Hye Thyme Cafe: 2018

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! :)


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Have you ever been shopping at World Market? We don't have one in our area, but I love that place. It's a great way to buy small sizes of products you haven't tried before, etc. That's what makes this post kind of crazy - I had a small bottle of pomegranate balsamic vinegar from World Market, and with the recent hoopla over romaine lettuce, I decided to make a kale salad for dinner one night and figured it was time to try out the balsamic. The problem was that when I tried the dressing, it tasted bitter to me. I increased the honey, but that didn't help, and it was very thick, despite using a 2:1 ratio of oil/vinegar, when the standard is 3:1 for a vinaigrette. I did like it when everything was mixed together (love the salad mix despite the dressing), but I didn't want to post a dressing I didn't like on its own, so I made the salad again the following week with a different mix - it still tasted bitter to me. 

When I started making the dressing the second time, I remembered that the first time, my little bullet blender was on the counter, so I made it in that. It occurred to me that the problem may have been adding the garlic in the blender rather than mincing it and adding it separately - I usually just whisk my dressings. When I tried it and it still tasted bitter, it dawned on me that I have a thyroid condition that sometimes exacerbates sour/bitter notes or leaves me with a metallic taste in my mouth, so in this case, it could very well be me!  

Sooooo, you may or may not want to try the (either) dressing. Another thought I had was that strawberries would make a nice addition to this salad, so maybe some sort of strawberry vinaigrette. Also, when making it the second time, I switched from the pomegranate vinegar to white wine vinegar and pomegranate juice. I don't happen to like eating pomegranate arils in a salad, because I don't like the seeds, but if you go that way, you might want to use a whole pomegranate, juice some of it for the dressing, then use the rest of the arils for garnish.

SALAD
Roughly 1 lb kale (I used a bag of pre-washed chopped)
1/2 c pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/3 c currants
1/2 sm red onion, thinly sliced
1 mini cucumber, thinly sliced
Parmesan
(Optional - add sliced chicken to make it a heartier meal)

DRESSING 1
1/2 c Olive Oil
1/4 c Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
1 t Dijon Mustard
1 T Honey
1 Small Clove Garlic
1/4 t each Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper

DRESSING II
1/2 c Olive Oil
1/4 c White Wine Vinegar
3 T Pomegranate Juice
1 t Dijon Mustard
1 t Honey
1 Small Clove Garlic
1/4 t each Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper

  1. Whisk together your dressing ingredients first, to give the flavors a chance to blend.
  2. Add your kale to a large bowl. It might be overflowing at first, so just fit what you can, and add more as you go along.  If you're starting from whole bunches of kale, wash well, trim the large stems, and chop.
  3. Pour about 1T of the dressing over the kale and massage/knead for a good 3-4 minutes, to soften the kale and bring out its sweetness, adding more kale as there is room for it.  Remove any pieces of stem that pop up.
  4. Over medium heat in a dry pan, lightly toast your pine nuts, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Likewise, immediately remove from pan once toasted, to stop the cooking process.
  5. Thin slice the onion and cucumber, then toss the onion, cucumber, and most of the pine nuts and currants with the kale, reserving some of each for garnish. If you're currants have been in the pantry for a while and have dried out, cover with hot water and let sit for about 10" to plump up, then drain the water.
  6. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and top with shaved Parmesan and the reserved pine nuts and currants.
Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

 
Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts and Currants: Hye Thyme Cafe


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cardamom Scones with Candied Ginger and Almonds


Wandering down the spice aisle at the grocery store one day, I noticed a bottle of ground cardamom and thought hmm, that would make it much easier when making Gundi than dealing with the cardamom pods I have at home, so I added it to my cart. The thing is, that's a lot of cardamom, and as much as I love Gundi, there is no way I'd use the whole bottle while it was still good, so I had to think of other uses. I checked my flavor reference guide and saw that ginger is something that pairs well with cardamom, so I decided to bake scones. This is unusual to me for scones, but I have to say - I really think they were even better the second day. I usually make a batch of clotted cream to accompany scones with jam or a curd, but because of the bold flavors here, I wanted them to stand on their own, so I just had them plain with coffee. These are definitely going on my "favorites" list.

INGREDIENTS :
2 1/2 c flour
5 t double acting baking powder
4 t sugar
1/8 t salt
1 heaping t ground cardamom
3/4 stick cold, unsalted butter, grated or diced
3/4 c heavy cream
2 eggs (plus one for topping)
1/3 c finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 c almond slices
Sugar (preferably coarse) for topping
 
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cardamom.
  2. Add the butter and mix until it comes together like a coarse meal.
  3. Stir in the cream and eggs until combined.
  4. Add the ginger and almonds last, lightly squeezing the almonds to crush.
  5. Pat out on lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. You can either form a disc and cut into wedges, or use a 2" cutter to make 12 scones.
  7. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Beat the extra egg with a splash of heavy cream and brush over tops, then sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake at 350реж for about 20" until golden.











Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Look Back at 2017 (Top 10 Recipes)

It's always interesting for me to see which recipes attract the most interest in comparison to my favorites for each year. Looks like the top recipes were definitely in that Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean area for 2017. I was a little sad to see that my personal favorite just missed the Top 10, especially since it was so good, I made it several times in a row!

Reader favorites for 2017 ...


While my personal favorites did include many of the above, there were a few differences ...


My personal Top 10 included ...

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and flavor-filled 2018.

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