Chraimi is a Sephardic dish I’ve had at my aunt and uncle’s house on the occasion of many Jewish holidays. It’s a garlicky, tomatoey paste for spreading on your favorite protein. It works best on fish–especially salmon and tilapia, which I’ve used here–but I’ve also done this with tofu, and I’m sure you could use chicken as well. Thanks to my cousin Sharonie for the recipe. I’ve been eating this at her house for years, and always wondered how to make it!
Raw ingredients in the bowl
Make a paste!
Cook the onion until it’s translucent
Add the tomato paste…
…and you’re ready to spread it on your protein!
I’ve coated my tilapia with the chraimi
All baked and ready!
I was going to call this one “Qualifying Exams Quinoa,” but then I realized that the title wouldn’t be descriptive enough (despite the fact that I have, in fact, just taken my first qualifying exam). But this one’s all about the chocolate.
Mix all of the sticky stuff together with the quinoa!
…add the soymilk…
…and wait for it to absorb.
Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Quinoa Pudding
I usually make these with meat, but I tried two veggie recipes this week that really worked. One is savory-sweet, while the other is just plain savory. *Both* times I meant to take a picture of the finished product with the dipping sauce, these delicious little rice envelopes disappeared too fast for me to remember! Stuffed grape leaves, popular in Greek, Turkish, and eastern European cuisine, are a perfect finger food for parties. Or you could just, you know, eat them all yourself.
Stuffed Grape Leaves!
You can buy jarred grape leaves at lots of specialty stores, or in supermarkets with aisles for international foods. Or grab them online!
Wash your leaves in cold water to get the brine off.
Toss the butter or oil, onions, and spices together.
Cook everything until the onions begin to go translucent.
Add the rice and cook it dry for a few minutes.
Now just cook it like rice, with water and stock.
Lay your leaves out vein-side up.
Place a tablespoon-sized bit of rice at the bottom of the leaf, in the center.
Roll the bottom up…
…then fold one side over…
…and the other…
…and roll the whole thing all the way to the end!
Place your leaves in a glass dish.
Pour a mixture of boiling water, olive oil, and lemon juice over the leaves.
Place a plate or some other heavy-ish weight on top. Bake until the water boils off, or drain it off when you’re tired of waiting.
My best friend brought me a lovely salami (a pepperoni, actually) from Vermont this summer, and I decided to make a pasta sauce with it. It’s a thick mixture of some very basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Very simple, but very tasty.
Not very many ingredients in this one!
Chop it up
Cook it all together
Coat your pasta with the sauce, and you’re all done!
This sundried tomato paste is creamy, savory, and easy to make. It’s great on salmon, eggs, toasted bread, and anything where spreadable cheeses are involved. Why buy it at the store when you can make it at home in a few minutes?
Sundried Tomato Paste
This recipe is probably the most requested of all the things I make, but it’s not my own: the original comes from Orna and Ella in Tel Aviv, and there are tons of reproductions of their recipe online, including this one from Food 52, which is the basis for the one I’m sharing here. The sauce is really versatile, and can be used as a dip for veggies or pita, or spooned onto nachos in the place of regular old sour cream. It’s also really great on fish.
Prepping the potatoes
Into the pot they go
After boiling and softening them, give it a rough mash
That’s a nice consistency–not too smooth
Add the flour, sugar, salt & soy sauce
Mix it up
This sauce can also be eating on its own with a spoon… jussayin’
“He don’t eat no meat? …Oh that’s OK, that’s OK–I make lamb.” Fear not: I have a recipe for a vegetarian stuffed pepper, too. I’ll link it when I post it.
Cut the tops off/core the peppers
Lay the peppers on a tray with some olive oil
The lamb base in the pot
Lamb base as it cooks
Adding the fresh mint and cilantro
Carefully stuff the peppers