I survived the weekend intact. I’ve been riding Mom’s young Chincoteague pony, Riddle lately and this weekend I learned just how hard she can buck.
Don’t let that sweet face fool you. I think she’s up to something!
So now that one holiday is over, we have another upon us - Rosh Hoshanna . We have a new year coming. It makes sense for there to be a new year now. We have a new school year after all.
I am trying to make a tradition for the holiday, so last year, you may recall I perfected a chicken recipe for the occasion. Since the holiday is all about making the new year sweeter and apples and honey are traditional foods, I came up with the Meshugge Skiksa’s New Year Chicken, made with cider, wine, ginger, cinnamon, and apricots.
I made it again this year as I want it to be my new traditional recipe. I think this year’s version was even better than last year’s for some reason. I’m not sure what I did differently (other than cut the apricots in small pieces) but it was really, seriously good this year. Oh yeah. I left out the garlic this time. Think that made a difference?
What I did that was new was my side dish. Remember how I fell hard for Ezme in the local Turkish restaurant? Well, I really had to try it for myself. It’s just the most delicious way to prepare tomatoes and cucumbers. I never got the recipe from my neighbor, but I took what I could from what I ate in the restaurant, and what I found about ezme online. I was fortunate enough to obtain some nice garden cucumbers and hot peppers from a friend this weekend as well. I mixed that with tomato, pomegranate juice, onion, lemon, and mint (I picked the mint wild at the barn).
The chicken was yummy, as mentioned earlier. The salad was also really tasty, although not as good as the ezme at Turkish Meze. I accidentally bought the pomegranate-kiwi version of POM instead of the plain pomegranate. I don’t think it ruined the salad.
I don’t know if this is weird or not, but I mix my onions and peppers into my dressing and let it sit while I mix up the rest of the salad. That keeps the onions from being too strong. I’m not a fan of raw onion, but letting it sit in something acidic helps cut that linger-on-the-breath sharpness tremendously.
I used a food processor to chop my salad in small pieces. When I’m at the restaurant, it looks as if a very patient chef has diced the veggies fine himself. It makes for a prettier, more uniform salad. I have neither the knife skills nor the patience for that, so I just use a food processor.
Ezme My Way
1 cup pomegranate juice
½ Red onion, finely diced
1 small hot pepper, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon paprika
½ tsp salt
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped
8 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
In a small saucepan gently boil the pomegranate juice until reduced by half.
Mix the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, paprika, salt and olive oil. Add in chopped onions and hot pepper and the mint.
Place the cucumber and tomato in a food processor. Pulse into small pieces. Don’t let it go too long. You are making a salad, not a paste.
Place the tomato cucumber mixture in a bowl and mix the dressing into it.