Better late than never?
The Chepovetsky-Zaretsky family thanksgiving spread! We are Russian (note the smoked salmon and the mushroom pastry!) but we are also fiercely patriotic. After all, we are living the American dream! My parents came here with nothing from a crumbling nation that no longer exists (USSR!) and now we have freedoms my family never imagined. My father, who has a PhD in physics started in the US as a cab driver and eventually became a computer programmer. My mother was an engineer in the old country and kept that job when she came here, but eventually also learned to be a computer programmer. Imagine changing fields completely in middle age, in a foreign country. Learning a computer language, as well as English? This is a big deal folks. I'm so proud of my parents and family. Every year, when we go around the table and give thanks (yes, we actually do this, no matter how large the gathering, everyone says something) I hope I never forget to mention this. Obviously, in relation to the blog, I have to thank my mom, whose creativity in the kitchen has indirectly inspired me countless times! And now....for dessert!
This thing, Kievsky Tort
is a cake made in a factory in Kiev called the Karl Marx Confectionary factory. They've been making it since 1956 and apparently NO ONE can make what they do. It's a combination of megangue, some sort of hazelnut stuff and buttercream. It is rich and light, creamy yet airy....I have no idea how to describe it. But, the thing must actually be imported from Kiev into stores in the US. Crazy huh? I eat it so slowly, layer by layer.....yummmmmmm! I can't believe I'm sitting here now, in my jeans, actually fitting into them. Oy! What did you all do for thanksgiving? Is anyone reading this? Beuller....?Ok, on to some other stuff. First of all, I am going to compose more than one post tonight and hope to put them out all during the week in an effort to actually post more regularl. So, this post will be kind of cooking light. It will focus on roasted vegetables. Because I've been able to go home a few times in this past month or so, I've stocked my fridge full of cheap-o vegetables. I'm sure they're not even actually cheap, just relatively cheap because everything in NYC is unbearably expensive.
Brussels sprouts again! You remember this, the worlds easiest salad? Take a bunch of Brussels sprouts and shred them (so irritating.....), in a pan toss in some finely chopped turkey bacon and a can of diced/crushed roasted tomatoes....sautee until soft. Then season with balsamic vingar, salt, garlic....voila! Instant nutritious lunchx3.
And hey, the one night I got super lazy and didn't want to bother shredding the sprouts, I put them in the oven at 400 degrees, spayed (MISTO!) with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and "vegetable seasoning" (or you can use garlic, italian seasoning, etc) and left them in there....too long. Or so I thought. Turns out when these babies get a little charred they taste SO good. And are super soft. Turns out this is not a secret, but it's news to me, so now it comes on the blog!
And my new love....okra. How simple. Spray with olive oil, season with anything you like (I use the same stuff I put on the roasted sprouts) and pop in the oven at 400 degrees. I use my toaster oven for super convenience. Call it 20-30 mins. It comes out semi crunchy on the outside and all gooey and slimy on the inside. What's in that bowl, you ask? It's the best veggie dip EVER. Greek yogurt with Thai Chilli Garlic sauce/paste
. If you don't have this, mix in whatever liquidy/pasty spicy stuff you like. The yogurt cools it down and makes it absolutely yummy! Seriously. That's not a joke. Go home and try this. Ok, that's all for now because it's Chanukah and I am making a really nice meal for a friend featuring baked sweet potato latkes. In case this invariably fails, I have sweet potato chips baking in the oven right now!Tata!