Thursday, August 22, 2019

How to make an Adult’s-Only Milkshake

If asked what milkshakes are made from, you'd undoubtedly answer milk, ice cream and syrup – and that would be correct.

But, I turned an ordinary milkshake into an adult’s-only version using milk along with some upgraded ingredients which include plain Greek yogurt, a very special syrup, and an ice cream that carries a powerful PUNCH!
Adult's-only Milkshakes (Sorry kids!)
Our local **Harris Teeter grocery store in SC carries a lot of interesting products including a couple of new unique items: Maple Guild brand (deeeelicious) syrups in assorted, tantalizing flavors, and ice cream for adults only. I kid you not! 
The ice cream is called Hardscoop, made with ’neutral distilled spirits’. The lid clearly states it’s for those 21 years and older, so kids, don’t even think about eating this stuff!!
**(NC Harris Teeter stores don't seem to carry this product.)
Freezer display at our grocer's

Hardscoops comes in 3 flavors – chocolate, vanilla, and coffee with limited edition and seasonal flavors available. (We bought chocolate.)
This ice cream is creamy, rich, and flavorful in more ways than one! The alcohol flavor really shines through.

One small spoonful is more than enough for me. But, when combined with the other ingredients, it makes an amazing milkshake.

I must warn you: Sip it very slowly to savor the flavor - and - drink responsibly!

Yogurt Milkshake
Yields 2 servings
Maple Guild's salted caramel syrup, Hardscoop chocolate ice cream, milk and plain Greek yogurt
3 to 4 Tbsp. syrup of your choice (I used Maple Guild’s Salted Caramel syrup)
1 scoop ice cream, select one to complement the flavor of the syrup (Used Hardscoop Chocolate)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender and thoroughly blend together.
Pour mixture into 2 glasses.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Gorgod Abour KHOURE TANOU / ԽՈՒՐԸ ԹԱՆՈՒ - A dish with Bulgur and Vegetables from Sonia Tashjian

The following recipe is one of Sonia Tashjian’s go-to dishes. It’s easy to prepare, and most Armenians will have all of the ingredients on hand. (FYI, bulgur is sold in Middle Eastern stores. Many large grocery store chains now carry bulgur, too!)

My maternal grandmother and Sonia’s family came from the same region of the world (Musa Ler), so needless to say, I’ve chowed-down on similar bulgur dishes for my entire life.
Luckily for us, Sonia also provides a bit of background to the food she prepares.
My version of Sonia Tashjian's Gorgod Abour


According to Sonia:
“Gorgod means cracked wheat which comes in several sizes. For example, fine gorgod (size #1) is best used for kololak; medium (size #2) for eech; coarse (size #3) for pilaf.

The word ‘apour’ has two meanings: 1. Soup – and - 2. Pilaf. In the Musaler dialect, apour means pilaf. There are a lot of regions, that use APOUR for pilaf, & SHOURBA for soup.”

This pilaf recipe is very tasty and so simple to make.

(A dish with Bulgur and Vegetables)
Serves about 4

1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, any color, seeds removed and chopped
2 small to medium tomatoes, chopped (I used a handful of grape tomatoes)
1 cup coarse (#3) bulgur (I used a smaller size - #2- bulgur as it’s what I had on hand)
1 cup water (vegetable or chicken broth may be substituted)
red & black pepper, cumin, mint, salt to taste
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Vegetables I had on hand for the recipe - grape tomatoes, orange and yellow bell peppers, and onion.
Heat oil in a medium sized pot. Sauté the onions in olive oil for a few minutes. Next add the peppers and cook a few more minutes, stirring now and then. Add the tomatoes and cook about 2 more minutes.
Vegetables and seasonings sauteeing in olive oil
Season with red & black pepper, cumin, mint, salt to taste, and stir.
Bulgur and vegetables cooking together for a minute before adding liquid.
Add the bulgur to the vegetables; stir to coat.
Liquid added to bulgur and vegetables
Finally add 1 cup of water (or broth). Stir. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 10-12  minutes (without lifting the lid to peak!) or until the liquid is absorbed.

Once done, use a fork to fluff the bulgur. Arrange in a serving bowl. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Peach Sorbet

Georgia is known as the ‘Peach State’, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only place to get amazing peaches. According to the SouthCarolina Dept. of Agriculture, S.C. actually ‘averages more than three times the amount (in pounds) of peaches harvested in Georgia in a typical season.’ In addition, peaches from South Carolina are mighty delicious – sweet, juicy – you get the idea.
South Carolina Freestone Peaches
This year’s crop has been abundant, so peaches have become part of our daily diet. I’ve even had to freeze a bunch for future use.
The recipe below is one perfect way to use frozen peaches – and they’re great in smoothies, too!

Peach Sorbet (Image from Bon Appetit)
Peach Sorbet
Yields 4 to 6 servings
(Original recipe is from Bon Appetit Magazine)

4 medium peaches, peeled, chopped, frozen (about 4 cups)
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. vodka (Note: The vodka helps prevent ice crystals from forming, and, no, you can’t taste the vodka!)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup honey

All ingredients ready to blend
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. 
Ingredients thoroughly blended
Blend, scraping down the sides now and then with a spatula, until mixture is very smooth. 
Mixture spread evenly in metal loaf pan
Spread the mixture evenly in a metal loaf pan. (Sorbet will freeze better in a metal pan rather than a Pyrex one.) 
Parchment paper placed on sorbet before freezing
Press a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface. Place the pan in the freezer until sorbet is firm, about 6 hours.

Note: This can be made about 3 days in advance. But keep it frozen!

To serve: Thaw in refrigerator about 30 minutes before scooping.

It’s that simple.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Bijug – Bulgur Patties in Tomato Sauce - a recipe from Sonia Tashjian

Sonia Tashjian
Sonia Tashjian, Armenian food expert and enthusiast, is a never-ending source of interesting, delicious, and easy-to-prepare recipes from numerous Armenian regions.
Here is one such dish which Sonia was kind enough to share.
Sonia Tashjian's Bijug recipe - Bulgur Patties in Tomato Sauce

Bijug – Bulgur Patties in Tomato Sauce - a dish from the Sasun region

Ingredients for bulgur patties:
1 cup fine bulgur (#1)
1/2 cup flour
Measure the following to suit your taste: garlic (mashed or powder), red and black pepper, dry basil, dried thyme, and salt

Ingredients for the sauce:
3 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt to taste

Combine the flour, bulgur, and seasonings to taste; knead with just enough water for the ingredients to hold together well. Pinch-off pieces and roll into balls the size of walnuts. 

Flatten the balls and cook them in gently boiling salted water. Remove from water and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Place patties in a serving bowl; cover to keep them warm.

Fry the chopped onions in the oil; add the tomato paste that's been diluted with enough water to create a sauce; add salt to taste. Bring to a boil and pour over the flattened balls; serve.