Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vishesh's 5-Minute Matzo Crumble

We're in the middle of Passover, and there are matzo crackers in the Ratty every day. With such crunchy texture and unassuming flavor, they just beg to be crushed and re-purposed. I tried to keep this crumble as kosher as possible by avoiding corn syrup and oats, but there is enormous potential for variation on this base.

Since the key ingredients are all pretty mellow, you can easily infuse whatever flavor you like with fruit pieces, zests, or juices! A good squeeze of lemon juice permeates the taste and aroma, but I've tried similarly delicious versions this week with half a teaspoon of orange juice, apple juice, or peanut butter instead. Oats or granola can be substituted for some of the matzo for added crunch, and if ice cream is used instead of yogurt, the cold will help it harden so the minute waiting can be skipped! :)

5-Minute Matzo Crumble 
2 packets of sugar
2 pats of butter
1 lemon slice
1 tsp of honey
1 large matzo cracker (e.g. Manischewitz)
plain yogurt (soft serve)

Add the sugar, butter, honey, and a full squeeze of lemon juice to a bowl, and melt the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. Crush the matzo into small pieces, and add it to the bowl. Stir well, so that the matzo is all lightly coated. Press the matzo to crush it further and form a thinner layer. Microwave for 15 seconds, stir and press again, and microwave for another 15 seconds. Allow a minute to let it set, top with yogurt, and enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vishesh's Polenta with Mushrooms in Butter Soy Sauce

Sure, I only had regular white mushrooms without any fine porcini, and the baked polenta wasn't exactly the luscious cloud shown in the original NYT recipe. But soy sauce and butter was such a mysterious and tempting combination of east and west that I could not resist trying, and the duo compensated for the other ingredients with salty, umami goodness.

Polenta with Mushrooms in Butter Soy Sauce 
1/3 cup polenta
2/3 cup mushrooms
3 pats of butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove roasted garlic
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Mince and crush the garlic as finely as possible, and then add to a bowl along with the butter. Microwave for 20 seconds, and then add the mushrooms, soy sauce, and olive oil. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and microwave for another 60 seconds to reduce the sauce. Add salt to taste, and then pour the mushrooms over the polenta while hot, distributing the sauce evenly around. Top with parmesan cheese and pepper, and enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nadya's Dessert Panini

Who says panini need to be savory? Sandwich some sliced banana between bread spread with creamy nutella, sweetened with a drizzle of honey - and see how wonderfully sweet panini can be! Thank you to Nadya for sharing this recipe.

Nadya's Dessert Panini 
Two slices of bread
One chopped banana
Cinnamon sugar

Spread nutella on the bread. Add the chopped bananas.  Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.  Put it in the panini press for approximately 2 minutes or until golden brown.

*Please do not use peanut butter in the panini press to be considerate of those who have allergies! Thanks!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stephanie's Falaco (Falafel Taco)

Falafels – deep-fried, crispy balls of yumminess that still have all the health benefits of chickpeas. Can they possibly get any better? Why yes, indeed they can! Pair them with your choice of ingredients from the Ratty’s beloved vegetarian burrito bar, and lo and behold: a nutritious AND delicious combo of South meets Middle East. Velvety guac and rich sour cream serve as textural contrast to crunchy falafel balls while tangy salsa and chunky veggies brighten up the plate. Thank you to Stephanie Chung for sharing this creation!

Stephanie’s Falaco
1 flour tortilla 
3 falafels 
shredded lettuce 
diced tomatoes 
shredded cheese 
sour cream 
black beans 
corn, squash, and tomato mix 

Assemble burrito bar toppings on a flour tortilla to form a scrumptious bed for your falafels. Fold and enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vishesh's Peanut Sauce

Chinese peanut sauce typically uses ginger and sesame oil to kick it up, while Thai satay depends on coconut milk and Thai curry paste. This sauce is not traditional and does not use any of those ingredients, though it would certainly be improved if and when the Ratty has them. Nevertheless, sweet and spicy peanut flavor is always tasty over rice and noodles or as a dip for vegetables and rolls.

Vishesh's Peanut Sauce
4 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
sugar, salt, and cayenne

Combine all the measured ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Mix in sugar, salt, and cayenne to taste, and add water to reach the desired consistency, stirring until smooth.