 things -
It cuts through tomatoes like hot butter
I have no idea how to use a chef knife.

And so begins my journey, to dream the impossible dream (um, wrong quote, sorry), my journey - to learn how to use one of these beauties without losing a finger (or two).
A quick online search turned out this link, demostrating a few basic cutting techniques. Now I'm looking for something more knife-centric: how to hold the knife, where should pressure be applied, etc.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cape Seed Loaf

My favorite cooking magazine constantly hails the Tatti Bakery, which is only a few minutes drive from my apartment. It recently featured their new artisan bread - the Cape Seed Loaf, named for its origins in Cape Town and its seedy nature.

A visit to this magical bakery was overdue, so yesterday I left work early, made a few wrong turns, and found myself parked across Tatti coffee shop its adjoining bakery. The latter is a small shop filled with cookies, coffee cakes and bread. They had a bunch of different cookies out on display for tasting, and olive bread slices you could dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I snooped around and found myself face to face (so to speak) with a tray load of seed loafs and banana bread loafs. The sales person explained that this was the famous Cape Seed Loaf. It looks like a rectangular coffee cake, but is covered in, well, seeds.

I paid (14.9 NIS), had it sliced and took it home to taste, not quite sure if I'll like something so alien. The loaf is incredibly moist, in a banana bread (or muffin) sense, slightly sweet, with an essence of yummyness, that makes you want to take another one of its small slices. Boyfriend asked if there were walnuts in it, as it has a nutty flavor, but I looked it up and no - it is only country grain, flaxseed, poppy, sesame and sunflower seeds.

We had it with some light cream cheese flavored with onion and sumac, but I think it would be ideal with butter. The sales clerk said it could be complimented by either sweet or savory spreads, but I have a feeling jam or honey would sensory overload combined with the sweetness of the bread.

The most surprising part is that it is quite unGoogleable: there are only a few hundred results when attempting to Google it, most of them recipes or recipe requests, so there was no further research to be made on this fascinating discovery.

Tatti Bakery
53 Hashalom Rd.