Archive for the 'Odd Combination' Category

Nasturtium Vinegar

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

Nasturtium Vinegar

I am not fond of vinegar that much but I quite like the balsamic and some flavored ones. Nasturtium is a flower that I was not aware of until last year when my neighbour introduced it to me. When they are in season we have used them in our salads and also made this nice colored/flavored vinegar. It is that time of the year and I gathered some of these edible flowers from the garden and set them to flavor the vinegar. The results is already visible—as I am typing this the vinegar color is already turning to red. But I will wait about 2 – 3 weeks before starting using it on the salads.

These flowers are edible as well, in case you have them in your yard. They go really good on salads.

I do not think there is a recipe for this but I have used about 350ml of white wine vinegar and 25 nasturtium flowers in bloom. After mixing these in a suitable size jar, close the lid tightly and store in a kitchen cupboard without any light and wait a few weeks before enjoying. At the end of that time period I am planning on making another post to show you how the color is changed. Don’t forget to strain the vinegar when you think it is done and ready to use.



Bhestnut Sweets

Saturday, October 1st, 2005

Fastane Sekeri

This is one of those desserts that you may fool many people about the main ingredient. When I first tasted it, 7 – 8 years ago in Ankara, I remember thanking the host for the great chestnut dessert. Turns out that comment made her day: it didn’t contain a speck of chestnut and mashed beans were the main ingredient! You know the smell when you overcook the beans, and they stick to the bottom of the pan? It does resemble chesnut, does not it?The name? Sure enough I made it up! No typo :)

Making desserts using beans is nothing new as you know; Chinese has buns filled with read bean paste, and Mexicans have a dessert/cake similar to this one.

I got this recipe as soon as I ate it, but somehow I didn’t copy it into my recipe notebook. Made it couple times years ago, but it apparently was misplaced during moving. Finally it appeared somewhere totally unexpected. And it was time to make it again to post it here after promising my friend Mine while we were all impressed by the great chestnuts cookies she made.

There are a few points to warn you before I give the recipe. First of all, the mixture could be very moist depending on how much liquid is used when mashing the beans, or the size of the eggs. If you would like to make it more like a solid cake, instead of a moist one you can add some crushed graham (or similar) crackers. Once it bakes, it will not be as solid of a cake as you normally make; this gives the option of taking pieces and rolling them in your hand. Drizzle some melted chocolate over and you are good to go.

What you need:

  1. 2 cups of cooked beans (I have used small white beans, small lima beans or navy beans in different occasions. All work fine)

  2. 2 cups of sugar (could be less if you don’t have a sweet tooth)

  3. 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts

  4. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, in room temperature

  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder

  6. 3 eggs

How I made it:

  1. If you want to start from scratch, soak about 1 cup of beans overnight and cook them until they are easy to mash. If you are using canned beans, do not forget o rinse well

  2. Measure two cups of cooked beans, remove their skins if you’d like (sometimes it does make a difference to go through all that trouble), and mashed them well. If too dry, add a bit of boiling liquid or milk to help this process

  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients at once, and mix well. It will be a moist mixture

  4. Line 9×13 or smaller cake pan (prefer a metal one, my recipe note said) with aluminium foil to help release the baked good from the pan, and pour the mixture over

  5. Bake in 300F (150C) for about an hour

  6. Once it is cooled, try cutting it in small cubes or take a spoonful and make small balls in your palms. Decorate them with chocolate sauce and go ahead and fool your guests! :)

Fastane Sekeri
Bon Apetit


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