Cookbooks


I am slow getting started with this round of IHCC. Nigel Slater is the new chef until the end of September. I am excited to try some of his recipes, but not just yet! This week is Potluck Week. Since I missed cooking with Mark Bittman early in the group’s life I want to do his recipes for PotLuck. I read his bok, FOOD MATTERS ages ago and have lots of recipes marked. Seemed a logical choice.

Starting with someting sweet and SUGAR FREE.

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    1 cup sugar Splenda
    1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
    1 1/2 cups chopped nuts {I used pecans}
    4 egg whites [about 130 gms], {I would use a few more grams next time} lightly beaten until just foamy
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pinch salt

Heat the oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula or your hands.
Use a nonstick baking sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Use a small cookie scoop and make balls with the mixture,
each measuring about 1 tablespoon. Place balls on the pre-
pared sheet about an inch apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 30′minutes Store in an airtight container.

I remember Mom making a cookie like this when I was little.

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They didn’t last long around our house because we all loved coconut and pecans.

Check out the other POTLUCKS with the IHCC members.

Donna has many Asian or Asian style dishes in her cookbooks. They have been some of my favorites over the last few years. Like all the other easy recipes the end result is delicious. And her Thai Red Beef Curry (Gaye’s Pick) is no exception.

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The mix of the sweet coconut cream with the spicy red curry paste is a beautiful balance. The butternut pumpkin/squash adds to the sweetness without making it cloyingly sweet. Even without the Kaffir lime leaves (which I have NOT been able to find anywhere) it was a tasty dish. The recipe is on page 104 of Donna’s modern classics and you can find it HERE!
Check out Gaye’s Curry. Then visit with Sarah for her curry.

If you would like to join us in Wednesdays with Donna Hay, just leave us a comment. The more the merrier.

Which translates into darn good fresh veggie quiche!! Lots of leeks {first time fresh from MY garden}, sweet peppers, celery, carrots, and very, very little custard.

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One of my favorite things to make is quiche. But I don’t make them as often as I would like because they usually call for TONS of eggs. Not this one – one whole egg and one yolk. {I used two whole eggs instead.} That’s it!! And some cream. I am wondering if I can use this little bit of custard in some other quiches!

While the veggies and custard were VERY tasty, the star of the show was the Gruyère sprinkled on top. The smoky flavor just took the quiche to a much higher level!! I will be very sad when this one is gone….oh, wait, I can make another. Maybe with some squash this summer from the garden, or eggplant, or Romas, or…shoot, the possibilities are endless.

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More quiche can be found on French Fridays with Dorie and the recipe is on page 158 in Dorie’s around my French table.

Visit…what? Interesting! A white cake. A little like a sponge cake. A good base for just about anything you might want. According to Nick Malgierei,


    “The cakes don’t derive from an ancient Hebrew recipe, but were originated in the convent of a community of French nuns called the Sisters of the Visitation, colloquially known in French as the “Visitandines.”

Just an interesting tidbit. I wondered why they were called Visitandines.

Easy to make I ended up with three 4 1/2″ ‘tarts’ from the full recipe.

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I just think the fluted sides make a cake rather elegant. I plan to use one for Strawberry Shortcake

and will figure out what to do with the other two later. Ice Cream Sundae? Little Frosted Cake? We’ll see!! {But had to go out of town unexpectedly so all you have for now is cake. I’ll let you know what I use them for!}

The recipe is on page 436 of Dorie’s around my french table

And see what the other Doristas did with their Visitandines.

Today is the last day for I heart Cooking Club to cook/bake with Donna Hay. We started using Donna’s recipes the first of October 2013 and enjoyed all of it for 6 great months. I have been using several of Donna’s cookbooks for a few years so it was fun to make more than just one or two a month.

We could pick any recipe we wanted to say Good-Bye. What better than a dessert. The end of the meal. The end of lots of meals. The end of IHCC and cooking with Donna!

I’m not ashamed to admit that BRWONIES are in the top three of my favorite desserts. The others being cheese cake and bread pudding. So here are Donna’s basic and speedy brownies

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    8 oz melted butter
    1 1/3 c sifted AP flour
    2 1/4c sugar {I subbed one cup Splenda for one cup of sugar}
    3/4c sifted cocoa powder
    4 eggs
    1/4 t baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. {I used a blender}
Pour the batter into a lined 8″ square cake tin and bake at 370 for 50 min. {I baked mine a little less because we like fudgy brownies.}

These were good brownies. Cakey on the outside, fudgy in the center. Just right.

The recipe is on page 160 of Donna’s off the shelf:cooking from the pantry.

How are the other IHCC members saying good-bye to Donna? See for yourself by visiting CATCH YA LATER, DONNA HAY.

March 31 thru’ September 28 we will cooking with NIGEL SLATER! Great recipes coming!! Come join us!!

My pick this week for Wednesday with Donna Hay. I chose something tasty.

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As usual it is super simple. Make rice {I used some left over}. Cook rice with some green onion, ginger, garlic chives, and chllies. Add shrimp. Or, in my case, CRAWFISH – it is the season after all!! And you have fried rice. The recipe is on page 148 of Donna’s modern classics BOOK 1
Visit with

    Gaye who also tried the rice.

I have loved Indian Cuisine since I was very young, living in England. We were in London and chanced upon Veeraswamy’s Restaurant. It became a regular place to go for my parents. And for me, if I was lucky. But it wasn’t until a many many years later that I discovered the joys of a very simple and very sweet Indian treat – GULAB JAMUN.

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“You could call them fried milk balls in syrup” is how Jaffrey describes them in The Madjur Jaffrey Cookbook. And that is exactly what they are. A mix of powdered milk, whole milk with a little flour thrown in. A cross between a doughnut hole and an Æbleskiver. Kinda! After frying it is ‘syruped’ and then soaked in a cardamom syrup. Eaten warm – YUM YUM!!

    Syrup:

      2 lbs granulated sugar
      3 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
      1 3.4 pints water

Combine water, syrup and cardamom pods in a 3-qt pot. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. DO NOT STIR!! Pour 1/2 of the syrup into a serving bowl (about 2 qt). Leave remainder in the pot with the pods.

    Milk Balls:
      6 oz powdered milk
      3 oz AP flour
      4 fl oz veggie oil or ghee
      4 fl oz milk
      veggie oil for frying

Make a soft dough with the powdered milk, flour, oil and milk in a bowl. Make small, smooth 1″ balls out of the dough.

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Heat the oil in a deep frying pan (about 3″ of oil) over a LOW flame. The jamun need to be fried slowly.
Test the oil by putting one jamun in the oil. If it browns too quickly it is TOO HOT. If it fries too slowly, turn the heat up. The jamun should end up a golden brown.

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Don’t fry more than aoub 5 or 6 at a time. When they are done lift them from th oil and put them to simmer in the syrup for about 5 minutes. It takes about 5 minutes to fry a batch, so while one batch is frying, one batch is ‘syruping’. After 5 minutes or so place them in the fresh syrup in the serving bowl. Repeat until all the balls are fried, syruped and in the serving bowl. Cool, cover the bowl and refrigerate. Discard the syrup in the pot.

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These can be served cold, at room temp or slightly warmed – the way I like them. When served, only the jamun should be served, not the syrup.

I had promised myself I would make these for the last PL with Donna Hay’s 6 month run. My first batches were a little too brown. It wasn’t until the last 10 that they finally turned out just right.
The recipe makes at least 24. I made 1/2 of the recipe and ended up with 14.

This is potluck week for I Heart Cooking Club. The recipe is on page 839 of Madjur’s book.

It isn’t often, okay, its never, that I serve a pre-dinner snack. And a French one at that. Tonite it was differnt. Tonite we had a fine little tart just before we ate. Puff pastry, onions, bacon, scallops. All these came together in Dorie’s scallop and onion tartes finesP1030869What wonderful flavors these were. Just the fragrance of the soft caramelizing onions was enticing, but then you add the bacon and … Well, what can I say. Baked rounds of puff pastry are topped with an onion and bacon mixture. These are topped with slivers of scallop. While Dorie used raw scallops and then warmed the whole thing in a very hot oven I sliced and then quickly seared my scallops first. It definitely enhanced the flavor of the scallops. I did this because I wanted to make sure the scallops were done. And the Hubs does not like undercooked seafood.

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If you would like to see other Tartes Fines click on over the French Fridays with Dorie.

The recipe is in Dorie Greenspan’s around my french table on page 168

There is just something about the flavor of Hoisin sauce. It is sweet but not SWEET. A little bit may go along way. But then, sometimes you cannot get enough of it in your dish. The balance in this dish of Donna’s was just right. Donna’s stir fried noodles called for 3 Tbl of hoisin and 1/4 cup soy sauce. I increased the hoisin just a tad and decreased the Soy sauce just a tad. PERFECT!

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All you have to do is sautee some shredded ginger with some peppers, add the hoisin and soy and sugar and let it cook just a little. Then toss in the cooked wheat noodles {I used SOBA noodles} and let them ‘fry’ for a few seconds..

As for the Crispy chicken. Rice flour, 5 Spice and salt for the dredge with a quick fry in a little oil – shallow fry – to a golden brown. Serve it with the stir fry noodles.

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Using rice flour instead of regular flour makes for a very light, almost tempura like fry. And with the addition of the 5 Spice adds tons of flavor. I only wish I had increased the amount of 5 Spice. But next time. There are also supposed to be Asian greens, which I could NOT find in Podunk, USA, so left them out completely. I found out later I could have used Bok Choy or other cabbage. Ah, well!

The recipe is on page 62 of Donna’s off the shelf

Click on over and visit with Gaye, whose pick this was, and Sarah for their noodles and chicken.

Somehow when the words BROWNIE and CAKE are used in the same sentence it is enough to make one’s heart beat fast and entice one to make a recipe more than just one or the other. After sitting down and calming one’s heart!! And while I really wanted to make the whole cake I knew we didn’t need it, so I made 1/2 in a 5″ springform pan.

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Now, picture a moist, fudgy cake layered and topped with dark chocolate ganache.

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PERFECTION!! I only made one change in the recipe, contributed by Marcel Desaulniers, I used DARK chocolate (63%cacoa) rather than the semisweet chocolate called for. I think I liked it better! AND — it’s healthier!!!! {YEAH, RIGHT!!} Oh, and did I mention it has COFFEE in the filling? It is a subtle flavor enhancing the chocolate. Cannot beat that!!

You can find the recipe in Dorie’s Baking with Julia on page 282.

Check with the other DORISTAS for their chocolate goodness.

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