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Monday, July 01, 2024

Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Seasonal Recipe of the Week The Altitude 
This is a fantastic light lemony delight, perfect for a summer buffet. Best made the day before to enable easier cutting. I found this recipe in the NY Times and then I changed it to be sugar free and Gluten free with not much effort and no change in quality, texture, or flavor. Something I always do when making a lemon flavored dessert is add more lemon, in this case a few drops of pure lemon oil (made by Boyajian).
I have given you the unchanged recipe. If you want to make it GF and SF use Swerve granulated sugar and GF SF cookies.I used Siete mexcian wedding cookies and I ground then into crumbs in the food processor then added enough melted butter just so it clumps in your hand when you squeeze it.

18 graham crackers (280 grams)
Pinch fine salt
8 tablespoons/ 130 grams unsalted butter, melted

16 ounces/450 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar
2 lemons
1½cups /345 grams full-fat or 2 percent Greek yogurt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the crust: In a food processor or bag, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add the salt. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.
Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust until golden brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the crust cool slightly while you make the filling.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.Prepare the filling: Add the cream cheese and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Zest the lemons directly into the bowl. Mix on medium, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Juice the lemons while the cream cheese is mixing. You should have about ¼ cup juice. Add the yogurt and ¼ cup lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, still on the baking sheet, then tap the pan gently on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

Bake the cheesecake until set at the edges but still wiggly in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven, prop the door open and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 20 minutes before removing it and setting it on a rack to cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate the cheesecake until completely cool, about 4 hours or overnight. 

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Jerusalem Artichokes (aka Fartichokes)


Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Today we are going to talk about Jerusalem Artichokes, sometimes called Sunchokes, and sometimes Fartichokes! Let's start with some basic info compliments of The New York Times.

“One of the most abundant, curiously neglected and oddly named foods in America is the Jerusalem artichoke. Since its inception the name has involved a comedy of errors not only in this country but in France. The English name of the vegetable, which I find appealing to the taste and semantically captivating, has nothing deliberately to do with the capital of Israel, and that requires explanation. The Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, as we know the more sophisticated globe artichoke. The Jerusalem version is actually related to the sunflower. The sunflower is called girasole in Italian, - it means gyrating or turning to the sun. And, at least according to folk etymology, girasole through some slip of nomenclature turned into Jerusalem. That is even more historically fascinating, considering that the vegetable in question is native to America. It was indigenous to the central United States and Canada and was first taken to France by Samuel de Champlain in 1616, from which moment it began to flourish. After its introduction to France, the easily proliferating root vegetable was first referred to as poires de terre (earth pears) or artichauts de Canada (Canadian artichokes).” — The New York Times 1981

Then there is the “fartichoke” business, which is not just a rumor, trust me! It has to do with the high levels of inulin, a soluble fiber, which gives them their sweetness but passes through your digestive system intact until it reaches the colon where gut bacteria breaks it and releases the gas. There are remedies for this such as slow roasting or soaking them in salt water before simmering them in milk. The addition of caraway or fennel seeds is also said to help, which is great news because those flavors work perfectly together. Other great options are to pickle them, purée them, or use them with potatoes and apples in a soup.

Why discuss this now? Because last week my lovely neighbor "Dan the Fig man" (so-called because he grows hundreds of fig trees in his own personal Garden of Eden ... as well as peaches, he raises chickens, cares for pigeons, and generally is a man at one with nature) called to offer me some Jerusalem artichokes and I was delighted! I tried them 3 ways: a thin sliced marinated salad; a chunky pickle, and roasted herbed slices.

Will report back later about the pickles because they take a while but the other 2 items are fast and delicious. Here are two simple recipes which you can elaborate on and make your own:

Jerusaleum Artichoke salad

8 ounces Jerusalem artichokes, soaked in cold water for a few minutes then brushed clean with a vegetable brush
3 tablespoons lemon juice (this time of year Meyer lemons are available and extra fragrant and delicious)
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Sea salt to taste
a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 cup of a good quality fruity olive oil
2 scallions, cut into thin slices

Once your chokes are free of dirt, slice them very thinly — I recommend using a mandoline slicer. Soak them in some salted water with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for 30 minutes, then drain well. If they are too wet, the oil dressing will not stick. Then mix together the remaining lemon juice, oil, orange zest salt and pepper and scallions. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Now eat!

Roast Jerusalem Artichokes

8 ounces well-scrubbed Jerusalem artichokes(see above instructions) cut into 1/4 inch slices on the diagonal
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh chopped herbs, I used Rosemary (still growing from my garden), thyme, and tarragon (you can also use dried herbs)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a sheet pan. Toss all the ingredients together and spread out on sheet pan. Roast 20 minutes, or until they are tender in the center and browned on the outside. Adjust salt and pepper and serve.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Marzipan Loaf Cake


Seasonal Recipe of the Week
There is something about certain food words that make them extra special. I have gone on for years about how much sexier tangerine is than orange. Drizzle is way more upscale than drip. There is nothing I can do with foam, but put a a savory marmalade on my plate and I am in. I feel this way about marzipan, much cooler than almond paste.

Which brings me to the cake I just pulled from the oven. I was wandering about LIDL, my local weird supermarket which I have a love/hate relationship with. They are a European chain and often have unusual products littered randomly throughout the store. Things I don't really think anyone on Long Island wants or needs, like pickled Greek Octopus salad (rubbery and inedible) to the bar of marzipan I found today which was 40% off, a leftover from Christmas. Fortunately this stuff is almost indestructible.

Recently I had read a Nigella recipe for a marzipan loaf which sounded like it needed trying. Here it is, unchanged from original, though now I'm thinking adding chocolate chips would be divine!

Note: this is a British recipe so it's in grams, get out those scales!

150 grams marzipan
125 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams granulated sugar
75 grams all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3 large eggs, room temperature

Heat oven to 325. Spray and line a loaf pan with parchment and spray parchment.

Tear up the marzipan into small pieces and put in food processor, then add everything else and run till batter is smooth. Stop twice to scape down sides of the bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden, it springs back, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Freezes well.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving Tips 2023

My People! Rula is here for you! As always, my surefire tips will make sure your dinner goes off without a hitch:

❯❯❯ Rula Gives Good Bird ❮❮❮

Yes, fellow Pilgrims, these are the same tips I post every year, but isn't it comforting to know that some things never change?

Stacy's been back on Long Island since 2014 — where have you been? And Mary-Charlotte has long since retired from radio, so there will be no more day-before-Thanksgiving Radio Café appearances. But you can still relive their glory days — there are eight years of Radio Café shows in the archives that feature Stacy's Thanksgiving tips. I guess the internet is good for something besides TikTok dance routines, after all!

Well, my little Meat Thermometers, it's back to Brooklyn for me — that gravy won't make itself! Ciao!