Sweet Potato and Celeriac cakes

April 22, 2015 § 1 Comment


Finally we see green in Upstate New York. We had some rain the past two days. Farmers are busy. I made to my garden this week to plant radishes, salad and peas. Still, we are eating in season, the very last produce from the button of our freezers and ferments. Today I visited the Denison Farm and they had left: celeriac, sweet potatoes, and shallots. There is no better way to cook for me than to use what I have in hands. I thought, uhm, I can make slaw, but cakes like latkes were perfect with some fish tonight. I see our sorrel coming up and I can’t wait for the asparagus… soon, very soon. But for now, these delicious precious local produce are still available and you may even get a good deal if you wish to buy extra to ferment. Enjoy!

sweet potato celeriac

Sweet Potato and Celeriac cakes

1 1/2 cups of shredded sweet potatoes,

1 1/2 cups of shredded celeriac

2 small shallots, chopped

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of flour of your choice

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in a bowl while heating up a couple tablespoons of high heat oil on a medium frying pan. I used a cast iron. Fry each cakes  for about 1 minute on each side on medium heat. We enjoyed with some sour cream.


March 25, 2015 § Leave a comment


Yummy Granola

adapted from my friend Phyllis Capparelli’s recipe

I played with this recipe until I got a base that I can use different nuts and fruits and it is not too sweet. This recipe makes 1 gallon of granola. Oven 300

12 cups of Old Fashioned Oats

1.5 tsp salt

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1/12 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup of almonds, chopped

3/4 cup of other nuts or seeds

3/4 cup of organic coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup maple syrup

3 cups dried fruit, added after the granola is baked

Mix the first 6 ingredients together.

Melt coconut oil, add maple syrup to it and mix until well combine

Add the liquid to the oat mix. Spread on roasting pans and bake oven 300 for about 1 hour, mixing every 15-20 minutes until golden. After it is cooled, add dried fruit and store in a glass container. If not eating for a while, it can be frozen.

We eat one gallon of #granola a month #coconutoil #maple #windowintomykitchen #storycooking

A photo posted by Ellie Markovitch (@elliemarkovitch) on

venison shepherd pie

March 25, 2015 § 2 Comments


Shepherd pie, a meat pie with a crust of mashed potatoes is one of the ways we use frozen vegetables we grew the past summer. I have eaten similar dishes, Hachis (chopped or minced) in France or “escondidinho” (hidden) in Brazil and they all have this nice way to use root vegetables as well. The addition of a gift of venison made this a delicious meal.

Here how I made this dish, but one can make it without meat and use other vegetables they like. I decided on sweet potatoes but I often use carrots.

1) I start by prepping the venison. I add boiled water to the defrosted 1 pound of ground venison. Wait one minute and drain. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and saute the meat in high heat oil. Add to the meat 1 onion chopped, 5-6 large whole tomatoes from our garden (but you could use canned, sun dried or fresh in season), 2 sweet potatoes, diced (for sweetness), a whole head of garlic, minced, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp dried basil, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 2 hours.

Whole frozen tomatoes in the pot #tasteofsummer #freezercooking #eatinginseason #storycooking

A photo posted by Ellie Markovitch (@elliemarkovitch) on

2) Meanwhile, I cooked 6 medium russet potatoes on salted water until soft enough to mash with a fork. Drain the water, add 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of sour cream and mashed until smooth, reserve.

3) When the sauce is thick, add 2 cups of frozen green beans and 1 cup of frozen corn. Bring to a boil and turn it off.


4) To assemble the pie, add the meat mixture to the bottom of the baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven 400F for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly.

fridge cured meat

March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment


If I can’t have “carne de sol” (sun-dried meat), I am happy to have fridge cured meat (dry cure). Carne de sol is salted, sun cured beef. I often had with yucca or cooked inside rice (Maria Isabel dish bellow). It is used in Feijoada. Carne de sol is also fried and served as an appetizer in Brazil. It was part of my family’s table growing up. My mom is from the Northeast of Brazil and when relatives and friends would come to Goiânia (central of Brazil) to visit, they would bring us “carne de sol.” The sun-dried meat was made by adding lots of salt and letting the meat sit on a clothing line, on the sun of Bahia state for a couple of days. Now this meat is found everywhere, even Brazilian stores in Newark, NJ. After this test, I am excited to make this often with local fresh beef.

Tonight we ate “Maria Isabel” which calls for the salted cured beef cooked with rice. I used my fridge cured meat and it was delicious, tender and full flavor. Obrigada mamãe pela a receita!

I know there is a lot of fear around preserving foods at home, here some recommendation.  I love the oral history and the cooking methods and recipes that gets passed down to me from my family and friends, so I try to follow the steps.

For the fridge salted cured beef I started with a cut of fresh, not previously frozen flank steak. Mom also uses other cuts like “chã de dentro,” looking at this photo you get an idea of the cuts and names, we could also use round in US.


1) a hand full of salt for about 2 pounds of beef. Rub salt on both sides. Cover the meat with a towel and place in the fridge. Each day, discard the water the salt draws out. Turn the meat and repeat this for about a week.


2) After a week, the meat looks dark and to make sure, I placed in the freezer for another 24 hours to finish drying.


3) I cut the meat in half and will use about 1 pound for my dish and kept the rest in the freezer


Maria Isabel Recipe

2 cups of carne de sol, cut and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 cups of rice
hot water

scallion and parsley to serve


1) Cut the meat into thin strips, cook under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes


2) Add meat to half cooked onions and garlic and stir


3) cook meat with onion stirring for about 1 minute


4) Add rice and fry until rice starts to turn golden


5) Add hot water to just cover the rice and cook opened until the water goes down

6) Repeat and add water to just cover the rice again. When the water goes down for the second time, turn the pot off and cover and wait 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

local sourdough pizza

March 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

I have been reading blogs and books, teaching myself how to make whole grain sourdough bread and pancakes. Recently, I started playing with whole grain sourdough pizza and e-mailed Daniel Berman for advice where I could get some local inspiration.

Daniel Berman wrote about our recent visit to 9 Miles East Farm but I wanted to show in pictures and video some tips I found helpful in my pizza making. Thank you Gordon Sacks and Matt for taking the time to show us your process.


1) Before going to bed, make a pre-ferment (starter + spelt flour + water to make a paste with the consistency of peanut butter).  I also mix the flours for next day, set aside, since I have my scale out)

2) In the morning, or 12 hours later, mix dough using the pre-ferment that is nice and bubbly and the flours to it. Mix for 4 minutes, I will use my stand mixer.

ellie's ferment

9 Miles East use an Italian fork mixer, which slowly aerates the dough without heating it up:

3) Let the dough autolyze, sit in the dark for 20 minutes.

4) Add oil, honey, salt and mix again


5) Take dough out and bucket turn 3 times (every 20 minutes)

Gordon shows how to stretch and fold before refrigeration:

6) Shape and refrigerate overnight (or up to 48 hours)

7) Next morning, open dough, add oil, sauce and cheese and bake. At home, I use a pre-heated pizza stone and bake on a 500F oven, the hottest my oven will go, for about 10 minutes


Really delicious pizza by 9 Miles East farm:


And I was watching closely how Daniel was going about tasting and judging the pizza, starting with the crust!


Now here the pizza I made yesterday, using this process. I baked it at Soul Fire Farm wood oven.






marinated olives

March 7, 2015 § Leave a comment


So why have I not marinated olives? These are so fresh and so full of flavor. I am having so much fun playing with the different flavors since I tasted Katie Nare’s delicious olives she served during a Moroccan dinner.

For this recipe I used:

2 teaspoons of Indian five spice mix “Panch Puran”

3 cloves of garlic, cut in half

green olives in brine, drained

extra virgin olive oil to cover the olives

wide mouthed jar

Wait 4-5 days, shaking the jar once a day to mix the ingredients. After we eat the olives, I keep adding olives and oil for a few weeks. The oil can also be used for dipping bread and on salads, etc


more hand pies

February 14, 2015 § Leave a comment


If you search storycooking.com there are all kinds of recipes for hand pies. We just love them, savory or sweet. Today’s version is adapted from King Arthur’s website via Lara Ferroni’s book Real Snacks. The recipe made 12 hand pies.

For the dough:
2 cups (250 grams or 8 ½ ounces) flour (I split 3 ways: 2/3 cup of each: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Millet Flour and Corn (which I “milled” in a old coffee grinder)

1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick ( 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 tablespoons of cold water
1 egg yolk (to brush pastries before baking)

Blueberry preserves from our garden, at room temperature for the filling


To make the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter until you see pea-sized lumps of butter. Add water slowly and press the dough together, mixing just until come to a ball.

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half rectangles. Let it rest in a cool place. Open the dough between an open zip-log bag with some flour to roll out.

Cut into squares, fill with 1 tablespoon of filling. Here an example.

Bake 350 for 25 minutes.


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