Arnabit

Arnabit

Makes: as much as you can fit in your fryer OR 1/2 head cauliflower
Takes: 10 min prep + 20 min per batch frying

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, washed
  • Enough oil to deep fry in
  • Tahini

Instructions

  1. Put the oil in the frying container and start to heat. 
  2. Cut the cauliflower into stemmed florets and cut big ones in half lengthwise.  Think bite size ish. 
  3. When the oil is ready, deep fry the cauliflower until golden brown and delicious.  Note: this may take longer than you expect. 
  4. Drain. 
  5. Drizzle with tahini.

Notes

For something so very very simple, it is really tasty. 

My choice of spelling is somewhat arbitrary – it gets transliterated differently by different folks. 

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Roasted Broccoli

 Roasted Broccoli

Makes: as much as you can shove in your oven OR 1 head of broccoli 
Takes: 10 min prep + 20 min baking

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or walnut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flake and/or powdered garlic and/or minced garlic and/or spices that appeal to you
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (100% optional) 

Instructions

  1. Put the rack in the middle and pre-heat to 350 deg F.
  2. Cut the broccoli into stemmed florets and cut in half lengthwise.  Peel the stem and cut into spears. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with the oil, salt, pepper, and other spices (and parmesan cheese if using).
  4. Spread on baking sheet in a single layer, cut sides down. 
  5. Bake for 20ish minutes.

Notes

The broccoli florets may appear burnt. Try them anyway, they are still good. If they really are burnt, sorry, roast less time or lower temperature. 

Yes, eat the stems.

This recipe is flexible on spices.  Do what tastes good to you. Personally, I like the intermittent hits of heat from the red pepper flake, but other folks prefer a more even sprinkling of chile powder.

Wedgy Oaty Shortbread

Buttery, oaty shortbread worth giving up the oven for an hour and a half.

Wedgy Oaty Shortbread

Makes: 16 wedges + 1 round shortbreads
Takes: 15 prep + 15-20 baking + 1 hour cooling in oven

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (2.67 oz) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1oz) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (cut in small pieces)

Instructions

  1. Put the rack in the middle and pre-heat to 450 deg F.
  2. Put the oats in a spice grinder, blender, or coffee grinder and grind until you get oat flour.  1/2 cup oats should give 1/4 – 1/3 cup oat flour, if you want to just buy oat flour instead.
  3. Mix the oat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt A stand mixer is convenient for this; use the paddle, not the whisk.
  4. Add the butter and mix until the dough just forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  That’ll take 5-10 minutes because it’s cold butter and stuff. You could probably do at least part of this with a pastry cutter if you really really had to.
  5. Make your life easier by putting parchment paper or silpat down on the baking sheet first.  Then put an upside down 9″ springform pan (no bottom, closed latch) on top of that and press the dough into the springform pan.
  6. Make sure it’s all nice and smooth, then cut out a 2″ circle from the middle (a biscuit cutter is convenient, but whatever you got).  Stick that circle on the paper outside the springform pan, don’t let it go to waste!
  7. Open the latch on the springform pan, but don’t take it off yet.
  8. Bake the shortbread for 5 minutes (at 450deg F), then drop the temperature to 250 deg F. Leave the door shut while you do that!
  9. Bake it until edges turn pale golden, about 10-15 minutes.
  10. Pull it out and take the springform pan off. Be careful, it’s hot!
  11. Turn the oven off.
  12. Using a sharp knife (chef knife good), cut 16 wedges about 1/2 way through the shortbread.  Use a skewer to poke some holes in each wedge to speed drying (and look fancy).
  13. Stick it back in the oven.  Yes, even though it’s been turned off. Wedge the door open about an inch with a cooking utensil that won’t melt.
  14. Let it cool and dry out in the oven for about an hour.
  15. Let it finish cooling completely, cut wedges completely, serve.

Notes

This makes for a great stand-alone shortbread worthy of giving up so much oven time. Buttery and a little crumbly.

Basis of recipe can be found in Cooks Illustrated’s All-Time Best Holiday Baking, which inexplicably doesn’t include the Cream Scones of Doom.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches

Makes: varies
Takes: 30 minutes + 1 day

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Herbs What You Like
    recommended: savory, thyme, dill, oregano
  • a little cream or milk

Instructions

Cream cheese mixture:

  1. Let cream cheese warm up some in a bowl
  2. Add spices and mix, adding a little cream or milk to thin it out to a spreadable paste. The goal of this mixture is to be the glue holding the cucumbers and bread together.
  3. If not using immediately, cover tightly (press air out) with plastic wrap and store in fridge.

Cucumber preparation:

  1. Do this at least 2 hours in advance (the night before is also fine).
  2. Peel and slice the cucumber thinly.
  3. Lay the slices in a single layer on paper towels (stacking layers of towel + cuke is ok).
  4. Let sit in the fridge until it’s time to compile the sandwiches.

Assembly of sandwiches:
Recommend: use full slices of bread and trim to shape after compiling.

  1. If refrigerated, let cream cheese mixture warm up enough to spread.
  2. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture on a slice of bread, then put down a layer of cucumber slices. Cut slices in half if needed to fill a corner.
  3. Spread a second thin layer of cream cheese mixture, then another layer of cucumber slices.
  4. Spread a third thin layer of cream cheese mixture, then put the second slice of bread on.
  5. Repeat 2-4 until you have enough.
  6. Cut sandwiches into quarters or saltirewise to be adorable tea sandwiches.

Notes

This is a recipe I made up, basically from “cucumber sandwiches are a thing, how would that work?”