Entries tagged with “Coconut”.


There is an amazing restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, called eve.  It’s in Kerrytown, and if you ever find yourself in A2, you should go.   The food is exceptional, as is the ethos behind it.  The focus is on the ingredients, good ones.  Eve Aranoff, the chef-owner, allows her dishes to be both simple and intricately nuanced. She does not shy from ornate flavor profiles, but also serves the best steak you’ll ever have, seasoned only with a little salt and pepper.

One night last week, I came home hungry for salmon.  Curious what Eve had to say about it, I turned to her lovely cookbook and browsed until I found a variation on the following.  With individual salmon filets in the freezer and cooked rice in the fridge (a weekend ritual to provide the 3 tablespoons of cooked rice I need for our weekly multigrain sandwich bread), this was a simple but elegant menu to throw together in less than an hour.  As the pictures show, I served it with a very basic tomato and avocado salad, but anything fresh and green will accompany this well.  The original salmon recipe called for macadamia nuts, but I have a pile of slightly over-toasted almonds I’m trying to work through.  Either nut has a strong enough flavor to hold its own against the chili spices.



My first foray into Passover baking came during my second year of law school.  My wonderful Seder hosts asked me to bring a dessert.  Knowing the somewhat crippling restraints on Passover baking (and there are really only so many flourless chocolate tortes one can choke down in one lifetime), they were kind enough to suggest that a few cans of Manischewitz macaroons would be fine – “so long as they are plain or chocolate flavor and not something gross like tutti-frutti.”  I wasn’t really interested in bringing macaroons from a can, so I embarked on what proved to be a horrifyingly fraught adventure in Learning How to Make Sponge Cakes the Hard Way.  The next time I feel like making that particular Passover sponge cake again, I’ll show you and I’ll detail the ways around my prior missteps.  It may be shortly after I cure cancer, so don’t hold your breath.

Tutti-frutti grossness notwithstanding, macaroons are a mainstay of Passover dessertdom.  There are two families of macaroons – coconut and almond.  If you aren’t particularly rigid in your definitions of chometz, my Mandelhoernchen could also work (the powdered sugar in the almond paste will pose a problem for many, as it contains cornstarch).  This year, I decided to try my hand at simple, straight-up, no frills coconut macaroons.  Ideally, they should be little orbs of golden coconut; crisped exteriors with chewy, creamy centers.  Some people extrude them from a star-tipped pastry bag, but I prefer to shape them by hand.

I’m somewhat sorry to say I didn’t get around to making these until the very tail end of Passover, and ended up finishing them after it was over.  I won’t make the same mistake next year.  Though not as addictive as matzoh toffee, they are profoundly good when you want something simple and tooth-achingly sweet.