It all started with Pinotage of Pears; the nice folk at Verlaque sent me a box of their goodies to try out last week; included was this intriguing jar. I also had a jar of recently purchased Shiraz Salt that I wanted to blog about, and a packet of pork neck cutlets that I had taken out of the freezer for lunch. I had no idea what I was going to cook.
Then a chance comment on an earlier post, from Tandy, about a recipe in her cookbook, and a peek into The Flavour Thesaurus, made me know exactly what was going to end up on my plate.
I coated the cutlets in the Verlaque preserve, with a sprinkle of the Shiraz salt and white pepper and left them to infuse while I made up a batch of pumpkin blini, and set to making tzimmes [see footnote].
1 handful baby carrots per person
Water for boiling
1 teaspoon cloves
1 knob butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon crushed ginger (I used finely sliced fresh ginger)
1 handful marjoram (I didn’t have any, so I used Oregano instead)
Place the carrots in a pot and cover with water. Add cloves and bring to the boil. As soon as the water has boiled drain the carrots. Heat the butter, honey and ginger in the pot. Add the carrots and the marjoram and give the pot a good shake to cover the carrots.
I think this is the finest meal I have cooked so far this year.
Tzimmes, tsimmes, and other spelling variants (Yiddish: צימעס) is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish, in various territories made from a variety of vegetables (carrots, chickpeas, beans), often combined with dried fruits like prunes or raisins, and other root vegetables. Some cooks add chunks of meat (usually flanken or brisket). The dish is cooked slowly over low heat and flavored with honey or sugar and sometimes cinnamon.
Tzimmes is often part of the Rosh Hashanah meal, when it is traditional to eat sweet and honey-flavored dishes. Traditionally sliced in rounds, carrots bring to mind gold coins, symbolizing the hope of prosperity in the year to come.
The name may come from the Yiddish words tzim (for) and esn (eating). “To make a big tzimmes over something” is a Yinglish expression that means to make a big fuss, perhaps because of all the chopping, slicing, mixing, and stirring that go into the preparation of the dish.