Food


There is no rule out there that says French cooking must be elegant or complex. It can be simple and rustic as well. Which is a good thing for this week’s I Heart Cooking ClubFrench Dish. This recipe from Jacques is one of his mother’s. And it is quite simple.

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Pepin says his mother added cheese but he doesn’t always. I made mine without cheese but Gruyère would have been really good here.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes {I used basic russet potatoes}
2 cups milk
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed, and finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick Do NOT rinse the slices.

Place the potato slices, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to separate the slices and prevent the mixture from scorching. It will thicken as it reaches a boil.

Pour the potato mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish, and pour the cream on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
(Original Recipe)

While simple to make they were creamy and comforting. Definitely added to our rotation of potato dishes. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes not.

{BTW – reheat them in the oven and they are just as good as freshly made. DON”T nuke them!!}

Maintenant! Cliquez sur Plus d’IHCC et de vérifier plus d’une cuisine française de M. Pepin. Now! {Now! Click on over to IHCC and check out more of Pepin’s French Cuisine.}

My pick this week. Asian sounded good. And y’all know I do love the flavors of Asian (and Indian, and Mediterranean and Italian cuisine). This chicken is cooked in a foil pouch with sweet peppers, green onions and carrot for a mere 12 minutes so it is a very quick meal

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and also very tender. Steamed in a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds it is full of flavor as well.

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You can find the recipe on page 144 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders. I also found it on Caroline’s site.

I hope the other Eaters liked my pick. Check them out on he Eating with Ellie website.

I love cooking with Mediterranean ingredients.  Olive Oil.  Olives, Tomatoes. Lemon.  They all add a certain richness and a ton of flavor to just about any dish.  And that includes this Chicken dish from Donna Hay

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It is simply baked chicken but baked with olives, lemon zest, parsley, and plenty of garlic (cause I added a little extra).

Instead of using a whole chicken I had one HUGE chicken breast which I sliced In half and baked. I put a little extra garlic under the chicken. It was very good.

This week’s pick is from Peggy. Definitely a repeat.

TO see what the others thought just zip on over to the Wednesday with Donna Hay Website.

And if you would like to join us – WHAT WE ARE DOING! We’d love to have you join in. What we are cooking every week is listed on the site.

It’s that time again! Time to share some new dishes from a blogger I have been reading for a while but haven’t had a chance to cook from. Why now? Because it is is reveal time for the

    Secret Recipe Club!

And this month I knew it was going to be fun because I had CHELSY over at MANGIA!! ITALIAN FOOD!!! But – FORTUNATELY – healthy Italian! Which was perfect considering I am trying to eat healthier these days. I was a little worried at first because so many of the blogs have great food but lots of ingredients I am not eating these days – sugar, beef, cheese, pasta – so finding lots of good, healthy recipes on Chelsy’s blog was a definite plus for me.

Let me tell you about Chelsy: Personal Trainer, gluten free recipe developer, foodie, Italian.
One statement caught me eye when she was listing facts about herself

    “I will choose grocery shopping over mall shopping any day!”

‘Nuff said!!

I started through her awesome recipes and finally had to quit Pinning. I though Pinterest might kick me off for putting TOO many pictures/recipes up in one day. And then, of course I had to go through and find just a few and then narrow that down to my usual three. NOT. AN. EASY. JOB! But then, with all the great bloggers in the SRC, it never is!

Here is what I ended up with:

Healthy Snacking –

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with Granola. And granola with a twist – made with QUINOA! I have only recently discovered quinoa so whenever I find a new recipe I HAVE to try it.
Granola with sliced almonds, coconut, maple syrup, cinnamon. All the good things. You can find her recipe for QUINOA GRANOLA on her blog. The only change I made in her recipe was to use dried cranberries instead of the goji berries she had listed. Only because I couldn’t find any.

Healthy Supper

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    Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce

What a great name!! It is more than just shrimp in tomato sauce. It’s BADA-BING! And it WAS!

    1/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Dressing:
    1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    3 TBS. water
    1 0.7 oz packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. water
    Sauce:
    1 med.- lrg. yellow onion, chopped and diced
    10 cloves of garlic, diced
    1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
    Palmful of Italian Seasoning
    Palmful of Oregano, dried
    3 8 oz. cans of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (Like to add my own salt)
    1 14.5 oz. can of No Salt Added dice tomatoes
    1/4 c. Sweet white wine
    black pepper
    salt

Place the shrimp in a small bowl.
Prepare the dressing: put 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 3 TBS. water into a salad shaker. Add dressing packet and shake the bottle until mixed. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and 1/4 c. water to the bottle and shake vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate while preparing the sauce.
For the sauce.
Chop the onion, garlic, and basil.
Heat a large saucepan with olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir continuously with a spatula until lightly browned. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they are slightly pink.
Remove the shrimp from the saucepan after 3-4 minutes and place in a clean bowl. Add tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, spices, basil, and wine to the saucepan. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shrimp.
To serve, garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan.
I served mine over high fiber pasta. It would be amazing with some garlic linguini.

Healthy (Kinda Sorta) Side –

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I think Sweet Potatoes are my favorite veggie. You can fry them, sautee them, bake them, roast them. They are sweet. AND they are so good for you. Chelsy’s are roasted after mixing them with curry, vanilla, shallots, and browned butter (This is the kinda sorta part). They were sweet and full of flavor. I did add a little extra curry powder to mine because I really like the flavor. And the vanilla adds just a hint of sweet. I could eat these every day!!

I enjoyed my visit with Chelsy. I have been reading her blog for a while now and cooking some of her food but I have never blogged them. And probably never told her how much I enjoy my visits. So there you are, Chelsy.

Check with the other members of Secret Recipe Club below and see what they found to cook this month.

I will be the first to admit Donna Hay comes up with some interesting flavor combinations. Pasta and lemons? Ehhhhh…. But, folks, wrap that spaghetti around your fork ’cause this is GOOD stuff!!

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You bite into the pasta and a hint of lemon enters your senses. Then you bite into a caper and it bites back with a little salt, a little tart. The rocket adds a little bitter and the Parmesan adds a little sour. {And if I had used the chilies it would have added a little heat.}

I was not expecting to like this AT. ALL. I was so wrong.

Slip on over the Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see how the others liked this pasta – Sarah’s choice this week. The recipe is on page 130 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1 and I found it on Michelle’s blog, too if you want to try it.

Any time you would like to join us just leave a comment on the WWDH site. Love to have you.

I have heard of these sandwiches for a long time. I have wanted to make one for a while. Or try one somewhere. But until now, I really haven’t done it. Until now I didn’t have Ellie’s recipe for a nice healthy one.

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What is a bahn mi you ask. It is a Vietnamese sandwich made on a baguette. A baguette because the bread was introduced to Viet Nam by the French. It is still the most popular bread there. The single bread serving is merged with native Vietnamese ingredients to produce a unique sandwich that has become very popular today.

Usually made with Pork it also usually includes cucumbers, pickled carrots, daikon radish, and cilantro. And all of those ingredients are on Ellie’s bahn mi. I made mine with chicken, which is perfectly acceptable for this sandwich. I left off the radish, daikon is just not to be found here. And I cut the hot sauce – Siracha – down some. I was afraid it would be too hot but it was just right mixed with the mayo and yogurt.

I really liked this one. The bite of the pickled carrot combined with the sweetness of the honey/siracha marinated chicken was just right. Definitely something to make again and again. This was Glennis’ pick this week and it was a good one. Thanks!

Check out the other sandwiches over at the Eating with Ellie site.

Unlike many people I know I LIKE sweet sauces on meat. Well, some meat. Chicken. Pork. So I was really looking forward to this recipe from Donna Hay this week.

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Unfortunately I was quite disappointed in it. The sauce was quite tasty but it didn’t adhere to the chicken or add any flavor to the meat. That doesn’t mean I won’t make it again. I think if the chicken had been sliced and then poached in the sauce it would have added much more flavor over all.

Donna suggested serving it with roasted parsnips and steamed sugar snap peas. I am not a fan of parsnips and I couldn’t find any GOOD peas so I served ours with some Whole Grain Pasta instead.

You can find the recipe on the Lifestyle FOOD website if you would like to try it.

And to see if the other Eaters liked it you can check them out on The Eating with Ellie blog.

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