Babaganoush (eggplant salad)

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 large eggplant or 2 medium ones
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I find the light variations too sweet and strange, and you are putting very little of it in the salad, so I would choose regular)
a little lemon juice
salt

The idea is to char the eggplant. You can do it on a grill (if you have one that’s the easiest way, place whole on the grill and turn every once in a while for about 30 minutes) or on the stove top (just place the eggplant directly on the flames and keep turning it until it charred on all sides) or place under the broiler and turn once or twice for 25-30 minutes. The eggplant will deflate when its done. Sometimes I give it a quick char on the stove top and then place it under the broiler to finish cooking.

Let it cool.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Make sure that you scrape the peel well (from the inside) for all that good charred flavor you worked so hard on. Add everything else and mix gently with the spoon, the eggplant flesh should be mushy enough.

Do not try to mash with a fork. If you start breaking the seeds too much it can get bitter.

Variations- mayo can be replaced with plain or goat yogurt, tehini or carmelized onions.

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Hummus

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

2 cans of chickpeas
1/3 cup tehini
juice of half a lemon (roughly, depends on how lemony you want it)
1-2 cloves garlic (depends on how garlicky you want it)
salt
2 tablespoon olive oil

Drain cans and cook with some water until beans are hot. Reserve a little of the cooking liquid and drain the rest.

In a food processor, mix tehini with lemon juice and a little cold water (about a quarter cup) until light and frothy. (if not light and frothy, add more liquid in small amounts until it is) Add garlic and salt. pulse until incorporated. Add the beans 1/3 the amount at a time and pulse until they become paste. If it looks too choppy, add a little of the cooking liquid. taste. correct seasoning. Add the olive oil and blend for 2 minutes, until the hummus is very creamy. Its best right away, while its still warm. It looses something in the fridge though its still good.

Burekas with spinach and cheese

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 package puff pastry
1 box frozen spinach, thawed
OR
2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed, blanched in boiling water for 5 minutes
1 small package of feta cheese (the crumbles kind is great, does not need to be fancy)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (for egg wash)
sesame seeds/poppy seeds/caraway seeds or any other seed for decoration

Preheat oven to 450

Thaw the puff pastry in fridge. Take out about 5-10 minutes before you will use it.

Squeeze liquids from spinach. (you can do it in small bunches in your hands or easier with a clean kitchen towel) make sure you squeeze as much liquid as you can from spinach. chop. Add cheese (as much as you want, I used a whole small tub) and black pepper. Mix well and taste to see if it needs salt.

Roll 1 sheet of pastry (to flatten out the folds) cut into 2×2 squares. Place a small amount of filling in each square, moisten the edge with a little bit of water (to seal better) and fold to make a triangle, pressing down with your fingers to seal.

Brush with egg mixed with a little water and sprinkle seeds. Bake for about about 15 minutes until dough is puffed and golden.

Variations–
Any filling is good, ground lamb is delicious – saute some onions and garlic in a little olive oil, add lamb. Spice up with some hot pepper flakes, little cumin, salt and pepper. You can add olives or raisins or both for an exotic flavor
mushroom and onion- saute onions in a little olive oil, add mushrooms and some thyme and saute until liquid evaporates (any mushroom is good, I like to mix varieties), add salt and pepper to taste.
Really, you could fill the burekas with anything. Just make sure that the filling is cooked, because the dough does not take a long time to bake.

Dale approved variation- make a filling with mushrooms and onions, or mashed potatoes and onions with some spices that they will like, or cooked ground beef with some onion/garlic/spices (my favorite when I was a child), or just spinach. Use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry. thaw, take out one sheet, lightly brush with olive oil and place another sheet on top. Continue like this with 3-4 more sheets and proceed in the same manner as before, omitting the egg wash. You don’t need it anyway.. You might want to bake at slightly lower temp (400)
(if you want seeds on top, brush top with a little olive oil, so that they will stick)

Tabbuleh (bulgur wheat and herbs salad)

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 cup bulgur wheat
2.5 cups boiling water
2 large bunches parsley (or 1 bunch parsley and 1 bunch cilantro)
1 bunch mint
4 scallions
1 tomato (if you want)
1/2 cup good olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Place the bulgur in a bowl, pour boiling water on it and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. the grain will absorb the water and plump up. You don’t want it to get too mushy, it should have some bite. If it looks like you need more water, add some, if it tastes ready (plump, with a little bite) and some water is still left, drain.
when grain is still hot, pour 1/4 cup olive oil on it and season with salt and pepper. This will make the bulgur smell great and absorb the flavors.

Wash all herbs/veggies. In a food processor, chop all herbs. You will need to do this in batches. Slice the onions and seed and chop the tomato if using. Mix the herbs and veggies with the bulgur and season with lemon juice, remaining oil and salt and pepper. Taste and correct seasoning if needed. You might feel that it needs more dressing. Keep adding whatever is missing until you the salad had lots of flavor. Keep in mind that the bulgur absorbs a lot of seasoning and that you might need to re-season the leftovers tomorrow.

Variations- this is very good and even more nutritious with quinoa.
I like to chop everything bigger by hand and add cucumbers and more tomatoes and some good feta cheese sometimes as well.

Suzy’s Italian Turkey Pasta

Sometimes I add more tomatoes when I need to stretch the recipe or use other varieties of canned tomatoes (or just plain). In other words, feel free to adapt and improve – let me know if you find any alterations that rock 🙂
~Suzy

Italian Turkey Pasta

1 lb Ground Turkey
3 TBSP Sage (rubbed)
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large can diced tomatoes (garlic & basil variety turns out yummy)
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped (to taste)

1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan.
2. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
3. Add sage and toss in butter & oil.
4. Add ground turkey; cook for 5-10 minutes, turning frequently, until most of the pink is gone.
5. Add diced tomatoes (including liquid) and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until heated thoroughly.
6. Mix fresh basil in to the pan. It will wilt but will not cook thoroughly.

Serve over pasta. Toss with small mozzarella balls or add shaved parmesan as desired.

Note: I use sage and basil very liberally in this dish – not really sure how much, I just add until it feels right. Feel free to modify based on your tastes.

Stan’s Famous Chili

For those of you who haven’t had this yet, this one is destined to be a classic! It’s a delicious chili that is full of flavor. It’s filling without weighing you down, and the jalapeños give it just the right kick. Lovingly prepared by Stan Parmeter, this one is hard to beat. A word to the wise – it goes fast, so make a double batch! (Posted by Suzy, 11/25/08)

Stan’s Famous Chili
Serves 2-3
Prep time: 50 minutes

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
4 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp powdered cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 15 oz can cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz cooked chicken breast, cubed (about 2 cups)
ÂĽ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Sauté onion & garlic in olive oil in a soup pot until tender. Add jalapeño, chiles, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt, and sauté another minute. Stir in chicken broth, beans and chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Serve with cilantro and cheese as garnish.

Kirstin’s Amazing Split Pea Soup

Sent by Kirstin on 11/11/08 – "This has been a soup that folks down here in Eugene request that I bring to potlucks. It’s a great cold weather soup, and makes good left overs. It also freezes well."

2 bags dried split peas, rinsed well (chuck any floaters)
big can of chicken broth
2 yellow onions diced
2 carrots sliced in rounds
1 bag frozen potatoes o’brien
package of bacon end pieces, or 1 package of bacon
4 cloves garlic chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place peas in soup pot with water about 2 fingers higher than pea level. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil slowly, then reduce heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, bacon in small pieces and bag of potatoes o’brien. Cook on low until peas are tender- stir frequently. This soup is very viscose, so make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. Add more liquid as necessary. Salt and Pepper to taste.

note: if you end up with white frothy gunk on top of the soup after boiling, remove it with a spoon. This is starch from the peas.

If people make this and leave their comments, I will consider revealing to you all my Chicken Lime Chili-Cook-off recipe that won 1st place at the grange a few years back. It’s labor intensive, but very good : )

Enjoy!
Kirstin