Tag Archives: Frying

Sweet Potato Falafel

When Caitlin comes to Cincinnati, she often takes a flight right after work, which puts her into CVG around 8:40 P.M.  That means she’s hungry for dinner.  And since I’ve also been waiting until then to have my dinner, it’s imperative that I arrive at the airport with a strategy in hand.  I can be very slightly grumpy when I’m hungry.

One of the problems, though, is finding a fun place that is not winding down at that hour.  In a city like New York, Chicago, or the like, it’s certainly not a problem.  But in a smaller city like Cincinnati, a lot of restaurants are closing shop by 10:00 P.M.

One afternoon, as Caitlin was readying to leave, I spent a few minutes on Yelp, and found my answer.  The Senate Restaurant was open until 11:00 P.M.  Better yet, it was downtown, a convenient location coming from the airport.  And finally, scanning the menu, I knew it had something I would love.  After I sent the menu to Caitlin, she also agreed that it looked good.  We had a plan.

When we arrived at the Senate, Continue reading

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Homemade Yeast Doughnuts

This has been quite the whirlwind week.

Once again, I’m preparing to move:  this time from Cincinnati, Ohio to Silver Spring, Maryland.  This past week has been devoted to finishing up my projects at work and cleaning and packing up my apartment.  But in between those two activities, I have been doing my best to take advantage of my last few days in Cincinnati.

Last Tuesday night, I drove to Mt. Adams, the neighborhood overlooking downtown Cincinnati from its eastern perch.  I got lost navigating the winding one-way streets, as always, but eventually found a narrow street sandwiched between two apartment buildings and leading up to the edge of the Mount.

I unpacked my camera, set up my tripod, and took in the lights Continue reading

Garlic and Cheese Naan

The Cincinnati football team is named the Bengals, and takes, as its logo, an image of a leaping Royal Bengal tiger.  The Bengal tiger is native to India and Bangladesh, and can be found in the aptly named Bengal region.  With a population of close to 250 million people, the region is one of the densest and most populous regions in the entire world.

This is not the only link between the city of Cincinnati and the Indian sub-continent.  Despite the city’s German roots, the city is home to a thriving Indian community, particularly given the relative size of Cincinnati.  The public library’s collection includes a significant number of Bollywood videos and books in Bengali.  The Clifton area boasts an Indian grocery, and the city itself is home to about a dozen excellent Indian restaurants.

When Caitlin first visited Cincinnati, we went Ambar India, which is now Continue reading

Chive Risotto Cakes

Giffen goods are a hot commodity – literally.

Giffen goods, named for the economist Sir Robert Giffen, are goods that do not respond to normal economic forces.  In a normal marketplace, the price and quantity of goods situate according to the well-established supply and demand curves.  And according to these economic principles, as the price of a good rises, the demand for the good at that price, falls.  Think about your standard flat-screen television.  At $1,200, the market for the product is understandably tepid.  And for that price, you might even settle for the old tube screen.  But at $400, suddenly your living room and kitchen are now boasting brand new televisions.

Giffen goods defy that logic.  As the price Continue reading

Apple Cider Doughnuts

In economics, the term “economies of scale” drives both efficiency and production.  The term – or theory as it may be – dictates that as the number of goods produced increases, so does the efficiency of producing those goods.  The reasoning behind the theory is simple: as a company produces a greater number of goods, it is able to divide its fixed costs (salaries, rent, etc.) among that greater number of goods, lowering the average cost per unit.

Economies of scale need not be limited to the boardroom.  Its principles are equally applicable to the kitchen.

To make sufganiyot, I needed to Continue reading

Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts)

In a country divided between twelve political parties, finding common ground can be no easy task.

Indeed, Israelis are as likely to disagree about politics as they are about food.  Ashkenazim (Jews of European ancestry) have their culinary traditions, and Sephardim (Jews of Spanish and Middle-Eastern ancestry) have theirs.  Even the origins of falafel and hummus have been bitterly debated, with Arabs and Jews alike claiming the food as their own.

Fortunately, all Israelis can rally around sufganiyot.  Sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts, are Continue reading

Falafel Sandwich

Falafel Sandwich

Every dish has two stories behind it.  The first story describes the origin of a dish, and sets out the historical underpinnings behind a recipe. The second story centers around the making of a dish, and notes the step-by-step details of assembling the meal.  In several cases, my posts have focused on the former story.  But in this case, Caitlin assured me that the second story of falafel was far more interesting than its first.

Falafel Prep Collage

The Sunday before Labor Day, Caitlin suggested we make falafel.  Together.  We printed off a recipe, and went to the store to collect the ingredients.  Since we were making it later that night, we bought canned garbanzo beans, though we also went ahead and purchased the dried version as well.  We followed the recipe, but with little success.  Upon hitting the oil, our chickpea mixture slowly disintegrated.  We added a little flour, but that did not help.  Our joint effort at falafel was a disaster.

The next day, I tried shaping a few more falafel balls, hoping the lengthy period of refrigeration might have shored up the chickpea mixture.  Again, no luck.  The canned garbanzo beans were apparently not going to cut it.  I remained undeterred.

Falafel Frying Collage

Later that night, unbeknown to Caitlin, Continue reading