Pascale's Kitchen: Readers’ special requests

In this week’s column I will be highlighting four outstanding recipes that I’ve received from valued readers, which I haven’t had a chance to formally present to the public.

(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Since I’ve been home so much in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 restrictions, I’ve had time to go through all of my fan mail. So, in this week’s column I will be highlighting four outstanding recipes that I’ve received from valued readers, which I haven’t had a chance to formally present to the public.
Learn more about Pascale's Kitchen here>>
The first one is a recipe for homemade hummus, which can be made in so many different ways. Of course, everyone thinks their recipe is the tastiest, but here is one that I think everyone will enjoy. You can tweak the texture and flavor until it’s exactly to your liking. Some people like hummus thick and chunky, whereas others like it silky smooth with a ton of tehina. You can also add more cumin or lemon juice, according to your taste. And the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings; just about anything can be added to a dish of hummus.
The second recipe is a pea, cabbage and potato curry that hails from Indian cuisine. It is quick and easy to make – and quite tasty. The third recipe is crispy chicken egg rolls made with brick pastry sheets, which can be filled with tofu instead for a parve version. Either deep-fry them or bake them in the oven for a lower-calorie version.
The last recipe is for tiramisu, a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert that means “cheer me up” in Italian. There are so many different versions of this cake, which is made from layers of biscuit or sponge cake and mascarpone cheese, with cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
This version of tiramisu calls for a dacquoise cake layer, which is made from whipped egg whites and ground nuts. The cake includes uncooked eggs, and so should not be kept for more than a day at room temperature – not that any leftover tiramisu cake lasts that long anyway. Tiramisu is always made with mascarpone cheese, a high-fat cream cheese that provides tiramisu with its perfectly creamy texture.
So, thank you, my trusted readers, for sending me these wonderful recipes. I enjoy reading each and every one of them, as well as the stories that go along with them.
Makes 4-6 servings.
2-3 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. turmeric
1 heaping tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1-2 bay leaves
3 cups sliced cabbage
1 small spicy pepper
1 Tbsp. coriander
½ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup green peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
¾-1 cup water
Heat the oil in a pot and add the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin and garlic. Sauté gently and, while stirring, add the potatoes, bay leaves, cabbage and the rest of the ingredients, except for the water. Add half a cup of water, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Lower the flame and add a little more of the remaining water. Cook for 20 minutes until peas have softened. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with white rice.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 45 minutes.
Status: Parve/vegan.
Makes 500 gr. of hummus.
½ kg. dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water and 1 tsp. baking soda, then drained
1 cup raw tehina
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water in which chickpeas were cooked
Juice from ½-1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serving suggestion:
½ cup chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 spicy green pepper, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 eggplant, cubed and fried in hot oil
Kosher salt
Spicy pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Place the chickpeas that were soaked overnight and then drained in a pot. Cover with water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 90 minutes until the chickpeas have softened. Set aside one cup of cooking liquid and then drain.
Transfer the chickpeas to a blender and add the tehina and garlic. Blend by pulsing while gradually adding cooking liquid until you reach desired consistency. Add the lemon juice and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
In a separate bowl, mix parsley, garlic, spicy pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Alternatively, each of these extras can be added separately. 
To prepare the hummus, take a plate and spoon on the hummus. Add the mixture on top, or add each topping separately, then add eggplant and garlic. Sprinkle with kosher salt, spicy pepper and olive oil.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 90 minutes.
Status: Parve/vegetarian.
TiPascale for making hummus:
• Make sure you soak the chickpeas overnight in lots and lots of water. If you don’t have time to cook chickpeas the next day, change the water and store in the fridge. Alternatively, drain and freeze the chickpeas and then cook them another day.
• Never cook the chickpeas in the water they were soaked in.
• You can add baking soda or baking powder to the soaking water to quicken the softening process (but I’ve never felt this makes much of a difference).
• Only add the salt just before serving; otherwise, it slows down the softening process.
• If you don’t have time to soak and cook chickpeas, use frozen or canned chickpeas.
Makes 8-10 servings.
To make a vegetarian version of the egg rolls, swap the chicken with tofu. Bake in the oven instead of frying, if you’d like to use less oil.
3 Tbsp. oil
2 scallions, cut into 3-cm. pieces
2 carrots, cut into thin match-size sticks
¼ head of cabbage, cut into thin strips
1 light green zucchini, cut into thin strips
½ tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1 cup sprouts
10 mushrooms, sliced thinly
½ cup chicken breast, cut into thin strips (or tofu)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
8-10 brick dough sheets
1 egg white
Oil for deep frying or spray for baking tray
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté onion. Add the vegetables and ginger. Stir and add the sprouts, mushrooms and chicken. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, wine, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook another 1-2 minutes and then remove from the flame.
Place the pastry dough on your work surface and place 1-2 tablespoons of mixture on the dough. Roll up egg roll, brush with egg white and press to seal. Prepare the rest of the egg rolls in the same fashion.
Heat the oil in a pot for deep frying and fry the egg rolls until they’ve turned golden brown. Remove and place on paper towels.
Alternatively, spray a baking pan with oil and then place egg rolls on tray. Spray more oil on top, and then bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180º for 25 minutes, or until they’re nice and crispy.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 60 minutes.
Status: Parve or meat.
Use a 26-cm. pan or 10 individual pans.
Dacquoise cake layer:
7 egg whites
7 Tbsp. sugar
150 gr. ground almonds
2 Tbsp. flour (or matza meal)
200 gr. powdered sugar
½ cup cold coffee (made from 1½ tsp. instant coffee dissolved in hot water)
500 gr. mascarpone cheese
200 ml. sweet cream
200 gr. sugar
1½ Tbsp. cocoa powder
To prepare the dough, whip egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in the ground almonds, powdered sugar and flour. Mix gently until smooth.
Line a tray with baking paper and add the dough. Spread out to the corners of the pan, or add dough to individual pans. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 160º for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool and remove from baking paper. Cut the cake into two sections. If using individualized dishes, cut out desired shape.
To prepare the cream, add all of the ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer and blend well.
On serving plates or individualized dishes, add a layer of cake and then drizzle with cooled coffee. Spread a bit of the cream and then add another layer of cake and then cover with more cream. Store in the fridge until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder. Serve cold.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 30 minutes.
Status: Dairy.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.