Cookbooks


It’s Potluck Week with I Heart Cooking Clubs. and the second to the last week to cook with Curtis Stone.  And I still have several recipes I really want to make…..

These muffins are made for Curtis by his Mum when he is home.  I can see why he likes them.  Full of bacon, corn, seasonings, and cheese.

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Slathered with butter they are perfect for breakfast.  They can be mixed and finished in about 30 minutes.

  • 12 ounces hardwood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped {+ 1/3 cup bacon drippings}
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour {I used 1/2 WWF and 1/2 AP Flour}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fresh yellow corn kernels (from 1 cob)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives {I think they needed more.}

Fry the bacon  over medium heat until nice and crisp.  Reserve about 1/3 cup bacon drippings.

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder.  Mix together the egg, milk, bacon drippings, corn, chives, and 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Mix the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.  Pour equal amounts into each muffin cup which have been brushed with bacon drippings.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over the muffins.

Bake 18 minutes (mine took 15) or until golden brown.  Cool slightly then run a small knife around the the muffins and remove from the pan.  

Serve with warm butter.    {Recipe makes 12 muffins)   Similar Recipe here.

These were good. Definitely a repeat.

More Pot Luck at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

I like it when someone makes something ‘out of the box’.  This recipe from Alton Brown is definitely there.  And it is definitely delicious.

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As much as I love eggplant just about any way, I wasn’t sure about this one.  But, as is usual, Alton had it ‘goin’ on!”  This is his answer to eggplant Parmesan.Parmesan deconstructed.  While it takes ages to make eggplant Parm it only takes 10 minutes (once the eggplant has had the moisture removed) to make.

It’s vegetarian.  It’s gluten free.  It’s spicy. It’s repeatable. It’s Good Eats!

1 medium-large eggplant
Kosher salt, for purging
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 Tbl cup cream
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade
2 Tbl freshly grated Parmesan

  • Peel the eggplant leaving 1-inch of skin at the top and bottom unpeeled and slice into 1/4″  thick.slices/.
  • Purge the eggplant slices:
    • Lay the 1/4 inch slices over the sink on a cooling rack.
    • Sprinkle one side with Kosher salt.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  Turn and sprinkle the other side.
    • After they have ‘wept’ rinse with cool water and dry.  Cut into linguini like strips.
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet then add the garlic and chili flakes and toast. Add the eggplant strips  and toss to coat.
  • Add the tomatoes and toss with the eggplant.
  • Add the cream and toss with the eggplant and tomato.
  • Add the basil and Parmesan and toss to combine.
  • Top with the breadcrumbs and serve immediately.       {The original recipe from FoodTV}

I enjoyed this for lunch but it would make a great side for dinner.  And it IS so much easier than ‘real’ Eggplant Parm.  No coating/frying the eggplant.  No layer after layer and no baking.

Instant gratification!

Recipe is from Alton Brown Good Eats The Early Years. Page 283

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Between April and October of 2015 we cooked with Chef Jacques Pepin.  Now we are visiting with Pepin again as our chef of the month.

I was in need of a dessert this week and this apple tart from Pepin hit the spot.

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Pepin says his classic dough is suitable for any baking need.

Dough:  

  • 3 Tbl unsalted butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbl ice-cold water

Place the flour, butter – cut into  1/4″ pieces – and sugar in a food processor.  Process for 5 seconds and add the water.  Process another 5 seconds.  Remove he dough from the processor and work it until all the dry pieces are incorporated.  Roll into a 10″ circle and refrigerate.

Filling:

  • 2 large Golden Delicious apples {I used three medium}
  • 2 Tbl apricot jam {Not a fan so I used some homemade Pear Honey}
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1/2 Tbl unsalted butter

Peel the apples, cut in half and scoop out the core.  Remove a little more apple from the center and chop fine.  {I used the third apple for this}.  Fill each core with 1/2 Tbl {I used a little more} jam and arrange the apples in the center of the dough cut side down. Sprinkle the chopped apple around the apple halves.  

This is a galette so bring the edges of the dough up over the apples with a 1″ – 2″ border.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and butter pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hour {Mine took about 50 minutes.}  until well browned.  

Mine did not get as brown as I would like.  I brushed the top of the whole tart additional Pear Honey.  It added a lot of flavor.  {Plus it made it look pretty!}

The recipe is from Jacques Pepin’s Table page 357.

For more of Pepin’s dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

IF you have read my blog you know that SHRIMP is probably my favorite food.  So now surprise that this shrimp dish from Alton Brown was one of the first things I made when I started to cook from The Early Years for Cookbook Countdown

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Take 1 lb of peeled and deveined shrimp.  Seal in a plastic bag or container with 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 medium minced cloves of garlic  {I added some extra} , 1/4 tsp of kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a 10″ iron skillet for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add the shrimp and all the other ingredients to the skillet.  Toss the shrimp etc constantly for about 5 minutes as the shrimp cooks and turns opaque in the center – about 3 or 4 minutes.

Serve immediately.

This is not an ingredient, at this point, to be added to anything.  Like shrimp scampi – good all by itself.

But I had plenty of leftovers since I made a double batch and mixed mine with some additional olive oil and some tan mien – Chinese egg noodles.

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This recipe is from Alton Brown’s The Early Years page 379. Alton suggested using the leftovers in a Garlic Shrimp Casserole

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

aka QUICHE!  And it’s a good one.  AB gives the basics {Software} and then choices for the filling {Secondary Software}  And to make it super simple he suggested a frozen crust.  NICE!

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Use a frozen {or fresh} crust .Mix together 2 large eggs, 1 cup half and half, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Distribute the “secondary software” over the crust.  {8 ounces of just about anything!}

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I used cubed ham, spinach, sauteed onions, and Gruyere cheese.  If I had only had some mushrooms!

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and place partway into a 350 degree oven.  Carefully pour in the filling mix and slide the pie into the oven. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until it is still jiggly in the middle but set at the edges.

OH! MY!  Pretty much the best ‘refrigerator pie” I have made in a while.

AB also suggests combos like

  • cheddar with ham and spinach.
  • roasted chicken with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.
  • pepperoni with black olives and green peppers.

In other words – anything goes…

The recipe is from Good Eats: The Early years page 152.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

This weeks theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was “Finishing Touches” which really left what we could chose wide open. Anything that was drizzled, powdered, sprinkled, or topped with something to add just that right touch to a dish. I wanted something simple and this recipe caught my eye because the last instruction in the recipe was,

 GARNISH WITH THE TOASTED COCONUT!” 

Just the words I wanted to see.

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  • 1 cup Basmati rice
    1 1/4 cups chicken stock
    1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    ½ tsp salt
    lightly toasted coconut for garnish

Combine the stock, coconut milk, and salt in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low. Add the rice and stir constantly for 1 minute. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat, without stirring, for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove from the heat and stand covered for 10 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Lightly fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer the rice to bowls and garnish with the toasted coconut and serve.

This, as Curtis says, is a perfect side for any Asian dish.  Since it is mild in flavor it would only enhance whatever it is served with.  The rice is creamy with a touch of sweetness from the coconut and coconut milk.

The recipe is from  Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone  on page 220.

For more garnishing;, sprinkling, powdering check with I Heart Cooking Clubs – Finishing Touches.

In our back yard there are 4 pear trees. Two with pears just to eat and two for canning. I think the eating pears are better fresh for pies and such because they aren’t quite as hard as the canning pears. I use them fresh as long as I can.

Someone once said if you want to make a great apple pie – use pears. I agree. More texture, often better flavor. I found this recipe for AB‘s Pear pie in Good Eats: The Early Years – the cookbook I am using for September’s Cookbook Countdown.

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What AB made was a galette – a no-pan pie. Perfect!  I always have trouble making the pie look nice by messing up the crust on the way to the pan.  No-pan means it is free form with the crust wrapped up around the filling.  So. Much. Easier!

This one is filled with pears, blueberries and lots of flavor.  The  flavor is enhanced by adding Balsamic vinegar to the mix.  So. Much Flavor!

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups {12 ounces} flour
1/2 cup {2 1/4 ounces} stone ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons {1 1/2 ounces} sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided, diced
1/2 cup apple juice

For the filling:
2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced {Mine aren’t Anjou!}
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar {2 ounces} {I used Splenda}
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon {I used about 1 tsp}
2 tablespoons {1 ounce} butter
1 cup {6 ounces} blueberries
1 teaspoon AP flour
1 1/2 cups pound cake, cubed {I used plain yellow cake}
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar {I used Turbinado}

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • DOUGH: In a food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and put the bowl into the refrigerator.
  • Remove 1/2 stick of butter from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • In a food processor, add the 1/2 stick of butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the fat completely disappears. Add the remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter in separate batches. Pulse until flour mixture resembles the size of a pea.
  • Combine the apple juice concentrate and the cold water. Using a spray bottle, spritz the dough with the apple juice mixture while folding the mixture with a spatula. After about three tablespoons of the liquid, check the dough for consistency. It should hold together when compressed but remain relatively dry to the touch. If it does not bind, add a little more water.
  • Remove from the processor and form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in wax paper or parchment paper and rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • FILLING:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add pears to the pan and toss for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to toss for 30 seconds. Add sugar and cook until the pears have softened. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, and the butter and melt slowly. Fold in the blueberries. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on the flour and combine well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • CONSTRUCTION:  Place dough on a floured piece of parchment and roll out to a 1/4-inch thick disk. Transfer to a baking sheet. Place cubed pound cake in the middle of the dough, leaving a 3-inch margin of crust on all sides. Spoon filling over the cake cubes and top the pears with 1 ounce of cubed butter. Lift excess crust onto filling and repeat in a clockwise fashion until a top lip has formed around the edge of the whole tart. Brush the tart with the egg wash and sprinkle the crust with the sugar.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling begins to bubble and the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from the sheet pan immediately and cool on pie rack.

This was so good.  I wish I had a picture of the whole pie but I guess it disappeared with the pie! Definitely a repeat – often.  Oh!  And it was good warm from the oven with cinnamon ice cream!

The recipe is from AB’s Good Eats: The Early Years page 100.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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