Recipe: Parsi Deviled Eggs

I didn't grow up eating deviled eggs, so I don't have a sense of nostalgia for any one particular version of them.  To be honest, I actually have to be in just the right mood to even want to eat them at all.  But the first time I had this version, from Niloufer Ichaporia King, I was a goner. As Patty Unterman first wrote in the SF Examiner, Niloufer found this recipe in a book published in Bombay in the 1940s, with the confounding title of "Italian Eggs."  The flavors, though, aren't Italian at all--they're much more reminiscent of India, Thailand, Vietnam or Mexico.  Make these, and soon they will be your preferred version of deviled eggs, too, no matter what you want to call them!

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, hard-cooked
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt 
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions

Shell the eggs, cut them in half, and put the yolks in small bowl.  Set the egg whites aside.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the mayonnaise, to the yolks and mash with a fork until well combined.  Make sure the honey is well distributed.

Stir in the mayonnaise and taste.  Adjust lime and salt as needed.  

Spoon the mixture into the egg whites, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  

To serve, let the eggs return to room temperature and garnish with cilantro leaves.

 

 

Egg Month Giveaway: Gift Certificate to Good Eggs & EGG by Michael Ruhlman

There might not be anything capable of more kitchen miracles than that little, two-toned magician, the egg.  And there might not be anyone better suited to detail them all than author Michael Ruhlman.  

Michael Ruhlman is obsessed with eggs.  And he does them justice in his book, Egg, which began with a flowchart he made to obsessively organize all of the possibilities the egg offers us.  If you want to explore meringues, souffles, mayonnaise, hollandaise, custards, cakes, and everything in between, this is the book for you. 

The good folks at Good Eggs (who are so committed to supporting local farmers that they named their company in honor of the first farm--an egg farm--with which they developed a relationship) have also contributed a $25 gift certificate for me to give away to this week's winner.  If you haven't already checked out Good Eggs, do.  And if you don't know where else to buy humanely-raised eggs, start there!  

Thank you to Michael Szczerban at Little, Brown, and at Greta Caruso at Good Eggs, for contributing this week's #eggmonth prizes!

To be eligible to win this prize, simply post a photo, recipe, link, or anything else egg-related to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and use the #EggMonth hashtag.  I'll announce the winner next Monday when I reveal next week's giveaway.

Good Luck!

And the winner of last week's prize--the copper bowl and four cookbooks from Chronicle books--is @awmanny.  Get in touch with me at ciao (at) saminnosrat (dot) com, and I will send you your prize! 

 

 

Recipe: Niloufer's Everydal Dal

In my opinion, Niloufer Ichaporia King is one of our terribly undervalued culinary greats.  And her book, My Bombay Kitchen, is my subcontinental reference manual.  Part memoir, part cookbook, part history lesson, it's just one of those books that never goes out of style.

This is my go-to dal, or Indian red lentil, recipe, and it couldn't be easier to make.  Plus, it's DELICIOUS.  Served with plain rice, yogurt, and mango chutney, it makes a totally respectable and comforting dinner.  Add vegetables, chicken, lamb or seafood and call it a feast.

The beauty of lentils is that they require no soaking, and they cook up so quickly.  Keep red lentils on hand for legume emergencies--I do.

photo by Emily Nathan

photo by Emily Nathan

Everyday Dal from My Bombay Kitchen

1 cup red lentils (masur dal), husked split pigeon peas (tuvar dal), or mung beans (mung dal)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon (or more) salt

1 onion, quartered (optional)

1 green chile (optional)

4 cups (or more) water

1 to 2 tablespoons ghee or butter

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallot (optional)

Pick over the dal to remove stones and chaff. Rinse the dal and transfer to a pot; add the turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, quartered onion, and chile, if using, along with at least 4 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, until the dal is tender. (

Masur and mung dals soften in about half the time it takes to cook tuvar dal, which needs a good 45 minutes to 1 hour.) Watch out for overboiling, even with the heat down.

When the dal is soft and mushy, pass through a sieve or a food mill or liquefy in a food processor or with an immersion blender, which saves you the trouble of pouring and transferring. The texture of the dal should be thick, smooth, and pourable. Taste for salt.

To finish, heat the ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Sizzle the seeds, garlic, and onion, if using, until the garlic begins to brown around the edges and the seeds start to crackle. These sizzling seeds and garlic are known as vaghar in Gujarati,tarka in Hindi. Tip the vaghar into the dal and stir.

Dal Soup:

Dal without vaghar makes an excellent cold soup. I've served it with a blob of yogurt and chive blossoms, or snipped chives or green onion tops.

Note: In my mother's house, it was considered good practice to send dal to the table in a tureen with the vaghar floating on top, a last-minute affair, although the flavors have a better chance to combine if you stir in the toasted spices ahead of time. If you're having dal as a first-course soup, you can serve individual portions with a little vaghar poured over each one.

Serves 6

Bean Month, So Far

#Beanmonth is off to an incredible start!  Here are a bunch of posts from the far flung corners of the internet:

In classic style, The Joy of Cooking tells you everything you need to know about Cooking Dried Beans

Russ Parsons stirs up an age-old debate: To Soak or Not To Soak

Phyllis made some Good Old Bean Soup to get her through her last cold over at Dash and Bella

Heidi's recipe for Pan-Fried Giant White Beans with Kale is no-fail via Food52

Julia Nishimura made some insanely beautiful Tuscan Pork and White Beans (a major achievement considering it's a dish not typically known for its beauty)

Adam at Amateur Gourmet lists the Things You Can Do With A Big Pot Of Beans

Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome makes it easy, listing all of her bean recipes for you, here

Learn how to turn one pot of beans into five meals from the Canal House ladies via Food52

Learn about Leather Britches from Sean Brock on Food Republic

Food52 also tells you The Best Ways to Use Canned Beans

How to Cook Beans in the Oven at The Kitchn

Learn how to can your own beans from Punk Domestics

Make feijoada, like the good folks at Good Eggs NYC

Kim O'Donnel shares a recipe for Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Heidi's recipe for a beautiful Ayocote Bean and Mushroom Salad

Sarah posted her take on Melissa Clark's Beans Braised with Bacon and Red Wine

Judy Witts Francini shares the ribollita recipe from Trattoria Mario, one of my favorite lunch spots in Florence

Olivia at The Coast Kitchen shares her recipe for Lemon Lentil Soup

And, right here: 
Cal Peternell's Fagioli all'Amatriciana
Mary Oliver's Beans
Cooking (beans) with Italian Grandmothers
Bean Resources


Instagram Photos
@sansculottes made these beautiful beans all'Amatriciana

@andreagentl did right by these beautiful chestnut beans with this moody photo, then she turned them into soup

@dominicarice's corona beans with pork adobo

@fieldsofplenty's beautiful pozole with black-eyed peas and smoked brisket

@juliaostro's Tuscan pork and Beans

@danalouisevelden's La Chamba bean pot took the internet by storm

@tifamade cooked up some mung beans

@claraygray turned these black badger beans into curry

@heyk8 cooked dried beans for the first time!

@goodeggsnyc turned these black beans into an occasion for tacos

@dashandbella went above and beyond with this navy bean gratin baked with bacon and bread crumbs

@melinahammer's lentils with watermelon radish and avocado sure brighten things up!


Post your own photos with the #beanmonth hashtag so I can see and repost them!

Spotify Playlist
#BEANMONTH

Pinterest
BEANS

Books
The Best Bean Cookbooks, According to Omnivore

Heirloom Bean Sources:
Rancho Gordo
Zursun
Rancho Llano Seco
Good Eggs: SF, NYC, NOLA, LA
Jalama Valley
CUESA: Tierra Vegetables, Lonely Mountain Farm, Dirty Girl Produce, and Iacopi Farms

(Know of any other great sources for heirloom beans?  Let me know and I'll add them to the list!  And keep posting with the tag!  I'll do another round-up next week!)

The Best Bean Cookbooks, According to Omnivore

I asked my friends at my favorite bookstore, Omnivore Books, for some bean book recommendations, and here's what they suggested:

  

  


Clockwise, from top left:
Heirloom Beans by Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington
Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon
Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson


Other Books Omnivore Carries That I Highly Recommend for #beanmonth, and Life in General:

 



Clockwise, from top left: 
Heritage by Sean Brock
The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry
An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page
The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert


Omnivore has loads of these books, signed copies, and rare and antiquarian cookbooks and will ship anywhere in the world.  To purchase, call the store between the hours of 11am and 6pm, Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-5pm Sunday at 415.282.4712.

p.s. I am purposely refraining from linking to Amazon in this post, so if you don't want to support Omnivore, then go support your own local brick & mortar independent bookstore this time!

"Beans" by Mary Oliver

                     

Beans

They’re not like peaches or squash.
Plumpness isn’t for them.They like
being lean, as if for the narrow
path. The beans themselves sit qui-
etly inside their green pods. In-
stinctively one picks with care,
never tearing down the fine vine,
never not noticing their crisp bod-
ies, or feeling their willingness for
the pot, for the fire.

I have thought sometimes that
something―I can’t name it―
watches as I walk the rows, accept-
ing the gift of their lives to assist
mine.

I know what you think: this is fool-
ishness. They’re only vegetables.
Even the blossoms with which they
begin are small and pale, hardly sig-
nificant. Our hands, or minds, our
feet hold more intelligence. With
this I have no quarrel.

But, what about virtue?

--Mary Oliver

BEAN MONTH

photo source
Growing up, I didn't really feel one way or another about beans.  Here and there, I'd eat a few chickpeas, fava beans, or kidney beans, and lots of pinto beans alongside burritos.  They were fine.

But during the first summer I worked in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, I fell in love with beans.  Every Monday we received a shipment of vegetables from Chino Ranch, and it was my job to unpack it and put everything away.  That summer, I saw true cranberry beans for the first time--as red and round as their namesake fruit--and peeled fresh giant lima beans we simmered and serve alongside braised pork.  I was still in college, still planning to head to graduate school for poetry upon graduation, and I reveled in the names of the varietals--Dragon's Tongue, Painted Pony, Lina Sisco's Bird Egg, Coco Bianco and Coco Nero, Tiger's Eye, Snow Cap, and Jacob's Cattle.

And then, I tasted them.  I'd never known a bean could be so satisfyingly creamy or so sweet.  I was a goner.

I've loved beans ever since.  The first article I pitched to a magazine was about shelling beans.  They were the first seeds I planted when I started to garden.  I buy beans at the market in every country I visit.

But what cemented my interest in beans as a cooking teacher, and why I want to dedicate this month to celebrating beans is this: a couple of years ago, I heard Mark Bittman say was that he'd consider his career a success if he could get every family in America to make rice and beans once a week. I couldn't agree more.  Besides being beautiful and labeled with playful names, beans are accessible, cheap, nutritious and delicious.  They are easy to cook, and lend themselves to a thousand different uses in the kitchen.

And since beans are for everyone, I'm declaring January #beanmonth.  I'll be posting all sorts of links, recipes, resources, photos, poems, and more here, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  I've started a board on Pinterest dedicated to BEANS, and I've invited friends all around the internet to join me.  Wendy MacNaughton and I are even planning a very special giveaway at the end of the month.    

Come, follow along!  Share your own recipes, links and photos with the #beanmonth hashtag.  I'd love to see everyone's favorite ways to cook and eat beans!

p.s. Lentils and chickpeas count!

Serendipity

image source

I'm still working on the book.  Various friends who've walked this path before me have referred to this point in the process as "the black hole of despair," "why crystal meth was invented," and "the point at which you lay in bed at night wondering if you should just give back the money."  All of those characterizations seem about right.

Writing a book is hard.  Really, really hard.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.

On the upside, I've been writing and thinking a lot these days about how I came to be a cook, and what I learned in my first years in the kitchen, and I thought of this courtyard.

I was on my junior year abroad, living in London, the first time I went to Italy.  Everyone told me I had to go to Florence, so I managed to get there and stay in a hostel for a couple of nights. I was totally stunned by the beauty of the town.  Just up the road from my hostel was this stunning courtyard, behind a cast iron gate, and each time I passed by I imagined the kinds of people who must live in a place like that, in a town like Florence, in a country like Italy.  I was about twenty years old, and had never imagined that life could be lived in a place where beauty like that was so quotidian.

I remember hoping that perhaps one day I could live in a place as beautiful as the building locked behind that gate.

A few years later, I returned to Florence, to apprentice myself to Benedetta Vitali at Trattoria Zibibbo.  For the first couple of months, she put me up in a convent in the hills above Florence, from which I could walk to work.  I ate my meals with nuns, stumbling through conversations with them in my pidgin Italian, washed my clothes on a washboard in the courtyard, and slept beneath a giant crucifix in my sterile dorm room.  It was amazing, but secluded and lonely.

Eventually, Benedetta moved me into town, onto Via dei Serragli, which is still one of my favorite streets in the world.  I packed up my bags, was dropped off in front of the apartment and handed a key.  I was so excited to be moving into the center of town, near museums and bookstores and cafes and non-nun-people that I hardly noticed where I was being moved into.  It took a couple of days of exploration before I realized that my new apartment was in the exact same building I'd spent all of that time day-dreaming about when I'd first come to Italy.  "Perhaps one day" had come a lot sooner than I'd ever imagined.

There's been a lot of this kind of serendipity in my life, and it helps to remember that.  Especially when I'm deep in the black hole of despair.


For Posterity



Just want to remember that this is the view from my commute every single day. 

And that, as much as I like to complain about it, I sort of love the ritual of heating up my studio in the Headlands, and the wool booties and socks, the hot water bottle, the down vest and comforter, the endless cups of tea, and the space heaters I need to keep warm and stay alive out here.  

And, as stressed out and paralyzed with doubt, and in my head, and anti-social as I feel right now, there is this sort of luxurious level of self-indulgence involved in making a creative work on this scale and that soon, when I am done, I will actually miss this.  A friend said I'm in a love affair with this book.  It's sort of like that, I think, a torturous, highest-highs, lowest-lows kind of love affair.  

I just want to say, for the record, that every single day, I still can't believe I get to write a book.  That my job is coming out to this National Recreation Area, sitting down at my desk with a view of Bolinas, and writing down every story I have ever wanted to tell about cooking, and life, and beauty and pain. That I get to walk down to the beach in the afternoon, fiery light bleeding through the iceplant down the hillside, to collect tiny, perfect sand dollars and watch dolphins pups play with their mamas on their way to warmer waters.  And that I get to collaborate with some of the most excellent people I have ever met in the making of this thing.  

I haven't lost sight of that.  

Soundtrack:
Van Morrison, Into the Mystic
James Vincent McMorrow, Higher Love
Bonnie Raitt, Bluebird
Joni Mitchell, Blue

C U R R E N T (L Y): Holiday Gift Guide

INSPIRING BOOKS 



Penguin Clothbound Classics, about $20 each
Penguin Drop Caps, about $18 each
Tartine Book No. 3, $26
Saving the Season, $25
Wild Ones, $20
Gulp, $19
Cooked, $18
The Art of Simple Food II, $22
The A.O.C. Cookbook, $22
One Good Dish, $16
The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, $13
Lost Cat, $14
Antiquarian Cookbooks from Omnivore Books, prices vary
Short Stack Editions, $12 each
The Telling Room, $17

CONSTRUCTING COZINESS



Sheepskin Slippers from Johnstons of Elgin, $79
Cashmere Bed Socks from Johnstons of Elgin, $90
Herringbone Wool Blanket from Faribault Woolen Mills, from $190
HARRY Blanket from Area Linen, from $200
Baby Alpaca Blankets from Pilar + Keiko, $229
Bellocq Tea Signature Blends Collection, $32
Imperial Pu-erh from In Pursuit of Tea, $18
Drinking Chocolate from Theo, $13
Anything from The Anou.  Particularly the gorgeous handwoven rugs, starting at around $100 including shipping from Morocco

FOR THE KITCHEN & FOR THE TABLE




Sarpaneva Cast Iron Pot by Iitala, $236
As always, a Cast Iron Pan, $24, or find one at a flea market or garage sale and reseason it lovingly
Teak Measuring Spoons, $20
Box of Maldon Salt, or for the true Maldon fiend, an entire bucket $6/28
Spices from Oaktown Spice Shop, $13 and up
Sandwich Spreading Knife, $6
Dansk Kobenstyle Casserole, $70
Soma Water Filter, beautiful, 100% compostable, and user-friendly, $49
Incomparably delicious Raw Hawaiian Honey, $35
A jar of Calabrian Chile Paste, $10
Set of Basque Wine Glasses, $28
Stollen from Big Sur Bakery, $28
Barrel of 16-Year Aged Balsamic, $400
Warren Pear Gift Box from Frog Hollow Farm, $58
Christmas Cake from June Taylor Jams, $55
Sampler Gift Pack from Double Dutch Sweets, $22
Parmigiano-Reggiano, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, or Ossau Iraty Veille from Murray's Cheese, $25/25/34
And, as always, a Gift Certificate to Good Eggs, available on the site starting 12/9, Special Link Coming Soon!

MODERN AND VINTAGE CLASSICS



Saipua Limited Edition Soap Sampler, $125
Frost River Bazaar Tote, $90
Small Braid Ring from Katrina LaPenne, $33 and up
Record Player, $90
Borsalino Hat, $200 and up
Red Wings Heritage Boots, $250 and up
Clark's Wallabees, $90 and up
Santa Maria Novella Pot Pourri Cologne, $125
Home Gardener's Collection of Seeds from Baker Creek, $40
Warby Parker Glasses, $95 and up
Kashmiri Saffron Perfume from In Fiore, $75
Senna Round Ring from Bario-Neal, $285
Boulevard Wallet from Il Bisonte, $355
Cotton Fisherman Sweater from L.L. Bean, $99
Rio Lapis from Marisa Haskell, $88
Peppe from Studio Deseo, $168 (she also has wish bracelets for around $30 that are gorgeous!)

KNIVES & SUCH



Gorgeous Handmade Knives by Moriah Cowles, $250 and up
Opinel Kitchen Set in Color and Natural, $34/31
Handmade Knives by Michael Hemmer, prices vary
Black Ceramic Steel by MAC, $55
All-Purpose Knife from Hida Tool.  I give this knife as a gift all of the time. $101
Best Peelers Ever, $10 for 3

CERAMICS



Handmade Fermentation Crock from Counter Culture Pottery $200
Colombian Bean Pot from Bram, $88
Ombré Bud Vase Set from Heath, $130

EXPERIENCES



Color Study Class at Little Flower School, $500
Flower Class with Studio Choo, $275
Gift Certificate to The Pantry at Delancey, $50 and up
Cooking Class with Viola Buitoni, $65 and up
One Day Studio Retreat at Alabama Chanin, $475
Membership to Headlands Center for the Arts, $50 and up
Membership to 18 Reasons, $40 and up
Introduction to Letterpress Printing at San Francisco Center for the Book, $65
A Subscription to Quarterly (I'd pick Tina Roth Eisenberg, Amanda & Merrill, or Pharell Williams), $50

ART


Lake Michigan, Chicago  by Daniel Seung Lee

20x200 is back!  Some of my favorites are here, here, here and here.  So much amazing art, starting at $24.
Creative Growth Art Sale, $5 and up
Archival Prints by Emily Nathan, Aya Brackett, Jen Siska and more for Tiny Atlas Quarterly, $75 pledge to their Kickstarter Campaign


GIFTS TO MAKE

Citrus Salt
Apple Cider Caramels
Mary's Caramel Corn
Marmalade
Spoon Butter
Gaz: Persian Nougat
Olive Oil and Sea Salt Granola
Chocolate-Caramel Truffles
Homemade Vanilla Extract

C U R R E N T (L Y)

photo credit: Jessica Anton

Aletha Soulé's Studio Sale is coming up

An Island of Need in a Sea of Prosperity

Gorgeous infographics

Sarah Kersten's got a new website.  Order now for the holidays.

Moriah Cowles has a new site, too.  Total Swoonology.

Love this story about paying it forward

The Girards POP-UP

Here's my roundup of Thanksgiving tips and recipes from last year

My friends at Good Eggs have got you covered for Thanksgiving

Should you take that job?

Love in the Gardens, by Zadie Smith

Elle Luna: intelligent, inspiring

The Mast Brothers have mastered the art of the book trailer

Thinking about volunteering on Thanksgiving?
Glide Memorial
Meals on Wheels
Alameda County Food Bank
San Francisco Food Bank
Little Brothers
One Brick
St. Anthony's

Now We Are Five, by David Sedaris

I've been cooking this, over and over, using legs, thighs, wings, whatever.  It is just so good, and so easy.