Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Bone marrow

January 30, 2008

roasted bone marrow, culiblog dot org
Roasted cow bone right out of the oven.

Maybe it’s because I was sick with flu for the past 2 months and had no appetite. Maybe because bone marrow used to be considered a restorative food for ill people. Maybe because yesterday, going to and from yoga practice, I just wore 2 pairs of sweats under my pants. Maybe because my friend Marlein gave me that great cookbook with a yummy bone marrow recipe, Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson. Maybe because I’ve got carnivorous house guests.

roasted bone marrow, culiblog dot org
This picture represents a perfect food pyramid for omnivores with a healthy mixture of green, purple, alive and dead.

Whatever the reason, I was so happy to be hungry again and bone marrow was on my mind. Why these buttery goodness sticks aren’t roasted and sold on every single street corner as the most delicious snack you can spoon onto toast, sprinkle with salt flakes and pop into your mouth is a mystery to me. I mean, if most of the year you eat like a hippy vegetarian, a little bone marrow every now and again will only produce a state of bliss. Plus it’s nice to eat more than just animal T&A.

Sucking on the bones, culiblog dot org

debra at 4:14 | Comments (5) | post to

Recipe for sweet pea hummous

January 26, 2008

Sweet pea hummous, recipe by culiblog dot org
A vat of sweat pea hummous warms itself in the bleak winter sun just south of the Polar Circle

Recently, democratic presidential candidate hopeful Barack Obama was reported as saying, ‘Ooh Mama, lay yer hummous on me!’ I know, that’s just preaching to the converted. Gawd knows few things are more handy than a big ‘ol vat of hummous to combat an unexpected pang of hunger or the impromptu droppin’ by of guests. Countless are the times that the hummous snack course has evolved into a full-fledged dinner.

Sweet pea hummous, recipe by culiblog dot org
Peas and soybeans thaw briefly in a warm bath

Recipes for traditional hummous with chick peas, tahina, garlic and lots of lemon juice are legion, but this recipe gets us the hell out the Middle East and Central Asia and home to where the ginger and kaffir lime leaf can release an ‘enlightened’ sensibility. Sweet pea hummous, which sounds so much better than ‘pea dip’, also works great as a ravioli filling for when the vegans show up. For the vegan version just substitute olive or peanut oil and a dash of sesame oil for the butter component.

Sweet pea hummous, recipe by culiblog dot org
Just thaw, don’t cook

To thaw the frozen peas and soybeans, pour boiling water over them and wait a minute. The water should be cool and the beans cool to the touch. Do not cook the thing that must remain raw. Colour is a good indicator, bright beautiful green is good, brown is bad.

Sweet pea hummous, recipe by culiblog dot org
The ingredients before blending, thawed peas and beans, butter, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, a few squirts of soy and fish sauce

Strain off the water, put the peas and soybeans in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend away. If you feel you need to add some liquid because the hummous is too thick, try adding some of that cold green tea sitting in the teapot on the counter. Don’t over-blend the pea hummous or it will look like wasabi. This is a case when hetero is just way better than homo.

Sweet pea hummous, recipe by culiblog dot org
Serve sweet pea hummous with crackers or bread or green or orange or white things

Covered in the fridge this hummous will keep a few days. Don’t refreeze the thing that was already frozen. Instead use the leftovers from an overly ambitious batch as a ravioli filling. You can also make a bright green pea soup by thinning the sweet pea hummous with dashi or coconut milk and creme fraiche. Carefully heat in a pot until it’s the proper temperature for soup but do not cook the soup that must remain green.

debra at 16:37 | Comments (1) | post to

Speaking of pomegranate

January 16, 2008

Pomegranate grains with lavender honey and rosewater, recipe

Last year I did my utmost to eat food that was grown and produced locally. But because Amsterdam is excruciatingly far north, more or less deep inside the Polar Circle, this meant that my diet didn’t have much in the way of citrus fruit, bananas or mangos. At first I didn’t think this would be a problem, and I embraced the task of becoming a local fruit adept, tasting the different varieties of apples, pears and berries, becoming good at telling them apart. But as soon as Autumn started to roll around, I had to admit that after a full year of locative eating, however many new fruit and vegetables varieties I had encountered, I had become really very bored with the local fruit which consists primarily of apples, pears and some berries.

pomegranate tabouleh, culiblog recipe
Or you can use pomegranate with raisins, saffron and red peppercorns in a tabouleh if you want to delocalise

My solution has been to ‘cheat’ and start eating not-so-local fruit. And aside from the occasional lemon or lime in my mojito, turns out the fruit that I longed for most, was surprisingly not tropical, but Mediterranean. I was craving pomegranates.

Here’s what I like to do most with a pomegranate:

Mix the grains of a large pomegranate with two tablespoons of lavender honey and a splash of rosewater. Serve in little bowls with tiny spoons and eat or pour over susme, a very thick and creamy yoghurt. The breakfast of champions!

debra at 10:05 | Comments (3) | post to

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