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Adapted from the film Welcome to Shelbyville
directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder

A Shelbyville Thanksgiving

Monday, October 10th, 2011

by Ms. Luci A special meal prepared with love, as featured in Welcome to Shelbyville! Read below to learn how to make Ms. Luci’s Lemon Chicken, Enchiladas with homemade flour tortillas, and Mexican Sopa de Fideo. Whether she is inviting newcomers over to share a meal on Thanksgiving (see webisode above) or helping Somali mothers…

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Crepe Lili

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

by Ellen Schneider
“Over the years, certain recipes have disappeared from my family culinary history… but the crepes—ohh la la.”

Crepe Lili

My mother always told us she was a great cook because she grew up in Europe (Luxembourg, to be exact). Who were we—five Southern California kids who lived for Taco Bell—to argue? On special Sundays, she made something she affectionately called Crepe Suzette (she erred: Suzette’s thin pancakes are doused with orange liquor and ignited, sadly, ours never were). Over the years, certain recipes have disappeared from my family culinary history (like her meatloaf with onions, and boeuf bourguignon, which never really had me convinced of the “greatness” of European cuisine…), but the crepes—ohh la la. I make them a la Lili: filled and topped with fresh seasonal fruit, strawberry jam (optional) and sour cream (mandatory) and serve them to my family for breakfast on special Sundays. My mom is gone now, so I especially love them on Mother’s Day.

2 eggs
1 cup of flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup milk, plus a little splash
a few pinches of salt
a few drops of real vanilla extract

Filling/topping ingredients
Fresh sour cream
Fresh seasonal fruit
Fruit preserves (optional)

Step 1— Mix all ingredients except for filling/topping ingredients into a blender (we had a NuTone) until smooth.

Let the batter rest for an hour or two while you have coffee and read the Sunday paper.

Step 2— Put a tablespoon of butter or two in a hot but not smoking skillet (ours was probably 10”). Swirl the butter around so it coats the pan.

Step 3—Remove the pan from heat, then drop ¼ cup of the batter into the pan, swirl it around so it forms a thin, even layer. Return to heat and cook for a minute or two, until you see tiny bubbles and the edges look cooked and golden.

Step 4— Flip them over to set the other side, for maybe 10 seconds.  Keep going until you’ve used all the batter and have a nice stack of thin, beautiful pancakes.

Step 5—To assemble the crepes, spread a thin layer of sour cream on top of each pancake and then fresh fruit and maybe a bit of jam.

Step 6— Roll ‘em up and sprinkle with more fruit and powdered sugar. Délicieux.

Kashk-e Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

by Shaady Salehi

“Consider this your invitation to visit a local Middle Eastern market and make friends with the people there.”

Eggplant Dip


Couscous-stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

by Dina de Veer

“I usually see my parents only a few times a year but my sister and I never miss a Christmas or Thanksgiving… this past year -for the first time- there was no turkey…”

Stuffed Mushrooms

I usually see my parents only a few times a year, but my sister and I never miss a Christmas or Thanksgiving, and that time with my family each year is one of the constants in my life. This past year—for the first time since I became a vegetarian a few years ago—there was no turkey at our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In its place was a new dish that everyone was able to enjoy, and which, after several mashed-potatoes-and-cranberries Thanksgivings, I greatly appreciated. The recipe below is my mom’s approximation of her “cook-to-taste” recipe-free approach to the delicious new dish that was prepared for our most recent, pseudo-vegetarian, holiday meal… portobellos stuffed with couscous.

4 large portobello mushrooms
4 cups couscous
1 onion (yellow, white or red)
Garlic cloves (to taste)
Olive oil (to taste)
Red chili pepper (to taste)
Curry powder (to taste)
Turmeric (to taste)
Salt & pepper (to taste)

Optional: Melting cheese (cheddar, jack or mozzarella) and feta

Step 1— Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and cut the stems out of the mushrooms.

Step 2—Dice the onions and garlic. Add to olive oil simmering in a pan on the stove top, and stir until brown.

Step 3—Meanwhile, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add couscous. Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 4—Then fluff the couscous with a fork and mix in salt, pepper, red chili pepper and curry (to taste).

Step 5—Stuff couscous medley into mushrooms.

Step 6— For an even more wonderful feast: add 1/2 cup any type of cheese within couscous mix and then top with feta cheese.

Step 7—Bake on an oil-spread pan for about 20.


Aush-e Jo (Barley and Vegetable Stew)

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

by Sahar Driver

“Oftentimes, when you tell your Iranian host that you don’t eat meat, they’ll respond happily with something like: ‘Oh, don’t worry, this only has chicken in it!'”

Every single time I go home, I ask my mom to make me Aush-e Jo. It is hands-down my favorite dish and nobody makes it like my mom makes it. I’m a vegetarian and this dish almost always has beef in it, so I can’t get it anywhere else. Vegetarianism is unfamiliar to many older Iranians. Oftentimes, when you tell your Iranian host that you don’t eat meat, they’ll respond happily with something like: “Oh, don’t worry, this only has chicken in it,” as they serve you a good and generous portion! This makes me appreciate my mom’s cooking so much more. Every meal she makes for me is a negotiation between cultures and generations. Whenever my mom prepares a traditional Iranian dish without meat, it’s an expression of deep love and respect for me and my choices… and I love her for it.

Spinach (1 frozen chopped box)
Parsley (1 bunch fresh, washed and chopped)
Leaks (1 bunch, washed and chopped)
1 zucchini chopped
1 turnip chopped
Onion (1 whole, chopped, sautéed)
Garlic (½ clove, chopped and sautéed)
¼ cup of dry lentil beans
¼ cup of any other dry bean of your choice
½ cup of barley
2 liters of chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon of tumeric
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of flour mixed in cold water

Garnish Ingredients:
Yogurt (to taste)
Lemon juice (to taste)

Step 1—Mix all stew ingredients (but not the flour) in a big pot.

Step 2—Begin to cook on low-medium heat and stir periodically.

Step 3—Continue to add more water or broth as needed and cook until all the vegetables are soft and the mixture is thick (you will know it’s ready when the beans and barley are cooked through).

Step 4—When it looks like the soup is almost ready, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with cold water, then add to soup for thickening.

Step 5—Serve with lemon juice and a spoonful of yogurt on the side, to taste. This is a great dish for winter time.