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Apr 15 11

LeChef’s Salmon

by zberke

Check it out, I’m famous on LeChef’s blog!

A salmon recipe inspired by when I used to grill a lot in college.

Sep 12 10

Awesome Spinach Pancakes

by zberke

Make Hungarian Crepes batter (savory, not sweet).

Take 2 packages of frozen (defrosted) spinich
Add in a lot of chopped garlic
Stir fry briefly on the stove

Mix the spinach and the batter.
Cook the crepes as usual (1/2 cup per pancake, spread evenly by spinning hot pan, cook both sides).

Yummy and easy.

Sep 12 10

Hungarian Pizza Cake

by zberke

Hungarian Pizza Cake

Invented last night with Andy and Blair

Hungarian Crepes.
1-2 Frozen Spinaches
Lots of Chopped Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Mozz. cheese
Deli sliced Turkey

Preheat oven to 350

Cut up the cheese and turkey into pieces.  Bite-sized-ish — doesn’t have to be fine.

Defrost the spinach.
Mix in chopped Garlic, salt and pepper.
Microwave (we were out of time — much better as a side if you stir fry on the stove, but worked out fine to nuke it for this recipe)

Layer into “pizza-cake” as follows:
- crepe
- spinach mix + mozz cheese
- sliced turkey
- repeat!

throw into the oven until the cheese is melted (check between the layers) — about 10-15m.

This was delicious.  Next time, we’d like to make it a bit wetter, maybe by adding Hungarian Chili Sauce.  It seems like the “right” think to use on this would be creme freche or sour cream, but I don’t really like the taste of those things, so I’d use sparingly or not at all.  But if you like those things, I think they’d be perfect to layer in.

Sep 12 10

Hungarian Crepes – Savory or Sweet

by zberke

2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup canola oil
pinch salt
2 1/4 cups milk

The above is for Savory.  If you want to make ‘em sweet:
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
big pinch cinnamon
little pinch nutmeg

whisk it all together.
put ~1/2-3/4 cup into hot pan, swirl to spread batter evenly
let one side get light brown — 1-2m
flip, cook other side for 1m.

put lots of delicious shit on there!

For a yummy savory meal, try turning these into Awesome Spinach Pankcakes.

Nov 3 08

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

by zberke

You can use any winter squash seeds.  These are unbelievably good and simple.  Great in salads, even greater as an on-their-own snack.  Thanks for the recipe mom!

Great around Halloween — don’t throw those seeds away, eat ‘em!


  • Seeds from fresh Pumpkin, squash, whatever
  • Oil
  • Tamari, Soy Sauce, Braggs, whateva


  • Remove seeds from pumpkin (or squash or whatever)
  • preheat oven to 375-400
  • Clean a little, but not entirely — some gunk (stringy stuff) attached is good
  • dry ‘em as much as you can (so stuff sticks in the next step)
  • sprinkle with vegetable, corn, or canola oil
  • mix with tamari, soy sauce, braggs, etc — whatever you got on hand
  • spread them out on a cookie sheet
  • roast at 375 for ~30m or at 400 for about ~20m
  • when they’re brown and crispy, they’re done
  • turn off the oven, but leave the seeds in there (unless they’re already burned!)
  • let the oven cool along with the seeds
  • scrape off your cookie sheet (you didn’t use your favorite sheet, did you?  whoops!)

cool.  cool!

Nov 3 08

West African Vege Peanut Soup

by zberke

Great because it’s so flexible.  I’m not going to list any quantities because this is a play-it-by-whatchya-got recipe:


  • Winter Squashes such as, Acorn, Butternut, Pumpkin, whateva (lots)
  • Onions (many)
  • Garlic and Ginger (lots)
  • Cumin
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Apples (Maddy’s favorite — make a nice addition)
  • Peanut Butter (smooooth, not too much, play it by taste)
  • Tomatos (fresh or canned)
  • Garbanzo Beans (AKA Chickpeas — fresh, dried+soaked, or canned)
  • Whatever else sounds good
  • Oil (vege, olive, bike grease, whatever)


  1. If you’re using whole squash, prepare it by roasting it (see below).  If you’re using chunks or canned, you’ll just add it later with everything else.
  2. Heat Oil.
  3. Brown Onions.
  4. Add Garlic and Ginger
  5. Add Everything else
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for a while (30m – 3hrs or more)

doneski!  serve with hearty bread if ya got it, or over rice or just plain.
Roasting Winter Squashes (optional — if you’re starting with whole squashes)

Easy as pie, actually easier.  Who invented that phrase anyways?  Pie is kinda hard.  Much harder then this recipe.  Maybe we should say “Easy as soup”.

  • Cut the squashes in half
  • Gut ‘em (remove seeds and stringy stuff)
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Put squashes cut side down in a roasting pan
  • Fill pan with 1/4 inch of water
  • Roast for ~30m (until flesh pierces easily with a fork)
  • Let ‘em cool, take ‘em out, and separate the flesh from the skin with a big spoon.


Aug 2 08

Fruitified Spice Rub Sauce (with mixed veges)

by zberke

To make the spice rub

1. Roughly equal amounts (~1tbsp) each:
- Cumin
- Paprika
- Curry Powder
- Chili Powder
- Be creative with other spices after you’ve made this

2. About half as much (1/2tbsp) — depending on how much spice you like (note that the chili powder above is already spicy):
- Cayanne
- Red Pepper Flakes

3. To personal taste (1/4tbsp):
- Salt
- Ground Black Pepper

4. Mix very well.

To Fruitify the rub and turn it into a sauce
Take a very soft (over-over-ripe, been-sitting-out-a-few-days, probably-wouldn’t-eat-it) piece of fruit.  Forrest used a mango when I saw him do this.  I used a pear when I copied it.  Other common stuff that would probably work off the top of my head would be peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, figs, papayas.  A banana might be a little potently flavored, but it could be interesting.  An apple… do they get that soft?  I’m not sure how citrus would be — probably different than this but really good!

Peal the fruit and mix it up into the  spice rub.

The mixed veges

Use whatever, the following are just suggestions:

The squash and onions were particularly good  because they did a great job of absorbing the sauce.  The carrots were surprisingly good as well — I threw them in because I had ‘em and they were going bad.

Cut up:
- 3-4 Med. Onions (mix red and yellow)
- 5 small squash, zuchini, etc.
- 4 small sweet peppers
- a bushel (8ish) new carrots

Throw some olive oil in a big hot pan on medium high heat that has a lid.  Throw the onions in.  Stir until they start to brown.  Throw in the carrots next.  Cook until they soften a bit.  Last is the squash, zuchs, and peppers.  Cook briefly, then throw in the “fruitified spice rub sauce”.  Cover and cook for a while, lowering flame to mid.  Add water or white wine to deglaze every now and again, depending on how much fruitified spice rub sauce you made (less sauce = more deglazing).

Tada!  Yum.  Serve with some kind of delicious and easy to cook grain like rice, quinoa, bulgar or couscous.

Jul 15 08

Grilled Zuch and Pepper Italian Sandwich

by zberke

This is my new favorite sandwich.  I ordered this at Revolution Cafe in the mission last week and nearly crapped myself it was so delicious.  So I went home and made it… and then made it 4 days in a row.  Yes, it’s that good.  And it’s frikin easy.  And you can make it way ahead of time.  And it’s pretty healthy.

What you need:

* Zuchini (could probably use squash or whatever else)
* Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Shwateva)
* Sliced Tomatoes (good ones, damn it.  mediocre tomatoes can ruin a meal if you ask me)
* Salt
* Pepper
* Olive Oil
* Cheese (I prefer Jarslberg or Swiss)
* GREAT Bread: this is key.  I highly recommend something really crunchy and not too thick.  Revolution used what I think was a thin-ish Pugliese.  At least that’s what I found worked best… the crunchiness, esp after being toasted, complements the squishy+slimyness of the cheese and veges after you’ve softened them for a while.

To make it:

Cut the Zuchinis in half lengthwise.  Slice the peppers into strips.  Heat a little oil in two pans on medium.  Throw the zuchs in there cut side down in a single layer.  sprinkle with some kosher salt.  throw all the peppers in the other pan.  Keep shaking the peppers around so they don’t burn.  Check the zuchs relatively often — every 2 min or so.  After about 8m the Zuchs are probably ready to flip — they’ll be getting nice and golden brown on their cut side.  Cook ‘em another ~5m on the other side.  You’re still shaking the peppers around, right?  Once they are soft and browning, they’re done.  Same for the Zuchs.  Now put all them veges on the side to cool.

Clean up your dishes.  Lounge around.   You’re pretty much done at this point.  Go on a bike ride.  Take a long shower: you smell.

Take a big chunk of bread and cut it lengthwise.  Alternate Zuchs with Peppers on one face.   Be generous with the veges, they are so good.  Cover with a few thin cheese slices, you don’t need too much.  Throw both faces in the toaster oven and toast at medium high (or in the real oven) until the cheese is deliciously melted and the other face of bread just begins to brown.  Take it out, add the sliced tomatoes.  Eat and dance.  Sing.  Take another shower, bring a friend.

OPTIONAL addition:
Spread some Pesto on the other face of the sandwich.  Revolution didn’t do this, but I had a ton of Basil lying around from my CSA so I did.  And it was great.  Quick pesto recipe:

Remove leaves from stems (stems are bitter)
Throw in a blender or food processor
Throw in some garlic cloves
Add a little salt+pepper.
Throw in some Walnuts or Pine Nuts or Deez Nuts
Add a little Olive Oil
Scrape down the sides, and slowly add a little more olive oil and blend again.
Repeat until you’ve got the texture you’re aiming for.

Jul 15 08

Fresh Tomato Basil Don’tCallItAPizza Goodness

by zberke

Forget about it — I’m done.  Resolution: as long as Heirloom tomatoes are in season, I’m not making anything other than this.  It takes 10 minutes and is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.

What ya need:
* Tomato.  Go for the Heirlooms and go for organic if you can get ‘em even if they’re a little pricey.  They’re worth it.  If you can’t get a good tomato, don’t make this, it’s not worth it without a great tomato.
* Basil.  Fresh.
* Salt (kosher preferred)
* Pepper (fresh ground black preferred)
* Olive Oil (Extra Virgin plz)
* Pita, Tortilla, Bread, whatever (I like Pita best)
* A little Cheese (I like Jarlsberg or Swiss)

Cut the cheese up a bit.  Sprinkle it on the pita or whatever you’re using.  Throw it in the toaster oven at medium-high toast.

Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes.  And chop up the basil.  Put them in a bowl together with sprinkles of salt, pepper and olive oil.  Mix it all up a little bit.

Right about now the pita/whatever should be popping out of the oven with some deliciously melted cheese.

Spread your tomato mixture on the pita.

Eat and be amazed at how something so simple can be so delicious.  Treat yourself to a glass of red wine — it’ll go well with this and you deserve it after all that hard work!

Jun 7 08

Cutie Eggplant

by zberke

My favorite kind of recipe – easy, delicious and full of freshness.

Preheat oven to 375 or 400.
Cube some eggplant.
Slice some Shallots.
Mince some Garlic.
Lightly Chop some Walnuts.
Finely Chop some Fresh Herbs if ya got ‘em (rosemary, oregano, basil, sage, whatevs!)

Mix everything together with a little Tamari (wheat free soy — soy would probably work OK too)

Bake, stirring occassionally, for about 30 m.  It’s done when the eggplant is really soft and everything has started to get pretty dark brown.