A Taste of TASHI
No Tashi tour would be complete without some focus on food; here are some of our favorite recipes.
Ida Kavafian's Armenian Aromatic Eggplant
- 2 Medium Eggplant, firm, dark and not too heavy Olive Oil
- 1 Small (8 Oz.) can Tomato Sauce
- 2 Fresh Tomatoes
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons (or to taste) Balsamic Vinegar (Wine Vinegar is also fine)
- 1 Small Container Plain Yogurt
Wash, then peel 3 strips lengthwise down the eggplant, creating a striped effect. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and salt both sides, placing on paper towels to soak up moisture. Leave for about 45 minutes, turning over a few times, changing paper towels if needed.
While eggplant is sweating, sauté garlic in olive oil in medium pan until lightly brown. Add fresh tomato, salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce, bring to a boil and simmer for another 8 minutes or so. Add vinegar and let simmer for 1-2 minutes, just until flavors blend. Let cool.
Preheat broiler. Place eggplant slices in single layer in a large broiling pan or cookie sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Place under broiler and cook until evenly light to medium brown. Turn and broil other side. Although eggplant can be fried, I prefer broiling, since it absorbs less oil. Let cool slightly.
In a serving platter, place a single layer of eggplant, spoon yogurt on top to almost cover each individual piece, then tomato sauce to cover well. Layer until you have used up the eggplant. The top layer should be the sauce. Serve at room temperature. One of the advantages of this recipe is that it can be made long ahead of time and kept at room temperature, or even the day before and refrigerated. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour if that is the case. Enjoy!
This is a recipe that I learned, then modified myself, from my mother who was without a doubt the World's Greatest Cook. Although she never let me help her prepare dinner when I was a child (she always sent me to my room to practice), I stole some peeks while growing up, then tried to duplicate the delicious dishes when I went to live on my own. I would inevitably have to call her to consult with her, and we had some of my favorite conversations as a result.
Theodore & Marilyn Arm's "Cold Sesame Noodles"
- 3 tbs. peanut butter or tahini paste
- 2 tbs. water
- 2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 5 tbs. soy sauce
- 2 tbs. sesame oil
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- chili oil to taste
- cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. minced ginger (optional)
- 1 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb. lo-mein noodles or thin spaghetti
Combine peanut butter with water. Add vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, scallions (white parts), minced garlic, ginger, chili oil. Marinate in fridge at least 2 hrs. Cook noodles (al dente) and cool down quickly. Drain.
To serve: Combine noodles and sauce just before serving. Garnish with cucumbers, scallions (green parts), cilantro and extra chili oil to taste. Enjoy! This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.
Fred's New York Chili
Everybody loves chili and everybody has his or her own recipe. This is the version that my wife Carol and I enjoy most. I like to use flank steak and many "chef's secrets."
- 1 whole flank steak, trimmed of fat
- 1 or 2 large onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- Bouquet Garni
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 fresh serrano
- scotch bonnet or habanero pepper cut in half
- 3 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 1/4 inch slices of fresh ginger)
- light vegetable oil (peanut, corn or olive)
- salt and pepper
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- ground coriander
- 1 12-oz. can of beer
- 1 small can of tomato paste
Chef's secrets: worcestershire sauce, white vinegar, a tbsp. of honey, hot mustard powder, celery seeds, a pinch of oregano, tabasco sauce - whatever you like 3 tbsp. corn meal crushed red pepper
Cut the flank steak into 1/2-inch cubes, chop the onions finely and crush the garlic cloves.
Make the Bouquet Garni: tie up the ingredients listed above in the cheese cloth.
Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with oil. Over high heat, throw in a mixture of chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and ground coriander. Add the meat and brown lightly. Remove the meat to a plate.
Deglaze the skillet with some of the beer. (Deglazing just means adding the liquid over high heat and scraping up what is in the pan with a wooden spoon.)
Saute the onions in oil over medium heat in a dutch oven with salt and pepper. After about four minutes, add the crushed garlic cloves and saute for another 2 minutes.
Pour in the contents of the skillet which you have deglazed along with the remaining beer. Stir in the tomato paste and throw in the bouquet garni. If there is not enough liquid, add a little bit of water.
Add chef secrets, bring the mixture to a boil, then throw in the beef. Simmer for 1 hour. Put the corn meal in a cup and add some liquid from the pot. Mix together with a ford until smooth, then pour it into the pot, this will thicken the liquid. Add crushed red pepper to taste and simmer for another 20 minutes. Pull out the bouquet garni, and serve over rice or small boiled potatoes.
Linzer Torte a la Richard Stoltzman
- 1 cup flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbs. cocoa
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1 cup raspberry preserves
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 lb. salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
- Confectioner's sugar
Mix the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and cloves together in a bowl, and set aside. Cream the butter, and beat in the half cup of sugar. Beat in the egg yolks. Gradually blend in the almonds and the flour mixture to make a thick batter. Using about half the batter spread an even layer, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, in the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch round baking pan with a removable bottom. Spread the jam over the batter to within 1/2 inch of the edge, taking care not to break the layer of batter.
Spoon the remaining batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tube, 1/2 inch in diameter. Pipe 3 to 5 parallel lines of batter straight across the layer of jam from one edge to the other. Give the pan a quartet turn and pipe 3 to 5 more parallel lines across the pastry from edge to edge. Any excess batter can be used to form cookies on a baking sheet. Fill with jam and bake.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Beat the egg white with the remaining sugar and the water until frothy. Brush this mixture over the pastry strips and the edge. Place the linzer torte in the oven, and bake 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Remove the sides of the pan and serve.
Yield: 8 servings; Total time: 3 hours