This week's recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Marquise au Cocolat, found on page 357 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi book.
Posted at 07:32 AM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (34)
The third recipe I made for the Eating with Ellie group is Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Toasted Garlic, is found on page 224 of Ellie Krieger's cookbook Weeknight Wonders, and was Peggy's pick for us this week. You can also find the recipe online here.
Ingredient list: garlic, grape tomatoes, olive oil, spinach, Parmesan cheese, whole grain penne pasta, salt, and pepper.
Simple, easy, definitely a weeknight wonder. I had a pork tenderloin to serve with it for dinner, and that paired nicely. Three things I really liked about this recipe. First, of course, it is easy, fresh, and delicious. Second, if you have not toasted those little garlic slices that she calls for in this recipe, you are missing out. Those little garlic slices are so tasty and add a little crunch and some fun to a recipe. I think the process of toasting mellows the garlic so it's not like you are eating a slice of garlic, it's more like a tiny garlic flavored chip. The third thing is that whole grain pasta is delicious (previously I didn't care for the taste of it, but I think they have improved the taste of it over the years).
There is no real sauce with this recipe, but oddly enough, I didn't miss it at all. The process of the tiny bit of oil to toast the garlic slices and briefly cook the tomatoes, and probably a little water from the spinach as it wilts, created a bit of flavored juice that coated the pasta nicely. Definitely a repeat.
If you wonder how the others did this week, click here to follow their post links. You can also find the recipe schedule for the coming weeks there. Next week's recipe was chosen by Chaya and is Japanese Style Savory Vegetable Pancakes with Shrimp, and is found on page 183 of Weeknight Wonders. Please come and join us at any time, just leave the link to your post that week so we know where to find you. :-)
My ninety-third recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Slow Cooked Beef Ragu, was chosen by Sarah, and is found in Donna Hay's recipes online here.
The ingredient list: beef brisket, olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, carrot, rosemary, red wine, beef stock, water, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, creamy polenta, and parmesan cheese.
We are deep into winter here, so any sort of slow cooked warm comforting meal is always appreciated, and the extra heat from the cooking devices over a long period of time is always appreciated as well. In summer I might not be so appreciative. That said, it would taste wonderful any time of year.
The meat business all came together easily and simply with easy-to-find ingredients (these cuts of meat are always on sale this time of year so that was also a good deal for right now). The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender and nicely flavored by the vegetables and seasonings. I had never made polenta before so this was an novel experience for me. The recipe specified "instant polenta" but I could not find that so I went with just regular polenta (which is basically just cornmeal). I googled a link for making creamy polenta from scratch and used this one here. It took longer than instant polenta, but I think it worked out fine (and after all, when one cannot locate an ingredient, one has to go with the "next best").
The flavor of the meat, vegetables, broth over the creamy polenta was good thing...definitely a hit here and yes, I would make it again.
Wonder what the others thought? You can find that by clicking here. Next week is Gaye's choice, Dukkah Roasted Chicken with Couscous and Tahini Yogurt found in Donna Hay's Magazine, Dec/Jan 15. Join us and leave a link to your post at the new website on Wednesdays, no commitment required.
The second recipe I made for the Eating with Ellie group is Shotgun Wedding Soup and is found on page 68 of Ellie Krieger's cookbook Weeknight Wonders. You can also find the recipe online here.
Ingredient list: onion, garlic, olive oil, ground chicken or turkey, salt, pepper, chicken broth, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, and spinach.
It's soup weather here in Indiana (of course if you love soup as much as I do, it's always soup weather here in Indiana regardless of the outside conditions), days where it's cold/rainy/snowy/icy (you choose and it's probably happening here now) and a good bowl of soup just seems to warm you right up.
This recipe is a take on Italian Wedding Soup but is a little faster and easier in that you don't need to make the little meatballs, you just brown the meat and you are good to go. All the ingredients are easily available and the soup comes together in a short amount of time, so if you are hungry for soup at 11:00, you can be enjoying it well within the hour, start to finish. I will make this again, it's light, refreshing, and comforting all at the same time.
If you wonder how the others did this week, click here to follow their post links. You can also find the recipe schedule for the coming weeks there. Please come and join us at any time, just leave the link to your post that week so we know where to find you. :-)
My ninety-second recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nut Baked Risotto, was chosen by Chaya, and is found in Donna Hay's recipes online here.
The ingredient list: arborio rice, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper, spinach, feta cheese, and pine nuts.
My good friend Jerry, who is also my guru on all things Italian, is never really truly convinced that one can bake risotto. Being the lover of all things Italian that he is, I think you could say that he is firmly in the camp of stovetop risotto where one stands and stirs and cooks it all slowly and methodically for 30-40 minutes. And that kind of risotto is wonderful, no doubt about it. That said, I am hoping Jerry (and the rest of you out there) will go online to this recipe and give it a try. I'm looking for converts. I'm looking for Jerry to maybe say maybe this is just as good. Maybe.
This recipe could not be easier, as you can see from the directions, you combine the stock and rice into a baking dish, cover, and bake. Get that, cover and bake...you can walk away from it and it will be just fine, no babysitting required. The cheese, butter, seasonings, spinach, feta, and pine nuts are inspired...so delicious in combination like this. Hands down, a terrific, you-will-want-to-make-this-again-and-again recipe.
I made the recipe as stated, however, two things: I heated the stock before adding to the rice (2 minutes in the microwave) just to make sure it had a nice start, and I divided everything in half so that I wouldn't have risotto for a solid week as I could tell this makes a lot of risotto. Halving the recipe worked just fine. Really, go try it, you won't be disappointed.
Wonder what the others thought? You can find that by clicking here. Next week is Sarah's choice, Slow Cooked Beef Ragu found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post at the new website on Wednesdays, no commitment required.
Posted at 12:12 AM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (50)
A few years ago I belonged to a food blog cooking group called CEiMB, see my posts here or the general ones here, which cooked with Ellie Krieger recipes. I loved that group and making Ellie's recipes as her recipes are always healthy and delicious. (There are still recipes that I learned then that I make over and over again and have become favorites.)
Expressing my desire to regularly cook with Ellie's recipes again, three other CEiMB faithfuls and I decided to start cooking and blogging Ellie's recipes, starting with her newest book Weeknight Wonders. We are calling the new group Eating with Ellie (EwE for short). Margaret, Peggy, Chaya, and I, along with newbies Gaye and Glennis, are setting out to increase the variety and nutrition in our weeknight dinners. We'd love to have you join in at any time, leave your post link at our new site, here, and enjoy cooking fresh, healthy, quick meals using Ellie Krieger's recipes with us.
The first recipe we made is Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic, and Smoked Paprika and is found on page 170 of Ellie Krieger's cookbook Weeknight Wonders. You can also find the recipe online here.
Ingredient list: shrimp, garlic, spinach, olive oil, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper.
This recipe was incredibly easy for a weeknight and something I would be extremely happy to order and be served at a restaurant, a wonderful recipe. The whole thing takes less than 15 minutes, if even that. The flavors compliment each other very nicely so that the shrimp flavor is still front and center with the paprika and the teeny bit of cayenne just playing support roles. I decided to serve it over spaghetti as I had some leftover from a previous meal, so warming that up in a bit of boiling water made the whole meal come together super fast for a weeknight meal where time is of the essence and fussy time-consuming preparations are just not happening.
If you wonder how the others did this week, click here to follow their post links. You can also find the recipe schedule for the coming weeks there. Please come and join us at any time, just leave the link to your Ellie post that week so we know where to find you. :-)
My ninety-first recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Eggplant with Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Risotto, was chosen by Margaret, and is found in Donna Hay's cookbook New Food Fast on page 93.
The ingredient list: eggplant, olive oil, chicken stock, tomato puree, red wine, arborio rice, basil, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.
For years I have heard people say that risotto requires some time commitment, standing over the stove stirring constantly for at least 40 minutes or so...but that it was well worth it. I wasn't convinced, so I've never been in a mood to devote that amount of time to standing over a pot and stirring, until this week when the recipe chosen turned out to be risotto and I either had to buck up and make it or skip it. I thought long and hard about skipping as I am the only one in the household who cares for eggplant. Being in a food blogging group, however, has expectations that come with it, i.e. that one will participate if at all possible and that one will try new and different recipes with maybe some ingredients one doesn't normally think one will like. So, I grabbed a book, figuring I could read and stir at the same time, and before I knew it...risotto! And, if you are wondering, yes, it was worth it.
The recipe all came together quite easily and I was surprised by a couple of things. First, that I was able to tell when it was done...I was a little worried about that part as I wasn't sure I would be able to tell and therefore go from creamy risotto to mush in very short order. It helped that DH had listed the amount of liquid to incorporate, but still, I wasn't totally sure that would be the case. The second surprise was how much I like the taste of it and that it did indeed taste creamy. If you haven't tried making risotto before due to fears such as mine, sally forth, you will be surprised at what you can make on your stovetop all by yourself.
Since there is such a variety of ingredients you can incorporate into risotto, I will just say here that this combination was wonderful, full of tomato/wine flavor with the salty Parmesan cheese to set it off nicely. Pairing the risotto with the eggplant was excellent, sometimes eggplant can be a little dull without the proper accompaniment, so this worked well. I also liked the tang of the little creamy cheese on the side, an extra little treat.
Wonder what the others thought? We have a couple of new members to our little group, Peggy and Glennis, so Margaret fixed us up a fancy new website where you can go and click on the links if you would like to see what the others made of this recipe. You can find that by clicking here. Next week is Chaya's choice, Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nut Baked Risotto found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post at the new website on Wednesdays, no commitment required.
The ingredient list: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, sherry, Chinese Five Spice blend, and pork neck (I used ribs because where are you going to find pork neck around here, despite being in the middle of pork country, and even if I could score some pork neck, would we want to eat it?).
The sauce ingredients are definitely delightfully spicy, flavorful, and delicious, the Asian taste is wonderful with pork. I like Chinese Five Spice Powder (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel were in my blend) and am always happy to have a chance to use it. I think you could use this sauce on chicken with equally delicious results.
The process could not be easier from mixing up the sauce, marinating the meat, and cooking it all in the oven. The recipe recommended serving it with a steamed green vegetable and rice so that's what we did...the whole meal was definitely worthy of a repeat.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Next week is Margaret's choice, Eggplant with Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Risotto found in Donna Hay's cookbook New Food Fast on page 93. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
Posted at 02:48 PM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (40)
My eighty-ninth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Brocconcini-Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, was chosen by Sarah, and is found online here.
The ingredient list: milk, bread, ground pork, fennel seed, chili flakes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, brocconcini (little tiny balls of fresh mozzarella cheese), olive oil, tomatoes, sugar, red wine vinegar, finely grated parmesan to serve.
This recipe came together nicely with a few surprises. We don't usually make pork meatballs so those were a good surprise and wonderfully flavored with the fennel, chili, garlic, salt, and pepper. Kicked up and nicely spicy. There was also a surprise in the middle, the brocconcini, which was fun with melty deliciousness, although that kind of cheese doesn't have a huge flavor profile, but it did round out the spicy flavor from the meatballs. And it looked oozy and melty which is always a good thing with cheese.
The sauce, which is usually my most flavorful part of meatballs, actually was not so in this recipe, it was delicious, but it was not spicy or highly spiced. The flavor of the sauce was more simply a fresh tomato flavor with a slight tang from the vinegar and just a bare hint of sweet from the sugar. Interesting. It paired well with the meatballs, each complimenting the other.
I served it on spaghetti because if I didn't serve it with pasta, the guy factor here would ask where the pasta was and feel deprived. So spaghetti and meatballs it was, with a unique twist, one that was enjoyed by both of us on a cold winter's night. Definitely a repeat.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next week is Gaye's choice, Chinese Barbecued Pork, found in Donna Hay's cookbook Modern Classics 1 on page 116. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
Posted at 12:45 PM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (30)
Posted at 02:28 PM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (63)
When I started baking with the original Tuesdays with Dorie group in 2008, my intention was to learn how to bake for my family as the most I could manage on my own over the years had been boxed brownies or cake and a half dozen cookie recipes from scratch, that was it. Over the course of those four years I learned how to bake things I never thought I would ever learn how to bake. I learned more than I can ever recount. I also made baking friends who remain friends to this day...those weekly baking sessions saw us through birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, children's births, deaths, graduations, holidays, vacations, some scary times, some growing times, but most all happy wonderful times that we all shared with one another in the course of baking together week after week for four years. We became a baking family. So, without further reminiscing, I will just say, "We're BACK!!" Not all of us, and some are new friends to meet and come to know, but I can't describe how happy I am to be baking with old friends gathered around Dorie's latest baking book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere. I can't help wondering what the next years of baking together will bring for all of us...I have missed everyone dearly, it's good to be back.
The first recipe for this round of Tuesdays with Dorie is Palets de Dames Lille Style, found on pages 272-274 of the Baking Chez Moi book. Ingredient list: butter, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, flour, confectioner's sugar, milk, and lemon juice. You probably have all these in your pantry at any given moment.
The recipe goes together very easily and the dough is wonderful to work with...that said I had a mixed batch of results with this recipe. The taste and texture were wonderful but I had a bit of a difficult time with the baking process. Some of my cookies spread out into an unsightly mess (yes, I chilled the dough), some were not spreading at all, and some were the proverbial "just right." I chose some of those to photo. The others were happily eaten with nary a complaint, all tasted buttery and sugary with a bit of lemon in the icing. What's not to love about all that in a cookie?
Will this particular recipe be a repeat? Possibly yes from flavor standpoint, but I do need to figure out the inconsistencies I had in baking...in all fairness I am operating with a new-to-me oven and that could possibly be the culprit. Check around with the other bakers this week and see how they did. The blogroll can be found here.
Posted at 07:56 PM in Blog Along Groups - Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi | Permalink | Comments (58)
My eighty-eighth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Pea and Mint Soup, was chosen by Sarah, and is found online here.
The ingredient list: peas, potatoes, chicken stock, cream, fresh mint leaves, freshly ground black pepper, and sour cream.
Soup...I'm always happy when one of the group picks soup as Donna Hay's soups are always so fresh and delicious. I'm usually not too keen on fresh mint in savory foods, but have to say that I really did enjoy the taste it gave to this soup. There wasn't an overwhelming amount of it, just a little to give a nice fresh little something in the final outcome.
I made the recipe as stated, the only change was adding the frozen peas after the potatoes were cooked as I did not want the peas to turn to mush or be overcooked in the amount of time it took to cook the potatoes. That worked well for me.
The combination of the peas and potatoes is nice, the little bit of cream goes well with both ingredients. For the dollop of sour cream on the top, the recipe instructs us to mix freshly ground pepper into it before adding it to the soup. There is a lot of pepper in this recipe which I loved (not overwhelming, but if you don't care so much for pepper, you might want to start with a lesser amount and taste along the way). It added a nice kick to a soup which sometimes can be a little bland without a spice added. All in all, definitely a repeat, delicious. The frozen peas make it one that you can make year-around with ingredients in freezer or pantry. As a bonus, it's so pretty.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Next week is Gaye's choice, Paper Bag Snapper with Preserved Lemon, found in Donna Hay's cookbook Seasons on page 40. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
My eighty-seventh recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Caramelized Onion and Potato Stacks, was chosen by Chaya, and is found online here.
The ingredient list: olive oil, onions, potatoes, chicken stock, butter, and thyme sprigs (she doesn't say salt and pepper, but that's a given and I added those in moderation).
Mark loves all things potato so I was eager to try this recipe as it looked rather cute in the photo on the site. I'm all about the cute factor. Sometimes cute takes a bit of doing, but it wasn't hard or terribly time consuming and the big advantage is that if you are cooking for any number of people, you can assemble these, bake them, and have little individual portions that look cute on the plate at the end of it all.
And the taste? The taste was delicious, the combination of the onion, potato, butter, chicken stock, and thyme is classic and delivered a nice combination while at the same time keeping each individual flavor its own...they were good and in the future will make a nice accompaniment to any number of meals we serve around here. I will definitely make these again.
The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I made them in little ramekins instead of muffin tins, same concept, I just buttered the ramekin (did not use parchment) and they slid right out when they were finished. For some reason, I thought working with one at a time like that when I was plating them seemed like it would work better for me, klutz that I can sometimes be in the kitchen and all.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next week is Sarah's choice, Pea and Mint Soup, found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
My eighty-sixth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Blueberry, Oat, and Yoghurt Muffins, was chosen by Margaret, and is found online here.
The ingredient list: self-rising flour, superfine sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, Greek yoghurt, vanilla, rolled oats, and blueberries.
Mark likes muffins in the morning for breakfast so I was very happy to see this recipe as I'm always trying out new recipes for muffins. He likes ones with fruit in them so this was a win-win.
The recipe is easy, fast, uncomplicated, and delicious. After filling the muffin cups, the recipe states that one should scatter some of the rolled oats on the top along with some sugar. I was afraid the sugar would make them too sweet, Mark doesn't like really sweet muffins, so I scattered just a little sugar and just a few oats, and it just added a tiny bit of sweetness and a little crunch to the top. Overall, the muffin is not overly sweet, has a nice moist center due to the fruit collapsing down as it bakes (see photo of the open muffin), and the blueberries compliment the batter nicely. Definitely a repeat.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Next week is Chaya's choice, Caramelized Onion and Potato Stacks, found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
My eighty-fifth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup, was chosen by me, and is found in Donna Hay's cookbook Modern Classics 1 on page 18 or online here.
The ingredient list: butter, flour, milk, vegetable stock, cream, broccoli florets, zucchini, peas, asparagus, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
It's no secret I love soup. Left to my own devices, I would have soup or salad every single day and skip everything else...I grew up eating a lot of soup and I have always loved it. There are endless varieties of soup and this recipe is a very good one. Using spring veggies and cooking them just long enough to take the rawness out is delicious.
I made it two ways, I used her recipe as written for the first way (and I wouldn't change a thing about that recipe to enjoy this version over and over) and because I had veggies left over, I made it the second way to leave out the butter, cream, and milk, used olive oil for the butter and just the stock to replace the milk and cream measurements, just to make it a little more calorie-friendly. The second way was also delicious: two for the price of one!
If you like these vegetables (and you could sub in others as well) and want a fast, fresh, and easy lunch, this is the way to go, it's absolutely delicious. Note: DH recipes don't specify the amounts for salt and pepper so that you can season as you like, I like pepper so I did add a nice amount of pepper to this by tasting along the way until I got it just right for me. I think I will use dill sometime as well, I'm eager to make it again.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Next week is Margaret's choice, Blueberry, Oat, and Yoghurt Muffins, found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
My eighty-fourth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes, was chosen by Gaye, and is found in Donna Hay's cookbook Seasons on page 218 or online here.
The ingredient list: self-rising flour, cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, apples, cinnamon, and also superfine sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
It's never a surprise in the group when I pick soup or Gaye picks cake because I love soup and Gaye loves to make cake. She is known for her cakes. At her place of employment, she gifts each person with a special birthday cake each year, and often marks other occasions with her cakes as well (a quick survey of her blog will net you any number of cakes to drool over). The recipe this week is no exception, when I saw the photo, I was already anticipating a tasty fruity cake and I was not disappointed.
There is a nice caramel flavor with the syrup and brown sugar in the recipe, which goes just lovely with the apples. I thought the cake would be dense and heavy with the brown sugar, syrup, apples, etc. but it wasn't at all, it was nice and light and airy, just sort of melted in my mouth with each bite.
It all goes together quite easily with ingredients you most often have on hand...if you don't have self-rising flour you can make your own: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, easy peasy.
I would definitely make these again, enjoyed by both of us and a perfect ending to a weeknight meal. I had the little bundt pans that she suggested in the recipe, but Gaye didn't and simply made a full size bundt which worked out just fine. Oh, and you only need half the amount of cinnamon sugar topping, I had twice as much as I actually needed for a generous topping. Nice to know those sorts of things.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next week is my choice, Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup, found in Donna Hay's cookbook Modern Classics 1 on page 18. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The ingredient list: eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
For years I have avoided Baba Ghanoush. I thought it had anchovies in it. Turns out that I was confusing it with Bagna Cauda, which is definitely loaded with those little bitty salty fishies. I will continue to avoid Bagna Cauda, but I am thinking now that Baba Ghanoush has definitely moved into the "okay" list of things to eat. It's easy to make, others said the homemade version is superior to the one you can buy at the deli counter, and since the homemade version is so easy, I'm good with that option.
I did find that after giving it all a whirl in the food processor and tasting it, it seemed a tad bit bland. Just a tad, as in maybe I should add a little extra flavor with just a few little bits of spicy red peppers and kick it up just that little bit. So I did that. And it was just what I was looking for in taste. I will leave that for you to decide...once you have the basic recipe down, it's easy enough to add a few bits here and there to change it up...does that still make it Baba Ghanoush, I wonder. You decide. This is a very nice dip/spread recipe...I tried it on veggies and crackers and it is delicious. Definitely a repeat...and I'm not telling Mark there is eggplant anywhere near it, just in case.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next week is Gaye's choice, Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes, found in Donna Hay's cookbook Seasons on page 218, and also online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
My eighty-second recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Asian Mushroom Omelette, was chosen by Margaret,and is found online here.
The ingredient list: sesame oil, vegetable oil, red chili, fresh ginger, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, eggs, and oyster sauce.
The recipe itself is quick and simple, doesn't take long at all to make, and tastes pretty good. It's more like a fritatta than an omelette as it just finishes baking flat in the pan in the oven.
I wasn't all that thrilled with this recipe for a couple of reasons, one personal, the other technical. I'm sort of a purist when it comes to omelettes as I like the French versions best, i.e. butter, eggs, cheese, a little cream, salt, pepper, and maybe an herb or two tossed in. When I read "Asian Mushroom Omelette," I was thinking Asian mushrooms (which indeed this did call for) and not that the whole omelette would taste like Asian ingredients. With the oyster sauce and ginger definitely taking it in that direction, I wasn't all that excited. It didn't taste bad, I just prefer my omelettes on the Frenchy side.
The technical issue I had with this recipe was that it calls for cooking the eggs at such a high temperature which makes them rather tough and rubbery (not my favorite). Lower temperature may correct that so I would try that to get the fluffy soft egg texture we all love in an omelette.
All in all, it was nice to try the recipe, and I enjoyed part of it for lunch. It isn't on my repeat list, but that doesn't mean you won't like it! You won't know until you try it for yourself.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next week is Sarah's choice, Baba Ghanoush, found in Donna Hay's cookbook Modern Classics 1 on page 86. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The ingredient list: puff pastry, potatoes, goat's cheese, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
This recipe is fairly simple when you use store-bought puff pastry as it is just a matter of assembling the puff pastry square, potatoes, cheese, and rosemary to bake, drizzling it with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper when plating.
I thought the combination of potatoes, goat's cheese, and rosemary was wonderful, a woodsy sort of taste. The seasoning was spot on for me, but Mark said he would have liked to slather on a little sour cream for extra flavor. That said, we had sour cream available and he enjoyed the tart just as it was without adding the sour cream. It was a nice recipe easy enough for a weeknight.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Next isMargaret's choice, Asian Mushroom Omelette, found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The theme for this week forI Heart Cooking Clubs is Fill the Tins! (Cookies & treats to load to a cookie plate or fill up a gift tin.) The recipe I chose for this week was Pistachio Cakes with Raspberries, and it can be found on page 169 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: almond meal, unsalted shelled pistachios, butter, confectioner's sugar, flour, baking powder, egg whites, and raspberries.
These little cakes just felt festive and Christmas-y with their colors, in the book she suggests serving them with Rosewater Cream and a few pistachios on the side. Since the theme this week was to "Fill the Tins!" I thought I would just show them that way.
The little raspberries were supposed to poke up through the batter, some of mine did and some of them didn't, so I think next time I need to put in less batter or fill it up with more raspberries. That said, it didn't affect the taste at all...the combination of the almond meal and ground up pistachios (you use the food processor for the whole recipe) works so well, the taste is unique and delicious. It's wonderful biting into that little bitty cake and have the burst of flavor from the fresh raspberries inside. Light, refreshing, fruity, cakey, and all-around just plain delicious. I might have eaten more than one. Might have. Definitely a repeat, all done, including clean up in less than an hour.
Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made eleven recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price. Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
The theme for this week forI Heart Cooking Clubs is Fast & Fabulous (Dishes that take 30 minutes or less to make-- perfect for busy times). The recipe I chose for this week was Almond Roasted Chicken, and it can be found on page 85 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: cumin, lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken, olive oil, cinnamon, almonds, oregano, currants salt, and pepper.
I'm forever trying to find new ways to cook chicken for weeknights, requiring something easy, quick, and flavorful. Something NOT the same old baked or sauteed chicken. This recipe meets all those requirements and then some. The combination of almonds and currants, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, and lemon makes it full of flavor, they all go together so nicely.
It literally takes less than four minutes to throw all that together. The recipe has you use parchment to line a baking pan, place the chicken in the pan, toss in all the ingredients, bake for 20 minutes. At the end of the meal, you just throw away the baking parchment and cleanup is done. Perfect for weeknights or any time, wonderful enough to serve guests. Delicious.
Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made ten recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price. Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
The theme for this week forI Heart Cooking Clubs is Easy Entertaining (Hosting made simple -- dishes perfect for serving to guests but easy to prepare!). The recipe I chose for this week was Red Curry Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and it can be found on page 158 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: sweet potatoes, Thai red curry paste, coconut cream, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper.
I'm always looking for new and interesting side dishes to serve with the main course. It doesn't get any easier than this recipe, absolutely perfect for preparation ease, simple to bake, easy to serve to guests, and very little clean up (toss away the foil used to line the baking pan).
Wash and slice the sweet potatoes in half, cross-hatch with your knife, mix coconut cream and curry paste to spread on top, drizzle on a little oil, place in the oven and bake. The sweet potatoes take on a little extra flavor with the curry and coconut cream that heightens and compliments the sweet potato flavor. These were delicious, soft, buttery (without the butter), and lovely in taste and texture, a little kick from the curry but nothing wild. Mark said he would happily eat sweet potatoes prepared this way once a week...Donna Hay does it again.
Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made nine recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price. Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
The theme for this week forI Heart Cooking Clubs is November Potluck (Cook any Donna Hay recipe or a recipe from any other former IHCC chef). The recipe I chose for this week was Prawn Spaghetti with Lemon Vodka Sauce, and it can be found on page 40 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: pasta, butter, garlic, shrimp, cream, vodka, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Here it is Sunday and I still have need of making and posting a recipe for IHCC, not particularly organized this week about getting it all done, so DH recipes are great ones to be choosing from as I can usually go to my pantry and frig/freezer and find the ingredients I need on short notice. Such was the case with this recipe. Everything listed was something I already had on hand, even the vodka, which is not something I normally have on hand, but I did have one of those little teeny tiny bottles of vodka in the cabinet for some reason and when I saw this recipe I figured this was the perfect place for it as I only needed 2 Tablespoons!
Easy recipe, comes together quickly, and the taste is wonderful, the lemon and vodka gave the cream and shrimp a whole new dimension, not alcoholic in taste but just a little depth and some character. I would make this again (and I might even buy some actual vodka to have on hand for it).
Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made eight recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price. Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
The ingredient list: roasted pumpkin, goat's cheese, pancetta, thyme, oil, and pizza dough (I used her Basic Pizza Dough recipe online here).
First of all, I like Donna Hay's Basic Pizza Dough recipe, it's quick, easy, and I always have the ingredients in the pantry. This pizza was fun, just different ingredients from what I would normally select for a pizza, put together simply, and baked in about 15 minutes.
The taste was mild, and I would probably think of other ways to jazz up the flavor the next time just to see where I could go with that, but this was great just on its own as she has written it. Pumpkin on a pizza, who knew? Absolutely delicious.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next is Margaret's choice, Potato, Bacon, and Leek Soup, found in Modern Classics 1, page 24. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The ingredient list: cabbage, green onion, parsley, radishes, black pepper, egg, white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, and capers (I did not use these as Mark does not care for them).
This recipe deviates from my standard coleslaw recipe a bit but is every bit as tasty. I like that the dressing is sort of just drizzled on and does not touch every single piece of the cabbage, sometimes one just wants a bit of that dressing and not a whole bunch gunking up the entire salad (that would be me). I liked the radishes in this (my other slaw has carrots in it which are nice, but the radishes were pretty and gave it a little spicy kick as radishes tend to do).
I would have liked to used the capers, but Mark does not care for them, so sometime I will make it just for me and sneak those capers in like she suggested in the recipe. I like that salty briny flavor of those little capers. The dressing was like a homemade mayonnaise with the egg and oil, and I'm not sure why, probably my horrific skills with the camera and the flash, but my photo looks like the dressing was absolutely white, which is wasn't really, it had a yellowish tint to it from the egg. Oh, well, it looks nice either way.
We liked the recipe, would make it again, and as far as ease goes, it really doesn't get much easier.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next is my choice, Pumpkin and Goat's Cheese Pizza, found in Modern Classics 1, page 78. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The theme for this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs is Are You Calling Me a Tart? (Donna Hay sure knows how to make a great tart. And so can you.). The recipe I chose for this week was Cheat's Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarts, and it can be found on page 180 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: thin plain round chocolate biscuits (cookies), caramel sauce, sea salt flakes, dark chocolate, and single cream.
I know, I know, I chose a chocolate recipe, seriously, me...a chocolate recipe? I am not a fan of chocolate. That said, I am trying to chose my theme recipes from this one cookbook, and as luck would have it, this is the one cookbook of hers that has very few tart recipes, only a couple, and one of them was one that I had already made before, so chocolate or not, I decided to choose this recipe for technique alone (and to get others to taste test it for me, which is really never any problem).
It's called "Cheat's..." because the recipe calls for the tart crust to be made from a single cookie. You choose a store-bought cookie, place it on a muffin tin cup, heat it in oven for 5 minutes to soften it, poke it down into the cavity of the muffin tin cup, let it cool, and there you have it, a nice little tart crust in a matter of minutes with no fuss and no mess.
The filling is easily made by heating the ingredients on the stovetop and spooning it into the little tart shell. The caramel sauce is spooned on top, and the whole thing gets a sprinkling of salt flakes.
I live with chocolate-loving guys so my husband Mark did the honors of taste testing and declared it "Excellent." As a side note, he ate one while waiting for dinner to cook as he didn't want to wait for dessert, so I guess you can use it for an appetizer as well, right? I would say that was a decent endorsement.
You can be assured I will use this little cookie crust technique again, it is so quick and easy, perfect for a last minute dessert to serve or take somewhere. I can also see this working very nicely for a non-chocolate cookie, and you can bet I'm going there next.
Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made seven recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price. Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
My seventy-eighth recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Eggplant and Feta Meatballs, was chosen by Sarah, and is found online here. I also made the accompanying Tzatziki sauce, found online here.
The ingredient list for the meatballs: eggplant, olive oil, ground beef, parsley, mint, garlic, lemon rind, feta cheese, salt, and pepper. The ingredient list for the sauce: yogurt, cucumber, mint, garlic, honey, cumin, salt, and white pepper.
This recipe takes a bit of work, not a lot, it was all finished in 45 minutes once I had the eggplant cooked and cooled (I did that the day before while I had the oven going for something else). When I looked at the list of ingredients for the meatballs, I wasn't too certain they would hold together while cooking (and I am not the best or even close to good at making meatballs look lovely and round and gorgeously browned, etc.) as there weren't any breadcrumbs or egg or anything else I could see would work as a binder for them, but you know what? They held together pretty well and all those calories from the extra bread and egg weren't present, go figure. Anyway, the eggplant is kind of mushy so that might be what held it together, yours will probably look better than mine.
I couldn't taste the eggplant in the meatball at all, but I could discern little chunks of it. It all just tasted like a meatball, no eggplant taste at all for me, which was fine...I do like eggplant, but the guys aren't too fond of it. It all tasted ever so nice, delicious and moist, and the feta, garlic, and lemon in the mixture gave it all great seasoning. I would make these again, they were delightful in taste and fairly fun to process and make.
The accompanying sauce worked
so nicely with that hint of cumin and honey in it that I don't usually
have in my other Tzatziki sauce recipes. Definitely a repeat for us both the meatballs and the sauce were delicious! (There were 3 small ones on my plate and I helped myself to another 2, and maybe I could have eaten another when all was said and done, they were great!)
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next is Gaye's choice, Coleslaw, found in Modern Classics 1, page 46. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.
The theme for this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs is In Season (What's in season in your little corner of the world?). The recipe I chose for this week was Roasted Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese, and Pear Bruschetta, and it can be found on page 26 in Donna Hay's Simple Dinners cookbook.
The ingredient list: butternut squash, olive oil, sage leaves, sourdough bread, caramelized onion relish, blue cheese, arugula, pear, and walnuts.
In the book, this recipe was right after the Simple Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich so last week I was sort of torn which one I wanted to make for sandwich week. When I realized this week was going to highlight seasonal ingredients, I made my mind up rather quickly which recipe to make last week, and which for this week as this recipe has butternut squash, walnuts, arugula, onions, sage, and pears, all of which are readily available and in season in Indiana in November.
Oh my goodness is this a wonderful brushchetta...all those fall flavors camping happily together on top of the sourdough bread and a riot of flavor in every bite. I think I could eat one of these every day this week and never tire of it...and I just might, after all, it's in season and I really should be making the most of the season before we zip into winter and some of these will be a tad harder to locate.
I served it with grilled steak for dinner, which worked out really well as it was sort of salad, side dish, and bread all in one neat (okay, not so neat) little package. (She actually had more pear and arugula on top and I added it after the photo so that you could see more of the ingredients and not have them covered up with the lettuce and pear.) Goes great with grilled steak. Really, for the recipe, just buy the book, I've made six recipes from it so far, and each one worthy of the purchase price.
Please visit the I Heart Cooking Clubs site to see what the others made, you just click on their photo entry and it links you to their post/recipe.
The world cuisine country chosen for October's My Kitchen, My World is Tonga. My friend Margaret is always encouraging us all to explore food in different cultures, and the first week of November she will have a round-up of all the Tonga recipes made for October so you can see them at the MKMW site.
I can't say that I really knew where Tonga was at the beginning of the month (somewhere in the South Pacific was as close as I could remember)...I had sort of a general idea, but if you gave me one of those little stick pins and told me to pin it, I would have a 50/50 chance of missing it. At the end of the month, I am proud to say, I can at least get the little stick pin in the correct place on the map. Not so much with understanding the food and cuisine of Tonga.
When I started my search for a recipe to make, the first one I came across was "Octopus in Cream Sauce." Hmmm...not so much a sure-fire hit here and where does one get octopus exactly? It's not a regularly stocked item at my market. I don't live close enough to Detroit to score one (those of you who live in Detroit will get that little joke, those who don't, it's probably best you don't know).
The next "hit" was a set of instructions on how to build an "umu." Hmmm...what's a umu? It's a pit "big enough to hold a day's worth of food." Again, not thinking I want to make a recipe that starts with "first you dig a pit...."
This wasn't looking promising until I spied a recipe using a Papaya (sometimes available at a market here, and I did get lucky in that regard as Polynesian food can be a bit of a challenge for someone who lives in say, Indiana, a far cry from anything tropical).
As I read the recipe further, I couldn't think where I was going to come up with the taro leaves or banana leaves used (in countless recipes) as you wrap things in these before you put them in your fire pit, until I came across a very simple recipe that said, "If you are out of banana leaves, you can use tinfoil." Bingo, tinfoil I can score in the non-tropics of Indiana.
So, here is my
simple, yet delicious, Tongan recipe for Papaya with Coconut Cream Sauce, a recipe that allows the use of a plain old everyday oven and tinfoil. Simple, delicious, and very tropical tasting.
Papaya with Coconut Cream Sauce
Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk
Halve and seed the papaya. Fill the cavity with coconut cream (or coconut milk). Wrap in banana leaves (or tinfoil if you are short on banana leaves). Bake at 250 degrees F for 25 minutes.
destination is Poland. (Anyone can participate any time with no
advance or further commitment, so it you have something you would like
to explore and make from Poland, join in and leave your link!)
My seventy-seventh recipe with the Wednesday with Donna Hay group is Banana, Hazelnut, and Chocolate Bread, was chosen by Chaya, and is found online here.
The ingredient list: butter,
brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, bananas, hazelnuts, chopped dark chocolate,
flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and golden syrup. (I also sprinkled a little powdered sugar on the top just because I felt like it and it makes it pretty.)
This recipe goes together quickly, bakes for enough time for you to run a couple of errands, and leaves the house smelling like chocolate. (Okay, I know you all think that is a good thing so I included that part.)
Since we all know I did not sample the entire piece (I did pick around the chocolate and the bread was a nice texture with a delicious crumb), I will leave you with Mark's impressions. He thought the bread was wonderful, not too sweet but yet it nicely fulfilled the craving for something sweet at the end of a meal. He has been taking it in his lunches this week, enjoying the bits of chocolate and the nuts in it and would definitely eat it any time I wanted to make it. High praise indeed.
Wonder what the others thought? Gaye's post is here. Margaret's post is here. Chaya's post is here. Sarah's post is here. Next is Sarah's choice, Eggplant and Feta Meatballs, found online here. Join us and leave a link to your post, no commitment required.