Message Board:You should become familiar with the survey if you work in the sector.
INFO: Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) Report – February 11, 2015
February 12, 2015, 2:51 am
I just published the Computer Jobs in Israel Report
for February 11, 2015.
The report with 15 companies and 62 positions is online at:
On Thursday – February 12, I was announced the
start of the 20th annual CJI salary survey. Anyone working (now)
in the computer field or electronics field in Israel may fill in the form
and take part in the survey. The survey will last 10 days.
If you work in the field in Israel, please participate.
Here is a “food chemistry” gift, called “soup mechanics,” and you can have it, too.
What Is a Hot and Hearty Soup? These ten soup mechanics tips apply primarily to soups whose basic ingredients include legumes, yellow and green vegetables, onions, rice, pasta products, and optionally, meats. These soups can be described as including “everything but the kitchen sink.” You can find great recipes for these kinds of soups anywhere and everywhere just by searching “chicken vegetable soup” or “beef vegetable soup” or “minestrone” or “vegetarian pea soup.” You may want to start out with one of the recipes you find, or you may want to start from scratch, which is what I do.
I make hot and hearty soups from whatever happens to be in my pantry, in my refrigerator, and from the shuk Machana Yehuda. The selection varies from week to week as root vegetables are not always available.
Let your imagination be your guide, and let your willingness to experiment overcome your fear of failure. Believe me, with these soup mechanics tips, you’ll be able to overcome almost any accident or mistake.
Here are ten tips for making every pot of hot and hearty homemade soup a big success.
Heavy Pots Ideal for Soups
1 • Start with the Right Soup Pot
Just as a durable house can’t be built on a faulty foundation, a pot of hot and hearty soup can’t be created in a flimsy pot. The long cooking time and low heat required to create a successful soup demand a heavy-bottomed soup pot large enough to hold at least four quarts. Also make sure the pot has a tightly fitting lid so you can choose to make your soup covered or uncovered.
2 • When a Soup Recipe Calls for a Stock Base, Make Your Own
Not all soups require a stock base. Onion and tomato soups come to mind right away. But when a soup recipe calls for stock, make your own. The liquid stock you buy in a can or paper container, as well as the commercially available soup bases that are powders or pastes, are convenient but they are also expensive, often laden with preservatives and salt, and too predictable in the tastes they lend to a soup. I use carrot and onion peels. A neighbor shared the onion peel ingredient. As a child in Israel there was no meat for the Shabat Cholent and the peels gave off a “meaty” look.
Stock is easy and cheap to make. And it’s fun. Plus, while you make it, your kitchen will smell heavenly. Here are some of the best stock-making methods I’ve found to meet almost any soup need.
- Beef Stock from Kaylin’s Kitchen
- Fish Stock from Group Recipes
- Chicken Stock from the Food Network
- Vegetable Stock from The Stone Soup
While these methods are tried and true, experiment with whatever you have on hand. Keep in mind that early cooks used whatever was available to them, whether the ingredients came from the wild, a seasonal garden, or from scraps of previous meals.
Fresh Garlic and Ginger
3 • Make Liberal Use of Garlic and Ginger
Although garlic and ginger have their distinctive and powerful tastes, they are also flavor enhancers, bringing out the essences of other flavors they join. We can use garlic and ginger to create their own signature tastes and aromas, but we can also use them to help blend other tastes and aromas into a unique soup signature.
Garlic, in moderation, complements almost anything, bringing out the best flavors of the other ingredients. Even if a soup recipe doesn’t call for garlic, you can be confident about mincing two or three cloves of garlic into the soup without worrying about a garlic taste. The garlic will just amplify the other tastes and aromas.
Ginger is a slightly different story. I use ginger as a flavor enhancer mostly in vegetable and chicken soups. It can deliver a bite, like garlic, but also it can deliver a certain sweetness. When using ginger as a flavor enhancer as opposed to a dominant taste, just ask yourself if you want a slightly sweet and sweetly aromatic aspect to your soup.
4 • Cook a Hearty Soup Low and Long
Don’t be in a hurry. Slow cooking gives soup its unique blend of flavors. The longer meats, vegetables, herbs, and spices comingle in hot liquid, the more complete their combined flavor. Once you get the soup ingredients up to a boil, lower the heat to the lowest possible temperature just to keep a gentle simmer going throughout the cooking process. Macrobiotic cooks put a heat diffuser under the pot.
5 • To Cover or Not To Cover the Soup Pot?
You may cook the soup covered or uncovered depending on the outcome you want. Leaving the lid off will make liquid evaporate faster, potentially creating a thicker and more flavorful soup. Leaving the lid on reduces the rate of evaporation; the soup ingredients may be finished, but the broth may not be rich enough (comingled enough) for your liking. I always cook my soups uncovered, keep an eye on them, and adjust ingredients as needed through a low and long cooking process.
6 • Use Fresh or Frozen Ingredients Instead of Canned
Although the concept of soup precludes the idea that almost “anything goes,” there are some prepared foods that should remain crossed off your list of soup ingredients.
Let’s define fresh and frozen. Both terms refer to foods you buy or use that have not been enhanced with preservatives or flavor and color enhancers and have not been already cooked and processed. Fresh and frozen foods may come from either your garden or your grocer.
Canned foods have already been cooked through and through and lend little flavor and nutrition to the wonderful co-mingling of flavors in the soup-making process. There are some exceptions, such as canned tomatoes, which I use from time to time to add texture and taste. But I’m also mindful of what went into the can along with the tomatoes. As far as canned green beans, green peas, corn, carrots, and potatoes go, choose fresh or frozen preparations over these already over-cooked versions. The fresh taste you will achieve is well worth the effort.
7 • Give Soup Time To “Mature” in the Refrigerator
Like great stews, curries, and lasagnas, hearty soups taste even better after they’ve been in the refrigerator for a half a day or so and are then reheated. There’s more to this phenomenon than just extending the time of the co-mingling of flavors that begins in the hot soup pot. For a professional chef’s point of view, read this delightfully delicious co-mingling of words that lend insight into why some foods taste better after cooling and reheating.
8 • Fixing Watery Soup
As I did not inherit the food chemistry gene, I didn’t inherit the one for masterful soup either. And, as soup was not a staple in our family, I had no early soup mentor. Mostly, I learned from trial and error, making plenty of watery soups along the way. When I say watery, I don’t mean light, thin, tasty broth, as in a consommé, but broth that looks alright but has no flavor. Rather than throw away a pot of hot nourishment, I experimented with adding ingredients late in the cooking to bring bland and watery into tasty and rich. If you have a lifeless broth, try adding drained canned tomatoes, a cup of finely shredded cabbage, a package of fresh-frozen mixed vegetables or corn, or a cup of cooked kidney or white beans, or all!
9 • Fixing Too Salty Soup
I need to say here that I don’t cook with salt, ever. There are so many great herbs and spices, plus natural tastes in foods, that I don’t feel I need to add salt to soups. However, sometimes you may make a mistake, like adding the salt a recipe calls for and then using a homemade stock that you may have added salt to. It does happen. Here are three ideas for fixing soup that is just too darned salty.
Wash and cut up a big potato into about six pieces. Boil the pieces in the soup for about a half an hour, pick them out, and discard them, or eat them if you like salted boiled potatoes.
As you would do for fixing watery soup, add finely shredded cabbage, cooked beans, rice, or pasta. All of these will absorb salt in a pleasing way.
If the soup is still too salty, serve it over unsalted rice or pasta.
10 • Fixing Soup when the Bottom of the Soup Pot Burns
I hate this one! While I was learning to make soup, I would scrape the burned stuff off the bottom of the pot, hoping for something good to happen. The fact is that any cook will leave the heat on too high or not attend the pot, and vegetable and meat matter will burn to the bottom, at some time or another. If this happens, don’t stir the pot. Just decant what’s left on top, like you would a good wine to leave the sediment behind, and start again in a fresh pot with what you’ve saved from the burned pot. If you scrape the bottom burned food into the rest of the soup, everything will taste of burn.
Zesty Detox Soup With Lime, Spinach, and Avocado
2 1/2 cups chopped spinach
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried dulse soaked in some filtered water
1/2 medium avocado
2 cups filtered water
1 clove garlic
- 4 tablespoons butter/olive oil
- 4 shallots, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup whole grain barley
- 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 3 tiny potatoes peeled and diced
- ½ – 1 teaspoon salt (if using homemade broth add more, if using store bought broth add less)
- Pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup heavy cream or omit
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, carrots, and celery and cook until softened but not brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pot and cook while stirring for 5 minutes more.
- Add the barley, broth, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream and serve warm.
- Store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Using a blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth or leave pieces.
Alternately, I used a pressure cooker, brought the pot contents to a boil, lowered temperature and lastly placed diffuser under the pot. The temperature was raised up in the closed pressure cooker until the gauge started to wiggle. Left the pot simmer on the diffuser 15 minutes. Shut off the flame and let the pressure drop and cool to touch to safely release the cover.
Yields: 3 cups
Douglas McNish is head chef at Toronto’s Raw Aura organic and raw food restaurant, and he also teaches food workshops and gives cooking demos.
The last time I had chestnuts I roasted them in the oven. This time I wanted to try boiling them. Boiling the chestnuts took less time and they were easier to peel but they did not taste quite as good. Roasting the chestnuts also smelled really amazing. One benefit of boiling the chestnuts is that it starts to soften them and they blow up.
1. Cut an X into one side of the chestnuts.
2. Boil the chestnuts in water for 5-10 minutes.
3. Let the chestnuts cool in the water until you can handle them.
4. Peel the shells and the skin from the nuts. Perfect in a rice dish