Cookbooks


It seems that every time I get ready to do a dish for I Heart Cooking Clubs something gets in my way. Well not this time!! THIS time I had a recipe aleady and the dish completed. So take that, Time Consumers!!!!
Lucky for me this is Potluck week for IHCC so it was a pretty laid back event. No rushing to find a Henry recipe with the right theme. No searching thru 1000s of recipes for just the right one. I have had this Bittman recipe marked for awhile.

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Bittman calls this a Tamale Casserole. I would rather think of if as deconstructed tamales. So. Much. Easier. than rolling up the tamales and then wrapping them in shucks and steaming them. All the flavor without all the work. Well, almost all the flavor.

I liked it but I didn’t love it.

    1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
    1 1/2 cups hot water, or more as needed. {Boiling water would help cook the cornmeal and thicken it better.}
    Salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
    8 ounces ground beef, pork, or lamb
    Black pepper
    1 onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    8 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine; drain their juice) {I used regular canned tomatoes}
    2 cups corn kernels (frozen are fine)
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or shredded cheese, for garnish

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the cornmeal, hot water, and a tsp salt and stir until smooth. Set it aside
Heat the oil in an oven proof skillet. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper. and cook until nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes more, stirring periodically. If the mix is dry you can add some more oil. Remove from the heat and add the chili powder, tomatoes, and corn.
Incorporate the baking powder into the cornmeal mix which should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add a little more water. Spoon the batter into the skillet on top of the filling and spread it around a bit. Bake until the cornbread has cracked and turned golden and is cooked all the way through – 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with the cilantroshredded cheese and serve hot or at room temperature.

I found this to be a little dry. I would suggest saving some of the canned tomato juice or adding some tomato juice. And more salt in the cornmeal mix would help a lot as well. The seasoning for the filling, however, was spot on. Maybe adding a litte cumin to the cornmeal?
Again, I didn’t love it, but I would make it again with those small changes.

The original recipe is on page 339 of Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

I made this for IHCC Potluck. Check out the other choices this week.

If I had to choose my favorite cuisine it would have to be Indian. Mostly because of the spices. But also because most of the dishes are fairly quick. If I had my druthers, I would probably eat curry or some other equally spicy dish just about every nite. But I don’t because if I cook Indian it is just for me. And that’s okay. I was excited when Glennis chose this dish for this week’s Eating with Ellie.

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The flattened chicken breast is marinated for about 10 minutes in a mix of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, fresh ginger, and spices. Then popped on a grill (or in my case a grill pan.) Ellie doesn';t call these recipes Weeknight Wonders for nothing. About 30 minutes and you have a spicy, warm, comforting meal. Ellie suggested serving it with flatbread and a salad, but this called more for a nice spicy yellow rice.

The recipe is on page 137 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders. And if you want to see what the other Ellie Eaters thought about this chicken just check over at Eating with Ellie where we all get together and visit.

This week’s dish from Donna Hay is wonderful. Sage browned in butter than mixed with pasta and roasted pumpkin. I have come to love sage and brown butter. It is nutty and warming. The pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness to the mix.

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If you need something quick and warming this is a great side dish for just about anything.

The recipe is my choice this week from Donna’s off the shelf page 18.
See what the other cooks in Wednesdays with Donna Hay thought of this pasta dish.

When it comes to favorite foods I would have to list seafood and fish on the top rung. Shrimp. Crab. Oysters. Fish. If we out that is what I usually order. Shrimp Poboy at the Magnolia Grill in Natchez. Oyster Poboy at the Magnolia Restaurant in St. Francisville. But if you can find good recipes for seafood at home I am all over it. Like this fish recipe from Donna Hay.

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Thanks to Kayte I have another fish recipe to add to my list. Its a quick – less than 15 minutes – and nutty with the browned butter and pine nuts. In fact, that’s all the ingredients – fish, butter, and pine nuts and just a little lemon juice. If you can make a nice brown butter – and it took me ages to learn how – you can make this dish.

Make sure you use thin slices of the white fish. I used cod and the pieces were a little thick. I think we would really like it with some small catfish fillets.

Instead of the steamed greens that Donna suggested we had ours with some pasta I mixed with the buttery sauce. O, goodness, it was tasty.

The recipe is on page 30 of Donna’s New Food Fast and if you would like to see what the others did with the recipe you can visit all of us at Wednesdays with Donna Hay where we all leave our links for each dish.

The schedule of dishes is also there if you want to follow along, cook, and blog with us. We’d love to have you.

Big thanks going out to CHAYA for choosing this recipe from Weeknight Wonders. Veggies and shrimp cooked together in a healthier dish than a creamy pasta. PANCAKES!!

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A combination of Napa cabbage. carrots, green onions, and shrimp quicky ‘fried’ on a griddle and served with a spicy sauce. And they are good with just about anything!!

I made 1/2 of the recipe and ended up with 6 nice sized pancakes. I liked them a lot, but the Hubs was not so taken with them. I guess I will just have to suffer and make them just for me!!!

The only change I would make would be to add a little more seasoning. Maybe double the sesame oil and add a little more salt.

Of course the spicy sauce makes all the difference.

Wanna see more pancakes – just hop over to Eating with Ellie for more. Some with shrimp and I imagine some without. The recipe is on page 183 of Weeknight Wonders. We are not posting the recipes but if you want to join us all you need is Donna’s book. The ‘rules’ are on the home blog.

I love desserts with interesting names. Basically what it translates into is a Frozen Chocolate Mousse.But that would be doing this dessert a disservice. What you really end up with is chocolate paradise – frozen in a pan. With crunchy stuff!! Well, if you like crunchy stuff. According to Dorie this dessert is from the 17th and 18th centuries when the titled were living the decadent life. This dessert is a testimony to that decadence.

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The ingredients are simple – chocolate, butter, egg yolks, sugar and cream. And while today these don’t sound like decadent ingredients the sugar, and chocolate were NOT that easy to come by then.

One Bonne Idée from Dorie is to add some texture to the some of the marquise with some cookies – mostly Petit Beurre (recipe on page 270 of BCM. I know a good idea when I see one. Cookies it is!

I made small individual marquise. Some round. Some loaf shaped and sliced.

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There was some concern about the raw egg yolks in the mousse. I followed a hint from the ‘gang’ and added the eggs to the warm chocolate mix after whipping with the sugar instead of waiting The temp was warm enough to bring the eggs up the temp (I checked).

We enjoyed one each and the rest are in the freezer waiting to WOW some unsuspecting dinner guest in the near future.

The recipe for the Marquise au Chocolat is on page 357 of Dorie’s Baking Chex Moi.

And if you visit the TWD/BCM page you are like to see all shapes and sizes of the marquise from the creative gang who cake along with TWD.

I do like a good plate of pasta. Especially when it is simple and quick. And this was, as are all of Ellie’s recipes in Weeknight Wonders.

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The penne is added to some garlic that is toasted and then mixed in the skillet with halved grape tomatoes and baby spinach. Just throw it all together with some grated Parm and you are set with a quick supper or side.

I would suggest saving some of the pasta water and adding it to the skillet when you add in the penne. It seemed to be a little dry. But it was delicious. It just hit the spot.


This was Peggy’s choice this week and it was a good one
You can see the other’s pasta by clicking on over to the Eating With Ellie webpage.

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