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Month: May 2009


3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne

Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together tahini and olive oil.

Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayene in food processor until almost fully ground (about 15 seconds). Scrape down bowl with spatula. While machine is running, add lemon juice-water mixture in a steady stream. Scrape down bowl with spatula and process for 1 more minute. With machine running, add tahini-oil mixture and process until smooth (about 15-30 seconds).

Let stand for about 30 minutes for flavors to develop. Serve topped with a sprinkle of paprika or drizzle of olive oil.

– 1 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro instead of paprika
– 1/4 cup roasted garlic, garlic evoo, garnish with parsley
– omit cumin, 1 cup artichoke (1/4 reserved for garnish), +1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, garnish with artichoke reserve, parsley, and evoo
– omit water and cumin, 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, garnish with toasted almond slivers and parsley

Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce

3/4 lb. ground lamb
1/4 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup onion, shredded & squeezed dry
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground marjoram or oregano
1 tsp ground rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand or in a food processor for 1-2 minutes. Form into small patties. Cook about 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat, until dark crust forms. Slice meat and serve in a pita with toppings (tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, olives, etc.).

Tzatziki sauce:
2 English cucumbers, halved crosswise
Kosher salt
1¾ cups whole-milk Greek or low-fat Greek yogurt (not fat-free)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3+ tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Grate the cucumber on the larger holes, rotating around to avoid the seedy core. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt, toss, and set in a colander to drain for 10 minutes.

Whisk yogurt, oil, garlic, mint, dill, and vinegar in a bowl.

Squeeze the cucumber shreds in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible, reserve 2 teaspoons of the cucumber liquid. Finely chop the squeezed cucumber, then stir into yogurt mixture. Stir in the reserved cucumber liquid and ½ teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with additional mint and dill.

Blackberry Sorbet

3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 lb fresh or frozen blackberries (about 3 cups)
4 tsp lemon juice (1 Tbsp + 1 tsp)
1 Tbsp liquer (triple sec or chambourd)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stirring constantly, let the simple syrup boil for 1 minute then remove from heat, transfer to a mixing bowl, and let chill for 3 hours.

In a blender, puree blackberries and simple syrup for about 1 minute. Use a chinoise or spatula and fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp and seeds from berry mixture. Stir in the lemon juice and liquer.

Place in ice cream maker and follow the directions in the manual (or freeze in a sealed container for a couple of hours). Makes 4 servings.