Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, September 22, 2014

Soft and Chewy Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe


I was getting ready to bake up a batch of oatmeal cookies with raisins and walnuts but saw the apricots next to the raisins and decided to chance course. I'm not big on walnuts in baked goods, but every now and again I throw them in to use up leftover walnuts from the last tray of Paklava. Since I was switching to apricot, I bypassed the walnuts and headed straight to the freezer to retrieve whatever variety of almonds I could find hiding in there - turned out to be slices. I usually have a bag of whole almonds for munching on in the evenings, but for baking, I'll pick up whatever is cheaper at the time - slivers, slices, etc. The "traditional" recipe I use is my Mom's, which is for crispy oatmeal cookies, but I didn't use that this time either; opted for a soft, chewy cookie this time.


INGREDIENTS :
1/2 c butter, room temp
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 t almond extract
1 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground clove
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 to 1c chopped almonds
3/4 to 1c chopped apricots


  1. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Blend in the egg, then the almond extract until smooth.
  3. Use a fork to whisk together the oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, clove, and baking soda, then blend into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Stir in the fruit and nuts last.
  5. Drop by rounded spoonful (makes 2 dozen) onto parchment-lined trays and bake at 350 for 12-15" until golden.
  6. Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes before removing to a rack (if using) to cool completely.

Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

When it comes to apricots, I like to stack about four that are roughly the same size and slice them in half lengthwise. Then I'll lay them cut-side down and cut them cross-wise into three or four pieces, depending on their size.






Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe

Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe














Apricot-Almond Oatmeal Cookies: Hye Thyme Cafe



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Artichos - Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos"

Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe


I love stuffed artichokes, but I know some people who are intimidated at the thought of making them, while others are wary of diving into one to eat it. I can sort of understand not wanting to tackle making them, but eating them? It's kinda like an onion blossom - you just pull off a leaf and you're good to go. But for those who fear the artichoke, it occurred to me to make an deconstructed version, more along the lines of a nacho. I decided to veer away from my usual filling and go with a chicken and spinach version. I was tempted to chop up a can of artichoke hearts and add that to the mix as well, but I knew I would end up with too much filling, so I skipped it.


INGREDIENTS :
1 artichoke
1 small sweet onion, diced (about 1c)
1 lg clove garlic, minced
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach - thawed
salt and pepper
2 c diced or torn cooked chicken
1 lemon
4 oz pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 T dry seasoned bread crumbs
1 T grated Parmesan
(Nutmeg - optional)


  1. Steam or boil your artichoke until tender.  When cool enough to handle, pull off the leaves and arrange on a baking sheet.  Stop when you get to the inner purple leaves. If you want, you can slice off the base just below the bulb and dice that part to mix in with the spinach. (See pic - if you were to pull off the purple leaves, you would get to a bunch of hairy looking fibers - not something you want to eat.)
  2. Lightly coat a pan with oil (I used olive) and saute the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the spinach and cook until wilted down and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste - and for those of you who like nutmeg with your spinach, knock yourself out.
  5. Stir in the chicken.
  6. Wash your lemon to remove any wax and pesticides, then dry well to make sure it doesn't gum up your zester/grater - zest the peel right over the pan, stopping when you get to the white pith.  Then squeeze in a teaspoon or two of the lemon juice to brighten things up.
  7. Remove pan from heat and stir in the cheese while the spinach mixture is still warm.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  9. Fill each artichoke leaf with the chicken/spinach mixture.  You can use a spoon if you like, but it goes faster if you use your hands.  Make sure to leave the tip empty, because that will be your handle.
  10. Sprinkle a bit of the bread crumb/Parmesan mixture over each, then pop in the oven until toasted and melty.  I was in no particular rush, so I just threw them in at 350, but if you're in a hurry, just pop them under the broiler for a few minutes.


If you have never eaten an artichoke before, just grab it by the tip, put the whole leaf in your mouth and lightly bite down, then drag the leaf between your teeth so that, along with your filling, you are drawing the pulp out of the artichoke leaf.  Discard the remaining leaf.


Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe
Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe








Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme CafeSpinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe









Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme CafeSpinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe









Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe
 
Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe

Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe
 

Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe

 
Spinach and Chicken Artichoke "Nachos" - Hye Thyme Cafe