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fermented radishes

The past few weeks i started reading this fascinating book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I grew up with Nourishing Traditions in my living room book shelf, but never took any interest in it. Until now.

Fermented foods liked saurkraut, and Pickles are highly emphasized in this book as well as Lacto-Fermented drinks like Kvass, Kefir and Ginger Ale. After burying my head in this book the past few weeks and discovering all of the wonderful benefits fermented foods offers i've decided to start making my own fermented foods and drinks at home, i've only just start and i'm already having a blast !
There is something so exciting about making your own cheese, yogurt or fermented vegetables and drinks, it gives you this great sense of self sufficiency, plus it's just pure joy watching your creations live and grow, almost like tending to a garden or interactive art project.

Fermented Radishes
2 cups of very thinly sliced easter radishes, packed
1/2 tablespoon anise seeds
1 tablespoon celtic sea salt

In a bowl combined all of the above ingredients and either with a meat mallet, or your hands like i do, pound/squish everything together to release the juices from the radishes and to evenly distribute the salt and anise seeds. Try to get out as much of the juice as you can as this will form the brine liquid. In a 1/2 quart mason jar pour everything including all of the juices, press the radishes down as tightly as you can so that the liquid brine covers everything. The radishes should be about one inch below the rim of the jar. Make sure the lid of the mason jar is on tightly and let sit on the counter, away from the sun, for 3 days. Once the three days are up transfer jar to the refrigerator and enjoy.

sesame parsley pesto



Sesame Parsley Pesto
a  bunch of parsley, coarsely chopped
5-6 basil leaves
2-3 tabelspoons thick tahini paste(if possible get the tahini that has the husk ground in to it, or make your own out of whole raw sesame seeds)
the juice of one small lemon, plus a bit of the zest
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste

In a food processor, grind the parsley and basil leaves until ground down a bit. Add the tahini paste, lemon juice/zest and ginger, grind again until the sesame paste has combined evening throughout the greens. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil, add as much or as little as you want here if you want more of a runny pesto add more, if you want it to be thick add less. Salt to taste. Pour pesto in a jar with a good lid, pour over some more olive oil to keep it moist(plus it's pretty) sprinkle over some dried oregano, seal and refrigerate.

Pesto is such a classic elegant condiment, it can be put on/in anything and you know you'll end up with a delicious meal. I like to roll up Nori sheets(seaweed paper), sliced turkey with this pesto and anchovi paste, wonderful. Or you can just pile it into some large lettuce leaves, perhaps with some tomato or pickled red peppers.

Sprigs and Sprouts


 I made, or should i say "assisted" in the growing of these beautiful Alfalfa Sprouts! Making your own sprouts at home is so simple and so much fun, i think i might make this a regular thing in my house. It's funny, once i started making these sprouts i started noticing all kinds of other seeds in the foods that i eat everyday that i now want to take a shot at sprouting: apple seeds, peach pits ...etc...

Not only does soaking and sprouting make foods(nuts, seeds, beans);that may otherwise be difficult to digest; really easy for your body to break down, but it opens up an a whole new world of nutrition to your body, and because the water content in the food is enhanced with this process it makes absorbing these nutrients an easy breezy task.

Alfalfa Sprouts
Put one Tablespoon of Alfalfa Seeds in a large mason jar, pour in one cup of water and let soak for 8-12 hours. With a sprouting lid(or cheese cloth or very thin breathable fabric attached with a rubber band) on your jar drain the water, rinse and drain again. Then turn jar upside down in a bowl to allow access water to drain out. Repeat the draining process every 8-12 hours for 4-5 days. On the last day let the jar sit in a sunny window to allow the sprouts to get some color. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Gusty Chocolate Mousse



to make
2 egg whites beaten until stiff peeks form
1/2 cup Cream Cheese(i used Tofutti, or use Mascarpone cheese)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate
Xylitol sweetener, to taste
pinch of sea salt

Combine, with a whisk, the cream cheese and vanilla extract(the whisk helps to slightly lighten the cream cheese) Also make sure the cream cheese isn't cold, but more room temperature. In a double boiler melt the chocolate and the Xylitol, sweeten to taste. Then add the melted chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture, again with a whisk.

Now add half the beaten egg whites to the chocolate cream cheese mixture, and gently fold with a spatula. Once that is well combined add the second half of the egg whites until light and fluffy(make sure not to over mix or you'll deflate that precious air).

Pour mousse into a tea cup, bowl, gravy boat, mason jar...etc. Shave some bitter chocolate over the top and a sprinkle of salt. Let set in the fridge for about a half hour.

Feel free to experiment with different flavorings in this recipe, it's very flexible. you could try almond extract instead of vanilla. You could fold in lemon zest and juice into the cream cheese instead of chocolate, or whatever incredibly imaginative thing you can think up.

Jus De Cornichon Salade




It may sound kind of strange to use pickle juice for a salad dressing, but really is isn't. It doesn't really bluntly taste like a pickle overpowering your greens, it's just sort of adds a sharp dilly kick like adding vinegar in your salad, which isn't too far off from this ... only i think it's better. And if you're a fermented foods addict like i am then you will love this. However, if you really don't like pickles to begin with then maybe you should steer clear of this recipe ... But let me tell you, you're missing out !

In my opinion the broccoli sprout and spinach are essential in this salad, the dried cranberries are optional, but i still think they add a really nice flavor and texture to the mix. Feel free to add other things to this salad, there's nothing better than chopped nuts or crumbled cheese in a salad.

Recipe
spinach leaves
broccoli sprouts
dried cranberries

pickle juice
olive oil
black pepper

3.16


I'm pretty much living on guacamole and romaine leaves these days ... and I couldn't be happier.

Guacamole
The flesh of one ripe avocado, quarter of a tomato diced, one teaspoon red onion finely chopped, 5 sprigs of cilantro minced, juice of a half a lime, red pepper flakes crushed, cayenne pepper, one teaspoon olive oil(especially if the avocado is a little under ripe), salt to taste.

Combine all of this tasty stuff in a weird looking bowl, mash together with a fork and eat with some rather large lettuce leaves, carrot sticks, celery, corn chips, or with a spoon !

pot de noir

There's something so comforting about making pudding, and these are not words coming from the greedy tongue, these are words coming from somewhere deep in the brain that enjoys the slow process of stirring creamy nice smelling mixtures until they're thick and lovely. Of course I enjoyed the final product ... it's pudding after all, but I think what I woke up craving wasn't something made of chocolate, but more the actual act of making a child hood favorite that i haven't had or made in many many years.
 
Serves two sensible people, or one greedy person.
 
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
pinch of salt
1 cup plus 3/4 cup milk(from desired origin: almond, hemp, cow ...etc.)
1/4 cup coffee liquor, or rum, or stout(optional)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
 
Place cocoa, 1/3 cup turbinado, corn starch, salt and espresso powder in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup milk on medium-low until just steaming. Stir in the cocoa mixture, continue mixing until sugar has dissolved. Add milk and alcohol of choice(rum, stout, coffee liquor) to the cocoa/milk. Increase heat to medium. While liquid is heating, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, and 1/2 tablespoon sugar.  When cocoa/milk is hot, take a half cup full and drizzle it into the egg mixture, all the while whisking the eggs very quickly(this process is called Tempering, which prevents a scrambled egg texture in your finished product. Yuck !)     
Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan to join the pudding. With the heat still at medium, stir continuously until really thick, maybe 5 minutes. Can bubble slightly, but don't let the mixture come to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the butter.  Let cool slightly and pour into tea cups or one big bowl if you please. Let chill and enjoy !