Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guest Post: Vegan (Parev) Chocolate Pie

A guest post by Daniel Stuhlman, who is a real academic, and a much better writter then I am.  While he is not a vegetarian, he does like to do vegetarian (parev) dishes.
Chocolate Pie
By Daniel Stuhlman
Chocolate, why do we eat so much chocolate?  The short answer it is, It makes us feel good.  Chocolate has more than 300 chemicals that cause a wide variety of good feelings.  It has been credited with helping to prevent disease. [1] The interaction of these chemical components causes a weak stimulation and the rich flavor and creamy texture makes the mouth feel good.

I want to thank Daniel Peikes for allowing me to write about chocolate pie in his blog.  My blog, Kol Safran, deals with library and educational topics and these comments would not fit.

I love chocolate.  Last Friday I wanted to make a special dessert that was different from anything that you could buy in a store that was chocolate, contained no dairy products, no eggs, and had less sugar per ounce than candy.  I wanted something smooth, not chewy or hard that would imitate the feeling of ice cream in the mouth.  I choose to make a chocolate pie using a tofu base.  Of course I searched the Internet for recipes from others bakers and cooks.  I found ideas that become the basis for the following recipe. 

(This is not a final version.  I ask you to try it and make comments to adjust the amounts. You could vary the cocoa, sugar and parve milk.)

1 16 oz package silken tofu, drained
½  cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 tablespoon corn starch
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar
¼ cup vanilla parve milk (I used almond milk; also try rice milk or soy milk.)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass pie pan.  Crust is optional. Bake at 350° F for 45-60 minutes until it looks firm and has some cracks.

Serve cold.

The picture above is what was left after serving it to my guests.

We had a discussion as to what to call this dish.  The description depends on whether you are selling it, serving it or eating it.  If you are selling then it is a high protein, low sugar dessert.  If you are eating, it is a sweet chocolate creamy cold dessert.  If you are serving, it is a chocolate pie.

[1] Here are just a couple of sample articles:  The following is a review article with abstracts and citations for 140 article on the benefits of chocolate in helping with heart disease. Galleano, Monica. Oteiza, Patricia I. Fraga, Cesar G. « Cocoa, chocolate, and cardiovascular disease.”  In:Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 54(6):483-90, 2009 Dec.    

Zomer, Ella. Owen, Alice. Magliano, Dianna J. Liew, Danny. Reid, Christopher M.             “The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model.” In: BMJ. 344:e3657, 2012.

Also see: Kuwana, Ellen. “Discovering the Sweet Mysteries of Chocolate” (last revised Oct. 10, 2012)  for a quick overview of the effects of chocolate.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Shabbos Menu 4/13-4/14

Shabbos Menu 4/13-4/14
KOSHER kosher Kosher
Friday Night:
Chicken Soup
Honey Roast Chicken Over Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans

Shabbos Lunch:
Mini Lamb Meatball Fauxlafel
Cholent With Eggs and Chickpeas
Chicken Shwarma
Chicken Shnitzel
Israeli Salad
Yerushalmi Kugel
Israeli Pickles
Eggplant Dip
Homemade Chocolate Rugelach

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Finally Made it to Milt's

I finally made it to Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago.  There has been a lot of hype around this place, and it lived up to all of it.  The decor was amazing.  Almost every detail was considered.  The walls are covered in distressed wood paneling and green subway tiles, giving it a warm feeling.  The water pitchers are large swing top bottles, the fries come in the cutest little mini fryer baskets.  The portions were good sized, although the plates were a little small.  They served house made pickles as a starter.  They tasted like a sweet vinegar pickle, which weren't bad, though I prefer a naturally fermented one.  They served 3 different types of sauce: a spicy Memphis tomato and vinegar based sauce, a sweet Kansas City molasses and tomato based sauce, and a Carolina mustard based sauce.

I had the smoked ribs, which were excellent.  They had a tasty rub, a good bark, and pretty looking smoke ring.  My wife and brother-in-law had the Milt's burger which they thoroughly enjoyed, although wife found it a bit over complicated.  My mother and grandmother had the smoked chicken and found it very flavorful.  I had a side of beef bacon, which was tasty, although it could have been a bit crispier.   My wife had sweet potato fries and my brother-in-law had a regular fries and I tasted them both.  They were delicious.  They seemed fresh, well-seasoned, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  My mother had roasted green beans and my grandmother had grilled white asparagus, which seemed well thought out and well prepared.

The staff was cheerful and attentive, sometimes a bit too attentive.  My guess this was because they were so busy, and the waitresses were probably trying to turn tables as fast as they could.  There was classic rock playing at a low volume, which I love.  There were several TVs on the walls which I dislike in  a restaurant.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give the ambiance a solid 8, the food was a 9, and the service was a 7.  Overall I would give it an 8.  I am planning my next trip to Milt’s.  Do you think they are already taking reservations for Father’s Day?