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May 24, 2004

Food restrictions

Friday night we celebrate Jeremy and Danielle, who leave New York for Toronto after Jeremy's year as a research fellow in our Working Group on Jews, Religion, and Media at NYU's Center for Religion and Media. We toast Jonathan Boyarin, who is about to accept a distinguished chair in Jewish Studies. And, we are joined by our friends and colleagues Jeff, with whom I have had the pleasure of collaborating all year, Stuart, whom we adore, and Tamar, a dear colleague who is visiting from Israel.
I love cooking for guests with food restrictions and Friday night presents a nice challenge: gout, allergies (dairy and wheat), vegetarians, and kashruth. I'm following new guidelines regarding foods to avoid if you have gout. No problem eliminating such high purine foods as hearts, herring, mussels, yeast, smelt, sardines, sweetbreads, brains, anchovies, grouse, pheasant, partridge, liver, and bacon. Mostly the lists say what not to eat and those lists are very long. Among the good foods are black cherries and celery, not exactly foods to build a menu around. And, foods high in vitamin C, which takes us straight into my favorite territory, vegetables and fruits. Surprisingly, refined grains are better for gout than whole grains.
So, here are my preliminary thoughts (much will change once I see what is available at the Union Square Greenmarket and in Chinatown):
* Dessert is set as I brought 60 packets of Filipino sweet sticky rice in banana leaves from Toronto and will serve them, steamed, with fresh ripe mango.
* Chinese broccoli, blanched and sauteed with garlic and ginger
* Steamed black rice in coconut milk
* Edamame hummus with baked tortilla chips, adapted from this recipe
* Grilled semi-ripe plantains with a papaya-lime-cilantro salsa
* Fresh fava beans in the shell, sliced shell and all, and sauteed with herbes de Provence, Algerian style, as I learned from Joelle
* Lotus root, thinly sliced, quickly poached, and served with fresh lemon grass and lime
* Sprouted mung bean salad, Indian style
* Fresh corn salad, poached in white wine, with whole peppercorns, scallions, and lots of lemon juice
* Fresh flat-leaf parsley and slivered almond salad
* Long eggplant, steamed and dressed with a little dark sesame oil and black Chinese vinegar
* Inabraw, with Indian bitter melon
* Moroccan carrots
I'm cooking again for Saturday night--two guests specified an antipathy to eggplant, one to octopus, and another to rich food--so will draw from this list for them too.

Posted by BKG at May 24, 2004 04:26 PM

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