Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beer Sheva cookies

This December, for the third year in a row, I'm participating in one of Livejournal's fancy rat community' secret santa game. I so happens that my secret santa is an Australian, what a lovely chance to try out a little twist on the famous Australian ANZAC biscuits!

The only problem is, I don't have any Golden Syrup around in my town or, in fact, anywhere in Israel I'm afraid. The original recipe also calls for butter, which is not vegan. So I had to do with replacements and that mean that I can't call them ANZAC biscuits because, by Australian law, you can't call them ANZAC biscuits unless you use the exact recipe. I decided if I'm going to do a tribute, I'll do it all the way, and used slightly different spicing too, to give it a good tang. In the end, I've decided to call the Beer Sheva cookies, after ANZAC's famous battle of Beer sheva (ignore Wiki's faulty spelling).

Beer Seva cookies

1 glass of whole flower
1 glass of rolled oats
1 glass of brown sugar
1 glass of coconut flakes
125gr of margarine (I used one made from canola oil with reduced trans fats)
4 tablespoons of date syrup
1 tablespoon baking soda
10 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon coffee hawaij

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another. Add the baking soda to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Join the two bowls (preferably, the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients one) and mix thoroughly until an even, sticky mixture is formed. If necesary, add more water. Here's Freud, the roommate's cat checking out the progress of the cookies.

On a sheet of baking paper, place small walnut sized balls of the mixture with a teaspoon at a decent distance from each other and bake in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes (but keep a close eye on them!) at 180c.

Hope she (and her rat, Ivy) would like these cookies!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indian eggplant


Long time no see, eh? Don't ask. Just don't ask, you don't want to know what been going on lately that kept me from cooking or...well....doing anything positive with my life, actually. I did go to a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening, though, after six years of absence.

A-n-y-w-a-y!! The eggplant, for which we have gathered here today.

This is the first time I'm making anything with an eggplant. I used to not like them due to unripe eggplants tending to be a little tingly in your mouth and f*rty once they're through with you. There were some amazing eggplants in the marketplace this week so I decided I'll do something about it. I picked two shiny, light and firm eggplants (that's how you know they're good) and dragged them home. And here's what I did with them:

Indian Eggplant:
Pre-heat over to 180c

Slice eggplants into an inch-thick slices more or less, butt included. Spray the slices with salt and leave (preferably in the sun) for about half an hour. While you're waiting, prepare the spice mix.

For two large eggplant you'll need:
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon gram masala
*2 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons of canola oil (easy on the oil, eggplants drink it up like crazy)

Pat the slices dry and, with a coating brush, spread a nice coating of the spice mix on each side of the slice. Then, put in the over and bake for 15 minutes for each side of the eggplant. Yes, 15 minutes one side, then 15 minutes another. Do not forget this step or you'll have only half-baked eggplant and we're not in the 70s so being half-baked isn't cool anymore.

When done, you can serve these as they are or with tomatoes or tomato sauce, it aught to be really good.

* Here's a little trick I learned from the lovely Buddha Burgers to amp your garlic. When you buy a garlic head, separate the cloves and keep them in a mixture on 90% canola oil and 10% white cooking wine so they're drowned in it completely. Then whenever you need garlic, use these cloves. This with not only preserve your cloves but also really, really enhance their taste and you can use the oil and wine mix for the next batch of cloves! It's really great.

And here's what happened to my coating brush from the turmeric LOL